Monday, April 29, 2013

Ta Da...The Kitchen!

It's practically done and it's awesome! It was totally worth the months of plaster dust and living with no sink or stove for a while.  Our new kitchen is not only beautiful but a pleasure to cook in and I feel blessed to be able to work in it everyday.
If you don't follow my blog here is what it looked like when we started...the only thing that wasn't torn out was the window above the sink!
The wall between the dining room and kitchen was removed, the dinette area was deleted and that's where the breakfast bar now sits. (The large picture window was made shorter to accommodate the long counter with second sink.)

This kitchen is all about contrasts...white upper cabinets and dark gray bottoms cabinets, rough reclaimed wood dining table and shimmery capriz lighting fixture, sleek white counter tops and dark limestone tile back splash.
The natural light that pours into the kitchen most of the day is awesome although I still need window treatments--I'm thinking of roman shades.
The cabinets are shaker style Diamond cabinets from Lowe's--I'm thrilled with the quality. The brass pulls are Martha Stewart for Home Depot and the counters are quartz. Light fixtures over the breakfast bar and sink are from Schoolhouse Electric.

With the wall gone, I'm able to chat with my guests while I'm working in the kitchen...
Because out kitchen is kosher we have two sinks...the dairy sink is in the corner and the meat sink is where the original sink was originally--under the kitchen window.
There are also two "sides" flanking the stove--one for meat the other side for dairy.
  The new pantry sits where the original refrigerator used to be.
 Hard to believe it's the same kitchen!

Here's one of my favorite things--I found the idea on Pinterest. Now you see it...
Now you don't...
Here's a rundown of sources...
Cabinets: Diamond from Lowe's
Knobs: Martha Stewart for Home Depot
Lighting: Schoolhouse Electric: Luna Rod over peninsula,  Princeton Senior over sink
Counter tops: Quartz
Sinks and faucets: Faucet Direct
Stove hood: Ikea Luftig
Oven and Stove: GE Cafe Line
Refrigerator: KitchenAid Architect Series
Tile: Royal Grey Honed Limestone, Tile America
Paint: Benjamin Moore Ozark Shadows AC-26 

Linked to:
The Shabby Nest 
The House of Hepworths 
Finding Fabuous

Friday, April 26, 2013

Home Decor at Urban

Quick--what's the first thing you think of when you hear Urban Outfitters?

If you said clothing, think again. The store is a great resource for home decor items...I found our Cantilever brass floor lamp for our den and great duvet covers for a good price. Don't have a store near where you live? Many items are only available online. Here are just a few of my favorites...

1. Herringbone Rug
2. Honeycomb Glass Pendant Shade
3. Mix and Match Cutlery

4. Ladder Storage Basket
5. Plum and Bow Polka Dot Sham and Duvet
6. Modern Chair

Here's the best part. Use the promo code WACKSLACKS and receive 10% off your order and free shipping for orders over $50!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Picnic Time for Lag B' Omer

The Jewish holiday of Lag B' Omer is Sunday, April 28. It's celebrated with parades, bonfires and picnics. If you're planning a picnic here's an easy way to transport your meal while personalizing it for this fun day.
The addition of the arrow is a fun nod to symbolize the custom of bows and arrows on Lag B' Omer. 

Here's how it's done:
1. After setting up your words on a program (I used Word), place a brown lunch over the computer paper to print. Tape the flap down in the back to be sure nothing jams.
2. You'll have bags printed with your message.
3. Cut some wood dowels with a pair of garden pruners to the desired size.
4. Glue on feathers and cardboard tips with a glue gun.

Enjoy the picnic!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Art for the Kitchen

I wanted our new kitchen to feel open and airy so I opted against putting cabinets on the sink wall.  

My first thought was to hang open shelving on the wall. Our carpenter cut pieces of pine which I stained and distressed, trying to achieve a reclaimed wood finish. But as soon as they were up I knew they were wrong...they made the space feel too heavy and cluttered. They came down the next day but now I had this empty space between two windows that needed something
Art was the solution. I love antique floral botanical prints so how perfect would vegetable or fruit prints be in a kitchen?

Here is the empty spot where the shelves were removed--after spackling and painting the holes in the wall. Looks rather barren, right?

I checked out and searched for fruit and vegetable prints. The ones I gravitated to were the giclée prints.  Giclée (French for “to spray”) is a printing process where millions of ink droplets are sprayed onto the paper’s surface creating natural color transitions. There were SO many beautiful choices it was hard to pin one down. Here are some I considered...
The carrot and orange prints would pick up the orange paint color in the dining room buffet.
I also loved the plum and potato prints.
But in the end I was drawn to this print: varieties of Chard. The size fit well in an Ikea Ribba frame with a bit of cropping.
I was at Ikea last week and the only color they had in stock that day was this chrome finish.
A can of metallic bronze spray paint to the rescue.
The color picks up the bronze tones on the drawer pulls.

I'm still deciding on window treatments but stay tuned for the kitchen reveal soon!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Freshening the Front Door

I've been itching to get my hands on the front door since we moved in and spring is the perfect time for an outdoor project. Here's what I've got planned...
The photo is what the front entrance looks like now. I brought the Ikea planter and the (fake) boxwood from our old house. 

We'll need a new storm door (the center is glass--don't know why Lowe's made it blue in the photo) and I'll paint the frame the same color as the front door...something in these blue/green hues. I'm leaning towards the top color, Benjamin Moore's Blue Echo 505. One of my pet peeves is leaving the storm door white--it should always be painted the same color as the door so the door is saturated with color!

Our current door knocker is engraved with the name of the family who lived here two home owners ago(!)  so this iron bird door knocker from ironaccents will replace that and it's only $12.00. I like traditional fonts so I'll use these zinc house numbers from Lowe's and I'll keep the light fixture.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A No-Sew Window Shade

Our previous home sat on a wooded acre of land and sometimes I never even bothered to pull down the shades! Our new house is in a much more urban location and since the neighbors are a little to close for comfort shades are a must.
You may remember the post I did back in January on our small master bath here. I had to work around the existing yellow tiles so I decorated the bathroom in yellow and grays. On a recent trip to Jo-Anne fabric I found this beautiful Waverly fabric:Wave Bedazzle on sale 40% off and bought a yard to create these no-sew window panels in less than 60 minutes.

Here is the old shade...
It wasn't bad, worked well and did the job, but I wanted something more decorative.

The key to making this shade is cutting your fabric straight. I used my old T-square from college days. (We had NO computers back then and did our work at a drafting table with T-squares--really!)
I measured the size of the window, then added 2 inches on each side for hems and pockets.

No sewing machine required--I used iron-on tape instead.
I gave the sides a half inch hem and the top and bottom two inches to accommodate the tension rods.

There are two tension rods on the top and bottom of the fabric.

I can either keep the shade closed all the way, or pull the top down a few inches...
This enables me to have some natural light into the room but the neighbors can't see in!

It also creates a pretty soft fold on the bottom.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Camelflage Outlets

Our kitchen is practically done--I'm just tweaking the details before I post the finished room so it's perfect!

I have a decorating pet peeve: switch plates that do not blend into the wall they are on. I mean, why would anyone want to emphasis the plug? Years ago I decorated a living room for clients and the walls were painted a beautiful soft blue. When I came back to the house after the painters were done, the husband installed brass outlet plates on the walls. Noooooo!

Our electrician installed the outlets in the back splash before the tile was installed. Originally I planned on having white subway tile, so I told him to install white plugs and plates.

Then I found these beautiful gray limestone subway tiles at Tile America. They were perfect but now I was stuck with white outlet plugs and covers. The white just wasn't going to work with the dark gray tile.
Zinsser to the rescue! It sticks to any surface and dries in one hour.
Next I gave them three coats of gray to match the tile.
Will it hold up? I might have to touch up paint now and then...
But it's all in the details.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Salon-Style Wall Display

When I posted my Craig's List painted buffet last month I got many comments not only about the glossy orange color, but the artwork hung above it. This style of hanging is called Salon-style. Even though these art walls are so popular today the trend dates back to Paris in 1737! It's a charming way to hang smaller pieces of art in a group over a large area.

My art is collected over many years and although each piece is different, the burnished gold tones tie everything together. I think these hangings look best when there is at least one straight line (mine is on the bottom) and the space between each picture is the same.

Not only is this a great way to fill a large area but these pictures have sentimental value for me. On the left are silhouettes of my children done many years ago at a nursery school fundraiser. The artist had nothing more than a sheet of black paper and a pair of very sharp scissors and in 20 minutes cut exact profiles of each child! The two below were birthday gifts from my sister purchased from the Annual St. Louis Art Fair

On top are two antique paintings--a watercolor and a small oil painting. The "R" is from Ballard Designs which is no longer available but here is a similar Typesetter Plaque.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nail Polish Marbled Knife Handle

Want to create an expensive marbled look on a serving utensil or knife handle? Use nail polish!
I found this post by Erica over at Honestly WFT last year where she marbleized the bottom of drinking glasses. As soon as I saw it I thought of my knife handle--we've had this challah knife for years. The knife is in perfect shape but the handle has seen better days. Here's the before:

All you need is a container for clean water--be sure it's deep enough to submerge your object into, nail polish, and a toothpick. Gone are the days of only pinks and reds--today's nail polish comes in a rainbow of colors. For this project I used dark blue, light blue and apple green.
Clockwise from top left:
Start by dropping globs of polish onto one another into the water.
Swirl around the colors with the toothpick.

Keep adding more polish and swirling until there's enough to cover your object.
Dip the handle quickly, let dry.

I found some spots on my handle that were not covered so I added more polish directly on the handle and swirled that with a toothpick. Seal with clear nail polish (of course!) and hand wash only.
Linked to:
Someday Crafts

Monday, April 8, 2013

Door Knob Daffodils

It's FINALLY spring in the Northeast--it seemed like it would never come! Little green shoots are poking through the ground and it's fun to see what is coming up in our new yard since we moved in after Thanksgiving and I'm not quite sure what's planted.
Here's a charming way to bring a bit of spring to your front door. As soon as I spotted these cardboard cones at the craft store I knew what I wanted to make with them.

Aside from the cone I also purchased pretty patterned paper.

It came together in a matter of minutes...

1. Spray the cone with spray adhesive until it's very sticky
2. Roll the patterned paper onto the sticky cone
3. Using an exact-o knife, cut along the top
4. You'll have a nice clean edge
5. Using a sharp awl, poke a hole on two sides of the cone
6. Insert a wire, pipe cleaner or ribbon for hanging

Fill a plastic cup with water and insert into the cone.
Add flowers of your choice--I like daffodils because they scream springtime!
Live in an apartment building without a front door? These look just as pretty inside the house.
Linked to:
creative jewish mom
Not JUST A Housewife
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