Saturday, February 26, 2011

On my way to a dream kitchen

We have been 6 years in this house and my kitchen has gone through about 4 transitions on the journey in search of my dream kitchen. When we moved in it had beige walls and a blue check wallpaper with an apple border. Can I say W.O.W.? Nothing wrong with it if you like NOT.

So, transition #1was yellow ragged walls with a stenciled grapevine and purple accent wall. Huge improvement I must say, at least as far as 2005 was concerned. I will say I did a cool textured diamond as a backsplash with a cluster of grapes in the middle. All done with paint.

Transition #2 I changed the purple accent wall to a burgundy and updated the wall art. Added the 'fake' tin backsplash which was a BIG improvement and got an over the stove micro.

Transition #3 I painted the yellow walls a cinnamon red with a cappucino colored accent that tied in my office connected to the back. Got rid of the grapes. I liked the colors real well but still had these country oak cabinets that I was so tired of with a very beige laminate countertop.

Cinnamon red color in Trans #4

Oak cabinets with awful trim.

I was real determined to get rid of the countertop. I HATED it! seriously. My dilemma? I didn't really want to spend $4grand on a granite countertop (which is my ultimate dream kitchen) to install over cupboards I hated. Seriously. I have been reading and reading all you bloggers who have diligently painted your cabinets and E V E R Y one has turned out beautiful but I was skeeeeeered. Did I say I was scared? Not only of the work but of the upkeep. Because no matter how much you sand and prime and TSP, painted cupboards still require frequent touchups.

Cabinets being painted with grey primer.
 So, transition #4 begins. I put on my work clothes and dove in. Tore off the nasty old trim and bought new trim. Dug through the wastebasket and pulled out nasty old trim and reinstalled the pieces that mounted on the sides. WHY you ask? Because I wanted to run some crown moulding type trim around the top but, if you look at the picture, the edge on the side stuck out further than the side panel. So, it wasn't EVEN! argh. Reinstalled the trim to the sides to make it an even surface then bought the new trim and brought it home, uber excited to start cutting. Only to discover it didn't fit. You know, that is really what I get. My dear hubby is always telling me to measure first but really it takes so m u c h time. I like to rely on the good ole 'eye ball' technique. You ever heard of that? It is easy but, alas a bit unreliable. So, back to Menards I go to buy another trim that will fit this time. After much blood, sweat, and tears to cut and install the trim (have you ever tried to twist into a pretzel and install trim sideways? It is not easy I tell you) and a humble plea for help to my husband, it is installed.

Step #2, installed wainscotting wallpaper to the side of the cupboards which was an oak veneer.

Stay tuned for part two on my way to a dream kitchen.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Taking a closer look...

Lately there has been a LOT of snow in Michigan which results in more time spent inside the house. This is when I take stock of what I would like to do in this coming year as well as cleaning, organizing, fixing and repairing.

As I was touching up knicks on my dining room table (which, by the way is not very old but sure requires a lot of 'touch ups') I was struck by the thought of how, from a distance my table looks beautiful. But when you get up close you see knicks in the wood, or a scratch here, and blemish there which means frequently required 'maintenance' to keep it looking nice. But, alas even though I touch it up and fix it up to try to keep it

looking new, it really just looks 'aged.' Now, mind you, 'aged' is not a bad look and certainly as I get older, I am looking a bit more 'aged' than I would like. But really being 'aged' is a sign of life well live or, in the case of furniture, a room well used. And isn't that what it is all about?

It is so easy to allow people to only see us from a distance and not get up close where the blemishes are visible. And, as we 'age' we have more and more fixed blemishes but, just like vintage furniture, fixed blemishes are a sign of a a wealth of wisdom gained along the way as we we travel this path of life.