Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Kitchen Nightmare!!!!

Okay, so I took off this week from work.  I needed a little rest and relaxation.  Since I was home this week, I decided to take on a few projects I've been wanting to do but haven't had the time.  I had several outdoor projects I wanted to work on, but Mother Nature had other plans for me.  It started raining Tuesday and the rain will continue at least through Friday.  So, I wondered what I could work on inside.  My kitchen table needed a little attention.  The table top had several watermark stains and the topcoat could use a little freshening up.  I haven't stained any furniture in a long time, but I still know how to do it.  I have never stained furniture that was already finished, but I figured it couldn't be that hard, right?  My first mistake was trying to sand the table top without a sanding block or an electric sander.  When I tried sanding the table top to rough up the finish so the stain would adhere to it, I scratched the table top in several places.  I thought maybe the first coat of stain would eliminate the scratches.  That was mistake #2.  I have a neighbor who has every tool and gadget you could ever want, so I went across the street and borrowed my neighbor's electric sander.  I've never used an electric sander before.  It couldn't be that difficult to use, right?  I've seen people use an electric sander all the time on various HGTV shows, so surely I could use one.  Well, I'm here to tell you--it's not that easy.  The good thing is, I got rid of the surface scratches.  The bad news is, the whole table top is very streaked up.  Once again, I applied the stain in hopes that the streaks would go away--they didn't.  

The whole table top is streaked.

The first coat of stain is drying and tomorrow morning I will go over it with #000 steel wool.  I've decided that if the table top doesn't look better after using the steel wool and applying the second coat of stain, I'll go to plan B.  Plan B is to paint the table top and then apply a glaze over the paint.  I'm going to paint the table top in SW Latte which was used on my cabinets.  If I have to paint, I think I will paint the entire table. 

I purchased this table in 2001.  A few summers ago I painted the chairs and recovered the seat cushions.  My neighbor thought I needed more color in my kitchen.  The chairs were painted in a Paprika color, but I didn't touch the table.  I didn't want everything to match.  I think a room is more interesting if furniture pieces don't match.

I'm almost hoping that the stain look doesn't work out so that I can paint the table.  I can visualize how it will look.  To be continued.....

Maya Angelou - One of the Greatest!

I woke up to very sad news yesterday when I found out that Maya Angelou no longer walked among us.  I got the chance to see Maya Angelou in 1995 when she "did her thang" at Wildwood Performing Arts Center in Little Rock.  Her physical presence was something to behold.  I noticed last night while I was sitting in my living room that I have a stack of four books on one of my end tables--all were written by Maya Angelou.  I have read them all.   I use books in my home decor.  I think they add interest to an end table or coffee table.  I wanted to share this photo of my Maya Angelou books with you!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Outside Spaces

It just occurred to me that all of my blog entries showcase the interior of my home.  I guess I spend more effort (and money!) on the interior.  A few summers ago, I did a little sprucing up to my covered back porch and deck.  I was throwing a party to celebrate my niece's graduation from college.  So, I wanted my outside area to look a little better than it usually does.

I've had my tables and chairs since the summer of 2001.  The original color was green.  I use to keep cans of green spray paint and would touch it up each summer.  When I moved into my house, the green table and chairs did not work with my brick color.  So, I decided to paint the table and chairs brown.  In hindsight, I should have gone with red or a reddish-orange.  That's a project for a later time.  So, here is what my table and chairs look like now.  I like it better than the green.

A few years ago, I purchased a wicker love seat and the two matching chairs.  I know, it's such a cliche', but I got a good price for the set.  I purchased cushions for the set and had them for 3 to 4 years.  Over that time, the cushions got weathered and faded.  Last summer, I purchased new cushions, which I liked much better than the old set.  I like the floral pattern on the cushions.  It really brightened up my porch.

Last summer, I purchased these butterflies to hang outdoors.  The butterflies were a brown metal color.  I decided to spice them up and painted them in bright colors.

I also found artwork that is designed for the outdoors.  It really brightened up the outside area.  I had a metal plant stand that I ordered from a magazine.  After several years of being exposed to the weather, I decided to spray paint it a bright orange.  

I would like to purchase outdoor statues or some cool art pieces for outdoors.  A fountain or water feature would be nice, too.  I don't spend a lot of time outside, but I do want the space to look nice.  I wouldn't mind nicer patio furniture, but right now I can't justify the cost.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring/Summertime Look for the Boudior

Decorating is a lot like dressing.  Your home decor has seasons like your wardrobe.  I try to display this through pillows on my sofa and chair and changing out comforters between the spring/summer and fall/winter seasons.  Most of us can't go out and purchase new furniture every season (wouldn't that be nice), but we can do simple, inexpensive things to change the look in our spaces.

To change the look of my bed for the spring and summer months, I always put a coverlet on the bed.  Coverlets are lighter in weight and come in a variety of colors.  Depending on where you shop, they can range in price from $30 up to $200.  In Little Rock, AR, we have a store called Garden Ridge.  I can find coverlets for $30.  I've had the coverlet and European shams currently on my bed for several years.  I think I purchased it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  It's a little nicer than the ones found at Garden Ridge.  I haven't used it in a number of seasons.  But, with the new comforter I purchased last winter, I thought it would be good to use it with this set.  I thought about purchasing a chocolate colored coverlet (say that 3 times fast!!), but I think that would have made the bed too dark.  I like to lighten things up for the warm weather months.  Perhaps I'll purchase a chocolate coverlet to use for the fall season.

The one item that I do splurge on are my sheets.  I like nice bed linens.  I didn't grow up with matching sheets and pillow cases.  When I got old enough to purchase my own bed linens, I always bought sets.  As my income grew, so did my budget for linens.  I also try to purchase nice comforters.  I've tried buying less expensive ones, but they don't seem to have the nice filler that the more expensive ones have. 

If you want to change the look of your bedding for the summer, I would suggest finding a coverlet for your bed and roll the comforter back to the foot of your bed.  You may want to consider changing out accessory pillows and European shams.  Or, try finding a comforter in a lighter color to lighten the mood in your boudoir!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Inspiration for my cabinets

From the moment I saw these photos, I was in love.  When I saw the wall and cabinets painted in the same color, I knew this was what I wanted to do in my kitchen. 

Now I need to shop for new accessories.  I like the teal and orange that pops in this kitchen.

Seeing Red!!

I came real close to painting my kitchen cabinets red.  I think you have to be really bold (and courageous) to pick this color.  Red can be an intimidating color to work with.  I prefer reds with a touch of brown in the color to tone it down.  I don't like a red that screams at you.  I envisioned my cabinets painted red with a glaze applied on top.  In my dream home, I would have a kitchen island painted with this look with the rest of the cabinets either in stained maple or perhaps painted SW Latte like my current cabinets.  If you're considering changing the look of your kitchen, consider red or any color other than white.  Imagine your kitchen in red:

Green with Envy!

I mentioned in my last post that I had considered painting my kitchen cabinets green.  I think I would have enjoyed seeing my cabinets painted green, but I'm not so sure how the look would work for resale.  I'm of the opinion that you should decorate your house for yourself and not consider the consequences when you place your house on the market.  But, with the right shade of green, I think the look would be fabulous!  Check out my inspriration in these photos:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Look for My Kitchen

I've been wanting to do something different in my kitchen for a while.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to paint the walls, purchase new furniture for the breakfast nook, or paint the cabinets.  So while I pondered what I would do, a few years passed by.  The last thing I did in my kitchen was to paint the chairs in the breakfast nook and add different artwork.  

My kitchen cabinets were painted Sherwin Williams Devine White.  It is the color for all of my trim work in the house.  I made a mistake using that color.  My previous home had a darker color for the trim work and cabinets which I liked a lot.  I thought that I wanted to do something different in this house.  Once I decided that the cabinets should be my next project, I needed to figure out what color to paint the cabinets.  I had two vendors come out to show me their ideas for my cabinets.  One vendor offered to make the painted cabinets look like stained wood.  The other vendor wanted to replace all of my cabinet doors (re-face).  Although I liked the idea of the stained wood look, I knew it would be too much brown for my kitchen.  The re-facing wasn't what I needed either.  My cabinet doors are in great shape, but the paint was chipping on the creases and the cabinets needed constant wiping down to keep then clean.

Old color, SW Devine White

Old color

Old color

I thought about stepping way outside of the box by considering red cabinets.  I've seen several pictures of kitchens with red cabinets and I like the look.  I also considered green for the cabinets--more of a medium to dark sage.  Another consideration was going over the cabinets with a glaze.  Glazing cabinets was real popular about 10 years ago.  It is still being done in the market I live in, but most builders either do painted or stained wood cabinets.  This picture is actually from a kitchen of a house for sale in Little Rock.

About a month ago, one of the many magazines I'm subscribed to arrived in my mailbox--At Home in Arkansas.  The magazine featured a kitchen with taupe walls and cabinets.  Eureka!!  That kitchen is what I needed to see.  Can you believe I called my painter immediately and told him what color I wanted to paint my cabinets?  My walls are SW Latte, so I had the cabinets painted the same color.  I decided not to do the glaze at this time.  If I change my mind, I can always add the glaze later.  The cabinets photograph a little lighter than the actual color--it's more of a medium taupe.  Click on the photo to make it larger.  You can see the color change a little better by enlarging the picture.  What do you think of the new look?

New color: SW Latte