Tag Archives: DIY

3 Tips for Selecting Kitchen Cabinets

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your Pinterest feed pinning inspiration pictures that you like left and right?  Many of them don’t have anything in common but yes, that pic of gorgeous pendants is amazing…

and if you were designing your dream kitchen you would have to have a hidden dry erase board in it.

On Pinterest it’s fun to dream that you CAN HAVE IT ALL. Pinning and dreaming are free and your boards have all the space in the world to build your dreams.

But what happens when it’s time to take a good look at your Pinterest board actually make these dreams come to life? Within your budget, your square footage, and without looking like a hodgepodge of individual good ideas.  You may find yourself feeling much like how Esther does about selecting a theme for her sixth birthday party… overwhelmed.

Use these 3 Tips for Selecting Kitchen Cabinets to help avoid that feeling.

Think Long Term

Cabinetry and flooring are two of the harder and more expensive finishes to replace in a house.  So just like we did with our flooring we wanted to select a cabinet style and finish that wouldn’t date itself in five years or that might not be great for resale value.  So while I do love colorful kitchens like this one…

I plan to bright spots of color in barstools, flowers, and artwork like this kitchen.

But you know if yellow is your favorite color and it has been for twenty years and your pretty sure it will be for twenty mores years go ahead and use yellow cabinets.

For this reason I also stayed away from selecting gray cabinets.

I love them but grays have so many different undertones like red, blue, and green that i didn’t want to be restrained to using only accent colors that worked with the undertone of the gray.  I do however love gray cabinets and still think it looks beautiful in our townhouse kitchen.

Think Cohesively

One of the biggest things to keep in mind is making sure the style and color of your finish work with everything else you have selected for the kitchen.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted a white subway tile backsplash like in our townhouse kitchen.  It adds a clean and classic look to any kitchen and is also inexpensive. You may remember from one of our earlier posts that we are reusing the black granite counters that were in the kitchen.

These counters are really what the entire kitchen design revolves around.

So while I love the white on white on white look…

I needed to know how white cabinets and a white subway tile backsplash looked with black granite.

I liked what I saw. So now the decision remained… which type of cabinets to use.

Think Budget Wise

We have a set budget for the entire Whistle Haven project.  After working five years as an interior designer in healthcare design I learned a thing or two about making spaces look beautiful on a budget.  It’s easy to create a beautiful space with endless amounts of money but good design happens when you stick to and work within a budget AND create a beautiful space at the same time.  That’s been my goal with Whistle Haven.

So while we could afford to have custom cabinets made and installed I really felt like we would have missed out on some of the bells and whistles that I wanted in our kitchen. Like soft-closing cabinets, huge pull-out drawers, and under cabinet lighting.  Michael Luke and I are also a couple that loves tackling a good DIY project.  After reading several reviews on the quality of their modular cabinets and with the opening of their store here in Memphis in December we just couldn’t resist going with IKEA cabinets.

We chose the Bodbyn style in off-white… which really reads more as a white.  I’m absolutely in love with the detailing on the doors and look forward to seeing my kitchen surrounded by beautiful white cabinets.  IKEA offers so many options that there are virtually limitless ways you can customize your kitchen design to fit your lifestyle. If you haven’t ever visited an IKEA showroom before you are really missing out on all the fun of walking through living space after living space and testing out all the drawers and doors and finding neat storage solutions hidden within.

All the parts to our kitchen cabinets were delivered almost two weeks ago and are waiting on ML and me to tackle them once our flooring gets installed.  By choosing IKEA cabinets with their 25 year warranty… which we are really excited about, we are saving thousands of dollars vs. custom and semi-custom cabinets from other brands! Plus, I get all the bells and whistles I wanted with my cabinets.

I promise another post soon with all the details on how we designed on our IKEA kitchen and what the whole process looks like from the first sketches to cabinet delivery. In the meantime, what is your one board that you pin the most to?

For me it’s my crochet board.  I’m always looking for cute crochet patterns and stylish ways to incorporate crochet into my home design.


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Meet Whistle Haven

Meet Whistle Haven!

Whistle Haven joined our family earlier this week and has already captivated our hearts and dreams.  This charming Cape Cod style home was originally built in 1979 and sits nestled on a spacious piece of land right next to the train tracks. Now that you are probably questioning if you are reading the MLS description or an actual blog post lets dig into the what, when, and why of it all.

Whistle Haven is a foreclosure that had been on and off the market for around six months before we found her back in November.  Everything inside of her still boasts 1979 and could scare the average home buyer away but from the beginning we saw past her outdated finishes and into the bones of a beautiful house that was just waiting to become a home for our family.

Michael Luke and I have always dreamed of finding an older home and fixing it up.  We are prepared to tackle this house like Chip and Joanna Gaines… minus the filming crew and shiplap, with plans to gut and transform the entire first floor of the house.

Since Whistle Haven is a foreclosure she was priced a good bit under what we were open to spending on a house so that leaves us plenty of room in the budget to customize our dream house.  Which means I’m having to give some serious thought into what’s the best kitchen layout for our family, what flooring and cabinets do I want to live with (for a while), and how much demolition do I need to do myself before I finally get those six pack of abs.  Floor removal  is a for real workout!

Michael Luke and I had no real intentions of buying a house until we returned from China to bring Judah home.  That had been our plan all along ever since we first moved to the Memphis area almost two years ago.  Why?  When we moved to Memphis we had already begun the adoption process so we had to update our homestudy and this ended up setting us back about three months… or more.  The U.S. government has approved us to bring Judah home to his bedroom in this apartment.  To bring him home anywhere else requires a complete homestudy update and resubmitting everything to immigration.  Which is a big setback!

Whistle Haven is perfect though because it will take us around two to three months to get all the renovations completed.  During this time our apartment will remain our main dwelling space.  We also plan to travel to China during this time as well. Once we return we will spend a little while at the apartment and then FINALLY make the big move to our new house as a party of five!  I cannot wait.

In the meantime Michael Luke and I will be tackling some of the demo and installation ourselves in addition to bringing in professional contractors, plumbers, and electricians to help us get this job done. The past few days while we’ve been working on things I’ve had the best time dreaming of what it will be like with all five of us living there.  Wondering what secrets the girls will share with each other in their bedroom. Imagining Judah toddling around the house or our family gathering in the kitchen for family dinners while I cook. And picturing Emma chasing after countless squirrels. It’s going to be fun.

Ever since we were newly weds… nearly ten years ago, we would drive around and look at houses. My favorite ones were always the older ones with character.  Everyone’s dream or ideal house is different.. For some it’s a new home. For others a city apartment with a view.  For me its always been an older home with character and a yard for a garden and room to play in. Whistle Haven posses all that.  So why name our house Whistle Haven? A house is so much more than just a building and because of that it has always been my desire to have one with a name. I don’t feel like a house needs to look like Downton Abbey or the White House to earn a name.  Every home should be entitled to its own name.

My prayer for our house is for it to be a haven for our family but also our friends and guests that visit our home.  This life is crazy busy but we all need a place for rest. To refuel. To recharge. We all need a haven.  The “whistle” part of the name was easy. This house sits right beside one of the main tracks into Memphis so train whistles are no stranger to this house.  The girls are beyond excited to have a view of the train tracks from their bedroom window and I’m reminded of the joy of watching trains when i was little.  Not many people request hotel rooms next to the track… but we always did growing up because my sister and I loved watching the trains so much.

So tell me, what’s the name for your home? Or if you haven’t named it yet what would be the most fitting name for your home?


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DIY Facial Night Cream

When I first bought my Premium Starter Kit from Young Living Essential Oils one of the first things I did was make my own face cream.   You are gong to be surprised at how easy it is and how great it feels on  your face.  Like the recipe suggest below I used coconut oil and was amazed at how non-greasy it was on my oily face.  If coconut oil isn’t your thing you may try almond, grapeseed oil, or jojoba. 

DIY Facial Night Cream

Facial Night Cream

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons Shea butter
  • 2-3 drops Tea Tree (also known as melaleuca alternifolia) Essential Oil (EO) – $0.09 a drop for members (Lavender can be substituted in place of Tea Tree)
  • 6 drops Frankincense – $0.25 a drop for members.

Mix together and store in container.  Coconut oil is known for it’s moisturizing properties.  Coconut oil also helps to delay the occurrence of wrinkles because it contains antioxidant Vitamin E, known to protect skin cells from damage over time.  Shea butter contains vitamins A & E and is also known for it’s moisturizing properties.

Tea Tree oil is an essential oil that supports healthy skin.  Tea Tree oils may help with the occasional blemishes and skin irritations.   Frankincense may help smooth the appearance of health looking skin.  Combining these two with coconut oil and Shea butter make for an amazing treat for you face at the end of the day.

After you experience the benefits of using this cream you may find yourself research other uses for Tea Tree and Frankincense EO.  I know this was just the beginning in using these two oils for my family. Have you made your own face cream using Young Living Essential Oils before?


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