Monday, September 29, 2014

Cabinet Paint Decisions

Hi Everyone, 
can you stand some not so pretty "progress" pics?

I'm sure some of you were wondering if and when this would happen... well, it has.

When we first looked at the new house, I knew the kitchen and adjacent kitchen/dining area would require some updating. We removed the line of cabinets and the study counter first thing, but I still was putting off the decision about what to do with the kitchen cabinets and large bar peninsula that dominated the space.

I tried a whitewash technique last week with semigloss latex that actually worked pretty well. The cabinets looked aged and somewhat more "pickled", but the finish on the cabinets was so scuffed and worn that it showed EVERY ding and dent instead of enhancing them. I was bummed, because I was hoping that the "white wash" would be a relatively easy fix. But no, it didn't work because of the poor condition of the cabinet finish.

Here's the bar area today, with 2 coats of the new paint. 
Sorry for the mess, this is some "real life" progress pics of the painting.



So as Hubbs and I sat contemplating the situation we agreed a paint finish was needed. If I would have had to make this decision a month ago I would have been overwhelmed, but now, with almost every thing else done, I could approach the project with some sense of calm and common sense. Painting the kitchen cabinets at the old house was a monumental task, and not an easy one. My paint choice was less that perfect so I had headaches with it from the get-go. Runs, drips, build up...I had to re-sand and go at it again. I didn't want to repeat that scenario.




So, I headed to my trusty Benjamin Moore peeps and they told me what and how to use their new cabinet paint, Advance. It's a thinner paint that requires no sanding or primer...I know, I know, but it's that good, and I've kept the doors up, and just sanded down the bad parts of the previous finish. I'm only painting the interior of the three cabinets with glass doors. I will put my everyday china, Studio Provence Noir by Royal Doulton and some ironstone in those, the other will hold some of my glassware and crystal. 


(love the black and white toile pattern)



Oh, and let me tell you about a new product I've found for clean-up...Krud Kutter. Some of you might be familiar with it, but I used this instead of TSP for prepping the cabinet surfaces. Took off all the junk that collects on wood cabinets and didn't leave any residue.




Advance is an Alkyd which is a cross between the durability of an oil based enamel and the soap/water cleanup of a latex. It dries harder, so a little more difficult to clean up brushes, but the difference between this and regular paint is night and day. I've put on thin coats with a brush and foam roller and I've had almost no drips or problems. You have to wait 16 hours before recoating, but for us it's not a problem, since we're not living at the house yet. It takes about 5 or 6 days to fully cure, but then they said it would have a super hard finish.

I had originally chosen China White by Ben Moore for the cabinet color, but even though it had gray and taupe undertones, it was still too light. I ended up with Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore, here is the sample.




It's hard to see on the cabinets, but it's just a nice neutral "griege" that still gives the effect of an off white. We had to consider the wall color and woodwork color when we made this decision, since you can also see it all from the Living Room.




Before, when we first got the keys...







You can tell from this photo that the oak color was too orange and the black granite made it really dark in the prep area. It's not a very large space, but now it's so much lighter and brighter.



Before... there was a little "pickling" on the cabinets,
 but not enough to make it work.



Here are some kitchen inspiration photos from my Pinterest Board, New House Kitchen Inspiration. I have focused on light gray or beige cabinets and some with the black granite. I'd love to have subway tile on my backsplash, but that probably can wait.














I still have more work to do. You could tell by the photos I still have another couple of thin rolled coats to do, but I'm really pleased with the progress. I'm taking my time, and being vigilant with the process, keeping an eagle eye out for anything that even slightly looks like a drip. Hubbs and Aly have been helping, so I don't feel like I'm doing it all by myself. You have to be psyched up for a job like this. I'll be looking for new cabinet and drawer pulls in a pewter finish, then I have to find a couple of bar stools, as my other chairs are "counter" height and take up too much space. 
Most of the new landscaping is in except for the new tree, and I even have some pumpkins and mums on the porch, Yay, it's starting to feel like home! (I'll share those pics later in the week)

*(I have not been compensated in any way by any companies or product manufacturers; all decisions for product usage and opinions, are my own)

Have a great week, everyone!

xoxo,

Joining in on these great weekly parties:

Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
The Scoop at Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Show and Share at Coastal Charm
Inspire Me at A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style



Friday, September 26, 2014

Beware the "Microsoft" Phone Scam

Hi Everyone, I wanted to let you in on something that happened to me yesterday...and that could happen to you.




I received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. I was leary, 'cause I seem to get junk calls everyday. Right now I'm on Newt Gingrich's call list and for some reason someone out there thinks I just got my hip replaced and I need a new bath seating shower/tub. I used to try to be nice to these people, cause I know it's a job, but now they've turned me into a person I don't like to be, as of slamming down receivers and saying in a stern voice. "take me off of your list"!!

Anyway, this person claiming to be John Smith who has a decided Indian accent proceeds to tell me that my computer is full of viruses and that he is there to help me get them off. We went round and round for a few minutes (because even though my scam antennae was up, I felt like I needed to be sure that there wasn't something wrong with my computer for reals.) So he says all I have to do is hit a few keys and then he'll be able to show me how to rid my computer of the dastardly viruses. At that point I balked and said NO. When I said my hubby takes care of all this stuff they'd have to talk to him, "John Smith", said they could only talk to me since they only had my name. And by the way...how did they get my phone number (which is unlisted).

I told my husband and he said "scammers...Microsoft doesn't call anyone". So beware if you get one of these unsolicited phone calls. Hubbs says they give you a link and you click on it, then they can hack into your computer, all your passwords, and bank account etc. It sounds fairly legitimate, and they have you super scared your computer is about to blow up. But just hang up, they are the virus!






OK, heading to pick out some new carpet for the upstairs, since the old had too many untreatable stains and then, we're making a drastic change in the kitchen. I'm sure you all can guess what that might be! I'll check back with some progress photos. Have a great weekend!

xoxo,

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rugs, mirrors, shutters and more...

Hey Everyone...

things have been a little hectic around the new house this last week. Lot's of things going on, but not much that's interesting to share here on the blog. Cabinets were re-installed in the laundry, finished up the painting in the kitchen, painted the entire 3 car garage in one weekend (whew), carpet cleaning,...that kind of fun stuff...nothing very "pretty".




But I did want to share a quick couple of photos of the new Living Room rug "unrolled" temporarily, just to get an idea of how it will look. This is the 9x12 something. I also bought it in a smaller size for the Dining Room, and a runner for the main hallway. I spent lots of time searching the web for rugs, and found several that were contenders. I knew that it would be a pricey purchase, that's another reason I wanted to be sure of the colors. Trying to re pack this rug and return it would have been a real task. It's so heavy I can't even tug it around.





I wanted wool, and that's what these are. The quality is beautiful, and they are thick and look very well made. I found them on Overstock, which is a great source for rugs. I had originally wanted to go with a lighter color rug, but the more I thought about trying to match colors, fabrics and wall paint, the more paranoid I became. So this has a little of the neutrals, some grays, and some browns and gold along with the black. The black picks up the dark bronze metals, and I think the rug will "ground" the open space and pull it all together with the sofas and chairs. 


So, you know I have been complaining about the tv niches above the fireplace. This house is 10 years old, so it's right in they heyday of "lets make a cave above the fireplaces for our honkin' tvs to live". Yes, I've had a lot of angst over them to say the least. We discussed covering it up with sheetrock or cabinetry, but in the end I would only have had about 5 inches of mantel to decorate, as the mantel recesses in the middle. There would barely be room for a mirror or framed piece, let alone any seasonal decor or candles. It's hard to tell just how big this is, but I'm 5 foot even and the top of the mantel is several inches above my head.




A few weeks ago we found this Ethan Allen beveled mirror on consignment at Relics here in Springfield, and even though it's not what I envisioned, (all gilt and scrolly) I think it will compliment the larger wood finished pieces we will have going in here. Plus, it totally filled up the "hole" and has an arched piece on top that will match the shape of our tv armoire. We have it secured onto 2x4's attached to the back of the wall. I didn't want it sliding out if a door slammed, so I think it's pretty much there to stay for awhile. 



This week the old landscaping is being removed and the new is going in. I worked with our handy man/landscaper yesterday on placement of the shrubs, so hopefully it will get finished this week. The dead tree was cut down, so now we have to wait for the stump to be ground and a new maple put in.
The newly built shutters are up. (just what I wanted) They are bigger than the old ones by several inches, so they look more size appropriate. The door and shutters are Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore. Love the color, it's just a nice charcoal gray. 


("before", with old shutters, shrubs, and green front door)




This isn't a good pic, but shows the color pretty well. It really picks up the grays of the brick. I'm super happy with how it turned out. So now I'm itching to get this done so some mums and pumpkins can be added. I've held off because of all the outside work being done, but I've about reached my limit of restraint in the Fall Decor Dept. I've been whiney each time I see a house with pumpkins on the porch. Poor Hubbs he just doesn't "get" my deepseated Fall Decor gene.




OK, that's about it for the update this week. Now that we can "officially" call it Fall, I hope you're having a great week and that you're enjoying all the fun of "Fallifying" your homes. I'll get there...

Be watching for a fun Give Away coming soon...

Joining in on these weekly parties:

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Show and Share at Coastal Charm
The Scoop at Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

xoxo,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Faux Painted Chandelier...

Honey, I shrunk the chandelier,
and painted it too!

Seems like all I've had to share lately is lighting (and I have one more exciting one coming up soon). But having the painting done and the chandies installed have been two of the bigger things that we needed to accomplish first. The painting is completed except for that one wall of the kitchen that needed dry wall patching.(where the cabinets and desk counter were removed). Hubbs, Aly, and myself did about 2/3 of the house and our contractor/handy guy and his brother did the rest. You can see below how the Ben Moore Smokey Taupe turned out. I'm so happy I stuck with it, it does change color with the lighting during the day, but all in all it's just the perfect light gray/beige, and I think it will "go" with everything we have.



So when we moved we took down and crated up my "in your face" frenchy chandelier from the Dining Room. It seemed enormous due to the low ceiling height and ended up feeling like it was right on top of the table. But...I love it and even though it was big, it had just the right Country French feel I was going for.

previous home last Fall



I loved the twigs and vines wrapped around it from last Fall and Christmas. I packed away the little linen shades, so I'm hoping to find those soon.




(This is a photo from that time that shows the canvas print 
someone was asking me about a couple of weeks ago.)


So the jest of this blog post is that even though I love that hunky chandy, once it was installed at the new house, it just wasn't the right color any longer. The gold and platinum paint finish was just too bright and stuck out like a sore thumb. Our new house has most of the metals in black and dark bronze, so a gold chandy in the open Dining Room just wasn't going with the flow.


Here's the new space when we first got the keys. This is the old fixture and old wall color.




So I wanted to try to tone the chandy down a notch or two and make it blend in more with the rest of the metals. This black railing (which I'm NOT in love with) is staying for now. The gold was just too noticable. I headed to Michael's and grabbed these supplies to make the transformation...









The bronzing paste wasn't quite dark enough, so I added a little black to take it to a darker bronze. I found the black at Lowe's. The bronzing paste and enamel are both oil based so they mixed up well, and went on easy.



Hubbs fixed me a "paint station" alongside the ladder, so I didn't have to keep getting off to add more paint to the sponge. That saved a bunch of time and effort.


I worked in layers, putting on a darker coat first, then sponging in the antique gold paint on top. It's just a trial and error process. I'd have to have someone come and look at it with me at intervals, just to make sure it was looking right.



I can't say I like it "more" or "less", it just needed to be different. So please don't tell me it was better all bright gold and platinum. It just wasn't working for the new space. That's one of the things you have to consider when you have an open floor plan. You can see more of the gold at night when the bulbs are lit, otherwise in the daylight it looks dark bronze.




All in all I'm pretty happy with how it turned out; it looks like a real antique to me now. The lower luster of the darker metal paint finish looks like oxidation. But it did shrink in size. What seemed huge at the other house, seems a lot smaller here. I know it's the height of the ceilings, because the Dining Room area itself is smaller. With my big furniture I'm sure I won't be able to get much else in there. The little shades may not make it back on, I think it looks a little more elegant without the shades. hmmmm...

I'm giving you a peek at my new entry lantern. That's another reason why the chandy had to go a darker bronze. I'm going to tell you all about it soon, It's from a new sponsor and I'm totally crushing on it!


The carpet stretching will be done tomorrow, the carpet cleaned next week, then some things can start coming over from the storage units. Our guys can hopefully start on the outside later this week. The landsaping has to have areas redone and new plantings, plus building new shutters and door paint. Things are rolling along, and it's exciting to see it all come together. I'm so glad we've had time to get these things done ahead of time. As hard as it was to move to a lease house, it's proven to be a life saver, literally.

On a side note, the flu had me down for almost a week. Such poor timing. It's all a blur. I coughed and/or was in a Nyquil induced sleep coma for most of it. This last Saturday I MADE myself get up and over to the new house. Once I was there I got a few things done, but that stuff really took it out of me. I'm so glad Hubbs didn't catch it. It was a bad week. you all take care of yourselves...

I'll be joining in on these great weekly parties:

Show and Share at Coastal Charm
The Scoop at Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Daily Cup at Mrs. Olson
Treasure Hunt at From My Front Porch to Yours
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Hope you all are off to a good week, 
now I have to play catch-up on everything else...

xoxo,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

House Progress...

After working all weekend painting at the new house, I've come down with some kind of flu or virus. Who knows what this junk is, but Sunday it started with a sore throat like maybe just allergies, and by yesterday morning I could barely swallow. I'm better today, but have laryngitis. bummer. I'll survive.

We did get a lot accomplished over the weekend; our younger kiddo came over to help and between the three of us we finished painting the living areas of the lower level. (2 bedrooms, bath, hall, family room, and small kitchen/bar area)... yay! I don't know why I didn't get any finished photos, it was late and I'm sure the lighting wouldn't have been the best. But we can cross that huge job off the list!



Here's the World Market Gray Vintage Chandelier I tweaked a couple of weeks ago. It was just installed, so I need to straighten the arms a little, but it helps get this area moving in the direction I'm headed. If you look closely next to the window, you can see the first coat of the Benjamin Moore Smokey Taupe paint. It's a warm browny gray, and I think we'll be using it throughout the house. I had a lot of angst over choosing the color, but after two coats, and getting rid of the original color, it's turning out really pretty.




This is an area I didn't show you in the earlier house pics. It's the kitchen eating area, and I knew we were going to change things up in here with a little demolition. Some of you will probably think I've lost my mind, but this is a nice size area, 11x14, and it was completely taken up with cabinets and a counter the previous owner had installed as a homework station for her three kids.



If I were to leave the cabinets and counter, I wouldn't have room for my white kitchen china cabinet or much of anything else. So our guys removed them and are in the process of filling holes and moving electrical outlets. The cabinets are being re-installed in the laundry room, so I'll still have access for kitchen items that I don't use often.



(Kitchen China Cabinet and Farm Table from the old house)


I think the space will even out nicely when the furniture gets in.




Here's Hubby scrunched into the tv niche in the basement. It's a little larger than the one upstairs. We thought painting it the same color as the walls would help make it look better. We'll see...these tv niche things are making me nuts!


I finally decided on area rugs and they came last week. (yes, I just went with the black) They are gorgeous, and have a little trendy take on a traditional oriental rug. (Hint...there's some major pattern going on) Here's a peek. Can't wait to get the painting done to roll these babies out.


More on the rugs later...
time for a throat lozenge and a nap.

joining in on these parties:

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

xoxo,
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