Dec 30, 2013

Top Ten Posts of 2013

Have you noticed all the Top Ten Blog Posts of 2013 being shared in the blogging world the past few days? I've been enjoying them immensely. It's fun to take a look back and see what's been popular with other readers, and I've even found a few posts here and there I missed the first time around. When I finally figured out where Blogger keeps my blog's numbers, of course I wanted to share too! 

 The North End Loft's
Top Ten Most Popular Posts of 2013




I hope you enjoyed taking a look back at my most popular posts of 2013 with me. I loved doing all of them, and I'm happy to have my blog as a record, not just of my top ten, but of all the fun projects I accomplished in 2013.

 I have a craft room full of new projects waiting for me, along with a few rooms in our old cottage to redecorate in the new year. This spring we'll also be continuing the renovation of our urban garden. I can hardly wait to get started working on everything and sharing with you!

Thanks so much for joining me on the journey! 

Please join me this week at

Dec 29, 2013

Holiday Greetings

Greetings friends, I hope you're all enjoying your holidays!

I've been spending a very lazy, warm, and cozy Christmas at home this year with my family. 

Our girls have been coming over a lot, and that's really all we need here for a perfect holiday.


We've been laughing around the dining room table over big home-cooked meals and watching a lot of our favorite videos while snuggled up together on the comfy family room sectional. 


Notting Hill, Something's Gotta Give, Love Actually, The Holiday, The Family Stone, and Pride and Prejudice are some of our traditional favorite videos. 

An admittedly feminine list that sometimes sends my husband off to his cave to watch football.

We haven't even been tempted to brave the after-Christmas sales or go out to a movie or restaurant. Everything we need is right here at home. We're very lucky!


I've also been curling up on the sofa with a cup of coffee each day catching up on all the gorgeous holiday blog posts I missed while busily preparing for my own Christmas. Blogland really outdid itself this Christmas, and I've been pinning so many great ideas for next year's holiday decorating and baking. 

I wanted to share my seasonal happiness with you today and say a huge thank you to all my wonderful blog friends and followers for reading my blog. I'd especially like to say thank you for your warm response the past few weeks to my new kitchen reveal. Your kind comments have at times completely overwhelmed me, in a very good way.

So, thank you! Each and every one of you is so special to me. 

I'm very lucky!


Dec 17, 2013

Our Christmas Tree

Now that our kitchen is finished, we have the pleasure of turning our attention to Christmas decorating. It's a good thing, too, because Christmas is just around the corner!

The first thing we always do when decorating for the holidays is get a real Christmas tree to put in this corner of the living room. We didn't even think about how we'd be able to see the tree through the dining room from our new kitchen until we stepped back to admire our work.

When we get up on dark winter mornings we always turn on the Christmas tree lights, and now we can enjoy looking at them while we make our morning coffee. We love that! 

Because we're running a bit late this Christmas, we kept our tree simple with white lights and gold and brown ornaments.  We bought a few new ones on sale at Target, and with the coupon from the Cartwheel App on my new iPhone they were a great deal.

Up next is wrapping the gifts to put under the tree. I'm so glad I did my shopping early this year, and now I'm looking forward to staying inside where it's warm while I finish decorating the house for Christmas.

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you're enjoying the season and that you have a great week!

It wouldn't be the holidays without some parties!

Dec 12, 2013

Our New Kitchen!

 Our kitchen remodel is finished, and it's time for the big reveal!

 We removed the wall between our dining room and kitchen.

 And added an eating bar.

 Our new leather bar stools are on back order until who-knows-when, so I parked my little craft studio stool here to give you the idea. Our contractor, Trent, and master finish carpenter, Luke, did amazing work designing and duplicating the old dining room wainscot and trim on the new bar. 

 The top of the bar wraps around the dining room wall to seat three and gives me a niche to decorate. I love niches!

 The hutch that was on the dining room wall we removed is now in the kitchen. The entire kitchen remodel was centered on moving this hutch to this wall. To give you an idea of the scale of this cabinet, we need a ladder to reach the upper shelves. Not a step ladder, a real ladder. It's enormous!

 The doors were stripped, repainted and rehung with the original hardware. This cabinet is our favorite part of the new kitchen, and we're so glad we can still see it from the front rooms of the house. We feel like we've preserved a big part of the history of our home. 

I don't really have a decorating style. I like a little bit French, a little bit farmhouse, and a little bit vintage. If I like something, I just try and make it work.

 Our bar is forty-two inches tall to hide kitchen clutter from the dining room.  We've never had a kitchen bar before, and we love it.

 First and foremost, our kitchen is a working kitchen. It's all about cooking big family dinners and easy cleanup afterwards. The criteria for every surface we chose was whether it would stand up to hard kitchen use, was it super easy to maintain, was it waterproof, and did it look like something you might see in a cottage one hundred years ago.

 We chose Mannington Serengeti Slate for a floor that will last another one hundred years. Franklin Building Supply did a great installation over our uneven wonky old sub-floors.   

The cottage two doors down from ours still has the original kitchen with a wood back splash and wood counters, so along with a slate floor we knew this look would be authentic to our old kitchen. 

 Our cast iron sink is the Wheatland from Kohler.

 Our faucet is the Waterhill from Moen.

 Our counters are new green certified Old Mill Oak HD laminate from Wilsonart. Surprised? I was!

 Our new curtains were sewn from one 84-inch curtain panel purchased at Target.

Our coffee station fits perfectly behind this little dining room wall with coffee cups in the new small wall cabinet above.  

 Three people can now work comfortably in our little kitchen at the same time; two on either side of the sink, and another over here by the stove.

 We switched out our old office-style whiteboard for my big homemade chalkboard for writing shopping lists and notes next to the pantry. 

 A new custom drawer cabinet replaced the upper cabinet space when the wall between the dining room and kitchen was removed. Our kitchen is tiny, but we have lots of storage. We spray painted all the old hardware oil rubbed bronze, and it's wearing just fine.

We love our kitchen's new bigger work spaces, the bar, the new cabinets, and all the updated surfaces.

  But the main purpose of our remodel was to open the kitchen up to the dining and living rooms so we can spend more time together as a family. 

 My brother was here from California for Thanksgiving and sat at the new bar and visited with me while I cooked dinner during the day. Later, we lit the candles and dimmed all the lights to a soft glow and had our traditional formal dinner in the dining room. It was perfect.

We brought in a few front porch chairs to help us get a feel for the scale of the new furniture we'd like to buy. My new favorite place to sit and read is over in this corner by the front window where I can see the whole house now. My domain!

Our vision was for having a modern day open kitchen and living arrangement that works with our contemporary style of living, while still maintaining the historic integrity of our one hundred year-old cottage.

It's been a big success, and we're so happy we took the huge scary plunge to remove our dining room wall.

I love my kitchen!

If you'd like to see the kitchen and dining room "before" and inspiration pictures, just click here, and if you'd like to see and read about our entire remodel saga, just click here.

{We can't thank Harrison Renovation Company enough for sharing our remodel vision. Owner Trent Howie's expert knowledge of historic craftsman style homes along with painstaking attention to detail and superb craftsmanship helped make the vision we had for our kitchen come true.}

C'mon along and party with me at:
Common Ground 
City Farmhouse 
Rooted In Thyme 
From My Front Porch To Yours 
Coastal Charm 
Elizabeth & Company 
Green Willow Pond
The Charm of Home 
Craftberry Bush 
My Repurposed Life 
French Country Cottage 
My Romantic Home 
 The Shabby Nest
The Cottage Market 
Funky Junk Interiors
DIY Showoff 
Between Naps On The Porch 
Mod Vintage Life 
The Scoop
Cozy Little House  
A Stroll Through Life 
Savvy Southern Style
My Love 2 Create  
A Joyful Cottage