Saturday, February 6, 2010

Making a Splash

For a townhouse, our kitchen is a decent size. Especially since I was accustomed to the 3′ x 4′ galley kitchens that graced my previous apartments. There is plenty of counter space, a nice sized pantry and room for a casual dining setup. It looks a little something like this:

Your standard builder-issued cabinetry and all white appliances. I would have preferred stainless steel, but we can’t justify buying all new appliances when these are less than a year old and work great. So for now, they will stay. The walls are a light sage green which i didn’t totally mind for a while. But pretty soon, I was itching to paint. I wanted something warm and cozy. So the kitchen turned into this:

Sorry for the terrible pictures. I should be getting a good camera for my birthday, I think (hint hint). Its hard to get a true feeling of the color from the pictures, as it looks different in all of them. Its basically a warm, spicy terra cotta color. We always buy Behr paint and decided to try the paint and primer in one. It went on like buttah, seriously. The paint is so smooth and rich, i love it. But . . . I’m not sure if i would go with it again. Even though you aren’t supposed to need primer, I think that the paint would have a lot more durability if i had primed. There’s already a spot next to the dog’s bed, where the paint has scratched off. I think it is from his chewed up bone rubbing against the wall. Not too happy about that. I was really afraid that the paint color was too close to the cabinet color, but i ended up loving the look. It kind of blends together in a good way.

I also tackled a tiled backsplash. I have never done tiling before but it was pretty painless. The grand total for all the supplies ended up being around $200. I really love how it looks. It is one inch glass mosaic tile. The glass is different shades of coppers and browns and is incredibly shimmery.

We also found that decorative shelf on clearance at sears for $7. It is self-leveling and super easy to install. It also made a great home for some of my white ceramic animals. I love the contrast of the white against the wall.

I have since taken down the flourescent light fixture above the sink (gross) and replaced it with a spotlight fixture that I found at IKEA for 9.99. Win! I would love to get some under-cabinet lighting to illuminate the backsplash. Its not really living up to its potential yet.

Things I still need to do in the kitchen:

- Tackle the curtain situation . . . these ones came with the house and they suck

-Paint the chairs white. I love my white pedestal table (from the as-is room at IKEA!) but haven’t gotten around to painting the chairs to match. I have a feeling this will be a project for when the weather starts to warm up.

-Maybe a cute jute rug or something to break up the vast whiteness of the floor

-More decorative kind of stuff

-Install hardware on the cabinets

Monday, February 1, 2010

Trellis Jealous

I’m addicted to trellis patterns right now. There are worse things I could be addicted to, like cigarettes, crack, American Idol. But right now, this is what i’m craving:

and a little bit of this . . .

and a whole lot of this . . .

Z Gallerie Labyrinth Pillow

However, after the back splash tiling project (which i will post about later) and painting every room in the house, plus millions of other little home improvement projects that I always have going on, I promised the man that I would go on a temporary spending freeze. The man is always getting me down.

I have noticed lately that the living room has been missing something. I finally figured it out the other day. We needed something on the wall above the couch. It was just a big gross patch of beige paint. Since we only bought our house in May, I have been wary about putting too many holes in the walls because i just want them to look smooth and unblemished forever. So there isn’t much hanging out on the walls. We definitely needed some kind of accent piece though, so I set out to look for something that would go great on the wall. Something bold, colorful, possibly geometric . . . TRELLIS!

(Edit: Do you ever have moments when you realize that your parents were right? I hate that feeling. My mom used to forbid us from putting holes in our walls. It is pretty difficult to hang 1000 TigerBeat centerfolds of Leonardo Dicaprio, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Andrew Keegan’s flowing locks when you can’t put thumbtacks in the wall. Totally know where you were coming from, Mom. Thank God for Scotch tape.)

This would be a great way to introduce some trellis love into the living room. My go-to quick art solution is to cover an art canvas with some beautiful fabric. However, the selection at Joann fabrics was seriously lacking and I didn’t want to wait the few days for shipping if I bought fabric online. Because I am impatient. Ridiculously impatient. When I get it in my head that I want to do something, it can’t wait one more second.

Soooo I headed over to Michael’s to look at their art canvas selection. I wanted something pretty big, but a giant canvas would have put me back 4o bones or more. Next stop, IKEA, and my favorite room in the world . . .

The AS-IS room! I check this place on a weekly basis because the deals are great and most of the merchandise is salvageable. The IKEA gods must have been smiling down on me that day. Right there in the back of the room was this:

IKEA Ribba frame

The plastic inside the frame was slightly warped so I scored this giant frame for under $10. I took it home and stretched some canvas over the frame, used a staple gun to hold it in place, and my own art canvas on the cheap. Now here’s where it gets a little dicey. I know that you need to prime a canvas before you paint it. However I didn’t have any art canvas primer and I really wanted to use what I had on hand. I slapped a thin coat of latex interior wall primer on the thing. Don’t be mad at me. Oh wait it gets worse. Then I painted the pattern on with interior latex paint, so that it would precisely match the lower half of the wall. And guess what, haters? It worked brilliantly! Here are some pictures of the progress:

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I love large-scale prints and I never would have found a fabric that would have been that large. It will stay until I move on to a new obsession. And as I’m sitting here staring at the picture, I decided I need to make some pillow covers for the two small tan pillows. Way too much tan going on there. It never ends, does it?

Meet the Kids

This is Little Man, our first-born. We adopted him from a shelter in the ‘hood when he was just a little bitty. He came with the name and we tried to change it, but nothing really stuck. Something like Little Satan would have been more appropriate. He is not really a cat, he’s more like a bipolar dog. He’s not the type to run and hide when the cable guy comes. Instead, he’ll rub up against them until they pet him and then he’ll sink his teeth into their arm.

When he had to stay overnight at a veterinarian office one time, they told us he would no longer be welcome at that office. They said it was the first time they had to use the rabies pole on a cat. I felt kind of proud.

The good thing is, he’s very adaptable. He moved around with me in college, has lived in four different houses, and much to our surprise, tolerated this guy:

This is Wilbur, my sweet sweet puppy love. We got him from a shelter that pulled him out of a kill pound that was going to euthanize him the next day. His owner had to go into a nursing home and had no one to care for Wilbur. Wilbur was so sad in the pound that he wouldn’t eat, so they considered him “un-adoptable”. Luckily, we found him just in time. Now he’s the sweetest, most loving, happy, crazy puppy ever. I now know why weird old people own one certain breed of dog and start wearing poodle-festooned sweaters, getting license plates that say “PoodleLady” and collecting weird Boxer figurines. I have to admit that I have had to step away from a beagle car decal a few times.