Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kitchen Makeover Part 2- The After

Below are the after shots of our kitchen.  Its not a high fashion makeover and obviously we will gut renovate this room once we have the 30 or 40K it takes to do so.  I do love the white cabinets though- I am not a wood cabinet kind of girl at all and I tend to dream of a kitchen where I have open shelving for all my white and ivory colored dishware.  My style is definitely simple yet elegant with clean lines and not a lot of stuff lying around.  So, here is our attempt to make the kitchen a little more livable:

And so there you have it- our "new" kitchen, and it was all done for under $500.  We are pretty proud of ourselves I might add.  Yes, the hideous light fixture is still there- it will be replaced soon. The original appliances are still there, although we have thought about painting the dishwasher and fridge with chalkboard paint (my newest obsession)- but honestly we aren't flashy people and we could care less that the appliances are old and not so pretty- as long as they bake our cakes and keep our beer cold we are happy.

I dont have any "during" photos because this was done over a few weeks time and involved a minor issue that I like to call the "hair in epoxy incident".  Let me set it up for you:  the kitchen counters were pink Formica.  We happened upon "countertop epoxy" while in Home Depot and decided we would try it out.  So, a week goes by, the husband leaves for a bachelor party and I am home alone on a Saturday afternoon.  I had just gotten back from getting my hair highlighted and trimmed, so of course I was wearing it down, wanting to show off my new "do".  Well, I start painting the OIL based epoxy onto the counters and I am working very fast because this stuff has the consistency of nail polish, as in the second it starts to dry it leaves serious streak marks if you paint over it. So I am painting, getting slightly high off the fumes this stuff is putting out when it happens. I reached into the deepest corner on the countertop to get a small area I missed, thus sticking my head uder the upper cabinets, when approximately 1/4 of my hair (that is still down and all beautiful) decides its going to fall right into the cover of the epoxy.  I see this, stop short and try to move away slowly, thinking that a sudden movement could make this worse.  Well, I was wrong.  The slower I moved, the more epoxy from the cover got stuck to my hair.  Finally, I free myself from the area and I have the entire cover stuck to my hair.  Now- I realize that any normal person would not have left the cover right on the counter where they were working AND they wouldve tied their hair back- but like I said, the fumes got me high.  I rip the cover off my head and run upstairs to the bathroom to see how much epoxy actually adhered itself to my hair.  A lot.  So, I do what every college educated person would do, I run water through my hair, all over the OIL based epoxy.  The water does not rinse the epoxy out as I had hoped, no no, it basically made the stuff turn to cement in my hair, because as we all know, water and oil DON'T MIX. At this point I am in tears, completely distraught and thinking that I am going to have to chop all my hair off and wear a hat for a year.  I am also hating myself.  Finally, I was able to brush through a bit of it and pull some of the rock hard cement out.  Then, out came the scissors, and off went 1/8 chunk of hair from my head.  I kid you not, I had to cut almost 3 inches off.  I cant make this stuff up. I looked like a 4 yr old who cut her own bangs. 

A lot of my sweat and hard work (and some of my hair) went into the kitchen, so I love it even more.  And I learned some valuable lessons too.

Stairway to Heaven

We have done just about nothing to the house in the past month, aside from the constantly cleaning and sweeping that comes along with having a ridiculously furry dog and dark hardwood floors.  Recently we have been toying with the idea of ripping down the wall that currently closes off our staircase to the livingroom.  We can see that it used to be all opened up but at some point the previous owner put up a wall that blocked it off.  I dont even know if this is possible and of course we would need to rearrange some furniture, but it could definitely happen and I dont think it would be much work.  Here are some photos that are currently inspiring me to rip down the wall and enjoy our staircase in all its beauty...

And my personal favorite (and one of my all time favorites):
Everything about this above staircase is just perfect.  The natural wood, the adorable little chair, the large hutch in the corner, the awesome mirror mural on the sides and ceiling and of course that fabulous pendant light hanging above.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And while we are on the topic

Of new things I have purchased for the house, check out this amazing map of NYC I purchased from Ork Posters!  I LOVE these and think the designer behind them is so talented and creative to come up with such a unique way to show off your favorite city. 

This is going to get framed and put on the large wall behind the couch with our super old map of Boston that was given to us by the in-laws. Now I just need something to place in the middle of these two maps...any ideas?


I have been searching for the perfect rug for our living room for about 4 months now and was almost sold on a West Elm one when I came across this beauty last night on

Black and White chevron stripes, and a great price.  Oh and not to mention, I got 20 % off and free shipping too!  Can't wait til she arrives!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What to do with the leftovers

The husband and I really like our wine.  It doesnt have to be anything expensive, but I cant think of anything better than a rainy day, a movie, and a large glass of wine (or two or three).  We have been collecting the corks from various wines for over 3 years now, we easily have about 200 of them stored downstairs in random boxes, because I just cant think of anything to do with the corks that doesnt scream "college dorm room" or tacky.  So how surprised was I when I was scrolling through one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy, and i came across this post.  175 corks needed to complete this bathmat?  I am sold! 

And of course here's a photo of the lovely mat:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kitchen Makeover Part I

I'm actually painfully embarrassed to be showing these photos online as our kitchen was completely hideous when we moved into our house.  It was straight out of 1956, as in nothing had been moved, painted, updated since 1956.  I kid you not, the original appliances (GE) are still here and yes, they are still ticking.  We knew when we moved in that the kitchen would be one of the first things to get a makeover.  We also knew that the average kitchen remodel costs anywhere in the ballpark of 30K or more, so this would just be a quick fix for the time being, something that wouldnt make us sick every time we walked in the room.  The photos below are from the day we moved in.  Stocking the shelves with all our stuff, and of course my mom in all her glory helping with the process. Note the ridiculous light fixture hanging 2 inches above her head.  Did midgets live here before us?  Oh and our liquor cabinet, I know your jealous, I would be too but I swear we aren't alcoholics.  And theres the husband, sitting on the awesome linoleum floor. It was so stained with dirt and filth that i couldnt be caught within 5 feet of it with no shoes on.  I somehow managed to forget to take a photo of the best part of the kitchen, the pink Formica counter-tops.  VERY trendy circa 1960. 

So we set out an action plan for how to fix our little kitchen with lots of visits to Home Depot and lots of searching online for inexpensive yet durable solutions to cover up this eye sore.  It took almost 3 weeks and alot of sweat and hard work, but we can say that the kitchen is done, at least for now.  And I actually feel happy when I am in there, which of course makes it all worth it. 

The results are pretty amazing if I do say so myself. Check  back tomorrow for an update and the finished product!


Fan Decor

I have this issue with becoming obsessed with certain things I see.  For instance, I bought a tiny vintage bronze colored alarm clock for my nightstand a few months back, and now every time I see anything remotely similar, I have to pry myself away before I buy it and get yelled at for "having too many clocks".  I like to think that vintage alarm clocks could be a pretty cool piece to living room decor though and have this dream of lining up the top of our sideboard with so many clocks that I could set one for every time zone.  You never know when a guest will need to know what time it is in Japan...or so I like to think. I digress.  Anyways, after the ridiculous amount of hot and humid weather we have had in NJ lately, I decided I needed to buy a fan and fast (no we dont have central AC and yes I am jealous of anyone who does have it).  So I stopped in at Target the other night and picked myself up a nice stainless steel Hunter fan.   Industrial, yet efficient, and small enough to be carried up and down the stairs by me.  

Above, my Hunter fan.  So I brought her home and set her up downstairs and immediately decided that I should have bought maybe one or two more fans, because they do serve a purpose after all.  Here are some beauties that I would not be able to pass up if I saw them in person....I think a bay window full of fans would be an exciting focal point for my living room.

Awesome.  I love these, especially the dangerous vintage ones with no protective covering.  A quick finger slip and your new nickname is stub.  Anyways, I think these retro fans would be the perfect decor for any room in the house, so I got to searching and voila!

Somebody has already been there done that.  Vintage fan, large metal number, small porcelain birds- yes please.

Malene Birger LB 2010

I just saw these images on This is Glamorous and had to re-post.  These dresses are adorable and perfect for a summer evening dinner.

The model is pretty gorg too, wouldnt you say?

Color me bad

I was just having a minor freak out session in my office because my scanner wouldnt work when I came across these photos I saved forever ago and clearly never posted.  Loving the bright pops of color and use of texture on the walls (have I mentioned that I am totally using wallpaper in my bedroom?).  I would give anything to transplant one of these rooms into my home.

All images found somewhere on the world wide web.  yep, that's right, the world wide web.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Update with Seth Meyers errr Lauren Santagate

So our trip up to MA and Block Island was just as fantastic as we hoped it would be.  Tons of good food on the grill, lobster rolls, too many beers and WAY too many dirty martinis.  Its so nice to spend time with our friends when we are all just relaxing and enjoying how vulgar we really are.  We took the ferry over just for the day and we lucked out, the weather was perfect.  Well, we all lucked out except for the husband, who got so ridiculously burned I actually felt bad for him rather than telling him he shouldve been more careful.  Thats just what happens when your Irish.

Best weekend in a long time.  BI round 2, next June.