Friday, June 4, 2010

Kitchen redo: Week three!


HELLO! So are you tired of hearing about the kitchen redo yet? Yes? Too bad. I’m back for more. :)

Thanks to American Express, I am redoing our kitchen using Membership Reward Points – and this week they asked me to use the remainder of the points – 150,000! If you have an Amex and you use the points to shop, you know that’s A LOT of  points.

Still pinching myself. :)

I told you in my last post how I took my first trip to IKEA to get a butcher block countertop that will replace our island counter. I love the look of butcher block and love the idea of changing up the counters just a tad – the different textures and tones will look great! (Um, I HOPE.)

This part of our redo is out of pocket, so I was obviously trying to keep the cost down, and a 73 by 40 inch board from IKEA was $195:


I’ll have to get it cut to size to fit the island, but I couldn’t resist that price! It’s oak (the darkest wood they had), and I’ll be sanding it down a bit and staining it an even darker tone. Not sure what the tone will be, but it will be dark and rich and luscious! :)

While I was at IKEA (twice!), I found a few more items for the kitchen that were must haves.

The little spice jars and racks were too cute to pass up:

I see some apple green in it’s future. :) Still not sure where they are going though. (By the way, I think I got four of those jars for $3 I think? I have spent almost $2 for ONE at Hobby Lobby!)

Because I took down our pot rack above the island (it made the room feel twice as big!!), I was on the lookout for cookware storage:


LOVE these!!! I have a little rig up my sleeve for the one on the right to make it even easier to access. I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

This strainer was a lot for IKEA -- $25 – but I loved it!:

Another example of unbelievably inexpensive (I want to say cheap, but that just sounds cheap. But…it’s cheap.) this stuff is – I able lost it when I saw the woven chargers for only $5 each!:


I think the cheapest I’ve seen these is $15 each. Score! Because so many of you told me to check out the “as is” section at IKEA, we strolled in before we checked out and found the green plates and bowls (that I had almost just bought on the floor!) for a buck each! They are in perfect condition, so I have no idea why they were as is? I’ve washed them already and so far so good!

I knew I wanted to bring the white/cream and yellow I’m using in the kitchen onto the table, so I looked online at a place I’ve never ever bought one item – Williams Sonoma.

It’s usually WAY over my head price-wise. But because I could use points, when I saw those lemon napkins above, I was HOOKED. They are adorable! And the price really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – $7 a napkin. Usually I spend about that much on four, but it really wasn’t bad.  :)

So I used some points to print out a WS gift certificate, and there I was buying those napkins, and some perfectly perfect matching wash cloths:


I have to tell you it feels incredibly weird to shop at places like Williams Sonoma. Like, “I have money to shop here” kind of places. When I soooo do not have money to shop there.  :)

It’s been a bit surreal. And VERY fun. This is a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. :)

I’ve gone to Pottery Barn for a few accessories as well, and guess what I see online after I get home from buying my cutie little lemon napkins?:

Argh! Those are too cute too!

The white salad plates in the place settings above are from Pottery Barn, and I found these awesome napkin rings there as well:


But I think they’re too much with the chargers so they’re going back. :) They were only $4.50 each, not too shabby! Aren’t they so fun? I bet they would be easy to make – just braid some thick jute rope together!

I showed you the new light from Home Depot here. I got the round rug from Target ($80 I think?) last year:

And have loved it there. For those who have asked, I LOVE having a rug under the table!! I swear clean up is so much easier than the hard floors. My trick is to let food dry a bit and then vacuum it up – no cleaning of the rug (usually) required!

Anyhoo, because the kitchen will have a new color scheme, the rug just won’t work anymore. And it’s not the best quality. It has a kind of haze of fuzz on the top that just doesn’t go away. You don’t notice it at all far away, but it bugs me up close.

Enter a round Pottery Barn rug:


It’s an outdoor rug made to look like jute. I love jute but it’s usually super thick and I knew that would be an issue with our kitchen chairs. I want the chairs to easily be pulled in and out from the table, so this was a perfect option!

I hope. We’ll see when it gets here.  ;) Hopefully it will make our kitchen look something like this:

outdoor rug

Complete with a pool. ;)

By the way, Stink Eye Sister, you owe me BIG for all this awesome stuff I’m passing your way for your new house. BIG TIME.

It has been SO EASY to use these Membership Reward Points from Amex! At first I was thinking I would have to wait weeks to get started on anything, waiting for gift cards to be mailed to us.

But I was giddy when I realized they have many options for egift cards:

   hdgc pbne1l 

You just order them and an email is sent within about 20 minutes or so. All I have to do is print them out and go! It’s been fantastic!! If you’ve done any size renovation in your house, you know it’s hard to plan when you’ll need to make one more trip to Home Depot. :) This has been great because I’ve been able to print them as I need them – awesome!!

Speaking of Home Depot, did you know they are affiliated with Home Decorators? I had no idea! When I realized that, I picked out this cutie console table for behind the sofa:

sofa table

But when I went to buy it, I found out you can only use the Home Depot credit card – not a gift card. It was then (at midnight) that I realized I must go back to IKEA to get this one instead:


And I’m SO glad I did!!

I made a change to the Bub’s chalkboard this week and absolutely positively LOVE it:


I used to have it framed out with thin molding I had stained dark, but when I saw Katie’s chunky green frame around her chalkboard, I was in luuurve! So I beefed it up and it is AWESOME.

Cause I like em big. And chunky. (Sorry. I will use that movie quote every time the word chunky is ever used. You’ve been warned.)

I got a new fabric for the window treatments at Joann’s last week that I have fallen in LOVE with:

Ack! It’s gorg! I still have to decide on the type of treatments I’m going to do. I can’t decide between my no sew roman shades:


Or something a bit simpler like cornice, maybe with just a hint of curve to it?:

I can’t decide! I got a bamboo roman shade for the window above the sink at Home Depot today, so I’ll have to get that up before I decide. Hmmm…

So I need your help once more! I’ve been keeping a dirty little secret from you. I painted my beadboard kitchen island. Well, not the whole thing. Just one side. To decide if I like it.

And I do. :) (I did this about three months ago – it’s been sitting like that all this time.) It is going to be a cream color – a bit darker than the new backsplash I think.

My original plan was to paint the island and the base of the kitchen table cream, then stain the tops (butcher block and the kitchen table top) both the same tone:

pot rack

THIS look is exactly what I had in mind for the island:

But I’m wondering if that’s too much cream and brown, cream and brown. I LOVE at least one black piece in a room to “ground” it. I still really want to do the island in cream, so I’m wondering if I should perhaps paint the base of the table black, then stain the tops the same?

I’ve been worried that a cream base on the table is asking for hives – I can’t even imagine all the scuffs from shoes, etc.

What do you think? Black on the table base? Since the rug will be lighter, I think it will pop off of that and look great.

Or do I match the island and the table and do cream on both bases? Decisions decisions!!

What do you think Oh Brilliant Ones? Please share!! And thanks again in advance!


TDC is one of five blogs picked to promote the Amex Membership Rewards program.
I have received reward points to use as I wish to redo a room in our home.


Thank you to this week’s sponsor!:



  1. Wow, your kitchen is really coming along. How do you find the time....
    I love Ikea too, and yes the stuff is super cheap, but that is why I usually come home with much more than I went in for. So they still have earned a lot of money off me by now.
    Keep the kitchen posts coming, I love them.

  2. Wow, quite the overhaul, looking good! That is the most intelligent strainer ever!

  3. I say go cream on your table base too! (mostly b/c I'm obsessed with the cream base, stained top finishes) But match it to your island and lather up the clear coat lacquer to help with the scuff marks. After all, it is just paint and can be touched up when it starts getting to hive point!

  4. It's all gorgeous so far and I LOVE the item behind the sofa! Great job!! I'm kicking myself since I finally got courage to paint major pieces in my family room black. Now, seem everyone is switching to white-ahhhhhh! I need to get with the program. Oh, by the way, where did you score the killer glass lamp on the sofa table? It's so nice!

  5. I'm loving seeing your plans develop and can't wait for the final reveal. I agree with black for the table base to ring the changes and prevent the scuff marks. You're right that it will look great on the pale rug. You can always add a cream runner on it to tie in with the island, right?

  6. I'm loving the light apple green you are using. For the island I opt for the light creme color. It will brighten the room!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  7. what about distressing the two pieces using both the balck and creme colors? BTW--love all of your ideas and look forward to each new posting. Good luck with the rest of the kitchen re-do!!

  8. Looks beautiful! I love it! I think the lighter colors will really brighten up the room!

  9. I vote for black base on table - you do NOT want shoe marks on a cream base. I like the cream island because it contrasts with AND brightens up the stained cabinets. We have a black base on our kitchen table, stained top, creamy glazed cabinets and a black island. It works well! Linda

  10. I have so enjoyed following along. Your kitchen is shaping up nicely. Love the lighter colors. Looking forward to seeing what it next!

  11. I am leaning towards the black on the base of the table. I think the cream would end up zebra striped from the scuffs and you'd go nuts-o! (at least I would) As for the rest of the kitchen, it is amazing, fabulous and beautiful so far! I think the no sew roman blinds would be best and that fabric is so fresh and fabulous. Amazing work!

  12. Loving all your posts!! I vote black on the table base, for the same reason everyone else is voting black...scuffs etc. Cannot wait to see the finished product.

  13. I don't think I would do the table base in cream- it would blend in with the rug. So, black it is. And I love the cream island (but I also like the black!!!). Hmmm, not much help, am I?

  14. Your making some great changes to your kitchen. How fun! I believe I have those, almost exact, same green woven chargers. But, I got mine from Walmart for $1.99 each. LOL, maybe the shade is a tad different though. Let us know how the outdoor rug work inside! Good luck with the rest of your kitchen!

  15. The only concern with the cream base is blending in with the rug but I think you will get a better feel for that when your rug gets there. DYou didn't mention the chairs and stools but I'm assuming they are staying black so they could be your grounding pieces if you do go cream. Did you see this great looking table with a cream base. Different shape I know

  16. I love all the changes you've made so far. I think you are right about all the scuff marks the table will get if you paint it cream. I think black would be better and would pop on the light carpet.

  17. Love all the new elements you're bringing in. So light and fresh looking! I think for whatever its worth the black on the base of the table will be to dark with the black chairs. Keep the table in the wood tones and paint the chairs cream maybe. Everything looks great so far...cant wait to see what you decide!

  18. I am loving the fabric you found for the curtains!! I am using that green and turquoise in my new home's kitchen and have been searching for fabric to use on the bottom of the drop cloth drapes I'm making. And I L.O.V.E.. paisley (it's all over my daughter's new room), so I may just have to check that out. It would be much better than my plan to paint fabric to suit my needs!!

  19. I'm loving your kitchen so far.

    I need to make a trip to Ikea. So many cute things! I love that sofa table. I wish I had room for that sofa table.


    You are inspiring me WAY TOO MUCH to go to IKEA.!!!

  21. I think painting the base of the table cream would give me hives too & I like the idea of the black base popping off of the lighter rug. I LOVE the inspiration pic for the island, have you thought of staining to butcher block to a deep, deep brown to almost black since you said that you wanted more black to ground the room. I'd hate to cover the wood in such a dark stain but with the cream base on the island, I think a much darker stain on top would look so sharp. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  22. I love the black. I have a lot of black furniture and I love it. The makeover is coming along nicely!

    Hey girl! Here's a link to our kitchen island that we did a couple of years ago. We added a walnut butcher block countertop and painted the base and all our lower cabinets, smoked oyster(stone color) and the uppers, white. I loved the way it turned out, we eventually remodeled our entire kitchen...the island jump started us!!! Good luck!!!

  24. Not tired of these posts at all, love to hear your thought process and see all the progress!! Janell

  25. I can't wait to see the end result on this thing!!

    As far as my opinion goes for the table... I definitely think you should paint the base black, because it will pop off that amazing rug, and I know that my anal retentive self wouldn't be able to handle scuffs! :)

    Best of luck deciding!

  26. Oh, I'm just ga ga looking at your beautiful kitchen!! Love your island and we've been thinking of going to IKEA too and looking at those butcher tops! Love all of your ideas.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  27. Go with black for the table base and cream for the island. The black will look great on the rug and coordinate with the black stools and all the other black in the room. The cream will contrast beautifully with the black stools. I love the glass spice jars from Ikea. I have them (20)in a drawer next to my stove,they fit perfect and look so organized!

  28. Wow, you are coming along quickly! I think the black on the table base would be good, especially since you are planning on scuff marks and, I agree, I think it would look good with the new rug. I love a cream cabinet with the walnut stained top {I think it looks good on furniture, too}.

  29. Maybe I'm just ignorant when it comes to this stuff. But isn't the point of butcher block so you can use it as a cutting board? If so, I'm not so sure stain would be a good idea, your food will be on it, and wouldn't you be eating the stain over a period of time? Just a thought.

  30. I say both cream bases, you'll have your acessories to give it more color than just cream and brown, and once you get it all done it will look clean and bright.

    lookin' good!

  31. Black on the table base. I'm like you on the scuffs, it would drive me nutso!

  32. Wow, everything looks great and you're so lucky to use AMEX reward points for your room!

  33. I'm loving how everything is coming together! Here's my couple cents:

    I think you should paint the base of the table black. It would pop off the light rug, match your chairs and bar stools, and tie in with the black appliances.

    Maybe you could make a table runner out of those cutie little Pottery Barn lemon napkins?

  34. Please go with roman shade!!!

  35. You make me tired just reading this! Your kitchen is really coming together. I can't wait for the final reveal.
    xo, Sherry
    ps: I would paint the table base black also.

  36. I think you should do black on the table to really make the new rug stand out! Love the new place settings! So cute! The As-is place in Ikea is awesome. Two weeks ago I got a king size duvet, 2 shams, 2 curtains, and a throw for $15!!! Man I love that place. I have never seen those racks for pots and pans! I need serious help in that area! Let us know if you end up enjoying them and if they work well!!

    I can't wait to see how your kitchen all comes together. Love the fabric for the windows! I would go for something "lighter" than the roman shade... Just my 2 cents:)

  37. I have too many things to say! I'm sending you an e-mail! :)

  38. Wow, what a transformation! I vote for cream on island and black table base. You really have made some wonderful choices.

  39. I think you could go either way on the color for the table base - all a matter of preference. Are you chairs going to remain black? That kinda figures into the equation...doesn't it? :) I think a cornice would do wonders for the window and love the material. I have the bamboo roman shades throughout my house and they are awesome! Actually found the best price on them at Walmart - lining them myself with spray adhesive and a staple gun!

    Guerrina in Ledyard, CT

  40. I am so completely jealous. Shopping for me is like a sport; the adreneline pumps, I get all competitive and even sometimes break out in a sweat. Ha! Anyway your kitchen is amazing, heck you are amazing so why wouldn't your kitchen be. :) I love the idea of painting both the island and the base of the table the same color but I am also on a "lighten up" kick lately. One question though, no matter what direction you go in, what will you do with the black chairs and bar stools? Maybe I missed that on a different post but I wonder if you would paint those as well to match or buy a new set? Can't wait to stay tuned for more kitchen excitement!

  41. go black with the table base to match the chairs -- the chairs and base will act as a piece of furniture to "ground it" match the tops of the island and table to bring it together and I think your kitchen will ROCK!! Your kitchen re-do is inspiring me!!

  42. Love the changes thus far, and all the goodies you've bought! I am a HUGE PB/William Sonoma (but mostly cooking items). Those towels last FOREVA!!! You do pay more, but the quality is tops. I'm leaning toward the cream island/black table base...mostly for contrast with the rug and if you lighten the dining nook. I love one dark piece to anchor a room.

  43. I say cream base with the black chairs. Just polyurethane the heck out of it :)

  44. Girl...we could NEVER be tired of your kitchen redo. We are all living vicariously through you. :) So thrilled for you. You deserve it, but now I want to know the other blogs so I can visit their redo's as well. This post was AWESOME!

  45. I am so jealous that you get to do this. It looks like everything's going well. It's going to look so fresh and bright when you're done. I love the new fabric especially. I love the cornice idea. I think the island should be creamy white and the table darker. Once you get the rug under the table, that area will lighten up a lot. If I was you, I'd wait and see if you even want to paint it at all. I kind of like it the way it is. But if you are definitely painting it, I say black on the base.

  46. Sarah, I think you should paint the island cream. I think it would look really good with the butcherblock countertop. Also, where did you get that undercabinet storage? It looks so cool and practical.

  47. 1. LOVE the curvy cornice. Please please please make one for yourself and then come to TX and make one for me, too.
    2. Do them both the cream and brown and cream and brown. I think it might visually link the two spaces again ... and if you don't like it you can always paint the legs black over the cream easy peasy.
    3. Hurry up and do your backsplash so I can see it. : )

  48. Oh my gosh! I've been wanting to do exactly the same thing to my island, paint it cream but I was scared cause I have dark cabinets. Seeing yours makes me want to go for it!

    I'll be watching to see what you decide on the table.

  49. I think black or cream would look great on the table base, it just depends if you want it to pop, or more a dreamy monochromatic setting. Oh and have you thought about bumping it up a notch with the apple green on the base? Might be crazy, but could be awesome. Love reading your stuff :0)

  50. I LOVE the island!!! I think the table base would look awesome black with the light rug. Can't wait to see what you decide though!! ;)

  51. I vote black table base. It's gonna look GORG against your beautiful natural rug. And I'm totally loving the cream island with the butcher block top. Simply beautiful! I love all your redo's... I can't wait to see the final product.

  52. I vote for a colored table - maybe brown, apple green, or bright lemon yellow. Of course it would be toned down with the cream rug, the place settings and black chairs. Then get some cute cushion covers in that great fabric you bought for your windows, or maybe in a black and white toile or large scale black and white gingham to bring in a geometric print. So cute with the black, browns, cream, yellow, green and then the reeds and jute - <3! Like something you'd see in a Ballard Designs catalog.

  53. lost me at 150,000 points. Color me green with envy!

    The kitchen is gorgeous and I say go with the cream!

  54. I'll never get tired of kitchen updates! Go for cream on the island. Don't worry about scuff marks--just use a Magic Eraser.

  55. Wow! Thank you so much for linking to my chalkboard! Wow you totally made my day! Ummm, and I really love your kitchen. Can I move in? BTW, I love the idea for the island! I would love to do something similar. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

  56. Always wanted to say that I can't believe you've never been to IKEA. You, of all people. I smiled just thinking of your reaction once you got there. That was the day our city tornado alarms went off on an unscheduled day. Oh wait ~ it was you screaming in delight. Your voice sure can travel. :)

  57. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I love targets rugs, they have some good, inexpensive stuff. I have never been to IKEA but you are totally inspiring me. Everything looks so good. Way to go!

  58. I just LOVE the chalkboard with the big white frame around it. Everything looks wonderful!

  59. My kitchen is BLAH compared to your and while there TONS I want to do (and usually do) I can't do it right now. However, I will share this. I had a beautiful cream distressed kitchen table w? natural wood on top. All the cabinets in my kitchen(inculding island) are knotty alder with a dark wash. A few months ago I decided to paint the bottom of the table black- right over ALL those scuff marks. I left the chairs cream. I LOVE IT!!! And I get TONS of compliments. I'm leaving my cabinets as they are lest my husband should smite me. :o) but soon the island is getting a bead-board treatment and tha same black paint. GO FOR IT! Everything you do turns out FANTASTIC and this will too! Can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve.

  60. Your kitchen is looking fantastic! I love the lemony and green accents. :)

  61. Paint the table base the same cream as your island. Keep your chairs black.

  62. Just FYI, I got some woven chargers just like yours only in a darker color at Wal-mart for $3 each. They had a lighter color too. I'm hanging mine on the wall with plates displayed on top. An idea I got from Southern Living at Home. :)

  63. You know why I adore your blog? Not only because you are super talented & know how to make a room look like a million bucks for next to nothing, but because you are funny & make me smile! And I thank you for that. Actually, I thank you for your blog & all the tips you've given me! My husband does not feel the same. LOL ;o)

  64. ok, i am really wondering how the ikea counter tops are going to hold up, you should really let us know. we were going to get them also, but they are made of beech which as far as i know is a really soft wood. this counter top guy i know told me that maple is the way to go, but more expensive than granite... so please update!

  65. I vote for Cream color on both the island and the table base. I think if you go black on the table base and keep black chairs it will inhibit your goal to brighten things up. Plus having the cream on both side (the table base and island base) of the room will bring cohesion to the room and really make your gorgeous matching black chairs and barstools pop. As for scuffs use Semi gloss paint and keep the chairs pushed in and you'll be fine. I know people have been saying the black base will pop out more with the rug but I disagee. With as dark as your hardwood floors are the cream base will definitely pop more even though the rug is light. That being said no matter what you do it will look good cause you just have a great knack for decorating. Keep up the great work!

  66. For your window treatments, definitely the simple cornice. So much more open than the Roman shade and bright and cheery to go with your apple green yellow happy cheery theme.

  67. I've only be reading your blog for a couple of weeks but I love it. I see you have a small child. I know that with small children I'd never be brave enough to have a light rug under the table....way too many spills may be in you future too. Just something to think about :-)

  68. I love how your kitchen is coming along. I agree that black is the way to go on the island.

  69. I think the cream would look nice, especially with your white door and trim, but I liked someone's suggestion of distressing it with the black! Your kitchen is so much nicer than mine- I just love it!!

  70. I love, love your chalkboard!!!!!!!

  71. You will likely not see my comment here at the bottom of this long list, but here goes.
    I have experience with the counter top that you are looking at. I like it, but there are a couple of things that you need to know.
    My Island is a DRY zone. Ask the kids. Water rings swell the grain, koolaid is murder. (I have a small stain to contend with from a koolaid packet that my daughter left sitting on the island. Somehow some moisture found it.
    If you have any cast iron do not let anyone set it on the counter top. It stains DEEPLY. My table bears the mark.
    The oil Ikea sells for the counter top is mineral oil and can be bought at the pharmacy. (Incidentally for less.)
    The Island has darkened a lot since I got it and has a nice patina from weekly and then monthly oiling and sanding. Occasionally I just slather it with oil and go to bed. In the morning I wipe the excess off.
    Hope this helps.

  72. Black table legs...I have cream (as well as kids 5, 3.5 and 2) and I absolutely Hate cleaning the scuffs, smudges and smears off that table. Every. Single. Night. of my life. I will never again intentionally put a light piece of furniture in the path of my children.

  73. I just read this post. You've probably already finished these projects, but I wanted to suggest something. I LOVE the cream island!! What about painting the table base green - a la Bree's kitchen cabs from Desperate Housewives, or a similar color that coordinates with your scheme. I like the idea of the black pantry door though.

    LOVE the napkins!!

  74. I have been looking forever for a table like that to use in our foyer. But I cannot find it at at all. do you know what the name of it is?

  75. What is that colour on your wall, the one next to your green?

  76. First I want to say, WOW, what an inspiration. You have given me the guts to change the things I don't like about my home and to make things I didn't think I could.
    I was mostly inspired by you island. I made a mini version, since my husband and I are military, that we could move with us. He was just as shocked as I was at how well it turned out for little money and time.

    The second reason for my post is to reply to Mom of Many's comment. The mineral oil is widely excepted as the only treament for butcher block tops. But after some research I found out you can use any sealer out there. All products manufactured in the US are food safe after curing for 30 days. Who knew?! Since mineral oil basically never drys its a nightmare finish. So three (super thin) coats of urethane and you are good, you can even stain it before if you want. I used General Finish ARM-R-SEAL oil and urethane topcoat.

  77. Hello, and Happy New Year from Connecticut! :) I am on a mad hunt for an cream color island with a butcher block table - and just found you have it posted here, but, didn't say where it's from. Can you please reply and let me know where thats from? I'm looking to find the width / depth and price. THANK YOU so much in advance.


  78. I say do what really rings true in YOUR heart. Then you'll be less likely to change in the future and perfectly happy with your decision. Do what you've always wanted but been afraid of doing. Trust me...I wish I'd have taken my own advice when we built our home 5 years ago. I have been changing things since. Good luck. Cant wait to see what you do. :)


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If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

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