Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kitchen Inspiration Board

     I've been working on this for a while.  I would say that I absolutely know my kitchen style in theory.  In practice, however, I'm struggling.  Here's the thing:  I like a warm white kitchen, white subway tile and white shaker cabinetry.  Sounds pretty good, right?

   It also sounds like every other kitchen you see in blogs, magazines and on pinterest.  I have dozens of them pinned on my kitchen board.

  It's hard for me to reconcile the idea that these are the finishes I like and the idea that my kitchen would look the same as everyone else's.  Do you ever feel this way?  I love the inspiration I find in the blog world but I feel like there is a lot of repetition.  And I want my kitchen to be unique.

Below is my inspiration board so far.  I still need to decide on a few things.  Hardware needs to be chosen, possibly a fabric for the window to help add some personality to the space.

     I've been trying to come up with a couple of ways to make the kitchen feel more unique.  These ideas are at the bottom of the mood board I made for the project.  

1. Antique Corbels:  I was going to use these in Audrey's room but the scale wasn't right for the project we were thinking of.  Instead, we are planning to use them as decorative supports for the peninsula.

2. Tongue & Groove Ceiling:  To be painted out in white dove, like the cabinetry.  Adds a custom element.

3. Antique Bronze Shelving:  This is something Jay came up with.  He would like to hang the open shelving using antique bronze tubing like this. Our shelves will be thick and painted white.  This image is from The Brick House.  (I am still unsure if this is the route we will go.  Initially we planned to use simple thick white shelving with brackets and I go back and forth a bit)

4. Concrete Countertops:  Right now, we can't afford the marble I would really like to put in.  It's just not possible with our budget.  I was resigning myself to the idea of using a simple black laminate but then I saw this DIY tutorial and I'm thinking about trying it.

I'd love to hear what you think about the finishes we've chosen, and your ideas for injecting some personality into the space.

xo Meg

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stanley Cup Decor

     For those of you who are newer to my blog, you might not know that I'm a hockey girl.  I love the sport.  My boy plays and I'm a total hockey mom, banging on the glass and cheering.  For that reason, I'm bringin' back last year's Stanley Cup Decor series.  You can go here to check out my post about Vancouver and Boston.

  This year, the Cup finalists are two teams I'm not especially into.  But I can build a room around anything!

We'll start with the New Jersey Devils. Red, black and white for the Eastern Conference Champs.  Red is a bold and classic colour.  I don't typically use red much in my personal decorating.

Elliott's room

Elliott requested a dark red as an accent when we were designing his room so there's a bit in there but I don't think there's red anywhere else in my house.  Once I had a red dining room.  But I tired of it quickly.  Maybe because the walls were red instead of just using it as an accent colour, like in these rooms:

If I was going to a game, and cheering for the devils, I'd probably wear something like this:

If you're interested in my Stanley Cup Decor pinboard, go here to check it out.  

xo Meg

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Random Few Things

Get ready for the random...
I'm so coveting this wishbone keychain:


I have a pretty serious love for wishbone things, since my favorite Aunt gave me tiny gold wishbone earrings for being the flower girl in her wedding in 1985.  

Also, I am tired of dressing like a frumpy Mom when I'm not in work wear.  I've been feeling a little less than stylish lately so I'm gonna try out a new look.  And maybe get a haircut - I always wait too long between haircuts since I've never coloured my hair.  I like this ensemble for summer:

I'm digging the casual, relaxed vibe for the weekend.

I love a cross-body bag.  It's my go to but I don't have one that looks like this.

I've been stacking up my bracelets lately.
And wearing more jewelry in general.
Love this bracelet.

You can find all the links for these items on my style board.

I told you it was random.

But I'm feeling a little random right now.

We have been working hard around here though.  We spent the entire long weekend outside working on the back garden.  Have any of you ever dealt with 'gout weed'?  Well, lets just say that we dug and pulled, and dug and pulled but I don't think we've won the battle.  The gardens are looking so much better now! I promise to post photos of that soon.

xo Meg

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Beach Cottage Beauty

Today, my home is covered in a thick layer of construction dust.  There's kitchen crap everywhere, since there isn't really anyplace to put anything.  And nobody made their bed this morning.

Ugh.  Instead of showing you the gruesome photos of that, I thought you'd rather check out this beauty:

These photos are by Sarah, of her home in Australia.  She writes the blog A Beach Cottage.  I highly recommend her home tour, since there are lots of really great before and after photos of all the hard work they've done.

There's something about the simplicity and functionality of her spaces that speaks to me.  Everything has a use and a place and her colour story is perfect.  She seems to be able to showcase the beauty in the everyday, mundane items we all live with, like a stack of white dinner plates, or a cup full of silverware.

Also, it sure doesn't look to me like there's a layer of construction dust all over her stuff anymore.  Bonus points for sure.  I'm wondering if it'll ever be clean in here again.

Happy Friday - enjoy your long weekend, Canadian friends!

xo Meg

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kitchen Lighting Design

Thanks for the sweet comments about my new fab tongue and groove ceiling.  Some of you liked it more than others (Elizabeth - it is called tongue and groove so I suppose kissing is appropriate).

Today, I'll offer up this drawing that Jay did that we are working from.  I took a really high tech photo of it with my iphone.  Let's pretend we took the time to draw it up in auto-cad, shall we?

This is the basic layout.  It's a decent sized space, but there are doorways and windows everywhere that  make the design a little tricky.  I'll post some more about the layout of the cabinetry later this week.

For now, the lighting plan.

The kitchen will have one hanging pendant over the sink, two over the peninsula and a centre ceiling fixture.  We are on a very tight budget for this reno but I think lighting is really important and both of us want something that makes a statement.

These two fixutres are in the running for the centre light fixture in the middle of the room:

I love both of these lights.  I think the apothecary lantern makes things a little dressier and the schoolhouse is more casual.  We will be using the oil rubbed bronze.

This light will be going over the peninsula(2) and over the sink.  

The look we are going for is a slightly industrial-farmhouse-cottage style.  Whaaaaat?   I know that doesn't make any sense.  Here are a couple pictures to further explain the look we are going for:

via pink wallpaper
via planete deco


See how they all have simple, almost traditional cabinetry with industrial lighting and accessories? I don't really know what to call this style but I sure do love it!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the central light fixture.  Would you go with the lantern or the schoolhouse?

xo Meg

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tongue & Groove Kitchen Ceiling

We are in week two of our kitchen renovation now and things are coming along.

It's really messy and dirty in our house.

I think we ate cereal and peanut butter toast for most of our meals this weekend.

My kids have been running wild through the neighborhood.

     But the demo is complete and the ceiling is up. Our kitchen had a drop ceiling.  In fact, the drop stole away nearly 20 inches of height in the kitchen.  I'm not sure why this was done, but Jay is suggesting that it was to accommodate for the electrical that ran through there.  Since our ceilings are really high, it probably didn't matter to the old owners.

We tore out the ceiling on Saturday, which was May 12th, 2012.  Once the drywall came down we discovered this:

It says "Covered May 12, 1971 by Catherine Pachiluk".  Isn't it strange that we tore the ceiling down 41 years to the day she put it up?  In this photo, you can see the 2 x 4 's that the ceiling was attached to. It was really messy to take down.

Then the electrical was re-routed to include two pendants over the peninsula, one over the sink and a central ceiling fixture.  More on our lighting plan in another post.

Here's the progress we made this weekend:

This is Jay, up on the scaffolding, installing the tongue and groove boards.

And here is the ceiling with the beams installed.  Now it just needs painting.  

   I know these aren't the greats photos. I took them on my iphone.  But that's all I can really manage at this point.  I was on clean up duty this morning and things are looking tidier around here.  But there is an insane amount of dust in every nook and cranny of this big ol' house.

    This week you can look forward to the inspiration board I've created for this space and some details about lighting, cabinetry and countertops.  I'll try to squeeze in more time to blog - things have just been pretty hectic around here!

xo Meg

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rippin' Down Walls

Big weekend around here.

Saturday I dug about a thousand dandelions out of my front yard.  My Mom came home from a trip so my kiddos stayed over at my parent's house and Jay and I had a mini date night.  I say 'mini' because we were both too exhausted to do much.

My dining room from the real estate listing.

Oh yeah, and on Sunday we ripped the wall between our kitchen and dining room out and framed up the new opening.


Yep, we did it.

Remember this post I wrote about the layout of our kitchen and dining room?

This is the before layout of the main floor.

The wall is gone.  It was a messy and exhausting process for me, and there's still dust on every surface of my home but the kitchen reno is underway!  Take a look at these progress shots:

We have made a few decisions about the space now that everything is opened up.  Here are the details:

  1. The floor will be hardwood in the same light tone as the rest of the house.
  2. There will be a peninsula coming out from the right to about where my buffet ends in the above picture.
  3. The dishwasher will go where the three drawers are to the left of the sink.  Drawers will all be in the peninsula. So will the microwave.
  4. Bulkhead and upper cabinets will all be removed and open shelving installed.  
  5. The central light fixture will be removed.  Instead, there will be two lights over the peninsula and one over the sink, schoolhouse style.
  6. Beadboard backsplash with subway tiles under the new custom hood over the new stove.

I'm really inspired by this kitchen.  The layout is similar to what we're doing.  You can find this one and a whole bunch of others on my pinterest kitchen board.

I'll keep you posted!

xo Meg

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Backyard Update

If you remember, the last time we discussed this subject, my backyard looked like this:

I worked my tail off out there this weekend.  The weather was perfect!  Sunny and mild but not too hot.  I got a lot accomplished.  I just keep telling myself that because there's still sooooooooo much to do and I don't want to get discouraged.  

Here's how it's looking this morning:

This is the right side of the yard.  I have added some hostas and some pretty ferns
that I divided from existing plants I found underneath the weeds. 

I marked off the compost area.  Jay is going to build a little compost cover to hide
the unsightliness.  There are more hostas and ferns there and some lungwort.  

More lungwort and some rhubarb.  Also bachelor's button, which I adore. 

I am loving the yard of dark mulch I spread out over the gardens I have finished.  I am really hoping this will help with the weed problem.

Obviously, the edging still needs to be done.  We haven't decided whether we are going to remove the pavers entirely or just dig them down properly.

But it's progress, and I actually enjoyed working on it.  Go figure!

xo Meg