Country Living...Island Dreaming

July 31, 2015

Kitchen Updates of the Week

We are heading toward the homestretch 
of this renovation...yay!

This past week, I agonized for days over my tile selection...

I fell in love with the beveled subway tile (above on the left) but since my cabinets are raised panel, I felt the beveled tile would be too much.  Plus my husband wasn't crazy about that look...Boo hoo...

I also went back and forth between an off-white and white-white for the subway tile.  My cabinets are Benjamin Moore White Dove which is a creamy white but the granite looked better with the whiter white.  I went with the white-white.  I hope I made the right decision because the tiles are ordered!

I have also been obsessing over island pendant lighting!

This is the Circa Lighting Darlana lantern.  Obviously, it's just the outside without the lighting part but you get the idea.  I had to be super-careful unpacking the pieces because if I have to return them and didn't repackage them exactly the way they came, no refund for me!  Not to mention, I would still be charged a restocking fee!  The cost of indecisiveness!

I also picked up this Kichler pendant on the above left.  It's also a great glass-less option but I think I wanted to go more open and airy.  Plus I have been obsessing over the Darlana lantern for awhile now...we'll see.  I also like the Pottery Barn Rustic Large Pendant.  I ordered two of these two but the more I think about it, the black lanterns are what I always pictured in here!

So many decisions in that area!  I have even considered not doing any pendant lighting in the kitchen!  I have gotten so used to the open airy feel in there that I kind of think I should just install two more recessed lights over the island and be done with it!  

I can't wait to get to the fun decorating part, where I can buy non-permanent pieces that can be switched out on a whim!   

What are you decorating this week?

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July 24, 2015

Perfect Linens Sheets

Perfect Linens provided me with a sheet set in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  This post also contains affiliate links.

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!

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

As they say on their website,
"Life's too short for bad sheets!"
White sheets with blue stripe - my new favorite sheets!

What are you sleeping on?

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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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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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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