December 27, 2014

kitchen inspiration

our new kitchen is definitely a vast improvement from our old one.  it's shaped like a U, which is much more conducive to cooking (everything is just an arm reach away).  the layout is one thing that i really like about it.  but the biggest problem with what we have right now is that it is so dark.  the cupboards are dark brown, the counter tops are flecked with browns (i call it the coffee counter top), the lighting in the space is poor, and its located at the back of the unit far from a window.

so...the challenge with this space is to brighten it up. work with what we have (the place is only a year old, so ripping out the counters for new ones seems like such a waste!) to make it what we want.

this image is what really inspired me to look at the kitchen as a challenge that can be solved. the counter tops are almost the same colour as ours and the black splash is quite close as well.  i think lighter cupboards will go a long way to brighten up the space.

(image from apartment therapy)

i am also trying really hard to look beyond all of the beautiful white kitchen pictures i see on pinterest.  they are so darn beautiful!  pinterest has been really amazing to help me visualize the space and come up with other, more realistic, ideas to incorporate into the space - there are a lot of other images that are just as beautiful.  with lighter accessories and counter tops, dark cabinets can look brighter (it may be worth looking at new counter options, although i do feel slightly guilty about this because ours are so new).  i also really like the look of the two tone cabinets - maybe dark on the bottom and light on top?

(images from house beautifulmodern jane, & domaine )

now let's talk storage.  while we do have a decent amount of cupboard space, we sure do have a heck of a lot of stuff!  while purging & condensing has been an ongoing battle, some of these ideas seem smart & practical.  i love the idea of displaying the cookbooks like art in the kitchen - super cute and makes them easy to access. hanging the pots from the ceiling is another idea i have been toying with. i really like the look of this, and it makes grabbing them really easy, but i worry that it will just make the space look cluttered.  i found the post that goes along with the third image really helpful - and actually adopted the same idea.  basically, she talks about how she decided against multiple sets of dishes for one set that is nice enough to be used for fancy occasions, but casual enough for everyday use.

cheap kitchen decorating idea  Simplify + Organize Your Daily Servingware //

while the kitchen doesn't allow for as much change as the other rooms, i think we can still do a lot to brighten the space.  since everything was picked out for us, i feel that right now the space doesn't really feel like "us".  but what fun is getting exactly what you want - it just means we will have to work harder & be more creative to make this kitchen exactly what we want.  challenge accepted!

December 09, 2014

dining room inspiration

i have three goals for this room: i want it to have a beautiful light fixture, to highlight/enhance some of the older pieces we have, and to be functional (because we live in such a small space, this room also has to pull double duty).

goal 1 [light]
ever since i can remember, i have wanted a chandelier in my home.  i love them, and would joke that my dream house would have one in every room!  now that i have a dining room, i finally have the opportunity to put one in. it it doesn't have to be large, but it needs to have character.  if i could find the right one, i think a fancy classic chandelier would be perfect for the space.

but, the room is such a blank slate right now that something modern could also work.  i really like the way the bare bulbs look hanging from the ceiling. different bulbs and lengths allow for a simple way to add character to the room.


via: pinterest
(images from coconfouatotwigs + sand)

goal 2 [decor]
the one piece of furniture in our home that holds the most sentimental value to me is the dining room table.  it was my grandfathers, and the seat cushions were hand made by my grandmother.  we always celebrated christmas eve as a family at my grandparents, with my parents & cousins piling around the table to enjoy a wonderful holiday meal.  it means so much and brings back so many happy memories.  for that reason, i want it to stand out in this room.

the chair cushions are too valuable & old to keep on the chairs. i think refinishing the chairs would help preserve their lifespan.  adding fun patterned fabric on the seat cushions would be a way to brighten up the room and add a touch of modern to such a old table.

these days i am also really loving the contrast of metal chairs against the rustic wooden table.  while it would not work with the chairs we currently have, they could always be re-purposed to another area of the house (we only have 4 chairs anyways).  the faux white fur adds a nice, comfortable touch, and the mesh pattern provides a minimal look next to the beautiful table.

(images from country living, refinery 29)

goal 3 [function - storage & pantry]
since the dining room table is the most important part of the room, something small that can be tucked into the corner would be ideal. i fell in love with the idea of using simple bookcase as a pantry (decorated on top with a beautiful tray & vintage bar bottles perhaps).  it would be a perfect place to store home canned preserves and some of the more beautiful serving dishes we have.

bookshelf pantry
(image from sweet tidings)

[function - laundry room]
the laundry closet is tucked in this room (it was originally labelled a den), and the door requires quite a bit of room to open.  the dining room table is already a tight squeeze, and this restriction isn't helping.  ever since we saw the place, we both instantly saw the potential for a sliding door in this spot (it was actually sort of weird, it was the first thing out of our mouths).  the first image is what started this whole idea - if only the laundry closet were slightly larger! and, if finding an old door proves difficult, there is a wonderful tutorial on how to make one.

55cade2461f547e2db50d18db1a030e4  Perfect for small spaces! sliding door DIY (click through for tutorial)
(images from liz marie blog & a beautiful mess)

this room needs a lot of work. it's a blank canvas just waiting to be painted.  i am not as sure about this room as i am with the bedroom or bathroom either, and know my ideas and tastes will change as we get started.  i cannot wait to share the process and the finished outcome!