Friday, July 24, 2015

Perfect Linens Sheets and a Coupon Code!

Perfect Linens  provided my with a sheet set in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

With this crazy kitchen renovation going on, I have been escaping to my bedroom to get away from the chaos on the main floor.  It couldn't have been better timing for Perfect Linens to send me a sheet set to review!


They offered me a set of their "Second Skin" 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and asked me to choose between three embroidered options.  I chose the Blue Stripe.  You can see how perfectly  they coordinate with the rest of my bedding.


Included with the sheet set was a bottle of this beautifully scented linen wash with laundering instructions.  Apparently, you should take the sheets out of the dryer while they are still damp to help minimize wrinkles.  How did I not know that all these years?...It's like I live in a cave...


The first thing I noticed while making my bed, was the over-sized top sheet.  Finally, someone was smart enough to make a top sheet that you can actually tuck in!  They were already scoring some points with me!

But we all know the real test for sheets is comfort!  I have been looking for a great set of sheets for  some time now and couldn't wait to dive into bed the first night.  It was so encouraging to learn that Perfect Linens is the only retailer that tests how sheets feel after they have been washed.  Seriously, how many times have you felt sheets in the store but were disappointed once you washed them?  I have a whole pile of those in my linen closet...

Well, I can honestly say, I love the sheets.  They are soft and light but didn't have that weird waxy feel that you sometimes get with a sateen sheet.  They also got the seal of approval from my husband.  When he climbed into bed that night, the first thing he said was "Great sheets!"  This coming from the guy who doesn't even notice when I get a haircut!..


Like I said, the timing was perfect to try these new sheets.  Perfect Linens must have known I needed a good nights sleep!

And because I am sure you are dying to try a set of your own,
Perfect Linens is offering my readers a $50 discount!
Just use the code Calypso50 when checking out.

They offer a simple selection so you won't have to go through hundreds of products to figure out what works best for you.  

Like they say on their website,
"Life's too short for bad sheets!"

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Rustic Stone Fireplace

As I mentioned previously - HERE, I had all kinds of ideas for my new fireplace.  I compromised with my husband and ended up going more rustic than I had planned.  I was happy with the results but did feel the stone wound up a little darker than I would have wanted.


But as I started adding a few accessories and bringing the furniture back into the family room...


The fireplace felt more welcoming and grounded the space.


Obviously, the room is nowhere being done!  We will be adding an area rug, replacing several pieces of furniture and will be doing something different with the windows.  But as you can see, the fireplace gives some weight to that side of the room.


And I am loving the rustic look of it even more!


Most of my accessories are still packed away somewhere under construction dust but just pulling out this photo of my kids and adding a couple Homegoods plants or wait... maybe I bought them at Wegman's Supermarket...anyway they made the room feel more like home again.


I will probably add a decorative screen on the hearth one of these days...


Not that I am looking forward to winter, but what fun it will be to add Christmas decor up here!


Although I have always loved this picture of my kids!  That will stay up there for awhile.  I actually have a similar one (but in color) in my office.  They were so little then...sigh...


I would have added some live plants but let's be realistic here...they wouldn't last long under my care!



So, things are getting put back into place as the smell of the stained floors slowly disappears.  And I do mean SLOWLY... Seriously, will it ever go away?  Luckily we've had a few days where we can open windows but these hot, humid days are killers.  We spend as much time as possible outside or at our family's beach house so I guess I can't complain too much!

Just to remind you what the fireplace looked like before, hop over to that post - HERE!

I hope you are enjoying your summer!
How is the weather where you are?

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Kitchen Renovation Progress

We are definitely moving along with my kitchen.  I wish I could enjoy it more but the smell from the finished floors is still driving me insane!

Anyway...major developments this week!...


The granite was installed!  As you may have read HERE, I struggled for awhile with my granite choice.  Since I really wanted marble but decided to be more practical with granite, I searched for something that kind of had a marble look.


I chose White Ice granite.  The background is white with black and tan movement throughout.  The tan doesn't show up very well in these photos but in person it coordinates nicely with my freshly painted Manchester Tan walls.


Here is an evening shot looking in from the dining room.  As you can see, there is one cabinet door on the upper left that had to be reordered.  The stainless farm sink was also installed when the granite went in.   The faucets and dishwasher will be hooked up today.

The glass for the cabinet doors also came in!...


This will be the bar/entertainment area.  When we added lights to these cabinets, we decided to take out the regular cabinet shelves and add glass ones so the light flows all the way down.  (I still have to lower the one shelf in the that looks a little high.)  I can't wait to start filling up these shelves!

And I can't wait to start cooking in here again!..


Hopefully, we will continue to make as much progress this coming week.  I have to stop stalling and pick a backsplash, hardware and pendant lighting!  And I haven't committed to any counter stools either...

How was your week?

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Floors are Finished!

You might remember, how I had such a difficult time choosing a floor stain...

Well, we ended up choosing Minwax Provincial and couldn't be happier!


 As you can see, the color picks up the dark tones from the island.


And although I originally thought a lighter color would be better for us, (with all that golden retriever fur), I absolutely LOVE this color!  So what if I have to vacuum constantly!


Here is a view into the family room.  As you can see, the walls have been repainted too.  We chose Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan and are thrilled with that as well!

One thing we are not so thrilled with is the smell!  Ugh!  I knew the stain and poly smell would be bad but it is really horrible!  My husband has been toughing it out and staying in the house while the kids and I are at the beach with family.  I honestly don't know how he can handle it!  I literally had a headache yesterday from being in there for like 10 minutes!

Even with the lung scorching fumes, I am SO glad we decided to go with the finished-on-site route for the hardwood.  The floors came out beautiful and if I am ever able to breathe in my house again, I will be so happy to have them throughout the downstairs rooms!

Have you ever suffered through polyurethane fumes in your home? 

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Fireplace - Before and After

Since we were changing our floors to hardwood, we thought it would also be a good time to give our fireplace a makeover!

BEFORE
Here is an unattractive 'before' picture from demo day...
because we all know it's much more dramatic having an ugly 'before'!

Otherwise, I might start missing when my fireplace looked like this...
Ok, now I feel sad...

Anyway, we wanted to build up the hearth, get rid of those broken down ugly glass/brass doors and basically give the fireplace some presence in the room!  Recently, I gave a few examples of the new look I was going for.. Fireplace Options.  My husband and I went back and forth for awhile and finally agreed to go with a cultured stone.  

After ripping off our old oak mantel, 
the guys got to work on framing the fireplace for the new stone.
It already felt much bigger with the raised hearth and additional depth.

And with the half wall gone the fireplace could be even more of a focal point!
By that point, the surface had been prepped for the stone.

And crown molding was added to the top.

As you can see, the new mantel was in place when they started stacking the stone.  The mantel is an old piece of barn wood from over 100 years ago...definitely a rustic touch.  I figured I would let my husband have some masculine features in the room to balance out my white girly kitchen at the other end!  I also let my husband make the final decision on the actual stone color.  We had decided on Boral Country Ledgestone and he chose the color Hudson Bay which I was fine with since it had a mixture of grays and tans.


We couldn't decide between stacked and grouted but ended up doing the grout.

AFTER
Ta-da!

And another AFTER with no lights...
Ta-da again!

Overall, I am happy with the new look.  The stone is a little darker than I originally wanted but I am excited with how it turned out.  I can't wait to start decorating the mantel.  What fun it will be at Christmastime!!  Yay!

All these decisions are making my head spin!

Any renovations going on in your home?

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Granite Obsessing

One of the hardest decisions in this whole kitchen renovation has been the granite.  I always knew I wanted white cabinets with a stained wood island but I couldn't picture what the counter tops would be like.  Actually, that's not true...I could picture marble in there but for our family and lifestyle (messy boys), I knew granite would be more practical and less expensive.

In some of my Houzz and Pinterest inspiration photos, I came across a granite called, White Springs.  It blended beautifully with the White Dove painted cabinets as well as wood floors.  Our granite supplier had a few slabs and I loved the colors in them - white background with a taupe/tan, black, and brown.


We needed 2 slabs but I wasn't thrilled with markings in one of the slabs the supplier had so he called me when some new ones came in.  When my contractor and I went to look at the new slabs, the colors were very different and I just couldn't picture it working.  We decided to take a look at the originals to see if we could make them work with the templates we had done.

Unfortunately, there were several splotchy areas I didn't like so the only piece that would work for the island was this one.  I was hesitant at first (should have been a sign right there) because the black marks looked a little snake-like and also kind of like bird footprints to me.  Because I tend to be a little indecisive at times, I tried to be more bold by talking myself into embracing the black marks for their artistic quality.

I wished the island looked more like this piece for the bar/entertainment area but overall I thought I was happy with the layout.  The next morning I started feeling hesitant and texted one of my best friends.  I asked her to come with me to look at the granite again.  She agreed that the granite wasn't what I would normally pick and advised me to go really bold with the island lighting to draw the attention away from the black marks.  Once again, I felt okay with my decision but over the weekend I started having doubts again.  First thing Monday morning I cancelled the granite order right before they were due to start cutting.  I just didn't want to spend the rest of my life staring at something I didn't love.

So to make a long story short...(much too late for that I guess)...I started shopping again!

I wanted to go with the general look of the White Springs but a little more subtle like this White Giallo Ornamentale.  (The original Giallo Ornamental sample I had at the top of this page was very brown and basically nothing like this in color...

Close up of a White Giallo Ornamental with my samples.
My cabinets are White Dove, the walls are Manchester Tan
and the piece of cherry is the island color.

 White Giallo Ornamental

White Giallo Ornamental


 White Giallo Ornamental shown with the White Springs sample piece.


Giallo Ornamental in better lighting.

Then I found an Ivory Ice at another supplier.  Very close in color to what I have been looking for...
 Close up of Ivory Ice


 Ivory Ice Granite
The black marks are more subtle than the White Springs bird/snake marks.


Ivory Ice

Then at yet another supplier, I found this White Ice slab...
 White Ice side view
It appears very gray but seemed more white in person.

 White Ice with my kitchen samples.


 White Ice Granite


White Ice


So basically, I plan to go with one of the 3 choices above:
1.  White Giallo Ornamentale
2.  Ivory Ice
3.  White Ice

I have to push myself to make a decision though or else I will mess up the schedule...ugh.  Time to go back and look at all my inspiration photos!

What granite is your favorite?

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Renovation Progress - Major Developments!

Things are happening so fast over here that I barely have time to sit down and write about them!  It's been crazy busy!  One day last week within a two hour time frame, the appliances, cabinets and fireplace stone were delivered!

The next day the guys didn't waste any time unpacking them...

 It was like Christmas morning!

Before long, my kitchen was coming to life!

 And after a couple days it already looked like this!

Then the floor guy came with Minwax stains to choose from...
They all looked beautiful so needless to say,
I haven't committed yet!

I originally thought I would go lighter (you know the golden retriever fur) - but I think we are leaning towards the two on the right - Provincial and Early American.

Here is a better view of the island which is what I am comparing them to:
The Early American matches in color but the Provincial picks up the darker tones mixed in the island....so difficult!

And I have to think about how the color will look throughout the house.  As you can see, the guys are sanding and refinishing the stairs as well.
I must say, we were pleasantly surprised when we removed the runner to see that the stairs really hadn't faded that much in 16 years.  For some reason I thought they had, but I guess they were always on the light side.  It made me relieved that we chose to do finished-on-site floors throughout the house.  The prefinished floors we had in our living room and dining room faded terribly over the years.  

Here is what my living room floor looked like right before we tore it out...
And this room doesn't even get a lot of light!

Oh and speaking of light...
The under cabinet and upper cabinet lighting went in.  I think I stood in here for an hour one night, just staring at the room...It's my favorite thing yet!

We are definitely making progress!  I just have to push myself to make some decisions.  The floor is a tough one because the hardwood will be almost everywhere!  And I may have gone a little wild on my granite selection...a bit out of my comfort zone.  I'll fill you in on that next time...

Any thoughts on the hardwood stains?
I would love your input!


Enjoy your weekend!

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