I have a few house updates.
- First I want to announce the all time perfect white. It is what I used in my house that we are currently in and what I used for our whole new house – trim, walls, ceilings, cabinets and doors. Sherwin Williams “Alabaster.” There is also a Benjamin Moore Alabaster, but it is not the same. Word on the street is that this is the same formula as Benjamin Moore “White Dove” but I cannot attest to the truth of that. I think this is the perfect white. It is not cream, but it is not cold and stark. It is white but not chalky – just a good pure easy to look at white.
- Second, if you can find a way to afford it, hire a professional painter. I have never done this before, but this time the project was just too big for us and we would have done nothing but scrape popcorn ceilings and paint for the next several years. These guys scraped the popcorn, primed and painted all walls, ceilings and trim in 7 days. SEVEN DAYS. There were only 2 1/2 of them! 3 some days and 2 some days. Almost all of the rooms had popcorn ceilings and they needed to come down. We started the job and were so miserable. Some had been painted over with oil based paint. Yikes! We got 3 quotes and went with the cheapest – WAY the cheapest. I was so pleased. If you are in the area and need a good painter let me know and I will give you his info. If not, just make sure to get several quotes. ’ll just say there was a 75% difference in our high and low quote. Craziness.
Here are the before and after pics of the family room. Note – they removed the skylight covers to let more light in, and the removed the speakers on the back upper wall and patched them with sheetrock. I mean, we’ll throw some rocking parties but I prefer to not have the black speakers as a design feature
Well, we are trucking along. The kitchen has made it to the halfway point (fingers crossed!). Today the painters start and hopefully that will move quickly. They will be scraping all of the ceilings, so we will be popcorn free!!! I cannot wait to see these cabinets a sparkly white! They are even painting the insides, which I would have definitely skimped on if I were doing them myself. Here is an update.
I am very excited to post about our kitchen! I would say, by FAR, the kitchen is my favorite part of a house. I cook at least 5 days/week and really love spending time in there. I find it so therapeutic to stop at whole foods or fresh pickins and just go home by myself and cook for hours. Well, as you can see, the kitchen in the new house had a bit to be desired. A couple of friends who saw the house immediately said “what are you going to do with the kitchen??” I saw potential in it though. The couple who had the house before us (for 41 years!) had so much history in that kitchen too and something about it felt comforting – like your grandma’s kitchen. So, I did not hate it, but I knew it needed quite an overhaul. Pics of the kitchen before:
So there yo go – the before. It is really not “me.”
The mission began to look for pics and ideas for how I could renovate this without spending $30,000 – which is low on the “total overhaul a kitchen” budget. We did not want to spend that. I like the arrangement, sans the island. That is on casters though, so it can roll out. I do not like the flooring so a flooring change is high on the list. The appliances are very old and could handle being replaced. Just my first observations….
Here are some of the pictures I love. Looking for similarities I continue to see wood, white, exposed dishes, simple ideas, and they look easy to cook in. I do not love an overly modern kitchen because it seems hard to rough up and live in. I need to be able to get the thing filthy! I need to be able to have red sauce splashing around and flour all over the place.
So based on what we have and what we would like to add, here is the plan:
- Paint everything white. This includes scraping the ceilings, removing the drop down ceiling soffits, and of course saying goodbye to the wallpaper.
- Keep lower cabinets. I like the arrangement. Of course they will be so pretty with some new hardware and shiny white paint
- Get new appliances. I am excited about having a double oven!
- Remove upper cabinets. I am going to give the open shelving thing a shot! If I regret it, one day I can add cabinets. The one over the peninsula is especially obtrusive and once you remove that, the others are crying out to come down too.
- Wood Countertops. This could have a post of all to itself! In fact, I could probably talk for days about the pros, cons, techniques for sealing or finishing… it is pretty crazy how I obsessed over this decision. It came down to this: My quote for quartz or granite was FIVE TIMES the cost of butcher block. I figure we could replace them 5 times if we needed to! The good news is, wood lasts forever. If you get a stain, you just sand it off and rub more mineral oil on it. I am going with the mineral oil technique rather than sealing them because I want to use them as a functional cutting surface. That is the nutshell version. Google it if you are interested, but be forewarned that you may get sucked into the abyss.
- New Lighting Scheme. We are removing the fluorescent light and just putting cans in a freshly sheetrocked ceiling. Over the peninsula will be 4 pendants.
- New Backsplash. I am still mid-battle on this decision. It is down to 4 options: 1″ white hexagons (pic above with red pot), white subway tiles (seems like it is everywhere but it IS a classic!), white penny rounds, or bead board. To be continued…
- Replace the floors. We are going to do wood floors that will match the rest of the house.
Here is my little attempt at sketching out what the new one will look like! Thoughts??
And yesterday, when I dropped by to drop off some things, I discovered that a work crew had ALREADY STARTED!!! We had no idea they were starting yesterday! It was the best surprise ever.
We closed on the house yesterday. It was such a great day. My favorite part was meeting the couple who owned the house before us. They lived there for 41 years, and really truly “lived there.” They loved it, raised animals, and just had it as somewhat of a homestead. I am so happy to have met them and fully plan on keeping in touch. After the closing, of course I had to drive out there immediately! We took some family pics down by the river yesterday evening. You can probably see the excitement on our faces!
Hello! Today there is something I would like to share. It is a shopping secret. For those of you who have an aversion to online shopping, you probably will not get as excited as me, but hear me out. I am an avid online shopper. I buy so many things online these days. Amazon prime is one of my best friends – best money I have ever spent! How cool to be able to have a random thought pop into my head “oh no! we are almost out of diapers!” and then a few clicks on my smart phone later and they arrive on my doorstep with free shipping. Besides all of the convenience factors for those working moms, busy folks and people who live in small towns with fewer stores, I just like the variety and great deals you can find. Who doesn’t like to know a good shopping secret here and there?
The sites I wanted to highlight are One Kings Lane and Joss & Main. These are sites I visit daily. I have bought rugs, mirrors, artwork, accessories, and have never had one single hiccup in customer service. How it works is you sign up (free) and receive daily emails about their sale events. These sale events are very random, but mostly home stuff. The catch is that the sale events only last about 72 hours and they sell out fast! You have to keep an eye on them and snag things with a quickness. Rugs are crazy cheap here! I mean, there are the occasional “sales” that seem like they are only for the rich and famous, but for the most part you can find some amazing deals. The best way to describe these sites is a TJ Maxx on steroids but you do not have to stand in line and they have way more stuff
Today, at One Kings Lane, I found these beauties. They are framed pieces of art made of ribbon and fabric scraps! I am so very excited. Hanging on a white wall, I think they will be perfect. The bold colors layered on the muslin colored background with the black frames is exactly what I am looking for as far as combining the oldness of the house with the newness I love.
Another thing I snagged was this little table set for Sullivan. He has a little table and chair set from Ikea that is adorable, but honestly has not held up. I only paid $19 for the set, so I got way more use out of it than I thought I would get. This will sit in a little nook space in the big family room and will be a place for him to color, eat, and act like a big boy at his fancy table!
Well there you go! I hope you will all find some great deals at these sites. There are wonderful gift items, random things like beach chairs, towels, glassware, and just some serious awesomeness