the young and the beautiful


I spot­ted this adorable lit­tle pick me up today over on i suwan­nee and it total­ly arrived at just the right time. It’s always best to brain break for cute­ness. (men­tal note to future self: allow your chil­dren to be this free)

While perus­ing for design good­ness I also found a give­away.  These Fur­bish lovelies, includ­ing the inserts, could be yours! Head on over to i suwan­nee to enter!


back to the kitchen tomor­row. 🙂

everybody’s workin’ on our kitchen: part 1

Because we have so much catch­ing up to do, I’m going to do this in 2 long posts with lots of pic­tures… here we go.

As a lit­tle refresh­er, the last (and only time) you saw our kitchen it looked like this with fresh­ly paint­ed coun­ter­tops…


Our kitchen “demo­li­tion” start­ed the week­end of Jason’s fan­ta­sy foot­ball league draft par­ty back in Sep­tem­ber. Our friends were sick of get­ting sore necks try­ing to talk through those upper kitchen cab­i­net — well, that and then boys just want­ed to destruct some­thing — so four of our sweet guy friends picked up some drills and screw­drivers and took down all the upper cab­i­nets that hang over the penin­su­la in about 20 mins!





what a dif­fer­ence! It’s so much less claus­tro­pho­bic!  I felt like I could final­ly breath in there — it’s just so open now.


a cou­ple weeks after that I spent the week­end scrub­bing that kitchen grout clean. it’s absolute­ly dis­gust­ing how dirty it was, but wow so much bet­ter!


I made a paste of bleach and bak­ing soda, it was a tedious job, but those floors were sparkling!



on a dif­fer­ent week­end (prob­a­bly some­thing like a month lat­er), our sweet friend Tom­my came over and down came the arched valance over the cook­top + all the mold­ing. Jason and I pur­chased some paint for the kitchen cab­i­nets. I went for the two tone like I men­tioned in this post.

We decid­ed to try out the Rus­toleoum Cab­i­net Trans­for­ma­tion kit. We tint­ed the uppers to Quilter’s White and the low­ers to Tudor. The whole process of paint­ing the kitchen cab­i­nets took about 2 weeks. I ordered the hard­ware that I spec­i­fied on my kitchen design board from Home Depot and with the help of a gift card, we were able to score all 46 pieces for $30! Not to shab­by, right!?



The box says “no strip­ping, sand­ing, or prim­ing” but we sand­ed some of the real­ly bad cab­i­nets first and I’m glad we did. Lot’s of water dam­age from years of neglect.



after that we removed all the cab­i­net doors, taped off the fridge, and then it was time to start paint­ing!





Because we pur­chased brass hard­ware we were able to clean and reuse all of our brass hinges from our 70’s kitchen. A lit­tle Bras­so, a wire brush, and a patient hus­band and they were like new.


then, some­where along the way Jason and I got our first expe­ri­ence with dry­wall mud­ding…




I think we did a pret­ty nice job for first timers.

After paint­ing the major­i­ty of the kitchen in Ben­jamin Moore’s Grant Beige as I spec­i­fied on my design board, we decid­ed that the col­or just wasn’t dark enough for the room.  I don’t have any pic­tures of it, but the col­or was real­ly lost in there, cast­ing an almost pur­ple hue. Real­ly strange for such a pret­ty col­or, but also a les­son — ALWAYS paint sam­ples on the wall FIRST.  For­tu­nate­ly, sec­ond try’s a charm and we got it right with the com­bi­na­tion of Ben­jamin Moore Green­bri­ar Beige (matched to Glid­den) on the walls and Ben­jamin Moore Texas Leather (also matched to Glid­den) on the faux brick.

here’s a reminder of the first draft:

kitchen design board

and here’s the updat­ed design board:

kitchen design board 2

I’m lov­ing Green­bri­ar Beige! Such a warm col­or and I’d dream­ing of the day I get to see how it looks with the brass flush mount.

Here’s what it’s look­ing like fresh­ly paint­ed on our kitchen walls



the updates don’t end there… but I think this is a good place to stop for now. Come back tomor­row for part II!


To-Do lists and house updates

Hi friends! Long time, no talk and SO much to say! House updates are real­ly speed­ing up — still all cos­met­ic and low cost for now, but there’s been plen­ty to keep us busy!

In excit­ing news, my sweet, Cal­i­for­nia girl, bestie is expect­ing her first child in ear­ly June! From the sec­ond I heard the news I knew I want­ed to throw her a show­er and she’s kind­ly allow­ing me to!

Time’s a fly­in’ and with Lizzy’s baby show­er less than 4 weeks away(that’s just 3 short, already jam packed week­ends) I’m real­ly start­ing to kick my butt into gear get­ting this home of ours ready for enter­tain­ing! I even spent 4 hours last night work­ing on reuphol­ster­ing some thrift­ed par­sons chairs. (more about those in a lat­er post)

In Jan­u­ary, I made myself a “house to-do list” to keep Jason and me in line and on track for the things that need to be pri­or­i­ty número uno. This long list is a lit­tle daunt­ing and intim­i­dat­ing, but it’s actu­al­ly help­ing, and some days we’re even cross­ing things off at record speed! I’d actu­al­ly planned on blog­ging this list well over a month ago and shar­ing progress as we go, but hey, shoul­da woul­da coul­da. At least I’m jump­ing in now, right? For the sake of not show­ing 100 mil­lion progress pho­tos in one post I’m going to share the list with you now, and then write about each room day by day. I promise the kitchen will be first!… I’ve only kept you wait­ing for 4 months 😉

With­out fur­ther ado, here’s the list…

Mind you, this is JUST for the shower/ any upcom­ing enter­tain­ing. We also have a “dream list” of things we’d like to do once we actu­al­ly have a sub­stan­tial amount of mon­ey saved for things like new coun­ter­tops, back­splash, and floor­ing in the kitchen, and a few bath­room ren­o­va­tions.

Carl­ton to do:

—Kitchen —

(just a reminder of what the kitchen looked like when we moved in… updat­ed pho­tos in an upcom­ing post)

Fin­ish paint­ing cab­i­nets
Crown mold­ing over cab­i­nets
Install cab­i­net cre­den­za
Make coun­ter­top for cre­den­za
Fin­ish paint­ing trim
Win­dow treat­ments
New flush mounts
Counter stools
New rugs (2 or 3, one being a run­ner)
Float shelves

—Din­ing room—

Clean out mess
Paint buf­fet
Paint walls
Win­dow treat­ments (sheers+panels)
Fin­ish uphol­ster­ing chairs
Lamps for buf­fet


Con­sole table
Hang blue­prints
New light fix­ture
Wall tex­ture or pat­tern?

—Liv­ing room—

Win­dow treat­ments
Lay­ered rug
Chairs (4. 2 com­fy, 2 occa­sion­al)
Side tables
Con­sole table(s) (1 or 2)
Quar­ter round on base­boards
Fin­ish touch up paint­ing


Paint walls and ceil­ing
Buy sofa table/storage
Bins for shelf stor­age
Spray paint vas­es
Re-style shelves
New sconces

—Pow­der room—

Make cur­tain
Make sink skirt
Jazz up light fix­ture

—Back hall—

Hang art
Buy 3’x5’ rug (as flat as pos­si­ble)
New sconce

Paint walls
Hang mir­ror and/or art
New light fix­ture

—Coat clos­et—

Remove 50% of the coats to make room for guests
Add shoe bins for orga­ni­za­tion

—Front Entry Exte­ri­or—

Paint front door
Top­i­aries or plants


Art­work (gallery wall going up the stairs)
Stair run­ner
New light fix­tures

Clear­ly some of these things won’t get crossed off in time. I think I can rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a stair run­ner in 3 weeks, and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of reuphol­ster­ing 8 chairs in time is dimin­ish­ing. Heck, I’d be excit­ed if  we only got side tables for the liv­ing room! (…can’t say I’m being com­plete­ly truth­ful there.)

But real­ly, quite a few things on this long list have already been crossed off! you’ll see very soon. stay tuned!

tomor­row, a kitchen update!

… I promise.

a direction for the kitchen

We’ve been busy here, and slow­ly pick­ing away at the kitchen. I’ve been try­ing my very hard­est to stay focused on one project at a time but I can’t help but wan­der around this house, star­ing at emp­ty walls, and plan plan plan. The ideas are almost explod­ing out of my head– seri­ous­ly though, I almost wish that they would so some­thing would actu­al­ly get done!

When I find myself tired of paint­ing I turn to my com­put­er to put ideas to paper… er, screen. I’m find­ing that design boards are going to be the best way to keep myself focused on the vision and direc­tion of a room in this place. I just explained to you that I get side­tracked while paint­ing, and plan­ning, you bet­ter believe that I get side tracked about a cer­tain design direc­tion. While my boards start as main­ly a jump­ing off point, they help me stay focused and on task and ensure that I don’t stray too far from the intend­ed aes­thet­ic of the room. They also help me avoid mak­ing cost­ly mis­takes — there were a cou­ple rugs that I was con­sid­er­ing, until I laid them out on the design board and real­ized that they were way to loud for the space. My favorite part of design boards is that even­tu­al­ly, they will ensure that the entire house is cohe­sive and tran­si­tions are thought­ful­ly laid out.

Before I start “shop­ping” I always start with some inspi­ra­tion images. Here’s a bit of my inspi­ra­tion for our kitchen:

Def­i­nite­ly want to go for two tone. I’m in love with this look and it might just be the main inspi­ra­tion pho­to. Dark low­ers, light uppers, white trim, dark sash­es, light back splash and light counter tops. I LOVE the floors, too. We aren’t quite ready for a floor­ing change, but this pho­to is sure­ly saved for inspi­ra­tion when we do.

tudor brown low­ers, white uppers, and def­i­nite­ly brass hard­ware. Dig­ging the bam­boo blinds

more brass hard­ware. swoon­ing over those grey/navy low­ers.

more yum­my brass (are you sens­ing a theme here?) love that this kitchen intro­duces pat­tern into the space through the back­splash.

speak­ing of pat­tern, the flo­ral ele­ment on these cur­tains and valance soft­en the space in this love­ly kitchen.

I’m also lov­ing the pat­tern of this tra­di­tion­al Per­sian rug, espe­cial­ly when paired with the vintage/modern chairs and eclec­tic chan­de­lier. The pop of red doesn’t hurt either. Like this scheme, love this space.

anoth­er red Per­sian rug + some indus­tri­al bar stools

…or per­haps a pop of col­or with some red bar stools.

I love the way a lit­tle bit of red goes a long way in the warmth depart­ment. Espe­cial­ly against some dark win­dow sash­es.

like these…

or these.

this pho­to seri­ous­ly has me con­sid­er­ing paint­ed our (faux) brick.

a lit­tle bit of this + a lit­tle bit of that, lead to…

the inspi­ra­tion for our kitchen:

an over­all neu­tral scheme with two tone cab­i­nets, brass and nat­ur­al accents, with pops of red and mix­es of tra­di­tion­al and mod­ern.

I’m pret­ty proud of this scheme and it inspires me just enough to put a paint brush in my hand again… and to keep sav­ing my pen­nies for that new rug and those red bar stools.

Do you ever use design boards to keep true to your desired aes­thet­ic?


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happy halloween


Well, 10 bags of can­dy lat­er, Jason and I sur­vived our first Hal­loween in the new house… And this lit­tle lone­ly piece of can­dy is all we have left to show for it.


I also carved my first pump­kin in prob­a­bly 15 years…


I felt pret­ty val­i­dat­ed when an adorable 3 year old chick­en said “whoa! thasa cool pump­kin!”

hope you all had a hap­py hal­loween!