Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Floor/Kitchen Renovations

Well, it all started when our half bath downstairs flooded.  The toilet leaked and ruined our hardwood floors.  Six weeks later and lots of money spent we had new floors.  It was a stressed strenuous time and, of course, we had to move out of the house for a week.  But it all turned out well.

Phase 1
In addition to the downstairs hardwoods, we decided to go ahead and have our two flights of stairs and upstairs hallway done.  They took up all the carpet in those areas and laid the hardwood.  It looks amazing.  So glad we did this.  Below are a few of the pics. 

Den flooring before renovation at 29 years old
I have also painted the back walls of the built ins in Admiral Blue from Sherwin Williams.  In the pic above and below it's a strawberry red.  It really looks nice now and more up to date.  Sorry for the darkness of the pics.

New finished den flooring
Upstairs looking down from hallway
Phase 2 
This all began when I realized that our kitchen needed some updating.  We had replaced appliances about 14 years ago and probably need to look at replacement of a few of those.  But since they are all stainless, look and operate great, we won’t have to do any of that anytime soon. And our cabinetry still looks fantastic.  It’s solid oak.  Now I know some of you are saying “OAK”!!! Well I have had numerous painters look at them and all say I wouldn’t paint those cabinets as they are solid and look new, so we changed the hardware on them all.  Now they look great! We had the carpenter add bead board behind the kitchen sink along the back side of the cabinet that was originally the oak.  We painted that white. 

Then we decided that we needed to have some storage installed and wasn’t sure what color to paint it.  We decided that the white would go well with our counter tops and the bead board behind the sink, so, the new cabinetry began.  We started with a plate rack I have been wanting for some time.  I have an abundance of white dishes as that is one of my fetishes and have been collecting a long time. They were falling out of my kitchen cabinets and needed a new home.  
Below is the finished plate rack between the bay window seat and the pantry door.

New plate shelving/rack between bay window and pantry

My favorite finishing touch - A little greenery

Below is the picture of the second additional cabinetry install.  We had this master carpenter build and install all of it.  This is was put on a blank kitchen wall.   I could not have been happier.
New Plate Rack after completed
New Built In Baking Cabinet before completion
This second install was another plate rack that holds all the rest of my white pieces as shown above and the plate rack holds our daily Mikasa Italian Countryside china plates.  This has freed up space in my cabinet to be able to spread out a little.  It was getting so crowded. You never have enough space in your kitchen, no matter how many cabinets you have. 

The bottoms are the third addition but still part of the second addition.  It is my new baking cabinet.  This bottom cabinet holds all my baking goods such as flour, sugar, etc. I was able to put them in matching jars and arrange them on the shelf, labels to come from Amazon later as they are back ordered.  The bottom two drawers hold dish towels and all the small handheld appliances such as cookie dispensers, cheese graters, etc. But it’s also deep enough to put my food processor in for easy access for baking.
New Built in Baking Cabinet with lighting
The cabinet top is wonderful for my mixer and utensils to use to bake.  The top will match the cabinetry that has white quartz on it.  I have still left to order that.  But when it comes in it will tie all the cabinets together.I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  

Phase 3
But now, on to the next project, the pantry.  The carpenter is putting a new French door on the pantry.  He is also replacing the wire shelving with hardwood. I will be painting the closet hopefully this weekend.  It’s not been painted since we moved in the house 29 years ago.  A fresh coat of paint will look great.  I already had organized the pantry with black bins about 4 years ago and the organization was wonderful!  So, won’t be worried about keeping a clean pantry as this method has been awesome.  He will be building the same amount of shelving with one additional lower shelf as I will lose my door shelving that hung over the door.  So that will hold all the smaller additions to the closet.  I am looking forward to having my kitchen back soon!  Hopefully in two weeks!

Part of Phase 2
Before all of this took place I had the electrician come in and replace my under counter lighting with a wall switch.  He also installed the lighting above the new cabinet above with a wall switch as well.  That was a blank wall before starting. It really added a lot to have this done. Plus it has brightened the kitchen up.  The picture below is without overhead lighting on and of course, before I cleaned my cabinets off. Notice the cabinet over the door to the den.  My great Mr. Hubby did that about 10 years ago and has really been valuable for all my cookbook storage.  Another collection fetish that I have.

Kitchen Oak Hutch with new lighting

Oak kitchen cabinets with new lighting
What have you been doing in your space!  I would love to hear your ideas and comment!  Always open for reflection!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book Review: The Last Castle

I loved this book!  It was all about how the Biltmore House came to life.  It was about the store of the Vanderbilt's and how they used their money and influence to build and develop this gorgeous house in the foothills of North Carolina.

Denise Kiernan
She is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, Ms., Reader's Digest, Discover, and other publications.  Her previous book, The Girls of Atomic City, was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times,  and NPR bestseller.  She lives in North Carolina.  Visit the author at www.denise Kiernan.com.

My Review:
This great book dived into what made the Vanderbilt's tick.  The money and how it was accumulated, the history behind the wealthy crew was amazing.  How and why George came to NC and built this amazing structure called home to he and Edith.  It's also about the many, many people that visited the Biltmore and what they did on those visits.  Also Edith and George Vanderbilt were amazing people, not so much can be said for his father who seemed ruthless.  But George and Edith gave back to the community and made Ashville, NC what it is today.  They took care of people. 
Also covered, was Cornelia their daughter and how "the money" changed her life. 
Read this book and enjoy the history of how America was during this gilded age and how the Vanderbilt family contributed to the history and development of the people in NC and of this great country.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Tablescape for America's First Daughter

I love this tablescape.  It was so much fun to put together.  I also use it for July 4th celebration with our family. I also used it for last evening's Book Chick's book club meeting!  I even served vegetables in honor of Thomas Jefferson, with homemade corn bread, what else?

I purchased most of the items from Hobby Lobby and Michael's.  I had the buffalo red checked place mats from my Christmas stash. 

You will notice that I have the napkin holders on each plate but the napkins 
weren't completed for the this shot but you can see them further down.

I thought this wooden little girl made the table a hit since the book was about red headed 
Martha (Patsy) Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson's first daughter.

Here you will see the striped napkins that I made just for this book club event.  I think the table turned out so cute.  Notice the flag straws!  I love to do fun tablescapes, don't you?

Goodwill Find - My New Lamp

I traveled to South Georgia last weekend for a girls weekend.  It was a lot of fun, and a lot of shopping!  Are you really surprised?  Well you shouldn't be! You know that part of being a woman is sometimes "Retail Therapy". 

My find at Goodwill surprised me as well!  I bought a lamp for $5.59.  It was a clay/pottery lamp and blue in color.  It had a stripe around the bottom showing the under part of the pottery.  Anyway, nothing was required but a lamp shade and a new finial.  So off to Hobby Lobby I went.

Here is the final look of the lamp.  I was very pleased and thought it was a super buy!

Here is where I placed the lamp on my desk!  I think it gives a great presentation!

Happy hunting ladies!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Clean Den Decorating

Two weekends ago my husband and I painted our den Natural Tan one coat by Sherwin Williams. Even though I like the color and it did cover my sage green color on the walls, it gave a green tint after drying instead of a tan hue. So all to say we will have to paint again, however we went ahead and did a little more.

I made panels, not drapes for the one window in the room. They look pretty good. Since the window was near the bookcases there was not enough room for a full panel of drapes.

This is an older picture of the room before the decorating.  The mirror has been gone for a while, but you can see the paint color.  The paint color really needed to be updated.

First here is the fabric that I chose for the panels.  It is not the same particular pattern that is on the sofa but the identical color.  The pattern is a little different.  

The rings that I sewed onto the panels came from the Pottery Barn Outlet in Morrow, GA.  These were priced per box in the regular catalog at  66.00. They were marked down to $33.00 and then to $19.97.  I got them for 1/2 off of the $19.97 for $9.50 a box. There were 10 in a box so I used 5 on each panel.  What a steal.

In my sewing room you can see the pattern better. I loved it and you can't have too much!

 See the difference below in the pattern of my sofa and the pattern of the panels. So close that from the window to the sofa you won't be able to even tell, but it's OK if you do. 
You can also see the paint color of the den after it was finished.

Below is a pic of the french door in the back and I chose to put nothing on it.  
I think it lets in so much light and really like it.  

It's not a great picture of this window with the panels hung, but you can see how great they turned out.  The pole was one we had left over from my daughters decorating project and I had saved it.  We painted it black with the black finials.  I love how it reflects the other black items in the room.  

And below you can really see the panels and the room color.  I simply am so please with how it all turned out.  Soon and very soon the Mister of the house will be painting the backs of the bookcases, unless I find a great wallpaper to use in NAVY! That is to come. It really looks much bigger and I love the light it brings in.  

 Thanks for joining me in my endeavor.  It was a fun redo that needed to be done and so glad it is completed. Well almost!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Review: America's First Daughter

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamole tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy
Taken from Goodreads

Authors :
Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women's fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year.  Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. She lives near the nation's capital withher husband, cats and history books.
Taken from Goodreads

Laura Kamole is a New York Times, Wall Stree Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author.  Laura has always been facinated by the people, stories and physical presence of the past, which led her to a liftime of historical and archaeological study and training.  She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from the The College of William and Mary, has published two non-fiction books on early America and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction.
Taken from Goodreads

My Review:

By far one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read.  The way that these two authors did their homework on Martha Jefferson Randolph (Patsy) and Thomas Jefferson was amazing.  They picked up on items such as a shaving kit that is there at Monticello and expounded on all details that it involved.  This was shown in many, many ways throughout the book.  It opened my eyes to ways of the colonial era and how fortuns of American Presidents were used to help the American people, by entertaining, supporting the cause of liberty and freedom, while also intertwined rightly  in setting slaves free. I loved this book!