Monday, January 25, 2010

Kitchen Island Part 2: Making her Pretty

If you haven't seen Part 1, take a look! It's all about moving the island :)

When I started my kitchen redecorating project I bought a BHG Kitchen and Bath Special Issue.
Right away I noticed that custom, mismatched cabinets are all the rage.  Painted finishes are also super popular right now.

I love painted cabinets.
From afar.
Painting my own is incredibly daunting. The cabinets I have are quite nice, and I actually really like wood tones, so I'm terrified to screw them up.

Wood cabinets with a painted island, however, seemed do-able.
So I planned to do that.
I also decided to replace the granite counter top on the island with butcher block.

I considered cream paint, but the idea of green got me really excited.

I tested paints and researched butcher block...

and then I started to worry about losing the functionality of my granite.
I put hot pans on my granite.
I cut (with sharp knives) directly on my granite.
I paint and stain my projects on my granite.
In short, I abuse my granite, and it always forgives me and looks lovely after (even if I do have to take a razor blade to it to remove paint.)

What kind of person would I be if I were to repay that type of loyalty by replacing it?  And with something sub-par?
I agonized for days.  In the end I decided to keep the granite.
I also went back to cream paint. Against the granite, it was much better than green.
So disregard all that about green painted wood and butcher block.

This is how my projects go. This is how my brain works. It's all about aesthetics...then reality creeps in.

Anyway, here's what I did...
beadboard on the ends

painted the whole thing cream.

A custom color mixed by the Home Depot to match (I know this is ridiculous...) my purse.  Do you blame me? Look at this girl! Isn't she beautiful?

I bought a sheet of metal and spray painted it copper. Then I mounted it to the wall under the island for the kids to use as a magnet board (alphabet magnets are in the works!)

Glazed the paint to give it a "custom cabinet" feel.

Framed the metal out with molding, painted dark brown.

Added these darling fleur-style wood medallions.

And new hardware...

And here's the end result.  Gorgeous, eh?

I really love how it turned out.  It's gorgeous from the other side, too. The copper really makes it look special! I can't share that view with you right now, though - it keeps showing too many other projects in the background! Soon :)

Kitchen Island Part 1: Moving the Island

(Can I first say that I love the LOST tie in of my title?)

Next up in the Moody Kitchen Extravaganza: the island!

I love my kitchen island. I use it for everything.  It's where I do all the prep work when I cook, where the majority of my craft projects get done, it's even where we set up the baby bathtub when we have a newborn to bathe!

However, I've always felt like it was too close to the countertops and appliances. The day we moved in I said "I wish that island was 16 inches back..."

We talked about moving it, but since we didn't know how it was attached or if the tile extended underneath, we never did anything about it.
For three years I lived with it.
I'm not going to pretend it was the bane of my existence or anything, but it always bothered me.
A few months ago, my irritation reached it's boiling point.  One afternoon I drilled some holes through the bottom shelf to try to see inside. I couldn't see anything. When DH got home I made him cut out a square for me.
So now we could see there was tile underneath, but we still had no idea how it was attached.

I called the homebuilder to try to find out, but no one could tell me. grrr.
A few days later I started pushing knives under the cabinets, trying to determine where/how it was attached.  I still couldn't tell anything.
At this point, my husband decided it was probably best for him to step in and help.
He experimentally put his shoulder into it gave a gentle heave.
The island moved. A little.

He set it back down and looked at me, grinning from ear to ear, jumping up and down and clapping and said "so you're sure you want me to do this?"
And then he did.
(FYI, he did have to cut the power line first, but he knows all about all that electrical stuff.)
Turns out the whole thing was held in place with about 6 long screws and some Liquid Nails.  The screws were all run through the grout lines, luckily!

Eventually I decided to position the island on an angle. It made the kitchen look (and feel!) about a million times bigger.  Now, two people can cook together without bumping into each other constantly.

Next up: making her pretty!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Valentine Buttons

My daughter goes to a charter school where she wears a uniform.
I LOVE it.
Most of the time.

It's kind of a bummer around the holidays, though. She always has a cute Halloween t-shirt or Christmas dress that would be fun for her to wear to school.
We make due with accessories, instead.
Hairbows, bracelets, necklaces, earings...

Two years ago, when she was in Kindergarten, I made these sweet felt heart button covers.
They were looking a little worn, so I decided to make new ones this year.
We love them - I'll bet if you have a little one that wears a uniform, I'll bet she would love them, too!
They take about 90 seconds to make, here's how!

First, use the stiff felt at the fabric store.
When I made these I used plain red for 2 and pink with glitter for 3.

Figure out how big you want your hearts to be - just measure your space between buttons and decide what size you want.  Mine ended up about 1.75 inches from top to bottom.

Cut out your hearts.

Fold them in half (top to bottom) and cut a small slit for the button hole.

Slip them over the buttons and send your darling girl to school. She'll be the cutest one there!

Here's my cutie last year at her Valentines party. I was her room mother, we played a beanbag toss for one of the games. Isn't she adorable?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Kitchen Backsplash

I've never been crazy about back splashes.
I didn't dislike them, they just didn't DO anything for me.

Until I saw Kim's - over at Twice Remembered.
I'm pretty sure everyone in blog land has seen this gorgeous thing, but if you haven't, hop on over and take a look at her backsplash.  It's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
And it totally inspired me.

I spent 2 weeks trying to track down thin brick pavers, like the ones Kim used.
I didn't have much luck.
A local masonry company told me they could order some for me, but they were going to be something like $3.00 each.
Far too expensive.

Then a Lowes employee recommended a product called "gaslight II hardboard brick".  He said he'd just sold a bunch of it to a man who used it to cover all the interior walls of a pizza restaurant he was opening.
It was very inexpensive, so I thought I'd give it a try.

It's a 1/4 inch thick compressed wood product that looks like brick and mortar on one side.
Here is what it looks like - lying on my garage floor.

To start, I gave it a coat of Rustoleum Primer, then a coat of Rustoleum Heirloom White.
I knew I was going to paint it a creamy color and wanted to save myself as many between the cabinets and the counter paint sessions as possible :)

While I did that, my saint of a husband cleaned the kitchen - then cleaned the kitchen OUT, so it was all ready to install the backsplash.

Then it was time to cut it.
We are in the process of finishing our basement.
as. slowly. as. possible.
It's expensive to finish basements!
Anyway, the table saw is down there right now, for cutting 2x4s when my husband is framing.
Ignore the disaster in the background, please.

We cut the brick-board using a plywood blade, turned to rip. It was messy business.  Matt was covered in sawdust after.

Once it was cut we cut out the holes for the outlets. Then we used Liquid Nails adhesive for the back of the boards.

Always be sure to spread your Liquid Nails around!

We used those tiny nails in some spots, in addition to the Liquid Nails.  Here it is all up.

At this point we used white silicone to seal the top, bottom and seams of the boards against the walls.
We set the nails and used putty to fill in the holes.
Then we left it overnight to set up and dry completely.

The next morning we gave it a couple coats of paint - a custom mixture made by Mandy, of course - and here's the finished product.

And here it is close up - with accessories :)

Gorgeous, right?

I am surprised at how authentic it really looks.  I don't think anyone would guess that it was a hardboard type of product instead of real brick! And it was so much easier than mortar and grout would have been!
Plus it was CHEAP.
$23.97 for the 4x8 foot Gaslight II panel. I have about 1/3 of it left.

$3.50 for 2 tubes of Liquid Nails
I had the caulk and the nails, but even if you had to buy everything for this project it would be under $50.

Linking up to...
Made it Monday at the Persimmon Perch,
Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Make Your Monday at Twice Remembered and

Coming Soon to a Kitchen Near Me

When we moved into our home, 3.5 years ago, I was pregnant.
Not just pregnant - ready to pop.
In fact, my son was born a mere 4 days after we moved in.

For the first year and a half of his life I didn't do any projects. I was a stay at home mommy for the first time. I cooked, I cleaned, I took care of two little ones. I didn't have time or energy for anything else.
When I finally did decide I had the time and energy for something else, it was all outside stuff. We put our yard in ourselves, and it was a lot of work.

It's only been just over a year that I've been focusing on the inside of our home.  So I'm just now getting around to some of the things that I've wanted to do since we moved in.

My big project right now is the kitchen.
It's a decent looking kitchen, but it's very builder-basic-boring. And I want it to look more custom, more friendly, more ME :)
I have BIG plans and I'm SO excited!

Here are the BEFORE pictures of my kitchen - I took these back in November, obviously (notice the fall decor!)

From the great room looking into the kitchen

From the kitchen looking toward the dining area

From the hallway looking into the kitchen

Eventually I'll have a whole list of hyperlinked projects here - stay tuned for that!
First up, the back splash!
Next was an Island revamp.  See Part 1 (moving the island) here, and Part 2 (making her pretty) here.
Here are some accessory makeovers.
You can see my custom cabinet adventures here (part one) and here (part two)
And the sink/window makeover is here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Top 10 in '09

Here it is! My anthology post for 2009!

I've loved seeing these on other blogs, so I thought I'd share my own. (and throw a party so everyone else could, too!)
These are my 10 favorite posts from last year :)

10. I have a tie for that a cheat?
My $5 lamp


Because it taught me to to look twice at brass! What a transformation!
My Candlesticks -

because a Pottery Barn knock off this good has never been this cheap!

9. My Front Door

Every time I hang a new holiday wreath on my front door I'm glad I painted it black!

8. My daughters bedroom

It took weeks to complete and my 7 year old can't keep it clean to save her life - but on the rare occasions that I clean it up it makes me smile :)

7. The Swing Set

It felt like it cost a fortune and took a year to complete - and it was SO worth it.

6. My sons bedroom

I didn't want him to be a big boy, but he really was. A bunch of fun projects, culminating in a room redecoration made the transition a lot easier for me.

5. Porch Bench

I actually talked my sweet, handsome, indulgent husband into building this for me...but I conceived the idea! And it gives the front porch so much character!

4. Laundry Room

The after is SO MUCH BETTER than the before, I couldn't love it any more.

I did this project before I was blogging, so my before and after pictures are pretty lacking, but the transformation was really rewarding. Even better, I LOVE the piece in my house - it's like it was made to live with me.

This project was also done before I started blogging, so the post is a bit lacking. Our front room is so much more attractive and usable now, though, that I had to put it near the top.

This was a huge undertaking, and it was worth every second of work.
I followed it up by building a bench a week later.

They were my biggest DIYs of the year, they are the things I've used the most, and they are what I've been the most proud of.

There it is - my top 10! Can't wait until next years post :)

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