Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kitchen Makeover


I'm pleased to introduce our new kitchen. Whew - it was definitely a push to get it done in a week, but it's done! Of course, I have to show you what I started with (or close to it - I always forget to take real before pictures).

Ready to sand
Other side before

Starting to see some progress

Seriously loving the choice of white at this point (and this is only after priming)


Other side after

The knobs! (I love them. Love. Love. Love.)

Here's how it all went down:
Last Friday, we painted the walls a lovely shade of sunshine yellow (read more here). Sunday evening and Monday - we worked on recovering our dining room chairs (nothing like throwing an extra project in the makeover). Tuesday, we started taking off the cabinet doors, detaching hinges and handles. (At this point, I was convinced none of this had ever been done prior to painting in our kitchen before.) Wednesday, I spent the entire day in the kitchen: taping plastic in the cabinets, sanding, priming, painting and painting some more. Last night while watching an IU basketball game with Jon I filled in a hole on each cabinet door (the new knobs only use one hole, the previous handles used two). Oh, and mopped up the (approximately) 14 gallons of water that spewed from the water line to the fridge. About 9:30pm, the hose broke off and water sprayed everywhere. My wonderful husband turned off the water to the house and to the fridge and helped me mop up the water. Thursday, sanded, primed, and painted cabinet doors and drawers. And the plumber came and fixed our fridge. Friday, finished stripping the hinges, spray painted them, and got everything put back together. Hooray!

So - what did it all cost?
Yellow paint - $7.00
Primer and white paint - free, we had it on hand
Painting supplies - $6.68
Stripper (to reuse the old hinges) - $5.47
Spray paint (to paint the hinges) - $5.84
Spackling (to fill in the cracks) - $1.68
New knobs - $31.29 (score!)
Grand Total: $51.28

*Note: I did buy new screws for the hinges (since the others had been painted over, they were a pain to get out and we ended up stripping a few), but that only adds another $7.00. Still under $60 for the whole shebang!

Here's one more look of the transformation. I love what a difference a few coats of paint can make!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Spreadin' a little kitchen cheer

Guess who's majorly pooped tonight? That's right, this girl. Guess why??? The hubby and I painted our kitchen today! Wahooo!

Yes, two days before Christmas I decided to tape and paint our kitchen. Did I mention we are hosting Christmas day festivities? But when the productive bug bites, you gotta respond! So I did. About two weeks ago, I scored a great sunshine-y, yellow color of paint for $7.00! It's so happy and just makes me want to smile all the time. I love colors like that!

So, the wheels started turning... It's been no secret that I dislike the pink color my kitchen was and the tacky antiquing technique on all our cabinets. Oh, and the boring (with a capital B) cabinet pulls. After purchasing a paint color, I started considering all the possibilities for changing up the kitchen. Of course, it's Christmas season, I'm a teacher, and I'm frugal. So I wanted to make a big change for not a lot of change (See what I did there? I told you, I'm wiped out). I've always loved Anthropologie for it's classic, funky, vintage, eclectic, modern feel. They always have the cutest knobs and drawer pulls, so I started searching on their site...and I came across these beauties:

Aren't they adorable?! Plus, they were on sale. Down to $2.95 from $8.00. I only need 19 (20 once I replace the missing cabinet door), so $60 wouldn't be terrible to pay, but somehow I just couldn't bring myself to order them. This week, I got an email that Anthropologie was having an extra 50% off sale items, and my heart started to sing. Could it be that I could get the adorable knobs to outfit my entire kitchen for less than $30??? Oh, yes, yes it could be. I found 14 blue, 5 yellow, and 5 sage (really light green) colored knobs at an area Anthro. Oh, I was in love! I brought them home, cleared them with hubby, and got excited about starting on the kitchen.

So, with my husband getting the day off today, the great kitchen makeover of 2011 was born. And the kitchen is now painted. So, here's the to-do list for the rest of the kitchen:
  • remove all the cabinet doors
  • soak the hinges in stripper (they were painted over)
  • fill in one of the knob holes (the current knobs have two holes, the new ones have only one)
  • sand, prime, and paint the cabinets (they will be white)
  • install the new knobs
That's it. Think I can do it all in the next week before starting school again? Let's hope. Can't wait to show off the new kitchen once it's all done!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Felt Garland

I was inspired to make a garland, and knew I had all the materials. So I jumped right in! Start to finish - including inspiration time (and the fact that I slept last night), we're talking 24 hours. Not bad, eh?

So, here it is complete with directions.

I used felted sweaters for this project, but I'm sure you could use any kind of felt. Start with a pile of cut out circles. I did not bother to count or keep track of how many I was cutting. Mine are about 1-2 inches in diameter (again, didn't measure), and they aren't perfectly round.

Next step, start sewing. I left about 10 inches of thread on either end and just started sewing down the middle of a circle.

Keep sewing. I just lined up the next one and fed it in. I found it was easiest to stop every so often and line up my next 20 or so circles, so I could just grab and keep sewing. Also, that way I could sorta line up according to color. Although, I wasn't super picky about the colors and how they lined up.

That's it! Seriously, super easy and super cute. About three-fourths through my first strand of garland, I got the brilliant idea to decorate our lion out front. So I cut some more circles and made a strand for Mr. Lion. Doesn't he just look adorable?!

There's just enough time left before Christmas that you could make yourself some cheery felt garland too!

Home Tour - Living Room

Finally, I was able to get myself in gear and write up the next room. Seriously, it took me long enough. But without further ado, I present the challenge room, I mean living room. Overall, this room is great for its size, but the dimensions present a little bit of a challenge in the decorating realm. It's approximately 14 feet wide and 22 feet long. Originally, I think it was meant to be a combination living and dining room. Since Jon nor I wanted two eating areas, it will be all living room in our home.

A few things I love about this room:

  1. The floors - they are gorgeous
  2. All the natural light - between a skylight, big windows, and the entryway skylight, we don't have to turn lights on until it's dark outside
  3. The space - it lends itself to some really inventive furniture arrangements
A few things left to be desired about the room:
  1. The space - so far I'm challenged with exactly how to arrange this room (I'll explain more later)
The couches are from Craigslist (hooray Craigslist!), coffee table from a clearance center, the round side table came from Jon's house, the other two came from thrift stores, the two sitting chairs came from Goodwill, the rolling hostess cart from Goodwill, and the mini fridge was mine.

When we bought the couches, they had an atrocious and obnoxious set of pillows for the back cushions. I found some fabric at SAS that I loved, and my grandma agreed to re-cover the pillows for me. The toned down version fits our style much better.

Here is the view from the entry way. Yes, my living room is a mess in all these pictures, and I've decided I'm ok with that. I chose to go ahead and finally get this post up over waiting until I cleaned it completely.

The bar is quite possibly my favorite part of the room. It just fits so perfect and is such a great piece! Especially since it came from ReStore for only $21!

Part of my challenge with the room is the placement of the coffee table. I can't very well put it in the middle of the room, but then that leaves one couch or the other without access to it.

Another view of the bar.

From the far corner of the living room, the view to the front door.

Christmas tree :)

Living room leads into the dining room.

I've started looking at rugs for the living room to help define the space better. We are currently trying to decide whether we are keeping the chair pictured in the first picture (it came from Ikea, great deal, and I like where it is now), but I don't want the room to look to full.

Also, the yellow chairs will probably be replaced at some point. They aren't comfortable for long periods of time, and they have wheels, so we could have chair races across our living room right now. But, there's where the living room is right now. I really do like this room, and it's a very comfortable room. What else do you think would help define the space? Do you have any challenge rooms in your house? How have you handled them?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Wreath

I have a confession - I actually started working on this wreath the week of Thanksgiving. (collective gasp) I know, I know. I'm a one-holiday-at-a-time person too. But there were so many crafts I wanted to complete for Christmas decorations, that I knew I needed to get a little bit of a head start. And, I didn't hang the wreath until the day after Thanksgiving.

So, here it is.

And a closer view.

So, here's how it all came together. I used 5 boxes of clear glass ornaments from Michael's (on sale, plus an additional 25% off). Then I used two bottles each of gold, silver, and white paint. After removing all the tops from the ornaments, I proceeded to swirl either gold or silver and white paint inside. If you've never done this, it's super fun and easy! You just squeeze some paint inside the ornament, swirl it around and watch the magic happen.

I let them dry overnight. Meanwhile, I painted a coat of paint on my green foam wreath. The next day, I started placing my ornaments on the wreath. Once I figured out where I wanted them, I pressed them into the wreath a little, to make an indent, then added hot glue, and glued the ornament in place. It wasn't a difficult project, just took a while since I needed to let the ornaments dry for about 24 hours before arranging them on the wreath.

You might notice there was some leftover paint in my ornaments that has puddled in the bottom. I might take my wreath off the door for a day and try to re-swirl the paint to re-distribute it inside the ornament. Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it looks great against my new blue front door!