Friday, August 28, 2015

Magazine Dump

Happy happy Friday! I'm excited because as I speak the lights in the kitchen are going up (well, being wired anyway, I'll install them when they arrive from Amazon later today) and the drywall will all be patched and beautiful by the end of day Monday.

AND I shopped for the countertops yesterday and found THE ONE. Oh my. I dreamed about it last night, no lie. I'm so stinking excited. It will be the biggest expense in our kitchen renovation but I'm OK with that since I'm doing most of the work myself. Just gotta break it to the husband. ;)

I've mentioned lately that I'm on a purging rampage of late and it has continued even during the renovation. I am taking a good hard look at how we use things, how often we use them and if they make us happy.

Part of that purge includes my stash of magazines. I've told you before that I have a problem with magazines. I love them, I hoard them, I can't get enough of them. Magazines or catalogs -- I'm not picky. The start of the month makes me especially giddy because I know the new ones will be on their way to the stands soon.

But I have wayyyy too many. I've taken a good hard look at the ones I really love and subscriptions I want to keep up. I'm slowly going through those that I have piled up and keeping images I love.

I've decided to start sharing some of my favorite images here with you, and I'll group them in similar categories -- today it's decorating bookcases. These are actually all from catalogs, which I enjoy more than magazines. They are pure decor -- no fluff, no articles, no recipes (although I do love those occasionally too). And the best part? Totally free. Blogs and catalogs are where it's at!

This one is from Birch Lane -- I just started getting this catalog and I LOVE it. The prices are up there with Pottery Barn so I don't know that I'll purchase a lot from them, but the pages are just gorgeous and chock full of inspiration. The bookcase in this one isn't the focus of the picture but I had to include it:
styling bookcases
So well done! I love the mix of industrial-type items and more traditional ones. Love the layering as well. 

This simple one is from CB2 has a more industrial/modern feel. I love the use of plants: 
bookcases with plants
They definitely add some softness to this look, right? I'm a plant lover and find that they are the perfect addition when accessorizing. They fill in spaces so nicely and add some much needed life. 

I love this idea for a bookcase -- this is more of a hutch but why not turn it into a wine bar?: 
bookcase wine bar
Install some glass hangers, add cutting boards, cookbooks and it would look lovely in a den or dining room. The custom wine storage isn't really needed -- look for bottle storage that would fit into your shelving.

I love the use of accessories and baskets in this Pottery Barn image:
decorating bookcases
They help to hide the not-so-pretty stuff. And look -- they have a magazine obsession too! Ha!

Speaking of baskets -- who's to say you can't use them on every shelf? I quite love this look: 
baskets in bookcases
This would be great for office storage or in a craft room. You can find inexpensive baskets at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and HomeGoods all the time. The plant in the basket is another go-to for me as well. :) 

Here's another Birch Lane image that I loved: 
how to decorate bookcases
This is more of an etagere and they treated this with a lighter look that is really well done. 

I think this may be one of my favorites -- again, I love the layers. When decorating in general you want to layer and vary the heights of items whenever possible: 
decorating bookcases
You want your eye to travel up and down when looking at it -- it's visually pleasing for most. :) This one is a little busy but feels right for this time of year. I showed you how I've been adding more layers to our home in anticipation of the fall season. 

I shared my tips on decorating shelves here -- it took me a while to figure out what I wanted on our library bookcases but I've been really happy with them: 
And when I get it the way I like it, I don't change it for a very long time. ;) 

Do you have any magazines or catalogs that you love? Do you hang on to them too long like I do, or do you go through them pretty quickly? I want to be you if so. 

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Well hello! I'm back with another kitchen renovation progress post -- sorry about all the kitchen posts of late but when I decide to get 'er done, I get 'er done

Until now…now I'm at the mercy of others and this part kills me. The waiting for contractors when I'm so amped up to get this done makes me twitch, but it's part of the process. 

I mentioned last week that the next step was to take down the beadboard backsplash, which would have been pretty easy if it was just beadboard nailed up on the wall. I'm crying a little inside that it wasn't just beadboard nailed up on the wall. Years ago when I installed that backsplash (you can see how I did it here) I tried to take down the black tile first, but it was an absolute mess. Chunks of the wall were coming off, and because I was looking for a relatively quick fix to brighten up our dark kitchen, I ended up gluing it on top of the tile. 

It worked great and it was actually pretty easy to remove too -- but the tile was still a pain in the butt: 
taking down tile backsplash
Many of you recommend just taking the drywall off the wall with the tile. We tried that at first but the tile was so close to both the countertop and the cabinets (at least under the wall of cabinets we still have up), we had to remove the tile first. When I got past the mess I created years ago it actually came off easier than I thought. You can see above that the glue helped out because it held the tile together -- nothing came flying off. 

I ended up going pretty basic with tools for the tile removal: 
tools for removing tile backsplash
A crowbar and a hammer did the job just fine. It was loud, so I recommend earplugs for sure. Also, eye protection too. We didn't have a lot of flying debris because of the glue but it still happened occasionally. 

About half way through we got smart and realized we only needed to knock the bottom tiles off. ;) That way we could cut around the bottom and the top on the areas where the cabinets were removed and we could pull it off in bigger chunks: 
removing tile backsplash
Most of the tile came off easier than I thought it would, but it was still a lot of work. Also, even the tiles that came off easily left a mess behind them. There were a lot of spots where chunks were taken off with the tile, so we knew from the start that the drywall would have to be removed everywhere. Keeping the majority of the tile up helped a bit because the drywall came down in bigger pieces -- the tile was holding it together. 

I'll be honest, this whole process was not so fun. I mean, I didn't think it was going to be a blast or anything, but if I could do it over again I probably would have just hired it all out. We got to the above photo a couple hours in on the first day and I was a little overwhelmed and decided to call the drywall folks. :)

But they couldn't come out to even give a quote till today so Dad came back the next day and we tackled getting that last section down. We used a level to mark straight lines to cut and used this saw to cut the drywall: 
saw for cutting drywall
Cutting down was super easy -- cutting horizontally was a pain in the butt. ;) You have to watch for the studs of course, but we made sure not to cut too deep so we didn't touch any wires in the walls. 

Two things to mention here -- make sure to turn off your power for the area at the breaker before cutting into your drywall! If you take your time and don't cut too deep, you'll be fine -- but better safe than sorry! Do not cut unless the power is completely off. 

Also, other than the basic safety gear, make sure to cover areas you're concerned about -- counters for sure. As I mentioned, we didn't have stuff flying, so our counters were fine. But I did make sure to cover the drain in the sink. You don't want little bits of stuff down your drain or disposal. 

We did try using a Dremel attachment to cut the drywall and it worked great, but holy dust. It was a MESS. Unless you have an attachment that sucks up the dust I would not recommend that. We were going to try to hold a shop vac hose up to it, but I'm quite sure even that wouldn't have gotten it all. It was way too much dust so we went with the handheld saw. 

Here's that space after we were done pulling the drywall off: 
And that's where we stopped. We purchased the drywall but didn't have it in us to try getting it up. I've patched big and small holes before and small ones weren't bad. Bigger ones are a total pain and I so didn't want to tackle it. Had I known I'd be so over it I would have just waited for the professionals to do it all at once. 

Sometimes productivity bites you in the butt. ;) 

I was just going to screw the drywall in anyway and hire out the taping and mudding. I didn't want to finish up anything just yet because I'm having lights installed on that wall and I knew they'd need to cut into the drywall anyway. 

My dream for years has been to add the library-type lights to that wall like these: 
swing arm lights over windows
I'm obsessed with them. Have been for years! But dangah -- they are so freaking expensive. If you remember, I wanted the same look for our dining room built ins but ran into the same problem there. I ended up going with outdoor lighting and I love it in that room. 

I really wanted something different in this space though -- something that sticks out from the wall more: 
swing arm lamps kitchen

So yet again, the hunt was on. And yet again, I can't find them for less than $250 each. Argh!! If I was getting one I'd splurge, but I needed three. So I looked and looked and found some that I loved, but they had awful reviews on both ebay and Amazon. 

I kept looking and found that those with more of a gooseneck were cheaper. I quite liked those as well so kept digging. Most of the ones I liked were considered outdoor barn lighting, so if you are interested in the same be sure to use those terms. Problem was, most of those are made for…well, barns. ;) They were HUGE. I'm glad I looked at the measurements! 

I finally came across these and knew they were the ones: 

gooseneck barn light

There is only one more of this particular one now, and this one is a bit smaller but won't be available till October. They still weren't cheap but all three were the cost of one of the swing arm lamps, so I'm feeling good about it. 

They look green in the photo to me but they are supposed to be a dark bronze. I figure I can spray them with a high heat paint if needed. 

Two will go on the left on either side of the future vent hood and one will go to the right above the future shelves: 
removing tile and drywall backsplash
At first I wanted one above the window, but we have a header there. I'd like to give the lights a little more room too, as they are about ten inches tall. Adding it above the window would be just a little tight. 

I'm VERY excited about them and am really hoping they look as good as I think they will. Those particular lights are rated "dark sky" which are those that shine down instead of out into the space. I think it will be so lovely when the new backsplash is done! They will be placed on their own switch, with a dimmer of course. :) Can't wait!

And since we're waiting for that to get done and I have a few more days of living with the open walls (fun) -- I got to thinking, I could add a little niche above the oven: 
removing kitchen backsplash

Something like this: 
cut out in wall above range

Or something bigger like this: 
niche above oven
I hope to replace our oven with a slide-in range so we will have plenty of space to add that. 

It would be great to have a spot for cooking oils and I think it would just add a nice custom look for not a lot of money. It will be easy to frame out the niche and the added tile work doesn't worry me. 

I'm just trying to decide if I'll use it -- do any of you have that little cut out above your range? What do you use it for if so? 

There you go, the kitchen progress so far. Not pretty but I like sharing the steps with you along the way! I can see the after in my head and oh man, it's gorgeous. Just have to practice that thing called patience. I'm not great at that when I'm full steam ahead. I'm hoping we can get the lights up and the drywall all patched and finished by early next week. I've changed up my plan a bit and I'm going to start shopping for new countertops tomorrow. Yay! While I wait for those to get installed I'll tackle the vent hood and extending the wall of cabinets to the ceiling. I feel good about my deadline of November at this point -- I'm kind of hoping for a Halloween deadline now. Look at me! 

To keep up with the progress between posts, check out my Instagram page

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