A Thank-you and 3 Tips for Functional Decorating in the Kitchen

Friday, November 23, 2012


I hadn't checked my blog in a few days, and came back to all of this love.  First of all, let me say thank-you to Kim at Savvy Southern Style and Beth at Home Stories A to Z for the features from last week's link parties.  I feel so honored for being featured amongst so many other beautiful projects.  If you have a minute go check out the other projects.  I also want to thank everyone who came here to see more, became a follower, and those who commented!  Not everyone outside the bloggy world understands the legwork that goes into a DIY project, so I appreciate those of you who get as excited as I do.  I hope that you will become a follower of the blog because I have lots more to share!

The color on the bookcases is a custom color that I mixed, but I will take a pic of the lid that has the formula and post it next week.  I am also planning a post on how I did the beadboard, since some have asked.


3 Tips for Functional Decorating in the Kitchen

In the meantime, I wanted to talk about kitchen counters.  Here is a glimpse of one side of my kitchen.  I tend to rearrange mine frequently, but I have narrowed down what I put on them to functional items.  What I have realized though, is that the functional can also be beautiful.

1.  Display bulk fruit in a decorative bowl.     

I buy a lot of my produce from Aldi because of their prices, but it comes in bulk.  However, there's no need to keep those beautiful fruit in the ugly plastic bags.  Plus the colors of the fruit that is in season, generally complement the colors of the season.  (Check out the color of my pressed maple leaves with the color of the apples.)  Double plus, you're more likely to eat them if they are out in the open and easy to grab.  I can't tell you how many times my son and my husband pick up fruit because it's out.   So it's a win-win.

2. Decant, decant, decant.

Decant liquid soaps so that the countertop is not cluttered up with plastic bottles.  I used a small oil dispenser for my dish soap, and a decorative soap dispenser for hand soap.  They're not just for the bathroom!  If you're like me, you like the pricing that comes with store brand products but the packaging, eh, not so much.  By decanting, the "brand" of a product becomes less important. 

3.  Display grains/pasta in glass jars

Ok, so this is kind of the same as decanting, but you can do this with anything.  I love to display pasta and grains because of their beautiful color--especially the whole grain varieties.  Reminds me of burlap....and if you didn't know, I love burlap.  You can also do this with sugar or flour.  If you notice in the first picture, the large glass jar with the scoop holds sugar.  And jars don't have to cost a lot.  The ones you see below are from Hobby Lobby.  I think at half off they were around $3 each.

I know that you can get the Martha Stewart chalkboard labels at Staples, but I made mine with chalkboard contact paper which I also got from Hobby Lobby.  And you can also find the chalk markers there too.  

4. Bonus Tip: Bring in Plants

Plants are functional too because they help purify the air.  If you have a window in your kitchen, why not go for herbs to use in cooking?  My favorites are lemon thyme, rosemary, and basil.  They can make the ordinary extraordinary, and they smell wonderful too!  (You know...Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Potatoes vs. baked potato...yeah, I know which one I want!)

So much less expensive to snip some from your kitchen, rather than to buy at the store.  My kitchen doesn't have any windows, but I am planning to put some herbs in my dining room window sill.  I'll keep you posted.  

Thanks again for stopping by!  What do you like to put on your kitchen counters?

Read More

The Dining Room Bookcases

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I got the Dining Room put back together this weekend.  Looking at the finished product, I can't believe I waited so long to finish them off.  I didn't think I could have the bookcases in this room with my table, but I love the final result.  

I have been collecting white dishware and dinnerware for over a year now from yard sales and the clearance aisles of Target and other stores.  I have a slight addiction to it.  But now I am able to see it all and easily pull it out without going to several different locations in my house.  Hopefully that will help me entertain more.

It's got a little French Grey + Burlap, so I'm happy!

This is a before picture below.  I mentioned in a previous post that this was originally a dining room, but it had been converted to a playroom.  These were the basic pieces in the playroom, though this photo was taken right before we got new flooring.  Thus the sparse looking space.

In the future, I'll have to show how I attached the bookcases to the wall.

I've been wanting some open shelving for dishware ever since I saw Layla's over at The Lettered Cottage.  I have yet to take the doors off any kitchen cabinets, but I do have plans to add some open cabinetry soon!  Then some of the shelving here will convert back to books.  For now, this is what's on the shelves. 

The drink dispenser is one of my favorite things that I found at Marshall's about a year ago.  I added a tag from Jones Design Company  with some jute twine and stamped 'drink up' on it.  This is also the bookcase that has the thermostat inside it.  My little plant hides it.

Nicely tucked away!

This is the center bookcase, and I really love the little fern.  I think a little greenery adds life to a room.

The bookcase nearest the window holds my candles, outdoor dinnerware, and more natural elements.  

I love natural colors and textures.  When my son and I go to the park, we love to collect leaves, pine cones, acorns--you name it.  It brings a garden feel to an indoor space.  And since it's fall, it's nice to bring those elements in since cooler weather will be here soon. 

Thanks for stopping by, and let me know what you think!

Update: Many of you asked about the paint color.  It was a color I custom mixed.  Although it probably matches a color in some paint line, I couldn't find it at the time I was looking for the perfect grey.  Below is a pic of the formula from the paint can.  I had it mixed in the Glidden brand in a Satin finish.  I hope this helps!

Linking up to: Tutes and Tips at Home Stories A to Z, Tuesdays Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style, Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick, Hookin Up with HoH with House of Hepworths

Read More

Bookcases Complete!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The bookcases are trimmed out and painted!  I am so happy to have them done.  It literally took all week to finish, but I am very happy with the results.  Check them out!


If you remember, I removed the existing trim.  This was so that I could add the floor-to-crown trim pieces to cover the spacing between each unit.  

The 'fancy plans' included adding new trim and re-using the 1x2 pieces for each shelf. 

I ended up cutting around a 1/2 inch off of each piece.  This is when I remembered why I didn't want to remove the existing trim.  So time consuming.  I also had to sand down the edges where I had originally glued the trim on.  

However,  thanks to some borrowed Big Guns...

the new trim went on pretty quickly!

I painted it out in the french grey that was already on the bookcases, although I am thinking of going to a lighter shade.  But for now, I really like the results.  Next up, styling the shelves.

Read More

The Fall Garden

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Every year when the new life emerges in the spring, I think it's my favorite time of year.  Then when the leaves change I think, nah it's fall.  Maybe I'll call a truce and say its both.

I snapped a few pics of my garden.  We started with blank slate of Georgia clay.  It's been three years since the initial installation of all the trees and shrubs.  And every year I am amazed by the fall color.  It fills me with awe and love for our Creator, and makes my heart happy!  

Now if I could only find a way to bring some of those branches indoors.  Enjoy the color while it lasts!

Read More

Stomping on the Bookcases

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Or rather 'stumped' on the bookcases.

I have these bookcases, that I built years ago, in the playroom.  When our new floors went in, I added beadboard backing and attached the bookcases to the wall for safety.   But I got stumped on how to give them the 'built-in' look without removing the existing trim--so I never finished.  The space was originally a dining room, and after thinking about it the last month, I felt compelled to change it back.  That was the motivation I needed to jump start finishing off the trim.  Yesterday, I decided to just rip off the existing 1x2 trim and start fresh!

Yeah...that took all of 15 minutes.  

Seriously?  I procrastinated four months over something that had a 15-minute solution?  Anyways, I have a plan, new trim, and am hoping to have it done by next Saturday.   Hoping to show you next week!

Read More

Boho Belgian

Monday, March 5, 2012

I love the elements of this style.

Does anyone else remember Kirsten Hollister's home from Oprah's Design Challenge with Nate Berkus?

 I think Kirsten's home was the first home I had seen that had composition of the raw wood and grainsacks and natural elements, i.e. the Belgian look.  

Her website Boho Belgian has a link to the original magazine article in O at Home.  She later did an article with Better Homes and Gardens which some of the above images are from. To my knowledge, she started the Belgian style design movement.  I would say that her home is my original design inspiration.  I love the use of neutrals, linen, burlap, and natural elements and find it very calming.  These photos are from 2007/2008 and I still love them.  What are your thoughts?
Read More