Monday, April 30, 2012

Inspiration Files: Storage-Packed Kitchen

I couldn't resist another kitchen to feature for our Monday Inspiration. Take a look and you'll see why! (All images from BHG via Pinterest--click on the links below each picture for original descriptions and sources.)

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

I love this kitchen. There are so many things about it that I have earmarked for my own kitchen renovation. But, let me say that while I adore the style of this kitchen and the amazing storage it features, the finishes? Not so much! Shiny counters that would reflect every crumb? No thanks. Mirrored tile backsplash? Not me. And the colors! Fun and trendy--sure, but my style? Nope. 

When THEY (you know you want to, BHG!) come and re-do my kitchen, we'll go a tad whiter on the top and few shades grayer without so much yellow on the bottom. The backsplash can be beadboard, the counters butcher block, and the ceiling can be light blue. PERFECTION!

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Anyway, this was supposed to be about the awesome storage-packed inspiring kitchen. And it is! The peninsula doubles as a bar (and while it's cool, it's a feature I don't need--do you?) and the neato archway has hidden storage in it!

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

This cabinet beside the stove features pull-out trays so things don't get lost. Do you know how many times I've had to lay in an awkward position with the baby crawling on me to try to find a lid that is lost somewhere in the back corner?

Notice also the handy appliance garage tucked into the corner? I want one!

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Here, BHG is showing you the trash compactor and the double dishwasher drawers between the double sink areas. Sigh... People, some of us don't have ANY dishwashers. You go and get two fancy drawer units? Please. And two sinks? I know it makes sense and I can see why one would need want that, but all I can see is twice the area for dishes to pile up!

Did you see the fun upper unit? I love it! It's just enough show-off without too much look-at-me going on. I like the corbels under the upper cabinet units too. 

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Two built in fridges. See above. But I like how they disappear into the cabinets. Have you noticed the shiny bar above the fridges?

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Yes! A library ladder! I love-love-love that! It goes all the way around the kitchen. Super groovy! I like the handy little shelf that slides out under the pantry unit. Handy, I say!

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Ah, one last look at the deliciousness that belongs in my house. Totally modified, of course. We do get a good glimpse of the island here--it's pretty much ignored the rest of the tour! I like how it is a different color with a different counter material. I'll take it. 

So what inspired you about this kitchen? Do you love the storage? The layout? The style? The cream and citron? Or are you distracted by all things shiny? 

Dear BHG,

I fully agree to a complete kitchen remodel. I will let you use fun colors and modern accents. I will accept two of everything, if that is what will make you happy. In return you can style and photograph my new kitchen from all angles and plaster the images all over your website and Pinterest and I'll take no credit. Just give me two days to pack up my kitchen before you start your demo.

Yours truly, 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Barns of Benton County: Cows!

I don't get out much. The city is far and the small towns in between the city and our place don't have much to offer.

Sometimes after a crazy day I'll leave the boys with my husband and go for a drive. Last week I drove ten miles south, most of it on gravel roads. I must have found 20 new barns!

These feisty looking cows and calves are just a couple miles south of us.

Presiding over it all is a white barn, one of two or three on the property. I'm sure one of the cows would swear SHE is the boss, right? 

Have you seen any barns lately?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Giant Ruler

You've seen the giant rulers everyone's making, right? Love the concept, love the look, had to make it.

We have a small wall in the middle of everything that fits the ruler perfectly. You can see our living room to the left, the hallway to the right. The open door is our bedroom. You're standing in the kitchen while looking at the ruler. (Should I be freaked out that there's a stranger in my house, or excited that you came to visit?)


I took some time away from sorting boxes in the storage room (will it ever end?!??) and created something. As much as I like sorting and organizing, creating is better!

My husband just so happened to have a piece of wood hanging around in the garage. I stole it. Mwah hah hah! 

Here are the steps I took to make my ruler:
  • sand the face and edges of the board with a power sander tool thingy
  • stain the board. I used minwax's special walnut, one coat.
  • measure and mark the lines with a tape measure and pencil
  • draw the lines with a sharpie and a ruler/straight edge/something
  • use stencils to draw the numbers, again using a sharpie
  • apply two quick coats of poly
  • measure (kind of important!) and hang the finished ruler 

Did you catch my supply list? Here it is again:
  • board 
  • sander
  • stain
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • sharpie
  • poly

Since we had all of the supplies on hand, this awesome giant ruler was free! Now I can paint the doorway we were previously marking up, and if we should move one day, this precious family heirloom can come with us!

Just in time for the birthday markings in a couple weeks!

Have you made something fun lately? Bloggy ReadingI'm Topsy Turvy

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Little Musician

Tuesday Tip: How to Clean Cast Iron Pans

You know those days when you have a million things going and nothing gets done? Yeah, hate that.

It took until 10 AM this morning to finish the breakfast dishes. Not that there were that many dishes-just interruptions. Wash, wash, go change a diaper, wash wash, help someone into his coat, wash wash, answer the phone, wash wash, break up a fight... 

So yeah, here's my Tuesday Tip. (Yes, I'm fully aware that it's Wednesday!)

"Scrub your cast iron with coarse salt and a soft sponge. The salt is a natural abrasive and will absorb oil and lift away bits of food while preserving the pan's seasoning. Rinse away salt and wipe dry."

If you click on this picture, it will take you to this pin on Pinterest (follow me!). If you click on the picture again you will get to a slide show of other great kitchen tips from Martha Stewart.

I love my cast iron skillets and dutch oven! I know not to use soap on them, so usually I let the food soak, give it a good scrub with a brush with no soap, then dry the skillet on the stove--they rust if you leave them wet. I use a little bit of oil after the water evaporates, just to keep the finish on the pan. I'm going to give this salt tip a try. Will you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Inspiration Files: "Dirty" Desserts

My boys all have birthdays in May. Even I am not sure how that happened, but it makes for one birthday party to plan for this Momma! 

I've been trolling Pinterest, of course, for ideas. I'm not exactly one of those awesome moms who has elaborate parties with beautiful decorations, perfect events, delicious food and an adorable cake that completes the theme. Not because I don't want to be--I wish I was better at event planning! I'm much more comfortable with a small supper whenever Grandparents are in town, with balloons, cupcakes and a present or two! 

Enough about me; here are the fun ideas for "dirt" cake that I've found that seem to be fun and planned yet simple and easy!

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Source: via Ellie on Pinterest

Aren't those great? I think I could pull any one of those cakes off--especially the ones with no cake involved! 

I've got to get those invitations in the mail!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Barns of Benton County

Today's barn is another oldie--they have so much more character! I love how this one is a weathered red which is mostly gray, then the bottom section of the front with the doors is bright red. So cool!

I did some post-processing using I'm no longer sad about picnik closing because picmonkey is such a close replacement. I'm anxious for them to add other options, like collages. 

I also got to take a rambling drive yesterday and found a ton of new barns! I'm so excited to share them over the next weeks. Recently we took a different route home and I stopped counting after 20 barns that I haven't photographed, including a bright kelly green barn, a yellow barn and a pink barn-turned-bridal-store. So fun! 

Stay tuned! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Barnwood Sign

Our barn is full of curious and odd things, not the least of which is some old lumber.

This chunk of wood has lived in our house for a couple years, previously displaying our last name stenciled in white. While I liked that idea, the stencils were crooked and on a lark I flipped the sign over and drew a G on it.

G could stand for lots of things, but it happens to be the initial of our last name, of course. 

I free-handed the letter with basic trim paint and a small paint brush. When it was dry, I gave the whole thing a good scrub under running water with a brush. The wood is really old and soft and it all gave the G an old and weathered look.

Oh, hey, did you notice my twine-tied candles? That's new too. I've been slowly taking the red out of my living room and replacing it with light blue. The candles were burgundy.

And chewed on--I guess they were just too tempting to a couple little boys when they were displayed lower. I glued on a layer of paper before wrapping the twine around the candles so no red would show. If I choose to burn the candles in the future, I'll add a votive inside that will keep the open flame away from the edge of the candle and the twine.

While you're in my living room I'd like to show you how I've set up my shelves with the entertainment unit. I love it like this and don't know why I didn't try this sooner! It's directly across from the big picture window which our couch is centered on. I realize that I'm not following the trend in blogland to paint my armoire, but I happen to like it this way! I'm not into huge white pieces of furniture, and I'm fickle with other colors. 

Speaking of color, I'm tired of the dark brown wall. I would like more light on that half of the room, and I've been wanting something lighter. You can see my curtain panel below, which is the color I've been adding here and there. The curtains are staying, as is the big leather chair. The carpet will eventually be replaced with hardwood flooring. I'm wondering if a silver blue would work well in here, or greige or the tan that's behind the blue curtain. 

What would you suggest? Silvery blue? Gray? Greige? Tan? Board and batten with one of those shades on top? Bloggy Reading


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