I’m telling you, there’s definitely a correlation between kitchen remodels and crack. The moment I find out someone I know is remodeling their kitchen, I become annoyingly interested, and quite possibly borderline intrusive. I’ve been fearing it would become a real problem, that is until I figured out how to channel the obsession and start helping others with their kitchen remodels. You could say I’m doing it for them and to ‘help a kitchen in need’, but it’s more than likely I’m doing it for myself. I’m selfish that way 😛
I started working with a couple on their kitchen remodel back in September/October. The couple had just bought their home a few months before, and were eager to get started on renovations to make it their own. The home was built in the 70’s, it’s a two story townhouse style layout, and needed a lot of work to make it current.
Allow me to introduce you to project #mykindakitchen. These photos were taken just a couple days before demo, with a fancy shmancy cell phone. The best before photos should always be the worst photos. Ha!
Above is the view while standing at the dining table. This angle is shows the cramped kitchen at it’s finest, a kitchen that only allows one person working at a time. Not very optimal for a growing family.
Above is the view of the kitchen while standing in the living room. The door to the kitchen is a pocket door, and narrower than a standard door, and was at the top of the list of things to demo out. I find it so interesting, at one time in our, or our parent’s, lives physical separation between spaces was coveted, and now we’re all just swinging hammers at walls trying to open that shiz up! I love it.
As you can see, there are quite a few elements in the kitchen that just weren’t working, like the transition from the laminate flooring to the linoleum, or this garbage wall.
Now, excuse this photo as it was taken pre-demo in the middle of kitchen-packing, but you can see here just how little space there was for dining and entertaining. The table was too big for the space, cabinetry in the kitchen was lacking so glassware had to be kept safe in a china cabinet, also making the space feel cramped. More cabinetry was definitely top priority for the remodel.
I think a lot of folks would feel overwhelmed with how to go about solving kitchen situations like these. I think the easiest thing to do is to break it down into segmented thoughts: First, the problems: the kitchen is cramped, inadequate counter space, tired & outdated cabinets & fixtures, not to mention the linoleum floors needed to go. Something you can’t see in the photos is roughly a 6″ soffit throughout the entire kitchen which houses the most beautiful fluorescent lighting (not). The kitchen itself is severely closed off from the living room, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough space for a dining table without the space feeling claustrophobic.
Second, the wishlist: make the kitchen & dining room feel like part of the house, make the entire space feel open and inviting, add cabinets for more storage, add a crap ton of counter space, and add a space to entertain. And you know, keep it budget friendly
It seems like a doozy, but we can make this work!
Next I’ll talk about how we nailed down the client’s taste & style, and answer that strange question – So, how do you go about making the kitchen feel united with the rest of the house?
I was planning to do two big tasks this week, 1) launch a new product line in the shop, the Moroccan Collection, and 2) introduce the latest client project I’m working on. Well, I was only able to do one. I launched over 25 new products in the shop, which took a lot of effort! Each photo I take myself, edit myself, publish to the website myself, pack & ship orders myself – it’s a lot! I need an intern! #canIquitmydayjobyet? Anyway, look out early next week for the first introduction to the gut kitchen remodel I’m working on.
Now, how about those rugs! Those floor pillows! Each item in the Moroccan Collection was hand selected (I wish in person… maybe some day!), and imported directly from the souks in Marrakesh, Morocco. These items are as authentic, vintage, and handmade as you can get!
In addition to the Moroccan Collection, I posted a handful of new rugs, added a handful of vintage African mud cloths (perfect for making your own pillows!), AND THESE OTTOMANS! They have wheels, and roll around. They’re pretty amazing.
If you’re curious about that rug, it’s Margot.
Go check out the shop and see the rest of the new items. If you want to be notified when new product/rugs hit the shop, subscribe here!
Remember these chairs? Woof.
It’s really difficult to visualize the potential of a piece of furniture when they look like this.
After over a year of hoarding them, I finally saved up my pennies to get them professionally reupholstered. I’ve upholstered things myself, always thinking, ‘man, I do a pretty good job!’ It wasn’t until I paid for professional upholstery that I now think my work is laughable… about downright embarrassing. I don’t have the patience, the finesse, the nimble fingers, or the tools to do as good of a job as a professional. I mean, just look at them now –
You just did a double-take, didn’t you? Oh boy, do I love them! I’ve wanted a pair of the Schoolhouse Electric Jack chairs for a while, but they’re SO much money. I bought 14 yards of fabric and paid for two chairs professionally upholstered for less money than one of the Jack chairs.
I learned a couple things along the way, seeing as this was my first professional upholstery experience – I must share with you how it went.
First, I scoured the internets for upholstery weight buffalo check fabric. It took a lot of searching, I wanted something as close to the Jack chair as possible. There are a LOT of versions of the buffalo check, but I wanted something that looked authentic, wool-like, and most original, and not a hundred dollars a yard. I found the P Kaufmann Checkmate from Decorative Fabrics Direct, ordered a few samples, then ordered the recommended yardage from my upholsterer.
I emailed photos of the Jack chair to my upholsterer so he would have an electronic copy to reference when he got to my chairs. I also printed out two copies and brought them with me when I took the chairs to the upholstery shop. I know the guy is a professional, and he can probably spot the best way to do things when upholstering an chair, but I made sure to point out some of the elements of the Jack chair that I wanted replicated on my chairs. For starters, I wanted the black check to be positioned on the top of the arms.
The second thing I pointed out were the buttons. I did not like the original buttons, count and placement. I asked that he put six buttons, three on top and three on bottom. The backs of my chairs are higher than the Jack chair, six buttons just suits the chair better. What I didn’t mention is, I would have liked all the buttons to be alternating in color to the checks they sit in. They don’t look bad, but I think the black buttons get lost in the black check.
The last thing I mentioned, was, along with the tops of the arms, I liked the look how the black check helps frame out the front of the chair. The Jack chair has a much darker check, so it’s a little more prominent than my chairs, but you can certainly see how the black helps frame out the top of the cushion and the bottom of the chair. I like it.
I’m naturally a pretty direct person when it comes to how I like things, so I wasn’t afraid to point out some of these elements that I wanted in the finished product. It beats having a discussion later over something you might not have liked, and end up leaving with a negative experience or settling for something that you’re not happy with. I’m the sort to think, If I’m paying this much money for something, I better get what I want! In order to do that, however, you gotta communicate some things, even if the professional already knows it should be that way.
Overall, I am thrilled with how they turned out! Money well spent! As much as it hurt to swipe payment, it honestly was completely worth every penny, and I will absolutely do it again.
If you’re in the area, I went to Discount Upholstery in Concord. Bruce is the man!
This nursery was such a great project. Some of my favorite elements in the room I had in mind from the beginning, yet had trouble sourcing. They suddenly fell into place on the day of install – like that adorable floating shelf! It must have been the pressure of deadlines.
The floating wood shelf was a life-saving find. At first we were looking for something white, but the wood finish on this shelf complements the side table perfectly. I had to do some convincing to keep it, as an all white furniture room would just be too stark and flat. A few pieces of wood add instant warmth. The mobile is a DIY (more on that below), the ballet slippers are the client’s, as she grew up a dancer. The giraffe print is from my favorite nursery art source ever. We wanted to hang the large scale bunnies, but $$$$$. We also used a pair of copper bookends to corral a couple books, and a wanderlust globe Zano let us borrow for the shoot. So bummed these aren’t available anymore! But some creative folk sell similar ones on Etsy.
One of the DIYs I’m most proud of is this wood & mirror mobile. I picked up a few packages of wood pieces of various sizes and shapes, and a couple packages of small round mirrors, at the craft store. Using a hot glue gun, some clear jewelry elastic string, and thin wood dowels (also found at the craft store), I made this adorable mobile. It took a minute (more like 3 hours) to figure out the best way to balance everything out. My recommendation is, start from the bottom. I didn’t realize this trick until I was two hours in. Ha! The things we do for DIY…
Book storage is key in any nursery. I anticipate their storage needs will grow. That’s the thing with having a kid, the need for storage seems to multiply exponentially, but for now these copper wire wall baskets meets the need for storage, and cuteness of course. The copper garland was on clearance at Target a few months ago. I put two strands together, and in hindsight should have bought more. The garland was a lot shorter than I thought.
Another fun DIY is this wall hanging! I didn’t get a full photo with the wall hanging (bad blogger!), we hung it on the wall right beside the door. As I was finishing it, my husband said it looks like a prom dress. Hilarious. And now it’s all I can see. But anyway, I dig it, and am a total fan of weird woven wall hangings. I used a bit of metallic ribbon in the upper fuchsia section, which didn’t quite translate to photos. Anyway, take my word, it’s quite fancy in person.
The curtains are Ikea. Who doesn’t have a pair of Ikea curtains? These are great, they’re grey with a bit of texture, and are blackout thick – perfect for a nursery! I did have to hem them myself. I just plopped my sewing machine on top of that wood table and sewed the curtains while hung. The white pom trim was a game time decision. I thought the curtains needed a little something extra. I had an extra spool of these white poms, and hot glued them on the spot. And finally, the coveted copper curtain rod! It comes in every finish imaginable, and is extremely affordable.
Well there you have it! If I missed anything, leave a comment below
Copper lamp (now available in silver!) // Moroccan pouf (The Vintage Rug Shop, coming soon!) // side table (2-drawer version also available!) // blush planter // curtains // cantaloupe velvet pillow // navy rocker // abstract art
It’s here!!!! The reveal of a nursery project I’ve been working on for the last few months is here! This nursery is for a much deserving baby doctor (OBGYN if we’re getting technical), who’s having her first baby in just a couple weeks. For someone who spends literally 24 hour days at a time helping new moms enter parenthood for the first time (and so much more, as OBGYNs do) I felt compelled to give her a nursery she’d love. Doctors dedicate their lives to helping others, often times it barely leaves them with time and energy to spend on – what might be seen as superfluous – a well decorated nursery. It feels great helping someone who sacrifices so much to help others. I’m no doctor, but man, I doctored the crap out of this room!
OK, enough blabbering, I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking (oh, and in case you missed the before, read this post).
I mentioned last post, it all started out with a rug! The Painted Desert rug from Lulu & Georgia is pretty much the PERFECT rug for a girl’s nursery. Everything else fell into place perfectly, if I do say so myself.
Stick around later this week and I’ll share more on the DIYs and other sources that went into completing this room. There are so many, it’s hard to pick a favorite! That mobile though…