Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SPRING AND BLUEBIRDS

The weather is beautiful here! Mid-March and the birds have returned to my back yard.  They are singing each morning and I feel it is Spring.  The Bradford Pear Tree is blooming and there are many chirping birds each morning signaling that Spring is here early this year...just as the Groundhog predicted.

I'm lucky that the house we bought has such a wonderful yard with flowering plants and trees. The yard has a wonderful amount of natural area that attracts the birds like a sanctuary.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Valentine's Day Clock

Don't you just love this clock?  Very retro!  My husband gave me this for Valentine's Day this year. A hotel that we stayed in recently had this clock and I was enamored. My husband, sweet thing that he is, found this same clock for me. 

Today was the first Monday back to work after Spring Forward! It was tough to get up and get to work on time. The sun was still out when I got home tonight.  That was a nice consolation for morning coming too early.

Hope everyone enjoys the longer days ahead.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kitchen Makeover

We moved into our home in phases.  It was a big move from Seattle, WA to NC.  I arrived in June of '10 to start my new job. For several weeks it was me alone in a fairly empty house.  My daughter joined me in July.  She was fresh out of college, new Associates Degree in hand and it was a good time in her life to move across the country for her new beginnings.

My husband had to stay in Seattle to finish up loose ends. He joined us in NC, bringing our much needed furniture in October.  ~ Four months was a long time to be without my hubby.  I was glad when he came so we could begin to nest. 

We wanted to make our house more "us" and put our stamp on it.  --We tried to determine what items we could change that would make a big impact without making too big of a dent in our nestegg.  Paint was the obvious answer.  Before we started our work, our kitchen had beige walls with white cabinets.  We considered changing the wall color and keeping the cabinets white, but freshening up the white with a new coat of paint.  --The problem with that idea is that the cabinet doors have a special finish that allows them to wipe clean...but also makes them impossible to paint.  We were afraid that we wouldn't be able to match the white doors with new paint on the cabinets themselves.  --So, we decided to dramatically go with black cabinets and white doors. 
 You can see we chose a very bold wall color, RED! 

The additonal kitchen change (flooring) came as a result of a project we were completing in the foyer and living room/dining room.  I wanted to change the color of the wood floor in those rooms and sand the floors down so that they no longer had a "bevel".  We initially planned on a walnut color stain.  Below is a photo of the dining room floor before we made changes with some stain samples we were considering.

When the floors were sanded, we discovered a wonderful richly beautiful wood underneath.  We decided to keep the natural color and used a clear stain to protect the floor.

When the floors in the front of the house were finished, we were too in love to stop.  We had to bring the hardwood floor into the kitchen!  While putting in the new floors, the island was taken out (with the idea that it would be put back on top of the new floor).  --Again, we unexpectedly liked what we saw when the island was removed and we decided not to bring it back.

We moved our counter height bar/table to the island position.  We like how open the the room looks with the table instead of a sold piece of cabinetry. It gives the floors even greater visibility.

You can see here how the refinished floors look in foyer, living room and dining room.  You can see we chose a bold wall color for the dining room as well.
It's not my intent to leave the eating nook in the kitchen empty.  Actually, I was planning on buying a mobile kitchen island to put where the island was, and moving the table back to the nook. The table we have came from Crate and Barrel as well. Come back and visit!  I'm sure I'll have more updates to come.