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kilim upholstered dining bench

You know the feeling when you have something big coming up and you’re against the clock trying to get everything done?  We’re having Friendsgiving at our house this weekend, so I’m in a big push to get a lot of the half done projects complete.  This feeling to complete everything is less because my friends care what my house looks like and more because all of the half done projects are living in the dining room, in the exact spot where people are going to need to eat!

One of the smaller projects was this bench that I’ve been working on since August.  Yes, over three months ago.

If you’ll remember, I was near complete with this bench, when I hit an unfortunate snag.  The snag being that the entire thing fell apart. I had used pine wood not thinking about how soft the wood was and how easily it splinters. As soon as I put the weight of the top on the bench, the entire thing collapsed. 

butcher block countertops update

Happy Monday!  Boy was it a jam-packed weekend! I think Matty was home for all of 5 waking hours this weekend and spent those helping me with the countertops.

I am really trying to get this whole project done before we have 15 guest converge upon our house for Friendsgiving in the first weekend of December, so we are really pushing it for time.

Luckily, these DIY butcher block kitchen countertops are pretty easy peasy.

painted faux marble countertops

Guys….. I almost named this post, “the best DIY I’ve done to-date ever”, but then I came back to my senses and named it something that google could easily find should anyone else in the world want to do this project. And I hope everyone does, because it’s amazing. So amazing, in fact, that the $30 faux marble countertops fooled my (very style discerning) Mother-in-law, who said, “I didn’t know you guys were buying marble for the kitchen!”.  That, my friends, is a win.

But let’s back up to just two days ago when I was *this close* to throwing the whole project into the trash and forgetting about it completely. 

great paint wait

The kitchen changes started small, but late last night, they became more apparent with a fresh coat of paint. After 8 years of green, I still really liked the color itself, but it was starting to feel dated and wasn’t meshing with some of the other changes I have planned for the kitchen.  Then, two weeks ago, we sorted through some of my top color contenders together and I landed on Benjamin Moore’s ‘Sheep’s Wool’ Aura Interior in Eggshell finish as the hue of choice.

But after painting into the evening last night I’m going to be honest, I’m really on the fence.

I kept standing back after rolling a wall and thinking, “Do I love this, or hate it?  I can’t tell!”  Of course hating the color just means slathering on a new hue later this week, but then I realized that this feeling isn’t new.  

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Today is a great day!  Not ONLY did my friend Anne write a book that I get to share with you, but I also get to give one lucky reader a copy!

I have known this was in the works for awhile and I could not be more excited that Anne asked me to be a part of her cross-country pouf tour.  Anne and I have been talking about it since January and now that I have my hands on this gorgeous pouf and the insanely beautiful book, my heart swells with pride for my sweet friend.  It is chalk full of amazing projects that are so ingenious it makes me want to spend my days arm knitting (that’s right, I said arm knitting).

Anne is a master of arm & finger knitting, hence the book title, Knitting Without Needles. It seems a little nutty, but then you look at the photos in the book and think, “whoa, I’m totally on board”.  I’ve got a few projects slated for myself over the next few weeks. 

brittany makes kitchen

How was your weekend?  Mine was just what the doctor ordered (kind of – I don’t think any doctor would support a weekend full of drinking, but it’s what I felt like I needed after the misery of last week).  We hosted happy hour on Friday night then went out and did a little day drinking for the Ohio State football game on Saturday.  Sometimes drinking a cold beer outside on a sunny Saturday is just want you need… right?  Sunday we cleaned the house, got our lives back in order, and binge watched Blacklist (have you seen it?? I’m loving it).

We’ve got more kitchen mania today as I press onto kitchen hardware.  You all may remember from the original kitchen project post that I want to go with brass hardware. I’m loving a mix of pulls and bars and bins, but that is about as far as I’ve gotten. In an effort to really dive into what I want, I decided to do a ton of research and see what’s out there first. 

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There are so many things to love about this room. In fact, the combination of color and wood finish reminds me of what I’m trying to achieve in my kitchen.  But then the stunning light fixture and the half painted black walls makes it more modern than rustic. Overall, this dining room really has my heart.

Once I found the dining room, I was compelled to click through and discover the rest of this gorgeous home. I found that the mixture of modern and rustic is balanced throughout this inspiring Danish home. 

5 GREAT RUG SOURCES

Firstly, I know I left you all hanging yesterday, and I’m sorry about that! I am a little under the weather this week and the doctor prescribed lots of rest.  I’ve been hanging out in my bed with my furry assistant, Perry, who is more than happy to comply with the prescribed care.  Although a few of the DIYs I had scheduled may be pushed out, I’m more than capable to search the internet and find beautiful things… so it might be that kind of week.  But enough of that downer.  Onto rugs…

When I started researching rugs for my kitchen remodel, I started at all my typical spots, Urban, Ikea, West Elm, etc. I soon realized, however, that I needed to expand my rug reach if I was going to find a rug that not only met my exact requirements, but that also wasn’t splashed across every blog, magazine, pin out there. I wanted something with a flat weave and a unique look, but in a more traditional neutral/warm color in a turkish or persian style pattern.  Nothing too crazy geometric or trendy and nothing too colorful.  BUT I do want some color, not just black and white.

As I expanded my search, I found five great sources that had what I felt was a really expansive selection where I could just keep hitting ‘next page’ to search for my perfect kitchen rug. 

Hey there!  I'm glad you're here! Today, I am waffling over paint colors for my kitchen redesign and looking for the best creamy gray paint.

farmhouse kitchen ceiling fan

I’m going forward full force on this farmhouse kitchen redesign, and today I have the first little update for you all – the lighting! Not only did we update the main light and ceiling fan, but we also updated the light that is in the adjacent ‘sink room’.  Our sink room is a separate little room off the main kitchen.  Since our home was built in the late 1800’s, it wasn’t build with indoor plumbing and the room with the sink was added later down the road (you can get a better view of it in the photo below!).  Regardless, we have both lights replaced in today’s kitchen update! 

kitchen - my domaine

(photo source: My Domaine)

In the several weeks since I shared this kitchen photo on ‘The List‘ it has not left my mind.  There is something about the kitchen that resonated so much with me, but I couldn’t put my finger on at the time. Now, after having some time to get more acquainted, I know exactly what it is about this design that draws me in.

It’s that the basics of this kitchen are identical to my own kitchen, but the details are what make it so strikingly new.

Dream kitchen has black cabinets.
I have black cabinets.

Dream kitchen has walnut floors.
I have walnut floors.

Dream kitchen has subway tile backsplash.
I have subway tile backsplash.

You get the picture.

What I started taking note of, were the few things it would take to transform my space into this dream space.  Drawer pulls, butcher block countertops, and a vibrant rug would really do it.  Of course, there are a few other extras that would make it even more exciting…

shed with copy copy

This weekend, we started staking out plans for our next big project.  After we renovated and rented out the property next door, we lost the garage that we used as storage for Matt’s landscaping company.  I speak a lot about building a barn, which we need to act as an office for both of our companies, and a warehouse for my shop.  BUT with winter coming closer than we’d like to believe, a full scale barn wasn’t really in the cards for this year.  My inventory is at a warehouse space on the south side of the city, so it’s fine for now, but we still needed a place to house Matt’s landscaping equipment before winter rolled around.

Usually the things Matt wants to build are way more ‘out there’ than what I’d really like to put on my property and look at day in and day out.  But this was different.

southern france

I bet you have a guilty pleasure? Right?  I think it’s pretty normal.  For some of us it’s gossip magazines or bad reality TV.  For some of us, it’s cruising social media and for others its playing that one song on repeat in the car over and over again.

For me, it’s scouring international real estate listings. I search in all of the areas that are a romantic notion to me – Florence, Rome, Paris, Provence, and every now and then, Amsterdam. I dig into the sites, compare square meters, prices, if this one has a terrace or how close that one is to the city center. I speak about them and think about them like I’m really in the market.

diy industrial toilet paper holder

Ok, so I know toilet paper isn’t a glamourous topic.  And I suppose neither are the ceiling fans we discussed yesterday, but sometimes home design and ownership is about a little more than the pretty things and sometimes about the functional things as well.

For today, I wanted to share the industrial DIY toilet paper holder that I just made to complement my new bathroom redesign which I shared last week.  In the original photos I didn’t have a TP holder at all, because I was looking for something very specific. And that looking turned into a few weeks of web-scouring and coming up empty handed.  So I just kind of neglected the situation.  Well, I realized that ignorance wasn’t bliss and that just because I didn’t find that very specific thing, didn’t mean I couldn’t still have what I wanted.  I’d just have to make it. I was looking very specifically for a black holder with just an arm… no springs, no hinges, no reasons for someone not to refill them (I think you know where I’m going here).

As a side note, I’m not a huuuge fan of the ‘rustic industrial’ design (pipes and pallets and whatnot), but I also think that a little touch here and there can be nice when mixed with some more classic elements.  After scouring shops local and online for a black holder I found a few but they were all in the $50-$120 range.  I though that was a little ridiculous, so in came the DIY.  What is even better about this DIYs $12 price tag is the five minutes it took me to complete. 

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(photo + fan: Modern Fan)

Ceiling fans are the worst.  I have always hated them and up until this week, thought I always would.  When we moved into this house in 2007, I scoured the web for something that wasn’t hideous and ended up realizing that good-looking ceiling fans just didn’t exist.  There were companies trying to make better looking ones, but their better looking versions always ended up looking like spaceships.. so modern that they kind of missed the mark.

When this summer rolled around and we realized that we needed to replace our kitchen ceiling fan, I really really did some hardcore searching this time for the most non-ugly ceiling fans out there. I wasn’t going to settle for something that didn’t bring some sense of style into my house.  I realized pretty quickly, that there were a lot of good looking fans out there, but it was the lights that really either elevated the style or tanked it.  Some fans looked super modern until the light kit was added and then it all went downhill.

I found some fans that actually added something to the room rather than just sucking all of the beauty right out.  After I narrowed it down to seven of my favorites I let Matt weigh in.  Which one do you think we chose?