Decisions, Decisions…

We’re in a bit of a lull right now, just waiting for the countertops to get installed. They were templated last week and should be in by the end of this week or early next. In the meantime, I’ve made some decisions.

I finally decided on a light fixture. Mostly based on budget…which is basically dwindled down….
I first found this beaut on Pottery Barn


But the price tag wasn’t the best. And that’s when I spotted this amazing deal on World Market.


Boom! Well, I had to check with Ry first and I gave him an option of that light as well as this one:


I liked them both but the difference was really their sizes. Which I then turned to elevations to help make the decision easier.


I apologize for the crap picture, but I drew it up quickly, snapped a phone pic and sent it to Ry to see what he thought. So what you’re seeing is what he saw. We both agreed once standing in the kitchen that the large would feel too overpowering in the small space so we went with Henry. I liked that he was cheaper too, so that helped. Regardless if we loved the light or not once we install it – at least we didn’t break the bank, and we could always replace later down the road. Henry should be in this Thursday, so I should have a photo of him installed soon. I love that the ORB look will tie in the new faucet and handles we picked out. Simple, sleek, industrial.


Then came a decision on shelves. I pretty much had my mind made up, but then our contractor asked how many shelves and if we wanted them wrapping the corner and I started to second guess myself. Back to the computer.

I did an elevation to decide how many shelves – took a vote at work, all my fellow designers agreed that 2 was the way to go. I sent it to Ryan and he took a poll at work and all the men chose 3. Go figure. So 2 shelves it is.

Then came the wrapping the corner debacle. I broke down and did a quick sketch up (again sorry for the crap photos / iphone screen shots) and I’m glad I did. The practicality of more shelf space would have made me chose wrapping it, but once I saw it I realized I had to stick with my initial gut instinct and go with no angle/wrap.


I love the symmetry and something about the angled shelf reminds me of our old awkward angled shelf that used to be in that corner. Speaking of…Let’s take a quick check point look at the kitchen….

Oh yea, our hood got installed too! Can’t wait for this project to finish up! Is it the 4th yet?

The New AA: Appliances & Accessories

This feels like a Kitchen Reveal!!! ….but it’s not. Not there yet, but yesterday I came home to this:


And in place! If you remember our old and disgusting kitchen of yore we used to have an electric stove, and due to the fact that we have gas in the house we made the switch. The range is all hooked up (with a power cord for now) and looks just beautiful. Dishwasher is in its place just waiting to clean up all my insanely dusty dishes in the dining room. Eek! It’s a beautiful thing.

Our appliances are all GE to match our already (pre)owned (not new – but new to us) fridge that we got from Ryan’s parents. His parent’s were so kind in also gifting the range and dishwasher to us as a belated wedding gift! So fitting as our one year anniversary is just around the corner. But enough of the gushy thank you, thank you stuff (but in all seriousness, Thanks Mom and Dad!) and on to more pictures…

Floors – perfect. Cabinets -so pretty and clean (and soft close feature!). Appliances – sparkly and drool worthy. Wrap it all up and it’s Christmas in my kitchen.
Not only do I love that our fridge is finally out of our dining room, but our contractor hooked up the water line to it (with a filter system!) Yay!

I mean not only do we have filtered water (I’m a water drinking freak and carry a bottle with me everywhere) but for the first time in 2 years we can make ice that doesn’t involve using an ice tray! Oh happy day!

After all my happy dance/stand around drooling / pretending to prepare a meal in my new kitchen it was time to hit Home Depot. Next on the list is counter tops (which we picked out on Saturday and shared with you in this post) and they are scheduled to come out today to template which meant we needed to pick out our faucet.

And that’s the guy we went home with. I’m not 100% sure it’s the perfect faucet – but it fit the budget and we were leaning towards the black ORB look. Something about the stainless fixture we originally thought we’d go with felt too modern for our brown stone home. We’ll see how it looks when it’s in. Regardless we like the single feature (as in no soap pump or side sprayer) so the countertops would at least be correct in having just one hole drilled. While we were there we also decided to pick up my new best friend:

Pretty aint she? Haha, in this box is our new garbage disposal! Can’t wait to use my new sink!!

We also perused the hardware aisle and though I’ve seen other blogs that have my desired pulls and claim they got them at HD, they were nowhere to be found. Rather than settle and pick something else out we left the store and I went straight to my second favorite source as of late.

Ok, so we only needed 15 pulls, but I couldn’t beat the price. Similar pulls on the HD website were $6 a piece. Making 15 pulls $90. Why not just get a pack of 25 then? Especially since I could use them on other pieces of furniture I plan to refinish (like our dining room buffet). So to checkout I went.

You better believe my OCDness kicked in and I had to do a little elevation of the cabinets with the 8-inch length pull to ensure that that was the perfect length pull. Hey, I have the tools so why not use them to help ease my nerves in deciding such simple matters?

Next up for us is to finish trimming up the kitchen – our contractor also put in new wood in our window yesterday as well…

So that just needs to get some trim, as well as the walls need base trim. Electrical needs to be finished up (which should be happening tonight if I heard Ryan correctly) and I seriously need to get my tush on the painting train. The last big to-do item on the kitchen list is the open shelves. Been doing a lot of google and pinterest searching lately for other inspiration but I keep coming back to my original love: (from this blog here)

Although we do plan to tweak it a little, in that we’re going to add a piece along the front to not only bulk it up and make it feel heavier but to also allow us to add under- shelving lighting. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and let me tell you – it’s pretty. 🙂

Weekend Craze

This weekend. Gosh, so much happened in a short amount of time that it’s tough to begin. Well, Friday night we decided to go to my younger sisters dance recital which couldn’t have been more exhausting. What we thought would be an hour of dance routines was actually 3 and a half hours. Longer than a LOTR movie. No intermission or nothing. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see my sister dance her little hip hop routines (she had two dances) and she did do great, but some of the kids did 7 dances (I had some free time so I played around with the program) what happened to 2 dances each?!

Regardless of being exhausted from Friday night (we ended up grabbing a bite at Applebees afterwards with the fam, which meant we didn’t get home till after midnight) I had previously mentioned to Ryan about wanting to go to Rices Market on Saturday morning and since he had been excited about the possibility of getting some goodies he eagerly encouraged me to stick with my plans and get up at the crack of dawn to go. So I did. Cause I love him.

I planned to go to see if I could grab some good staging props or items for the home/kitchen and found nothing. So I filled my bag with some Flyers Ts’ for the hub and tons of bones for the dogs. In an effort to splurge on myself I also picked up a necklace too.

After Rices the hub met me at the granite and marble showroom (Akropolis for any local Montgomery Counters) to pick out a countertop for the kitchen. I initially really wanted quartz, and was stuck on a mid grey color – I wanted to imitate the look and feel of concrete. Though to be fair we also looked at their granite slabs and took a liking to this one

It’s called Black Impala…yes black. Eek! In person it’s much more grey and has a nice beige in it which softens the look. I like the smaller texture and could see this working with the kitchen and still letting the brick wall shine. So we priced both quartz and granite. The quartz came out to $2600 – totally doable. …but the granite came out to $1800. $800 difference. Once I realized the difference in price I realized that’s basically the price of a water softener (item and installed) and as we’re closing in on our budget and I realllllly want a softener I had to be practical. I buried my inner desire for the quartz and we purchased the granite. They’ll be out this Wednesday to measure and we should have it installed a week from then!

That basically covered the kitchen progress for the weekend. Even though I mentioned I wanted to get some spackling done in this post, I took the nice weather opportunity to work on the yard a bit. Since deciding to have a “kitchen reveal” party on the 4th I’ve been stressing over the appearance of the rest of our home. Granted people will be there to look at the kitchen, but I couldn’t have my yard looking the way it did. After running around on Saturday (after the countertops) delivering some props for a friend hosting a baby shower I realized I had one free hour before I had to shower and ready myself to go to a family graduation party. So what did I do with that free hour? I decided to cut up our wood pile into fire wood.

Two years ago we cut down the ant infested tree and overgrown bush in our front yard and piled the limbs (which I just realize I never posted about – don’t worry it’s on the docket now), where they’ve sat ever since. Two years. So ridiculous. Where did the time go!?

I got it just about done, but had to call it a day and figured I’d finish up Sunday morning. But this is what it was looking like after an hour of work on it:

found this love note from nature in the pile 

I had gotten all the usable firewood cut and had the bottom of the pile to deal with. If you’ve never dealt with a wood pile before, the bottom is the yucky surprise. The wood pieces at the bottom were covered in slugs. Ugh! Aasdlkfj:IOJE;lkj!!! Slugs creep me out and skeeze me like none other so it was a good time to call it a day. We had a great time at the grad party, and afterwards came home to go to another little get together to see some friends in for the weekend from Louisiana. Another late night and I was up again at the crack of dawn on Sunday (regardless of the fact that I told myself to sleep in). Sundays yard work consisted of the usual bush trimmings, dog duty clean up and mowing along with the addition of shoveling the slug infested wood into the trash.

 the solo snail in a sea of slugs

 A few hours later and the yard was clean and I finally gained that wood pile space back. My stomach was growling, so I decided to run to Wawa to grab some food – lucky I did cause I passed by my neighbor’s yard to find they were getting rid of some old porch furniture! PERFECT for our new back yard spot and allowing me more seating for this 4th party!!! The sofa needs a good scrub, and spray paint along with a cushion – but I couldn’t beat the price!

To add to my play-by-play of the weekend after all my  yard work I went to style an engagement shoot with Colleen (belovely) and we couldn’t be more pleased with how everything came together! Can’t wait to see the final photos!

How was all your weekends? Is anyone out there as jamb pack crazy scheduled as I? Fingers crossed I’m not the only nut who can’t sleep in even when she’s exhausted.

Art’s In The Kitchen, Cabinets In The Basement

Yesterday was a BIG day. Not only did the cabinets arrive….

But that meant we needed to paint the kitchen before we could install next week. (our appliances arrive Tuesday) SO MANY GOOD THINGS HAPPENING! Gosh demo took forever, and this part is just flying by! I seriously go in the kitchen and stare everyday, just soaking in each step.

Picking paint was easy. I already knew I wanted to continue the color from the dining room into the kitchen as it looks oh-so-perfect with white and black furniture, so I picked up a can of Glidden’s Sand White from Home Depot along with some chalkboard paint (as per the plan mentioned in this post).
I’ll take this time to also note my admiration for HD. I actually had a brain fart last night and thought Glidden was sold at Lowes so I went there first (all my other house colors are HD’s Behr except for this one color). I walked in and immediately felt uncomfortable. Who knows why. Maybe it’s the blue. But I hate it in there. So rather than pick a color similar since I was already there, I chose to drive farther to go to Home Depot. I actually learned in college during one of my environmental studies of interiors (not that that was its technical name… it was more of a behavioral studies type class) that Lowes is actually marketed and geared to appeal to women – blue is a more soothing color and upon entering the stores you’ll walk right into the home/garden section – aka women’s dream. I don’t know why, maybe it’s cause I’ve always grown up going to Home Depot, but they totally missed the mark on me. Then again, I’m not like most women. I actually drool over the tool section. HD’s orange get’s me pumped to work on my projects and I will forever be a HD girl.

But back to painting. I picked up 2 small cans of chalkboard paint in order to cover both the wrap around wall and the dining room wall. When I got home from work our contractor had already primed the room and painted the ceiling…

Ah, good lighting. It’s so bright in my new kitchen and I can’t wait till these bad boys make my stainless steel appliances shine!!

My little helper! She’s the best at keeping me company.

A few hours later after my trip to Home Depot and this is where the kitchen stands now…

I decided to start throwing some chalkboard paint up on the dining room wall, even though I haven’t patched the holes where the molding used to be, and I’m so glad I did. Something about our thick base molding is so stark against the black that I’ve decided to just go for it and paint the whole wall (trim and all) black. Fingers crossed it looks as awesome in person as it does in my mind. 🙂

And what kitchen photo progress shoot doesn’t turn into a Teaker-is-my-baby-and-I-love-her-so photo shoot?

The smudge on her eye? She went in to give me a kiss and ‘nosed’ my lens haha. And today I couldn’t help but play with the kitchen. This not only included (my favorite) instagram but chalk too!

I felt a lot of pressure for the first chalk drawing I might add. I have no idea why, but it needed to be substantial, meaningful and kind of pretty. So that’s what I came up with in the 5 minutes left of my lunch break. Off to another busy busy weekend > we’ve got my 6 year old sister’s hip hop recital (you have no idea how much I can’t wait to see this haha), a graduation party, countertop shopping, engagement session styling with my company Belovely and possibly finishing that chalkboard wall, and while I’m dreaming I’ll throw on ‘yard work’ to that list too haha! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Chalkdreaming Among Other Things

While we’re in a little stand still waiting for our floors to finish (lots of stain, wait 24 hours, stain, wait 24 hours….you get the point) I’ve moved on to trying to figure out the rest of the kitchen design. Even though the cabinets were already selected and we’ve decided to pull the paint and floor in from the dining room we still have a few things to pick out:

  • Counter Tops
  • Cabinet Pulls
  • Accents
  • Pendant Light

1. Counter Tops:

Based off our inspiration photo (below) we’re sticking with a “concrete” like countertop. I love the light grey, as it will compliment the cabinets and wood floors and really allow the brick wall to shine. We stopped in to Home Depot a few weeks ago and got a price of roughly $2500 for a grey quartz countertop and stainless steel sink. After talking to my house flipping mother, she suggested another store up the street which I plan to check out this weekend. I’ll let you know what I find!

2. Cabinet Pulls:

I’ve been torn between two different styles. I love the cup handle purely for the aesthetic.

However, the more I think about having to open a drawer by cupping my hand every time, the more I think a regular handle would be more practical. Like these gorgeous cabinet bar pulls.

I love the idea of having the black handles on the white cabinets. And what would really pull the black and white design together would be my next obsession…


3. Accents:

Soooo……I’ve been dying to have a chalkboard wall ever since I saw this photo on pinterest:

How amazingly simple and perfect!? And even though I have all the skills and capabilities to use Revit and SketchUp and hell even hand rendering – I turned to Photoshop to do some playing…

When I brought up the idea to Ryan, I never told him where I was planning on putting a chalkboard wall – so I asked him where he’d put one and believe it or not we were thinking the same thing. Dining room wall. I like that I can wrap the chalkboard wall around and into the kitchen – allowing me to use the kitchen chalkboard wall as a grocery list, and keep the dining room for fun. My other idea with this is to buy some sheet metal and tack it to the new basement door, frame it out and paint the whole thing with chalkboard – this way we’d have a magnetic chalkboard where we can put all our wedding invites (man do we have a lot this year!) and cards along with chalked notes to one another. A ‘magnetic/chalkboard message system door’ I suppose. I don’t know if I’ll get that done by July 4th, but it’s on  my to-do list.

The only thing I have yet to decide is if I’ll paint the trim on that wall black as well…..I love it in the photo but for some reason I’m a little hesitant. I already removed the mid-wall molding on that wall and can’t wait to slap some black chalkboard up there! Maybe I’ll paint the walls first and see if the trim needs to be painted as well. In stages if you will. What do you think? To paint the trim or not to?


4. Pendants:

I’m all over the place on this front. If you remember my initial kitchen lighting post, I first thought of doing a wall sconce, however we’re now decided on and wired for a single pendant to hang centered over the window.  Now the question is which one!? This is what I’m currently thinking of:

Copper Crystal Pendant  – perhaps too fancy? But I keep coming back to it, so I’m obviously attracted…

Saw these awesome pendants in a blog post HERE  and love them in the dark brass color. This light is the Harmon Pendant from Restoration Hardware.

And then I’m still stuck on schoolhouse

Oh, and of course I love the pendants that Young House Love just put in their kitchen. Seems rustic/industrial enough while also being pretty…

Globe Industrial Pendant from Shades of Light. Or there’s this little guy:

Which YHL got at a Pottery Barn Outlet store….I’d just have to hunt one down haha.


What light do you like best? I seriously need help. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again > I hate picking out lighting. I like too many fixtures to pick just one. Anyway so that’s where my head stands as of now. Only thing I’ve 100% decided on is painting the dining room wall in chalkboard paint. Whether or not I’ll do the trim is undecided and clearly I’m all over the place when it comes to cabinet pulls and lighting. If only Ryan didn’t try to make me happy with the “whatever you want babe” and would just decide for me.  :/