We're Designers. We like to Decorate, while we Eat Chocolate.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Drab to Fab My DIY Kitchen Makeover

I keep bumping into my kitchen island, which sometimes feels like an obstacle course to get around.  I am reminded of my old kitchen that I loved, which wasn't huge, but well space planned.  It had a great big peninsula, and makes me wish I could remodel my entire kitchen.   (I love islands, but it is annoying to me in my particular floor plan.) I decided to revisit my old house's kitchen makeover and reminisce about making cookies on the 4' wide peninsula.

   This before photo was taken before we bought the house.  I LOVED the peninsula and am sad at my new house I have to keep my black bar stools in the basement... maybe they can come out someday... Anyhoo, here's the "before" and "after" kitchen pics of our house in Utah.

This kitchen desperately needed help, and we did it on a pretty small budget. The cabinets were OK,  and new ones weren't in the budget, the old laminate counter top had lots of bubbles and cracks in it.   I kept things pretty neutral since I knew we wouldn't be staying too long and wanted to make it buyer friendly.  Enter granite tile, travertine trim for the edges, and tumbled travertine for the back splash, and a  new light fixture for the dining area.  After a lot of hard work, washing dishes in the bathroom, and eating a lot of take out, it was finally done.

We also got new hardware for the cabinets, a new faucet and stainless appliances to match the dishwasher, new light fixtures in the kitchen and dining. Hopefully the next owner is appreciating our hard work:-)

We got a new gas stove and refrigerator at the scratch'n'dent store, (you can't even tell) to match our stainless dishwasher.  The appliances stayed when we moved, especially after we completely squeezed the fridge in there, there's no way it was coming out- I miss you stainless appliances-- and penny the peninsula!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bathroom Before & After

 I want to share some small and simple changes that can easily affect the feeling of your powder room.

 Boring Bathroom Before:


Tip #1:  Raise the Rod!  Raising the rod adds height to your room.  I raised the curtain rod about a foot  and I really like that it's off the floor-- I feel its more sanitary since this 3 kids are sharing this bathroom.
(Amy Butler Shower curtain from BB&B)

Tip #2- Update the towels!!!  Surprise, these pretty patterned towels are from Wallyworld!! Yes, you heard me right.  (Even I get surprised sometimes!) They were part of the Better Homes and Garden collection and I love the pattern.  I was almost going to splurge on some yellow ones from Anthro, and scored these wallet-friendly ones instead:-)

(Please excuse the dark pic,  this was the best one to show the beadboard)

TIP #3- FAKE IT! I used Bead Board Wallpaper instead of the real thing and that saved me a lot of $ and labor!  It was super easy to install, and it looks as good as the real bead board on the back of my lockers.  It was only $20/roll and I only used 1 and a half rolls (anyone need half a roll?:-))
The wallpaper is paintable, so we painted it to match the existing trim and tacked on a small chair rail on top.



(need some vinyl for my bucket--Haley:-))

TIP #4-- Don't match everything!  This goes for all rooms in the house:-)  I got the rug on the clearance aisle of BB&B (first photo). It was from a different collection, but was in the same color family and style I was going for.  I bought 2 of them (I would have got 3 and taped them together on the bottom if they had 3 to make my own runner) but my 2 year old might have just had an accident on one of them before these pics--TMI, sorry!!:))

TIP#5:  Make Your Own Art!  I save a ton of quotes and things on my pinterest boards, and so I took a few of the sayings and put them together in photoshop, and printed them in colors that would coordinate with my room.  It's easier than driving to TJ's HG's to search through all kinds of random artwork.  I was able to this quickly and inexpensively with only a few mouse clicks and a trip to the costco photo center.

That being said, I did buy the canvas over the throne at HG's (which I still love to shop at). But I still had 3 other walls to fill and I didn't want more of the same printed generic florals on each one.    I will be framing my sayings as soon as I can get to IKEA for some cheap 11x14 frames.

The only thing left is this:

Yes.  This frame I cut and painted myself over a year ago that I still haven't put around my bathroom mirror!  I was waiting to get new countertops in there too-- who knows when or if that will ever happen.

UPDATED 4/26/12
Sham--wow!!  :)
Anyhoo,  hope that gives you a few ways to spruce up YOUR powder room.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 12, 2012

DIY Window Framing and Box Molding


Please ignore the ghetto kitchen- baby steps people:-)


I taped off horizontal boxes first, then vertical boxes to decide which shape  I wanted to do. Usually I like the look of horizontal boxes.  However, I did a higher chair rail and so the vertical boxes looked better proportionally.    I think they were about 24h x 22w, we just did the math to find out how many would equally fit on the wall.

First we cut all the boxes and then used wood glue and clamped them together.  Then I took each box out to the garage and spray primed each one a couple of times.  Once they were primed we tacked them to the wall with our nail gun.

This is what the room looked like for a few months....
(1 coat of primer on the walls)

Then I finally got my rear in gear with the help of my awesome step-dad, and when he's around, things get done:-)   (and thanks mom for watching the kids too:-))

The window we framed out earlier, light fixture needs replacing,  not crooked in real life. This is a good shot of the builder blinds,  see how I transformed them into cute roman shades here.

I used Behr's Pure Ultra White paint for everything.  I would normally recommend a satin finish for trim, but I decided to go full on glossy finish since eventually this is going to be a more modern room, (even with the traditional box moldings) I love it.  

So now that the moldings are done and the roman shades are in, the next phase of the plan is painting the walls and putting together some art I got for the walls and some new fabric ordered.  When I'm done there will be no more red in this room.  TTFN.:-)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Roman Shades from Big Blinds

My dining room transformation is moving a long.  My latest project was making these roman shades using my blinds.   I have to admit, when I first started cutting the strings for this I was worried!! Once you start there is no turning back.  I felt the pressure of getting it done before my husband came home and saw everything dismantled:)

****Edited to add: The fabric I used was Windsor from Lewis and Sheron Textiles.

Here's the window BEFORE: excuse the crummy pic of the ghetto room!


I followed this tutorial for shades our of mini blinds, but used my larger blinds.

First I removed my blinds from the window.  I cut all the little slits and took off the bottom, and removed the extra slats that I didn't need.  (leaving intact the pull string--don't cut that one!)

 Second, I rethreaded the slats that I needed.  I put one about every 8-9 inches.

Then I lined up my fabric, left 3" on each side of the slats, then glued each slat down on the fabric with a little bead of FabriTac glue from Micheals.  Then I folded the edges over and glued them onto the slats.

After I put it up on the window, I decided to add some lining to the shade.
So I cut out lining pieces and glued the rectangles onto the fabric in between the slats.  It would be better to do this first, before you glued any slats on.  Oh well.

I also left about 6 inches on the bottom of the shade, and then I just hemmed it by folding it over and gluing it into place.  

Then I hung it back up into the existing hardware. 

Drumroll please....!

(please ignore the wall color--that will be attacked shortly:))


And it goes up and down just like the blinds did.  I love it.
Thanks for stopping by!

Update:  On my second shade I glued the slats to the lining first, and then laid that on top of my fabric and glued the lining to the fabric in the same place the slats were laying.   I think it turned out even nicer:-)
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