beauty, before and after

“new” kitchen

Hello, friends!

Today, I share pictures of our Before and After kitchen.  Beautiful, bright, spit spot clean, refreshed,  kitchen happiness.

This is not a 60 minute make over television show.  Real life time is more like a few weeks, several trips to the hardware store, waiting for handles to be shipped, an envelope full of home repair money, and one heck of a lot of elbow grease.
The process seems simple enough. Scrub, sand, prime, paint X two coats of Sherwin Williams Alabaster White, new hardware, clean absolutely everything behind those cupboards and inside those drawers.
I am so happy with the results!  Every thing is so bright and clean and the handles feel substantial.
Next up, goodbye microwave and new hood in its place.  Hello, back splash of color.   Yes, it’s time to add in some gorgeous saturated color. 
For now, I am going to cook and bake and fuss in my new bright, happy place.
First, I will insert one picture from the real estate company.  This was the kitchen picture before we purchased this house.  ….mind swirling………………blank canvas……..oh, the possibilities!before kitchen
Nice Before picture.
Here are the After pictures.
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I am going to take a couple weeks off from painting.  Clean my brushes well,  fold up the drop cloth put away saw horses and tables in the garage.  Next on the list?  Amazing Gray paint going up in the hallway and laundry room!

For now, I am trading paint under my fingernails for dirt.

I am headed out to the garden to harvest the fruits of our summer labor.

Chat soon.

 

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before and after, fresh berries

door, floor & more

When I type a blog post, I am usually sitting at a table like any normal/sane/non-obsessed with a new door person.

Not today.

Today, I am sitting cross-legged on the floor, being grateful.  Still in my jammies, a cup of hot coffee with extra homemade cashew cream.  As background music for the little camp I have set up, I chose piano.   Sweet Liberty is snoozing beside me, taking a morning nap.  It is only, 7:14 am and she is quite happy to hit the snooze button.

20170725_165021-1_resizedI just noticed that my right thumb is bluish, purple stained color.  Oh, I guess it is from picking blueberries yesterday?  Goodness, this has been a prolific year for them.

I am in our master bedroom, sitting in front of the closed bathroom door.

Just goofing off on the internet.  I am actually looking for Christmas gift ideas.  My July 25th, “Christmas in July”, has spilled over into today.  Doesn’t everyone shop for and create on the 25th of the month?

Why am I sitting here, you ask?

The thrill of a wonderful Before and After, of course.  20170702_110956_resized

Before… we had a 1990’s oak finish, blah bathroom door with a very inexpensive mirror GLUED to it.  I don’t need to expand in detail about how much I did not care for that design feature.

After…Now we have a substantial, beautiful spa door with Rain glass.    Together we measured (3 times), crossed our fingers and ordered the door. It fits like it was made for it!  Mr. Right did an exceptional job installing the handle and the hinges.

We like it so much, we started another envelope to save up for a door just like it for the main bathroom.  Who really can be giddy & grateful over a bathroom door?  Me! Me!

 

I might sit here all day long, glancing up now and then to smile.

I might paint my toenails here.  It seems like a great place to read my library book.  I already know I can drink beverages here.  I can sew felt food by hand.  Not quite sure how I’m going to cook real food for dinner or start the washing machine from here……..

Just sharing goodness from my little indoor camp site.

I’ll be here all day.  Just whistle if you need me.

Just sharing the goodness,

In this together friends,

Chat soon.

 

before and after, haPPY

stick em up!

The before and after is a glorious moment in time.

Sure, sure it takes months of talking, planning, saving.  It takes a week or more for the actual work.  Then the drama of trying to remember to take the pictures.  haha

Laundry room cabinets have been cleaned, sanded, primed and painted.  New handles have been put on.  The extra nice cabinet stoppers have been put on.  The hinges have been cooked overnight in the slow cooker with water and a Tablespoon of Dawn dish soap, scrubbed, cleaned,  primed and painted.

 

 

Then one of the nicest little details……………. inside the cabinet doors I put up Post-It note display boards.  They are sticky like a post-it note.  (Staples on line or amazon.com) That way, I can stick up post cards,  pictures, jokes, fortunes, notes and grand kiddo art!  While keeping the outside looking pretty, the inside is full of life and goodness!  Years ago, I use to tape up all the kids’ art inside the cupboard doors.  When you looked at the kitchen, it looked neat and tidy, when you opened a cupboard it was full of art and color and goodness!

Here are the pictures.  Goodbye strange, orange hue oak cabinet color.  Hello beautiful, clean, bright,  (Sherwin Williams) Alabaster White cabinets.    Every single time I walk by the laundry room, I smile.  A girl can’t ask for much more than that.


grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

handyman measures up

Everyone has one.

No one takes pictures of them.  Not one person on earth says, “Welcome to our home, would you like to see our utility closet”?

The dreaded vacuum/extra shopping bags/yard stick/dog leash/mop/broom closet. 20170429_204857_resized

99% of those closets are a scary, dark, smelly, small, who knows what you’ll find HOT MESS.

Just as you came in, through the garage, my grandparents had one such closet.  Dark & Scary, check.  Vacuum, extra shoes, grocery bags, a coffee can filled with rocks (?),the yard stick  & also a shot gun leaning against the door jamb. (they lived in the country)

The closet my mother kept her vacuum in was tiny.  In addition to her vacuum, she also kept the ironing board, extra vacuum cleaner bags, extension cords (that were always loose and you used your foot to kick them in to be able to close the door) and a couple of yard sticks.

Ours was no exception.  No matter where we have lived, that one utility closet was a nightmare.  Last week our closet was a jumbled mess of stuff.  Toss it in and close the door fast.  A clothes rod that only one dog leash was hung from, a mix match of bins and bags. Most certainly NOT picture worthy.

How is it the one space used the most in any and all of our homes is the one most likely to win the “sad face” sticker?sad face Stuff just tossed in, cram it there, tuck something next to that, put up another mismatched nail, needed & useful stuff, yet never a pleasure to open that door.

You have to be ready to block a falling soccer ball or a dog grooming brush that could quite possibly come tumbling down. Resulting in mental or physical scars for life, I tell ya!

Hold onto your feather dusters and get ready for an “oh, I WANT that closet” make over.  I fell in LUST with these shelves.  Seriously??????  He had me at those shelf fronts.20170430_114020_resized

We are talking about a 24″ wide vacuum closet.  (Down-sizing forces you to use your noggin and imagination to come up with solutions.)

I am talking about some white paint ( so long ugly, weird, honey, orange-colored wood) , a trip to the container store, one amazon purchase, two trips to the hardware store, some money to buy the supplies and the best Handyman a girl could ask for!

BEST, HAPPY, NON-SCARY   Before & After photos EVER!!!!

WAIT, before I show you, let me tell you my favorite part.  The item my handyman used to face the front of the shelves.  He knows I love yard sticks.  If I wasn’t already married to the handyman, I would marry a yard stick (not really)…weird and wacky but I love those things.

He was wise enough to keep my very favorite one.  It happens to be the yard stick that some little home school person drew feet on the 12 ” marks to learn how many feet are in a yard.  swoon.

This closet holds an amazing amount of things and yet at the same time, doesn’t make you want to grab an item and slam the door.  You want to linger, savor the beauty.  ha

mop, broom, vacuum, dust pan, feather duster, laundry folder board, basket full of do grooming supplies, basket of dog food containers, container lids, wrapping paper, 4 aprons, 4 shopping bags, dog travel bag, carpet cleaning products, mail box key, indoor plant food and one beautiful yard stick

Drum roll please………………………………..   I give you pictures of my new and improved, beautiful, organized, clean, useful utility closet.  (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my handyman.)

GOD BLESS handy men near and far.  In the famous words of Red Green…..

Red Green

grateful, husband, sewing, Uncategorized

feels like home

Not only do curtains add privacy and warmth to a room, there is a certain something that you can’t quite put your finger on.  I think it is sound? A solid sound, sort of grounded I guess?

When you walk through a new home to look at the rooms, you can hear a slight echo.  It doesn’t feel homey, yet.

I have a military, wife, friend who once asked me, “How long before you live in a house, until it feels like your home”?

I first thought the answer was time.  Then I thought maybe cleaning.  Once you clean or paint every square inch of the house or rake every single area of lawn, it feels like your home. Then, I sort of decided it was when you went away on vacation and came back to your home.  We are closing in on one whole year in our new home.   I think I want to add the word curtains, to my list of things that makes it feel like home.

20170131_122036_resized_1This map fabric makes me smile every single time I see it.  It is the perfect window treatment for two small windows in our library.  Stacks of maps, books, a library table….. oh, I get giddy just thinking about it.

No, I did not purchase the expensive Roman shades.

These20170131_122023_resized_1 curtains are a snap.  I sewed them in a giant circle.

Then used 3 inexpensive spring rods for each. (Let’s hear it for Spring Rods!!  The under rated, not so glamorous piece of metal that makes curtains easy peasy.)  Ta-Da!

Finished  and mighty happy.   A bonus, I didn’t think of the glorious warm color they throw when the sun shines behind them.  Warm, beautiful and makes you want to sit a while and read a book.

 

Next, the great room windows.  Much to my surprise, same huge open room, two different size windows.  I had Mr. Right put the curtain rod up a little farther out on the right hand side…..gives the illusion of a bit bigger window.  The “matchy matchy”  part of my brain is satisfied.

20170221_110052_resizedI love Buffalo Plaid.  Seriously, I SWOON over Buffalo Plaid.  My grandfather had a black and red hunting jacket in Buffalo plaid.  I love the boldness and yet at the same time, the traditional feel.

I did not love the prices I was seeing for plain, straight curtains to purchase.  So to satisfy the frugal part of my brain, I ordered fabric ( 1/4 the cost of the finished curtains that I fell in love with.)  I spent some time at the sewing machine and hemmed those beauties.   (Side note:  I bought the rods and curtain hangers from a big box hardware store. Simple and exactly what I had envisioned.)

Once hung (Full credit to Mr. Right, not one cuss word during the hanging of the curtain rods), they add a certain warmth & yes, by golly those curtains somehow magically make the room more like home.  20170221_102349_resized

I know, a home is a continual process.  It is always evolving, changing, adding this or that.

However, having the curtains hung makes the “old Army wife in me” feel like it is home.

What one thing makes you house feel like a home?

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

great marriage, haPPY, Uncategorized

just a little sparkle

Under the name of a before and after blogger, are the words, “because we can’t leave well enough alone.”

Does this of remind you of someone?

Our master bedroom closet.  While it was a perfectly good closet, I had to go and change it.

I liked the closet, I didn’t love the closet.  You just know, the moment I saw that plain Jane, dull, sad closet, I was rubbing my hands together and my mind got to swirling.  She needed somethin’, somethin’.

If you want to catch up with the original blog post, this will whet your appetite.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/going-back-into-the-closet/

Okay, so here is the follow-up.  The finale.  The finished project.  The glorious before and after.

Since this project began some 8 months ago, I have been searching for a flush mount chandelier.  I had lots of wants.  It had to offer a glorious amount of light.  It had to be girlie and pretty. It has to have crystals.  She had to have all that and be very reasonably priced.    The search took several months & while on line, several cups of coffee.  Similar to real life, when you least expect it, you find it.

Not only does the new light sparkle, she throws beautiful patterns and shadows all around. My silver trays filled with pretty baubles and such all twinkle.  The frames filled with pretty photographs shine. Plenty of light and sparkle to see the beautiful colors of coordinated clothing, shoes, belts, and jewelry.

Of course a huge thank you to Mr. Right for installation.  Sure, while up on the ladder, he had a few words.  I just kept holding the flash light (most of the time, steady) and smiling.

Here she is:

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…and just like that (8 months later), another “to do” item checked off the list.

What’s next?

Chat soon.

 

 

sparkle-crown

haPPY, Uncategorized

hello backyard beauty

Though no one uses our back door, we do.

The “before” was rough-looking.  Boots, flip-flops, gloves all strewn/tossed/stacked/hidden on the porch.20161104_110833-1_resized  Less than appealing to see each time we came and went.

I venture out a couple of times a day. Always something to do….. pick herbs,  feed and tend the chickens, let the dog out, fill bird feeders, you get the idea.

We have had over 37″ of rain this year in the Pacific Northwest.  Our backyard is soggy. I need dry boots.

I found this small bench.  It’s main purpose is to use near a pool.  It keeps cushions or pool toys dry.  Why wouldn’t it work for rain water as well?  Ordered.

While I waited for the bench to arrive, I decided to paint the back door and make it a bit more inviting for us.  Oh sure, we all fuss and decorate the front door.  I believe they call it curb appeal?20161104_133923-1_resized

Why oh why shouldn’t we do a little fussing over the back door?  A little backyard appeal for us.  The “after” looks so much neater and way more appealing.

ps.  I made the grapevine wreath with our own vines.  Skinny enough to fit between the door and the glass outer door.

Now, instead of grumbling about needing to “do something” for the backdoor, I just smile. Actually, a small amount of effort for a huge payoff.

housekeeping note:   I purchased the bench from Wayfair. It was amazingly easy to put together (I did it myself) and yes, it is completely waterproof. Also, strong enough to use as extra seating or to sit a moment and put your boots on.

Please stop by the backdoor any ol time.

Backdoor friends are best.