Friday, March 29, 2013

Hot Cross Buns!

I live with Martha Dingley, or should it be Delia Dingley?  Maybe Jamie Dingley, or Nigella Dingley? Either way, this is what I came home to today.

The hubby knocked out some 'hot cross buns' for Good Friday.  Is this purely a British thing?  I'm not sure, anyway can't wait to have one or two with a nice cuppa.

Nightstand Styling Contest Update

You guys are going to think that all I do is enter design contests!  You might be right.  Just joking.  I love design, I think the contests are fun, and it might help kickstart my dream career.  Anyway, the nightstand styling contest that Emily Henderson held over on her blog has officially finished and a winner has been announced.  Drum roll please..........Nope, didn't win. But I was in her top 30, yay!

This is what she said on her blog:


I once thought I would be an amazing Bachelorette (on the show, not just a single chick) but all my dreams were crushed this week. You see it took me 3 days, THREE DAYS, to choose my favorite nightstand.  I kept going back and fourth – #2 has beautiful branches, a great lamp, etc, #3 is more masculine and that is such a nice contrast to my style …. #7 i kept coming back to because the colors and artwork are so weird ….
If I were the bachelorette I would be up there with my final rose going back and forth like, well he is so nice to grandmas but he wears Ed Hardy, and he is so funny and smart but quotes the movie Predator too much….
In case you are just stopping by, i started a nightstand styling contest and 200 people entered.  You win some dope tables from Serena and Lily.  There were 3500 people who voted, with close to 7,000 views and 2 winners – 1 with the most votes and 1 that is my pick.  Here are my favorites below.  Yes there are 30.

There I am at numero 12.

Thanks Emily, it was fun.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Contest Standings

Well the Apartment Therapy contest is almost over. I'm pleased to report that I'm currently 7th out of 180 entries! I think that's pretty good, don't you? And not a negative comment about my room, phew. I was expecting someone to say that maybe it was too girly or had too many birds etc, but everyone so far has been so sweet and kind.

If you haven't voted yet there's still time; competition ends April 1st.

Here's a picture of the top ten rooms. Which is your favourite?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

John Robshaw inspired bedroom from World Market

I was in World Market the other day looking at Easter stuff when I couldn't help but be drawn to their bohemian inspired voile quilts.  They reminded me so much of the beautiful John Robshaw textiles that I saw in ABC Carpet & Home on my trip to New York in February.

Here's the bed that I saw in New York.

Isn't it yummy?  And I can imagine tres expensive.

I saw some other bohemian inspired accessories in World Market that got me thinking;  maybe I could recreate this look for a fraction of the price just using furniture & bedding from there.  So here's my mood board.

What do you think?  It's the first time I've used Olioboard and it took me forever.  But I think it's not a bad representation.  Obviously I wouldn't use all of the pillows and maybe change a few things, but for a bedroom for a teenager, I think this is pretty sweet.  And if you used everything on this board it would set you back $3500.  Which isn't bad for a whole room full of furniture and accessories.  The biggest expense is the bookcase at $799.  The bed is an amazing low price of only $299.99!  Now if only I knew of someone that has a teen/tween that would like me to design a room for them.  I'd have so much fun.  And amazingly, even though I wouldn't recommend buying all of your furniture from one store, this manages to still look collected.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Same Bedding, Different Home

Just stumbled upon a house tour that is featured today on Design Sponge that shares one or two similarities with my own.  The home belongs to Interior Decorator Jessica McKay from Birdhouse Interior Design.  The first similarity that I noticed was that she converted her attic space into a master bedroom, just like we did.  Not only that, but the bedding she has chosen for her bed and her guest bed is the same DwellStudio bedding that I chose.  It's interesting to see how different it looks in her home.  I like how she has layered it with blankets.  Take a look.

She also had the rooms recently featured in Small Room Decorating Magazine.  Here is how they look in the magazine that you can see on her blog.

Notice the angles of the master bedroom.  Looks similar, no?

And finally, we had to say goodbye to this little cutie today.  He reached the grand old age of 17 3/4.

Ringo, we love you.  You were the best cat ever : ( .  May you be chasing birds in kitty heaven.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sundance Catalog Table Bargain!

I've been fortunate over the years to pick up some really beautiful furniture and accessories at the Sundance Catalog Outlet store in Salt Lake for a fraction of the price. But this one really is the best deal I've ever seen.

Yes, you see it right $160. And that's not all, there's another 30% off that price, so if my maths is correct, that's a mere $112 for a gorgeous, solid wood trestle table! I tried to look up in the catalog how much it retails for, but I don't think they sell it anymore. My guess is around $1500, so that would make this table less than 10%. Now if only I needed a new table. So if you live in Salt Lake and need a new dining table, call them the store because this isn't going to last. And then you can thank me!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shameless Plea to Vote for Me!

Yes, you know I can't resist a good competition.  No it's not the time of the year for Apartment Therapy's Room for Color, but it is another Apartment Therapy competition.  This time it's solely based on bedrooms.  And seeing as I just did a mini-makeover of mine, I thought I'd enter.

I'm playing major catch-up because the competition has been going for over 2 weeks and my room just got uploaded yesterday.  Nevertheless, I'm doing surprisingly well with over 200 votes and 8th position.  I need to get into the top 4 to win any prize and let me tell you the competition is tough.  I think all of the top 4 deserve to win.  Competition ends April 1st, I think.  So if you could throw a vote my way I'd be ever so grateful ;)


P.S  You do have to sign in to vote but Apartment Therapy won't sell your email or spam you, I promise.  You can sign in 3 ways, either with your email, Facebook, or twitter.  Thankyou!!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Kitchen 10 Years On, Before & After

Ten years ago I walked into half a dozen kitchen cabinet showrooms clutching in my hand a photocopy of a kitchen that I had seen in a magazine.  Yes, just one picture of one wall in a kitchen.  This was way before Pinterest and way before people started posting pretty pictures on blogs or the Internet.  I didn't have a bunch of pictures from magazines because when I saw this kitchen I just knew that was what I wanted.  Plus, 10 years ago all that seemed to be in magazines were pictures of knotty alder kitchens!  Remember those were all the rage back then, now not so much.

Here's the picture.  Sorry I don't have a source but if it's your kitchen, well done!

I loved how vintage it looked, but also updated.  I have a butler's pantry that has vintage cabinets like these, and I knew that I wanted the kitchen to replicate that.

It was super hard finding a company that would do these painted inset cabinets.  Even though I had a picture and said this is what I want, the companies still tried to talk me out of it!  They kept showing me regular or overlay cabinets made from, yep, knotty alder!?!  I was beyond frustrated.  Now, you can't go to any blogs or Pinterest without tripping over all of these glorious white kitchens.  I like to think I was ahead of the curve ;)

Let me show you my kitchen before, brace yourselves!

Kitchen before, just in case you get confused.

dining room/kitchen before

dining room/kitchen before

Aghh, what a sh*t hole!  Pardon my French.  Can you believe I painted those cabinets like that.  What was I thinking?  It was of course the days of Trading Spaces where anything faux was in, but still, that is not a good excuse.  It does look a little weird though, because we did have a wall separating that kitchen from the dining room that had been knocked through 6 months prior, hence the stove and cabinet against that side wall.  When we renovated the upstairs we knew that someday we would enlarge the kitchen so the contractors knocked the wall down in preparation.

And here's how the kitchen looks now from the same angles.

kitchen after

In the picture above you can see the butler's pantry with the original cabinetry.  We had glass doors made and changed the drawer pulls.

We completely reoriented the kitchen.  Where the table is now used to be the fridge, sink and cabinets.

Loads of photos of my new table cloth from Anthropologie, because I love it and it's so springlike and fresh.

I was playing dress-up with the table, but that's as far as I got because I couldn't be bothered to find 8 glasses that matched or wash-up the silverware!

That's the view looking through the family room to the library/music room.

Below is the view from the same angle as the 2nd and 3rd before photos.


We slotted the fridge into a window opening that had been covered up by a shed addition on the back.

Since we remodeled the kitchen 10 years ago, I have made a number of changes and still have a few that I want to do.

I changed out the light fixture over the dining table.  The one I originally chose was much smaller and didn't have the visual impact that I wanted.

kitchen with smaller light fixture

I replaced it with the jadeite Martha Stewart Veneto chandelier that I managed to find on clearance.  I originally wanted it in white, but it was all sold out.  I also wanted it with 5 arms, but they only had the 8 arm one, so I decided to take some of the arms off, if that makes sense.  I also contemplated spray painting it white, but I'm frightened the glass will look dull.

I decided to change out the green bench which was a pain for the children to climb in and out of.  That's my next project.  I'm planning on building a tufted corner banquette, wish me luck!

Another update we did was install some pendant lights over the island.

Kitchen before pendants 
kitchen after with pendants and painted island
This before picture above also shows what the kitchen looked like before we painted it white; before the island was painted grey; and before the floor was refinished with a darker stain.

Here's the inspiration photo for the island.

Other changes we have made recently include staining the floors darker and painting the walls white.  It looks so much fresher to me, but it does make the cabinets look more yellow of course.  The cabinets are getting pretty chipped and worn so I can see a new paint job somewhere down the line.  I'd choose a more white color for the cabinets then.

kitchen before with yellow walls and unstained hardwood
kitchen after with white walls and stained hardwood
I also painted the large yellow dresser white and painted the back the same green as the chandelier.

I'm a bit on the fence about the green colour.  I had originally planned to paint it the same grey colour as the island.  I think it might look a little too country.  But as I was pinning kitchen photos yesterday I stumbled upon this.

It's my dresser doppelganger!  That's so funny.  I did have an ongoing debate in my mind about painting the shelves white or green.  I like the look of them all green now after seeing this.  Look it even has the tins with names on them.  I wonder if theirs are empty also?

Another change that I want to make that won't break the bank is add subway tile.  Of course this will be a DIY job by me and that is why it hasn't happened so far.  We already have a 4 inch backsplash that will be staying, so it may look a little odd, but I think now most kitchens have a tiled backsplash, so it looks odd right now anyway.

So here's what I think my kitchen would look like with subway tile.  Similar, right?

We probably won't be staying in this house for much longer so I'm not going to be making any huge changes/investments.  But if I was to design this kitchen now, ten years later, I would most definitely have some fabulous Carrara or other type of fabulous marble countertops and backsplash.  I would probably have brass or gold accents (so trendy I know).  I wonder how long the brass trend is gonna last?  I would have a larger apron sink (they were definitely not popular when I designed this kitchen, so choice was limited).  I might have some fancy feet put on the cabinets and maybe some beautiful fretwork for the glass doors.  Other than that, I think it's pretty much stood the test of time, thank god;  because anyone that has ever remodeled a kitchen knows how much it costs and how much effort goes into it.

And so why I think white kitchens are here to stay is that they are classic.  I don't think my kitchen looks that different from any of the white kitchens that people are pinning on Pinterest these days.  How many times do you see a knotty alder or distressed kitchen pinned?  Not that many, if at all.  And I guess the proof is when people come to my house and ask if my cabinets are original (I think that's a compliment, or maybe they just look so old and worn out already!  They are white and therefore show chips and dirt easily, just a warning for ya!).

Here's some pictures of kitchens from a hundred years ago and you'll see what I mean about classic styles never going out of fashion.

If you're still reading this, then you deserve a medal!

Here's some more pretty pictures of white kitchens that you'll find on my Pinterest board.

kitchen from the movie "This is 40"
I'd definitely do a cabinet with the fretwork above.  Actually that gives me an idea, there maybe another DIY project coming!

The kitchen above, I die.  Perfect, except the orange stools, but that's minor.  Another want I have for my next kitchen is that beautiful coffered ceiling.  I should have done that in my kitchen, because when they took the wall down, they left a huge ugly beam.  I decided to deal with that by lowering the ceiling.  Sacrilegious I know.  But we didn't have a fancy kitchen designer or an unlimited budget at the time.  I also absolutely must have an adjoining family room with a gorgeous fire, repeat must!!

Nice example of subway tiles to the ceiling.  And oh look there are my stools, which are genuine Tolix that I picked up for $20 each.  Don't hate me.

More Tolix, love the pop of colors.

Gorgeous pendants.

More gorgeous pendants.  And look at that hood, what a statement.  Probably cost $5000.

OK, kill me now!  I just died and went to marble heaven.  So pretty, so sophisticated.  I just want to lick that sink!  Well not really, but really!?!

Now I'm starting to feel sick and think that my kitchen is really inadequate.  Marble where were you when I was designing?  I really only had soapstone or granite on my radar.  Thank goodness I didn't choose soapstone, because I think it's even more upkeep than marble.

Love the french cafe chairs.  You know I have some red ones that I might try around my table.

How much do you think the marble for this kitchen cost?

This is pretty, not sure if I want to clean two sinks though.  But if you lived in this house you'd have a team of cleaners, right?

I think that that Lindsey Adelman light above is a gazillion dollars, not to mention the stove.

Ah, Christopher Peacock's kitchen.  I believe he is the Grand-daddy of white kitchens.  I like to think I was there before him ;)

This one above kind of looks a bit like mine, don't you think, or am I just kidding myself?

Hate you and your lighted dresser gloriousness!

That makes me want to have an espresso, and a back-staircase in my next house, like Downton Abbey.  No actually I did live in a house in England with a servant's staircase, shame I don't have any pictures of that house. It also had a dumbwaiter and a secret door in a carved cabinet that had steps leading down to a wine cellar. Maybe that's where I get my passion for houses from.

This is another picture of the "This is 40" house taken from the other angle.  Love the fireplace but can't understand why someone would think that 50 blue pitchers would make good decor.

This seems doable and not over the top.  Love the built-in dresser.

One can but dream, right?

And just on the off chance that one of you reading this is a millionaire and wants a new kitchen, please call me as I'd love to design one for you, I'm serious.

Now I'm off to think about building the new banquette. You notice I said think about and not doing, someone kick me in the butt will ya?

You'll find the sources for photos on my Pinterest account.