Kitchen Renovation

 I can't believe that I am sitting here writing this post with my windows open, my bare feet, and in a short sleeve shirt. I know to some of you this may not seem like a big deal, but it is NOVEMBER! and in Central New York, anything over 45 degrees this late in the year is like being on vacation! Seriously, I might go pull out my bathing suit and work on my tan. (joking!)

Ok, so all kidding aside, I am so excited to start this next project. It's going to be a biggie, but I'm diving in head first--I'm finally going to tackle my kitchen! It's the one room in the house I haven't really done a lot with since moving in. It's not that it's awful, it's just not me. But that is about to change! 

I thought I would start by showing you some before pictures and then share some images I've pulled for inspiration. I would classify this as a medium-sized renovation. Here's what I plan on updating:

  • Painting the walls
  • Painting the cabinets (I'm thinking dark on the lowers and light on the uppers)
  • Hardware for the cabinets
  • Light Fixtures
  • White subway tile backsplash with dark grout
  • Fixing a broken cupboard and creating a microwave shelf
  • Under cabinet lighting
  • Possibly some open shelving in place of the hanging pots and pans rack
  • Window treatment

Since it's so much harder to be objective about your own space, I would love to hear your ideas and feedback! Comment below and tell me what you think!

Kitchen Renovation Before Pic
Kitchen Renovation Paint Swatches

I taped the paint swatches of colors I'm considering to wall so I could get a feel for how the colors looked throughout the day in different lighting. It is amazing how much different they look in natural and artificial light! Some of them turn so blue in the evening! Right now I'm leaning toward the third from the top. It is the lightest and I like the color best at night.

Kitchen Renovation Before Pic

This is the broken cupboard (well, drawer actually) that I mentiond. I'm thinking about removing the drawer and its hardware entirely, the cupboard door beneath it, as well as the brace that separates the two. This will leave a big open space where I can build a shelf for the microwave so that I can reclaim the counter space for something prettier. 

I'm also debating taking down the pots and pans rack and putting up some open shelving. We'll see though, the man of the house is pretty attached to it. ;)



Here the tin backsplash behind the stove is coming down and the new white subway tile will fill that space. I may also try to add some crown molding. The people who lived here before us boxed in the space between the top of the cupboards and the ceiling, but I think some trim would really give it a more finished look.

Kitchen Renovation Before Pic

The counters are a black granite tile with black grout. Not my fave, but not really in the budget to replace them either. Typically I would coordinate vertical and horizontal surfaces in darks and lights, but I am so tired of keeping these (poorly painted) white cabinets clean! That's why I'm thinking black on the lower cupboards, but a fresh coat of white on the uppers. I'm afraid it would become really dark and heavy with all black or I would just do that. To tie in the transition, I'm contemplating dark grout with the white subway tile.

I would love to hear your opinion or words of wisdom if you've learned by experience! Please use the comment feature below to share your thoughts!

And now, a few pictures I've collected as inspiration. Most of these kitchens go above and beyond the scope of this project, but hey, who doesn't love looking at pictures of pretty kitchens!?

Create Spaces That Encourage What You Love!

Interior design isn't always about big projects or total overhauls--sometimes it means creating small spaces within your home that encourage you to do what you love!

I love reading; there is nothing quite like curling up with a good book and a fresh cup of coffee. Here are a few important things that I think really help make the experience top notch! 

First, the perfect chair! These vintage beauties are just the right size and they are ridiculously comfortable! I think a throw pillow and cozy blanket really round out the comfy factor. In the summer, I enjoy that I can have the windows open behind me--nothing like some natural light and fresh air. Finally, a small side table is the perfect place to set your book and favorite sipping beverage. Now, all that's left is to carve out some time to settle in and get lost in your favorite book!

Here's a quick look at my recent reading list!

1. Empty Mansions -- While mindlessly perusing Amazon kindle books one evening, looking for something to read, I stumbled across this book. The synopsis captured my attention and I immediately downloaded it into my kindle library. It is a fascinating history of one family's wealth, power, and scandal. It was not quite as mysterious as I was hoping for, but still interesting nonetheless. 

2. Black Water Rising -- I picked this up after hearing an interview with the author, Attica Locke, on NPR. I was impressed by the history of the small Texas town that inspired pieces of this book. The actual story did not disappoint. It reads a little slow--surprisingly this did not detract, but actually added to the drama and tone. I cannot wait to read the sequel, Pleasantville! 

3. Blink -- After seeing a movie at the mall with my husband, we passed through the food court and I saw what appeared to be a Redbox, but for BOOKS! I was ridiculously excited to find that it was indeed a vending box/mini library where all I had to do was scan my library card and voila! I could borrow a book right there. This book is an interesting look at how both our subconscious and conscious work to take in and make decisions about the world around us, when we should trust instinct, and what warrants a second pass. 

4. Valley Of The Dolls -- This was a bookclub pick and I am on the fence about it. It was an entertaining read but I felt like the characters fell a little flat. Not bad for a summer afternoon at the beach, but not my all-time favorite.

5. Scary Close -- A long-distance friend suggested we both read this and then chat about our thoughts and impressions. She loved it but I was not convinced. As we talked about the reasons for our opinions, I realized we were coming at the book from totally different places. This is a book about self-discovery and authenticity--where my friend applauded the author's bravery, I was skeptical. I think I may need to re-read this with a bit more grace and little less cynicism.

6. Do Over -- Full confession: I started listening to this as an audio book and have not finished yet. The first few chapters were great but I think I need to pick up a physical copy so I can digest it a little more slowly. 

That's it for my reading lately... How about you? I'd love to hear about your recent reads! Comment below and tell me what have you loved and why you would recommend it! I'd also be excited to know how you intentionally create spaces in your home to do what you love!

Baby Grey's Nursery

Our wee one recently turned 6 months old and in honor of this milestone I thought I'd share a few pictures of his nursery. We wanted something fun, playful, clean, and bright. I love spending time in here with him; it's the perfect place for building block towers and reading stories!

Crib -- Ikea (this style is no longer available)
Colorful City Canvas -- Ikea (no longer available)
Rainforest Mobile -- Handmade Gift
Gray Chair -- Ikea
Aztec Pouf -- Target (no longer available)
Adventure Watercolor -- Handmade Gift
Wooden Giraffe -- Souvenir from trip to the Central African Republic
Lamp -- Target
Curtain -- Target (I started with this shower curtain then modified with fabric and trim)
Charcoal Drawing -- Craigslist
Round Mirror -- Thrift Store
Dresser -- Craigslist Makeover

Note: I do not receive compensation of any kind when you use the links above. They are provided for your convenience when shopping for the items pictured in this post. 

Baby Rosa's Room

Rosa Jane is one special little lady (just ask her big brother Cyrus!) so how perfect that her sweet little nursery is almost as darling as she is. Mixing in some already-owned pieces, some Craigslist finds, and a few new accessories, really kept this room on-budget. I love how it turned out and I have to give huge props to Rosa's momma who took on several DIY's in order to make this happen.
This room is truly a labor of love!

Shop the Look:
White Owl Lamp - Christmas Tree Shops (not available online)
Floral Prints - Rifle Paper Co. 
Small White Frames - Ikea
Large White Frames - Christmas Tree Shops (not available online)
Faux Sheepskin Rug - Ikea 
Gold Quote - Hobby Lobby

Crib & Glider - Already Owned
Dresser & Chandelier - Craigslist

DIY Projects:
Dresser - Repaint 
Chandelier - Repaint
Ribbon & Fabric Mobile
Gold Letter "R"
Throw Pillow


Note: I do not receive compensation of any kind when you use the links above. They are provided for your convenience when shopping for the items pictured in this post.