Country Living...Island Dreaming

May 29, 2015

The Floors Are Installed!

We are moving right along with the renovation over here.  Our 4 inch red oak floors were just installed and will be stained and finished after the cabinets and appliances are put into place.

Here are a few rooms...

 The foyer view from the living room.

Standing in the kitchen looking into the family room.
Rosie is trying to give a tour.

 The living room....
Rosie was fascinated by the shadows.

There's my girl!
She loves the new floors too!

 The view into the family room.
It's a shame the blinds are down most of the time in here because of the TV!
I forgot how much I love that view!

As you can see, the fireplace has been prepped for the stone next week.  Yay!

Things are moving along except for a new dilemma which I just mentioned on Instagram.  I will update you on that in a bit...

I will be picking out a stain next week.  I have a few medium tones in mind.  In the Minwax colors, I am thinking about Provincial, Early American, Special Walnut and now that I just saw my neighbor's floors - possibly English Chestnut.  I guess I need to narrow it down...

Do you have a favorite stain color for floors?

Linking to:

May 27, 2015

Renovation Progress

I am back with a progress update on my kitchen/first floor renovation.

Last week, during my Window Dilemma panic, I was deciding whether or not to go with the transom window in my kitchen.  Thank you to everyone who expressed opinions on the subject.  If you follow me on Instagram you know by now that I went ahead with the transom window!

I am so happy with how it turned out and now my kitchen has a ton of light!

Big difference from this, huh?

It's so crazy around here, I didn't even get a chance to share some fun demo pictures with you!  

On the first morning, a crew of eight guys arrived and immediately began moving the larger pieces of furniture to other rooms and to the garage.

I felt like we were moving.

I couldn't believe the difference in floor color
 when we pulled up the rugs!

Then it seemed there were guys everywhere, tearing into into the whole downstairs!  My son almost missed the bus because he was so excited to see the demolition!

Kind of sad seeing my house in such disarray.

They wasted no time ripping things out!

They removed the family room carpet so fast,
that I never even saw them doing it!

I didn't even get a chance to take a picture of the fireplace coming off but since then, it has been framed...

Eventually, it will be covered in stone.

Yesterday, the hardwood floors were installed so as soon as I download those pictures, I will give you and update!  We are moving along...

Do you have any renovation plans for your home?
If not, could I come use your kitchen?...


May 20, 2015

Window Dilemma

We are in midst of my kitchen/downstairs floor renovation at the moment.

I am already driving my contractor insane...

So maybe I take awhile to make decisions sometimes.  I just want to get things right!  Here is the dilemma of the day...(I am sure there will be many more to come!)

We ordered a new window to replace this freakishly high window in my kitchen.
Here is the window that will be going away...
Far away.

Right now the window is 3 feet high by 6 feet wide.  It has always been too high above the sink and I wanted it larger.  I had my contractor order a 4 foot high by 6 foot wide one - basically with the same look.

Yesterday, my contractor arrives and tells me his window guy ordered one with a transom instead.  He said that even though the new window is more expensive, he would give it to me for the same price.  The question is, do I want the transom window? 

I do love the look of transoms and all the extra light they give but in order to put a transom in and still be at the right height for my sink area, we would have to cut into the header above the window and make the window higher.  I am struggling with this for a couple reasons...

1.  Will a higher window look strange from the back of the house?

2.  Since the transom will bring the top up higher, would the window look too high compared to the windows in the family room?  (I am not as concerned about the door because that is lower anyway.)  Oh yes, did I mention we just ripped out the kitchen and floors on Monday?

3.  If I didn't want to go higher, should I just bring the window all the way down to the counter like in this picture...

CWP Cabinets

The above cabinets are very similar to the ones I ordered.

So like I said, my contractor asked me to make the decision by the end of day yesterday since he reordered the correct window to be installed on Thursday.  I just wanted to have the decision out of the way so I said I would take the transom.  He agreed it would look great so he cancelled the order for the original window and we decided to go with the transom.  He arranged for his window guys to show up at 7:00 am this morning to remove my window and cut the hole for the new one.  

But it can't be that easy when you are dealing with me...I woke up several times during the night worrying so when the guys arrived this morning, I had a million questions.  Luckily, they were SO nice about it and agreed that I should make sure I knew what I wanted.  So we decided to wait to install, they left for their second job and my contractor texted me that he would talk to me when he gets here this afternoon.  Poor guy, I am driving him nuts already...

I posted a few pictures on Instagram this morning and I think everyone agreed that I should go for the transom.  

So what do you think?
No transom?

Linking to:


May 9, 2015

The Foyer and Stairs

About four years ago, I started thinking about changing my foyer -see HERE. that we are ripping out the tile and installing hardwood floors, the staircase is has now been added to the plans!  Hooray!

The oak has faded and the runner has seen better days (with kids and a dog!)

So the plan is to re-stain to match the new floor, change the spindles to white and replace the carpet runner.  The walls are currently Benjamin Moore Bone White but I might change the color.  Either way, the walls definitely need a new coat of paint.  Don't tell my husband though.  I haven't broken that news to him yet.  He is currently sweating in front of a calculator, figuring out how much my mid-life-crisis-house-remodel is going to cost him!

Here are some samples of the look I love:

If I didn't have a dog, the staircase above would be perfect!  But we definitely need that runner!

This runner and foyer are gorgeous!...
AMW Design Studio via Houzz

The runner and area rug above are from Coastline Collection of Stanton Carpet and I love the way they look with the hardwood floors!  I also love the idea of a patterned stair runner to hide the possible doggie footprints!

Although a textured carpet like the one above might be the way to go.

I do love sisal though...

I love the look of sisal but I think I need to go a bit softer for our precious little feet (paws included!)

I am going to start bringing home samples to decide but it's hard when the new floors aren't in yet.  Yeah, I am a bit overwhelmed with this remodel to say the least.   I think I need a vacation...Oh wait, we can't afford one now...

What kind of stair runners do you like?

Linking to:
Pieced Pastimes - Saturday Sparks
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
Elizabeth and Co - Be Inspired
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Dixie Delights - Share Your Style

May 6, 2015

Where Did You Get Your Sense of Humor?

I swear my husband blames me for our younger son being the class clown.  Not that I was ever a "class clown" by any stretch of the imagination!  I was actually a shy, quiet child.  But I guess I have always been pretty silly and I can appreciate good humor when I see it.

So, when my sweet son showed signs of being very funny, maybe I encouraged him just a bit!  Honestly, the kid makes me laugh every single day - most of the time without even trying!  We even keep of list of funny things he says or does.  When he recognizes he has come up with another gem, he will say, "Mom, we should add that one to the list!"

When he was a baby, I dressed him up for Halloween as a spider.  But when I was changing him out of his costume that night, his little black turtleneck and leggings reminded me of the Saturday Night Live character, Dieter.  (Click HERE if you don't know the character.)  Needless to say, I slicked back his hair, grabbed a pair of glasses and a monkey... and Baby Dieter was created.!
Funny kid

Yeah, maybe my husband is right.  Maybe I did encourage him to be the class clown...

Well, I am proud to say (or embarrassed to admit) that my little one has now perfected the Dieter character with the dance moves, German accent and facial expressions to go along with it!  (He has only seen the one video because some of the Dieter material is a bit inappropriate for a child!)  I literally cry laughing when he does his Dieter dance!  If I can ever convince him to allow me to record him, I promise to share the video with you.  You will die laughing...

This is the kind of silliness that goes on in my house on a regular basis.  We go back and forth with lines from movies and TV shows all the time.

Lately, my son (yes the baby above who is now almost 9!!!) has been obsessed with the show, Henry Danger on Nick.  Since I always need to know what my kids are watching, I usually sit down with him to watch each episode.  Even I think the show is hilarious!  I wish they recorded the episodes in New York instead of Los Angeles because I would love to take him to a taping or something!  Either way, the show has given us plenty of material to add to our already silly repertoire!

Henry Danger

Speaking of super heros...As you might have seen on my blog, our dog, Rosie is not immune from our shenanigans!

Silly Golden Retriever
The time I tried to fit her in a too-small Wonder Woman costume!
(Could she look more annoyed?)

I think I inherited some of my silliness from my uncle.  He used to encourage my sister and I to do mischievous things like put a cup of water at the top of a door so it would fall on someone when they walked through.  I am sure my mom was not happy with our crazy antics.  She is the more serious fact, she never could understand the Far Side cartoons.  I always had to explain them to her and she still wouldn't laugh!  But I have to give her credit for being a Seinfeld fan!  A sign of a true sense of humor as far as I am concerned!

Besides seeing every single episode of Seinfeld (multiple times!), I was exposed to Saturday Night Live at an early age (my uncle's influence again).  No wonder I had such an early appreciation for those ridiculous characters like the ones played by Bill Murray.  The man can do no wrong.  Not only is he absolutely hilarious, but he is a brilliant actor as well.  He has also been known to crash parties.  In fact, figuring out a way to have Bill Murray crash a party at my house is on my bucket list!  You hear that Bill?!!  I am waiting for ya!

I also love David Spade!  How much fun would it be to hang out with him?  Such a crack up.  Loved him on Saturday Night Live, Rules of Engagement, Tommy Boy (loved Chris Farley too!).  Actually all of those Saturday Night Live alumni are hilarious!

In addition to the movies, TV and my crazy uncle, I think my sense of humor has been influenced by my friends.  There are always those few people who cause you to keel over laughing every time you see them.

I have been friends with this crazy girl since 4th grade and you can pretty much guarantee there will be some kind of ridiculousness going on if she is around!  Usually when we get together, there is trouble - not anything bad, just a good story to tell later on.  I am laughing right now as I recall the predicaments we have gotten ourselves into over the years...definitely some ideas for some future blog posts...with her permission of course!  Anyway, I am sure you have some of those friendships in your life.  Cherish them!

And last but not least, I must mention my husband.  He may not have been a major influence in the development of my sense of humor since I met him as an adult, but he does make me laugh on a regular basis.  He has been known to play some practical jokes on me over the years as well - (The Frankenbike Story)  He also is careful to keep his eye rolling to a minimum when I go overboard embellishing a story or retelling a tale he has heard a hundred times!

And he knows when to give up trying to restrain me when I insist something is funny...
Sightseeing in Charleston
One must always pose with statues...

And dogs!

(Except when you are in Germany and follow one into a pub kitchen to pet it and it bites you.  You then have your German friend write you a note to the owner the next day to ask if the dog has had rabies shots.  You then are not sure if you got the correct answer so you worry for about a year...good times.)

Now it's your turn:
Where did you get your sense of humor from?
What are some things that make you laugh?
I would love for you follow along so you don't miss a post!

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May 2, 2015

Fireplace Options

We are in the process of renovating our kitchen.  Since we are ripping out the floors in that room to replace them with hardwoods, we decided to also replace the flooring in most of the adjoining rooms.  And since the floors are coming out anyway, we also decided to change our fireplace.  It only made sense...yes, that is what I keep telling my husband.

Anyway, this is my existing fireplace (as decorated a couple years ago)...

My kitchen cabinets are currently about the same color as my mantel and I am just tired of this look.  I also would like a raised hearth instead of this slab that is even with the floor.  In the past, I have tried to find a pretty fireplace screen to sit in front, but since the hearth is so low, I couldn't find a screen tall enough.  I want to remove the glass doors - but if my opinionated husband objects, we will just paint the brass on them.'s all about compromise!  

Here is a current view from the kitchen.
Won't a new fireplace look beautiful with my new white cabinets?

At first, I thought about just redoing the surround 
in white with some beautiful molding.
Don't just LOVE this fireplace?...

But I have had my heart on stone for years.
Isn't this one absolutely gorgeous?...

While I love the above one, I think the fieldstone might be too overpowering for my space.  I really can't expand the size of my fireplace too much due to the window and doorway on either side.

In fact, I probably could only widen it by a couple inches!

So something like this might work...
(a great combination of the white mantel with stone!)
(Definitely one of my all time favorite fireplaces!)

But if we are going to do stone, my husband wants to do the whole thing.  I kind of agree with him so now I think this is the look I we going for in there...

The stacked stone feels like it would work in that space.

Now we just have to decide on the color tones
and we will get moving on this project!

What do you think would look best in that room?

And to catch you up, here are some links to some other decisions I have made along the way...
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