Monday, July 7, 2014

An Intriguing Look For A Kitchen

In most homes I visit, the kitchen cabinets are either stained wood or painted.  The cabinets are usually all done in the same finish--top and bottom.  Occasionally, I will see a kitchen island done in a different finish than the rest of the cabinets.  This gives the kitchen a nice visual break.  While looking through my various decorating magazines and websites, I'm starting to see a lot of kitchens in which the top cabinets are painted a different color than the bottom cabinets.  I've seen this done at a few designer showcase homes I've visited.  At first I thought it was a little strange, but the more pictures I see with this look, I'm really starting to like it.  I think it gives the kitchen some interest.  I thought about this look for my kitchen but I wasn't sure how it was going to work for me.  I have a cabinet that is my pantry and there was no way to paint that cabinet two different colors.  Also, I didn't know what to do with the surround for my refrigerator.  I suppose I could have painted the pantry and refrigerator surround the same as the bottom color and then paint the top cabinets a different color.  But in the end, I decided on one color.  Here are a few great examples of the top cabinets painted a different color than the bottom cabinets:







I'll admit, you have to be a little brave to try this in your kitchen, but I think the end results are amazing!


One Room - Three Different Looks!

I saw this on HGTV's website and I wanted to share.  This is a great example of using pillows and other accessories to change the look of a room.  If you have neutral furniture to work with, you are halfway there.

The room started out looking pretty plain:



It's not a bad look if you don't like a lot of color, but it's a little drab for my taste.  Now here is the room done in a fuchsia and orange color palette:





It doesn't even look like the same room!  Here is the room using a purple palette:





And finally, here is the room done in a blue palette:





I don't know which room I love the best.  All three look great to me!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Giving Old Planters New Life!

I have a covered back porch with a deck attached.  I rarely sit back there.  I think it's because I spend more time on my neighbor's deck.  Fortunately, my deck gets the morning sun so it is shaded in the early evening hours.  A few years ago, I purchased my wicker love seat and two chairs.  And, I decided to paint my former green table dark brown.  I changed out the cushions on the love seat and chairs last summer.  I've had the same flower pots for a while.  I believe I had them at my last house.  I seriously thought about getting rid of them because I haven't had live plants in the planters for quite some time.  I travel a lot and live plants would be dead by the time I returned home at the end of the week.  I've resorted to using silk plants--I know it's cheating, but at least the fake plants put some color on my deck.  I ran across a photo of bright orange and pink planters.  I liked the combination of the pink and orange together, so this was the inspiration I needed to paint the planters on my deck.




For most of the day, I was outside spray painting the six planters on my deck fuchsia and bright orange.  You can really go crazy with color in outdoor spaces.  Here is what my planters looked like before:


They were pretty blah!!



The transformation begins.


I used Rustoleum Painters Touch spray paint with primer.  I originally was going to paint the planters red and yellow.  I purchased the paint but when I saw the inspiration photo, I changed my mind about those colors.

So by 4:00 pm today, I finally completed the last planters and here is the end result:


This is a pot rester.  it keeps the planter from resting on the top of the deck or other hard surface.  It allows the water to drain from the planter.  It was gray and I spray painted them orange and fuchsia.




Oh yeah, Thelma and Louise look great with the planters!

I bought new flowers, the geraniums were starting to look a little faded from the sun.

Here is my "to-do" list for my deck and patio:


  • Purchase a rug for the patio.
  • Paint my table and chairs the color of Thelma and Louise.
  • Pressure wash and stain the deck and fence.
Maybe I'll start spending more time on MY deck instead of my neighbor's!

If you have planters that look a little tired and worn, refresh them by painting them a bright, fun color!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise have a new look.  I am in the process of sprucing up my deck and covered back porch.  My neighbor thought that I needed to infuse more color into my outdoor space.  I started this project about two weeks ago, but mother nature did not cooperate at all. It has been raining everyday in Little Rock for the past two weeks.  Last weekend, I spray painted the cranes a reddish-orange.  Here is a sneak preview.  Stay tuned for the completed project....

Thelma and Louise Before


Thelma and Louise after their color makeover



Pop, Pop, Pop!!!

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know that I like color.  But, I also like neutrals.  My first two living room sofas had color and patterns on the fabric.  In the 80s and 90s I tended to let my furniture be the prominent feature.  My first sofa was purchased when the "country" look was very popular.  It was a camelback sofa that was blue with a pink plaid pattern woven through the fabric.  Don't judge me!!  I grew tired of the country look and 10 years later I purchased my second set of living room furniture.  My second sofa was a tuxedo style (3 cushion back and seating).  The base of the fabric was taupe/cream but the pattern was floral (burgundy and green).  In my opinion, having furniture with patterned fabric makes it more difficult to decorate.  Also, you are pretty much stuck with the colors in the fabric for as long as you have the sofa.  You have to be very good at mixing patterns when changing out accessory pillows if your sofa fabric is patterned.

The last furniture I purchased for my living room is definitely a neutral, although there is a tone-on-tone paisley print on the fabric.  I purposely picked a neutral fabric because I wanted to be able to pop different colors in my space, based on the seasons and holidays.  A sofa with color can also be a neutral, but it needs to be free of a pattern or at least an overbearing pattern.

Here is a good example of a neutral space with turquoise for the color that pops.  Notice the lamp, vase, pillows, throw, and benches, and even the sweater are all the same color.  


The headboard and the bedskirt are patterned, but the coverlet is a neutral solid.  The wall covering is also a neutral, even with the stripes.  The mood of this bedroom can be easily changed by changing out the color of the accessories.  

Color popping is great if you are afraid to paint your walls.  It's also great for people who live in apartments or rental property and aren't allowed to paint the walls.

I really like this living room.  It would be so easy to change the look of this room by changing out all of the red accessories.  You can always add pattern in a neutral space by selecting pillows and throws that are patterned.


Here is another example of a living room where fuchsia is the color that pops:


I can see changing out the fuchsia for orange, yellow, green, purple, and ......  You see where this is going?


Monday, June 9, 2014

Tickled Pink!

Back in the mid-80s, I had a friend I met while in college.  Tia's favorite color was pink.  She wore pink and her home was decorated in pink (think Steel Magnolia).  When Tia purchased her first house, she wanted to incorporate the color pink into her kitchen.  She picked wallpaper that had a purple background with pink flowers woven through it.  Tia decided to paint the inset of her kitchen cabinets pink.  I remember her kitchen stove was avocado green.  My first response when I stepped into her kitchen was, "It looks like a crayon box exploded in here!!"  Apparently, that was not the response Tia was hoping for.  In fact, she burst into tears.  I'm not known for being tactful.   To tone down some of the color, Tia painted the cabinets a solid white.  But, her kitchen still looked like a hot mess.  I have to give her points for thinking outside the box by being creative in her kitchen.  Anyway, I was browsing through the Internet the other day and ran across a kitchen with pink appliances.  Tia and I lost touch with each other several years ago.  She moved away and life moved on.  Here's to you Tia, wherever you are:



Although I am not a fan of the color pink, I think the color works in this space.  In addition to the appliances, there are pops of pink with the accessories to add more whimsy.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Catastrophe Averted!!

I've been a little busy since my last post.  I discovered one of the reasons my table top looked streaked is because I used a gloss finish stain instead of a satin finish.  You have to really know how to apply stains and paints with a high gloss finish to prevent streaking.  A matte or satin finish is more forgiving.  I do not like shiny finishes--I prefer a matte or satin finish.  So, off to Home Depot to purchased a satin finished stain.  I went over the table top with #000 steel wool again and applied two coats of the satin finish stain.  The table top looks a lot better than before.  I think I can live with it.  The table top is a distressed finished with divets and scratches on the surface.  The tabletop came glazed to antique it. 


This is a much better finish for me; minimal sheen.

I thought about painting the legs and skirt of the table in the SW Latte and going over it with a glaze.  While I was at my hair stylist's salon yesterday, she suggested that I paint the table the same color as my chairs.  A few years ago when I painted the chairs, I didn't want the table to be the same color.  But, I have to admit that I liked the idea of painting the table and skirt to match the chairs.  For now, I will leave the table top stained.  This is the table before:

Notice the lovely fruit appliqué on the skirt.  I went through a fruit phase in the early 2000's!

Luckily, I still had paint left over from my chair project a few summers ago.  The paint is from Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation Kit.  The kit comes with the base paint, glaze, topcoat, and furniture stripper.  I was out of the topcoat, so I went to Home Depot and purchased a polyurethane finish.  I still had just enough glaze to coat the skirt and legs.  After applying two coats of Paprika color, glaze, and a topcoat, here is the finished product:



The glaze tones down the color.  It is very bright before the glaze is applied.



This is how the table looked before.
This transformation sure beats spending money on a brand new table.  Believe me, it crossed my mind.  After pricing tables, I decided to add new life to my old table.