Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Kitchen Remodel

Finally. That's all I can say about finishing up our kitchen remodeling project and the longest delay in my blogging career hobby. (It's safe to say I wouldn't make any money at this blogging gig).

It's been a busy summer and fall around here. I've done a few smaller projects around the house but our kitchen has been our biggest undertaking so far. I've been anxiously awaiting the day I could get rid of our 1990's era, contractor grade, hunter green countertops and linoleum flooring.

Cue the angels singing.

I've got a lot of  pictures and way too many details. It's been a while since I've blogged!  Get ready for a long recap full of iPhone pictures. My DSLR camera had a run in with a can of hairspray and needs to visit a repairman.

We started with the flooring first. I researched all of the options and decided to go with the vinyl tiles. I had picked out a tile that I liked, but when I got to Lowe's I found the better quality, more expensive tiles on the CLEARANCE rack. It was like it was meant to be. So, instead of $2.25 per tile I ended up paying .47 per tile.

I may or may not have broke out the receipt in pure excitement while we were having dinner with friends later that evening. Pay no attention to awful phone pictures. :) 

They were so easy to install. There are a million other tutorials that I used that could teach someone how to install them better than I could, but basically we stripped the finish off of the existing linoleum first to get the floor ready for the tiles.

Then we placed the tiles with spacers continuing across the entire floor to the edges. This is the peel and stick tiles so other than sticking to our fingers (it's super strong) it was fairly easy.

Once they were set it was time to grout. This really makes the tile look just like real stone tiles. I didn't spread it like you should but read on someones blog about how you "pipe" it into the lines just like icing then wipe with a sponge. It worked great!

Thankfully, I can skip ahead to phase 2 which actually didn't happen for a few more weeks. I changed all of the hardware on our cabinets and drawers. I went for the brushed nickel knobs and cup pulls. I bought 8 cup pulls and 25 knobs (I also switched out the ones in our bathroom) all for under $50 on eBay.

(Old white knobs)

(New knobs and cup pulls)

This was by far the easiest of all of the updates. I followed Katie Bower's suggestions for marking the new holes for the cup pulls. Again, these people know what they're doing. I'm just following along! 

The next phase was a big one that needed schedules and travel plans coordinated. We decided to get the butcher block countertops from Ikea. I've seen them on a number of blogs and in magazines and decided they were right for us for so many reasons.

1- I just like the look. It's warm and neutral. I love granite but I don't think it goes with the look of our house. 
2- It's sturdy and built to last. I'm not planning on using it to cut on, but you could.
3- It's a lot cheaper than most of the other options. Less than $700 for everything. Sold. 

Here's the hard part - we don't live near Ikea. Luckily, I have a fabulous husband who agreed that our countertops could be our 1 year anniversary present to each other. This is my idea of romantic. And, since we headed to the mountains around our anniversary we made a pit stop in Charlotte on our way home. I've never been so excited. Whitney may have never been so bored. But, he was a good sport and we left with countertops, new drapes and a new stand for our TV. #Ikeaproblems

My dad graciously agreed to come help manage the new countertop installation. He use to build and install custom cabinetry so we had a professional on the team. I also followed the directions on Beneath My Heart (her kitchen was my inspiration).

We removed the old countertops and cut in the new ones. I didn't do a great job of taking pictures of that process. I was inside of the cabinets for the most part. 

We also ended up getting a new sink in the process. I've been dying for a sink with a single, large basin instead of two. I found one at Home Depot that also included a faucet. It's not necessarily the one I would have chosen, but it matches and works great for right now. I didn't see a need in paying another $200 for a faucet when I had a perfectly good one in the box. 

I'm so happy with how they look. But, I wasn't so happy about the mess it left along the backsplash. It was a perfect excuse to start phase 4 also known as "Kelly learns to tile". 

Oh my goodness. I can not say enough about how glad I am that's over. It may be a little while before I try to tile something again. This was about the point when I questioned why I ever start these type of projects. 

But I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out!

It's funny how this project starts with me outside one summer afternoon and ends with Christmas decorations in the background. That should tell you just how long I've been working at this. We've been working on this an hour or two at the time. And, while I don't like having to eat out for a solid month or washing dishes in the bathroom as I now sit at my new countertops and type this it was all worth it.

(Now if I could just get all new appliances!) :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dear Lord, Baby Jesus, Hallelujah!

No, you aren't at a revival and I'm not kidding that I've been doing a lot of praying lately. Let's skip over the fact that I've basically fell off the blog. I've been crazy with a bunch of projects and not many that I've finished to a point I was ready to show it off. Until tonight!

Whitney and I just finished hanging my new drapes in the dining room and I honestly couldn't be happier if it was Christmas morning and I just got a new car. (Ok, maybe that's a tad drastic, but I'm over the moon about my new drapes). If you're not, don't tell me. I don't care and I don't need negative... you have no idea how long it took to sew these bad boys.

Let's start with my inspiration.

The Inspired Room via Pinterest

My wall colors are SW Comfort Gray so they aren't as blue, but I knew that coral color would pop great across the room from my cornice boards in the kitchen and living room that are Braemore's Selim Punch fabric.

We have one of those open floor plans where you can stand in the middle of the bottom floor and see all of the kitchen, living room and dining room. I love the open feeling but it means you have to be ready to commit to consistent colors throughout. 

Since I'm having a Stella and Dot trunk show at my house on Sunday, I made it my mission to have this drapes finished before then. Nothing like inviting people to your home to kick you into high gear! 

Now, here's problem #210 when sewing your own drapes. With this new fascination with horizontal stripes on Pinterest and everywhere else you'd think the Braemore's and Waverly's of the world would take a hint and just make some wide horizontal striped fabric (also known as railroad). But, they don't. I searched high and low online and in stores and there is NONE. Boo. 

So I made some. How's that for genius? Or for crazy? Do you know how long it takes to sew that many pieces of fabric together to make wide stripes? A.Very.Long.Time. 

Because of this and because I really was winging this there will be no tutorial. Just know that you...




Jump up and down for joy because they are finished and hung! Kudos to Whitney for understanding my desire to hang them immediately!

The pictures don't do them justice but just know that I love them.

And that I will not be sewing any more drapes in the near future. At least not any with stripes!

Friday, March 9, 2012


I'm late to the party but now I'm a fan. I love how you can take a picture from this...

To this...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy 2012

So...Christmas has come and gone. New Years has come and gone. And, now January is almost gone. In true catch-up fashion here's a dump of my iPhone photos that document what I've been up to. It's funny, I spent all that money on a fancy camera and most of my memories are on my iPhone.

For Christmas Whitney gave me the watch I've been wanting ever since my friend Kathryn got one. It only took me a year of dropping hints and circling magazine photos, but I got it. And it's just as wonderful as I thought it would be. 

After Christmas, I used my Christmas money that I received and purchased these boots I have also been drooling over. Again, a little late to the riding boot party, but they're mine now. 

Whitney and I laughed pretty hard one night while he tried to put together Lily James' birthday present. We had been warned that kids toys were no joke. He now believes me. It was more than a 30 minute project. 

This little munchkin turned one on January 7th so we headed towards Greensboro for the weekend festivities. I could eat that face with a spoon! 

 This was my first real attempt at cake pops. I've made some before but certainly not with this much detail. They were fun but I now know why they are so expensive on Etsy. These things take TIME to make!

And here's a quick shot from the party. Both Lily James and Wes had the big birthday so they celebrated together. It was sock monkeys all the way and it was oh so cute! 

We hit up a NCSU basketball game with our good friends David and Becca. It was a fun night at the RBC Center, but box seats will spoil you with a quickness. 

My first shipment of Stella and Dot jewelry was delivered. I'm officially an independent stylist of Stella and Dot jewelry. I've been working on getting my business organized and have my first party scheduled for February. I'm really excited about it! I'll follow up more on this soon... 

And then I got the worst head cold/sinus infection I've ever had. I didn't know you could sneeze so much! I spent a couple of days wrapped up on the couch drinking liquid Mucinex (which, by the way, tastes like the pink bubblegum medicine, Amoxicillin), watching movies and trying to keep my head attached to my shoulders. I was not excited about this. 

I've also been working on getting some new drapes in the dining room. We're in desperate need of some, but I'm having decorators block. I can't seem to "pull the trigger" on anything I find. We've already moved past the chevron sample above... Now we're on to trellis designs. Who knows what we'll end up with! 

And then there's Troy. Whitney's hunting dog that I'm trying to turn into a house dog. I spent all evening giving him a bath and brushing out his coat so he'd smell pretty enough to come inside. I let him have free range of the house and he didn't want to do anything but lay on a towel in the downstairs bathroom. I even tried bribing him with treats. He'd come out, eat the treat and then head back to lay in the bathroom. He's been in a few times since and still he's a fan of the bathroom. Oh well!

I've been slowly working through all of my Pinterest recipes. This was hamburger soup that I fixed the other night. I gave it an 8, Whitney was more of a 6. He said it tasted a lot like homemade vegetable soup. It's definitely something I'd fix again but not in our weekly rotation. Raise your hand if Pinterest has suddenly made you excited to get in the kitchen! 

I also found this on Pinterest the other day and I felt like I needed to read it - over and over. This month has been so busy and full of things I've wanted to do or projects I've wanted to finish, but I just can't seem to find enough time to get it all done. So, I've decided this would be my new outlook on 2012... Let's hope its one resolution I can stick to!