Category Archives: Home Decor

Mini Kitchen Remodel

Five years ago we sold the home we had custom built and moved into an older home in a well established neighborhood 20 + miles away. The neighborhood we live in now was developed at the time when my husband and I were dating and into the first few years of our marriage. We would frequently drive through this neighborhood and dream of our future home and what it might be like never knowing that someday we would reside in one of the very homes we admired. Twenty years after those drives we actually bought one of the houses. The house has everything we were looking for in a home. It is in the right community, it has a wonderful screen porch, it is on one level and is pretty much handicapped accessible (for now). There were some trade offs we had to make when we moved. 

  1. We sold a ten year old house and bought a 20+ year old house which is just enough time to begin to need some maintenance.
  2. We seriously needed to replace the 80’s linoleum in the bathrooms and utility room.
  3. This house has less closet space.
  4. Our old house had a 16′ x 21′ utility room and this house has a small 6′ x 6′ one. No room for crafts. : (
  5. This house has less counter space in the kitchen than our old house and doesn’t have a pantry.
Before we moved in we repainted everything and replaced the outdated linoleum in the bathrooms and utility room. We did it ourselves and saved tons of money. Not too much of an investment even when you include the emergency room visit for DH’s sliced hand. The kitchen. however, we put off for a later date. We have tolerated it the way it was until a couple of weeks ago when I couldn’t take it anymore. I had a friend come to give me some decorating advice and help me decide on new countertops and tile backsplash. He doesn’t actually give any advice on counters but instead begins to talk about knocking down walls and moving stuff around. My head was swimming and I know DH’s blood pressure was soaring by the time DSC left our house. 
One thing the visit did do was get me to thinking about what I really like. Not what other people like or what is the “thing” at the moment but what I like. Another factor we had to take into consideration was the budget. Our heat and air unit has been going nuts for several months now and we have been planning on trading it out before winter. (It, however, decided it won’t wait that long. We had someone come out today to give us a quote on a new unit.) I started searching blogs to get ideas on what I liked and designs that wouldn’t break the bank. There was one blog in particular that piqued my interest and inspired me with an idea that we could do quick and inexpensively. You can find it here.
The thing I hated about the kitchen was that the countertops have a gap between them and the wall. The previous owners had put trim around the top of the counters which was okay except that the switches and receptacles were low and the trim had to be notched to accommodate them. This drove me crazy!! Another thing that I didn’t like about the cabinets was that the openings were too small. Especially on one cabinet. After showing my hubby some photos of open shelving in kitchens and the backsplash in one particular kitchen I convinced him to take his saws-all to the cabinets. He was very reluctant to do so but after firmly informing me that I was stuck with them even if I hated them he put the saws-all to the cabinets and began to cut away. I must admit I was kind of nervous at first but now I absolutely love the open shelves. 
We put bead board on the backsplash, raised the receptacles and switches, added under counter lights, and put new molding around the counters. I love, love, love my kitchen now and it seems so much bigger.
Hubby cutting the oak cabinets!!

One down and two to go!!

All painted and complete!!

And look at all the counter space I found DSC!

I even got rid of the rolling cabinet with G’s wheat-free stash of food!! I now have so much more space. I also  cheered up my cold and impersonal living room a little.

Not much, but hey, it is a start.

The Reveal

It is time to reveal the beauty that was hiding underneath all the dirt and lace covering my new old reading chair. All classy ladies need accessories and my chair is no exception. I started her pillow last night. I printed the letters I was going to stencil on the front, laid them on top of some contact paper and cut them out using a craft knife. It was not until I had cut the last letter and started to peel the paper backing from the contact paper that I realized my stupid mistake. I had my contact paper upside down when I cut my letters so when I peeled the paper and stuck it to my fabric my word was going to be reversed. I was not about to start all over again so I decided to punt. I stenciled my word on my fabric and then turned it over and by using the bleed through paint as a guide was able to paint the word correctly on the other side. I let my paint dry overnight and quickly stitched up a pillow this afternoon. Now my lady is completely dressed. Here is the before and after photo so you can see just how much improvement a little make-up and a new dress can do for a lady.

I used part of a drop cloth to cover the ugly cushion that was hiding underneath the lace. I lightly sanded her and gave her a nice paint job using Satin Black spray paint and then sanded down the edges to give a peak of cream underneath. The pillow is made from drop cloth covered in burlap and I used acrylic craft paint to stencil the letters. I just love my new chair. She makes me smile every time I see her.

Reading Chair Makeover

I have been in a very creative mood lately. I have painted, made a slipcover for a stool, refinished a lamp, started refinishing an antique school desk (my graduation gift), and revived a frumpy old chair. I bought the chair about a year ago from a yard sale for $5.00. I thought after a little TLC it would make a great reading chair for a future classroom. Since I haven’t had an immediate need for the chair it was stored in the attic until a couple of weeks ago. I was inspired to get the chair out and give her a makeover after reading several posts on different blogs about furniture refinishing. I decided my frumpy old chair would be the perfect candidate for a blogging makeover. Here is what she looked like before:

The photo is very misleading. This chair was dirty nasty and the paint job was terrible. Someone’s idea of recovering the poor chair was to hot glue a piece of lace over the top of the cushion. It was bad but I figured if I totally messed up the chair I was only out $5.00. So, I tore all the lace off, picked off the hot glue, gave her a light sanding and a fresh coat of spray paint, recovered the seat, and voila. . . she is now a very classy lady. I am making her a custom pillow tomorrow to complete her new look. I will provide the after photo tomorrow!! I am so excited!