Monday, September 29, 2008

Bookcase solution

I have been struggling with magazine storage , I need a lot of it , as this is a wonderful resource for decorating , I need to keep these magazines, but they are over flowing , I have no where for a bookcase , my space and cost saving solution was to move my linen covered bench to this nook by the stairs where we really love it , I was lucky to easily find these black baskets that fit the bill, these two floor cushions were a mere $4.00 each can you believe that , a comfy spot for kids or the dogs . The baskets were $10.00 , the shopping gods were on my side today .

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lighting spectacular

I am on the hunt for the perfect dining room fixture, I have looked at a few hundred fixtures and have not found just the right one .I want to elevate the feel of my dining room a tad bit more formal it feels a little flat right now to me with the candle fixture in there right now . I bring you a lighting spectacular. Enjoy the room candy.

I love this one as the light is vintage and the shade is hand wrapped with cream ribbon.

I adore this blue drop look . Very shabby chic.
I really enjoy this ship fixture , it is over $700.00
This white beaded one is perfection.

This one is Home Depot a very nice copy .

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pine flooring

Not too many modern day house have pine flooring , however this was used for hundreds of years , it is a charming feature in century old homes ,they were often used on the upper floors , modern wood floors have turned into a very pricey option from $2.50 sq ft to $10.00 s ft plus installation, it is an investment. We no longer cover up wood floors we install them where ever we can , they are beautiful who can doubt that ? I have wood floors throughout my main floor however the upstairs was all carpeting , which I did not like and still do not like and will change out as I get around to it . I decided to think outside the box for my landing , so I installed pine flooring . A very affordable option , if you like a rustic floor which I do .
This is before I finished it with a dark stain , looks very pretty , but I prefer the dark wood .

Here is the before , you can see why I needed to change it , it looks pink although it was oatmeal , and most of the time it does look beigeish for the most part , it was a happy day when I ripped it up .You can also see how tiny the casings were which I replaced with a 5 inch baseboard.
Just in case you are not familiar with my or my work , I do this work for myself , and I love to do it .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pottery Barn style room

I have tried to maximize storage and space in this bedroom , there is plenty of space for sleepovers with friends , lots of shelving for books and display , because girls have a lot of stuff.
This bunk bed was a fraction of a PB bed that I have had my eye on , this shows when you just spend some time looking you can find things for less , much less , for instance this bed which is solid wood was $300.00 the PB version was $1300.00.You just have to know where to look , and I do , I am always sourcing and finding hidden gems and out of the way places, at times it means doing some work like painting , but it saves so much money for other projects .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The family room completed

The family room , the place for family gatherings , movie watching , or catching up on emails , this really is a family room , not a room for the ugly stuff the old sofa and college furniture , and shelves full of dvd's , no no , things like that have no place here , you can have comfort without chaos, the dogs make a mess on on the sofas , kids eat here , thankful for slip covers and wood floors , much easier to live when both of those materials are utilized.
Use side tables with storage for concealing dvd's , trunks for toys and blankets , there is such a peace when all of the clutter disappears at the end of the day when you have earned some time to relax .

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kitchen before and after

I think these photos speak for themselves , a lot has changes and now I have my dream kitchen .I suppose I should elaborate on the changes here . The cupboards are standard builder oak cabinets , I don't like wood toned cabinets , I love white and painted cupboards , I could have opted for white plastic but that would not be something I could be happy with , why couldn't I paint the wood well I could and I have many many times, it takes well to paint and wears quite fine , it may need to be touched up at times but not often, every few years or so . Adding a backsplash is a must , whether it is tile or glass or beadboard or those great tin ceiling tiles it is much easier to clean than painted wall, the nice surprise I got was the added reflection that my subway tile added , & texture, and it cleans so well, I wanted to do blue glass tile but I went with the classic white subway , which never goes out of style , I also love the tiny version of the subway , very appealing. I designed and built an island in place of the table, this is a great option for a family on the go and for homes with young children as meals tend to be very casual, like at my house , for family times we have a dining room and there is always eating out , which I love , no cooking and no dishes. The island has doubled the storage , it is my pantry , as I don't have one nor do I have room for one , now I don't need one. We only used one trade here that was an electrician , they moved the junction box and added one so that I could have these school house lights I have always wanted , I believe it is important to always find affordable options before over spending , for instance the lights , I could have easily spent $150.00 for each fixture , yet I found them for $50.00 each , it can be done , I am always on the look out for a great deal , that way there is money left to get the full job done whether all at once or a little at a time. These are both options working with me , we can start with a design plan and get it done in a timely manner or take our time and work at it as the budget allows.
Hope you enjoyed my kitchen transformation.

Before back in 2003.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The cost of a beautiful custom kitchen

What does it cost for a wonderful dream kitchen , a kitchen that has personality function and style . I once heard Oprah refer to a $100,000.00 kitchen budget as being reasonable , to whom is that reasonable , not to me , and trust me not necessary . Take this kitchen , it is wonderful , but is it costly ?, well the cabinets are as they are frame style , this is more challenging to make for the cabinet maker , most cabinets out there are frame less , which is fine I assure you , as long as your doors are a good design and material. The splurges here are the cabinets and the sink as well as the appliances , however the wood counters will save you money and they are so gorgeous a great alternative to stone , Ikea sells butcher block which is a fantastic choice. The open shelving is much less expensive than cabinets and gives so much style to this kitchen a opportunity for display. The bead board back splash is a very cost effective finish not to mention a wonderful detail to add to a kitchen , trust me easier to install and would save you hundreds over tile .
This second kitchen is perfection , your may be beautiful with just a little bit of work , those are standard cupboards , painted white , easy , new dark metal handles update what was there , which was most likely awful. The marble counters were the splurge here and why not the rest of the improvements were very affordable, like open shelving again very affordable. A fresh white palette and new appliances , and you have one of the nicest kitchens out there. Now this could have easy been a gut job , which could have cost $40-50 thousand , where as it was most likely under $6000. including top line appliances and marble , now that is a lot of savings and I am all about making the most of the money being spent.
This kitchen is wonderful and charming , we should take a few simple ideas from this kitchen , consider painting the lower cabinets a soft tone , the uppers white, adding some glass doors , a spectacular back splash and stainless appliances , not need to purchase a stove of this caliber mind you this is a $7000 stove , you can get this look for much less.that being said I would much rather spend money on a fabulous stove and making the most of the cabinets you have by painting them or removing some or simply replacing ugly doors with nice ones than doing a gut job and skimping on new appliances. Add a wonderful playful light and this kitchen sings ,enjoy me !
This kitchen using classic black and white linoleum tiles , very cost efficient . Open shelving again , white paint , good counter and sink are the only splurge here .

So I hope you can see that having a dream kitchen does not require a big loan , if you have good solid cabinets , frame less wood doors , or better , no synthetic cabinets allowed nor the seventies oddly carved doors with center pulls , they will need to go ,keep in mind that not all reno's need to be expensive nor time consuming I assure you I can do it for much less .
Where I would spend money , would be on nice appliances , most likely upgrading the counters , making sure the backsplash is stunning , it should be a feature , not bathroom tiles , always take the time to find good lighting , and great hardware which does not need to be costly .
Your dream kitchen may be closer that you think .
I love to say why move , just improve , it is not as hard as you may think to get the home you want , you just need the right help.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A run down

For the dining room I painted the harvest table and chairs two shades of cream they were 80's honey pine , I added a candelabra instead of electric fixture , recovered the chairs and added nail heads for style, I also added wall sconces to add ambient light for dinners , to start off I added recessed panelling to the walls painted white to give the house an older more character home feel as opposed to brand new suburban house feel.

Here I added mouldings to the staircase and painted white and black , as well as I added a berber runner. I painted this table blue and distressed it , and recently painted the wicker chair that was yellow this crisp black .
To the floating shelf I added old salvaged brackets I found at an antique market and cleaned up with a fresh coat of paint and added a pair of mirrors to reflect light and fill the enormous space of this double height room , it is one of the family's favourite spots to hang out , and floods with light in the afternoon.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Texture to the ceiling

So much time is spent on mouldings for walls and casings as well as baseboard , well spent time , it all adds the proper amount of style and character if you get the mouldings right, it make a huge difference, imagine your room empty , it should be beautiful without anything in it ,those are the bones, if you think of your home in this way you realize that a beautiful home is about the layers and the details, so look up , is your ceiling a forgotten surface well usually it is, some people paint it , an accent colour, I do not suscribe to this theory , mine here was popcorn as they call it , I removed it and installed this beadboard ceiling painted it a fresh glossy white called of all things funny "popped corn" and it is a welcome addition to add more style to this room , the bones of this room are completed , moving on of course to other rooms now.

"your home should be your haven, a place of refuge that speaks to who you are "