Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring fling

It's rainy, and cold, and anything but spring around here. Which is probably why I'm in need of a little inspiration these days...

I'll admit...I've recently fallen out of love with Pottery Barn, but this is some good stuff! I'm loving the fabric inspiration boards. Although, if these particular pin boards are anything like the 'ol useless corkboard (from the scrap room), then I highly doubt they're holding all that fabric...let alone much of anything.

Oh, West I love thee! For starters, there are no words for the bird melamine plates. Other than to say that at $20 (for 4 plates) these might be making an appearance in our home sometime soon. And the owl measuring cups (that I'm sure I wouldn't use as measuring cups)? Yes, please! The Modernist bowls are something to write home about too...specifically our home (for anyone who didn't catch my drift)?!

And when all else fails, a little Essie polish (in e-nuf is e-nuf!) should do the trick!

Don't keep me waiting spring!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easy art

We'd been staring at a blank wall in the kitchen for awhile now (the wall where the fridge formerly lived, to be exact). I suppose a blank wall is better than an oddly placed appliance. But it was time to bring in some art!

I purchased some inexpensive white frames from Christmas Tree Shops (the world of random wonder!), for about $1.29-$3.99. The husband & I were at odds as to what we wanted in them...I leaned towards fun kitchen art from Etsy. The husband favored more traditional kitchen art that wasn't "so girly". Well, okay then. Needless to say, the frames sat empty for some time until last weekend's jaunt to Ikea. A package of 5x7 food photography was the one thing we finally agreed upon! So in our cart it went.

When it comes to gallery walls, I tend to favor the 'throw it together without a plan' look. But in this case, I went for an actual plan of attack & came up with this...

Impressive layout, huh? It's amazing what a Crate & Barrel catalog and tape can do for your walls! Needless to say, I was not impressed with what was happening here. So I decided to just start hanging & figuring it out as I went, and the result was this...

Not bad! Even more impressive is the fact that the husband loves it too. Now if that isn't an accomplishment, I don't know what is! The food photography was the happy medium that allowed me to throw in a few "girly" accents--like some leftover fabric from the window treatments & a greeting card I had hanging around.

...and naturally, a "K" made it into the mix. I mean, what did you expect?!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When we last parted ways

So when we last parted ways, the new kitchen island was looking a little something like this...

After a coat of primer, 2 coats of paint & a whole lotta mineral oil to the butcher block top, we now have this...

As you can see, the island is currently taking up space in the center of the kitchen. It positioned itself back to the window the day after it was built. And then back to the center of the kitchen. And then back to the window. We just couldn't make up our minds! We're still trying to decide if it functionally makes sense to be located here...but so far, so good. It certainly looks appropriate, right?

Stay tuned tomorrow when I bring you some easy art! You didn't think we'd keep our walls bare forever, now did you?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And then we found a kitchen island...

It took us awhile, but the husband & I finally agreed upon an island for the kitchen. The search was slightly exhausting (mostly from my end), that by the time we actually found something, I was ready for a vacation to a real island. We weren't asking for much...just a decent workspace where we could rest the husband's beloved Boos cutting board. Because the tiny space next to the stove just wasn't cutting pun intended.

I gave up on the idea of a farmhouse-like island, mostly because I couldn't find one (well, that solves that problem now...). Actually, I'm lying. I did find some, but they were uber expensive & far too large for our space. But ahhhh, what I wouldn't have done for something like this...

(photo via Decorpad)

So with that idea out of my head, our focus turned to Ikea's Groland kitchen cart. At $199 it was certainly in our budget, and fit the bill as far as workspace & size were concerned.

So this is where the side story comes in. We're lazy. We really didn't want to make the 1.5 hour drive into Canada (our closest Ikea). I mean, 1.5 hours isn't that bad...but taking the time to cross the border, stop at Duty Free, stop for coffee, and eventually meander our way to Ikea takes longer than 1.5 hours. I understand that Duty Free & coffee stops could be eliminated from the process...but talk to the husband about that one. He's the stopper.  

In an effort to avoid all of that, I decided to order the darn cart online. Much to my surprise, the shipping on a $199 kitchen cart was $348! I'm assuming at this point that it was being shipped directly from Sweeden, right? Especially with a slated delivery for April 4! So this past weekend, we grabbed the passports, headed to Canada, made TWO stops to Duty Free & zero stops for coffee (the husband was forced to drink Ikea coffee instead).

I won't bore you with stories from our actual trip. But let's just say that the entire country of Canada was at Ikea that day, there may or may not have been some bickering over wall shelves (and maybe some pouting too), and my Visa gift card was not honored as we were outside of the U.S. (geez, we live close enough, you would think...).

So we finally made our way home & the husband got to work building this baby. I really wish I had gotten some shots of this. There was a lot of sexy man work going on. But since I was on tool duty, there really wasn't time for any photo shoots.

When everything was assembled we ended up with this...

I wasn't quite satisfied with the window set-up, so we moved things to the middle of the kitchen...

The husband isn't quite sold on this set-up. It certainly looks better than the 'ol pushed up to the window placement, but so far this thing seems totally obtrusive no matter where it's located. I think I like it where it is's just going to take some getting used to.

In the meantime--in typical Katie fashion--the base of the island is getting a paint job. White...why of course! And the husband has been applying mineral oil to the butcher block top like it's his job.

I'll be back with updated photos soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Be our guest

Last week I finally got around to some decorating in the 'ol kitchen. It's still a work in progress...but with some collected plates (from Target, Pier 1 & HomeGoods to be exact), super glue & picture was an instant way to add decor to an space that's otherwise quite bare at the moment.

I'm not a fan of traditional plate hangers that you can actually see holding a plate in place. So out came the super glue & picture hooks that I already had lying around (or in this case, that my sister had lying around...I take advantage of this landlord-tenant things at times).

At first, things weren't working so well. I had no idea if this method of hanging plates was going to be a good one. I'm not sure why I ever doubted the power of super glue. Because this was the end result...

I'm happy to report that after an entire weekend, the plates are still safely hanging from the wall. No casualties...not yet anyway.

Stay tuned...tomorrow I'll present to you the kitchen island! We're finally tying up the loose ends in this space. Dare I say a reveal might be coming soon?!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cats in the home

We're cat people. Actually, we're animal people in general...but given our current living situation (on the second floor), having a cat makes the most sense for us right now.

This is Tiggy. Or Tigs, Toots, Scoots, Zoots, Zootabelle...whatever name we feel like calling her at the given moment (I'm almost certain she's in the midst of an identity crisis of some sort). She's been with us forever & she's our baby. We make up songs & sing them to her. And we create scenarios & talk as if we know what she's thinking. And how she feels about the neighbor cats. Yes, we're those crazy people.

So I was excited when Nicole at Parlour posted the Houzz article, 50 Cats Cozy Up at Home (her own cat was featured in the post).

image via Parlour

You can check out the entire article over at Houzz. How fun for us animal lovers? On a typical day, Tiggy can be found in her usual digs...the spare bedroom. Or on a winter her cozy cat bed. Either way, she's the queen of our household. Isn't that the case with most of our pets?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kitchen window treatments

Okay, so I was wrong. Chantal is out, Emily won...and Brad Womack will be checking into the Heartbreak Hotel in a matter of months. But guess what? I have kitchen window treatments! So let's move on & discuss that, shall we?

So here's a refresher of what we started out with...

...the fabric I thought was Amy Butler fabric. Turns out it's not. Darn, I wish I knew who made this. Oh well, it's fabulous & I love it.

So with the help of my crafty mom, we now have new kitchen window treatments!

This isn't what I originally envisioned for the space...but when it came down to it, I realized I didn't have a clue what I actually wanted! My only request was that whatever we created had to be minimal. The goal was to preserve what little natural light we get in the kitchen (one of the drawbacks to living so close to your neighbors...quite literally...our driveway is what separates us). We played around, created some pleats & curtains!

Now that they're up, they are definitely more blue than I'd originally thought. But I love that. I don't think the husband quite gets the contrast, but my plan is to bring some blue elements into the kitchen at some point (I'm loving the combination of blue & green these days...which may have been the reason I was drawn to this fabric in the first place!). In the meantime, it's just nice to have something up there...a window treatment certainly helps bring a room together!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Risin' Up!

I'm back! I took a little blogging break, including reading all my favorite blogs. That list grows everyday...I have a lot of catching up to do!

In the meantime, I tackled a couple of to-do's around here. On a typical day, the list is fairly long. But I'm happy to report that I'm finally getting a chance to get to all those little things that usually make a to-do list quite lengthy! So I shifted my focus back to Project Hallway. Back when I revealed the finished space, I knew I wanted to tweak a few things when I had some free time. So this weekend, I painted the staircase risers!

Here's what we started out with...

Meh. They're plain, boring stairs that were never refinished when we tackled the rest of the floors shortly before moving in. They're in decent condition & the slightly darker stain is right up my alley. But needed something more. After a coat of primer & 2 coats of paint (Dover White by Sherwin Williams, which is the color of all of our trim--one of the more helpful pieces of information the previous owner gave us!), I peeled away the painters tape to reveal what I thought would be a perfect finished product. Not so much...

Folks, this is what happens when you're impatient & don't take the time to sand. Let that be a lesson to all! So with my steady hand & a mini paint brush, I touched up all the areas that peeled away with the tape.

And ta-da...the finished product!

I'd been wanting to do this for some time & I'm quite happy with the results! I'm usually pretty hesitant when whipping out the 'ol paint & brush (I know, I know it's just paint...apparently I have major anxiety when it comes to minor changes like this), but I had absolutely no doubts when I tackled this project. It really brightens up the entryway, no?

And with that I'm off to admire my work & watch The Bachelor finale. All bets are on Chantal at this point. Time to find out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Because custom blinds are too expensive...

...we're going the fabric route. I picked up 2.5 yards of this Amy Butler fabric (a.k.a. what was left on the bolt!) for the kitchen windows. For $27, it's a far cry from the $306 I was quoted for custom blinds. And that's $306 per window. Did I mention we have three of them? Ouch!

The green in the fabric is a bit more vibrant than our wall color, but I'm not super concerned with being so matchy-matchy. Especially given that there's so much white in the kitchen, not to mention I'm in love with this fabric. Incidentally, it would look great in our bathroom too...but let's not get too carried away here. I mean, there was only 2.5 yards of this stuff to be had...

My original plan was to throw something together half-hazzardly. I believe when I mentioned a "no sew" option to my mother, her exact words were "why don't you let me sew them for you". It helps to have talented folks in the family, no?

Pictures to come soon! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

They say it's your birthday

So today was my birthday. My 34th to be exact. And nope, I'm not one bit shy to admit it. I live by the thought that you're as young as you feel. And I feel great! Well, as long as you're not counting the back pain that set in after 2 long runs earlier this week. In which case, I'm feeling very much 45...

So while I take a break to enjoy what's left of my day, a glass of wine (or two or three...I'm kidding no one here), taco night, and some Newman's Own organic chocolate chip cookies...I thought I'd share a couple of birthday lovelies I gifted to myself. Along with a purse, pair of shoes & a Vera Bradley travel case of course...but seriously, who's keeping track?

So first, let me just say there's a reason HomeGoods exists...and that sole reason is for my shopping delight. Can you believe I got these bowls for $12.99 and $9.99 respectively?! Secondly, I can't quite decide which one I like more. I'd been searching for a fruit bowl for the kitchen for quite some time. I can tell you I'm over the moon happy that the husband talked me out of purchasing that milk glass bowl I found at an antique shop 2 weeks ago. I knew something even more exciting would turn up...and it arrived in the form of this! I love.

The turquoise & gold bowl was the exact element I was looking to add to our coffee table. I'm planning to pair it with a lucite tray (for holding magazines, catalogs & likely our remotes), as well as adding some glass balls to the bowl for a bit more depth & interest.

photos courtesy of CB2

And with that, my friends, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my birthday! Now would someone please pass the wine?!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Putting it out there...

So I did it. I put myself out there. I'm typically hesitant to do so, only because I know I'm serious small beans when it comes to this blogging thing. And honestly, I don't like to toot my horn very much because there are tons of other bloggers out there with far more talent & creativity!

But since she asked, I did it. You can find me at Hello Splendor. I linked myself at #91 (for those of you who were curious). The "Link Party" post can be found HERE.

Beth Dotolo is a Dallas interior designer & the gal behind Hello Splendor. The purpose of her link party is to feature bloggers in her Splendid List series. While I don't expect to make the cut (but then again, who knows?), the link party is a genious way for the rest of us folks to see what other bloggers are out there...125 of us to be exact!

Time to get reading!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Light bright

Our kitchen is still a work in progress. I'm sure many of you are wondering where the "after" photos are, but truth be told it's not quite ready to be photographed yet. The kitchen is "done" (so to speak) and very much usable. But there are still window treatments to be created, an island to be purchased, art to be hung, accessories to be added & light fixtures to be installed. Oh yeah, and then there are the floors which need to be replaced--they've currently taken a backseat because of the recent furnace install (oh happy day!). Call it getting technical, but I like everything to be in it's place before the "after" shots are taken.

So in the meantime, I give to you my current lighting inspiration....

Me oh My
Made by Girl

Honey We're Home

Centsational Girl
 Amen for blogs! Aren't they the greatest source of inspiration? Seriously, I'm in l-u-v with light fixture numero uno. It's beautiful, glam, totally unexpected (talk about a conversation piece!)...and I'm fairly certain the husband wouldn't go for it one bit. I'm also not sure I could find a similar fixture on such a fixed budget (or maybe I could & I'm just too lazy to look for it). Ah well, a girl can dream right?

I ran the idea of the french country fixture (in the last photo) by the husband. But we both agreed that while we liked it, it certainly wasn't our first choice (can you believe that was once a F-R-E-E brass fixture?!). But think about how easy this would be to duplicate! Or maybe I'm just excited because it means I get to whip out the 'ol can of spray paint...

I'm also digging these Jonathan Adler pendants...

image courtesy of Lamps Plus
But at $250 a pendant (only slightly cheaper for $229 at Lamps Plus), it's definitely not in the budget. Especially when we'd need 3 of these babies...

So then I asked the husband what he really wanted (it's all about compromise, right?). He then proceeded to describe a wagon wheel-like light fixture, followed by an imaginary drawing with his finger. I'm not sure what's more ridiculous...that he traced an imaginary wagon wheel light fixture on our coffee table, or the fact that I totally got what he was talking about.

So wish me luck my friends! I'm off to find a wagon wheel-like light fixture for our kitchen! I'd show you an inspiration picture, but the best I have is an imaginary traced picture...on our coffee table.

Blog Design by Get Polished