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!