Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A tour of our (new) kitchen

Well hello! How was your weekend? It felt like spring around here so that was a bonus. I'm back today with another room reveal in the new house! 

If you've missed any of the room tours so far, here's a list:

I've shared bits and pieces of our kitchen but wanted to get a few projects finished up before I showed you the whole space. I laugh when friends ask what I'll do with all my time in a new house -- I have SO many projects in mind I can't even tell you. It's a blank canvas and I'm so excited! That being said, the kitchen is the most "done" by far -- I focused on it first.

I've wanted these pendant lights for years and when I discovered we had an allowance for our light fixtures in the house I knew I'd skimp on most of the others. I made it work! Most of the rooms have $20 lights I'll change out eventually (or no light at all for now) just so I could get these beauties:
Soothing light gray and white kitchen with wood accents

I absolutely adore them! (I'll link to all items in the room at the bottom of the post!)

Overall I wanted a lighter feel in this house -- I went a little softer with the colors compared to our old kitchen. I went back and forth on whether or not we should do the two toned cabinets (gray on bottom) like I did in our last house but ultimately decided on classic white and a light gray island. 

I pulled in the gray island by doing a light gray grout on the backsplash:
Wavy subway tile with gray grout

Of course I had to add my IKEA bar over the stovetop again! I was terrified to drill into that tile! I mean, literally sweating. 😂 I figured out that I could drill into the grout instead (this doesn't hold a ton of weight) and it worked perfectly! Much easier to fix if I ever need to do so. 

I also added this one to the side of the island. I had one on the old island and liked that little detail:
Three pendant lights over island

As you can see -- this room has stainless, black and brass finishes and they work together well. Don't be afraid to do the same! 

I showed you how I stained and treated the kitchen island here. I knew any forever kitchen of mine would have to have butcher block -- I love the warmth it brings to the space! It's the one thing that EVERY single visitor comments on (even kids, ha!). We just love it:
Pretty light gray island, white cabinets and wood counters

We had a braided jute rug from the old kitchen but it was starting to wear out. AND it was too tall -- we couldn't open the trash compactor. So I was on the lookout for a new one for a couple months. I found this one on Rugs USA and loved it (I wanted some color!) but it was on backorder. Thankfully it came in a good week before they said it would:
Long rug in kitchen

Overall it's a blue/gray, but it has tons of color in it -- navy, pink, red, orange. Love it! 

You can see how I hung the shelves in this post. Those are another thing I knew I'd want in this kitchen and I love them!:
Gray island with wood countertops and sink

Light gray and white kitchen with wood accents

Overall we're thrilled with how this room functions. The best part of the kitchen is the pantry, which is still a total disaster. I left the light off in there on purpose. ;) 
Black and brass pendant lights over island

That pantry has so much storage (will have even more when I get it organized), we keep most of our small appliances in there. I had them add an outlet and I have a plan to make that even more functional -- stay tuned! But I absolutely love that I'm able to keep the counters cleared off. 

I just finished decorating the upper cabinets this morning. When I built them in our last house I just had baskets up there to keep things simple. The decor may change over time but for now I'm calling this kitchen done:
Adding open shelves to kitchen

Kitchen with glass cabinets at top

I'm still considering adding wood hood over the vent hood but we'll decide that in time. I quite like the way this one looks (I didn't think I'd like it this much):
Wood countertops on island

I hope you enjoyed the tour! A few years ago I completely transformed our old kitchen and was able to add everything I loved -- I pulled so many of those details into this one and we love how it's come together. 

I like this room even more at night, so sometime I'll take pics at dusk and share them with you. We have cabinet lighting (like I did in our old house) and it's so perfect in the evenings. I want to add dimmers to everything in here as well -- there is a LONG list of lights that will get them eventually. 

Here's a list of the projects and items in this room! (Affiliate links added for your convenience.) If I forgot anything let me know!: 

Friday, January 19, 2018

The best closet ever.

Well hello there! Ready for the weekend? We have some fun plans. The snow started melting today and should throughout the weekend so that's an extra bonus. We saw The Greatest Showman today and it was fantastic. We've heard so much about it and it exceeded my expectations. 

I mentioned earlier this week that I've been an organizing fool lately. It's been fun to figure out how our spaces work and what functions best. I purposefully waited to do this because I didn't want to put in all this work to find out later we didn't use the everything like I thought. Of course it will still change over time, but for now I'm thrilled with how it's coming together!

This closet was a doozy. It's my favorite in the house. (Do normal people have a favorite closet?)When I shared our mud room/laundry a couple months ago, I told you I was most excited about the closet we added in the room. A closet JUST for cleaning crap. Hello! 

But it quickly became our dumping ground, which I was OK with knowing I'd get to it eventually. Here's how it looked the night I started:

It held tons of stuff but wasn't functional at all. You can see one of the vacuums (I keep the other one in the basement where we have more carpet) lived outside the closet which isn't dreamy at all. 😂 There was obviously no room for it. We had quite a few things I wanted to fit in this closet:

  • utility stuff like batteries and light bulbs
  • cleaning rags, sponges and the like
  • cleaning supplies
  • vacuum, brooms, swiffers, etc. (we have a lot of these because I use one for different needs)
  • ironing stuff -- boards, (we have large and small ones) and iron
  • wrapping items like paper, bags, ribbon, etc.
  • carpet cleaner machine
I quickly realized not all of this was going to fit, more on that in a minute. 

Here's another look at what we were dealing with:


Good times!!

As I do anytime I start an organizing project, I took every single thing out of the closet. First goal is to purge what we don't need anymore. 

This is where it got hard for me. I mention the Konmari method every time I organize something, because it changed my life for the better. I've gotten VERY good at letting go of things. Very good. But I discovered I have a weird thing with cleaning supplies. I couldn't let go of them!

And look how much we had!:

What in the world? Here's one thing I've learned since moving in this house -- from this point on like items will live together. At the last house I had a cabinet I built in our laundry room that held all of our extra cleaning supplies and paper items. 

When we moved I was appalled at how many cleaning supplies we had, because they were out of site, out of mind. Keeping them down in the basement in a cabinet I rarely opened didn't work. We bought more of stuff not knowing what we had. 

I used to use mainly one cleaning brand exclusively around the house -- I have concentrate I would mix up. I don't know why I got away from that and we ended up with so many bottles of stuff, but I know a big part of it was not having it all in one spot. 

I've learned people! No more. But I stood there literally frozen in front of it all, having a hard time letting it go. I kind of smacked myself out of it (figuratively) and went back to what I learned with the Konmari method -- do I LOVE the product and (my addition) does it work well? 

I was able to start going through items and first decided what I didn't even like. I had a lot of carpet cleaning stuff and I've only found a couple that really work well. The rest went away. I had three cans of a cleaner that were filled in various amounts. I kept the one that was the most full and donated the rest. If I never used it -- it was in the donate pile. I was able to whittle it down to a third and stuff we actually USE. Actually a third of that is just empty bottles I plan to use for the concentrate.

Another item I struggled to let go of (and it is so silly) were cleaning rags. We had WAY too many. They multiply in dark closets. And again it was hard for me to let go of them, which is just weird. I stood there thinking, "Why are you being weird about this? They're rags!" Again, I got myself in gear and sorted through them: 

Overall I didn't get rid of much other than rags and cleaning stuff. One thing I easily put in the donate pile was the bag of vacuum attachments that I've kept for eight years and never used one time. Gone!

It was more about figuring out the space than anything. I started on the side where I hung the ironing boards and iron:

The little board on the bottom is for shirt sleeves. It's awesome. The smaller one is a favorite and I use it more than the large board. It's from IKEA and is great for quick items. I also use it when I'm hemming drapes with fusable webbing

One of the biggies in here was the wrapping stuff. I really wanted it to live in this room because I'm usually running out the door with a gift and needing a bag or tissue paper. More often than not I'd stop and buy something. I thought about organizing it out in the open (we have a large wall over the folding table I could have used for this). But I really didn't want to have it out -- I want to keep the room clean and streamlined so I preferred it tucked away. I looked into all kinds of ways to do this (I was out of floor space) and then came across this pegboard and components at IKEA:

It fit perfectly on the wall and it holds a ton! I have gift bags of all sizes, tons of tissue, tags and banners, tape and then ribbon and pens and random stuff in the hanging bag. LOVE this thing!! It is great:

And it's completely out of the way. I wanted to keep my wrapping paper in here as well but was out wall and floor space. So I grabbed a couple of these plastic jobbies from IKEA as well (we use one in the pantry for plastic grocery bags) and hung them on the back of the door. Not gonna lie, it pained me to put holes in the door. But they are solid wood so I can (fairly) easily fill them if I ever decide to move these:

You can see how I built the big blackboard here! Those are only two bucks each, but if you don't have a store near you, they're available here too. 

There were a couple things I didn't end up putting in here and those were light bulbs and batteries. I put the extra metal shelf (also from IKEA -- bought them when we moved in for $13) in the garage by the door. So we can easily access them when needed. I was thinking of what we reach for most -- I grab cleaning supplies way more than light bulbs. 

Here's how it came together:

Everything has a place and I love it!! And I'm loving the double doors. It's so nice to be able to open them both up and have full view of the closet. We have them in a bedroom upstairs too and although they take up floor space, I really like them. 

Do you spy the outlet? I had one added so I can charge that little vacuum. It's great for little messes and quick cleaning in the kitchen. I just have to find the charger now. ;) 

Here's what this side was pared down to:

I use (affiliate) those Sterilite bins everywhere. (You can see them in the linen closet here.)

Not bad considering this is where I started (I had two shelves on that side before)!: 

It is such a lovely feeling to open a closet and find exactly what I want! AND it's even nicer to have a place for items we used to just throw in there. ;) 

These are my two biggest tips when purging and organizing -- even though it's a pain sometimes, taking everything to ONE location really does help. You see the multiples you have and it's easier to let things go. And think hard about what you love and use. It helps me focus! 

Have you been working on closets? Cabinets? Under the sink? Tis the season! 



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