Kid’s Play Fridge/Pantry

Christmas is SO SOON!! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I’m so excited for Hollis to enjoy Christmas this year. I haven’t been this excited about the holidays since I was a kid. Hollis is 2 and she is obsessed  with all things Christmas. Santa, cookies, presents, carols, Christmas movies, ornaments, etc., etc. She  did the same at Halloween this year, just completely immersed herself in it and it is contagious. I find myself counting down the days along with her.  I think she is going to be really sad when it’s all over and the next major holiday is a few months away.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of Hollis’ Christmas presents was going to be a diy’d play pantry/fridge for her new play kitchen that she is getting from my parents. I originally planned on building one from scratch, there are a few plans on Pinterest, but ended up looking for a cabinet that I could make into one instead. I had seen someone take an upper cabinet, like one that would go above a fridge or stove, and turn it on its side to create a little play fridge. So I set my sites on that and headed to every home improvement store I could think of to find one. After seeing the prices of brand new cabinets, I quickly changed my mind. Then I remembered the Re-Store, they are full of used cabinets and other building materials from houses. As soon as I set foot inside the store, I knew I was going to leave with something that would work.

I found many small kitchen cabinets like the ones I had in mind, but then I stumbled upon a bathroom cabinet that I thought would work even better. It looks like a cabinet that you would hang above the toilet. Totally not what I envisioned, but once I saw it, I thought it would make an awesome pantry. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but after I considered how little work I would have to put into it, I felt better about the price. Literally all I had to do was paint it. Down the road I would like to add another shelf inside, but haven’t gotten to that yet.

IMG_2773I went with navy, because I love it, and also because her new kitchen will be navy too. The navy was a little too dark for the interior, it made it kind of hard to see, so I went with a light gray. The cabinet is solid wood and very sturdy, which was a big selling point for me. I sanded everything really good and gave it a couple of coats of paint.   IMG_2784 IMG_2786IMG_2787 IMG_2789 It’s really more pantry than fridge, but that’s okay. We desperately needed a place to house all of the play food and pots and pans. Before, we just had a small grocery cart to hold everything in. To find anything in it, Hollis had to empty out all the contents and usually I was the one who got to pick it up and put it all away….

IMG_2782Now it all has a home and we can close the doors and not see it! Everything is easy to find and messes still happen, but much less often. We ended up giving it to her before Christmas 1. because I’m terrible at surprises and 2. because I didn’t have anywhere to hide from her.

IMG_2801 IMG_2797So far she really loves it. The kitchen gets played with almost every day. She likes to rearrange all the things in her pantry.  Like I said, I think one more shelf in there would be really nice. There is plenty of room for it and there are already slots for adjusting shelves so it would be a really easy fix. I can’t wait for her to get her new kitchen to go with it!

 

 

 

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No More Naked Cabinets

Remember when our kitchen looked like this?! No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com

And my little helper was just a squishy baby?!

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI can’t believe it’s been over a year since we refinished our cabinets. We are still really loving them. I wasn’t sure how painted cabinets would hold up, but they are doing really well. I have had to do a few touch-ups here and there, but that is really because there is no handles on the cabinets, so they endure a lot of extra scrapes and scratches.

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI have been wanting hardware for the cabinets since we moved in, but I had been waiting for a good deal and I had moved onto other projects, so it kind of got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. I finally got around to searching for hardware. I wanted something simple, and somewhat modern, nothing fussy. I also wanted a brushed nickel finish to match our other fixtures. The best deal I found was on houzz.com (this is not a sponsored post), I paid less than $2 for each handle.

I splurged on a cabinet and drawer template to drill holes for the hardware. It was a huge help and made the job go a lot faster. It also came with a drill bit that went through my cabinets like buttah, totally worth the $10 I spent on it. No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comAnd now the kitchen is looking like this.

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI think the cabinets were looking a little naked before. I still have a few projects to tackle in here:

  • change out the light fixtures
  • new counter tops
  • new backsplash
  • adding a pantry

Color Conundrum: Picking Paint Colors

Everyone has a hobby. Some people love to scuba dive, polka dance, or….iron….? (extreme ironing is seriously a thing you guys) What’s my hobby?  My hobby is picking out paint colors.  People, do you realize how excited about paint swatches as I get? Sometimes I even make up rooms that need to be painted JUST so I can pick out paint for them. (Extreme ironing doesn’t sound so weird now, does it?) So moving into a house where every room needs to be painted, is basically awesome for me.

In our last house, I was very safe with my paint color selections. We lived in a split-level with a fairly open floor plan. From the living room, you could see the dining room, kitchen, entry, and the upper and lower hallways. To keep things cohesive, I used a really neutral gray color palette. We also repeated a lot of the same wall colors.  For instance, the dining room was the same color as our master and the living room was the same color as the hallway and guest room. Not only did we save a little money by getting the most out of our paint, but it also created a nice flow throughout the house.

When we first moved to the farm-house, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of having so many closed-off rooms. Our house was built-in the 1890’s so open floor plans weren’t really a thing then.  I missed the open feeling of our last house. Now after living here for a few months, I’m starting to really like having clearly separate rooms that can be closed off when we want. It’s also kind a of game-changer when it comes to picking out paint colors. Since you can’t see the whole house from one room, I feel like I can be a little more adventurous with my paint selection. I still love a good neutral, but I feel like I should embrace this opportunity to experiment with a little more color.

Here’s what colors we have going on so far…

sparkling lake valspar

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exciting orange

Exciting Orange Sherwin-Williams

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grayish sherwin williams

Grayish Sherwin-Williams

IMG_0517These three rooms are all connected by the entry way so I need the entry way paint color to compliment each room. I wanted something just neutral enough that it would look good next to other colors, but not necessarily beige or white. My first thought was a darker gray, similar or even the same as the color of the cabinets in the kitchen. But I was afraid it would look too cold or  be overkill with all the gray going on in the kitchen.  I want it too feel like its own space and not an extension of the kitchen. I ended up with a very pale mint green. It reads kind of gray on the computer screen, but in person it is the perfect shade of pale, pale mint.

ante meridian valsparHere it is before I started painting. I have to admit the brown bothered me a lot less with our new floor and painted trim. As you can see I filled in a lot of nail holes. (just wait ’til you see all the nail holes in the bedrooms!)

IMG_0664IMG_0663Here it is after one coat, sorry for the terrible lighting in this photo, but I wanted to show you how green it really can be.  And yes, I still need to paint that trim around the attic access. I keep forgetting about it until I see it in pics!

thegoldbrickroad.comAnd here it is after two coats. I was a little worried it was too green after the first coat, but after two coats, it’s calmed down a bit.  I think the white trim helps show its true color. I love how subtle the green is, it changes throughout the day in different light.

IMG_0758I still have a lot to do in here, (and a lot to do with that sad little bench) but I am glad all the brown is gone and all the holes are patched up. I want to do something fun on the walls. Nothing too fancy, but I definitely want to add some charm to the entry way since it’s the first room everyone sees.

Not Your Grandma’s China Hutch…

Or maybe it is, I don’t actually know your grandma.

My husband, Brian got me a china hutch a few months before we got married. I was instantly in love. Even better, he got it for a great deal on Craigslist, which only made me love it more. We had registered for china and of course, wanted a place to house all of it. As the months rolled by and our wedding day came near, I had already accumulated a good deal of china. I opened each box excitedly, and started to display it in my new hutch. I wanted it to look pretty, and fancy, like I thought it should, in our formal dining room.

1383039_897326300865_4007006705870023573_nWhen we made the decision to move here to the farm and I started to pack up my china hutch, I was a little sad. All that hard work of meticulously placing each piece of china in the hutch in a formal display that I’m sure no one appreciated except for myself. At that point I was pretty sure we weren’t going to have a formal dining room here in the new house and the hutch was going to end up in the kitchen. I decided then that I wanted it to be a more functional piece and not just a display case.

I finally got around to unpacking all of my china and glassware a couple of weeks ago. (I didn’t want any of it to get dusty or broken while we were working away in the kitchen.) I decided to just unpack it all and lay everything out where I could see it. I collect turquoise glass and I’ve acquired quite a bit of it over the years. I’m not sure how the obsession with it started, but if I see a piece at a flea market or antique store, I instantly gravitate towards and knock anyone in my path out of the way. (So look out!) Now that we have a little one who is constantly on the move, I can no longer safely set my treasures out and about in the living room or anywhere else my little monster can hobble over to. So I knew I wanted to make room for some of my collection in the hutch out of her reach.

After seeing everything spread out across my living room floor, I realized how much of it goes unused. Not because I couldn’t use it, but because it’s normally packed away in a tote or a cabinet and I forget all about it. My favorite thing about moving is seeing all my stuff in a new light and trying to figure out a way to use it in the new space. I get so used to things being a certain way and then I get stuck in a rut. I need to take inventory of things more often and repurpose them instead of only doing it when I move!

I started out slow, just adding a few things at a time. I didn’t  want it to look too thought out. I wanted it to be like me in yoga pants on the couch drinking wine….casual and classy.

IMG_0413I tried to set things at varying heights and group like items together. I wanted it to look  interesting, not cray-cray….there’s a very fine line.

IMG_0417Of course not everything made the cut. Only a very small fraction of the turquoise collection made it. The rest, I tried to sprinkle around the kitchen and other parts of the house that the baby doesn’t play in. And a lot of things ended up in the built-in in our living room closet where I was able to at least unpack it and set it up where I can see it.

IMG_0481IMG_0484I can’t believe I wasted all that time using it for just china, it fit so much more and I haven’t even filled the drawers or lower cabinets. I love that I can walk by and see everything easily. And it doesn’t feel empty when I need to take something out to use it.

IMG_0518P.S. It does have glass doors that go on it, but I took them off while photographing to keep that darn glare down.

Update: Kitchen

We’ve been living with the ‘new’ kitchen for a while now and we’ve really been enjoying it. It’s finally starting to feel like home and things seem to be in their permanent home and not in constant flux. At first I wasn’t sure about the kitchen also serving as the dining room, but it’s turning out to be quite nice. We had a formal dining room in the old house and I think we used maybe three times. Now we actually find ourselves eating at the table instead of the living room which is a lot more convenient with a baby. It’s so easy to just slide Hollis’ high chair over to the table and eat as a family.

I’ve been painstakingly painting the trim throughout the kitchen, bathroom, entry way, and laundry room. I hate it. Painting trim is at the top of the list of things I loath, but more on that later. I’ve got the trim in the kitchen finished so I thought I would post some updated kitchen pics while things were fairly tidy in here. I also got the window treatments hung back up.  I like how they help tie in our dark wood furniture and they are good at blocking out the sunlight on hot days.

Here’s a look at the kitchen when I last posted about it…

186185And here’s how it looks today. Not a huge difference, but it feels a little more finished.

IMG_0505IMG_0509IMG_0515IMG_0517^I’m also really liking our ‘island’, which is just the Varde drawer cabinet from Ikea. We bought it for the kitchen in our last house because we were lacking in cabinet and counter space. It made me a little sad that I might not have a use for it in this kitchen since we have plenty of storage and workspace. We decided to try it as an island since the space between the stove and sink is so large. It’s been so handy, I actually use it every day.

IMG_0506^I wanted to take these top cabinets down and add some floating shelves. But in order to do that, I will have to replace the backsplash since the tiles go up around the cabinet. I’m not confident enough with my tiling removing skills to get the tiles off without breaking all of them. So until we are ready to replace the backsplash around the entire kitchen, I’m just going to live with the cabinet. My compromise was to make it an open cabinet for storing some of my dishware that is in heavy rotation. It’s nice to have easy access to them while I’m cooking.

And just for fun, here is a look side-by-side look at how things have changed since we moved in…

beforeandaftersinkbeforeandafterstoveBack to painting I go…

You Know That Saved By the Bell Episode…

tumblr_mkiivoW7ke1r0qrbeo1_400Where Jesse is SO excited and hopped up on caffeine pills?! Well that was me, minus the pill part, when we ripped out the carpet in the entry way, laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen!! I might have even done the running man and moon walked around a couple of times…just a couple though. It immediately felt cleaner…and smelled better. Putting carpet in a bathroom, around a toilet, is just the worst idea EVER.

We hired a neighbor of ours to do the job. Neither Brian or myself have really ever done any tiling, and we didn’t want a job this big (about 480 sq. ft.) to be our first experience with it. If we just had the bathroom or entry way to do, we may have attempted to do it ourselves. Also, it’s a really old house and the walls are not all perfectly straight. We learned that one wall in the kitchen is off about 3 inches, so we were glad we hired someone with a lot of experience to tackle the job.

So here is a bunch of before and after pictures of the rooms that got new tile. Basically the whole front of the house that was added on had the carpet replaced. The tile looks a little brown in these pics, but it’s really a taupe-y gray color. We used the same tile throughout to give it a nice cohesive look. You can see in some the pics that I’m in the process of painting the trim bright white. I loath painting trim, but somebody’s got to do it.

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097photo 4-001190photo 5-001180160177186185I’ve got big plans for the entry way and bathroom, I can’t wait to dive into them, but I’m trying to pace myself! I still have some work to finish up in the kitchen. That trim is not going to paint itself after all, as much as I really, really wish it would…like REALLY.

Painting Is My Life…

Or at least that’s the way it seems most days. If the best way to get to know your new house is to paint every square inch of it, then I now know the kitchen VERY well. I decided to paint the cabinet frame and drawers while we had all of the cabinet doors off. While that was drying, I set up a paint station for the doors and got a coat of paint on them. While those were drying I painted the walls of the kitchen…..so. much. paint. But it’s all looking so much cleaner and brighter in here already.

As you can see, we went with gray. Our decision was based mostly on the new tile we picked out that will be replacing the carpet in here. (More on that later!) Sorry this picture stinks, I will have better after pics soon. I didn’t bother painting the interior of the cabinets…yet. Some day I may get around to it, but for now they are in really great shape and really just needed a good wipe down. I also really couldn’t wait any longer to start putting things away in the cabinets. It was such a pain to try to search for kitchen essentials that were still packed away in totes.

photo 4Painting the doors while they were flat was so much easier than trying to do it while they were attached.  The paint we chose had a primer built-in, but I still ended up doing three coats to get good coverage over everything. The grooves with the wood filler really soaked up the paint quickly. We also went ahead and replaced the hinges with some nice brushed nickel ones.

photo 5-002Here’s a close-up of the doors before and after. No more groove thang! Not too bad for a super cheap makeover, right?! We would really like to add some nice brushed nickel drawer pulls and knobs for the doors too. I think it will give it a much more finished look.

My Photo (2)

photo 2-013

photo 1-012I used the same gray on the walls here as we had throughout our old house. We had quite a bit left over from the other house and I hate to waste paint. It’s called Grayish by Sherwin Williams and it’s the perfect shade of gray.  It’s kind of a beige-y gray and it just goes well with everything. I tested a corner of the kitchen with primer to see if it really made a difference in covering up the dark brown walls…it didn’t make a difference. I had to use two coats over the walls regardless with or without primer so I didn’t bother using it on the rest of the walls.

photo 1-003

photo 2-003I just love how much cleaner and brighter it feels in here already. We still have a lot to do in here and I’m still figuring out where things are going to go. It seems like the cabinets are in constant flux while we live here and figure out where we really need things to be.

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Here is a peek at my ongoing to-do list for the kitchen:

  • fill in the cabinet groove/sand
  • paint cabinets
  • paint walls
  • paint trim
  • change hardware
  • add drawer pulls and door knobs
  • replace carpet
  • new light fixture
  • add open shelving
  • replace backsplash

This list is constantly changing…like daily. Every time I look in here, I think of something to add or change. I know that some of these things will be done soon and some won’t be done for months or even years, but it’s still nice to have a reference to keep us on track. It’s also really nice to see things crossed off my list!