Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

Working With What You Have: Kitchen Renovation

I have a problem. I have a really hard time showing you a project that I’ve done until it’s 100% perfect. My kitchen is a great example. I did most of the renovating last year between January and April and though it looks pretty damn good, I still haven’t painted the ceiling and gotten the perfect flushmount so therefore…it has stayed a secret. (Unless you count that picture of my painted cabinets up there in my header!)

But today Emily A. Clark is having a link party and she wants us to share a project that shows “Working With What You Have”. Well now,  that’s just the little push I needed to reveal my not-quite-done kitchen. Here’s the ‘before’ shot:

kITCHEN-BEFORE-098

When we moved in, our house had so many eyesores that the kitchen actually ranked down pretty low on the renovation priority list. (Check out how an elderly man’s office became a sweet pre-schooler’s bedroom, how a beige-on-beige guest room because a princess bedroom, and how a dull wallpapered living room became a fun hangout spot and I think you’ll see what I mean.) Plus, the huge chunk of money that flies out of your wallet with a kitchen renovation was just not something we had…or have, I should say. So, I decided to do a putting-lipstick-on-a-pig remodel.

I knew I would need to work with the creamy-beige laminate countertops and the creamy faux-wood floors. To be completely honest, neither of the two is all that bad. Sure, I’d love to change both but since we might knock down a wall and reconfigure the kitchen someday, I have no desire to invest in counters and floors until we’re ready to make the big changes. But there were still three big offenders that HAD to be changed: the whitewashed cabinets, the cheap lights, and the plaid wallpaper.

PicMonkey Collage kitchen

It took a long time and I did every last bit of the work by myself (Alright. An electrician hung the pendant but the rest was all me!) but I finally got it done mostly done. Here’s the ‘after’.

KITCHEN 059

Kitchen projects completed:

Removed wallpaper

Refinished and painted walls

Painted cabinets

Changed cabinet hardware

Removed bad lighting

Added pendant light (my beloved Hicks!)

Painted interior of the glass front cabinet

Accessorized the counters

Kitchen projects that still need to be done:

Refinish and paint the ceiling (I already have a few test sections up there which I mentioned back in this post.)

Install new flushmount in the center of the room (I already bought it. Just need the electrician to come and install it.)

I think this room is proof that you don’t have to re-do every little last thing to make a big difference. A little paint can go a looooooong way. (And I promise that when I get it all done– I mean, 100% done– I’ll share each and every step of the reno process with you.)

Before I sign off, how about another little before and after comparison.

kitchen-before-and-after

I don’t know about you but that Hicks pendant makes me so happy that I almost don’t notice the sad counters! (I said almost.)

Make sure you check out all the other “Working With What You Have” posts over at Emily’s link up party today!

XO

Sue at Home

Decor, Home, My house

Let’s Talk About Balls – Part II

As you’ll recall from Part 1 of this story, we bought two big copper balls for $10 a piece at the Design Within Reach Annex in Secaucus. They were tagged as being Roberto Menghi’s Globo di Luce pendant but I’m quite sure that the plasticy burnt-out and slightly-scratched balls that we have aren’t the blown-glass originals. (A floor sample perhaps?) But even though they’re just the shell of a Globo di Luce, they’re kind of cool. Yet the question remains–what to do with them?

The original inspiration of using them as an objet was this pic from Apartment Therapy that I pinned as an idea for Pablo’s man cave.

In our house, his “cave” is actually a light filled den with a fireplace…and wood paneling. His one request: The wood paneling stays. So, my plan is to go for a swanky mid-century feel like the picture above. I love how the surveillance mirrors are used as decoration. I figured the balls could sort of do the same thing. But the problem: our rooms are small. And my balls are large. (Go ahead. Let the pre-teen in you have a giggle.) You see, having a 16 inch diameter pair of balls sticking out of the wall looks like Angie from Survivor’s boobs. I stuck one on a nail from a picture of my gallery wall just so you can see what they look like hung – even though I wouldn’t put them in this space. See what I mean?

It can also be hung by the big hole so the smaller opening is on the outside. Let’s try that. Nope…still looks like a boob. But now it’s a boob with a nipple.

Let’s try something else. Since the den has recessed lighting, I figured we could hang them from the ceiling  just as a decorative object. But the place to do that would be over the table in the den and we thought that would look pretty cool. Until we realized it looked like this from the kitchen. (See below.) Combined with my beloved Hicks pendant in the kitchen, the view became Sphere City.  (For the purposes of this experiment, the role of “Price Is Right Girl” will be played by my hubs. BTW – Did you hear they finally hired a guy to display the washing machines and boats on Price is Right? I think Pablo could have kicked his ass if he had auditioned.)

And don’t forget, I’ve got CB2’s Firefly light in the dining room. (I’ve obviously got an Orb-session. Wonder what Freud would say about that?)

We had them on either side of our entertainment center for a little while but they weren’t great there either. But looking at it now with my pink chair, I’m not hating it. (Though I do hate how it seems to bring more attention to the monstrous TV. (I painted the walls a dark color because I wanted the TV to recede, not stand out.) What do you think?

I figure I can rig them up somehow to hang them right on a wall as long as I find the right space. Maybe in the kitchen?
The living room? The foyer? The bedroom? But would it be too boob-like??

The jury is still out on my copper balls but hopefully I’ll find somewhere to hang them soon. Got some ideas? Please tell me in the comments!

XO

Sue at Home

Decor, Home

Decor Ideas from Tides Beach Club in Maine

Last week Pablo and I took a quick trip to Maine for a belated 10-year anniversary celebration. We stayed at the beautiful Tides Beach Club on Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport. The inn recently underwent a huge renovation, turning it into a charmingly modern interpretation of “beach chic” that still stays very close to its laid-back Maine roots.

The beautiful porch out front was always full of people (sipping coffee in the morning and cocktails in the afternoon) so I could never get a shot of it empty. Here’s a great picture from the Tides website. The chairs were so big and deep that I had to pull my feet up into them. I could barely reach the ground!

via Tides Beach Club

We never learned to play backgammon but that didn’t stop me from falling in love with this navy lacquered game table and white slipcovered chairs.

A bookshelf offered beautiful coffee table books to peruse while you sit under a  rope wrapped chandelier. And how about those chairs? They’re like luxe cushioned director’s chairs. Love!

I fell in love with a pair of these oyster lamps and almost considered grabbing a similar one when I spotted it in Antiques on Nine, a Kennebunk shop. But then I saw the $795 price tag. No thank you.

I was absolutely smitten with these thick crystal lamps. Clearly, good lighting makes me weak in the knees! I also loved the weathered chest though I wish there wasn’t another one just like it nearby. (The repetition made the weathering look obviously fake. Know what I mean?)

There was classic wainscoting everywhere – on the ceilings, up the stairs….

The restaurant side of the main floor was sleek and modern but still totally beachy. (And yes, I’ll be giving you a closer look at those lucite stools in just a moment. Please try and be patient!)

I can’t believe it took me 2 days to notice my beloved Hicks Pendants hanging in the porch section of the restaurant. (We have the bronze/antique brass version in our kitchen. I think theirs were the polished nickel. And MUCH bigger than our little one!) They’re gorgeous in any size or color!

I wonder if this doorway detail was original or if it was found in an architectural salvage place. Either way, it was a beaut!

I kept rubbing my hands over the divine carrera marble bar top but the bartender told me it’s a bitch to keep neat. It’s so porous that every drink ring remains and don’t even think about getting any citrus near it! He showed me a bleached out spot that a lemon wedge left behind. They had to have it completely sanded and refinished within a year of getting it. I’m still in love with carrera marble (have been ever since we got these tiles in our bathroom) but I think I can give up my dream of having it as a kitchen counter. High maintenance and I are not  friends!

Even the drinks are pretty at Tides. I can assure you that my Blueberry Fizz was as delicious as it looks!

Let’s take a moment to talk about those  gorgeous lucite stools! I seriously would have tried to slip one into my clutch if they weren’t so heavy. (Only a woman drinking too many Blueberry Fizz’s would think she could sneak out with a stool!) But seriously they were absolutely beautiful and the visual break allowed for you to see all the way to the tufted bar. It was all truly a work of art.

Speaking of art, check out the photos from a Kennebunkport photographer that were hanging in the restaurant. It’s dogs hanging out of car windows! Aren’t they so sweet? The photographer is Christopher Becker and the collection is perfectly titled Canine Bliss.

While the doggies hung in the restaurant, the hallways of the hotel with filled with matching frames hung in a perfectly haphazard “pattern”. What was in the frames you ask? Random stuff. Personal family pics (whose family? I don’t know!), interesting modern art prints, fashion magazine pages (bedazzled with glitter glue!), and even some vintage images. I love the way it looked (it kinda reminded me of John and Sherry’s hallway) and it inspired me to finally hang something in our lackluster hall. Hopefully, I’ll be getting on that project soon!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of Tides Beach Club. Tomorrow, you get to see our charming, cozy (ie: small) room complete with resources to create a Tides-style room of your own. See you then!

Did you take any fun summer vacations? Do tell!

XO

Sue at Home