Kitchen Features {that you may or may not love}

If you were able to design your DREAM kitchen, what special features would it include? An island? Pots and pans hanging from the ceiling? Everyone has their preferences, and when we remodeled our kitchen, there were a few characteristics I knew I HAD to have. You may have some of these and not love them as much as I do… so I’m going to show you how I use them in hopes that you may love your kitchen a little more…

1. The Glass Cabinet

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Don’t be afraid of the glass cabinet door! Now I admit, I would not want all of my cabinets to have glass. But having just one can be such a perfect centerpiece to your kitchen. The trick to keeping it beautiful and clean? Fill the top half with items you don’t use often, but have an interesting look to them, whether it’s their color, shape, or something else. Then the bottom half, stick to clean, simple dishes. Mine have all sorts of Fiestaware in them – plain colors, but staggered in different heights. I use these plates every day, but it’s pretty hard to make a pile of plates look messy!

2. The Corner Lazy Susan

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So many people use these for their canned goods or other pantry items. Don’t do it! Those little items can get completely buried in there. Without even turning it, I have all of my saute pans and saucepans on the bottom, ready to use every day right next to my oven. On the top, I have my batter bowl (which I seriously use for EVERYTHING), a can of cooking spray, and a few baking pans. Then in the back, I have some of the pots I use less often – steamer pot, double boiler, etc – and my stack of mixing bowls, etc.

3. The Non-Pantry

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When we were figuring out our new kitchen layout, there was just no room for a full-blown pantry. But let’s be honest…if you have a big pantry, you tend to fill it with random items you rarely use! We just have two shelves dedicated to pantry items, and it helps me be more intentional about the groceries I buy each week. I know it’s not super pretty, but hey, like I said in #1, I don’t keep all my cabinets totally organized!

4. That Tiny Cabinet Above Your Microwave

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This one is always obnoxious, but the best I’ve found is to put items like extra cookbooks up here, since I don’t use them too often. I also put my cutting boards up here vertically so I can easily see them all and grab which one I need.

I hope this helps you love some of your great kitchen features! What other features do you love / hate?

Kitchen & Dining {Before & After}

I have waited a long time to share photos of our newly remodeled kitchen and dining room! Like with all of our projects so far, I have to give MAJOR kudos to my husband. He gutted our kitchen to the studs pretty much by himself. It’s taken six months, but I finally feel confident saying our kitchen is finished!

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The before kitchen had your classic orange and yellow wallpaper, and dark brown cabinets. There was no dishwasher, so we added one in where the refrigerator used to be. We built a new space for the refrigerator, and built our cabinets all the way to the ceiling. We also added canned lights to the ceiling to brighten things up!

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There was a wall between the kitchen and dining room that we removed, which has really opened up the flow between the two spaces.

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In the dining room, we ripped out carpet, painted the walls, and I took the old yellow cabinet you can see in the above “before” photo and turned it into a china cabinet.

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So tell me what you think of our bright little kitchen!

Here are a few more goodies from the process…Happy homeowning!

The Guest Room {Before & After}

I’m sorry to say I only took ONE before picture of the guest room. But as you can imagine from the picture below, it was a small, wood-paneled room that once housed a teenage boy.

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We painted the walls a light grey, and accented the room in as much black and white as possible. Here is a shot walking into the room – it’s hard to tell, but there is a funky black and white wallpaper on the ceiling! We are keeping it for now🙂

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And for our guests, who I hope are many, we have a few little touches…guest nashGuest wifi

Come visit soon and stay in our cozy guest room!

The Den and Loft {Before & After}

It’s finally here! The FIRST before & after post on our house. LET ME REMIND YOU. Back in September we closed on a sweet little fixer upper. The first time we saw it, it was full to the brim of the previous owners’ belongings. They were the original owners when this home was built in 1949, and after they passed away, the house sent without occupants for nearly two years. Finally, it was sold…to us!

We have done A LOT of work. Some Many pieces are still in progress. The first section I want to share with you is our den and loft. This space was originally a garage, and sometime in the late 1970s or so, it was converted into a den and loft, complete with dark wood paneling. Let me show you, and then I’ll tell you…

THE DEN:

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THE LOFT:

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THE BIG PICTURE:

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What we did:

  • My husband did ALL the demo while I stilled lived in Ohio, which included tearing out wood paneling, plaster walls, Berber carpet, and itchy insulation.

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  • Leveled the den floor. Because it had been a garage, the floor was at about a 30-degree angle…and they hadn’t fixed it when they converted it.
  • Wired surround sound. New electric work. New insulation. New drywall. New paint.
  • We laid the wood floor ourselves, the day after Thanksgiving.

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  • Removed the railing (don’t worry, we will get a new one someday), popped off the steps, and made new steps. They are dark grey to contrast the light grey on the walls.

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  • Painted the loft floor, which had previously been covered in carpet. AND completely on his own, Jonathan painted all the dark brown beams in the den WHITE, which meant about three coats…but they are beautiful and I am so grateful!

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We are loving both of these cozy nooks in our new home…it’s really starting to feel pretty homey! What do you think?

 

State Cookies + Archie Griffin

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Sometimes, you just feel like making cookies from scratch. And you have cookie cutters to represent the states you live in. And so you make state-shaped cookies from scratch.

What?

I tried a new recipe – the hubs didn’t love it, but I did! Whenever you are rolling out dough and using cookie cutters, you need to make sure you are using a recipe that won’t rise or puff up at all, because that would jeopardize your shapes. They are already going to look a little wonky – don’t make it worse!

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I used this VERY simple recipe from Nestle. I ended up drizzling chocolate on them to make them a little extra sweet, but you could also ice them as they show on their website.

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OKAY BUT THEN our department of about 50 people were planning our “Celebrate Archie” day, as Archie prepares for a job transition, which included an Archie “trivia” game with our staff…

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And then an ice cream social, with these adorable balloons…IMG_7834 IMG_7838

And I thought, I SHOULD MAKE OHIO COOKIES! So I made these…some Vanilla Almond cookies with a football cookie cutter, and some of the afore mentioned chocolate chip cookies shaped like Ohio, and with a little extra chocolate love. Also I made a LOT more than six, but I forgot to take a photo, and this is what was left near the end…

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I think he liked them! I’ll miss seeing this face around the building everyday…IMG_7841

Bedroom Decor

FINALLY after living in our house for over a year, I feel like our bedroom is decorated. As I’ve mentioned before, we have left the walls in our rental white, partly because I’m scared of committing to color, but mostly because we don’t want to put in the effort to paint. That said, I’ve decorated our home with colors and fun items hanging on the walls here and there. And our bedroom was last on our list. It was SO WHITE and was really bugging me, so I finally cracked and went for it.

A few things that helped spruce it up.

1. Painted Canvases. Couldn’t have been simpler. I bought white canvases, and used blue, green, grey, and white paints to literally throw color all over them. Good enough for me! (I am NOT a perfectionist…)

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2. Curtains. WHAT A DIFFERENCE these have made. We have this big window, on a white wall, with white blinds, and it just always looked so naked to me. Now, I’m on a budget, so while I could have bought fancier curtain rod and such, I’m SUPER happy with this pop of color.DSC_0006

3. Random decor. These are things I already had, but didn’t have a place for. A few chalkboards from the wedding. An “R” that wasn’t being fully utilized. An embroidery hoop with random fabric in it. A sweet little paper Wisconsin from my mom on our first anniversary.

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4. My upgraded piano bench. Still one of my favorite projects, besides the house divided wreath, of course. I love this bench, and have used it as the color inspiration for the rest of the room. (It’s not in the photos above – sorry – but it’s in the room!)

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Piano Bench Upgrade

4th of July Round Up {2014}

I know that this is crazy delayed, but it’s finally time for that annual update of photos from the 4th! Since the parade pretty much looks the same every year, I’ll share a few other adventures instead. We were so lucky to have the hubster’s cousin and his wife drive up from Nashville to join us for the long weekend. Our visit included a 5K, a Sprecher tour, backyard games, and good times all around! So grateful for my family, my hometown, and all the amazing people in my life. What is life without your community??

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