Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sneak Peak

Just a little tease to tide you over .

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Early birthday present

I have been eyeing an old buffet on Kijiji , it was well over priced in my opinion , but my patience paid off finally it was reduced to what I thought it was worth .

Solid wood , dove tails , a decent piece of furniture that has been sadly neglected for some time.
The positives are ;
solid wood
nice shape
drawers; one is a cutlery drawer
lots of storage
low profile ; makes it ideal for using as a "buffet" after all it is a buffet
its going to look so cute after I give it my loving touch.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The island is complete

The doors are hung , the knobs are on , it is a beautiful functional furniture style island. It took just about a week to complete .

When the guys left the house the other day we took the box off the butcher block and the two of us laid it in place , that must weight 200 lbs , no joke , but when there is a will there is a way.
Now the stools that were purchased for a steal in the want ads of Kijiji 4 for $50.00 need to be taken down about 2-3 inches , has anyone done this keeping the angle correct, we are having a hard time getting it going , can't use the miter saw , jig saw blade is too short , hand saw seems risky , any one have a how to for this one .

Girls Only Island Project

This island building project has been an all girl event , with plenty of nay saying from a few doubting boys , that is so annoying to hear some individuals question , the position of the island , the size of the island , how can you not second guess yourself when people keep asking if "you " think its too big , men!
Trust me its just right , and its in just the right location , it is a great addition to this kitchen .
Lisa has done all the work on this island ,a tiny bit of help from me, this is a lot of work , don't let me miss lead you , it is a lot of detail work , lots of little touches to take a basic box and make it into a real thing of beauty.

Open shelving for pretty cook books and display pieces.

The added storage and organization , what a bonus. Lovely simple brackets to support the over hang.

A gorgeous slab of oak butcher block.

Beautiful applied mouldings on each end and stool area. The light needs to be moved over just slightly , its sad that is not a simple task.

The toughest part was trying to decide on a paint finish , to glaze or not to glaze, painted cabinets need occasional touch ups , I call them "touch up Tuesdays" now a all over glaze finish touch up would mean starting over , you can not touch up a glaze rubbed finish , so Lisa decided to keep the overall creamy white color and hi light the profile with just a touch of glaze , what a big job for Lisa , but she has done an amazing job on this island , I can't wait to show you it all completed , the doors and hardware installed , the drapes hung on the doors behind , it is going to look fabulous , and it will function so much better than a table with 4 chairs , this island provides , eating space , two new spacious cabinets for storage , three open shelves , and a large work surface , what a wonderful addition to this kitchen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Painting the bulkhead

Here is a good example of a bulhead treated all wrong , a little green racing stripe above the cabinets , painted white and a nice piece of crown added would be a small change that would make a big improvement .

Many many of us are faced with standard builder kitchens , with bulkheads , some can see this problem and rip out a kitchen and drop $40,000.00 and remodel and get a whole new kitchen , lots of us will make due and make affordable up grades to improve the over look and appeal , I am all about making more of what you've got .
Paint outdated wood cabinets , change hardware , upgrade appliances , add a beautiful backsplash , brackets , mouldings , open up cabinets for display , create a focal point with the range hood , add great lighting ,but don't forget your bulkhead.

My white painted kitchen above is a great example of making the most of standard , I don't think my kitchen gives off a standard look at all . Its the little things that make the biggest difference.

One of the things I learned early on in decorating a painted kitchen, was the deal with the bulkhead and not ignore it , it is the biggest mistake , if you ignore it regardless of the color you choose for your cabinets there will be a break between the cabinets and the ceiling , kind of like an eye brow . Look for yourself at the above before and after of my friend Lisa's kitchen , it is a small improvement with a huge result.

No need to rip out the bulk head , they most likely are hiding the mechanics of the house , I say treat them nicely , paint them in the same finish as the cabinets , add mouldings to the bulkhead , a simple piece of crown moulding or trim where the bulkhead meets the ceiling is all you need to extend the visual look of your cabinets , giving the illusion of more height .

Bulkhead is no longer a 4 letter work , heck I added bead board paneling and lots of trim to mine , I love it , go ahead and treat it right , would I steer you wrong?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Green with envy, and inspired

This kitchen makes me green with envy , how gorgeous is this kitchen already ? I am now wishing I had these green glass tiles , yummy .
I think I am going to make this table , yes that's right make this table .

I can't recall where I found this photo but I just love this solution for a headboard ,its so attractive, you could find some nice old doors or simple enough you could make these in a weekend from simple lumber.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's gone , it was hard to see this beauty go , heart pangs , but this is going to a great home with great people so it was the right move.
I have a jam packed week full of design jobs , thrilling ! , and its raining , RAINING? in late January in Ontario , in Canada , unheard of , normally we are waste high in snow , now this is my kind of winter , its been great , no complaints here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Progress is good

2 @ 3/4 " sheets of MDF , cut at Home Depot created the structure , divisions and shelves , 3" primed MDF trim , 1 1/2" MDF trim , baseboard trim , and chair rail trim is all that it has taken so far to build this substantial island that will seat 4. So far a total of $206.00 , not bad for almost there huh , tomorrow they will pick up the butcher block top , they already have the doors , which were hand me downs , fantastic, and then a couple of brackets for the over hand , some magic of paint and it will be amazing. The butcher block is expected to total $269.00 that is $12.00 a sq ft , I am hoping they will score a deal in the AS IS dept like I did , for $50 or $60 , crossing my fingers. An island for under $500.00 , that is truly amazing , I see them for around $1000.00 most often.
The TV cabinet is coming together so nicely, maybe my clients won't like it and I will have to keep it for myself , boooo , :)

Doesn't it look pretty as an open cabinet ? I am crazy about this piece.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I have been working away on a few design consultations as well as a local re-design , the home owners are very motivated to make some great cosmetic improvements , so far they have added beadboard wainscot and moved three rooms around , they are in the midst of painting their oak cabinets white .
This is the cabinet I wanted them to buy to replace a very modern TV console , it is a piece I saw on Kijiji for a while now , I am in the midst of painting this piece white for a crisp updated look . Won't it look lovely under a wall mounted LCD , the big screen has to stay , I understand , I live in the real world , it will be gorgeous. Secretly I would love it for myself.

As well I have been helping my friend and neighbour with her kitchen , we have the same house layout , and she liked the idea of a kitchen island , so after thinking it through and building up courage , we are tackling it together , she is very handy , but building an island can be intimidating for any DIYer , no one wants an island to look "homemade" .

Do you remember this kitchen , the golden oak , she hated it , so many told her not to pain it , it would chip , some said ok but maybe white, I love my white painted cabinets , but she is not a white kitchen gal .
So how do you make a fearless choice on these kind of decisions? well you ask yourself ,
self ? " if money were no object , what kind of kitchen would you have?"
well it turned out she would have a dark espresso stained kitchen , it is her desired look , so she painted the cabinets a deep dark brown and added trim , completely changing the look of her nearly new but tired kitchen .
So what did the nay sayers say? well they love it , of course .

Well the Mexican styled pine table and chairs has lost that loving feeling , and my lovely friend desired an island with storage , storage she will get , three doors of closed cabinets and three shelves of open display. We even used the skirting of the table as supports for the cabinet building , ultimate recycling.
It will have a creamy glazed finish , as well as a butcher block counter top from IKEA.
We got to bring our her new tools , see she asked for tools for Christmas , a miter saw and nail gun , it was nice to break them in on what is turning out to be such an impressive piece.
She is still a little worried it is too big but I must assure her it is not , its just what this kitchen needed .
I will be sure to show you the afters.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eva is loved

{Oma with Eva}
Her name is Eva. 1pound

All babies touch our hearts , we love them well before they arrive , too many babies are lost to those who love them , missed by those who needed them .

We were together ,as we are for celebration we are there in times of loss and sadness .
Saying good bye is so hard .

Thankfully my sister in law made it through the delivery without any medical complications , with her last birth we were really scared because of her grave health due to HELLP ,thankfully there were no problems with bleeding , especially since she has been on blood thinners for the entire pregnancy which was a great relief. A little bit of grace.

We shared this experience regardless of how painful it is , we all need to stand by each other in these hard times .

The nurse was truly amazing , she treated Eva with the same dignity and respect any and all babies deserve , she called her princess . I am still in awe of her , this being a hospital that deals with a large number of high risk pregnancies they have an increased number of still births so they know exactly how to handle these situations and make them as gentle as possible. Being through two such sad arrivals with my brother and his wife , this wonderful care makes all the difference.

There were 5 other families experiencing the same painful loss along with ours that night.

We all spent time with her ,we got to dress her swaddle her , love her , take photos of her , we will always remember our time together.
I thank you for all your love and well wishes , you amaze me , so many of you have suffered the loss of a baby , I am so sorry for that .
Thank you for surrounding me with support.
Eva 01/19/10 and Bella 01/02/09 sisters together forever , rest in peace babies.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Broken hearted

Today is one of the days when you wish you could wake up and realize it was all just a bad dream .
many times today wondered if I read the message correctly , did it really say what I think it said ? no I couldn't have just read that the "baby is gone" , it is too painful to process , to unimaginable to be real.

My little brother and his wife have been trying to have a family for several years now , they had a couple of early miscarriages , then last year after all looked good , their baby was still born at 34 weeks due to an undiagnosed blood condition {of my SIL} and complications due to HELLP which is a severe form of pre eclampsia .

No parent should have to sit at the funeral of their baby , their pain was so hard to experience from the outside.
It took me a very long time to see a baby and not go back to that sad day , it was a long journey back to hope for them and dream for them again.

They got pregnant again , she was on blood thinners twice daily shots, blood pressure meds , seeing a high risk OB in Toronto , in fact the visits got bumped up to twice a week recently just to be safe . I got to see this precious baby alive an kicking during an ultrasound just a few weeks ago , all looked well , baby looked awesome.

But today on their visit {24 weeks} they found out the baby didn't make it , he or she is gone , some say to heaven , but this hole in our lives just says the baby is gone .
My arms ached as soon as I heard , like I had no life in my limbs , I wish I could make it all better , turn back time . Life should not be this hard for one couple....

I don't think I will be posting too much in the next little while , gonna focus on family .
But I will be back , just need some time ...

I am going to go to be with them this evening , please send me your strength , this is going to be a hard day and night for my family.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

120lbs gained

Before; my well loved, family made plank counters , with the dreaded gaps {dreaded only by me because only I clean the spills} , it was time for them to go , armed with some IKEA brackets , an IKEA butcher block bought for a steal , and two packages of v-groove and some pine strips of wood , this makeover cost out of pocket a mere $45.00 , $30.00 for v-groove and $15.00 for the pine strips , the other things I have long had around the house . My lovely plank counters have successfully be replaced , I am happy say my old counter top now has a new home in my work room and it looks so nice down there , its a happy switch .
Here is my new/old oak butcher block counter top , purchased from IKEA in the AS IS dept for $50.00 about a year ago , it weighs about 120 pounds , solid as a rock , couldn't beat that price.

My husband and I brought this upstairs from my basement work room yesterday for me to make it into our new island counter top.

Although I love our antiqued dark plank counter top and its warm patina , the gaps were making me bonkers , spills crumbs and dust made their way right on into my cupboards , one can only dust pans for so long.

I took simple pine strips the same depth as the slab and framed the whole slab to add length to the counter to make it long enough for my generous kitchen island which seats 4.

I re clad the entire island with v-groove, which is knotty pine boards the v-groove refers to the v cut between the boards when you connect the tongue and groove of the planks , 2 1/2 inches wide are the boards , wider than bead board a little less busy .

I sanded the corners smooth to remove the sharp corners and edges. I then stained the edge with American walnut stain , water based stain , then gave the butcher block a light staining with the same color , followed by a good rubbed on coat of paste wax, I use Minwax natural paste wax , just rub on the entire surface let dry for about 20 minutes and buff with a clean lint free cloth , think Karate Kid wax on wax off... its a good arm work out , my arms sure are tired today after all the painting , staining and waxing .

We sure love our new solid counter , of course I am babying it now , but soon it will be used and enjoyed by all .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The counter is coming.

The counter is coming the counter is coming.I am so excited.
I have added all new v-groove and two brackets for added detail , they too will be painted blue.
The brackets are from IKEA and the blue is Gentle Tide by glidden paints.

Moe likes to be in the pictures .

I pulled off the plank counter to make some changes and to add brackets for the much heavier butch block counters.

Opening things up .

Ok , we have way too much cereal that doesn't get eaten.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Summer lovin'

Today outside in mid January the snow is melting , very unusual for Ontario , but I am happy with the melting, however the "real" winter weather does force me to slow down and take a break from home improvement ,at least my own . It does give me time to plan , plan things like my closet remodel and the backyard improvements , this plan includes my wish list .
My wish list includes a small fiberglass pool with stone surround. A little 15 foot pool.
A sweet little shed for pool equipment .

A wood boardwalk style walk way to the backyard . Our side entry into our backyard is just as tight as this home , makes me feel good to see someone else with a tight walkway who made the best of it .

New garden style patio doors to replace out icky sliders , yours may not be icky ,mine are icky.

And most importantly a beautiful pergola structure over the entire deck , just like this one with the double lanterns and all.

This is the dream , I think I need to start buying some lottery tickets, because this is pricey, well these things take time , it is always good to have a plan .