Tag Archives: home improvement

Home Tour Tuesday: The Kitchen

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today we’re in my kitchen! Oh, the kitchen. I love this kitchen, but it could stand some updating to bring it up to speed. Unfortunately, kitchen remodels are probably the most expensive part of renovating a home, so I’m not sure how much I can do. I’ve been following with great interest the renovations that John and Sherry over at Young House Love have been doing. They’re pretty much making my dream DIY kitchen; I’d love for ours to turn out that beautifully.The harsh truth, though, is that our kitchen isn’t that bad. Sure, the cabinets are the most “in” color right now, but kitchen trends come and go. Yeah, we don’t have the stainless steel appliances that are in demand, but we have excellent black appliances that are in great shape and much better than any other appliances in rental kitchens I’ve come across.I dream of an overhaul that will catch home buyer’s eyes and make our duplex stand out in the crowd when the time comes for my dad to sell, but the reality is probably I will manage to add a tile back splash, new faucet fixtures, and maybe stylish cabinet knobs and hardware, and that’s it. If I’m really lucky, that renovation will include a granite counter top.

Outside of the annoying and awkward overhang on the peninsula (shown here, in our living room tour), the most annoying things currently about our kitchen are the lack of shelves tall enough to hold cereal or cracker boxes (see above, how we store them currently as a result), and that the two lower corner cabinets are just big old black holes under the counter, with no shelving or lazy susan to help with storage. Seriously, who does that? We’re going to need to fix that issue somehow. I’m still working on it.
If you look closely, you’ll see my husband working in his native habitat.
Sorry about all the color changes in lighting. Apparently while the iPhone is great for natural light photos, photos with variances in lighting have significant color fluctuations. Sigh.
I’ve been fiddling with the idea of downloading the IKEA kitchen planner to see what I could do with this space. Has anyone used this tool?
p.s. If you’re new, welcome! I invite you to sign up for an email or RSS subscription to receive updates and budget-savvy inspiration on organizing and decorating your home.
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Filed under Budget Decor, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday, Kitchen

Home Tour Tuesday: The Living Room

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today’s tour is the room we spend our most time in–our living room. We watch movies, read, and sometimes eat in this room together. I blog, write, edit photos, list items for sale, and relax in this room. While Daniel spends most of his time working in the office, I like being able to turn the tv on during photo editing sessions, or keep up with the laundry and dishes while writing a blog post. It really is a living room.

Basically, it takes a beating. Our favorite spot for coats is hanging over the back of a chair (much to my chagrin) and it doesn’t take long for it to look cluttered or dirty due to all the functions it performs and all the traffic the floor gets.

Here is what it looks like currently:

… from another angle …

And here is what I’d like it to look like eventually:

Living Room Inspiration - Behind Closed Drawers

Painting, a lighting fixture/fan update, new tables, possible wood flooring, a fix for the awkward space between the chairs and the kitchen (bookcase installed under the counter overhang maybe?), curtain rod and drapes, and decor is all in the plan.

But whatever other improvements we make, we need to purchase a rug. I’ve had my eye on ivory flokati rugs for some time, but I have to admit I’ve been nervous to take the plunge. You have to rake them, for goodness’ sake, and they aren’t exactly kid juice friendly. We don’t have kids currently, but we do have friends and family with kids, so it doesn’t hurt to be ready for spills and messes.

I’ve considered a patterned rug, but if we go that route I’d like a simple geometric pattern and I’m picky and we have a limited (small) budget and Overstock.com only carries so many items in our budget … so … um … yeah. The hunt continues  and the money we’ve saved up stays stashed away.

It’s all a work in progress.

p.s. If you’re new, welcome! I invite you to sign up for an email or RSS subscription to receive updates and budget-savvy inspiration on organizing and decorating your home.

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Filed under Budget Decor, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday, Living Room

Home Tour Tuesday: The Dining Room

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today’s tour is the first room off of the entryway from last week–our dining room. Most of our downstairs is an open plan, but the dining room is set off by itself so it has a more formal feeling.

So here is our plain vanilla dining room. Mid 90s builder basic at its “best,” no?

And a few more close-ups from various room angles:

Overall, it is a very serviceable, decent dining room. Yawn. It plays its role well, and we use it on a regular basis. I am even planning to entertain there soon, as Daniel and I enjoy opening up our home to friends and family for dinners or parties occasionally. (Why wait for something to be perfect? We’re gonna enjoy our home now, despite its flaws!)

That being said, my goal is to makes the room feel richer and more vibrant by adding texture with patterns and bold punches of color.

We don’t have the money for a full overhaul; everything we do will be on a tight budget with lots of elbow grease instead of dollars. So, for this room’s upgrade, I’m hoping to add some DIY wainscoting, paint rich color on the upper part of the wall, and install a more modern light fixture. We’d also like to update our dining room table and chairs. I’ve been haunting Craigslist for about a year … eventually we’ll find one we like and can afford.

In addition, the current window sheers are a terrible burnt yellow color. I’m living with them for now, but, trust me, they will be one of the first things to go!

In the end, I’m hoping it will look something like this:

Dining Room
Much better, dontcha think?
p.s. If you’re new, welcome! I invite you to sign up for an email or RSS subscription to receive updates and budget-savvy inspiration on organizing and decorating your home.

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Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday

What to do? What to do? Plans for an Exciting 2012

So, we’re moved in. The holidays are over. I got my Creative Salvage Etsy shop up and running (although I’m hoping to take photos and add new vintage things very soon). Life is settling down from the flurry of activity from September, when we found out we’d be moving, to November, when I opened my shop, to December, when we spent a week with my family, soaking up the precious minutes with loved ones who live far away from us. Now, the post-holiday shopping lull is upon us and my weekends have suddenly freed up for the first time since. Um. I can’t remember. Probably July or August? Ha!

So, I’m breaking out the ol’ camera and I’m going to continue the organizational journey I embarked upon a year ago. My hope is to have a house tour of our new digs up online sometime in the near future and also begin a new schedule of a before-and-after series from my adventures in organizing the new home. My to-do list for blogging, planning projects, and running a business of my own (as well as helping my husband with his) will definitely keep us busy for months to come! I’m looking forward to sharing the continued journey with you and would love to hear how you are doing with yours.

Photo: Joy

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Filed under Balance, Life, Ponderings

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Nashville, TN

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Ours was hot and muggy and filled with good friends and many memory making opportunities. It began when my brother and a friend of his stopped by for the weekend, staying for a Saturday filled with movies in our living room. We made up for our sedentary day by walking in Edwin Warner State Park after church (dodging cicadas as we went) and then doing some more walking on Memorial Day when we took advantage of a free day at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens (again dodging cicadas as we went!). Monday evening we played host and hostess to a small dinner at our house with another couple (Daniel made his best and tastiest hibachi imitation. YUM.)

All the guests to our house and cleaning we did to make sure they would feel comfortable and welcome made us realize something A. MAZE. ING.

We’re almost there.

I thought it would take a year, and at the rate things have slowed down to, it probably still will, but honest-to-goodness, we’re really close to our desired maintenance mode. Shocking, I know.

Here’s what I still need to do:

  1. Sort the papers. Yikes. My nemesis. Paper. Once that is done, though, we’ll have an almost completely organized office. All that we’ll have to do is …
  2. Sort the craft and art supplies. I love my craft stuff. I’ve spent hours and many dollars acquiring all the supplies I need to do the projects I’ve dreamed up. Only one problem: I haven’t done them yet. So, after a year of trying to cram them into our limited space, I’ve come to the realization I need to find a good adoptive home for them. (If you live in the Nashville area and are interested in taking them, please drop me a line. I’d love for them to get put to good use instead of being donated to Goodwill or thrown out!)
  3. Buy some fabric storage containers for my grandmother’s china.
  4. Sort the rest of the kitchen cupboards and drawers.
  5. Sort the guest bathroom under-the-sink-area.
  6. Buy a deck box to put all our random outdoorsy tools in.
  7. Possibly add some pegboard hooks to put in our shed and organize tools that we keep in there.

And that’s it. Seven little things and we’ll be functionally organized! Sure, there’s a few odds and ends along the way, but those are the major things that keep me from truly knowing where everything is in our house.

I’m so happy to be truly living in our home now. We even have the ability to goof off and just watch tv if we so choose (we so chose this evening, in fact.)

I hope your organization goals are coming along nicely, as well.

Happy Organizing!

Andrea

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Filed under Cleaning, Containers, Organizing

Back Patio Inspiration

It’s Spring, it’s beautiful out on the days when Nashville isn’t being bombarded by tornadoes and wind and rain, and I keep being drawn to our back patio. I love it, but I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I should. (Perhaps that has something to do with the wasps that haunt the place?)

Today Zoe begged to be let outside and so I opened the back door to let her into the safe back patio “play” area. I should note that our dog does not “play” nor does she act like a normal dog. In fact, she is more like a cat. She does not fetch. She does not tug-of-war. She does not roll over. She lounges, sleeps, gets in your face for attention at the most inopportune moments, and begs to go outside to stare at the bees. Yes, the bees. She jumps and eats them. I kid you not. Weird dog.

The back patio is overgrown and begging for attention. Our landlord said we could do what we’d like with it, and I’d love to improve it, but I’m not sure what direction to take. Maybe I’ll plant some flowers. I’ll definitely trim the bushes.

It has so much potential … I can picture it with white cafe lights criss-crossing overhead, potted plants filled with bright colors, and sturdy yet attractive patio furniture. We aren’t allowed to grill out, but there’s no rule about having dinner parties!

The picture above is taken from the vantage of our back stairs. They aren’t much, but the table and chairs are ones I bought for a lunch on a previous back patio. It was a very special lunch … a few hours after it, the diamond ring I now wear on my left hand ring finger literally appeared in a flash of fire. It was a pretty spectacular proposal. Just sayin’.

But back to the shrubbery behind our current home. It’s like the Secret Garden, pre-pruning by Mary and her friends. All except the forgotten discarded toy that Zoe consistently ignores. Note the arrow pointing to the sad, lonely green turtle.

Here’s the final corner. I’m thinking a weather-proof storage bench under the window would be both practical for organizing purposes and also to have some additional seating.

So much potential. So little time! But I have a few ideas of what I like and what I might need to get there …

Patio Image: HGTV: Small Yards, Big Ideas

1) Paisley Gauntlet Glove, $26.00, because every girl should have a cute pair of gardening gloves; 2) Lace Mantle Sweet William Seeds, $2.99. My grandfather grew these every year and developed his own; these remind me of him and make me miss lazy childhood summer days. 3) Felco® 100 Cut-n-Hold Pruners, $54.99, to snip away at those plants and keep them well-groomed. 4) Because I think it might involve a lot of kneeling on concrete, Fiskars 9418 Ultra Light Kneelers Knee Pads, $9.02; 5) 150 Gallon Deck Box for Storage and Sitting, $310.14. This would be perfect under that window and would hold all the extra tools we don’t have room for in the house!

The HGTV article has some great ideas in the photo gallery, but this shot was my favorite. Though our little space is a far cry from the featured garden, I can see elements that would work with what we have, including the container gardening and the teak furniture. I see a lot of teak furniture on the Nashville Craigslist listings, so it is possible we could score some in our budget. I’m looking forward to trimming things up and getting some color on the patio. We’ll see what happens!

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Filed under Home Improvement