Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kitchen and Keeping Room

When we started planning for our kitchen and keeping room we knew we wanted it at the center of the house.  It's where we spend most of our time and where people gather when we have friends and family over.  After looking back through all of the photos I had pinned on Pinterest I found similar trends of things I liked and wanted for our kitchen.

We went with a mission style cabinet and added details like the corbels on the hood and island to dress it up a bit.  I also knew I wanted to do our island in a color a bit different from the rest of the cabinets and I really, really, really wanted a wood counter top for the island.

Another one of my favorites is the copper farm sink and the three windows that sit above it.  I was back and forth between doing a single basin sink or a divided sink, but after reading lots of reviews we went with the single.  After living with it for about 2 months I can say I totally love having a large single basin sink.  I can fit so many things down in there (from baking sheets, to large pots/pans, or even just lots and lots of dishes).  And, while the big bay of windows above it did take away from some of our upper cabinets, I do really enjoy having all of the natural light and the pretty view that I get to see when standing at the sink.  

We knew we would be using my great-grandmother's round kitchen table and decided to add a bench seat.  It has worked out perfectly and it's great the way the kids can pile in there and make the most of the space.  Eventually I plan to have a cushion made for the bench, but it will be a while...like years...because my kids are just too messy when they eat right now. :-)

The light over the table is from Ballard and it was the one light I didn't find at their outlet.  I had seen it hanging in their showroom though and knew it would be perfect over the round table so I waited for a sale before purchasing it.  Hanging in our breakfast nook area is our family portrait. It's the favorite family picture of the five of us that I have to date, and it just makes me so happy to see it there.

The keeping room sort of got thrown into our plans by default. I loved the idea of a keeping room and we kept the existing brick fireplace from the original house, so we knew that it wasn't moving.  It has become a great place for the kids to watch a show while I'm getting dinner ready and I envision football games playing in the fall when we have friends over.  We ended up painting the fireplace the same color as the interior trim and I was nervous about that decision because I knew when it was done there was no turning back.  I like the way it blends in with the rest of the house though and am very happy with the decision to keep and paint it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Photo Wall

Last week Robby helped me complete a project I have been wanting to do for years.   I have wanted a photo wall for what seems like forever.  Since we moved in this house I have been hunting for black frames to add to some I already had and going through old photos to select which ones to print and hang.

I layed everything out on the floor to get an idea of what it would look like and how I wanted everything positioned and then we just went for it.  I LOVE the outcome. It is one of my favorite things to look at and it is on the wall leading from our mudroom to the kitchen (and directly across from my desk area), so I see it all the time!  It's like a walk down memory lane looking at all those photos and there is plenty of room to add to it on all sides, which I definitely intend to do!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Foyer/Entry Details

I am slowly getting our entryway set up and decorated.  I'd been on the hunt for a console table and when we visited HomeGoods a few weeks ago, Robby stumbled upon this one.  It was not at all what I was originally picturing for this space, but I love it here.  

I had gotten these lamps at Michaels a while back for our bedroom, but liked them better here so I did a little swap.  I'm waiting for our beach portraits back and hope to have a giant family one hanging above the table soon!  I got the rug at Home Depot, of all places, and it matched our ceiling perfectly.  

The ceiling is an idea we saw in a model home.  I knew because we weren't having a two-story foyer that I wanted to do something with the ceiling to add some character and this painted tongue and groove turned out even better than I had imagined.  It's painted the same color as our interior doors.  The lanterns were a Ballard Outlet find and we have a matching pair over our kitchen island, too. 

It's a big space and felt so open and bare for the longest time, but know I really do feel like it is welcoming to friends that come in our front doors.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reward Jars

When Handley was only 3 or 4 I started doing something we called "marble jar" as a reward system for her.  She would earn marbles to add to her jar for good behavior and when the jar was full she would get to pick a special treat or outing.  It worked like a charm and we started doing it with Harper, too.  Then our house went on the market what feels like forever ago, I put the jars away and they were long forgotten.  Fast forward a few years and now that we are getting settled into the new house I knew I wanted to reinstate a similar reward system.  I also wanted to incorporate chores into this system because they LOVE helping around the house and BEG for jobs to do to help me out.  Beg no more my loves, because now we have a nice organized way to keep track of their chores, their responsibilities and also their good behavior.

I saw a similar idea on Pinterest a while back and this week finally was able to get around to making it. First I found the wooden board and mason jars at Hobby Lobby and picked up the pipe clamps at Home Depot.

I nailed the pipe clamps onto the board (and then Robby went behind me and reinforced with a screw because he didn't think the small little nail would hold a jar full of rocks.)  

Then I fitted the jars and tightened the clamps.

Next I painted the top board and then added the kids names above their jars.  

Lastly I found tiny little clothes pins at Michaels and hot-glued those on so that I can clip the chore lists and change them out easily as needed.  The kids earn a pebble for each thing they do on the list and also for good behavior.  Basically my goal is to "catch them being good" and reward them for it.  When their jar is full they can either choose to get an allowance or go on a special outing (frozen yogurt, a trip to the movies, etc.).

I love the way it turned out and although it was time consuming, it's something I see me using with them for a long time and it actually looks OK hanging in our kitchen.  I knew I wanted it to be in a place where the kids would have access to it and that would be within their reach.  It's hanging on the window in our kitchen that looks out to the screened porch.  I'm keeping the mason jar of pebbles sitting on the window ledge so the kids can easily add to their jar when needed.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


One thing I was most excited about having in our new house was a mudroom.  In our old house, we would walk in from the garage directly into the kitchen which meant our kitchen table and island became the dumping ground for everything.  Backpacks, lunch boxes, hats, gloves, bags, toys, mail, you name it.

I cruised lots of pictures on Pinterest to get an idea of what might work for us and we decided on an open cubbie/locker system with baskets and hooks.  I also knew I wanted everyone in the family to have their own designated space.

I'm really happy with the way it all came together.  The baskets below hold some shoes/flip-flops and make it super easy for the kids or any of us to slip on shoes before heading outside to play or get the mail or take out trash.  Each cubbie has three hooks for backpacks, dance bags, hats, etc.  The upper baskets hold other items not as frequently used right now like winter gloves, scarves and hats.

We put our bench across from the cubbies so we can sit to put on and take off shoes and there are back stairs that tie into our main stairs in the mudroom, too. Originally we didn't have this in our plans, but Robby suggested adding them so that when we get home from a trip (or even just a trip to Target - hehe!) and have a million bags and things to take upstairs we would have easy access without having to drag things all through the house.

So far I think I'm training the kids to put their things away there, get their shoes picked up and put away and I'm sure when the craziness of school picks up it will be even more helpful to keep things organized.

From the hallway that leads from the mudroom to the kitchen I have a little nook with a desk, which I love!  It's really small, but it is the perfect spot for me.  It's where I use my computer, where I blog from, the mail gets dropped and sorted here and in the cabinets I keep all of my things like stationary/mailing supplies, camera and phone accessories. I'm still searching for some sort of pretty cork board to put on the wall behind my computer so I can pin up things like invitations and such.  It's great being right off the kitchen because if I need to look up something quickly, it's right there without having to leave the kids, but at the same time, it is hidden and tucked away.  Plus, no more mail on the kitchen counters!

 And, I changed out our kitchen chalkboard message to remind us all to enjoy these last few weeks of summer before school starts back!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Front Door

Getting the house in order and tackling projects on my to-do list is taking a lot longer than I had expected.  I know it's because it is summer and the kids are home all day. I LOVE summer and not having them in school, but it makes my time to do crafting very, very small.  

I was able to get one project done this week though.  I've been seeing the burlap door hangers all over the place and I just love them.  Now that we have two front doors instead of one, I'm not able to use any of my wreaths or door decorations on the front anymore. I really want to get some of the wooden monograms for the front doors, but until I can make that purchase I decided to try to make some summery burlap hangers. I just love all things nautical so anchors were an easy choice.

I'm really happy with the way they turned out and I learned a lot along the way.  And, get ready because I have found all sorts of fun ideas for just about every holiday and season that I hope to make. Only this time, I hope to get them made before the holiday or season instead of halfway through it like this time.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dining Room

Our dining room is right off of the keeping room and where our kitchen table is. It is also a direct shot to the screen porch. I love the placement of it because I feel like when we have parties or have a lot of people over guest will actually go into the dining room without feeling like they are isolated from everyone else.  We used what was the original living room in the old house and used it for our dining room. It is a sunken room, which we kept because we felt it added a little character and kept the dining room feeling like a separate room since it is right beside the center of the house and where we spend most of our time.  

I found some pictures of similar paneling on Pinterest and just printed to show to our builder and trim carpenter and I love the way it turned out.  Robby painted the walls so that they could be different from our main color.  It's Sherwin Williams, Morris Room Gray.  The light was a Ballard Designs outlet find for an incredible price.  So incredible that Robby bought two!  We have one hanging in the dining room and another in the office.

I think the thing I really love about our new dining room is all of the space and the fact that you can really see our table.  We bought our dining room table right after we got married and it is a really large table. It's extra long and all of our dining rooms have been a little on the smaller side. This room is much larger than our other dining rooms...so much so that several friends have asked if we got a new table because you just didn't notice it before.