Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kitchen ramblings - Where do we go from here??

I'm still trying to decide where to go with the decorating of the kitchen. I'm lost. I'm stuck.

But I'm working on it!! I'm not giving up (yet).

Lets go back to the beginning to see where we came from.

A few pics of the kitchen as it looked when we moved in 3 and a half years ago. We have definitely come a long way.

Yes, that countertop was PINK!!!!

And a look from the other direction, looking into the eat-in part of the kitchen. Those walls are knotty pine. The knotty pine was here when we moved in and it is in really good shape.
The floor is a light gray (fake hardwood) and it's also in good shape.

Now, here are a few pics of the renovations we have done so far:

Painted cabinets, new hardware, new countertop, new sink and faucet, new backsplash, new stainless steel dishwasher.

Close-up of the backsplash:

And this is where we are with the eat-in part of the kitchen. We hung a new ceiling fan, added a corner cabinet, a TV (on top of the corner cabinet), curtains, and a few misc decorations.

The white refrigerator has been replaced with a stainless steel one.
We also got a new kitchen table recently

So whats up next for this kitchen?? COLOR!!!!

I love the black and gray and I think I have a good foundation. But this kitchen needs a splash of something to liven it up. As you can see above, I tried to add in some turquoise (picture frame, potted plant hanging in the window, vase w/ flowers) and it just wasn't working. Maybe my shade of turquoise was too bright, maybe I was putting my turquuoise in the wrong was wrong.

I'll go a step further and show you a photoshop experiment where I tried to see what it would look like if I add a turquoise wall to my kitchen.

This is the wall as it looks now, painted gray:

And the same wall with turquoise, or teal:

It's not working for me. It's "OK" but I don't love it.

So now what?? I guess I need to pick another color. I've been all around the color wheel, and I'm having a hard time getting thrilled with my choices.

I don't like the black and red look. It's too much. I don't think the red will compliment my knotty pine:

Black and yellow reminds me of a bee. I like the bright yellow, I'm just not convinced it will look right in my kitchen.

How about black and orange? Again, I like the brightness of the orange, but it reminds me of Halloween.

And so on......and so on........I don't think I like any color with the black and gray..........and I'm totally struggling with this.

But I'm not giving up yet!

I see where my problems lay with this kitchen.

First of all, I know I am fighting the black because it's so dark. I understand how much easier it would be if I just paint my cabinets white and then add any color I want to spice up the kitchen. But white cabinets are boring, and I really do like the black. I realize I probably have too much black in the kitchen right now, so maybe I can tone it down a bit.

Second, I realize I am trying to merge the knotty pine walls in the eat-in area with the stainless steel looking backsplash. Rustic meets modern. Yeah, I know. The two sort of don't work together.
The knotty pine is staying, it's not even negotiable. I refuse to take down the knotty pine, and I'll have to work around it. It's beautiful, and it reminds me of my old house in the mountains in southern California. I really, really want to try to work with the knotty pine.
Now the backsplash?? I do love it ( and it was expensive), but I would be willing to take it down and replace it if it would help the kitchen. The thing about the backsplash is that it kind of ties in the stainless steel it really must be the knotty pine that is the problem here. 

The other day I was digging around online and I came up with this color scheme :

That's not too bad at all! Maybe the trick is to add SEVERAL colors instead of just one??

OK, so I checked the Pier 1 website, and I can start to see it coming together.......

How does this look??

Daisy bowls?? Cute!!

A flower dessert plate??? Also cute!!

Cloth napkins?? They go with the color scheme.......I like them!

Cute rug!!!

A table runner.....this might work too!

Reversible place mats.......
OK, yeah......I know I don't need to add ALL of those things, but am I heading in the right direction at all??

I could paint the corner cabinet.........maybe the goldenrod color would brighten up that corner.....I definitely need to ditch the black curtains and find something brighter too. How about stripes?

And one thing you may have already picked up on, my living room is basically that exact same burgundy/goldenrod color scheme already!!!

The thing is, I plan to re-do the living room in an entirely different color scheme this fall (or winter) so I'm not worried about over-doing it with those colors. I'll just move 'em into the next room.

So now, does anyone have any suggestions for what to do with my kitchen?? I'd love to hear what everyone has to say. Color suggestions? Decorating suggestions? HELP!!
Here are the pics again of what it looks like now

How about a stencil on this wall? Something bold and artsy??

And what if I paint this door in a bold color and add curtains? This door goes out to our screened in porch

Suggestions??? Fire away!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living Room Progress

I'm not really sure if I would actually call this "Progress", but maybe just a living room "update".

My mom and sister just moved into a smaller place, and they were nice enough to give Tim and I the furniture that wouldn't fit into their new house.

I am working on plans to re-do the entire living room (new color scheme, etc...) but for now, we have made a few tweaks using our newly handed down furniture.

Backing up just a bit, here is what our living room looked like about a year ago:

It's a smallish room, and even smaller with so much furniture in there.

Last year, I added more pictures to our picture wall. Although I like the idea, the pictures (and that giant hutch) made our living room look way to cluttered.

I re-did the wall, and it looked a little better.

And then a few months ago, I decided that this piece was the problem. It's a nice peice of furniture, but it's way too huge for our small living room. We need furniture to sit on, not a giant hutch that takes up an entire wall.

So we said bye-bye to the giant hutch. Actually, we moved it over to Timmy's mom's house. She has a much bigger house and it just happens to go with some of her other furniture.

And we were left with this:

A lonely black file cabinet.

Next, we moved in a few things from my mom and sister.
An antique 3 drawer dresser, that my mom has had since I was a child, and an overstuffed blue chair and ottoman.

We also bought a couple of large fake plants from one of my co-workers. I need plants in my life, but our house is too dark to grow plants inside. I have been on a fake plant quest for a while now. Fake plants that look nice are expensive! These plants were between $40.00 and $80.00 new, and I got them for $15.00 each!!

I suppose I like this side of our living room better with the chair and dresser. It's definitely more functional for us.

Sadly, the blue chair doesn't match a single thing in our house.
We have decorated our house in earth tones, and the blue just doesn't work.

I threw a giant white blanket over the chair and a smaller brown blanket over the ottoman, and I don't think it helped. I wish the chair didn't take up half of the living room!

I may just invest in a chair and ottoman cover soon. Or maybe we'll get rid of the chair and try something different alltogether.

Did you notice we had to remove our coffee table to accomodate the chair and ottoman??

So, while I haven't yet decided what we are going to do with that chair, I do love the antique 3 drawer chest. It's staying.

And another thing that is staying, is this stereo my sister gave me. I haven't had an actual stereo in years, and I am really enjoying it.

I'll keep you updated on what we decide to do with the living room. I have a feeling this living room is going to get an entirely new look this winter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Laundry Room Update

We are continuing to plug along with the home renovations. There is still MAJOR work to do in every single room in the house, but we're getting there.

Our laundry room is downstairs, and actually it's more like a laundry hallway than a laundry room. It's also the same hallway that Cody has to use to get to her new bedroom.
As we were working on her room a few months ago, we also made a few tweaks to the laundry hallway.

I'll start with some before pics:

We took the door off the top of the stairs going to the basement. We want the basement to be more a part of the house instead of a closed off basement.

(Excuse the shop vac on the stairs) At the bottom of the stairs, you can turn left and go through the door into Timmy's part of the basement, or, you can turn right

and there you have it...........our laundry hallway.

Cody's bedroom door is there on the right. You can see where we stopped carpeting just outside of her doorway.

Standing in front of the washer and dryer, Cody's bedroom door is now on the left and the door to Timmy's area is straight ahead.

The project for this post is building a stand for the washer and dryer, to raise them up off of the floor.
I love my new side loader washer.........Timmy bought it for me when we moved in to the house and discovered the washer that was here didn't work. We have been using the dryer that came with the house for 3 and a half years now, and haven't had to replace it yet. Slowly, we are replacing the appliances as they no longer work. So far, we replaced the dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator. Next will be the stove/oven and then dryer.

But back to the washer/dryer platform.
First, Timmy built a simple frame against the walls:
The floor is uneven downstairs, so he made sure the top of the platform was level.

The frame is complete:

He added a plywood top, after cutting a hole for the water pipe thing:

And viola! I have a platform for my washer and dryer!
The platform is about 12 inches high, and makes it SO MUCH easier to get the clothes in and out of the washer and the dryer. I can still reach the knobs on the top of the dryer.

Next on the list for the laundry hallway:

  • mud and tape the walls
  • paint the walls
  • paint the platform
  • carpet
  • storage shelf above the washer/dryer
  • paint the stairs and stairwell 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Storage room to bedroom - The reveal!!

Sorry I made you all wait so long to see what Cody's bedroom looks like! I had to go out of town, and Cody and I had some final touches to put on the bedroom before we took pictures.

There are still some things to do, but I'd say this room is 99% complete.

On with the pics!!!

Here is a quick recap of the project:

The room: A 10 X 12 room in the basement that was originally painted red for Tim's son to use as a bedroom. Patrick didn't end up moving in so this room has just been used as a storage room for the last 3+ years.

First I had to empty the room, that was quite a project. It took a few weeks to find a new home for all of that junk:

Next I painted several coats of Kilz to cover up the red:

Then I painted the walls a soft blue, and the ductwork in bright colors:

And my son Chris layed (laid?) the carpet:

And now for the finished room:

I need to add another panel to that pink curtain to make it fuller. 
Her nightstand needs to be painted white.
The water pipe thing in the bottom right needs to be covered with something.

Otherwise, cute, cute cute!!!!

The dark purple square on the ductwork needs to be lightened. It's too dark and doesn't really look purple:

Tim needs to hang her long mirror on the back of her door:

It really turned out nice! It's calm and peaceful, but not drab. We were surprised at how much room there is in there after we started adding the furniture. It's a tiny room, but it's OK for 1 person. Cody has plenty of room for her stuff, and she can still move around.