Sep 26, 2013

Kitchen Remodel Update #1

Last time I shared our kitchen remodel plans here, I said we were signing our contract and would be packing up our kitchen.

Whoa, Nellie! Not so fast!

The first lesson we've learned about remodeling is it never goes as fast as you think it will. We did meet with our contractor, but our meeting turned into another planning session. He told us he normally meets about four times with his clients to firm up all the plans before signing a final contract. He also told us he would be available to begin our job three weeks from that second meeting, which is early next week. 

So, although we haven't packed up my kitchen yet, we have needed all of that time to prepare. Here's what we've been doing:

My Idea Board

 We've been picking out:

 bar height and depth
 counter material
 light fixture
 back splash

I think you might be surprised by some of the things we've picked out for our new kitchen. 
I know I am!

We also removed our dated track lighting and mini blind from the kitchen window and painted the trim. It's all ready for the new light fixture and window treatment.

 We boxed up or moved all the chrystal, china, and silver out of the dining room cupboards. 

We boxed up everything that wasn't breakable, then I had a light bulb moment that saved us the hassle of wrapping each piece of chrystal in paper to pack away in boxes and having to wash each piece when we unpack it.  

 We just carried it a few pieces at a time into the living room and filled up every surface.

Then we covered it all with clean linens so it won't get dusty. When the kitchen is done, we'll just put it all away. No unpacking and washing!
The only down side is I don't have any surfaces left that I can decorate for fall. I'm thinking about drawing eyes and mouths on the sheets and calling them Halloween ghosts.

A small price to pay for a new kitchen, though!

I'm glad you came by to see what's up with our kitchen remodel. We'll be picking out our final faucet and light fixture choices this weekend, and we're excited to find something perfect. Next time I'll share packing up the kitchen, and then it's tear-out time! 

Sep 25, 2013

Five Minute $10 Pillow

 I bought this cute bird tea towel last week at Cost Plus with making it into a pillow in mind. They had so many cute prints, it was hard to choose just one. This one is embroidered with fringe at the bottom edge, and the cost was $10.

Cost Plus World Market
You can check out all the cute patterns here at their website.

I love toss pillows, and I'm kind-of becoming a toss pillow junkie. Finding storage space for all of them when I change them for seasons and holidays is becoming a problem.  

 For instance, these are the toss pillows from my former guest room that I packed away in plastic bags down in the basement when my daughter moved back into her old bedroom. Now that she's gone again, I'm redoing the guest room, and even though I still like all these pillows, they won't work anymore with the new decor. 

 I guess I'm not just a pillow junkie, maybe I'm a pillow hoarder, too, because I don't want to give these pillows away and start over. I might want these pillows again one day, right? I mean, this is a cute pillow, right? 



So even though there are lots of gorgeous new pillows out there calling my name, I've decided to start making covers for the ones I already have. Then I only have to store the covers, not the whole pillow. When I saw this cute little tea towel, I immediately thought it would make a sweet pillow cover. 

I searched Pinterest and adapted Manuela's glue gun pillow cover tutorial at A Cultivated Nest for my sewing machine.

 I wrapped the tea towel around my little brown pillow and marked on the towel where I wanted the top and bottom of the design to be, then I measured how much seam allowance I needed on each side.  I turned it inside out, folded the towel at the marks, and pinned and sewed the sides on my sewing machine.  

 Right side out again, you can see how the folded-over bottom hem of the tea towel becomes the opening for inserting the pillow, envelope style. The whole thing took less than five minutes!

 I think it adds a cute touch of cottage whimsy to my new all white bedding.  

It definitely needs some pillow friends, though. 

Maybe a whole pile of pillow friends. 

(Junkie.. )

 Join me at these fabulous parties today!

Stone Gable
Common Ground 
Shabby Art Boutique 
The Cottage Market

Sep 23, 2013

$150 Guest Bathroom Makeover

My husband and I did almost all the work ourselves building the addition to our 1910 cottage twenty-five years ago to fit our small family. When we got to the bathroom for our daughters, we were shaking the last coins out of the piggy bank and used the absolute least expensive fixtures and finishes we could find from the first big box store of its kind back then, called Home Base. 

Move the clock forward to the present, and our second bathroom is still being pushed to the back burner as we have our kitchen and master bathroom remodeled first. My challenge recently was to update the bathroom for guests while still making the original cast iron tub, fiberglass surround, cheap vanity, and old tile counter top work. 

This is the earliest photo I could find of the girl's bathroom. I think I wallpapered it with something pink and feminine originally, but when the girls grew older I let them pick their own colors and decor. They went through a really bright colors phase as teenagers...

 Here is the guest bathroom today. It's far from perfect, but it has a cozy cottage feel I can live with and everything our guests need when they visit. I didn't update this project all at once, but I added up the cost of everything I spent over the last year or so and was surprised to find it was under $150.

 The walls were repainted with Benjamin Moore's Van Courtland Blue. My daughter picked this deep blue/grey during her grey phase.

The idea when huge mirrors like this were popular was that it made a small bathroom look bigger. It definitely makes the shower curtain look bigger! When we redo the whole room, we plan to replace this mirror with a smaller framed one and a little cabinet or shelves over the toilet.

I don't mind seeing double, though, because I actually love this new cotton shower curtain I got at Target last week for around $20. I think it was the last piece I needed to give our little guest bath the cottage feel I was going for.

 I was able to find a new plastic end cap for the old faucet for a few dollars that made it look new again, and the old cast iron sink is still in great shape. The tile isn't my favorite, but I'm glad we originally picked plain white, and it will do for now. I keep the surfaces uncluttered so guests have room for their own cosmetics and toiletries. 

 I painted the vanity and that little 1990's strip of wood trim around the counter top with Benjamin Moore White Dove paint and replaced the old brass knobs with white porcelain ones. It's not fancy, but I think the paint and knobs make it look more expensive than it was. 

 The floor had old chipped and broken white linoleum tiles that I covered with more cheap stick-on tiles for only $35. I can honestly say I hated these tiles, and until I got the shower curtain last week, I planned to paint them and the walls.

 Not anymore! See how the brown leaves and blue birds on the shower curtain bring together those brown tiles and blue walls? All of a sudden it works for me!

 I updated the towel bar for under $15, a really cheap fix that made a big difference. The vintage bathtub art print is from Home Goods.

 This white $1 hook works as well for a hand towel as a more expensive towel ring for now. My daughter decoupaged the switch plates, and we liked the pop of green so we kept them. 

 My other daughter gave us the black dog spa art because, you know, we have a black dog!

This bathroom is so tiny I have to take photos reflected in the mirror and from out in the hall, so I apologize for the wonky look. One of the best things we did when originally building our bathroom was to add this custom medicine cabinet (seen through the mirror) behind the door and between the wall studs.   

 At under $200, it was still a lot of extra money to us at the time, but it held a lot of teen make-up and nail polish over the years and was worth every penny.

 We also added lots of hooks on the back of the door for towels and robes. When the girls were little, we put the hooks down low at door knob level so they could reach them.

Here's a look back at the before and after. 

 We have big plans to gut this bathroom eventually and update all the fixtures and finishes, but this under $150 redo will hold us for the time being while we remodel our kitchen and master bath.

I'm glad you stopped by today to see my guest bath, and I hope you have a great week!

Sep 20, 2013

Friday Finds

It's game day here again in Boise, so I thought I'd share some fun football-watching party food ideas today on Friday Finds. 

First Look, Then Cook
Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting

The Girl Who Ate Everything
Individual Seven Layer Dips

Gimme Some Oven
 Saucy Asian Meatballs

For The Love Of Cooking
Creamy Chicken Taco Cups

Pip & Ebby
 Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites

High Heels & Grills
 Jalapeno Cream Cheese Poppers

Inspired Taste
 Chili Lime Shrimp Cups

What Megan's Making
S'mores Dip

The North End Loft
 For even more great football party food ideas visit my Super Bowl Party Food post from January! 

My Pinterest Football Party Food Board

And don't forget to see my Football Party Food Pinterest Board for lots more delicious ideas for your next football game.

If you're a football fan with a game coming up this weekend, I hope you enjoy some great food while watching your team win!