Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Kitchen - Before and After

Before I get started with this post, I have a little disclaimer...

I have debated and debated about showing the inside of our house. To me, it's very personal, and while I love seeing the inside of other people's homes, I feel very vulnerable about showing ours. I'm not out to "brag" or "show off." But if you know me (and most of you don't), then you know that I have a passion for anything house related. Since I can remember, I have poured over shelter magazines, taken every tour of homes I've had time for, and generally adored all things "house." I scoured the internet for ideas when we were renovating this house.

So I made up my mind to show you the inside. You don't have to like it. By no means am I a professional designer or decorator. But I want to share to hopefully give some inspiration and ideas to anyone who may be looking for them. Also, I want to show family and friends who may be interested what we've done. You may notice I interchange "we" and "I." While my husband was involved in the decisions, I had the majority of the opinions and I'm fortunate that he trusts me. Ok, I'm finished. Thank you.

When we bought the house, the kitchen consisted of one wall of cabinets with a sink, a free standing range and a refrigerator. It was added on in the late 1930's when the house was converted to a two-flat. We took out a wall that separated the kitchen from the back stairs (which were also removed) and entry to make a larger space. (You can make each photo larger by clicking on it.)

After: (Please ignore the black hole, a.k.a. the television...we have a strict no food in the living room rule and this is the easiest way to keep the crumb crunchers corralled.)
We tried to keep a vintage feel to the kitchen while adding modern conveniences. We were also working within the original four walls, so we had limited choices on where to place appliances.

We really wanted a vintage-looking range, but most of them are waaayyyy out of our budget. I found a Fratelli Onofri Royal Chiantishire with a vintage appeal. As far as performance goes, the gas burners are powerful enough for what I cook. The oven had a slight learning curve (it's convection) but I've gotten used to it.

We wanted to go with something other than subway tile for the backsplash to be "different." Now I'm seeing lantern tile all over the place. Go figure. I still love it, though!

One of the hardest decisions we made involved the countertops. I wanted Carrara marble. Got talked out of that one pretty quickly by just about everyone. We ended up with Coast Green granite on the perimeter and walnut on the island. I'm happy about our choices, although the walnut is almost as hard to maintain as the marble would have been. We keep it oiled and haven't had any major mishaps so far.
Again, keeping with the vintage look, we went with a bridge faucet and farmhouse sink. You can see a closer view of the lantern tile. In case you're wondering (cause who doesn't?), the Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap in Lemon Verbena smells so good!
Paneled refrigerator=no fingerprints! Although I still obsess over prints on the handles. Oh, well. Can't win 'em all. Another vintage detail...we reused the original wavy window glass in the upper cabinets. 
I absolutely love the spice cabinet and microwave drawer in the island. Keeps everything hidden, yet still handy.
We hope you enjoyed the tour. If you have any questions about specific products or materials, please feel free to ask. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Met Monday!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

At Last...The Front Porch

I'm baaack! Did you give up on me? I have to tell you that moving into, unpacking and decorating a house with three children (and one is a baby) is no cakewalk. But we did it and I'm ready to share! I hope my friends/family who have been waiting to see will be inspired to come visit. Hint, hint!

*If you are visiting from the Fall Outdoor Spaces linky party and want to skip ahead to the porch, please feel free to scroll down.

A brief synopsis for newcomers, we purchased a two-flat in August 2010 with plans to rehab over time back into a single family home. The original house, located in a small Midwestern town, was built in 1904 and was converted into apartments in the late 1930's. We ended up redoing the entire house all at once and moved in around Memorial Day. Our main goal was to return the house closely to the original. We had an old photograph to use as a reference.

So here she is around 1904:
And here's what we started with:
And finally:

We are thrilled with the results! We are so happy and feel like this house is finally "home."

I was so excited to get my porch to decorate for the holidays! I've filed tons of inspiration photos and the minute I saw the Pottery Barn porch with grapevine pumpkins and crows, I knew I wanted to recreate it. (Forgive me for not showing you the PB porch. It's all over blogland so you've probably seen it. My file uploader isn't cooperating.) I already had the leaf and berry garland, crows, urns and lanterns. I just had to add the grapevine pumpkins and real pumpkins. I used the grapevine pumpkins from Target. They are close to the PB versions and are much less. I also got them on sale, always a bonus!

Here's my version:

Closer view:

On the left side of the porch we have a conversation area. Of course, being the good Southerners we are, we had to paint the ceiling blue! Our builder looked at me like I had two heads when I told him we wanted a blue porch ceiling. I guess it's not that common in the Midwest.

On the right side, we have the swing. It's everyone's favorite! I could sit out here all day. Unfortunately I can't, but if I could, I would!

Thanks for visiting! I hope to return with interior photos soon!

Thanks to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for hosting the Fall Outdoor Spaces Party (which I'm late to but better late than never!) and to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Met Monday! Also linking up to 3 Mango Seeds Motivational Monday Party...Thanks, Clydia!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Patiently Waiting....

I first want to thank all of you for being so patient! I KNOW you want to see the finished product, but I'm just not quite there yet. Unlike having one room to decorate, I have an entire house. I have decorating A.D.D. so I can't just focus on one room. And I don't want to show you the rooms until I feel they are complete, or at least close to it. I promise I'm almost there and I will be back very soon!

On top of all of the house stuff, we've had a crazy busy summer. The boys start back to school on Monday so I'm hoping to concentrate on the house in the next few weeks!