August 31, 2012

furnishing the eat-in kitchen

Now that things are really coming together in the kitchen, I'm starting to think about our little dining area by the windows. We ditched the old chairs and are ready to trade in the rectangular table for a traffic-friendlier round one. I've been very on the fence about what pieces I actually want, but this room has been my inspiration for a while now.

southern living

In fact, I have long wanted those exact chairs, and this whole new space would be done now if Ikea still sold them in the US. Arghhh! I should have picked them up a year ago when we started thinking about this whole plan. But now, they are gone, so I need a new look, but I love the texture and comfort these would add. We're thinking of doing a banquette, just like in the inspiration room, and I think a few comfy/casual chairs will soften up the hard lines of all the cabinetry in this room. So I'm still looking for inspiration.

And I've realized it comes down to light table vs. dark. Here are some light looks, with color and pattern and contrast coming in with the banquettes/chairs.

southern living

Maybe a little more formal (and expensive!) with the upholstered chairs than I wanted to go, but I loooove this look. So fresh and fun.


I could so see this mix in our room: white table, light washed wood chairs with interesting detail, and color/pattern on cushions and pillows. We've got the bamboo shades too.


Great rustic table. The aluminum chairs are so great here too (though not really the warm look/feel I'm going for).

And the dark options.

pottery barn


This one shows that at least the dark wood table could work on the dark floor.

But as you can see by the images I'm drawn to, that I'm leaning towards a light table. Still, I want there to be some dark in the room too. This is our one-and-only dining space, so it has to work for light/casual breakfast and darker/more formal dining at night too. This eat-in kitchen caught my eye, with it's extreme contrast.


Thoughts? I put together some looks I think could work in our room.


{1} The natural rattan chairs brings some earthiness to the room and feel relaxed, while the dark table brings a bit of formality. The light's casual and has a bit of sparkle to tie in the stainless steel in the room.


{2} This scheme is along the same lines of the first, but feels more beachy/cottage-y. The light dresses things up a bit and adds some interesting contrast.


{3} Not my favorite scheme though I do like the look of the cafe chairs (and Michael is not a fan of the wicker). So this is to appease him! And the more modern light is up his alley too. That said, these schemes are all a bit mix-and-match. Any light could go with any table/chair combo, and any chair could go with any table/light combo.

So help me out. What do you think? I think any could work. It's just a matter of what works best. And I am tempted to go with #2, because it's the least expensive and at this point in the project there isn't much $$ left for the pretty stuff!

August 30, 2012

kashmir white in the kitchen

Tuesday was a big day in our house. The countertops went in and life feels infinitely more civilized now with multiple places in the kitchen to put things down.


But, let's be honest. I am a designer, and so even more than their function, I'm in love with the look of these granite countertops...even though this granite would not have been my first choice. I was hoping for a marble look (if not the price of marble) and thought I could get it with Silestone. Turns out though that even the Silestone was more expensive than the granite. Who knew?


So I went with the lightest granite I could get in our price group (remember this is a kitchen somewhat on a budget, since we won't be in this house forever), and I looooove the way this Kashmir White brings all the elements of the kitchen together.


It's cool, subtle, and calm overall, with hints of the cabinet color in it, balanced with lots of grey that ties in the stainless steel and nickel in the kitchen, and some darker tones to pull in the walnut color of the floors. Could not be happier!

And today, the plumber is here. Big stuff! And the electrician is due by the end of the week. Which means I get to spend Labor Day weekend cooking up a storm. Does that sound like an awful way to spend a long weekend? I can't think of anything else I'd rather do! So let's hope by next week I have some great meals to show for my efforts and some complete kitchen pics to show you all.

August 28, 2012

the nursery basics

The baby's room is still pretty bare bones for now, but at least most of the bigger pieces and basics are all here. This nursery is obviously going to be a long work in progress. But since so many of you asked, I figured I wouldn't wait for one final reveal (because really, will there ever be one final design?) to share with you some of the sources for the room.


wall color: martha stewart heavy cream
wall sconces (not installed yet!): pb kids metal sconce


chalkboard wall: rustoleum black
sheepskin rug: ikea rens sheepskin rug
basket: privet house for target (no longer available)

I'm still thinking about bedding and I really want to buy something asap and get this room looking finished. But I'm thinking I should wait (patience, patience) until after baby arrives, so I can get a little color in here that speaks more to boy or girl. It's so hard to find good-looking neutral bedding, and anyway I think this room is all neutral-ed out by now and needs some fun color. And it's SO hard to have patience at this stage. Five weeks to go now, friends! Tomorrow on the blog: kitchen update. We have countertops!

August 20, 2012

kitchen cabinets—hello!

We had a surprise delivery of our cabinets this weekend! I say surprise because I wasn't really sure if I should let myself believe they were actually coming. We've been waiting so long. But, aside from a few pieces still at the shop (lower doors on the pantry, some upper glass-front cabinets, and the wine rack), we are good to go.

our living room Saturday morning; as my sister said, not much room for living! But I'll take it.

And oh my, the cabinets were worth the wait. I love the color, the finish, the door style, the self-closing, soft-closing drawers. And I am absolutely in love with our farmhouse sink. Details to come, I promise.

Too bad Michael had to work Saturday, but by Sunday afternoon we were here...

But the thing I might be loving most about the cabinets right now, after Michael was able to get most of the main wall up, is that I can put some things at least away! Finally.


So tomorrow we're getting our dishwasher and over-the-range microwave delivered and the granite guys are coming to template for the counterop. Progress is here! This is one relieved and very happy soon-to-be mama.

August 16, 2012

how to have fun painting

Invite over some friends. Better yet, have friends who offer to help without you asking. Make sure they are into paint and design and the process and that you like them so much that you can laugh and chat about other things. Offer pizza and iced tea. Enjoy.


And we did! Sunday was our blogger decorating day for the nursery, and true to their promise, Carrie and Sarah came over in the morning and stayed late into the afternoon to see this room through. Do they look like they're having fun? (And how cute are they?) They did have fun. We did. I could not imagine a better way to transform a room, with friends, talking and laughing all the way through. I am spoiled! A painting party is a GREAT idea. I will never paint a room by myself again.


These girls rule. They even stayed long/late enough to finish painting, pull the tape off, put the crib together, and rehang the curtains and shade. How awesome to see this room change from the old office to the new nursery in one day! As you can see, I already started bringing baby stuff in. The basket's full of clothes to be washed and put away. I'm very excited for that.


And here's the chalkboard wall and crib all done. The room's looking a little plain, but I love the elements there so far that we can build on. Now on to the true decorating. And I could not have gotten here, at least not having half as much fun, without Carrie and Sarah. I can't thank you enough, ladies! We'll see you again in the fall so you can enjoy the full reveal—of room and baby ;-)

August 1, 2012

our kitchen floors

Phew, progress! And I'm feeling sooo much better about the state of life around here and the fact that this kitchen might actually get done now before baby arrives in 2 short months. Thank you all so much for your wonderful, kind, empathetic, supportive comments on my freaked-out post the other day. It's awesome to know I'm not the only one who's been in this situation (and handled it not so gracefully/peacefully either ;-)


So now the floors are (mostly) down, and we're waiting (and actually ready now) for cabinets to come in. I knew these floors would look good, but they really look incredible. And the room looks huge now!

I did lots of research and a long while back had picked a few options from Lumber Liquidators but actually found the best deal at Build Direct thanks to Dana at House*Tweaking revealing her choice. They were just what I was looking for: dark, rich, varied, handscraped, and cheaper than anything else I'd found. I talked a bit about them here, but you can go see the floors (and buy them too!) here. About $2.50/sq. ft. is an amazing price. And you won't be skimping either. These are the same quality as what I saw at LL for which they were charging at least $1.00/sq. ft. more. And that adds up, friends. By the way, ordering, delivery, and installation were a breeze.


You can see the variation in tones a bit better here. The handscraping means the floor has a textured surface and an already somewhat worn feel which will make all the little dings and scratches the floors are sure to get over the years look perfectly at home there. They also have a pretty matte finish which should be easier to care for than a highly polished surface. And they're wide plank, adding to the somewhat antique look. I'm in love.


By the way, as a reminder, here is the flooring look I was going for. How're we doing? Now if only the rest of our kitchen could look so glamorous!
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