It's finished! We've been working on these kitchen projects for about three years, but they're all finally finished! When we moved into our row house six years ago, we swore that the first thing we'd change was the kitchen backsplash and cabinet pulls. Man oh man were we wrong about that. Instead, we completely overhauled our back patio, our bedroom, a half bath, and part of our basement first. That being said, it's awesome to finally have it all come together. Just for reference, here's a look at a photo I snapped of our kitchen on closing day.
While there really wasn't anything wrong with the kitchen when we moved in, it just wasn't quite our taste. The house had been completely gutted and renovated three years before we purchased it, but a lot of the finishes were things we knew we'd want to change. Many of them were very traditional in style, and that's just not our cup of tea. So we opted to swap out the more traditional items, add a few new details, slap some paint on the walls (twice!), and give it a more rustic modern feel.
First, we went to the architectural salvage yard and purchased about $10 worth of salvaged lumber, used hidden fixtures that Andrew got for free from one of his firm's hardware partners, and installed floating shelves on our empty brick wall. We added a new bar cart and some hooks and now have a nice spot for mixing drinks and making coffee and tea. And voila! More storage to boot. Always a bonus when you're living in a tiny space. The aqua coffee and tea tins were an Etsy find, while the other tea tins and bar tools were found at various flea markets and our local vintage shop Rust N Shine, respectively.
Next, we swapped out our old bar stools for some new clean lined beauties. We moved a few plants to the windowsill to brighten up the room. And added another cart to the room adjacent to our island. The second kitchen cart is a piece that my grandfather made in high school shop class. When we first moved to Baltimore, my aunt passed it on to me, and I refinished it and added the tile top.
When we first moved, we had purchased the set of Caribbean blue Le Creuset pots with money left over from a tax credit. I then received the matching crock and spatulas as a gift from a friend. We swapped out the boring black square-inch tile backsplash for beautiful white marble. I found the mid-century teak and glass canisters on Etsy.
We painted the walls a light peach color that really goes well with the turquoise theme as well as the rich wood colors. We swapped out the traditional, round nickel cabinet knobs for clean lined stainless steel pulls. And lastly, Andrew removed two recessed lights above our island sink and installed glass pendants with Edison bulbs.
And there you have it! The kitchen is complete! Even though it may have taken us three years to get through each of these changes, we're finally there. The finished look of our kitchen is just as I had envisioned from the start, which makes it even more satisfying. Since we spend a lot of time in this space, it's nice to have a room that is truly a reflection of our style.
Have you ever updated your kitchen? What projects are you working on right now?
We have finally finished our kitchen! We have lived in our row house for going on six years, and in that time, we completely revamped our patio space, renovated our half bath, styled our bedroom, made our roof deck into an outdoor lounge, and have now finished our kitchen. I'll share photos of the kitchen once I'm able to take some good shots. And perhaps I should give a home tour one of these days.
However, with another project under our belts, I'm ready to move on to the next room. Currently, our next plan is to paint our master bath. We have already swapped out light fixtures and hardware and would eventually like to redo the tile, but that's a bit more intense of a project. With that in mind, my focus starts to head toward our living room. So instead of making a decision about what to tackle next, I find myself browsing all things that are for living and family rooms.
For starters, we're in desperate need of coffee tables for both the living room AND the basement. Our living room coffee table is not even a table and it's the single most hated piece of furniture in our house by both me AND Andrew. I like the look of this marble topped coffee table to carry over the marble backspash from our kitchen into the living space.
Our cat happens to be a major turd and loves to use our cozy chairs in the living room as scratching posts. We've tried just about everything to get him to stop short of declawing him, which is not an option in my book. That being said, I'm dealing with the crappy looking chairs for now, but I've been keeping these chairs in the back of my head for when I'm ready to save for new ones. They still are large enough to curl up in, but they don't have fabric arms.
We've been looking for dimmer lighting in the evenings that doesn't require us to use our rather bright recessed lighting. Using one light instead of many make a room feel more intimate and would save energy as well. Floor lamps seems like an ideal way of doing this while also adding some extra style to the room. I nearly purchased this handmade one for Andrew for Christmas, but wanted his second opinion. He approves and it's on our list of items to purchase. The shade in the photo doesn't come with, but we'll likely opt for one that is a bit wider and shorter with less detailing.
Tripod Floor Lamp
Right now, we have very limited shelving. By nature, row houses usually have a completely open floor plan. Because of the bump out from the wall where our half bath is located, there's a space that is the perfect size for a bookcase. Again, I love the idea of bringing similar elements from the kitchen into the living room for a more cohesive look, so I've got my eye on this industrial/rustic modern piece.
Our current ceiling fan is much too traditional for our tastes. When we swapped out some of our bathroom light fixtures, we also discussed swapping out the ceiling fans as well. Ceiling fans are a must have for any Baltimore home due to the hot summers and wonderfully long and warm spring and fall seasons, and we love the modern look of this one.
Lastly, about two years ago, we finally decided to pitch a rug that we'd received as a hand me down from my aunt. It really wasn't our style and it made the living room so dark. Our only regret is that without an area rug, the floors are incredibly cold in the winter. We'd been eyeing this rug from Crate and Barrel for quite some time with the intention of it being our replacement. However, very recently Andrew's mom purchased the same rug for her new living room set. Now we're trying to decide-- stick with our choice, or go with something else? Regardless, we still enjoy looking at it for inspiration.
For now, we'll stick to painting our bathroom next, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a vision in mind for the direction I'd eventually like to go with the rest of our row house. As you can see, we love warm wood tones and clean lines, probably a product of Andrew's architectural influences.
Have you been working on any new home projects lately?
Last week, while brainstorming how to spruce up our coffee and tea bar, the idea to do some DIY with thrifted tea cups popped into my head. I set out to scour a few thrift shops to see what I could find and picked up some gold spray paint, determined to make some pretty things. Monday rolled around, and a woman who lives around the corner from us announced on our neighborhood facebook page that she had some offshoots of mini aloe plants that were up for grabs.
I love aloe, so I jumped at the opportunity for free plants and walked over to her house to pick a few of them up. When I got home, I realized that I had already filled all of my indoor planters with various flora, and thus, the tea cups became planters. While this wasn't the original idea that I had envisioned, I'm actually happier with the outcome-- funny how things work out that way sometimes!
What you'll need:
- tea cups (I purchased mine for a whopping 50 cents each at Goodwill)
- gold spray paint
- clear coat glaze or sealer
- painter's tape
- potting soil
- small plants of your choice (check out the sale section of your local home improvement store-- I've found some inexpensive options many times there!)
Use the painter's tape to seal off the areas of your tea cups that you don't want to be painted. I opted for two triangles on one of my cups and a painted top and bottom portion on the others. Seal them well, so the gold paint won't leak!
Set up the taped cups on a layer of newspaper in a well ventilated area. Spraying evenly, about 10-12 inches away, coat the cups with the gold paint. Wait for about 15-30 minutes, and paint a second coat. Once the second coat is dry to the touch, peel off the painter's tape.
Let the gold paint dry for a few more hours, and then evenly coat the cups with the clear glaze to seal the paint. I used several coats of the glaze in healthy doses, to make a nice smooth finish. Let the cups dry overnight, and then fill with potting soil and plant.
Are you as obsessed with that gold spray paint as I am? I think I want to spray everything with it now! These were super fun to make, and have added a little life to the dreariness of January.
Have you taken on any DIY projects lately?
Lately I've had the itch to entirely redo some of the rooms in our house. We still need to put in new flooring as part of our basement renovation, I'd love to completely remodel our master bath, and we are in desperate need of a new backsplash in our kitchen, which is what we had said would be the first thing to change when we moved in. Four years later, we still have a black backsplash, and we haven't even painted our master bath.
However, home projects start to get expensive, and after spending most of our summer finishing our patio remodel, a new bathroom and flooring don't seem to be part of the plan in the immediate future. As a darker season creeps in, I am beginning to become more and more irritated with how dark our kitchen feels. Currently, it is a bright and rich salmon/coral color on the paintable walls, exposed brick on another wall, and a cream with a hint of nutmeg color for the doors and trim. The colors are warm and inviting, but have been that way for 4.5 years now, and I'm ready for a change.
Most of our kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and other such accessories are turquoise, which is a great compliment with the current wall color. However, I think I'd like to lighten it up a bit. We're big fans of color and don't like white walls, so I've started looking at some light peach options that would compliment the turquoise theme and could be brightened with whiter trim and doors.
Here's a look as some of the fun spaces I've stumbled across that have incorporated peach while searching for some inspiration.
What colors are you drawn to when you want to brighten up a room? Do you repaint your rooms often when you're inspired to make a change? What other light colors do you think would compliment our turquoise accents well?
Blue is my favorite color. While I prefer shades of aqua and turquoise, there is also something so classic about royal blue. I especially love the color in various housewares, perhaps slightly biased as I think back to the pitcher and tiles that my mother always used in our kitchen. Royal blue feels rich in tone and soothing as blue often feels, yet it can make a bold statement.
1 // Rika Dinner Plate, 2 // Solar System Poster, 3 // Blue Bottle Collection, 4 // Kate Spade Mini Carson Crossbody Bag, 5 // IKEA Table Lamp, 6 // Converse All Star Ox
Do you like royal blue? What's your favorite shade of blue?