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building cabinets up

We’re bring this kitchen redesign into the new year!  Although I wanted to be done with the entire thing by Christmas, we had a few set backs, which will naturally happen when you have a deadline.

If you recall, we’re building UP on top of the old cabinets to add more space since our kitchen storage is pretty measly.

top ten layout short

The numbers don’t lie, you guys!  There were some very very clear winners for the top posts you loved this year.  I took both stats and comments into account when tabulating this list of the top ten blog posts, projects, and tutorials that you devoured this year.  Since I know that not all of you have been around the entire year (welcome!!) I wanted to dig back through 2015 to showcase what you guys resonated most with this year. Ready? 

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For whatever reason, my entryway is the place in my house where I always feel the most holiday spirit.  You’d think it would be the tree, but no, in fact it’s walking down the wood steps with the garland lit up and the chandelier dimmed that really brings it all home for me.  It’s the same way every year too.

This year with my black and white Christmas theme, I wanted that special festive feeling I get from my entryway to be no different. Since my walls are blue, I really had to keep the rest of the ‘colors’ to an absolutely minimum so that the black and whiteness of my decorations could really stand out.  Since I obviously had to add in green, any other color (even just a drop of red) would have thrown this whole thing for a loop and made it feel like a circus.  Well… a circus to a colorphobe like me, anyway.  So I worked hard to keep it really tight. 

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I am SO excited today to share the most recent kitchen update.  We had some open shelving on the plan and completed it this weekend.  I was really eager to see the gorgeous brass brackets from Rejuvenation up on the wall, and they’re just as beautiful as I imagined.

Although it seems like a pretty straight forward project, you probably know that in an old house, nothing ever is… straight or straightforward, that is. 

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.