valentine’s day fun + art print giveaway!

One of my favorite holidays is coming up: what’s not to love about hearts, flowers, and all that chocolate? Even when I was younger with no Valentine in the romantic sense of the word, I loved giving pretty cards to … Continue reading

vintage high chair

French Country, Shabby Chic, Glaze, Crackle, distressed

I love, love, love painting furniture because it is an inexpensive way to get the exact look you want. I started my furniture painting adventure with my grandmother’s dining room set using this multi-step process to get an antique white … Continue reading

everything and the kitchen sink

We bought our condo in October 2008, and we’ve been able to make a lot of minor updates over the past almost 4 years. These include a lot of painting (there is only one room of the house that we have not changed the paint color) and trying to create more storage since there isn’t much. Next time the house is clean I will have to do a little photo tour to put up here…it just doesn’t ever seem clean and organized enough to share with the world :). Anyways, this year we are finally doing something exciting with our tax money; that is, something¬† more exciting than just sticking it in savings (yawn). This fall we plan to update our KITCHEN! As a lover of food and cooking, I couldn’t be more excited. It will be the first major home project and we plan to do it ourselves with the help of my dad who can pretty much build or fix anything.

Here is the kitchen in the current state, after we’ve already painted it the color we like and replaced the gigantic fluorescent light fixture from the 80’s with a fixture we love:

It is so incredibly tiny, but we make it work. So what if you cannot have the freezer and the dishwasher open at the same time? We are happy with all of our appliances, so the “renovation” will include the following: new countertops, new tile backsplash, new sink, faucet and hardware, painting the existing cabinets, and getting rid of the bar area to make one flat counter top surface. See below.

The goal of getting rid of the raised bar is to hopefully create more space for our many small appliances – we have entirely too many for such a small kitchen where they all must be stored on the small amount of counter space. In this picture alone you can see the juicer (I’m obsessed), the Kitchenaid mixer (which I couldn’t live without) and right above the faucet is my husband’s Soda Stream soda maker (he has a very convincing argument why this is a necessary appliance).

Since no amount of updating can turn our little kitchen into this one of my dreams…

…I’m trying to be satisfied by the changes that are within our power to make. Maybe someday I can wash dishes while looking out of a big, sunny window (and fulfill my dream of growing pots of herbs there), and have everyone gather around a great big island to snack while I cook. In the meantime, here is my inspiration for our kitchen update.

Here are the details:

  1. Already have: Lots of red accents. These beautiful Red Hobnail Bowls are from Williams-Somoma and are unfortunately no longer available – which makes me really sad that the middle one was broken (by someone who shall remain nameless but rhymes with Tad).
  2. Need: New Quartz Counter Tops. I’m sure this will be the priciest update of the bunch, but I think it will change the overall look of the kitchen. I’m a big fan of having a seamless, uniform look and for some reason I have never been a big fan of granite. Quartz is supposed to be very similar but does not stain like granite can. I hope they no longer make kitchen counter tops with hundreds of small, white, square tile with white grout that picks up stains like crazy. I will be so happy when the scrubbing-the-kitchen-grout phase of my life is over.
  3. Here is a quartz countertop that I love, found on a great blog called 7th House on the Left. Their kitchen is absolutely lovely and the closest I’ve found to what I’m looking for.
  4. Need: New Faucet. This is one that I really like from briefly searching online. Requirements for the faucet are: oil rubbed bronze finish to match our light fixture and future hardware, has one handle that is attached, has a pull-out spray hose. Little did I know that faucets can cost as much or more than the sink!
  5. Need: New Farmhouse Sink. I’ve had my eye on this one from Ikea for awhile now and can’t beat the price.
  6. Already have, but Need to paint: Glossy White Cabinets. I again loved this picture from the kitchen of 7th House on the Left. I know this will take a lot of time, but a coat of paint is the cheapest way to change the look of a room and I’m definitely up for the job.
  7. Need: New Tile Backsplash. Oh, the possibilities! I’m a big fan of the amazing-looking quatrefoil, basketweave, or penny tile, but Subway tile seems like the less expensive option and I love the way it looks. I especially like the look of the dark grey grout which would tie in our wall color (and eliminate the dirty grout issue that I loathe).
  8. Already have: Red Kitchenaid Mixer. I just love it. I’m glad its red because it lives on the counter and becomes part of the decor.
  9. Need: New Hardware. Our cabinets don’t have handles now, but I think that adding them will change the look and eliminate the mess from grimy hands on the drawers and doors. These are from, found here and here.
  10. Already have: Olin Rug from Crate and Barrel.
  11. Already have: Jenn-Air Fridge. Purchased in 2008 from Craig’s List. It is counter-depth and we love everything about it.

So there it is :). This was a great excuse to try making a Mood Board which is helpful for visualizing everything together. I will definitely share the details as this dream becomes a reality, hopefully this September!