Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fall Decorating

The St. Louis summer heat has finally subsided and fall is in the air! I tend to want to curl up on the couch with a book, blanket and a scented candle around this time of year! I was inspired by Arhaus to share some quick tips on how you can make your home feel cozy during these cooler months.


Everyone first thinks of orange as the go-to fall color. However, I tend to lean toward neutrals and muted colors. Olive green, plum, golden yellow and warm metals are some favorites as well.
Maeve 99" Upholstered Tufted Sofa in Como Olive:
James Floor Lamp | Arhaus Furniture:


As the weather gets colder, we tend to add on layers:  a blazer, scarf, etc. The same goes for your home. Drape a chunky throw over your sofa and keep a few extra in a textural basket nearby. Another idea is to layer a plush shag rug over a jute/sisal rug for a soft feeling underfoot.
Luxe Ivory Faux Fur Throw | Arhaus Furniture:
Sheepskin Small Wool Throw In Linen | Arhaus Furniture:

Now is the time to introduce some heavier textiles into your space.  Velvets, cable knits, faux fur and hide all add interest and warmth.
Tapete Plum Chloe Velvet Rectangle Pillow | Arhaus Furniture:
Grey Hair on Hide 19" Square Pillow With Suede Back | Arhaus Furniture:


Simply placing a deer shed atop a stack of books, displaying a dish of mini gourds or acorns and sticking some freshly cut ginkgo stems in a vase can go a long way.
Genuine Elk Antler | Arhaus Furniture:
Birch Tree 3" X 4" Pillar Candle | Arhaus Furniture:


What is your favorite way to incorporate the fall season into your home? Do you prefer a subtle look or do you embrace the season with full force?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Palms Kitchen Reno - The Island

Hello!  Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend.

Justin and I worked on the kitchen and painting the living room, hall, and foyer this weekend.  If you follow me on Snapchat, you've seen some sneak peeks! 

Today is a short post but I wanted to talk a little bit about our island!  I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I'm going to have seating on both opposing sides of the island.  I was a little nervous about this decision because it isn't very common.  When I looked through inspiration photos I could never really find anything that showed this type of layout.  You typically see seating in an adjacent configuration like so:
Source Unknown
Or you see seating at the end of an island:


I finally found a couple of images that made me feel confident about the layout decision.  

I love this kitchen:  

And then this is a house I found that J.Lo is considering purchasing.  (If J.Lo likes it then it must be good, right?!)

Now the question is, posts or no posts?  I know some of you weighed in on Instagram a few weeks ago when I posed the question (thank you for your feedback!)  I'm still undecided.  We get our counters installed on Friday and then I will be able to see how it looks without the posts.  If I REALLY feel like I need posts, I will find a way to get them in afterward. 

So what do you think?  Posts or no posts?

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Palms Kitchen Reno - The Demo & the Details

Tuesday marked 1 month since we started the kitchen demolition!  Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see how the space started out and how the demo phase went!

And now the DEMO:

Where the fridge will go.

Unfortunately that plumbing has to stay :(

Goodbye wall!

And then the ceiling fell.  This is nothing new to us because it almost happened in our living room, too.  During that fiasco we were able to screw it back up and save it, but this time around we were not as lucky.  Back when our house was built in the 70s, they used 1" NAILS to hang our ceiling... so frustrating and dangerous!  At least only half of it fell?!

Now with the drywall and lighting roughed in:

I’m happy to say that we now have our cabinets installed (still working on putting the drawers together), our appliances will be delivered TODAY, and on Friday we get measured for our quartz counters!  A busy week.  I will continue to share on these details in the coming weeks.

While I did share details of our kitchen cabinetry last week, I have yet to discuss the other details (you know, the good stuff!)  Here is a look at my inspiration board:

The counters will be a light quartz that mimics the beautiful veining of Carrera marble.  The veining on my slab is very faint, which is exactly what I was going for… I didn’t want it to look too busy.  It was hard to get a great photo of it, but here is a sneak peek:

For the backsplash tile, I wanted to keep it classic:  white beveled subway tile with white grout.  I will most likely do a traditional offset pattern, but I have also toyed with the idea of having the bottom row placed vertically, with the rest in an offset pattern like so:


What are your thoughts?  I’m open to ideas.

I plan on warming up the space with bamboo roman shades, the wood open shelving, brass lighting, laminate flooring, and a couple blue Persian rugs (still on the hunt for the perfect ones).  I have also pondered the idea of backing my glass front cabinets with grass cloth.  Still not sure!  I’m going to see how it looks this weekend.

To help alleviate some of the costs for this renovation, I started purchasing certain items last fall so I wouldn’t have to spend such a huge chunk of money all at once.  The pendants, wall sconce, sink faucet, and bar stools (had to buy 2 extra recently now that I have seating for 6) have been patiently waiting in my basement for several months now.  One was a Black Friday purchase, one a Christmas present and I had good coupons to use for the others!  I would only recommend this if you are DEAD set on your overall vision and have the details already planned out.  Otherwise you would end up with a bunch of items you cannot return!  As I stated in a previous post, we are keeping our current hardware, so that also helps a lot to save money (even though I did have to buy more pulls).

Next week I’ll share some updates on the cabinet install and give more details on my selections.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Palms Kitchen Reno - The Layout

Welcome back! 

If you missed my post last week, I talked about how we are doing a full renovation on our kitchen!  You can catch up here.  I’m so glad we are wiping the slate clean and starting our new kitchen from scratch. 

I’ve been a big fan of the Ikea Kitchen Sektion line ever since it debuted last year.  The line is a universal interior base with several styles of doors and cover panels.  Read more about it here.  I love the interior organization, soft close drawers, and the drawer-within-drawer options.  If you haven’t seen them in person, I recommend seeing a display.  I fell hard for the look of the Laxarby cabinet fronts.  I love how simple and traditional they are but have a beveled edge for added interest.  The color is black-brown (mostly black) which I loved for my lower cabinets to create a warm feeling and to better hide potential food stains and day-to-day use.  The problem I ran into was I didn’t want my upper cabinets to be dark.  I thought it would be too overwhelming and darken the space overall.  Laxarby is not available in white in the United States!  So I’m switching it up… I chose the Bodbyn style for my upper cabinets in creamy off-white.  I liked their glass-door option best and thought the beveled details would complement the Laxarby style.  So there you have it… I’m doing a “tuxedo-style” or “two-tone” kitchen.  Best of both worlds!

I did get bids from a couple other cabinet vendors but the price didn’t compare, the color options for dark cabinetry weren’t great, and in order to achieve the same level of organization, I would’ve had to spend much more money and purchase all of the extra organizers myself from another vendor.  So Ikea it is!

Last fall, I started designing layouts for our future kitchen with the hope that Ikea would have a spring sale and I would be ready to order.  However, I could never quite get everything to fit just right. {{I literally have 13 designs saved in my Ikea Kitchen Planner file.  THIRTEEN!  I know I’m crazy. (3 are not shown in the photo below)}}

I felt defeated and gave up on the idea and until this spring, with about two weeks before the sale ended (better late than never, right?) I decided I had to make it work!  My “ah-ha” moment finally happened when I decided to include an island rather than a peninsula.  I was so convinced that I would lose seating by having an island that I had never even bothered trying to layout the design in that way.  It ended up saving so much floor space in the living room footprint and it allowed us to have seating for 6 (when my goal was 4).  The other great advantages of this design are that I can have a full-size refrigerator, full-size pantry and full-size sink!  WOOO!  In every other design I created, I would’ve had to give up one of those items.  Win!  Win!  Win! 
Here is a look at my final design layout (pardon the crappy graphics):

There are some missing elements in these designs so you’ll have to use your imagination.  I am adding a light quartz counter and keeping my existing chrome hardware.  Three major elements will remain in the same locations as the previous layout:  the range, sink and dishwasher.  Everything else is different. 

I wanted to take advantage of my old pantry location.  I thought it would be great to open it up and recess the refrigerator into that area.  This allows us to have a full size refrigerator (coming soon) without it sticking out into the room, as most do.  To the right of the refrigerator I added two shallow base cabinets with drawers that will serve as our coffee bar area.  We plan to put some rustic wood shelves above the area to hold coffee mugs and d├ęcor.  I think it will be my favorite area!

The island is going to be pretty massive.  On each end we will have large drawer-base cabinets.  The counter will overhang 12” on each long end.  This allows us to have seating for 3 per side.  There will be 2-18” door cabinets in the center of each seating side.  I plan to store items that won’t be used on a daily basis in those little guys.  Since the counter-top will overhang on each side (I have yet to see an example of this… makes me nervous), I want to add posts to achieve a more balanced look.

We plan to build a custom range hood above the range (more on that later).  Above the range we will have glass cabinetry that will house our dishes and pretty things!  The not-so-pretty things will be hidden in pretty baskets/storage containers!  The glass cabinets allow us to have storage without the kitchen feeling so top heavy.  In the corner we will have a pull-out base cabinet to store all of our pots and pans.  We will eventually upgrade our range, but for now it stays!

To the right of the sink, I will have a full-size pantry cabinet and a brand-new Bosch dishwasher (coming soon)!  To the left of the sink will be the waste cabinet with room for trash and recycling.  The upper cabinets on this wall will not have glass fronts, so I can store all of our ugly things there!  I’m so excited to have a bigger, deeper sink base and an arched pull-down faucet.

For the wet bar, we are sticking with the “tuxedo-style” with dark lowers and white uppers.  We are removing the sink so it is technically a dry bar now.  We are adding glass-cabinet uppers to store our glassware.  We are also addressing the lighting situation in this area.

We placed our order on Saturday, April 16th and paid the extra fee to have them pull everything for you and for delivery (totally worth it).  We received all of our cabinets Monday, April 18th (talk about fast) with the exception of a couple minor items that were out of stock.

I forgot to take a picture of our house after delivery (bad blogger) but HOLY CABINETS!  They are literally scattered in almost every room of our home.

Next week I’ll talk about the other design elements of these spaces. 

Have a great week!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Palms Kitchen Reno!

It's happening!!!  Our kitchen renovation is officially underway and we couldn’t be more thrilled!  All cabinets and flooring have been removed.  The wall between the kitchen and living room has been torn down along with the soffits, so we have a big open space now!  We have been working non-stop on this project.  I’ve been wanting to remodel this space since the moment we bought the house, so to finally be manifesting that dream is beyond exciting for me! 

Here are my main issues with the old layout:
  • The wall between the kitchen and living room really closed in the space.

  • The soffits stuck out at least a foot past the upper cabinetry which also closed in the space.  This is probably my main issue with the old kitchen.  I hated them with a passion.  (Taking a hammer to them made me a VERY happy lady!)

  • The laminate flooring had seen better days and did not resemble real wood at all.  (Laminate has come a long way since these floors were installed.)  Oh and whoever installed it wasn’t the best at cutting around door jambs.

  • The cabinets were not the best functioning.  While I did like the door fronts, the interiors of the cabinets were not the most convenient.

    • The multiple blind corner cabinets were basically unusable.

    • It was difficult to reach dishes in the back of the lower cabinets.
    • All the wasted space made it hard to organize our dishes and storage containers (just think stacks upon stacks upon stacks of items).
Here's an example of our utensil drawer:
hot mess.

    • The lower white cabinets showed stains easily and were difficult to clean.

    • There was no great location for our microwave so we resorted to using a cart across the doorway that was an obstacle to move around.

    • The kitchen table also seemed to be an obstacle to move around.

    • The pantry had a lot of blind corners where food items were unseen and forgotten.
    • THE SINK.  Ugh!  Very shallow sink base + leaky low profile faucet = good luck fitting anything medium/big in the sink.
  • Our 70s wet bar needed an update. 

    • First off, the sink plumbing was never properly hooked up, so if you wanted to use the faucet, you’d end up with a puddle of water in the basement! 

    • It was also very dark and in need of better lighting. 

    • No upper shelving or cabinets.  We need more storage for our glassware!

Here’s a look at our old layout on our move-in day:

 We painted the walls a mint color and added open shelving and here is how it looked for a while:

Microwave cart made it hard to access the pantry.

Over the years, I changed out the hardware and added a few touches here and there:
Bright Shot Photography
Bright Shot Photography
Bright Shot Photography // Do you see the crazy soffits??! So bad.

The kitchen looks NOTHING like that today!

Now let's check out the wet bar on move-in day:

We painted the cabinets white and changed out the hardware:

Here is a more recent photo of it:
It will be so nice to have upper cabinetry for more storage!

Check back next week to read about the new plan, progress photos and some hiccups we've had along the way.  I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been up to!