Saturday, October 3, 2015

Subtle Autumn Accents

With the winds howling outside on this dreary day, I am enjoying the simple autumn decor I added to the kitchen.

I showed you the fireplace mantel in my last post.  Today, I will take you around the new kitchen to see a few subtle pieces I added for the season.

The gorgeous golden orchid was a recent gift from a friend.  I love the height it gives to the center of the island and the color is perfect for fall.  I sure hope I can keep it alive...

I am just getting used to having a newly renovated kitchen and have become very selective about what I bring in.  I am still working on the overall look I want for the room.  My black and white checked tablecloth 'made the cut' and has always managed to find its way into the kitchen each fall.  I love it even more with my white cabinets and black accents.

 A simple bowl of fruit adds a nice splash of color. 

I didn't want to clutter up the mantel over the stove but I thought a few mini pumpkins and some faux vines were just enough.

Turning on the cabinet lights added some coziness on this blustery day.

You can always count on Homegoods for festive towels.

Would you like to join me in a cup of tea?

Or perhaps something stronger from the bar area...

It's definitely a day to stay inside.

What autumn touches have you added to your home?

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 1st Mantel

Happy October everyone!  

Today is a day of firsts around here...

The first day of October...

The first October that I could decorate my new stone fireplace...

and my first attempt at a mantel for the month.  

Most likely my kids will beg me to Halloween-it-up later this month so you might see some changes as we go along.  I am already thinking of switching out the beach picture for something more seasonally appropriate....

But for now, this is how my mantel looks...sleeping dog included.

Definitely not the first time Rosie has stolen the scene!
Such a ham...

Happy 1st Day of October!

Just in case you were wondering
what my mantel used to look like for fall, click HERE and HERE.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Foyer - Before and After (and Deciding on Paint Color)

During our recent kitchen renovation, we extended the wood floors into most of the downstairs including the foyer.  We couldn't just leave the stairs the same light oak color so we stained them the same color as the new floors - (Minwax-Provincial).  We also painted the risers white and replaced the spindles with new white ones.  And after 16 years, 2 kids and a dog, the runner needed to be ripped out in the process!

 Goodbye yellowed oak and dingy runner...

Hello dream staircase!

I cannot even express to you how much I love these stairs now!  I haven't decided on a new runner yet - but I am in no rush because I adore the way the stairs look now.  Unfortunately, it's more practical for our family to install a runner so I will be shopping for that soon.

In the meantime, I really need to decide on a new paint color.  With all the renovation mess and years of kids touching the walls, these babies need to be repainted!

The problem is, I just don't know which direction to go in here.  Currently, the walls are Benjamin Moore Bone White.  

The kitchen, family room and back hall are Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan.  The living room will stay Bone White for now at least, and the dining room will be painted something different.  Don't ask me what it will be painted because I can't go that far yet.  All I know is that I will be changing the dark red I have had in there for the past 12 years or so.  I feel like I need a change.

I love the warmer feel in here.

Here is the view of the foyer from above before we changed the floors...

The tile was very practical for a high traffic area
but felt a bit cold.

And here is what the foyer looks like after with the new wood floors...


I am not sure if it's the difference in lighting or the fact that the floor color has changed the look of the walls.  All I know is that the walls seem more yellow now.

Like I said, the walls in the foyer are Benjamin Moore Bone White.  My office and living room are painted Bone White and it works fine for me, especially since all those rooms are northwest facing.  But I kind of think I need to change the foyer.  After all, what fun is having a room painted if you don't pick a new color?!!

But I can't decide!  Do I stay with something similar or do I go in a more gray-griege direction...

Since I haven't decided on the runner yet, I can be flexible.  The rug in front of the door will probably stay for now.  It has dark red, tan/gold and green in it.  It also doesn't show any dirt or dog hair so I am hesitant to change it for something else at this point.

So what do you think about color?  I don't want to go too dark, yet I want the white spindles to show up.  Any suggestions would be helpful!  We are sticking with Benjamin Moore so any suggestions in their colors would be helpful.

But for now, let's take one last look at the staircase transformation:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy National Dog Week

Hello friends!
It's me, Rosie...
and I am taking over the blog again 
in honor of National Dog Week!

I know what you are thinking - wasn't it just National Dog Day last month?  Why yes, it was!  And what is wrong with celebrating your furry friends again!  This time we get a whole week dedicated to us!  Personally, I think we should plan one of these celebrations every week!  

After all, I got a nice trip to the spa out of it yesterday!...

Don't I look nice and relaxed?
I really need to do this more often!

So, when the kids went back to school recently, they probably had to report on their summer vacations.  You know, the usual drill - "What did you do this summer?"...

Well, nobody asked me what I did this summer!   

I am going to give you my report right here before Mommy catches me sitting at her desk.  She still hasn't caught on that I know how to type!  She's probably staring at her new kitchen anyway.  As you know, she can't stop babbling on about it.  I am sure you are sick of it by now...

Anyway, back to my summer vacation...

I spent lots of time laying around in the sun!  

And where do you think the term 
'Dog Days of Summer' came from?

I also did my share of swimming in the neighbor's pool!

You should see my back stroke!

Swimming can be exhausting!

Seriously, why doesn't our swim club allow me in their pool?

I also spent tons of time at the family's beach house.

I loved watching all my new doggie friends walk by each morning.

I joined them on many walks but unfortunately dogs are not allowed on the beach there!...

Who thought of this silly rule?

I had a wonderful time anyway...well except on the 4th of July.  Those fireworks and the sirens from the parade had me hiding under the covers.  Why do they have to be so LOUD?!!

Speaking of loud, earlier in the summer, our house was under a major renovation.  This is where I hid to escape the noise...

But once things starting coming together, I really enjoyed my new surroundings...

Although it was a little confusing in the kitchen when they kept moving my food bowls around.  But I got used to the changes.

I enjoyed all the open spaces so I could run around after all the afternoon shadows...

I also enjoyed getting my belly rubbed by all the construction workers in the house.  I even tried to show off one day by catching some sort of squeaking rodent and bringing it into the house.  Mommy was not happy!  But the guys talked about it for days!

 I am so entertaining at times.

I enjoyed my time on Mommy's office rug while the rest of the house was torn apart.

 My toys kept me company.

I always like to keep one close by in case someone new shows up.  I like to greet everyone at the door with a gift!...It's a golden thing...

Did I mention how HOT it was this summer?!!  Imagine what I felt like in this fur coat of mine!  Luckily I found a way to cool off when I couldn't get to the pool... nice and refreshing!  

Too bad I smelled terrible afterwards.  Apparently, no one likes a wet dog!

But when I am nice and dry, I get lots of attention.
What's wrong with being a little spoiled?!

So that pretty much wraps up my summer!
I hope you enjoyed my recent adventures!

But if you haven't gotten enough of me, feel free to read all about my puppy antics by clicking - Weekend Pupdates or on the above tab labeled the same.  You can also read about last year's summer vacation - HERE.

I hope you treat the doggies in your life extra special this week!

Happy National Dog Week!


Monday, September 21, 2015

My Kitchen on Houzz - Kitchen Designs by Debra

In my last post, I took you on a tour of my new kitchen.

But I am no photographer...

If you would like to see some professional photos of my kitchen, head over to Houzz and check out the pictures just posted on the page of my amazing kitchen designer - Kitchen Designs by Debra.

Here's a sneak peek...

And while you are over there, 
scroll though all the other beautiful kitchens Debra designed!

When I was looking for inspiration for my kitchen design, I practically lived on that website.  So many beautiful photos and such a great resource when planning a project.  A friend had recommended Debra to me but I found Houzz very helpful because I could view her previous projects and read her reviews as well.  Which reminds me, I still need to write my review on her page. Obviously, I have only wonderful things to say about her!  Head over and check out her page!  Houzz - Kitchen Designs by Debra.

How often do you use Houzz for inspiration?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My New White Kitchen Reveal

After years of thinking about it, 
months of planning and renovating,

I new white kitchen!

We've been in our home for 16 years and decided it was time for an update.

Here is what the kitchen looked like before:

And that same angle now:

I am seriously still pinching myself each morning I walk in here!

I will give you a before and after of each angle in my next post.  For now, I'll take you around the room starting with my big splurge, a 48 inch duel fuel range from Jenn Air.  Cooking on this thing has been a dream.  I haven't used the griddle on top yet because I am afraid it won't look shiny and new anymore.  My husband keeps telling everyone that I am never going to use it.  I'll break it in one of these days once the novelty wears off...

After the stove splurge, we kept our old refrigerator to save on some money.  It's a Kitchen Aid counter depth so it doesn't stick out too much.  My contractor still has to add a  molding piece above it.  That should hide the small space and give it a more built in look.

I updated the lighting to include two pendants from Circa Lighting over the island.  These are the small Darlana pendants by Visual Comfort E.F. Chapman Collection.  The chandelier is the Collins Chandelier from Pottery Barn.

The tile store suggested this herringbone pattern over the stove.  I was hesitant in the beginning but now it's one of my favorite things!

Speaking of favorite things, enlarging this window was one of our best decisions!  We get so much more light in here and it is no longer 'freakishly' too high!

For now we are using temporary counter stools.  I haven't decided if I want backless or not so I am still shopping around.

This photo shows a close up of the granite.  We chose White Ice after many agonizing trips to the granite suppliers.  I would have loved marble but had to be practical with 2 boys and a messy husband.  You can also see that we added under-cabinet of our best decisions.  I love having different lighting options in the evening and these light up the working space beautifully.

We also added lighting in the upper cabinets.

This is the view from the dining room.

And the view from the family room.  I am also planning on replacing the kitchen table and chairs.  I don't think I mentioned that to my husband yet...

This is our new view into the family room with our new stone fireplace.  I still need to buy an area rug for that room.  Too many decisions to make lately...

Although I loved the baker's rack that used to stand in this place, I am excited about using this new entertainment area.  We need to plan some parties!

Rosie always loves having guests!

Thanks for taking the tour with us!

And here is a breakdown of sources:

Cabinets:  New River Cabinetry - Bridgewater style raised panel door in maple, Color - Swan (matches Benjamin Moore White Dove), Island is cherry - Buckhorn stain
Granite:  White Ice
Stove, Dishwasher, Microwave:  Jenn Air
Refrigerator:  Kitchen Aid
Stainless Farm Sink:  Moen
Faucet:  Moen
Hardware:  Top Knobs
Hardwood Floor:  Red Oak stained in Minwax Provincial
Subway Tile:  White 3 x 6 purchased from Charles Tiles
Wall color:  Benjamin Moore - Manchester Tan

For details of the renovation, click any of the posts below:

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