Archive for the ‘kitchen’ Category

New Year, New Projects


Posted by Rebecca, January 2nd, 2011

First off a little year-end blurb 🙂

I’d like to thank all of you who have visited my little side project and sent me words of encouragement- whether through email, snail mail (thank you Laura :)) or in person. I really lacked the confidence to get this thing going in the beginning (if you look at the archives, I half started this in February!), but because of the kind words from people I haven’t talked to in years, people I’ve never met, or people who want me to help them with their homes, I feel so loved and encouraged to continue this. I LOVE doing this and it’s so rewarding to hear that so many of you enjoy it too. So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me to keep this bloggy up. On to a new year of blogging!

Though we still have many, many unfinished projects hanging around from 2010, we’ve already begun planning some new projects for 2011. We often say that we have house A.D.H.D., we bounce from room to room, never really finishing things. Oh you’ve noticed? Well this is sort of intentional because it keeps us interested, gives us time to think and re-think of things we’d like to do and be really proud of our finished product.

So what’s new around here? Well first off, we received the Delta Pilar Touch 2O Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet we were eyeing on our Dear Santa list!

It was a generous gift from Mike’s parents and we are very excited to put the final piece of our kitchen puzzle together! I am planning on recreating the commercial once it’s installed….

While we’re on the topic of Christmas gifts, my parents bought us a Cutting Edge Stencil. I had been eyeing up the Casablanca Allover Stencil for months and decided it would be a good gift to ask for. Since I love meticulous, detailed jobs, I am going to do something like this in our master bedroom…

Okay, I am beyond excited to do this. Though Mike has already warned me that though he is fully confident in my abilities, this project is outside of his skill set. He always manages to roll paint in his hair, never mind successfully applying a stencil….

Yesterday, we hit up Ikea and found another missing puzzle piece- extra long teal-ish curtain panels. These are something I’ve been thinking of for our family room for quite some time. Once we added our white roman shades, we knew we needed a little something extra there. Cue the Merete dark blue panels!

They are nearly identical to the color of my coffee filter wreath ribbon and they will add just the right amount of boldness and fun that we’ve wanted in the family room since we moved in.

Soon I will have the Hawaii inspired color scheme I’ve been dreaming of in the family room.

As excited as I am to do all of these things ASAP, we’re laying low this week, putting away some Christmas decorations, oh and HEADING TO DISNEY ON WEDNESDAY! Woooo 🙂

Anyone else scheming up 2011 projects already?

have a seat


Posted by Rebecca, December 9th, 2010

So just yesterday I posted about the lack of seating in our eat-in area.  I thought of a temporary solution a few weeks ago and this week I pulled the trigger.  We decided to get two stools to put in either corner of our sliding glass door.

We got one for where our recycling basket currently is, in front of the curtains, and one for the corner where the kittens’ food bowls are, in front of the other side of the curtains.  We generally move the cat bowls when we have company so they’re not intimidated to come downstairs and eat.  Not that Macky has any fear of anything/anyone!

The area by the recycling basket has the countertop and the area by the food bowls has the half wall overlooking the family room for people to stick a coaster or an appetizer plate on.

I went to my #1 chair source,  Our dining room chairs are from there and they just have the best selection at reasonable prices.  I had an exact idea of what I wanted, a woven sort of chair ala Pottery Barn. Thanks to Target, I found exactly what I wanted.

It’s the Andres Stool in Espresso.  I waited a while and stalked it on Black Friday, then Cyber Monday and no deals!  We wanted them in time for Christmas and fortunately, my stalking paid off and they went on sale this week.  I ordered two on Sunday (they qualified for free shipping yay!) and they arrived today.  Mike put one together while I was at school and texted me a picture of the completed chair.

When I got home, there she was…

Okay here is where I am honest.  I was a little disappointed.  Mike warned me before I got home that the legs were super dark, which I honestly didn’t even look at while ordering.  I’m not a matchy-matchy wood tone person and I learned with our dining room chairs that you hardly notice such things.  So I wasn’t disappointed in the near-black legs, but the yellowish tone of the woven part.  I was hoping it would be more like our recycling basket.

I also think that if it wasn’t directly behind our cherry colored table and chairs, it would look perfectly fine.

But as I took these pictures, it grew on me.  The woven part looks good with the curtains and the counters. It also adds the texture I was originally aiming for. Plus when I sat on it, I was pleasantly surprised…that badboy is firm! I imagined it would have a lot of creaky give to it, but none at all.  So I think I’ll keep them since they were affordable and we plan on tucking them away when it is just Mike and I.  They add an extra two seats for people to hang out in the kitchen and who knows, maybe someday I’ll go for this Pottery Barn look I’ve loved for so long.

Once we get the second stool together, I’ll snap a picture of our whole new make-shift area!

planning ahead


Posted by Rebecca, December 8th, 2010

We still have 2 bedrooms with zero furniture in them and an empty formal living room, but we can’t help thinking of ways to improve on our house.  One of the ideas floating around our heads for a future renovation is an overhaul of our eat-in kitchen space.

When we bought our house, the model had already been sold.  We walked through it about a year before, but we were in so many models that we hardly remember the details.  One of those details was whether or not there would be room at our island for some stools.  The saleswoman assured us there would be, but when we moved in  we realized she was wrong.

We hoped to change the countertop on our island to a contrasting color (I imagined a dark butcher block) with about a 12 inch overhang for two stools.  Hence the two pendant lights over the island.  Though I was sad that I couldn’t sit at the island as Mike cooked and tell him about my day, we were okay with it.  We always planned to use our condo dining set since I wanted a much more casual dining feel than a formal dining room has (and we paid only $199 for it in ’07- table AND chairs AND glass top!)

(sidenote- it was dinner time when I took these pictures, how cute are they??)

Now that we actually live here, we’ve realized that the kitchen really is the heart of the home.  Whenever we have people over, everyone stands around the island.  We try to tell people to move into the family room or dining room, but they won’t budge.  So we started to think of solutions and I was reminded of a model we walked through about almost 3 years ago now.  It had a similar kitchen floor plan as ours, but the builder offered an optional sunroom.  I remembered that the builder was Ryan Homes and I recently scoured their website for pictures.  Unfortunately, the development we visited was sold out, but I was in luck that I have a disgusting memory and figured out that the model was the Yorkshire.  I managed to find floor plans and pictures on the Ryan Homes website.

Here is the basic layout of our kitchen, as displayed on their website…

And here are the additions we’d like to make, also via the Ryan Homes interactive floorplan tool…

Our builder did offer an add-on to the back of our house, but it was more vertical than horizontal and we didn’t think it would be very functional.  We liked that this was more of a room than a bump-out and didn’t extend very far into the backyard.  We also have high hopes for the backyard area someday, but that’s for another post.

I also found some still images of a Ryan model home that was upgraded with the exact changes we would like…

There is also a virtual tour of this house here!

Ideally, we would love to do something like this, opening up our kitchen, extending our island, adding an area for stools at the island, making a bar area on the opposite side of our sink with additional seating.  We would open up the area from the window through the sliding glass door. We would lose the upper cabinets to the left, but honestly there’s nothing really in those.  And we’d gain the space in the new base cabinets in the island.

We just think we can add some special touches (Wine fridge anyone?? Bookcase area in the island??) that will make our kitchen look more custom and less builder grade.  Plus adding a nice large sunroom will give us a ton of options to work with.  And of course, the cats would love all of those additional windows! 🙂

Maybe in 10 years.  But we can dream, right?

ps- I started a Facebook fan page for this place, come here to join!

pss- Please join, don’t feel creepy, I need friends 🙂

the first Thanksgiving


Posted by Rebecca, November 26th, 2010

Our first Thanksgiving went off without a hitch.  My tablescape was threatened Wednesday night when the Macky Monster woke up and discovered what I had done….

Of course he went straight for the twigs, which was okay because a) they are fully organic and can’t hurt him and b) they were free.  If he chewed them off I’d just go pick some more!

But surprisingly, he investigated for a few minutes and then walked away, TABLE UNDAMAGED.  It was a Thanksgiving miracle! Even throughout the night, the table remained perfect.  This gives me hope for future decor…as long as I manage to set things up while he’s not around.  Once things are up he generally doesn’t care, but if you’re doing something and not paying attention to him? He will do his best to wreck your plans. Such a puppy.

Thanksgiving day was also our first snow while living here.  It did snow on the house once while it was being built, but that doesn’t count, right?

It started off as small flurries, so small that I thought I saw a single flake and told Mike, then I was like naaah, probably just something falling from a tree.  But then we started getting big flakes that were blowing about.

Here’s our kitchen in the midst of the Thanksgiving chaos, before dinner. Since we’re vegetarian and I really did not want to touch a turkey, my mom brought it.

Much to my delight, the centerpiece was not only pretty, but functional.  I kept it low enough that it managed to stay on the table all day, and is still there! Here’s the table right before we ate, made a little more functional with one of the table extensions in, placemats (to protect our solid wood, non-glossy Ikea table), napkins and utensils.  We put all of the food out on the island, buffet style, to save room.

And then I stopped taking pictures.  Until I sat down with my plate and thought MY GOSH THAT IS A LOT OF FOOD. This was taken with my iPhone, because nothing ruins a meal like getting up and being like wait, wait! I need to get my giant camera to take pictures for my blog!

Mixed in that plate there is… sweet potato casserole, stuffing, spaghetti squash, corn, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli and carrots au gratin. Yes I ate the gravy, it’s once a year and I can’t turn down my mom’s homemade gravy on my potatoes.  Not included in this picture is the cranberry sauce, appetizers or desserts.  Oh and the lasagna we ate before this meal.  I will never be able to button my pants again.

That being said, we have enough leftovers to last a lifetime. I realized this when I opened my fridge this morning.

We completely emptied our fridge before Thanksgiving, so all of those containers have leftovers in them.  We tapped into some of them tonight.

We will never go hungry again.

I hope all of you had a happy one!

the kids’ table


Posted by Rebecca, November 8th, 2010

Our cats have quite the elaborate food set up in our eat-in kitchen area.  They each get a bowl, plus there’s a bowl of water there…

We started out with just the placemats underneath the bowls, but Macky loves to fling his food EVERYWHERE puppy style.  So we bought some plastic trays from petsmart that are actually for dogs to a) collect the hard food he drops and b) protect our floors incase the water spills.

Sometimes we underestimate the mess that Macky can make, as you can see from the image above that he has managed to get several pieces of hard food underneath the plastic trays.  But even we were surprised tonight when we were eating dinner and Macky was drinking some water.  The aftermath…

Yes, my puppy cat has managed to splash water all over the wall and baseboard…and he was only drinking it, not playing in it.  Maybe we should tile their backsplash too….

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