decorating with dodi

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

We Interrupt This Tour....

As I was taking more pictures of my summer decor I realized that I never finished my kitchen re-do posts. I think one of the first things I did was to have the overhead fluorescent light removed and the sky light and pot lights added-and, I have never regretted that move for a second!

You can also see the tall pantry we added next to the frig. It holds so much!!!

As you can see, no cabinets were cleaned in the making of this post. Would I love this to be more organized? You bet! But, in my defense, I am not the only one going into this cabinet-if you know what I mean.

I actually labeled the shelves so "other people" would know where to return things-sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! But, I tried!

Because I insisted this pantry be so deep, small items were always getting shoved to the back so I bought a pull out drawer for them and the problem was solved.

I did the same for the 2 lower cabinets on either side of the stove. Makes getting out the smaller pots so much easier! This also where I installed my Pinterest inspired cutting board holder and I love it. My LARGE cutting board is now out on the counter and so easily accessible and the small ones are easy to grab quickly when needed. I usually choose the plastic boards for onions, garlic or meat products because then they can go in the dish washer to get sanitized. Don't machine was my good board.

And then when I was going through my Google Reader this morning and came across this post on "The Lettered Cottage", I knew I should back track and finish my post. You see, this is pretty much EXACTLY what I did. Of course, I did it years ago before I had even heard of blogs, hence, no pictures of the process.

But, that is pretty much what my ugly cabinets looked like except the carved out design on mine started out avocado green. I put my lathing strips in a bit from the edge and didn't use a center piece but other than that, that was how I covered up those hideous cabinets.

As I think I have said, my plan had been to use a chocolate glaze (actually still have the unopened can sitting in the garage) but hubby liked the white and without one more piece of fancy molding to hold a bit of the glaze, I decided to leave them as they were knowing I could always add the last step later. Many years have passed and I am finally beginning to think about doing that but want to see where I go with a new color before I make that leap-and even with my daughter's color swatch book, I am having a terrible time committing to something new. I actually still like the red walls that are glazed with a white wash-I am just getting a bit tired of them. My brain is telling me to go light but my heart still wants the warm tones in the kitchen. So I am stuck on the horns of a dilemma and for now have found a comfortable seat right there. Maybe cooler weather will push me into action. We shall see.

This shot shows you the bun feet that I added to the sink unit and the new sink and faucet set. It is practically impossible to see, but I also added a wooden embellishment to that ugly wooden valance that goes over the sink. That valance hides a light but since I rarely ever use it any more, I am beginning to think of new options. I also added a small shelf to each side cabinet next to the sink and use it for seasonal decor, fancy oils, vinegars or herb pots or plants. I like having something green in that area as it gives a bit of "life" to the kitchen. I try to have a live plant in all of the public areas of the house.

In any case, this is the latest incarnation of my kitchen. All of the appliances are now stainless and I love them. Our stove has a double oven and even though I don't think of myself as cooking a lot these days, there are many times that both ovens are in use at different temps-love that!

I have changed the hardware many times as well. It is now brushed nickel. I did that when we bought the large double stainless sink. I also changed all of the hinges to the brushed nickel as they had originally been a dark brass and just stood out like sore thumbs after the other changes.

If you follow this blog, you know I like "things" and NEVER have enough storage. When we had the bar added, I somehow thought a desk was a genius idea and had one of those added too. What was I thinking?! I so could have used one more storage area and when we change the countertops to granite, I will look into altering this spot. Maybe 2 large drawers would be better. In the meantime, I decided to eke out a bit more storage in this area as NO ONE EVER SAT AND USED THIS AS A DESK!!

I was able to find an inexpensive shelf unit at Target (or Lowes, can't remember) that fit perfectly and have a lot of my baking pans and sheets stored in there. I'm not a huge fan of the curtain, but it works for now and I can get to things without removing 100 other things first-always a goal of mine.

And, since I found a fabric to make the curtain that I really liked, I also used it to cover the stool seats and open wired doors on the pie safe. I would get rid of that pie safe in a heart beat, but it holds so much-cookbooks, ceramic bakeware, cloth napkins, napkin rings, wine glass charms and more!

When I found the fabric, I came across this clock that looks like it was made to go together and I knew I had to have it. I made the chalkboard from a frame I bought at HL at 40% off and a piece of ply wood I had sitting around-got to love chalk board paint! I really didn't erase it for this shot-it is usually full of my grocery list. I really do use it all of the time. Not the most attractive accessory when full of notes, but so convenient for reminding myself what we need to pick up on our next grocery store visit.

This is the bar we had added oh so long ago. This area used to be our eating area but when we enclosed the garage, the family room moved out there and dining space moved into old family room. I had the pendant lights added during the last update. I have actually thought of getting rid of the bar, but it has TONS of storage underneath and gets lots of use- mostly from grand kids but friends and family will also sit there and chat if I am in the kitchen and don't need help. Of course, if the bar was gone we could add a newer island so I will be thinking about that!

Keeping the counters pretty clutter free, but can't get rid of my Southern Living round tray. Using it now to hold cooking essentials-olive oil, salt, balsamic vinegar, fresh pepper and some seasonings and herbs. We are on a crustini and caprese kick these days so this must stay close at hand!

And here is the side of the large pantry we added. It holds the over flow from the frig pictures and things I just can't make myself put away. When I look at it like this, I feel like it needs to go but I know it won't-so maybe I will try to edit it a bit...we'll see.

This has really been a long post but that only seems fitting because this is the largest project I have tackled yet - by myself. I love my new kitchen. Is it exactly as I have always dreamed of? Of course not. In a perfect world, I would have ripped out those cabinets in a heart beat and there would definitely be granite by now. But, where would the fun have been in that-ha-ha. Maybe some day Stay tuned.

Keeping It Simple

So sunflowers and citrus colors are once again the theme of the day as we head into the dining room. Really am trying to keep things at a minimum. Didn't even use a runner or the "ever present" shutters in the niche this time. As I've been posting lately, I have mentioned some things that are ready for an update. The wall of cupboards that houses this niche is another of them. I had it added many years ago to the end of this room when we moved the dining set in here.

You see, I am a bit of a hoarder. And, I love dinner ware. I have over 9 complete sets and at least 6 partial sets of dinner service. Even though I don't entertain as much these days, when I do, I want to set a beautiful table. No surprise that most of my sets are for a particular season, holiday or theme. In any case, once again storage became a huge issue and a complete wall of cupboards only made sense.

And so, when we moved the dining set into this room, I had this unit built at one end. Since this was already a long, narrow room, I had no hesitation in losing a foot or so at one end. The unit is deep enough to hold dinner plates easily. The 4 long areas on the right and left hold most of my dinner ware and the 2 in the middle hold odds and ends-serving pieces, special wine glasses, tea pots, etc.

I was VERY country when I designed this and wanted it kept VERY rustic. The poor guy who was building it kept asking if that was really what I wanted. It is basically a wall of shelving with rough sawn wood on the front. I had him just cut the doors from the wood panels. Then, I used black hinges and just those old fashioned, twisty wood closures (that's the "technical name". I don't know what they're really called) and I loved it. Then the other day, I saw it with "new eyes" and once again said, "what was I thinking?". And so, this becomes another item added to the to-do list. I really don't think it will be hard. Seems like you could just rip off the old facade, add a new one and then add slightly more refined doors. We shall see.

Used the old wooden box that I made down the middle of the table. Since I was keeping it simple, I went out and cut most of the rest of my hydrangeas. Some of them were a bit past their prime, but I liked the color they brought. Seems like the colors perfectly match the new PB runner that the box sits on. If you look closely, you will notice that the runner is folded over. Since this runner was at such a good price, I never looked at its size. Got home and realized it is 108". That size will work when my table is opened but is way too long for the way it usually is. Thought it would be a simple matter to cut off one end but then realized that the border would be ruined, so, for now, it sits like this. I won't tell if you don't.

I love those jars. The red and gold are from Southern Living and the white is PB. I think this simple vignette is the essence of my late summer decorating.

Off to do a few things in the yard. Now that our summer rain pattern seems to be over, it is nice to spend time outdoors and when I am just over it, I hop in the pool to cool off for awhile. The rains gave way to a whole new crop of weeds in the gardens, so I will get on that and need to do a bit more pruning and fountain maintenance before I can really "chill out"-or at least chill as much as one can in 90 degree temperatures.

I have a pretty busy week ahead. Going to have the girls here again. We are going to invade Jen's new house and help with little things. Then I'm off to Gainesville for a few days to help my daughter get her classroom ready for another school year. I will be back as soon as I can. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Slowly Getting Through Summer.....

...decorating, that is. The hutch at the end of the kitchen holds some of my Mediterranean feel items. Wonder where I would be if my daughter had not been a Southern Living dealer for a few years. Everywhere I look I see Southern Living items-just in this photo alone are 3 pitchers, a tray, the wire basket, 2 candle holders and the pictures. Didn't hurt that I got a pretty nice discount!

Although there really isn't any "citrus" or sunflowers per se, I think the colors still represent summer.

Look at my new dish towels! Haven't really had time to shop for the season lately but I had to run into JoAnns the other day for some supplies for some drapes I was making for my daughter's new house and just happened to see these. I like that they have autumnal colors but the pattern is a bit updated-not my usual "sunflowers" or fruit design. When my daughter saw them and approved, I knew I picked a "winner".

As I was taking these pictures, I realized how sparse I really went in this decor. There are lots of splashes of my color scheme in this room and the kitchen, but not that show up well in pictures. Not even sure that I like the mantle. Kind of looks like I just lined up all of my pottery but right now, it is what it is and I'm living with it. At least the colors are right-except for maybe that light yellow taper, but it is all that I have at the moment with no hope of getting out shopping in my future real soon.

I know you're thinking I threw that leaf in there just to see if you were paying attention, but it belonged to my daughter and she was going to donate it, so I brought it home with me. Needed something else on this table and all of the colors were just right. The black veining even pulled in the black candle holders that I wasn't too sure about, so here it will stay-soon to be joined by all of its wonderful autumn leaf, acorn and pumpkin cousins!!!! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Sunny" Days

This is what you will see as you enter my front door between now and Sept. 1. Even though we live in Florida, there isn't a lot of sun outside these days, so I usually bring it inside this time of year by decorating with lots of sunflowers and citrus colors. They are considered the "warm" colors and always remind me of the heat of summer.

I had this cloche but nothing to put inside it so I downloaded the sunflower picture and scattered a few flower heads around it. It makes for a cheery welcome as you enter and definitely sets the theme.

The orange pillow on the chair is perfect for this time of the year as it is citrus orange on one side, lime green on the other and bound with red, orange, yellow and green pom poms. Wish I could still buy these as I would grab a bunch more but I bought it in a small decorating store in Mt. Dora that is no longer there.

Love how the sunflowers look in this holder. Simply filled the vases with mixed dried beans and popped them in. Keeps well with the color scheme and holds the flowers-plus, dried beans are really inexpensive so this makes for a great vase filler.

Guess I stayed pretty simple in this room. All I did here was fill my large copper bowl with faux citrus fruit and add the candles that I found last year at Kohls that match the colors perfectly and I was good to go.

Trying to cut back on accessories this time of the year and keep the decor a little bit sparse-at least for me. It took everything I have not to add in some leaves, acorns, etc......but soon-I promise! More rooms to go. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Keeping It Real

Thought I would use today to check in. I have spent the last few days-and at the rate I am moving probably the next few as well-at my daughter's house. They have finally moved into their beautifully partly-renovated home. I don't think the contractor took them seriously as they kept telling him they HAD to be in by July 15. The house was supposed to be done 2 months earlier and the new deadline kept changing until finally they called his bluff and moved in. What is done is gorgeous! But, that being said, there is still soooooo much still to do. Still NO kitchen, no bathroom sinks, no hot water, no built-ins complete, no fireplace mantles, etc. There ARE lights, A/C, and commodes so they're not entirely roughing it and the home and property are so beautiful that they really don't even seem too bothered. Kind of like an adventure!

In any case, that is where I have been but I too have had my own little mini contractor issue. I recently posted about buying a pull-out garbage can/recycling can unit for my kitchen. May be getting too real but the above pictures show what we are currently working with. Of course, the door to the garbage can is usually closed but you get the idea.

When I saw the unit at Lowes, I snatched it up. I have put similar units in my other cabinets for pots and pans and pantry items so I know it is a no-brainer. Except, that is, in this case. I had a small upper shelf in the cabinet where this unit had to go so Tawanda came back for a visit. The thing was in there to stay but after using every hammer we own and then pulling out the big guns-a meat mallet and 2 crow bars-I managed to finally dislodge it. Then it would be a simple matter of a few screws and we would be good to go except that this thing had to go right where the copper tubing for my ice maker comes out of the wall and I need about 2 more inches of clearance. I was tempted to just bend it myself, but if I crimped it and we lost our ice and water in the frig, I would not be a happy camper. My hubby has a client who is a plumber-and he owes us some money-so the call went out over a week ago and we are still waiting. I am tempted to call our "real" plumber but at $60 just to walk in the door, I am holding out hope this other guy will appear.

And so, this is what my kitchen still looks like. At least we do have a kitchen, sinks, hot water, etc. so I guess I won't complain too loudly-and who would listen any way. Off to tackle more lined draperies and pinch pleats. If they turn out well, I will post some pictures. Heck, since I'm keeping it real today, maybe I'll post pix even if they don't. I did get down my 4th decorations. I am happy to report that I did break the record as they were up until July 19 this year. Summer is now out and that will be my next post. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another....

That should really be my theme song. I have told you that I am not happy if I don't have a project. I don't mind doing small, mundane things if I can work them into breaks of a bigger project. Then I can accomplish super woman feats. It is when I don't have a project that I become paralyzed. Can't seem to tackle anything.

Today is such a day. I am waiting for a phone call that will then take me out of town, so no big projects could begin. But, I am at odds at how to spend my time. And so, I picked up the PB catalog that arrived yesterday. They are now featuring their late summer colors-all yummy gem tones and once again, I could move into the pages!

I start walking my house looking for small changes I can make. My youngest daughter is beginning to rub off on me. She doesn't like clutter-ever. I will never be able to go that far as I have 7 grand children and their school pictures, handmade gifts and art work HAS to be visible in my house, but I am starting to see her point. And so, I pick up my 2 metal/crystal side tables I bought at Bombay Co. years ago and start to head to the patio with them. Then I stop as they will definitely get weather beaten out there and I am not sure I am ready to break from them "cold turkey". Then I see the 2 mismatched side tables in the family room and quickly swap them for those. Now I still have 2 extra tables, but I am not as emotionally tied to these two.

If you look REAL closely through the twigs and such, you can kind of see how the 2 tables used to look.

This is how the living room looks now....and, YES, the 4th of July decorations are still up and, NO, that should not have been my project today....doesn't it look larger and cleaner somehow with the removal of those 2 tables?

Here they are in their new home in the family room. The coffee table in this room as well as many other decorative pieces is metal and there are even a few crystals around so these fit in perfectly.

One of the tables I took from the family room can definitely head outdoors to the new patio. The other soon finds its way into the dining room and nestles up next to the love seat at the end of that room. And, for now, the little pedestal table that used to be there can sit next to the leather chair in the sunroom.

Also noticed as I posted this picture that the "popcorn" dust from the lovely popcorn removal that I did a few years ago is STILL in the grooves between the wood planks. I am not a fanatic on floor cleaning but I know how many times that floor has been cleaned since then and that stuff is impossible to get rid of. Speaking of BIGGGGG projects, I have a few more rooms of that stuff to remove but I really have to psyche myself into beginning that!

And so, I think I like the changes. Just makes the living room a bit more open. Probably won't last long but it kept me busy for awhile. Now if that phone would just ring before I get into any more trouble. Stay tuned.