Showing posts with label Kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitchen. Show all posts

Monday, July 7, 2014

Gift Wrap Kitchen Cabinet Update Part 2

In my last post, I used gift wrap to brighten up a kitchen cabinet by my microwave.

How to use gift wrap to update your kitchen cabinets

I decided to take this project to the next level and try a larger cabinet.  To check out how what you need to complete the project, click here.

By Keurig before
I decided to try the cabinet that is above our Cuisinart Keurig coffee maker.

By Keurig before close up

First, I took everything out, including the shelves.  I measured the gift wrap and cut it slightly larger than the back of the cabinet.

By Keurig before cabinet doors open
That way, I could just tuck it in again and not use glue or any adhesive to hold it in place.

By Keurig during cabinet doors open close up

By Keurig during cabinet doors open

By Keurig after #2

Update your kitchen cupboards with giftwrap
The paper adds a little personality to the cabinets now as well as brightens them.  Hopefully someday I’ll get my white kitchen cabinets, but until then this little change has helped change and brighten the space.

As Always,

I shared this post at A Bowl Full of LemonsA Pretty Life in the SuburbsJoy in Our Home

Monday, June 30, 2014

Using Gift Wrap to Update Kitchen Cabinets

Of course, I want to paint my kitchen cabinets white.  Have I mentioned, I LOVE white!  I’ve wanted to paint the cabinets since we moved in a year ago.  But painting my cabinets would be either a huge time commitment on my part or I’d have to pay someone to paint them, which is just not in the budget quite yet.  So, I gave a couple cabinets a little brightening with white gift wrap.

Use gift wrap to update kitchen cabinets by

We have a small space beside our microwave that used to be a plate rack, which drove me crazy so I took out the dowels that would make the plates stand up.  This created a shelf I could place my knife block and a few other items.

By microwave before

By microwave before close up

I was not happy with this space, so I decided to try livening it up with some white patterned gift wrap.

Supplies for Gift Wrap at Back of Cupboards
I cut the gift wrap slightly larger than the back of the cupboard.  After I cut the size I needed, I steamed the piece of paper with a towel over it using my iron.   This way, I could protect the paper and also get some of the curl out of the gift wrap.

By microwave, putting gift wrap in place #2

By microwave, putting gift wrap in place
At the back of the cabinet, there was a small space I could tuck the gift wrap in all around to keep it from falling down, so I didn’t use glue or any adhesive.  Which is great, in case I want to change it or remove it later.

By microwave after

By microwave after close up
Much better and brighter.  I also tried gift wrap at the back of one more cabinet, I’ll share that project in my next post.

As Always,

I shared this post at A Bowl Full of Lemons, Satori Design for Living, Joy in Our Home

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cleaning with Homemade Cleaners (Take 1)

I’ve cleaned my home for many years using both handmade and store bought cleaners.  When purchasing store bought cleaners I’ve tried to stay to more natural or eco-friendly cleaners (eg. Method).  Not until recently, have I felt ready to jump in and make a switch that will hopefully eliminate my need for store bought cleaners permanently.

One area in my house I have always used store bought chemical cleaner is… the dreaded cleaning of the toilets.  I somehow thought if I used a whole bunch of chemicals in the form of a blue liquid, that this was the only way to “safely clean” my toilets.  I had a mental block preventing me from seeing another solution.  After all, I knew there had to be another way.  Otherwise how would my grandmother have cleaned hers??  I'm pretty sure she was not investing in blue liquid.  But I needed to use a recipe from someone I trust.

I recently purchased the book “The Organically Clean Home” by Becky Rapinchuk (Clean Mama).  She has changed the way I think of “clean”.  Using her book, I’m making some changes and switching to homemade, natural, chemical free cleaners throughout my home.

The Organically Clean Home (by Becky Rapinchuk) - via

For years, I have cleaned my sinks and showers with pure 100% white vinegar.  Not a nice smell I know, but I knew it worked.  I knew that vinegar has a ton of germ killing properties.  I knew that it worked well in our old house to clean up the effects of hard well water.  Heck, “vinegar” has its own label here on my blog, I use it so much.  Sometimes vinegar was the only thing that would work to clean my sinks and showers at the old house, no store bought cleaner could compare.  But I could not get past cleaning toilets naturally and without a blue liquid.  With Becky’s book, I hope to conquer this fear.

Last night, I made 2 recipes from her book.  I wanted to start with recipes I knew I would use often and would make a big difference in our house.  One recipe is for my bathrooms – Lavender and Lemon Bathroom Disinfecting Spray.   And one is for my kitchen – Tea Tree and Orange Disinfecting Cleaner.  I’m not new to Tea Tree essential oil, and I know it has MANY benefits.  But, I’m most excited that I can now replace my 100% vinegar solutions.  My nose will thank me I’m sure.  And now I won’t be worried about using my cleaners before company arrives because I was afraid of the vinegar odour.  These cleaners smell wonderful!

My first 2 cleaners from The Organically Clean Home Book
I gave the new cleaners a test run, and I am very impressed with how easy they were to throw together.  I have all the ingredients on hand.  I can now replace my homemade kitchen cleaner and my 100% vinegar bathroom cleaner.  I’m so HAPPY!

I’m excited to try more recipes from her book.  I have sticky notes all over the pages of her book, marking recipes I want to try next.  The best part is most of the recipes use ingredients I already have on hand.

The Organically Clean Home, Post its marking recipes to make later
This week, I’m going to conquer my bathroom toilet cleaning fear.  I’m giving her very simple, chemical free recipe a try.  Not only can I pronounce all the ingredients and I know what they are.  Big step.  I will let you know how I make out!

As Always,

By the way, I’m not paid for this post, all opinions are my own.  I just love her book and want to share how it is changing my cleaning routine :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dining Room Updates

Here are a couple of updates we did to our dining room.  I no longer use the serving tray I painted with chalkboard paint as a meal planner.  I find it easier to plan our meals by writing them on my printable weekly to do list instead. We now use the tray on our table to corral the salt and pepper shakers and napkins.

Table Center piece
Since the bottom of the tray is painted a black chalkboard color, it lets the white containers on the tray stand out and helps to anchor them in the space.

Table Center piece Tray
I also hung up the hanging planters I had in my old kitchen.

Hanging Planters in Dining Room

Hanging Planters

Dining Room Table
Just a couple small things, but they make a noticeable difference.

As Always,

Friday, March 14, 2014

New Dining Room Chairs!

They’re here!  Our new dining room chairs, that is.  I ordered them from Restoration Hardware.  I was a little concerned.  Wednesday, I received 5 out of the 6 chairs, so I was a little concerned that the last chair may have gotten lost.  But it arrived yesterday!  YAY! 

New Dining Room Chairs -

I’m so glad to see the old chairs leave (I threw them into the covered deck for now), and I’m happy to see the new replacements.  I waited until this morning for natural light to take some photos. 

Remy and Marcel Chairs from Restoration Hardware

Next on the list of “to do’s” for this dining space… window blinds.  I’m hoping to make my own or use some inspiration from Pinterest to create some new window treatments for the dining room.  I am thinking I will do a practice run on the window in the spare bedroom downstairs first, to see if I like the end result.  I’ll let you know how the project goes.

Do you make your own blinds and window coverings, or do you purchase them? 

As Always,

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ordered. -New Dining Room Chairs!

I’m so excited!  A few days ago, we ordered new dining room/kitchen chairs!

old chairs
Up till now, we have been using chairs that we bought at a garage sale when my husband and I first started living together many years ago.  They are ugly, I mean UGLY.  They have pink seat cushions and a vinyl brown back.  I’m guessing they were from the 70’s, 80’s and someone previously decided to give them a little flair by adding the pink seat cushions.

So many years ago, I made some neutral slipcovers so no one would ever see how hideous the chairs really are.  But slipcovers and fabric on kid’s chairs just don’t work.  At least not on my kid’s chairs.  I have washed these poor slipcovers so much they look dull, and have shrunk.  We don’t even put a slipcover on my youngest’s chair, it’s a losing battle.  We just place a towel over the pink seat cushion and strap the booster seat on top.  The towel helps hold the booster seat in place and also is easier to wash than the pink cushion.

We have wanted to get new chairs for awhile now.  Since my husband made the table, we have been keeping an eye out for possible chair choices.  Here is our final choice!…

We got 2 Marcel Armchairs for the ends of the table:

And we got 4 Remy Side Chairs for the sides of the table:

You guessed it, from Restoration Hardware!  This is my first time ordering from them.  I love looking at their website and catalogues, their products are beautiful.  I love their store and wish I could take everything in it home.

We chose these chairs for many reasons.  They will hopefully match the steel on the table well.  I like them because they don’t have any fabric on them to try to keep clean with kids in the house.  The finish for the chairs are gunmetal, but there are 5 different finishes available.  They are currently on sale: $179 down to $129 for the Marcel’s and $139 down to $99 for the Remy’s (USD+shipping).  We only needed 6 chairs in total because my husband is hoping to build 2 benches to match the table that we will also use when company comes over when we put the leaves in the table.

I just got an email from them letting me know the chairs have been shipped.  I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas!  I hope the delivery goes smoothly!  Have you ordered from Restoration Hardware before?

As Always,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My First Chalk Painting Experience

A while ago, I got my order of Annie Sloan chalk paint in ‘old white’.  I was impatiently waiting for my mail to arrive and I was a little taken back when it showed up on my doorstep in a dinted can, but thankfully no leaks.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old White from
I’ve never worked with chalk paint before and I was excited to give it a try.

Old White Chalk Paint
My first test piece to experiment on was a small crate wooden crate I got from the dollar store.  I bought this little guy a couple years ago and never painted it.  I figured if it turns out that the paint is awful (although I knew it wouldn’t be), I would not have damaged something I was really in love with or expensive.  But I’m a pretty cautious person, so I took baby steps.

Napkin holder before
The next item I had plans to paint was the plant pot for my huge and creepy looking Yucca plant.  We have had that plant for years.  The poor thing has seen better days.  If you look at the plant from a different angle you can see that it leans extensively and it has hardly any leaves at the back.  So it stays in the corner of the room and is doing quite well in our new house in its spot.

The brown/terracotta colored plant pot fit in with the decor at the old house, but it seemed to stick out like a sore thumb in this house.  Time for a change.

Plant Pot Before
So I got to work and first tried my hand at the small dollar store wooden crate that usually lives on our kitchen table and holds our paper napkins.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with the chalk paint but it is very easy to work with and covers very well.  I wanted to see how the paint would hold up on different surfaces and decided to try a plastic plant pot that was passed down from my mom and was in rough shape.

I made a little work table out of a flattened diaper box placed on top of a Superstore green grocery tub.  Yep, you can laugh, I know I did.  But it actually worked pretty well.  Normally, I would paint in the garage but my husband was doing some work in there.  Plus, I had no idea how I was going to move that huge Yucca plant pot to the garage to paint.  So…

Painting with Chalk Paint
I stuck the huge and heavy pot on an old towel/rag and painted it right there in the living room.

Plant Pot painting with chalk paint
I gave all the items 2 coats of paint using my new Annie Sloan paint brush.

Annie Sloan Paint Brush
I have never spent this much money on a paint brush before.  But it is very well made and very comfortable to hold, well worth the money.

The final step is to seal and protect the painted surfaces with wax.  Never having worked with a wax before I didn’t know what to expect.

Even this poor little can got a dint.

Annie Sloan Soft Wax

Wax brush for Annie Sloan Soft Wax
Luckily, the clear wax was easy to apply and using the brush worked really well especially because my projects had little groves and corners to work in.  After applying a light layer with the brush I buffed the wax off with a soft painter's rag.

Plant Pot After
All the projects turned out really well for me and are holding up nicely.  It has been a few months since I have painted the items and even the plastic plant pot from my mom is in great shape.  I was a little skeptical, but so far so good.

Plant Pot Before

Plant Pot After Painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

The white plant pot looks so much better compared to the terracotta color.

Painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old White
My husband thinks I’m going to get sick of white, since I’m painting and adding white everywhere in our new house.  I can’t see it happening.  The good thing about white is I can easily add a pop of color and it will totally change the area and give it a new look.  When I’m bored or want a change, I can just change the pop of color.  Much easier than changing more expensive and staple items when I get tired of a color.

I can’t wait to try painting with this color again!  Have you used chalk paint before?

As Always,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Table!

My husband has been working on making a new dining room/kitchen table for us for a few months.  Now the table is done!  Here’s a peek…

New Table from
He made the bottom out of 3” steel tubing.  The extensions at both ends are removable, which is great when we have company over.  We can now all fit around the same table!  The table measures 8 feet long when extended and about 5 feet long and 44 inches wide when the extensions are out.

The top is made out of 12” wood planks.  He stained the top grey and finished with clear semi-gloss polyurethane to protect it.

New Dining Room Table from
I love this table.  Finally, we have a table that matches our style!  Our old $15 clearance-priced dining room table will have a new home in our 4 seasons room.

As Always,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Coffee Station

I’d say I only really started drinking coffee in the last 3 years.  Before that, I would have the occasional cup, mostly at a coffee shop while out with friends.  Since my husband bought me a Keurig for a Christmas present a few years ago (by the way I love it), coffee has become a morning ritual.  I still only have about 2 cups as a maximum each day, and my husband is the same.  So our Keurig makes sense for us, as we only drink about a cup or so a day each.

Coffee and Beverage Station from
Here is how I set up our coffee/beverage station.  First, it resides right next to the water cooler.  Perfect spot, especially since we don’t drink our cistern tap water and we only use water from the cooler to drink and fill up the Keurig.

Coffee Station from
Cups are in the cabinet above the Keurig.  I keep a jar of white sugar, container of Krisda stevia extract sweetener packages, and a bottle of agave syrup on a plate.  I try to stay away from the sugar as much as I can and use natural sweeteners in my beverages. I try ;)

Easy Coffee Station from
I keep 3 bottles of Pellegrino water at the back for color.  I confess I don’t drink it.  A cookie jar also lives on this counter and it works well to hide the cord from the water cooler.  Store bought cookies in the jar, I’m not much of a baker.  Or really any type of a baker for that matter.

Coffee and Beverage Station  from
The K-cups for the Keurig are stored in a holder behind the Keurig.  The holder spins so I can easily grab the flavour of coffee I want.  Our extra K-cups live in our pantry.

Inside Coffee Station Drawer  from
In the drawer below, I store our teas and other miscellaneous beverage items. Such as… teaspoons, straws, extra sweetener, and a refillable/reusable K-cup.

As Always,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Painting Progress… Before and After Pics

We decided to paint our whole main level before we moved in.  I’m so glad we did!  Click here for our paint choices.

Lets start with the entrance…

Entrance Before
Entrance Before

Entrance Before 2
Entrance Before

Entrance After
Entrance Mid Painting

Entrance After


Main Level Before
Living Room, Kitchen and Dining Room Before

Kitchen Before
Kitchen Before

Kitchen mid move
Kitchen in the Middle of Moving

Living Room and Dining Area After
Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen After

Kitchen After
Kitchen After

Living Room...

Living Room After without Furniture
Living Room in the Middle of Moving

Living Room After
Living Room After

Staircase to Basement…

Basement Stairs Before
Basement Staircase Before

Basement Staircase After
Basement Staircase After

Master Bath…

Master Bath Before
Master Bath Before

Master Bath Before 2
Master Bath Before

Master Bath After
Master Bath After

Now that we have painted the trim, I can’t imagine going back to the original oak.  I love the white!

As Always,

Simple is Pretty Parties Here…