Category Archives: Home Improvement

Meanwhile…

We are still working on finishing the backsplash
in our kitchen.  Well, I should say Michael Luke is still
working.  He is doing an amazing job but it’s hard for him to
find the free time to finish it up so it may be another week or two
before I post finished pictures. Meanwhile… Remember back at the
beginning of the year?  When we replaced our kitchen
counters with Formica 180 FX in Dolce Vita.  Well,
our kitchen counters weren’t the only thing we replaced.
Master Bath Dolce VitaWe figured while we were at it why not replace the counters in the master bath as well.
Replacing the counters was already on our To-Do list. So
since we were already paying for labor and the additional cost for
the actual material wasn’t that much extra we decided now was as
good a time as any.master bath dolce vita Our white porcelain sinks looked so beautiful with the Dolce Vita counters that I had to add more white accents.  Like the family picture of us in the
white frame.  master bath dolce vitamaster bath dolce vita
master bath dolce vita You may have noticed in the picture above that there is a small strip of wood exposed underneath the counter.  This is because our new counters sit 3/4″ higher than our previous ones. This small change in height
might have frustrated some people but for me it was the go ahead to
paint our existing cabinets a beautiful white.  In case you
are wondering I haven’t been secretly working on painting them yet.
Priority numero uno is to finish the kitchen first and then
maybe work on sprucing up the master bath some more.master bath dolce vita I was loving the white accents so much that I swapped out the pottery
that Noah’s supplies used to sit on for this beautiful Vera Bradley
tray. master bath dolce vitaI also relocated this keepsake frame with our room key from the first night of our honeymoon at The Peabody. The white just looks so amazing on the
counters that I can’t get enough of it right now! master bath dolce vita
Master bath dolce vitaFuture plans for the bathroom include painting the cabinets and walls as well as installing new floor tile throughout the entire bathroom.  To be honest
though, I don’t see any of that happing too soon.  We need to
finish the kitchen first and then we will have a better idea of a
timeline. Meanwhile… Do you have any projects that require more
of your free time to finish them? Are you getting any of the snow
from the storm that is pummeling through the north east.  I
don’t know what we would do if we ever got that much snow at one
time.  Just a half an inch of snow shuts down the entire city
here in Birmingham!

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Spice World

While we are waiting on the installation of our kitchen counters we decided to take advantage of this opportunity and make another area of our kitchen a little more functional.

Our spice storage.  Up until this point all of our spices (and we have a lot) have been stored in the pantry… or better know as the tall cabinet.

rug

One night when Michael Luke was channeling his inner OCD he suggested that we move all the spices to one of the drawers near the stove.  That would put the spices in easy reach while cooking, as well as free up valuable real estate in the pantry.

So we have been talking about doing it for a couple of months now… maybe it’s just me channeling my inner procrastination but it hasn’t gotten done.

Until this week.

kitchen

It’s nothing fancy or pin worthy but we now have easily accessible spices.  To start with I emptied the third drawer down.

rug

It had nothing major in it and we were able to easily relocate the few things that were neatly placed shoved in there.

kitchen

After clearing the drawer I moved all the spices in.

Nothing fancy or super organized because I know I won’t be able to keep them that way.  With this functional solution came one problem though. You couldn’t read most of the labels any more.  A problem like this certainly called for a trip to Jo-Ann for Noah and me!  I just love an excuse to roam the aisles looking for inspiration.

My goal for this project was to keep it super simple and inexpensive.  All I need is for my spice drawer to be functional not competing for the cover of Better Homes and Garden.  So I found a 1″ wide circle hole punch and headed home.

I used some scrap scrapbook paper to cut my circles and then applied Mod – Podge to the tops of the spice lids.

Once applied, I lay the circle on top and covered with another layer of Mod – Podge.

Next, I waited for them to dry and then wrote the name of the spice on top of each lid.  Nothing fancy here.  Martha Stewart is not gonna get jealous over this one.

kitchen

There is plenty of opportunity to dress this up or down as much as you want to though.  For instance, if you wanted something a little more put together I bet you could find some round Avery labels, design something cute with the spice name incorporated on it, and print them out.  Or just use some round dots that you might have left over from a yard sale.        They all get the job done in the end!

So there you have it… my easy peasy makeover of our spice storage.

How/where do you store your spices?  Do you transfer the spices to special jars for storage or just use the store bought ones?  Does it bother anyone else that all spice jars are not made the same?  Maybe someday I will upgrade my spice jars and get a little unity going on!

Oh, I may not make it back for tomorrow’s Family Friday but stay tuned for some big events happening here next week.  Tuesday I will be hosting my first giveaway and I will be revealing some exciting news!  Next Thursday kicks off the first of the Thankful Thursdays link-up parties here next month.  Join me as we prepare for Thanksgiving reflecting on what we are thankful for.

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Our “Sweet” Counters

It all started a couple of months ago when I put together this idea board for our kitchen makeover.

My Sunshine Kitchen

Back then I was swooning over some calcutta marble.  Even at that point I knew actual marble wouldn’t make cents sense for our little townhouse but I had my eye on Formica’s 180FX Calacatta Marble laminate counters.

 

The other week I brought you up to speed with pricing and product info and shared that we were leaning towards Formica’s 180 FX in Dolce Vita meaning “sweet life” in Italian.  That’s definitely the kind of life I want to be living in my kitchen.  Did someone say chocolate?

So how did I go from 180FX Calacatta Marble to 180 FX Dolce Vita?

I love the look of white marble countertops and really wanted to implement this into the redesign of our kitchen.  But the key to a great renovation is to integrate the new flawlessly with the old.  The old in our case being our floor tile.

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Dirty/ Off White tends to describe it best.  So when I put our pretty 180FX Calacatta Marble sample down on the floor this is what I got.

Ewww!  They definitely don’t work together.  I knew then that we would have to go darker. Oh, and for a little memory update we plan on painting the cabinets gray.

After our first failed attempt, I ordered samples, more samples, and finally more samples.

Next, we really liked the Soapstone Sequoia.

It worked perfectly with the existing tile and had a nice long linear look in the veining.  After leaving the laminate out on our counter for a few days though we decided this wasn’t the one for us.  Each laminate is made to resemble it’s stone counterpart in sheen and texture.  For soapstone this means a dull appearance and non-smooth surface.  We were afraid that it the counters would come across as unclean.  I do a bad enough job keeping the counters clean myself!

So we continued to test out samples and finally found one that we both liked, Dolce Vita.

(The guy on top.)

It has a smooth finish as well as the linear look that ML and I both liked in the soapstone.  By using a laminate/stone with linear lines it will elongate the look of our kitchen.  Which it needs.

Dolce Vita works with well our tile floors and black appliances.  I can’t wait to see what it will look installed.  Unfortunately, we are going to have to wait a few weeks on that part.  The guys came out to measure the existing counters last week but because 180FX is special order it will be a few weeks until the counters come in.  We should be enjoying them by Christmas though!  I bet red party platters with all kind of Christmas goodies will look great on them!

What about you?  Do you have a project that is stretching out for weeks on end?  Do you find yourself going through several finish selection before finding “the one”?  What do you hope to have accomplished by Christmas?

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