Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kitchen before and today

Hello there! Since we have been picking away at phase two of the kitchen renovation, I thought it would be fun to share some before and in progress pictures with you.

To recap our journey, we gutted the kitchen right after we closed on our house, a couple weeks before we officially moved in. The kitchen was old and in bad shape, so we knew right away we would be starting fresh. I wanted all the messy work out of the way before we moved in if possible. 

After having the tile floor ripped out and oak hardwood floors installed to blend with the original, we ripped out the soffits to see what we were working with. With any small kitchen storage is key, so cabinets would go to the ceiling if possible. I'm ok with getting on a stool to reach items stored on the top shelves that aren't used very often. 

Taking the soffits down created a problem, the heavy plaster ceiling didn't have anything to hold on to and was no longer secure. Having a new drywall ceiling wasn't in our original budget or timeline but with any old home things are going to pop up, or in this case fall down. I was so happy a bunch of mouse poo and icky stuff didn't fall from inside the ceiling. It seems like that always happens on the renovation shows right?!

I was a bit worried about the newly installed floors hiding under those tarps, surprisingly they were fine. We hired the drywall out but unfortunately the guy doing it was very slow. The pressure was on to get the drywall mess done at this point because the new owners of our previous house wanted to move in. They were more than generous to let us stay a couple extra weeks so we could at least clear the dust. 

We also hired an electrician to add pot lights in the ceiling since the only light source was over the sink and kitchen table. Our last kitchen never felt bright enough at night so good lighting was important when able to start from scratch. 

We moved into the house without a finished kitchen, it would be six weeks before we had the time set aside to put it back together. That gave us time to figure out a layout and materials. After reading many reviews and blog posts about Ikea cabinets, we ended up going with the Adel cabinet and wood countertops. I liked the shaker style doors and soft close drawers, and of course the price point is great. 

We used the software available at Ikea to design the space and fit everything in like a puzzle. Our little kitchen never had a dishwasher (for almost 80 years) so that was a must on our list. I used an integrated cabinet door over the dishwasher, it helps with flow since it is such a small space. Too many stainless appliances in a tight space would have been too much. Next time I'll share a picture of that and talk about a mistake I made that set us back a day and our first time tiling a backsplash.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The kitchen banquette

This weekend we will be finishing our little kitchen by tiling the backsplash and adding trim to the top of the cabinets. Sometimes we jump around from project to project and finish things as we have the time and resources. Tile has been put on the back burner as other more important projects jumped in line, so I'm excited to see it finished. As we prepare for the big backsplash tile project of 2017 (this is our first time) I thought it would be fun to see what the other side of the kitchen looked like when we bought the house and before we built the banquette. 

The house came with a lot of wallpaper and the kitchen had a lovely scallop trim to go with it. 

Luckily we found original hardwood floors throughout most of the house except for the kitchen and family room which was an addition at some point. You can see a peek of the family room to the right of the kitchen.

We had a small window of time to work on the house before we moved in, school was starting and the new owners of our previous house wanted to move in. The goal was to get a lot of the messy stuff done, so we gutted the kitchen, and had hardwood floors installed in the kitchen and family room.

The old plaster walls needed a bit of work after the wallpaper was removed. 

The banquette came about seven months after we moved in, but I knew this was the perfect spot for one the first time I saw the house. We are an eat in kitchen kind of family, and a banquette would be the most practical and attractive option for our tiny kitchen. 

My husband built the bench seating, and included some much needed storage inside. One very important tip when building or having a banquette built is to be sure to have a nice deep overhang on the seat. It allows your legs to have room to naturally swing back like sitting in a chair verses sitting on a box. 

We used plywood ripped down at Home Depot and nickles for spacing to get a planked shiplap look.

One coat of primer and two coats of my favorite advance paint by Benjamin Moore finish it off. 

I couldn't have imagined how functional this space would end up being for our family. It's comfortable, cozy and we spend a lot of time here working, eating and doing homework. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Dining room before & now

When we bought our new/old house the dining room came with busy red wallpaper and molding in desperate need of painting. The floors are original and were in really good shape, we just had them sanded and stained darker with a matte finish. I love how the floors turned out but talk about high maintenance! Every fuzz and piece of lint shows up.

We lived with it like this for about six months until it was next on the fixer upper to do list. I really couldn't handle being in this room for very long.

The before picture doesn't look too bad, ugly yes but the walls were in poor shape under the wallpaper and all the trim needed to be caulked and painted. It almost looked like someone primed the trim and lower walls but never finished with paint.
I was the painter on duty but we hired someone to refinish the floors and skim coat the plaster walls after we removed the wallpaper.

If you haven't stripped wallpaper in your life, consider yourself lucky. This was the remove all the glue with smoking hot water step. 

We moved the chandelier from our previous house to replace the seventies brass chandelier. I gave the old chandelier a little makeover and used it in our bedroom, I meant for it to be temporary until I found something else, but I like it. 

Our shabby chic buffet also got a little makeover with paint (Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray) and new brass hardware.

I painted a big chunk of the wall with chalkboard paint because I knew I would miss writing and drawing on it like we did at our old house. And something about chalkboards just make me happy, weird I know;)

The giant mess in the background is the kitchen banquette in progress, more on that later.

At this point I'm starting to breathe easier because I was over the hump of hours of priming and painting and the room was looking fresher and happy.

Then it was time for the chair tryouts. I bought two wicker chairs last fall to kind of test them out, see how they fit and how functional they would be. They are comfortable but take up a lot more room then the smallish wood chairs, so once I realized we didn't need six chairs out at all times, I ordered the remaining two and love the way it pulled the dining room together.

Here is a look at the kitchen banquette from the dining room. We eat most of our meals there and use the dining room for games and crafts, lots of crafts:)

Our "nature boxes" were inspired by Lauren Liess. She is a genius to come up with the idea to use an old printers tray to hold collected nature. We fill ours with little rocks, shells and other things we find on hikes or at the beach. I love the subtle color and texture and being able to see our finds everyday. I recently picked up another tray for the other side of the window and spray painted it with black chalkboard paint to match the other one. I don't plan on writing on it, I just like the soft black color.

Next up is some type of shades for the windows here and in the living room, I'm thinking bamboo to match the family room and maybe trim for the drapes. I'll share the kitchen banquette process next time.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas at our house 2015

I had so much fun decorating our new/old house for the holidays this year. Last year we still had a long list of work that needed to be done and didn't quite feel at home yet. We still have that list but it's not as long. 

I had a couple more decorating projects I wanted to do but ran out of time. I usually keep it pretty simple, but I really enjoy taking my time putting everything together. I fuss and fiddle, craft and make until I run out of time. 

We hung the garland right before Thanksgiving and I worked on the front urns on and off for a couple days. The garland is from Home Depot. I cut it in the center and reattached it so both sides of the garland is hanging in the same direction. I learned that nifty trick from the talented Deborah Silver @Dirtsimple

In the living room I mixed fresh evergreens and an old faux magnolia garland from pottery barn on the mantle. A fun deer basket is filled with silver and black ornaments and paper white bulbs planted in mercury glass pots are starting to sprout. I planted them late but they have grown so much since I took this picture. 

I made a little forest of bottle brush trees on the coffee table and included a toy truck hauling a Christmas tree in the back. 

This is Hank the Christmas moose. Our daughter has a huge collection of plastic animals that she doesn't play with anymore so they usually come out for the holidays. 

A peek into the family room. It has lots of windows that look out to the backyard, we always seem to gravitate to that room. 

Last minute I added some greens to our tiny banister. When we first moved here I got really excited one morning when I was looking at a picture of a beautiful staircase decked out for the holidays. I realized I had a banister to decorate (This is my first house with a second story) and came running into the living room to take a look at what I had to work with (the risers were in terrible shape and ugly wallpaper lined the walls) and laughed at how small the banister was. In my mind at that moment, I thought I had a much bigger space to work with. I'm kind of silly like that.

I wrote a post about the dining room tree here. 

I made this huge wreath for above the mantle but it was too big, so I hung it on the chalkboard wall. Super easy to put together. I bought the grapevine wreath at a craft store, stuffed preserved moss and a variety of evergreens inside and called it done. 

I have a thing for cloches. 

From our home to yours, have a Merry Christmas!

I am sharing with The Nesting Place for her annual tour of homes. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Dining room Christmas tree

This time last year we had only been here for a few short months. House projects were still in full swing and we didn't exactly feel settled. 

The dining room was still untouched, wearing busy red wallpaper and needed some major TLC all around. So this year I thought it would be nice to have a Christmas tree in here as well as the living room. (I'm planning a post about the changes we made in the dining room soon.)

We brought the chandelier from our previous house and it turns out the ceilings are higher here, so its hung a bit high for my liking. But we are here to talk about the tree, not what I want to change or what isn't finished. 

This is the first time we've had two full size trees. In the past I've done table top trees, so this was fun for me.


Every year we go to a tree farm and cut our tree down. But for the dining room tree I decided to try something different. I ordered a fresh cut tree from Green Valley Christmas Tress in Oregon. It was pretty cool because it was delivered right to our door. This is what a seven foot fir tree looks like in a box! I have to say I was impressed with how well it shipped.

I couldn't wait to unwrap it...

This is how it looked after we fluffed up the branches.  I tried a new to me variety called a Nordmann Fir. I did have to trim it up in the back a bit to fit our space, next year I'll go with something slimmer. I will definitely order this way again in the future. This tree holds its needles really well and smells so good.

I'm calling this our merry and bright nature tree. Lots of pine cone, wood and acorn ornaments. With some sparkly white and black balls thrown in.

Someone special is getting that cute vintage basket filled with a few goodies for Christmas. I love how it looks next to the tree,  I kind of want to keep it now!

Christmas music is in full swing here and I love every minute of it. It was nice sitting down to write our cards here at the table with the tree in the background. Last year I couldn't stand being in this room for more than ten minutes.

I'll be back soon with some before pictures and I'll talk about what we've done in here and what the future plans are.