Nov 24, 2014

A Kitchen Makeover

    My kitchen was the least favorite room in the house...I barely ever photographed in there. Hence why I couldn't show much of a before picture except for these images I shot after I did start working on it.

Kitchen was designed and planned out by me, about 8 years ago. I picked everything out for it... but it was never entirely finished. Installed yes, but never really finished. I guess back then I knew what I wanted my kitchen to look like but never got to it. Walls were painted a sage color, cabinets from Lowe's Hardware store were installed but nothing was improved on them. Wall cabinets looked more like boxes hung on a wall.

The past two years I have been going around, room-to-room, updating and painting everything and finishing if need be. The house is 70 years old with lots of charm, and I love it. And after painting the living room and dining room last year... It was time to head into the kitchen and tackle it. I dreaded it, I assure you... Thinking about going in there and getting a start on it was overwhelming. Hence I dragged my feet getting to it! 

But I finally did, this October! I painted the ceiling and walls first in eggshell white. I added trim to the wall cabinets myself. I took down the four wall cabinet doors that I wanted made into glass doors. Then I started painting wall cabinets, section by section. I did take my time, since I had to squeeze in this project with the rest of my work so I tackled the cabinets, a section at a time. Wall cabinets were painted first. Then on to the counter and last, my kitchen island. I used Amy Howard's One Step paint in Bauhaus Buff for my cabinets. I painted throughout October into November. I wanted it done before the holidays rolled around. 

After painting and drying, I also waxed and buffed the surfaces since this is a kitchen and should expect some wearing and cleaning. So I wanted to make sure it will be easy to clean.

Details on trim and cabinet doors were enhanced with dark wax after I finished with light wax.

A local talented carpenter fixed my wall cabinet doors and turned them into glass doors including detail so now they look like windows. I LOVE them!

My island includes a glass top stove and oven. The flat glass top carries on with the rest of the counter top space.

Staying true to my interior style with all whites and hints of red included in pieces like these, ceramic cutting boards and rolling pin, that doesn't just serve their purpose but are also a decorative. 

The necessary sponge and bar cloth are now nicely tucked away in a wall pocket I hung behind the sink. Wall pocket is a upcycled galvanized metal wall planter that I painted in white and added a vintage type graphic I found on the Graphics Fairy blog.

I extended my widow sills with reclaimed wood, that I left in their original wood tones.

In cold winters, candles add warmth with their soft glow and I do keep a good stash of them. I placed the taper and long candles in this old galvanized bucket on my window sill right next to a candle holder. 

Second window sill is my kitchen garden, with pots holding herbs such as mint and rosemary. 

My recent  IKEA finds are a stool that helps me reach all the pitchers and serving ware collecting on top of my wall cabinets and another large white pitcher that will come in handy any time I am ready to display florals. 

In the end, I wanted a kitchen where everything was within reach even while displayed. 

Vintage mixer and the kitchen tool holders were both thrifty finds that I absolutely love.

Towels are no longer hidden away in a drawer. They are now behind a glass door collected in a wire basket.

It took me a month to work on the kitchen but it was worth every moment and every late night, I spent painting. Now I enjoy any hours spent in the kitchen more then I EVER did. Perhaps I have even been coming up with reasons to be in there more.

I have to thank my dearest friends, Cathy and Melanie at Market Street Artisans, the local Amy Howard's paint retailers. They were the most helpful and supportive, and I couldn't have done this without them. I love what they do and I spend a lot of happy hours in their workshop, downtown. 

I hope you like my new kitchen, my new happy place and thank you for coming by my blog.

Ciao, ciao!


Nov 21, 2014

Thrifty DIY Part One: Faux Fur Throw Rug

Currently my style is inspired by Scandinavian decor. So besides the regular look through for stoneware, vintage linen and furniture at the thrift stores, I have recently been searching for faux fur clothing and knitted sweaters with the traditional snowflakes and stars. I was lucky this past Monday, as you can see I found both.

My finds were a long beautiful grey-ish brown coat for $20 and a girls knitted sweater with snowflakes for $2.50.

Funny how when I stepped to the cashier at the thrift store, people were looking me up and down.... Yah!! Fancy me wearing something like this long fur coat that looked like it belonged in the 70's... One lady mustered the courage to say... "Hmm, nice coat you're getting!" Imagine the look I get when I told her... "Yea... I'm making a rug out of it"...

That's right! I had to tell that part of the story cause I really thought that was funny. 

And yes, that is what I had in mind. Scandinavian winters are cold and interiors are usually decked with warming lit candles, and fur throws around the home among other traditional decor.

So back in my studio I started off by taking off the inner lining from the seams with a seam ripper, better to be done on the lining side as opposed to ripping seams at the furry side and end up loosing some fur too.

Laying the coat open and flat on my cutting table I cut off the top part of the coat from right under the sleeves part. I was left with the bottom part of the coat laying flat. Coat's side seams are barely visible on the furry side and any pockets on the coat I sewed them shut. Perfect!!. 

I folded the bottom part of the coat at the lengthy part. At home I have a much smaller faux rug that I used as a guide/pattern of a hide. I started cutting at least 8-10 inches away from my smaller rug which made the coat turned throw rug, much bigger. 

Be aware... fur was shedding like crazy, while working on this project. Its to be expected.... I was so excited to do this I didn't bother changing and I was covered in tiny hairs!! Well, may have slightly bothered me but I was still very excited that for $20 I was going to have a magnificent faux fur throw rug for my living room.

I have to add that pillow fillers on this bench were also 99c pillows at the thrift store that I covered and another grey sweater made another lovely pillow. I am an avid thrifter and I love it.

My thrift store visit on Monday I also found a girl's sized grey knitted sweater that I turned into a pair of decorative mittens.

So hop on the second part of this Thrifty DIY for a tutorial on how-to make your own mittens out of a knitted sweater.

I spent $22.50 on the coat and sweater and now I have my cuddly and soft faux fur throw rug and a cute pair of mittens decorating my living room. 

This post is part of the Thrifty Challenge hosted by Alice Wingerden on her blog Thoughts from Alice. An amazing list of talented bloggers included below, participated in this challenge. So I hope you check them all out and get ready to be inspired. Someone else's junk may just become your treasure!!

Glam Christmas Throw Pillows by Thoughts from Alice

A Deerly Beloved Thrift Store Vignette by Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Christmas Cloche by Craftberry Bush

A Vintage Mantel for Winter by Finding Silver Pennies

Thrifty DIY Part One: Faux Fur Throw Rug by Creating Vintage Charm

DIY Holiday Walling Hanging by House of Hipsters

Christmas Decor from Thrifty Find by Town and Country Living

The Trellis Tree by Cozy Little House

DIY Centerpiece Tray by Cherished Bliss

Rustic Christmas Tree by Delineate Your Dwelling

DIY Crocks by So Much Better With Age


I hope you enjoyed visiting here and have fun visiting other talented bloggers...

Ciao ciao for now...