We love being outdoors and enjoying our yard, but when we moved into our current home we gave it up. Apparently, in 1950 when our home was built, the owners didn't have a love for the outdoors. There is no patio or place to read in a morning breeze or enjoy a cocktail while listening to crickets. Patio plans became a must-do project!
We began this project by replacing the back door (which was actually a front door?), removing the old decking steps and building a more inviting set of steps that will allow access to both the sidewalk and also the new patio.
We decided to make the patio using flagstone and gravel, keeping it more organic feeling and less formal than stamped concrete. Our driveway area has old stacked stone walls, so a stone patio would also keep it feeling like it could have been original to the home.
Next step, layout a design and shape for the patio area as well as the landscape area that will surround it and add some privacy.
Now comes the back breaking part!
Working over two more weekends we kicked butt (and in 95 degree temps!). This involved adding 5 yards of soil, spreading and leveling 3 ton of crushed limestone as a base, 2 ton of sand for leveling stone, 2 ton of flagstone and 35 bags of pea gravel. Did I mention a whole bottle of ibuprofen and a tub of Icy Hot?
Next and final step was the landscape layout, and after another couple of weeks it was finished and we were celebrating!
Sunday breakfast, evening fires, drinks with friends.... have enjoyed each one over the last month and can't wait to enjoy it every summer - minus the work!
Small cost + a little time and muscle = fresh updated look! We went from a space that was sad and depressing to a bright and cheery kitchen that I now enjoy being in.
Our small 1950 kitchen when we moved in last year... tired cabinets, beige tile and sparkly beige laminate. We chose to take on some other more necessary remodel projects for the first few years, and since the kitchen is basically in good shape that remodel will be last. It will be a total gut job eventually, but not for at least 4 or 5 years. In the meantime I need to at least want to be in there!
Quite honestly, I was cooking less and just didn't like to be in there, so it was a no-brainer to at least do some easy low cost updates to make it a space to enjoy. The first step was the counter top update last spring. You can read the blog post about that process here.
I purchased this tile paint product online and although it was super smelly (open the windows!), it only took two coats to make the beige tile and grout bright white!
Next was new hardware. Cup pulls for the drawers, for a little cottage/industrial feel. Knobs for the cabinets doors meant filling in the current handle screw holes with wood filler. That process took all of 5 minutes to fill them in, and an hour later sanded them smooth. So easy!
The final change that made the biggest update bang for our buck was the cabinet doors! I removed the flat panel doors, then measured and marked for the opening that was going to be cut out. I did add a small piece of trim inside the opening edge for a more finished look, and then used clear silicone to attach the glass before reinstalling the doors. The cost here was less than $10 a door! Lastly, all the cabinets got a fresh coat of paint.
It's finally a cheerful place to grab a glass of wine and do some cooking! Not depressing at all, and for a very minimal cost. The most expensive part of the process was the countertop product, but that being said, the entire process ~ paint, countertops, hardware, and glass was only around $400. Even with the lack of counter space, and doors that won't quite close, this will last me for quite some time!
We can all instill personality, add warmth and create a space that speaks to us. With so many design styles out there, one of them - or several combined, probably speak to you. Lucky for us the trends for next year are mostly this years styles just kicked up a notch.
Farmhouse? Modern? Industrial? Cottage? Glam? I love them all! I love them mixed. My favorite right now is starting with a little cozy farmhouse style then adding some industrial into the mix. It's a great juxtaposition of hard and soft. The same goes for a modern style, softened with some vintage chic. Hard and soft. Those are actually textures, and texture is one of the top trends heading into 2016.
Textures are so easy to add in your home. For fall, maybe add some cozy knitted or faux fur pillows. You could bring in some warm wood accent pieces. A reclaimed wood table or salvaged architectural wall accent. Another great texture is chippy painted furniture. And wallpaper is back! Another way to add texture to a room is with one wall in a pretty printed paper.
Metallic. It's been here for a few years but the look is changing away from stainless and towards warm copper and gold. Lucky for me I love the coppery look of rusted metal, and always have lots of it in the store! If it's not your thing but you want to try it, just use it in a few accent pieces. Go small with a pretty gold or copper bowl on the coffee table or maybe some metallic frames.
I had a tough time finding "on trend" metallic around my house, and what I do have is stainless or nickel.... or just rust. But my little copper bowl and bronze drawer pulls hit the mark.
The hot look lists go on.... cowhide, richer colors, statement lighting, more indigo blue. The reality is we all have favorite pieces that we will use no matter what the trends say, but it's easy to keep even our old pieces looking fresh with the right touches added here or there. It's all good.
Ta-Daaa! It took long enough, am I right? Seeing these photos, the before & after, I can't get over how much larger the room appears. If you missed Part 1 - the demolition and process, you may enjoy a look back.
I would love to share some of the details of the final product. We wanted to give a nod to the original period of the home, built in 1950, and so we went with chrome fixtures, white wood/trim and subway tile. However we did those things with a modern twist. For example we used a 16"x4" subway tile, and added the arabesque tile at the top. The granite top on the vanity also gave a more updated look to a vintage style.
You may remember we decided to eliminate the tub and install an over sized walk in shower with a bench and rain head fixture.
We saved space for a cupboard and spent months trying to find an affordable vintage metal medical cabinet or apothecary cabinet. Affordable was not going to happen, as these are very hot trends right now. We did manage to find a wooden kitchen cupboard, complete with built in cutting board. A little paint work, cutting out the door centers to add glass, and adding vintage porcelain wheels all managed to give us the look we wanted,
at a fraction of the price.
My favorite project piece in the room is by far the wall light I made for above the vanity.. When we decided to do this project this was the first thing I saw in my head. I had pieces of the tin in storage and just had to figure out how to make it work. After mounting the tin to a wood
back, routing it out for wiring and adding the industrial style
sconces, I held my breath as Chris connected it to the wiring in
the wall. Thank God it worked because we love it!
One other large piece of the puzzle was the bead board ceiling. It served two
purposes: another bit of vintage style, and also helped us blend the old ceiling with the area where we took out a wall and had no ceiling.
It felt good to finally add some little decorative touches to the room
once we were finished. A glass vintage towel bar that had no brackets worked perfectly with some doorplates, and I was happy to find the perfect sized little chrome laundry hamper to fit at the end of the vanity. Those little things that are forgotten until the end make it finally complete.
I'm home for the weekend and co-opting the blog to help describe the windows mom and I worked on. While many of you love the final product, it takes a special sort of person to look at rusty bits of metal or unfinished wood and see what kind of treasure they'll turn into.
For this month's windows, my goal was to give a sneak preview of what mom might see in a pile of junk behind someone's barn. The smell of manure fades away (but the actual thing stays on her boots), weeds growing up through the pile disappear, and her eyes see into the future* of that perforated tin and sun-bleached barn siding.
Ok, so -- that might not all come through in a single window display, but it was a fun project!
*I'm partially convinced she can actually see the future.
Who Am I?
I've tried it all...hair stylist/faux painter/stay at home mom/jewelry artist/late in life college student/retail shop owner/design consultant/home stager. Through it all I've loved doing home renovations, DIY and thrifting.