August 16, 2018

Painted Kitchen Island

I'm excited to share a little project we have been working on the past few weeks. We decided to give our kitchen island a new life with a coat of paint and some new trim.
Years ago when I first started blogging, Farrow & Ball sent me a paint deck that I have browsed through time and time again. Their paint is pricy, but there is something about their colors that keeps bringing me back to them. Since then, they also opened a retail store in our area and I have been looking for just the right project to try out their paint. I lamented about the color for weeks earlier this summer and finally narrowed it down to Card Room Green and Oval Room Blue. I knew I wanted something that was blue-green and could work in all seasons with my decor.
So after much debate (I literally asked every single person who walked into my kitchen what color they like better), I decided on Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue. But before we even got started with paint, we decided to add some molding to the island to give it more of a furniture feel. Here is the before:
Our kitchen is now over 10 years old and I remember clearly that the thing I wanted most at the time  was a cherry island. It felt timeless and was probably the easiest choice for me. So it's kind of funny that the island was the piece that seemed to be dating our kitchen the most. I remember being more concerned with granite and stainless appliances - both of which have stood the test of time. Although I would absolutely change the granite if it wasn't such a big ticket item.
So just to give you an idea of how very "fly by the seat our pants" type of DIYers that Billy and I are, I will explain the process we went through. First, we knew we had the paint, so we took off all the doors and hardware and realized we needed more primer. Oh, and wouldn't it be cool if we removed the toe kick from the bottom of the island and added trim? What about corbels? And adding some bead board would certainly give the kitchen more of a cottage-y look. So off to Lowe's we went. The trim aisles at Lowe's and Home Depot are truly 2 of our favorite places to be. Also, I should mention that this was our 22nd wedding anniversary so we did fit in a dinner out in between.
We finished up late that night. Something felt off to me but I was kind of afraid to tell Billy because it meant another trip to the store and pulling apart all the work he did that day. But 22 years later, he knows me well, so he could tell I had something on my mind. I asked him if we could possibly extend the pushed out toe kick around the island (except for the back side which is where we actually work at the island)? 
And the next morning I woke up to him having already been to Lowe's and installing the new molding. It was finally time to prime (we used Zinsser) and then 2 coats of the Farrow & Ball paint. The paint was great to work with, by the way. We finished up painting and then left for a week's vacation the next morning which ended up being great because the paint had a bunch of time to cure before we put everything back together and started using it.
I am thrilled with the change. You can see in the picture above how we wrapped the base molding around the the sides but still left the toe kick open on the side of the island where we stand when cooking. I wasn't willing to give that functionality up for aesthetics. And I should mention that every single member of our family (yes including me) has stubbed their toes on the new molding at least once. I keep telling them they will get used to it in time (I hope!).
I added a towel rod from Ikea to the end of one side of the island to tie in the metal on the stools. Now I have a new fun place to style in the kitchen. I also added a new runner from Lowe's.
Did you spy the other change to the kitchen? I added a skirt to the cabinet beneath our farm sink. Billy removed the doors and attached a cafe rod using double stick tape. Then I cut down a $7.99 window curtain from Christmas Tree Shops and our sink has a whole new look. I am already planning how I can change this for Christmas.
Here's a wider shot of the whole kitchen. I really need to freshen up those Ikea bookshelves that we use for kitchen storage. I'm thinking they need some bead board on the back of the shelves at the very least.
I'm especially loving how the new paint color goes with the copper pots hanging on our pot rack. There will be a tutorial about our pot rack soon! My apologies to those of you that have been waiting for it.
Of course changes in here led to wanting to make changes on the other side of this space in the living room and dining area. Stay tuned! I have Billy home full time for another month or so and he doesn't ever like to sit still for long.

Kitchen Towels - Amazon
Sink Skirt - Christmas Tree Shops
Fresh Flowers Sign - Target Dollar Spot
Dish Rack - HomeGoods
Stools - TJ Maxx
Enamel Bread box - Amazon
Caged Light above Sink - Target (old)
Towel Rod in Island - Ikea Fintorp

August 12, 2018

Summer Family Room

Today, I thought I would share of few pictures of our summer family room. You know, just in time for the end of summer. I always come back to an outdoors/mountains theme in here because that is what reflects what we enjoy doing during the summer. Our DIY wooden flag always feels right over the mantel at this time of year.
Other than the sectional (Ikea Farlov), nothing is new in here. I have collected most of these pieces though the years and take them out each summer.
Truth be told, I am still getting used to the sectional in here. It isn't my favorite as far as furniture arrangement is concerned, but it does seat x-box playing teenagers comfortably so there is that. I guess a sectional is a good choice for this stage of life. It takes a lot of throw pillows to cozy up this space. Said throw pillows repeatedly end up in a heap on the floor - all summer long.
Also, the rug situation in this space is a mess! I am looking forward to adding a new area rug that my mom recently passed down to me for fall. The current rug is a tough indoor/outdoor rug that can handle damp dogs and teenagers, which are both filling this space in abundance right now. Yes, Dax, I am referring to you!
Anyway, I hope the new-to-me rug will cozy things up more. Of course I am already planning fall - it's my favorite season to decorate for! :)
I always enjoy adding seasonal touches to our gallery wall and I continue to add to it all summer long as we find new items on our adventures. A neighbor recently told me that her family would never choose to buy a vacation home because they prefer to spend their money traveling and seeing new places. And I could totally appreciate that perspective. But, for us, there is so much to explore in our beloved Adirondacks. We are truly still finding new spots continually - just within a few miles of our family cabin. I do think it is important to see new places too and I am very much looking forward to visiting Maine at the end of this summer. Do you prefer to mostly vacation in the same place or try to always see new places?

So there you have it. A family room that is VERY lived in by a family. Including 2 big and hairy dogs. I hope you enjoyed this "real life" glimpse of our imperfect family room.

August 9, 2018

Thank You and an "Old School" Blog Post of This And That

Hello friends and thank you so much for the comments and e-mails from my most recent posts. I have to say that there have been times when I have felt like this blogging thing had run its course for me. It is hard to keep up with all of those polished and shiny images seemingly everywhere on social media and easy to think my home (and life!) isn't quite up to sharing. But then you all reach out to me in a way that makes me remember that it is all about the community. Not about perfect homes or people. But about real people who share the love of home and family (and dogs too!). Thank you for that. I needed the reminder.
I'm not really sure why it took me by surprise as the stress of Billy's retirement was mounting for weeks (months, really), but his actual retirement day and the days since hit us hard. We were humbled by the kindness of many of his co-workers and the time they took to let him know that he mattered to them.
 In between Billy's last days of work and before he starts his new job, we have been spending as much time as possible in the mountains this summer. Everything just seems to flow easier in the mountains.
I've added some fun camp inspired decor to the family cabin. It's nothing fancy but I just adore this house in the woods and the memories we have made there.
I keep a pair of scissors in my Jeep to stop and snip some wildflowers along our back road travels.
And display them throughout the house in various containers.
There's this little ice cream spot in the Adirondacks called Donnelly's that sells one flavor of homemade ice cream (twisted with vanilla) each day. They make the ice cream in a machine that is a half a century old. It's fun to watch the schedule on Facebook to see when our favorite flavors will pop up. It is the truly the best ice cream I have ever tasted. When we visited last week, the flavor was blueberry. Yum!
We also happened upon a roadside ice cream stand at Wilcox Dairy's farm in Vermont. We are familiar with their ice cream because we buy it at our local general store in the ADKs. 
Billy enjoyed a cup of farm fresh ice cream on his 50th birthday in lieu of cake. Have I made you hungry for ice cream yet? :)
It's been a simple summer, just what we needed. We love to kayak on quiet ponds. There is just something about being at water level, alone with the sounds of nature, that is tremendously comforting. Almost transcendent.
It helps to have strong boys to carry the kayaks in.
We've spent lots of time just hanging out with our pups.
And relaxing by the lake.
It seems like sometimes the middle child gets overshadowed by the older and younger siblings, but this summer we have spent a lot of quality time with our middle guy, Kyle. He just turned 17 and recently acquired his driver's license. He will be a senior in high school this year and is planning on becoming a high school history teacher (yay!). We visited the Robert Frost trail in Ripton, Vermont together this summer. The poems are displayed among a beautiful trail in the woods, right near Robert Frost's summer residence.
Of course I had to take a picture of my favorite poem that the title of this blog references, Nothing Gold Can Stay

I also want to share a quick update about my mom for those of you who have been following along for a while. It has been three years since her devastating stroke and she recently started driving again! She was offered the opportunity to take driving lessons at a nearby hospital with a stroke rehab program and they have her back behind the wheel, with just a few modifications necessary for her car. It is such a huge step for her in regaining her independence. What an inspiration she is to never give up hope - no matter what the doctors might tell you. She works hard every single day at getting better and she continues to do so, little by little, amazing us all.
Lastly, I can't wait to share our latest project. We gave our 10 year old kitchen island a makeover with some trim an paint. Below is a "during" shot. 
It's looking great and we are putting the finishing touches on it this week. Then I just need to get it photographed so I can share it with you all.

August 4, 2018

Our Split-Level Summer Kitchen

The small-ish kitchen in our split level home was very ordinary when we moved in, but I am so glad I made the decision to add the triple windows over the farmhouse sink when we DIY-ed this kitchen 10 years ago. I have had so much fun styling these windows through the seasons and years! I think the summertime is my favorite time at the sink.
I picked up a dish rack at HomeGoods earlier this summer and there is just a simplicity about washing dishes by hand that reminds me of childhood. Of Grandma hanging the sheets on the line to dry. I think returning at least a little bit to your childhood is what makes summer such a special time of year.
Our kitchen island is currently undergoing a makeover that I will share the reveal of soon. In the meantime, she served us well in her prior state for many years. It was just time for a change. 
And because I took so long to get this post written, I also have pictures of changes I made more recently to the sink windows. I added some yellow and white gingham "curtains" made from a Sur La Table dish towel for a cheery look. The 3 small wreaths and the grow sign are all Target Dollar Spot finds.

I don't bake too much in the summer, but have been enjoying some recipes from the Magnolia Table cookbook. Below is the lemon pie - the perfect dessert for a summer BBQ.
I am looking forward to sharing the changes to our kitchen island soon. I hope you are enjoying the rest of your summer.