Friday, February 24, 2017

Home Remodel Tablescape- putting the tools on the table!

Why not!  We have tools everywhere during our home remodel, so why not put them on top of the table!
I have had these floor plan plates for a couple of years and had not featured them yet.
So I thought this was the perfect time,
Since we have been in the middle of a whole house remodel.

 I purchased these plates at Fishs Eddy in NYC.  This is the cutest store if your a dish junkie like me.  I picked up my NY Times Crossword Puzzle plates at this same store - Click Here to see those plates and more info on the store.

 If you have been following along, you know we have tackled the kitchen and the outside of the house.  But we still have many, many more projects to complete.
Well, enough talk, it's time to
take those bandana napkins off the cups and get back to work!!
Thanks for stopping by,

I am linking up to the following parties:
Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ugly House gets a Makeover!

Our ugly fixer upper got a much needed makeover!
Scary!  Isn't it!!! 
We bought this beauty because of its location!!  See my previous post Here!
But it wasn't just that it was ugly, there were animals living between the old cedar siding and our walls!! Mostly birds and a family of bats!!  Now, I realize that bats are good at the lake, they eat mosquitos - but I don't want them living in our walls - just saying!!  We would wake up in the morning to animal noises in the walls, our dogs would go around pointing at the outlets because they could hear the birds chirping in the walls!
  It wasn't very safe either.  None of the balconies were up to code.
The inspector said they would hold people, but when we had anyone over to see the house, for some reason, they were very hesitant to go out on the balconies!!

So we decided to bite the bullet and do it all- new deck, balconies, siding and several windows! It was a huge project and it had to start with the decks and balconies.

There was no access to the upper balconies from the outside.  The lower level is a walkout basement that had a narrow, badly cracked cement pad. Not anymore!!!  We ripped that out!
We extended the lower level out and made a nice size wood deck.   The middle level is where the kitchen and living area are- we wanted to be able to put a table outside the kitchen but that would mean extending out what was there by several feet.  We also wanted to have access to it from the outside so we put in the stairs.  

I should clarify here, that we hired a professional to build our deck and balconies.  There was no way my husband and I could do all this work!!!  My dogs grew quite fond of the two gentlemen who worked so hard for several months to build all of this, they almost became part of the family!
We went back and forth with whether or not we wanted to have the second level covered or not. If we put a full roof over the second level, it would have blocked out a lot of light in our kitchen and dining area and we did not want to do that - we liked the light and brightness of the kitchen area. When my husband suggested we just put up a pergola - it was the perfect compromise - it lets in light, yet gives us a bit of shade from the sun.
So once the new siding went up we no longer had the ugliest house on the lake!!

 Here is a picture of the side of the house -
  same view as the second photo in this post - with the new siding. 
This house had a newer brown metal roof and brown stack stone on parts of the home, therefore we stuck with the brown family for the siding.

Since the garage is pretty much all you see from the street when you pull up to our house- I wanted to make sure we did something nicer than a plain garage door.
 This was one of the first things we had done- and I was immediately in love with
my new garage door!
Then when they finished the siding and we put up the new light fixtures
it all came together.
Now we look at it and say we need a new driveway!!  and we definitely need some landscaping in the back.  It never ends!
But it sure looks a lot better than it did - and I am no longer embarrassed to say I live here!!

I am linking up to the following parties:
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
The Scoop @ StoneGable
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

Monday, February 13, 2017

Kitchen Before and After Reveal

Our fixer upper kitchen has been transformed into a totally updated and open place to cook and gather!
Just to remind you what we started with:
I love my new kitchen now!!
I am happy with the choices we made.  
If you would like to see more of the before and during photos - check out my previous post- Our Kitchen Remodel
In that post I mentioned that I was a bit scared on how my choice of the two dark cabinets on either side of the range would look - now it is one of my favorite parts of the kitchen.

One of my other favorite choices was not doing a lazy susan (which loosing half of its contents off the back every time you spin it -was a pet peeve of mine) and doing the three deep drawers in the corner.  They are much bigger than they look and store a plethora of items.
Moving the sink over to the big window that overlooks the lake was the absolute right thing to do.
We chose not to do a farmhouse sink because I like a double bowl sink and this stainless steel sink came free with the counter tops!!  It was just one of the choices we made to save a little somewhere along the road- after all we have the whole house to redo.  (see the rest of the fixer upper here)

  The island we decided upon is a free standing piece of furniture.  We did not want to put pendant lights over it because we can turn it going the opposite direction if we so choose to do.
It actually cost us less to purchase this piece than put in two small cupboards and granite on top plus I think this piece has much more charm!  This island has a stainless steel top, which I love the look of - but I have to say it does scratch very easily.  We hid our microwave inside the island, luckily we thought far enough ahead to include an electrical outlet in the floor.

The other side of this island pulls out for additional seating
The only thing I don't like about it - is that we have a dog that loves tennis balls.  She is forever trying
to fish her tennis balls out from underneath the island!

We have plenty of storage with the three pantry cabinets on the far left.

So here is the final comparison 

Flooring -Hartville Hardware -  Hardwood - Vallaria Pacific Pecan- Greystone
Cabinets -Home Depot - Thomasville - in Toasted Almond on Cotton
and the dark cabinets are Graphite
Counter tops - Home Depot -Silestone - Iron Bark
Backsplash - Hartville Hardware - Mediterranean's Chicago Brick Tile - South Side
Island - Andreas Furniture - Paula Deen Furniture line - River House - now being discontinued
Multiple Pendant light fixture over table - PotteryBarn- Paxton 8 light Pendant
The table and chairs -had from our old house- had them made at Swiss Valley Furniture

So far so good!  I hope the rest of the house transforms this nicely!
We are currently having some work done on the outside of the house, so stop back to see more updates to our little fixer upper.

Thanks for stopping by,

I am linking up to the following parties:
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
The Scoop @ Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Share Your Style @Essence of Home
Feathered Nest Friday @French Country Cottage

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Winter Tablescape

I put together an "Almost Forgot it was Winter" Tablescape!
Seeing how it has been snowing and acting like the season it truly is!
We are having such unusual weather this winter, it has been hard to remember what season it is.
So before I packed away all of my evergreens for the winter, I thought I would use them again for a centerpiece.  I bought those little wood picks at 90% off at a local greenhouse that had all their Christmas items on clearance.  I just knew they didn't need to be used for Christmas!  
I paired them with the spheres that usually go with some summer fish I have - and now they are doing double duty with a winter centerpiece.
A little evergreen sprig tied with jute make a perfect napkin ring.
Enjoy your week, what ever the weather may bring!!
Thanks for stopping by!


Burlap placemats and light brown plates - Amish Country Peddler in Walnut Creek, Ohio
Cream color plates and bowls - Butterchurn Kitchenwares in Walnut Creek, Ohio
Napkins - Marshalls - years ago
Flatware - Ikea

I am linking up at the following Parties:
Tablescape Thursday @Between Naps on the Porch
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Dishing It and Digging It @ Life and Linda

Monday, February 6, 2017

Our Kitchen Remodel

I am so excited to share these photos of the beginning of our kitchen transformation. 
If you missed my post about how we bought a fixer upper, you might want to go back Here and see the photos of the ugly house we bought!
While this kitchen does not look horrible- it had a lot of issues.  The cook top and oven did not work, the cupboards were being held closed with velcro, the flooring was curling up and the counter tops were pulling up.  Besides all of that, the layout was weird.  The kitchen sink should have been under the big window looking out over the lake.  The way it was here, the widow over the kitchen sink looked right into a huge evergreen tree and was always covered with bird droppings!
Which is another whole problem with this house because there are birds living in between the wall and the siding - but that will be addressed in another post!
We really  wanted to open up the kitchen and replace the peninsula with an island.
In order to do that and get everything to fit in - we would have to cut down the hot water baseboard heating unit that you see in the photo below.

 We also wanted to change over to a gas stove, so we had to have a gas line run to the kitchen.  So between between moving the sink, shortening the baseboard heater and running the gas line our plumbing bill was quite high.  I haven't mentioned yet - that I acted as the general contractor!!  My husband can do a lot of things, but plumbing is not his forte, besides the fact that he works full time and we are living in the house as we renovate it.  We decided that we would hire out the plumbing and also the install of the cabinets.  The cabinet installers would also take on removing the soffit and installing can lighting.  

We took on the gutting of the kitchen, installing new flooring, new light fixtures other than the can lights, and tiling the backsplash.   
This was the beginning of the demo!  We made many many trips to the dumpster in our driveway with carpet, linoleum, counter tops, old appliances, and some of the trim.  We did salvage a few of the cupboards to use in the garage once we are all done. We set up a make shift kitchen in the basement with a few of the cupboards while we were without a kitchen for months.
Our dogs were often covered with saw dust - then later drywall dust!
This house is on a lake in a bit of a remote area, so there are not a lot of restaurants around, we used the crockpot and the grill a lot!
Unlike those tv shows where it is all done in an hour- realistically it is more like 4 months.  At times it was very frustrating because we were waiting for the plumber or waiting for the counter tops, but for the most part it went pretty smooth.

So now that demo is done, lets move on to the good stuff!

Here is the design we came up with after going back and forth with the kitchen designer at Home Depot.  I am not receiving any compensation from Home Depot - that is just who we used because they had a good sale going on and they had what we were looking for as far as style and price.
Now when you see the completed kitchen - it will vary from this a bit.  The big difference 
in this new kitchen is that we are taking out the window were the old sink was.  We have a huge window on the right that will let plenty of light in.  I hated that window anyway - like I said before, it was always covered with bird crap and there was no way to clean it besides climbing into the kitchen sink and hanging out of the window since it was up on what is essentially the second floor.

After much shopping and hauling samples home, these were the choices we finally agreed on!
Hardwood flooring, solid surface counter tops(the little tiny sort of marbled piece in the middle), cream colored cabinets - with a little distressing ( just because we have two dogs and sometimes you need a little distressing to camouflage some of thier dirt and drooling)  and the scary part - something I wanted to try - two brown cabinets on either side of the stove.  I say scary because we weren't really sure how this was going to look but we knew we wanted to break up all the cream colored cabinets and we thought that this would somehow make our little gas stove look slightly bigger since we did not have the money or space for a big Viking gas stove like you see in all the dream kitchens!
We started with the flooring since this wood was now going throughout the whole floor, extending into the living and dining areas.   One of my happiest moments of this whole process was throwing that berber carpet in the dumpster!!  All of those white boxes piled up on either side of the fireplace are the wood flooring.  It was quite a long process, working on it many evenings, but my husband did a beautiful job.  He could only take it so far until the cupboards were installed and then he went back and completed the kitchen area.
The kitchen installers worked on the dry wall and the can lighting.  This step seemed to take the quite a while, there was a lot of days of mudding and sanding were things didn't seem to change that much.  Finally, our cupboards were installed!!
That's when I could start seeing our vision coming together!
We had to wait three week between measuring for the counter tops and the installation of the counter tops, so that was the longest part of the process.
Is it starting to look like a kitchen now??
It was exciting to see how the new appliances were going to look.

We waited until the kitchen was this far before we decided what kind of backsplash to put in.  We were not really sure how dark or light to go.  So it was back to the stores and bringing home more samples of backsplash tiles until we found what we hoped was the right one.
It is porcelain tile that looks like brick.
We were both very happy with our choice once we got some up on the walls.

Well, this is all just a teaser for the finished kitchen.
Heck, I haven't even mentioned the island yet!  

I will be doing another post that has pictures of the kitchen that is now 99% done.  In that post I will include a list of the type of flooring, tile, counter top and lighting we used.

Thanks for stopping in to see the process!
Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer them in my next post.


I am linking up to the following parties:
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch 
That DIY Party @ DIY Showoff
Inspire Me Tuesday @A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Dishing It and Digging It @ Life and Linda

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Valentine's Day Hot Cocoa Bar

Love warms the heart like a good cup of hot cocoa!
I'm celebrating Valentine's Day just a bit early with some good friends who warm my heart.
Since it has been snowing lightly on and off for the last few days, I thought a hot cocoa bar would be perfect for this gathering.
I used a lot of black -which doesn't really seem like a cheerful color but I love the way red pops off of it.  Plus I had these mix and match black and white mugs I wanted to use for the cocoa.

What's fun is hot cocoa with out all the extras?
I have all sorts of sprinkles and flavors to add to that plain cup of cocoa.
I made some little favor bags with a cupid's arrow piercing through the top,
just to let them know how much the mean to me.
Then I dangled some XO's from the arrow for some extra hugs and kisses.
We will be having some fun until we come down off the sugar high I will be giving everyone!
Wishing you all a warm cup of cocoa this Valentine's Day!

Check back in next week when I reveal my kitchen makeover in our fixer upper!
(See my previous post about our fixer upper !!)

Plaid and paisley mugs - Butterchurn Kitchenware - in Walnut Creek
Black wood scroll chargers, white dinner plates, and napkins - Pier 1 Imports (I bought a while ago - but they were still carrying all them last time I was there)
Polka dot desert plate - Elder Beerman quite a few years ago
Heart plate on top - Micheals on clearance after last Valentine's day
Red placemats - Bed Bath and Beyond
Flatware and red plates - Marshall's - several years ago

I am linking up to the following parties:
Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Feathered Nest Friday @French Country Cottage
Dishing It and Digging It @ Life and Linda