Thursday, March 18, 2010

Decorating for Spring

I'm itching for Spring.
The weather is actually cooperating this week and we've had THREE 50+ degree days!
Unfortunately it will still be several weeks before the mound of snow in my yard melts off.
Still - it's definitely time to decorate for Spring.

Here's how I started - by jumping on to the bird and egg bandwagon, of course!
(I've wrapped so many plastic easter eggs in twine over the past week that I could do it in my sleep!)

This dresser by my front door is my favorite decorating surface in my whole house. It's a perfect display area and I love to pile lots of seasonal decor on it.

My "Spring" vignette was a little lacking, though.  I wanted it to be tonal and soothing...but it ended up flat and boring.

I decided it need (what else!) a wreath.

So made the easiest wreath ever by trying some ribbon and a scrapbooking tag (which I wrote "nest" on) to a small grapevine wreath. I added a tiny nest and a couple of faux robbins eggs and called it good.

I covered a small styrafoam ball with moss and threw it on the dresser top to add a little green.

SO much better!

The display is almost entirely the same, but a couple new elements really helped everything pop.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Custom Cabinets, part one!

Did you think I'd abandoned my kitchen project?
Or my blog?
I haven't. I've just been busy with real life stuff - Girl Scouts and the PTA, namely!

Back to the kitchen!
One of the most important elements in any kitchen is the cabinets, right?
All of the high-end kitchens have custom ones.
So I examined several Kitchen Design Magazines to try to determine what, exactly, makes cabinets look custom.
I decide it was finish (usually more than one), varying heights, hardware and niches.
To start, I gave my island a 2-step finish and tricked out the underside with a copper colored magnet board.
Next up, I tackled the "niche" idea.

Most of the ones I saw in magazines were above the refrigerator or the microwave. I chose to do mine above the micro, because it was a nice, central spot.

Here it is, before:
(taken last "FALL", obviously!)

First, I took the cabinet doors off and filled in the gigantic screw heads that holding the cabinet to the wall.  This ended up being a useless step - but I thought I should explain the white patches ;)

Next, I used a jig saw to cut the crown molding off the top.
I practiced a little first, but this was still only the 3rd or 4th thing I ever cut with a jigsaw. I didn't exactly get the angle exact on the right side...but I fixed it later!

Then I painted out the inside with the same paint I'd used on the island.

This is when I started the top piece - the part I was REALLY excited about.
I used my jigsaw to cut out two side pieces, free handed from a picture I'd seen in a magazine.
Then I built the rest of the box - the back and a thin strip for the top. The whole thing was made out of 1/2" MDF.  I attached the crown molding to the top and painted the whole thing.

When I slapped it on top of the cabinet, though, it looked...unfinished.
Obviously the angle on the crown molding (right side) was off. I took that down and adjusted it, but still wasn't satisfied.

I stared at it for a couple of days, feeling like it was wrong somehow. My husband kept telling me how great it was...hoping I'd just FINISH the damn thing, I'm sure!
Then I decided to try putting beadboard in the back. I painted it the green that I had considered for the island and slapped it in and LOVED the result.

(not shown - my superhero of a husband shortened the cord from the microwave, removed the plug piece from the wall and wired it directly into the power source, so instead of hiding a 2 foot coil of thick grey cord I only had to hide a 3 inch piece! LOVE him.)

Here it is, all accessorized.

Accessories: the white jar/bottles are from the thrift store - all were clear until I spray painted them white! I paid $1 or less for each of them. The basket and artificial artichokes are also from the thrift store - the 'chokes were still in plastic (never opened!) when I bought them for .75 each! and the basket was $2. The little black architectural thing was from the thrift store and cost .75.  The fluer-de-lis plaque was from Hobby Lobby and was my big purchase - $6. The silver thing is an antique vegetable chopper that was my great grandmothers. It's still super sharp - my husband cut himself on one of it's blades while washing it!

I really think it adds to the "custom" look of the kitchen - it gives a nice, staggered height to the cabinets and another finish, plus it's a great decorative space :)

Stay tuned for Custom Cabinets, part two!
(coming soon - I promise!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pretty, Simple Spring Wreath

I took down my Valentines wreath last week.
My door has been naked since then.

I never realized that I don't have anything for the front door for this time of year.
It's not really Spring yet - not here - but I am in full winter rebellion at this point. I needed something green and simple, so I started looking around.
Pottery Barn came to my rescue.

They sell this lovely moss covered wreath for $49.
It's currently on sale for just $39, but I still figured I could make it for less :)

The PB version is 18" in diameter. I bought the largest Styrofoam form the craft store had - it was only 16", but I figured that was close enough.

To start, I spray painted the form green.

Then I started hot gluing the moss on.  First to the front, then to the sides.

It was easiest to do the sides (both in and out) by standing the wreath on it's side.

When I had the form fully covered I took it out to the garage and sprayed it with spray adhesive, then I sprinkled some moss crumbs over it and patted it all around with my hands.
I hung it on my front door with a gold ribbon.

I love it. It's so sweet and simple and it was just a fraction of the PB price.
$5.00 for the wreath (used a 40% off coupon at Roberts)
$5.00 for the moss - I bought 2 packages at Wal Mart for $2.27 each, but I only used 1/2 of the second package, so the true cost was probably about $5, including tax.
The ribbon and hot glue were already in my stash.
$10 total - the perfect price to adorn my front door :)

Linking up!
Made it Monday at the Persimmon Perch
Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Related Posts with Thumbnails