April 15, 2013

Breakfast Bar Re-Vamp

When deciding on the changes I wanted to incorporate into our home, 
I spent countless hours flipping through magazines and being inspired on Pinterest.

To narrow our taste to a certain style is nearly impossible ~ it is a modern-meets-contemporary-meets-shabby chic.

The dark floors and white cabinets brought in strong clean lines and I wanted to break that up with a pop of unexpected.  
I knew I did not want to use bead board on the breakfast bar as it had been done too often and is too expected.

What to do that is unexpected?  Batten & Board.   
Batten and board?  Batten & board! 
And do it in a completely different color.

Here is my blank canvas.

Armed with lots of questions, and not certain of all we needed, 
we visited a local lumberyard to try and put the ideas in my head into a reality.

The salesman that helped me was extremely professional yet the look in his eyes 
told me loud and clear he thought I was a tad on the crazy side.  
I solidified his thinking when I told him I needed the board and batten to be rough-sawn.
Still the professional, he showed me the perfect pieces.
As we left the store, he shook his head and stated,
"I have never sold board and batten for the inside of a home before.  I've been in the business a lot of years."
I promised to bring him before and after pictures.

Now for the fun part.
I removed the trim pieces and then went to work on removing the counter braces.
That was a lot of nails!

Although I wanted the rough-sawn look, I lightly sanded the board and batten.
This ensured a rough look with a smooth finish.

Next came the staining.
Walking the aisles of a big box store I stumbled upon the perfect color in their mis-tint section.
The absolute perfect color cost me $2.50.  
Bargains always make me happy.

This color is the most delicious brown-grey color.
It looks fantastic against the white cabinets and dark flooring.

First I cut and nailed the plywood to the face of the kitchen bar.
Next step was trimming the top, bottom, sides and corners with the 1x2 boards.
From there I needed to figure out how close I wanted the rest of the boards to be to each other.
Once I determined the distance, I used a scrap piece to "cheat" my measuring.
I simply laid the cheat piece against the outside of the first board and the second board would then be set at the outside of my cheat piece.

Hopefully this explains it a little more clearly than I can:

My Cheat Piece saved me a lot of time.
Nail a board down, lay down the Cheat Piece, nail the next board down.

The new counter brackets cost $10 a piece and although 
they are a different wood than the board and batten, 
held the stain and matched perfectly.

Once it was finished, it transformed the look of the kitchen.
The grey color in the stain continues the contemporary element 
all the while the board and batten brings in a hint of a farmhouse feel.

A touch of unexpected.
Which, in essence, is what life is all about isn't it?

Bringing in the board and batten was a simple project which did not cost a lot of money (less than $100!) and it took only a few hours of my time.

An easy, cheap and fun project ~ the best kind of project!

As promised I returned to the local lumberyard to show the 

salesman my before and after pictures.  
The look one his face was priceless.
My guess is next time he won't be so leery of my ideas.
And we all know there will be a next time.

April 8, 2013

Helloooo Kitchen Cabinets

Oak, Oak, Oak.
It was time to part ways.
Our builder-basic home said nothing of originality nor did it even whisper a hint of our style. 
Armed with a small budget, we tore up old flooring and laid down new floors.

I spent countless hours sanding, priming, painting, cutting and staining the cabinetry.
We are thrilled ecstatic with the results.
Ok, I may be the one who is ecstatic as I am no longer spending every waking moment outside of work with a paint brush in my hand.
And if I'm ecstatic, everyone needs to be too.
Or in the very least, pretend to be.

Here is a reminder where we started.

This isn't so much a before shot as it is a during shot.
The walls and ceiling have been painted.
The oak trim is gone from the floors and windows.
The new floors are down.

The view from our family room.

And here is what we have now.

I love the look of board and batten and incorporated it into the cabinetry. 
I think it brings just a hint of farmhouse, don't you?
There will be more on that later.

 Just a splash of red.

It is amazing how much brighter and open the kitchen appears.
We often hear "WHOA, it's so much bigger in here!" when family and friends see the space for the first time;

which is exactly the goal in mind.

 The hardware on the cabinets are custom, to replace them would have cost us a fortune.
Instead, my husband sanded them down and I spray painted them.
They turned out fantastic.

To add a touch of whimsy, our monogram was incorporated into the design.

Well, there you have our latest redesign.
So much hard work and absolutely worth it in the end!

Over the next couple weeks I will spend time redecorating the kitchen, adding hardware and creating a fun back splash with an idea I have brewing in my head.

I'd love to hear what you think, do you love it as much as we do?
What was a favorite change you've made to your space?