A New Look for My Breakfast Room

Happy Friday friends! No snooping around Blogland for me this week. Nope, I’ve been too busy doing other things. And because I just love to drive myself mad by adding more things to my list, let me show you what I’ve gotten myself into.

I’ve mentioned a couple times since taking the Christmas decorations down that I feel the need for new. New decor. Maybe new color. Just a new look. I did a few minor changes to my family room and so I moved on to my kitchen and breakfast rooms. It all started with my rugs. I have black shag rugs in the kitchen and black and a black and gold rug in the breakfast room with matching runners. These rugs have been driving me insane! No matter how often I vacuumed them, they never looked clean! If I didn’t do something, they would be then end of me! But I hate rug shopping! It is so hard to find a perfect rug, so I just let them drive me crazy. Until one day, about three weeks ago, when I just couldn’t take it anymore. I picked up the shag rugs and threw them in the garbage. Why? Because once I did that, there would be no turning back. They were gone. I would have to get new ones! Sigh. . . three weeks later and I still have no rugs in the kitchen. Actually I’ve purchased two different sets of rugs and returned them both.

However, in the midst of my search for the perfect kitchen rugs, I decided I would do some work on my breakfast room. I found a set of rugs at Target that I thought would be nice for the breakfast room. It matched the wall color perfectly! Unfortunately, it didn’t match the window treatments. But that was okay because right around the corner from the rugs were some really cute drapes. And by golly, they just happened to match!

That trip to Target, in search of kitchen rugs, turned into a new look for the breakfast room.

Unfortunately, this was the only photo I could find of my breakfast room before. It was from Thanksgiving. But you can see the black and caramel window treatments in the background.

I have to say it was amazing how much larger and brighter this room was with the new drapes!

But as much as I loved these new window treatments, I wasn’t sure I liked them with the black furniture. Normally I would just say paint the furniture, but I’m just not up for a project like that right now. I still liked the new look better than the old, so I thought I could deal with it!

Then, the other day, I went to Hobby Lobby to help a friend pick out some fabric and I found this. . .

I tried to walk away, but it was calling my name. I took home 9 yards! What was I thinking? What am I going to do with these brand new window treatments I just purchased from Target? And when am I going to find the time to sew new ones from this fabric? I’m nuts!

But just look at how perfectly it all goes together. I love it! I’m so excited! And even though I won’t have to do any furniture painting, I’m now considering changing the color on the wall. Just a slightly lighter shade. Oh Jen. . .

Thrift Store Cloche

Hey y’all! I’m busy, busy working on my dining room and I can’t wait to show it to you! But you’ll have to wait a little longer! Today, just a quick tutorial to show you 
how I turned these thrift store finds:

Into this decorative cloche:
I go thrifting often. I think it has become a bit of an obsession. I love other people’s junk! Just wait until you see what I got the past couple of weekends! Soon, I promise! One thing I’ve been looking for is a cloche. These babies are pretty expensive, both new and old, so I’ve been on the hunt for something that I can use to make one of my own. I was thrilled when I found this old wooden cheese plate {I think?} with a glass cover. I also purchased the glass candle holder to use as a base to give it some height.
I got both for $4! ‘Cause you know I LOVE a good bargain! 
So here’s how I did it. . .

First I sprayed both pieces with two coats of Krylon black satin spray paint.

I used sandpaper to distress the paint and let the beautiful dark wood show through.
I used Gorilla Glue to attach the wooden plate to the candle holder. I turned the plate upside down because the candle holder fit perfectly in the circular indention.
This was my first time using Gorilla Glue. The instructions said to use a small amount. I guess I used a little too much. So be careful, the glue expands as it dries! Luckily it’s the underside of the platter so you cannot see the dried glue oozing out!
Viola! A miniature cloche for my counter top for just a few dollars! Now, what to put in it?

One of my boxwood balls from Hobby Lobby fits perfectly!

You Won’t Believe It – It’s My Kitchen Cabinets Reveal

Yes my friends, you read the title correctly! My kitchen cabinets are DONE! Had you given up on me? For those of  you stopping by for the first time, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation almost three months ago. Meaning that this reveal has been a long time coming. I knew it would take awhile, but did not anticipate it taking this long. I thought a couple of weeks at the most. Whew, this was a project {to say the least}. As usual, I knew exactly what I wanted the finished project to look like, but it took a lot of reading, inquiring, trials and errors to get these cabinets the way they are now. I won’t lie, it was not an easy task. We hit a lot of speed bumps along the way where things didn’t work as we had planned which caused major delays. Are you ready to see? Of course you are!


http://todayscreativeblog.net/

If there was anything in the house that made me doubt our purchase, it was the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! There was nothing, not one thing, that I liked about this room. It was everything I wasn’t looking for during our search for a new home. But it was a great layout and it had some serious potential. Luckily I have an eye for these things and I was able to overlook the ugliness not so great features of this kitchen in order to see the kitchen I could create. 
So here it is, our kitchen circa 2007 
{these pics were taken during inspection using a point and shoot, so excuse the crappiness}
Dislikes {umm, everything}:
  • White linoleum counter tops. I had once lived in an apartment with white linoleum counters and swore it would never happen again. Well here we were, once again, with white linoleum. Hubby promised granite – at some point- so I agreed to live with it {for 10 months too long}.
  • White appliances. I used to really like white appliances, but now I preferred stainless steel.
  • The big, bright fluorescent light on the ceiling. I am not a fan of overhead lights, particularly bright fluorescent ones.
  • The Pergo laminate flooring. It sounded hollow when we walked on it and it looked as if someone had ice skated over it. In other words, scratched.
  • I didn’t love the raised bar. I really wanted an island or large counter workspace. Plus I felt it closed off the room.
  • The color. Now there’s nothing wrong with yellow, I just didn’t want it in my kitchen. But paint doesn’t scare me. It’s an easy fix.
  • Two-tone, gold and white cabinet hardware and gold switch plates so shiny you could use them as mirrors.

 

Need I say more?
The kitchen remodel was complete in November 2007 {about one year after moving into the house}. Let me remind you that all the renovations were done by hubby and me, with the exception of the counter tops. It was not something either of us had done before, we learned along the way. Here’s what we did:

  • Granite! Good-bye white linoleum, hello Santa Cecilia granite!
  • Stainless appliances, all of them.
  • A new, hanging light fixture. This took some work because there was a large rectangular hole in the ceiling when “Big Fluorescent” was removed. Hubby had to patch it up with drywall and spackle and then of course, paint.
  • Beautiful Teak hardwoods.
  • Did you notice the raised bar is gone? Best idea EVER! After removing the laminate in prep for the granite installation {tip: HUGE money saver if you remove it yourself}, hubby cut off the drywall used for the raised bar so that it was level with the counter top. The granite covered all imperfections and is supported {because the solid slab is so heavy} with a corbel* and four stair posts.
  • On the walls: we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Tangier Island & Country Cork, added beadboard under the bar and travertine tile backsplash under the cabinets.
  • We changed the cabinet hardware to nickel-finish knobs and pulls.
  • Nickel finish switch plates replaced the gold.
Everything was just how I wanted it, except the cabinets. Unfortunately, new kitchen cabinets were not an option for us. If I wanted a different look, I would have to do it myself. I kept putting this project off because I knew that it would be a lot of work. Finally, on March 9, 2011, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation. {No Turning Back Now}. The dishes came out, the doors came off and I was ready to go! 
I plan on doing an in-depth tutorial on painting the cabinets, including supplies, what to do and not to do, etc. But for now, in a nutshell, here are the steps for re-finishing the cabinets:
  • Remove cabinet hardware and doors. Clean all surfaces to remove grease and grime. 
  • Sand surfaces well to rough up the finish.
  • Prime. 
  • Lightly sand to smooth any brush strokes or drips.
  • Paint 2-3 coats, allowing to dry 24 hours and lightly sanding in between coats.
  • Apply and wipe off glaze to give an “antique look.”
On top of the painting, we also added glass doors, replaced the cabinet above the microwave with a decorative box and shelf that touched the ceiling and changed the cabinet hardware. 

 

Like I said, this was by no means an easy project. Many times throughout the process I cursed and hollered that I would NEVER do this again. But now that I’m finished, I would do again in a heartbeat! I absolutely love how my new cabinets look! The room looks so much bigger and brighter and the and the accents like the antiquing, new hardware, glass doors and box with molding really bring the whole look together.
Now it’s perfect! Except that I would still like a Viking range, double ovens and a Sub Zero fridge someday! I am so happy with all of the changes we have made. And what I love best is that we did it all ourselves and saved TONS of money!

 


Now, you must head over to Nap Time Crafters to cast your vote for the final round in this season of American Crafter. I’m up against some very talented ladies so EVERY vote counts! Voting starts now and runs until Sunday at midnight (MST). Pretty, pretty please help a girl out! 




Good luck to Lolly Jane and Sassy Sites! You all have such great ideas and have been tough to compete against!

Update Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets Day X- I’ve Stopped Counting

Yes, it’s been so long that I’ve stopped keeping track of the number of days this cabinet transformation is eating up. But, I do have some good news for you! 
Ladies and gents, after nearly two months, the cabinet doors are finished! And not just finished, but back in the kitchen and on the cabinets where they belong! 
In case you have forgotten {I don’t blame you if you have, really, it’s been almost two months}, I’ll remind you of the steps to get these cabinets to where they are today. Oh, and by the way, just ’cause the doors are up, doesn’t mean they are finished. Boo! But, I really think I can see the light! Okay, so back to the steps.
The cabinets were cleaned
They were sanded
They were primed
They were sanded again, painted, sanded, painted, sanded and painted. 
And that is what has taken so long. the doors needed three coats of paint and some serious sanding in between. We have been quite busy and the weather has not been cooperative which has really given us limited time to work on each coat of paint. But once the paint was finished, this next step was a piece of cake!
The first, Mocha Translucent Glaze, is going to give you a very light brown, almost amber finish. The second, Antique Glaze, is much darker and almost black. I mixed the two but used more of the dark color. You’ll mix two parts glaze with one part water. I used a sponge brush to apply the glaze.
Working quickly, apply the glaze using up and down strokes, you know, like Karate Kid. Depending how dark you want your glaze finish, will determine how much to apply. 
I used the glaze sparingly on the wood faces, but liberally in the crevices. 
After you’ve applied the glaze use a soft cloth to wipe off the glaze. 
**Tip: If after you have wiped down your cabinets you feel you have used too much glaze, use a damp cloth to remove it. You can always go back and add more.
And that’s it! Very simple and quick! I did this in one day! 
But like I said, I’m not finished. Hubby still has to put together the box and shelf to go above the microwave and we have a few trim pieces to add around the lower cabinets. 
We also need to have glass put in these cabinet doors.
And have to go get the new hardware, but I’ve already picked it out, so that will be easy! 
Okay, I’ll show you. It looks like this. . .
It’s antique bronze. I LOVE them!! And they look so good with the glaze. Now imagine these on these. . .

{don’t worry, those two doors were put on after the photo!}
So we are almost there! I can’t wait to show you the big reveal! 
Until then. . . 

Making a House Our Home: Kitchen Remodel

Well, here is the first post in my series of “Making a House Our Home.” In case you missed my introduction yesterday, click here
If there was anything in the house that made me doubt our purchase, it was the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! There was nothing, not one thing, that I liked about this room. It was everything I wasn’t looking for during our search for a new home. But it was a great layout and it had some serious potential. Luckily I have an eye for these things and I was able to overlook the ugliness not so great features of this kitchen in order to see the kitchen I could create. 
So here it is, our kitchen circa 2007.
Dislikes:
1. White linoleum counter tops. I had once lived in an apartment with white linoleum counters and swore it would never happen again. Well here we were, once again, with white linoleum. Hubby promised granite – at some point- so I agreed to live with it {for 10 months too long}.
2. White appliances. I used to really like white appliances, honestly. But now I wanted stainless steel.
3. The big, bright fluorescent light on the ceiling. I am not a fan of overhead lights, particularly bright fluorescent ones. 
4. The Pergo laminate flooring. It sounded hollow when we walked on it and it looked as if someone had ice skated over it. In other words, scratched.
5. I didn’t love the raised bar. I really wanted an island or large counter workspace. Plus I felt it closed off the room.
6. The color. Don’t get defensive, there’s nothing wrong with yellow, it just wasn’t the color I had wanted for my kitchen. But paint doesn’t scare me. It’s an easy fix.

{That’s Mr. inspector man on the left, handsome hubby on the right.} 
7. Two-tone, gold and white cabinet hardware. Need I say more? {Sorry, really had to crop this one to show the hideous detail.}
8. Gold switch plates. So shiny I could see my reflection. {Again, seriously cropped.}

I know, yikes, right?!
Ready to see what we did?


1. Granite! Good-bye white linoleum, hello Santa Cecilia granite!
2. Stainless appliances, all of them.
3. A new, hanging light fixture. This took some work because there was a large rectangular hole in the ceiling when “Big Fluorescent” was removed. Hubby had to patch it up with drywall and spackle and then of course, paint. 
4. Beautiful Teak hardwoods.
5. Did you notice the raised bar is gone? Best idea EVER! After removing the laminate in prep for the granite installation {tip: HUGE money saver if you remove it yourself}, hubby cut off the drywall used for the raised bar so that it was level with the counter top. The granite covered all imperfections and is supported {because the solid slab is so heavy} with a corbel* and four stair posts.
*a corbel is that pretty piece of molding in the middle of the bar stools that costs a FORTUNE! $50 for that thing! I tell you, if I could whittle wood . . .
6. On the walls: we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Country Cork, added beadboard under the bar and hubby tiled the backsplash with travertine tiles under the cabinets.
7. We changed the cabinet hardware to nickel-finish knobs and pulls.
8. Nickel finish switch plates replaced the gold.
The view from in the kitchen.
I cannot say it enough, leveling the bar was the best thing we did to this kitchen! I love how open it is to the breakfast room and family room. Not to mention it made the kitchen seem so much bigger and added tons of counter space. This modification made our kitchen perfect for entertaining!
This bar is now one huge space, great for entertaining.
The view from the breakfast room. A better look at the teak floors, bead board and stair posts.
Just in case you forgot, let me show you before and after. 

                              Dislike                                                                         Love
                                Dislike                                                                             Love

The kitchen remodel was complete in November 2007. Let me remind you that all the renovations were done by hubby and me, with the exception of the counter tops. It was not something either of us had done before, we learned along the way. The one other renovation I have wanted to do since is to paint the cabinets white to match the bead board under the bar. The reason it hasn’t been done, I’m terrified I’ll screw it up. Well, my friends, I have finally decided to do it! I went to Lowe’s the other day and bought the supplies I needed to start. Hubby is going to remove the doors tomorrow. Wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted!

My New Kitchen Canisters

{Sneak Peak}
If you are a regular reader of this blog you’ve probably seen these canisters in the background of many of my food-related posts. As you can see, one canister is missing. The largest of the three, which held flour, suddenly broke. The bottom just fell out last week while I was making cookies. ???? So I was on the hunt for some new canisters, which I wasn’t exactly happy about because I really liked these. 
Then I got happy again when I found these triplets at Wally World (Wal-Mart). And I was even happier that they were only $6.97 each! But they were kind of boring just like this and I needed to do something to jazz them up.

I thought about using chalkboard paint and doing something like Erin over at 3 Meadow Lake Cottage (her photo above). I even bought the paint. But then at the last minute, I changed my mind and decided to use black vinyl and my good ole friend the Cricut.

Here I’ve cut the vinyl and used contact paper to transfer it to my canister.
For a full tutorial on cutting and sticking vinyl, go here.

Peel away the contact  paper. . .

and viola! My sugar has a brand new home!

I know I said I loved my old canisters, but I love these even more
{Notice gallon-size canisters are a lot bigger than my old ones. Guess I need to buy more sugar and coffee just to fill them!}
Shall we add up the cost? 
I spent just under $21.00 for the canisters. The vinyl I already had, but if you want to include it, it was $7.99 for the roll and I used about 1/4 of the roll. So I think it’s fair to say 
$25.00 for these beauties!
I love decorating on a budget!