Friday, July 30, 2010

A huge trend in kitchen design are huge kitchen islands! Most people want an open space where they can work in the kitchen but still have a view to other areas in their house. So-the easiest thing to do is take down a wall and create a large island.

The island can be use full in so many ways. You can add an appliance like a built in stove or microwave drawers and fridge drawers. You can add seating. You can incorporate double sided storage. An island will also give you a larger and often wider work space.

The island is in many ways the focal point of the kitchen. It's the place where you can be creative and make your cabinetry look like furniture by adding decorative posts and feet. It's a place to add color and contrast. It's the best place to add a center light fixture to that will really make a statement and create a cozy gathering space in your kitchen. I hope these photos inspire you to have fun-be bold! But most importantly make sure your island offers you function and style in one!

Fall/Winter Preview: Tartan Style is back!!

I know it's a little early, as we're just getting into August and all, but I'm already excited about the fall!  Can't wait to break out my scarves and jump in the leaves with my daughter.  One thing that makes me think of the fall/winter time is heavy fabrics, checks, plaid, tartan style in general.  I have already been seeing it on all the design websites and blogs, so I thought I'd bring a little tartan inspiration to our little corner of the web:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Easy Before and After: End Table and Dresser


When I go shopping for furniture, I have a lot of trouble finding things I like. Then, usually, if I do find something I like it's super expensive and waaaay out of my price range! Because of this, I have found that I can usually replicate, to a certain degree, that which I love- custom furniture- but for a fraction of the price!

I have several pieces that are sentimental to me, they belonged to my Granny who I was close to. Because of that I want to keep them in the family. Although I used to cringe at the thought of painting antique furniture, not using it because it's ugly is just as bad. My toddler's room was needing some help- he had an antique dresser that I had painted white for my college days, an un-matching antique end table and some new wooden bunk-beds that I decided not to paint. To pull the room together I decided to paint the end table and dresser, (with intentions to paint two desk chairs in the near future). Because I have the toddler AND a 2-month-old, I knew this had to be a quick and easy weekend job since I don't have time to sand and barely enough time to prime. :)

Step 1:

So, to start, I cleaned the furniture then primed it with Kilz spray primer. I didn't feel it was necessary to sand as I like the unique look of the wood and any imperfections. Make sure you are either outside or somewhere well ventilated when you are priming as this smells pretty strong. I let it dry over night but if you are in a hurry you can prime in the morning then come back to it after a few hours.

Step 2:

This is optional- I got lucky and someone insisted I borrow their paint sprayer so I was able to do all the painting in about 30 minutes. If you don't have access to one, I'd either buy a gallon of the paint you want and brush it on, or find the color you like in a Krylon spray can. (IF you are REALLY lucky, your husband will think you aren't doing it perfectly and finish spraying!!)

Step 3:

After the paint dries, (over night) get a gallon of Ralph Lauren Faux Technique Glaze and have it tinted black. The don't have this at Lowe's, believe me, I spent some time looking and they only have this at Home Depot. I used a foam brush and applied it heavily in sections, then wiped it off with a wet cloth, then repeated this until all the furniture was done. The glaze will get in the crevices and wood grains and stay after being wiped off. I did one coat because I really wanted the bright blue to show through. If you want a more antiqued look, apply another coat and let it dry.

Now it's done and looks amazing!

End Table- (I'll be removing the crib soon and putting a love seat there.)

Dresser- (My little boy loved his "new" dresser!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Old House: Bathroom

I live in a house built in the 1950s.  We were thrilled to buy our first house and gladly took on a fixer-upper.  Goodness.  It was more work than we thought!  It had hardly been updated AT ALL since it was built.  Less than that 1000 square ft in the main part of the house.  3 10x10 bedrooms, very few outlets, and one very tiny bathroom,  Let's start with that.  Here is a picture from before the remodel.  Believe it or not, it was MUCH worse when we first moved in.  Imagine bright teal walls!

And after....

LOVE my new bathroom!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Love fabric? Try quilting!

I love FABRICS! I can appreciate many designs, lots of color and something that stands out in a room. My love for fabrics lead me to quilting. I know--sounds like an old lady's idea of fun. It all started with a "Jelly Roll" of fabric I found while spending Christmas in Vermont. I was in a local shop and kept eyeing this roll of fabric. I wasn't sure what it's purpose was--but I wanted to buy it.

(My first quilt)

After asking some questions I found out it was for quilting. I was intrigued. My sister was about to have a baby girl and I thought--I could make a crib quilt! This could be my special gift to my niece! My boyfriend bought me a sewing machine for Christmas.....signed up for a few a lot on-line.....and I was off and running!!

You can find many free patterns online and many YouTube videos for guidance. These are free tools that really helped me. search for local quilting shops to meet quilters and find classes. Usually cost around $50 for a 5-8 week class.

Another great tip is to buy fabric that is already pre-cut for quilting. You can find pre-cut squares. I shop and do a search for "pre-cut fabric". This will save you lots of time and sore fingers.
Remember--practice makes perfect!! It takes many mistakes to learn this craft. I am still very new and learning slowly. I hope to learn a lot more about sewing and make some more quilts for my Katiepie!! XXOO


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