Friday, September 17, 2010

While we are on the subject...

I thought I would post a few more pictures of bookshelves for a little inspiration! I may be obsessed with white bookshelves, but these stained shelves are gorgeous. The ladder is a nice touch, as well as the simple (but seriously tall) mirror above the fireplace.

Belsey and Mahla contemporary living room

This showcases some good ideas for how to arrange my bookshelves.
Dining Area / Breakfast Nook contemporary dining room

Dirk Denison Architects modern living room

And don't get me started on how much I want painted hardwood floors right now...check out this combination of painted hardwoods and bookshelves.

Covering books with paper makes me nostalgic for grade school and yet looks super sophisticated here. And once again, beadboard backing.
Built in desk/Reading nook eclectic family room

Beadboard bookshelves...sort of

I have always loved a nice set of white bookshelves - particularly the kind that take up an entire wall or flank a doorway. I have often thought of (dreamed of) adding white bookshelves to our dining room - either adding built ins that run on either side of our fire place or, in my more budget-conscious moments, just adding a couple of tall ready-made bookshelves. Then I saw THIS picture and fell in love with the beadboard backing on the bookshelves. I also loved the height of the bookshelves, which gives you a chance to display things at eye level and also hang pictures or photographs on the wall.

And it inspired me to create my own beadboard bookshelves, but on an Ikea kind of budget. I had already been eying the Billy bookcases at Ikea and based on my inspiration picture, decided to purchase two of the 41 3/4", 3 shelf version. B was kind enough to put them together for me!

There they are as just plain bookshelves, no backing. I have read a lot lately about how revolutionary paintable wallpaper is, including beadboard wallpaper. I ordered a roll of the Martha Stewart beadboard wallpaper from Home Depot, which luckily was more than enough to cover the back of the bookshelves and even leave room for error. After all, I don't know a thing about wallpaper - this would be my first time to install it. The wallpaper is an interesting texture - almost spongy, which I think helps give it the dimension to look more like real beadboard (and absorb paint, as you will see below).

Sharon, always willing to try a DIY project, came to my house on a Saturday to learn how to wallpaper. I had previously purchased wallpaper paste, a sponge and a knife from Home Depot. Reading the instructions on the roll of wallpaper, we set to work measuring, cutting and pasting the wallpaper to the flimsy cardboard backing that came with the bookshelves.

It took a bit of trial and error, but in the end we managed to cover the backing with only a slightly visible seam where we had to match strips of wallpaper. Unfortunately, what we did not account  for was how heavy the wallpaper would be for that flimsy backing. The backing came tri-folded, and it just so happened that our seam ran along one of the folds. In little time the backing started buckling, bending, and eventually falling out of place.

Since we needed to wait at least a week before painting the wallpaper (according to mr. wallpaper expert at Home Depot), I decided to lay the backing down and stack heavy law books (might as well use them for something now) and cook books on top. In this picture I have the books on top of the wallpaper, but I quickly figured out this was leaving indents on the wallpaper and then flipped them over so the books were not applying direct pressure. I think the books helped only moderately.

Then came time to paint the wallpaper. I chose Relaxed Khaki from Sherwin Williams - I thought it would be a nice complement to the custom blue in our dining room, and I happened to have plenty of it to spare. It only took one coat to cover the wallpaper (score!). This project kept getting better! Time to install!

The backing was still bending and not staying in place - nothing a few nails couldn't fix. Once I had the backing where I wanted it, I secured it to the shelves by hammering several nails through the backing into the shelf. If you try this at home, be careful to make sure you are hammering into the shelf. I have to admit that I missed a few times.

Before decorating the bookcases, I followed the beautiful suggestion from Young House Love to fill the extra holes with Dap caulk. It took two tries before we found the right one that blended the best - the Dap Kwik Seal (bright white). It blends so well - unless you are up close, you really cannot notice.

So how do you like the final project? I haven't settled on how to decorate my new beadboard bookshelves, but I love them already; I think they add a lot of dimension to our dining room and give me a chance to showcase some color and texture that really stands out against the white of the shelves. I am thinking of adding another one to the right of the fire place - after all, I've got the supplies now. Any suggestions on what can make bookcases really pop?

Monday, September 6, 2010

something random

while partaking in my magazine obsession i noticed a home that had organized their books by the color of the spine.  i thought this would be a fun and easy weekend project so yesterday while the boys napped i decided to reorganize that section of the built-ins.  here is the final product.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

kitchens: what i have and like....what i want

my current kitchen isn't all that spectacular.  there are a few areas that i love and features that i couldn't live without.  i'll first show you my kitchen and the aforementioned spaces.  then i will show you some photos of kitchens and ideas that i have fallen in love with and put in to my "idea book" for my dream house.

i love my dishwasher.  it has a pull out tray at the VERY top that is for utensils.  it is removable, so you can take it to the drawer for easy unloading.  at the bottom of the dishwasher there is a handle and compartment that you can remove that catches all food from the dishes.  i Miele did a great job with this feature.  it's almost like a garbage disposal in your dishwasher!

underneath the double ovens we have a drawer that is dedicated to kids stuff.  plates, cups, sippys, snack traps. whatever.  this way if they need a drink or a snack they can access their things without needing help.  this is also an area that provides a lot of play time for clay and sam, as they love to unload this drawer.  

on the side of the double ovens out of sight from the main kitchen area the previous owners had this mesh rack.  each section is for a different family member.  it works great for us and i really love that i have ONE area of my house that is a go to place for papers and what not.  

i love my window above my sink.

and these prints from ikea above my bay window.  

for my ideal kitchen i am really all over the map!  i know i want a few features.  let's remember this is in my DREAM kitchen, most of which i am sure i may never see.

My dream kitchen is a mixture of the elements.  It has brick, wood, steel, shiny industrial appliances and rustic worn furniture.  Some features i would really like to have are refrigerated drawers, a pedal under my kitchen sink that turns the water on and off, an island with huge casters so it is more versatile, a warming drawer, a sonic ice machine, a pot filler on the cook-top back splash, and a huge pantry (see more below).

here are some pictures i have scavenged from the internet over the past few months.  chances are my next house will need to have some updating done to it so i have started an ideas folder and throw pictures in there when i see something i love.

first kitchen picture shows the industrial range area i dream cooking meals in front of.  i also love how the french doors in the distance are painted black, as is the trim around the kitchen sink.  the only thing missing here is a pot filler at the range area of the kitchen.

 this kitchen has the pot filler at the range area, but not quite the industrial look i love.  however i LOVE the rustic table, old bench mixed with the  air duct/warehouse looking fixtures on the ceiling as well as the
Q-bert-esque  tiles on the floor.

this is the same kitchen as above.  notice again the dark trimmed doors/windows as well as a mixture of old with new and crisp.  love this.

this next picture features a screen door for the pantry!  what a great idea.  the kitchen still  has clean lines, but that simple hint of whimsy seems to put the room at ease.

i just like the placement of this cook-top as well as the butcher block counter tops in that area.  

this is the picture i have been dying to post.  i searched and searched for a cool, never-before-seen idea for a kitchen to use on this post specifically.  i LOVE this idea for a pantry.  they have a nice walk in pantry, but the kicker is that they've located the FRIDGE in the pantry!  what a concept!!!!!!!!!  i love this love love love this....

finally, while i am not a big fan of the cabinetry in this first kitchen, the brick archway, as well as the brick flooring in this kitchen brings me back to my acadian heritage.  the kitchens in louisiana are second to none.  i love the overall asthetic in these ktichens.  here are two pictures of kitchens i love that incorporate brick.  the second one really appeals to be because of the use of wood (columns and beams) as well.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kitchen Dreamin'

In Baton Rouge we had a 75 year old  house, and one of the things I loved was my white kitchen - white cabinets, white counter tops, white kitchen table and chairs. The walls had a slight hue to them - I believe the paint was called brown sugar and came from Walmart (the previous owners picked it, but it was a great barely-there color). Now the kitchen needed some serious renovations - namely new counter tops and floors - but I loved the bright, airy feel that came from all the white.

When we were moving to Dallas and trying to find our new house online, I had all but given up on the idea of a renovated kitchen. We were looking in a neighborhood where the homes were 35 to 50 years old and many needed quite a bit of updating. But then we found our house - with a completely renovated kitchen. It was not at all what I would have chosen - dark stained cabinets, dark floors, modern cabinet pulls and modern lighting. The walls were white, but we decided they needed color. We chose a wasabi colored green (sorry - it's a custom color so I can't provide a name). I love it against the dark stain and stainless steel! We also replaced the cabinet pulls and pendants with more traditional pieces. So while the kitchen is not at all what I would have chosen, in the end I love it.

Here are a few peaks at our kitchen. If it wasn't so messy at the moment, I would provide more.

These are the pendant lights we chose for our bar area. I wish I had a picture to show you of the funky modern lights that were here before - the one word that comes to mind is tacky! And I like and can appreciate modern styles, but these were tacky. You can also catch a glimpse of the dark cabinets and wasabi green walls.

I love our stainless steel hood, and I absolutely cannot take credit for it! It was here before we bought the house. Again, you can see the wall color and also the granite counter tops.

Here you can see (sort of) the cabinet pulls that we added. I like the extra space between our cabinets and ceiling - it gives me a chance to display some of my favorite pottery and glass.

I've had this pot rack since the condo we bought in 2003. I bought it from Ballard Designs. I'm glad I have a space to use it here, and with our lack of good cabinet space, it serves a purpose as well. Here it is showcasing our Rachel Ray pots.

But I also want to share with you a few kitchens that might be similar to what I would design, if I had the space and an unlimited budget! These would fall under the "dream on" variety. Found these on one of our new favorite websites, Houzz.

You will notice that they are ALL white. Another thing that struck me is I kept finding (and loving) white subway tile backsplashes. I'm dying to use white subway tile in our downstairs bathroom whenever we get around to remodeling it, but I would never have thought of using it in a kitchen. Unfortunately it would not go well in our kitchen at all. But that brings me to another point...our kitchen is lacking a backsplash, and I go back and forth - tin squares, glass, tile. What would you choose?

For now, join me while I daydream...

White Kitchen traditional kitchen

Divine Kitchens LLC traditional kitchen

white blue kitchen traditional kitchen

white kitchen marble countertop, sub zero, wood countertop traditional kitchen

KitchenLab traditional kitchen

Sf Kitchen traditional kitchen
Mt. Baker traditional kitchen

Teaser No. 1

Stay tuned...