Posts tagged ‘Kitchen’

February 1, 2011

Office Space, the Sequel

by Cait

I finally got an email regarding my fabric purchase for the art room curtains today.

Unfortunately, the following item(s) are currently on backorder:
Premier Prints Suzani Slub Texture Yellow/White( UH-217 ) ETA: 3/21/2011
The ETA is the expected time of arrival at our warehouse, and not the day you should expect to receive it.

Life is sad!

Aside from the crushing news about the curtain fabric, I’ve decided to rethink the desk surface. I’m pretty sure I want to go with the Lagan Countertop from Ikea (even though it will have to be cut down slightly in width and depth) because I am a pain in the ass like that I like the idea of a more wood in the room. And also? I may have fallen in love with Just a little bit. I decided to use some of the 28″ 3-rod ones for the closet desk. I want to beg politely ask Robert’s best friend, Ryan, make some of them for me (and maybe teach me how to make them), but I was curious about the way the ones online were made and they were on sale.

Ryan made this, so hairpin legs should be a cakewalk, right?

But back to the design board. You may have noticed the Crate&Barrel Delta Side Chair has been with the Navy Side Chair w/ Wood Seat from DWR. Don’t worry, I have not lost my mind and decided to blow our whole budget on one chair. My mom has had one of these types of chairs as her desk chair for years, and my dad has one of these in the garage with a broken seat. When I asked if I could have it he said yes! Woohoo! We can probably get away with just two chairs, but I am ever so slightly tempted to order a knock-off Eames shell chair (since I have yet to find one of those along the side of the road. coughDanielcough) or some of these metal stools.

Stool image from Overstock, Eames chair from Hive

However, if we don’t spend a ton on the chairs I’m hoping we can buy a set of lockers for storing the rolls of paper/etc that seem to accumulate in corners. I am hoping that we can find some lockers locally, because all the ones I’ve seen online have REALLY expensive shipping (of course).

left image from here, right image from here

Here’s hoping the gods of lockers and Eames chairs smile upon me.

January 24, 2011

Easy Update: Bridge Faucet

by Cait

We recently changed out our kitchen faucet to the one we mentioned here.  While we liked our previous faucet’s functionality and it was in perfectly good shape, I fell in love with the style of bridge faucets after reading Urban Grace for a while and seeing several gorgeous kitchens and bathrooms with them.  Also we occasionally smacked our large pasta pot into the other faucet while washing it.  While working on our 100th post I found this faucet in our price range at Home Depot, and we decided to get it and donate the old faucet to ReStore.

Our uninstall and install went smoothly.  I won’t go through it step by step with pictures because 1) I’m not a plumber, 2) it’s easy  and 3) the install required a good bit of flashlight holding and handing Robert tools on my part, so I could really only take one or two pictures.

This may or may not have been strategically taken after the uninstall had begun. </blogger fail>

We glanced over the instructions, checked whether we needed anything from the hardware store, and partially cleared out the under sink cabinets.  Then we turned off the water (which normally just involves turning off the valves under the sink, but because ours are old and don’t all work exactly as they should, we just turn the water to the whole house off) and gathered the tools we needed.

From there it was pretty much a whole lot of this:

Basically we just:

  1. Turned off the water & relieved the pressure from the system to try to avoid excess water dumping out of the supply  lines (which may or may not have happened when we installed our previous faucet)
  2. Disconnected the water supply lines
  3. Removed the old soap pump and the cover from the 4th hole which wasn’t used with the last faucet
  4. Took the weight/stopper off the pullout and disconnected it
  5. Lifted the old faucet out
  6. Cleaned any soap scum/build up from the sink
  7. Put the new faucet in place & connected everything
  8. Turned the water on to check for leaks

We also put towels down for any water that did drain out of the supply lines when we disconnected them, and used a bit of Teflon tape when we reattached things.  The whole process went really quickly, and when we were done we actually commented on how easy it was as compared to the last time.  I’m sure this is both because we’d done the whole thing before and the fact that the new faucet is a much simpler design.  Our new faucet came with instructions that only had 5 steps, so faucet companies probably know it’s not exactly rocket science.  But I have  also taken things apart and put them back together for the heck of it my entire life, so I could be biased.

Has anyone else switched out a faucet or done another easy update recently?

January 23, 2011


by Cait

I was at Target earlier today without Robert (which doesn’t happen very often) and saw this rug for $20.  Rather than stretch it out on the floor in the store and snap a pic to text him, I just decided to get it and we’d return it later if he hated it, especially since it was the last one.

Well, we can’t decide.  I think I like it, but sometimes I think it’s too brown.  Robert thinks he likes it, but isn’t sure either.

I thought that it might be the floor throwing us off, and finally had the idea to use some of the floor samples we have to give us an idea of what it would look like in the kitchen with something other than tile.  It probably also would have worked to just put the rug on the wood floor, but it’s a different color and I wanted to see it with the kitchen lighting.

What do y’all think?  Is the rug a winner or not?

January 14, 2011

100th Post

by Cait

It seems as thought the 100th blog post is kind of a big deal in the blog world.  Since I can’t just skip it and come back to it like I would an important page in a paper journal or sketchbook (like the first page, I skip that one a lot), I’m merely going to acknowledge it and move on (for now).  I will probably do a brief look back at the past six months and 100 posts, and spell out a few goals from here on out.  Oh, and for anyone who doesn’t follow us on Facebook, the domain move for the big 1-0-0 was completely coincidental, haha,.


I haven’t talked about our kitchen much, aside from a post about our Budget Kitchen Redo back in August (where as a newbie new-er-bie blogger I forgot about our new sink!) and a couple of mentions in small smattering of other areas.  Heck, I even forgot to add the kitchen to the Our House page originally, which is funny because it’s not like we haven’t made a lot of (relatively minor) changes, or don’t cook a lot.

Back in September of 2009 our kitchen looked like this:


Currently it looks like this (and again, you can read more about what we did here):


We feel very fortunate to have had such a nice starting place with our kitchen, considering my parents  live a couple of blocks away and they made-it-work with their far-from-jaw-dropping kitchen for 27 years before redoing it (the new kitchen is very jaw dropping, and I’d love to do a post on it soon).  Hopefully we are not making do with our kitchen for that long, but we thought it was high time to give a bit more detail on what we’d like to do to make the room more “us”.

altered counter image from here; rug image from here

The Plan:

  • Faucet from Home Depot – I got hooked on this type of faucet from reading Urban Grace, and was browsing in a local home outlet and nearly bought one in polished chrome for $99.  Thankfully I reminded myself we prefer brushed finishes, did some quick iPhoning (that’s a verb now), and we’re going to look at Home Depot tomorrow, since we like our $25 Glacier Bay faucet in the bathroom.
  • Rug – Our kitchen needs a 3.5×5.5 rug, which is hard enough to find, but we are thinking jute. I wish the Tarnby came in a size smaller than what we have in the living room. I’m considering this one from Overstock, but don’t want to pay that much for a kitchen rug.
  • Flooring – We really love our original oak floors (and the floor we bought from ReStore), but we also love the look for reclaimed pine floor and like the idea of planks running lengthwise in our kitchen.  However, we don’t know that we really want to replace our kitchen’s tile with real wood, so we’re considering vinyl (I know, I know) and laminate.  We ordered some vinyl samples from Armstrong but don’t really like the texture, and we think we remember liking Pergo at Lowe’s, so we’d like to take a look at Lakeshore Pine (especially since we don’t understand the pricing online…) Edit: the area of our kitchen that we need to floor is roughly 78 square feet, so we’re looking at about $290, and we have a couple of Lowe’s gift cards to help with that expense.

What We Aren’t Tackling… Yet:

  • Counters – We have seen some awesome concrete counters, but we aren’t confident to rip our coated-Formica out and replace it with DIY concrete
  • Backsplash – When we redo our counters we are thinking white subway tile with black grout
  • Fridge – As we mentioned in our very-wishful Black Friday post, we would love a new KitchenAid fridge, but that most likely isn’t in the cards right now.
  • Lighting – We love the light we added over the sink, and the one you can’t see in either of our photos is pretty unoffensive at the moment, so unless we score a killer deal


We are so proud of all the things we have accomplished in the past six months and 100 posts.  We had a blast doing things like writing a guest post and being featured in an online magazine.  Both were incredibly exciting and we would be thrilled to be asked to do it all again.  We would also love to do more design boards (both for us and anyone who might be interested),  and we get a big kick out of recommending paint colors for some reason (I think it’s staring at all the pretty paint chips).  One day we’d like to have an online shop, but we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

A few things we are going to avoid (at least for the time being) is advertising and giveaways.  While we aren’t sure we’re in the Ad-Free Blogging camp, we have no idea who would want to advertise on our itty-bitty blog or how to go about any of that, and we usually skip giveaway posts on other blogs.

What about you guys, any blogging goals or kitchen plans of your own?

August 27, 2010

Easy Update: Apron Holder

by Cait

Robert and I love to cook, especially now that our kitchen has new appliances.  The only problem is that I am bound to end up with something down my shirt while doing so because I always forgot to dig my apron out of the pantry.  Enter this five minute fix with two knobs from Hobby Lobby, purchased on 50% off sale.

First we picked the location to put the knobs.

Door frame between kitchen & living room, there is a half wall with a bar opposite this.

Robert used our Ryobi drill to make two small holes.

Screwed the knobs in place.  (His bracelet says “Confused”, not Livestrong, by the way.)

And that was all it took to hopefully keep me from having to use so much stain stick.

The total cost of this project was $3.99 and it only took Robert away from his new remote control rock climber for five minutes.  Sweet!

Have you done any easy updates recently?  Are there any simple additions to your house or kitchen you couldn’t live without?  We’d love to hear about them!

August 26, 2010

Budget Kitchen Redo

by Cait

A quick rundown of the “make it work” redo for our kitchen, which was about 15 kinds of scary when we first bought our house last September.


We were not loving the cheap appliances, plastic blinds, cheap faucet, cabinet hardware or contractor beige walls.  Also with counter space at a premium we needed to come up with a way to keep our microwave off the counter.  So we started by painting the walls a light green color (twice actually, once with leftover Valspar Cool Reflection from the bedroom, which was sort of a disaster because in the different lighting it was far too minty, and finally with Valspar Sea Mist Green), changing out the cabinet hardware, and got a faucet as a gift from my parents.


Then while leafing through Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen Idea File in the bargain section at Barnes and Noble we got the idea for this.

moving back in

Then we wanted a light over the sink, which actually took far more effort than it really needed to, because we didn’t discover Glo Stix right away.

kitchen light

After that we scored a cast iron sink on Craigslist for $60, which I neglected to add a picture of, and finally, we upgraded our appliances for stainless, thanks to the Sears Outlet and my parents, who gifted us the stove they bought for the house we were house sitting.


Cost Breakdown:
Paint – $24.47
Hardware – $58.81
Faucet – Gift
Sink – $60
Microwave Shelf – $24
Light – $22.37
Rug – $19.99
Dishwasher – $728
Stove – Gift

Total – $937.64

August 5, 2010

In the Kitchen at Hernando House

by Cait

Do at-home takes on popular restaurant dishes count as DIY? Maybe not, but this is something Robert and I have been enjoying recently.

dipping bread Garlic Dipping Oil

The last time we were at Carrabba’s Robert and I both noted how much we liked their herb mix.  Being the savvy iPhone user that I am curious, I Googled it and found it was made of equal parts crushed red pepper, ground black pepper, oregano, rosemary, basil, parsley, garlic powder & kosher salt.  My spice rack only had some of that, but what it did have was McCormick’s Salt-Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning, which has all of those except the salt.  Score! So being lazy and hungry frugal we used that, with a little garlic salt, and it was pretty close!

I believe Carrabba’s usually uses sourdough bread, but sometimes we like to change things up a little, so last night we used Tuscan Garlic Loaf from Publix, and it was awesome!  (For anyone who doesn’t have Publix, this bread has whole cloves of garlic in it, and it is amazing even without the herb mix.)  Also, we use Newman’s Own Extra Virgin Olive Oil when we make this, but I’m thinking of trying it with the sundried tomato olive oil we got at Whole Foods.

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August 3, 2010

Counter Attack

by Cait

Our kitchen is small.  Small and u-shaped.  Thankfully for us, some former homeowners had built an addition so that the tiny eat in kitchen had slightly more counter space and a weird shaped spot in the cabinets left by moving the fridge further to the right and adding a pantry.  Unfortunately we had pretty much filled up the extra space with a microwave and a toaster oven.

microwave situation beforeAlso unfortunately I didn’t take a better before picture, but as you can see, this wasn’t working.
And it was probably a fire hazard (thankfully we didn’t use the toaster oven much).

We saw a microwave shelf built to hold a counter top microwave in the Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen Idea File book that we got from the bargain book section of Barnes&Noble and decided to build one.  We went to Lowe’s with a loose plan & some measurements and left with a 1×12 board we’d had cut to fit to save time, threaded rod, nuts and washers to construct the shelf.  Robert was excited because he was going to get to use his new Ryobi reciprocating saw to cut the threaded rod.  Sorry, I forgot to take picture of the power tool action, I was busy being distracted by Robert’s ripply muscles holding the threaded rod for Robert.

First we lightly sanded and primed the board.  Then we measured to see where the rods would need to go through the bottom of the cabinet above in order to still go through the board and marked. Then we drilled holes in the board and the cabinet, cut the threaded rod fourths (because we weren’t sure how low we wanted the shelf) and test fit everything.

test fitHere you can see that we needed to take everything back apart and cut a little more off the threaded rod.

Note: before you cut your rods to the right length you’ll want to make sure that everything level and then mark where to cut.

Then after that, we actually stopped for a while, because it was raining and we couldn’t put the white coat on the board.  When it was dry enough to paint without asphyxiating ourselves by painting in the shed, we just unscrewed the nuts holding the board up and took the board out to paint.  We also painted the washers that went on the top side of the board to make them blend in a little better.

almost doneHey lookie there, a shelf!

Then the only thing left to do after that was to check again to make sure it’s level, and move the microwave onto the shelf and clean up.  And then maybe celebrate by making some microwave popcorn.

moving back in

I should add that we were able to make this work because our microwave is light. If your microwave is heavier you may need to use thicker, stronger rods, or attach it to the cabinet above somehow other than with nuts and washers.


July 28, 2010

It Has Been Five Minutes Since My Last Confession

by Cait

Ok, so I did just create the Our House and Source List sections (and yes, they have kitchen pictures now- score!), but I should mention that we have actually moved some things around since those photos were taken… That’s right, I used pictures that I had previously uploaded to my Facebook page. Hopefully my one reader people who get here by accident don’t hate me for my blogging faux pas!

I plan to take some even more recent pictures of the way out house looks when I have good natural lighting this weekend. And because it’s another faux pas to blog without posting pictures, I leave you with this photo of how the library used to look, back when the hutch was used as a bookshelf and the current tv console was used to hold back issues of ReadyMade, and a photo of the kitchen when all we had done was paint twice and change out the cabinet hardware.