So, we’re re-doing our kitchen on a very small budget. I love our kitchen because it’s so nice and bright and when we built the house in 2005 we picked out all the finishes and the appliances and the paint color. However after 7 years of cooking many, many meals for our kids and their friends and our other family members our kitchen really needs some help!
Here’s a few pictures of what the kitchen looks like now (note that I forgot to take a true before picture – clearly work had already begun!). Not too exciting, I know (although the wall to the left and below the [what was once a] bar top was painted by us 2 years ago [Pismo Beach by Benjamin Moore] and we love, love the color!) The room looks so “builder basic” to me now and I promise it isn’t quite as “blah” in person, but it really doesn’t feel like “us” anymore.
Picture taken while standing in the kitchen.
Image by Kristen for Kristen Loves Design
Picture taken while standing in the living room; shows the “window” that used to have a bar top.
Image by Kristen for Kristen Loves Design
Originally the wall went all the way to the ceiling, but it made the kitchen feel very closed off from the rest of the house, which was ironic since it’s mostly an open floor plan! So we had that changed (I’ll discuss our decision to remove the bar top at a later point). On the left wall are sliding glass doors that open out onto our back patio.
What we want to change/add:
Under cabinet lighting
Cabinet in the far left corner/open shelves
Shade on window
Curtains/double rod on sliding glass doors
Picture frames and pictures
Whew! That’s a long list. And our budget? Let’s say about $5,000.00. I should say I initially thought we could do all this for $3,500.00, but that was before I really researched how much individual items cost (plus services)! So, Lesson #1 is – research potential options before you really set the budget otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up with a budget this is completely unrealistic before you even start!
Stay tuned for how we decided on our countertops!
So do you use your iPhone as an alarm clock? You do, right? I think so many people do now and that means there is kind of no clock in the bedroom – well no clock that you can roll over and stare at (oh, is that just me?!) So when you want to know what time it is, you have to fumble around for the flat phone and then blind yourself turning it on to see the time. Well Jonas Damon has brilliantly solved this problem. He’s created the inventive Alarm Dock for Areaware that is meant to look like those old, sort-of square alarm clocks with the fake-wood grain (my Dad used to have one!), but instead it holds your phone and even charges it too. It comes in many colors (I’m drawn to the hot pink, of course), but I think the white is the most sensible and would actually match our bedroom. Awesome!
Image courtesy of Areaware.
So I had made Leah Goren a favorite in Etsy a while ago because of an awesome hand-printed cat shirt I found that she had made with black cat faces (not that I was searching on that, obviously). Sadly I could never find the funds to justify a purchase, but now she has created a Made in Kind collection for Anthroplogie and, breaking news, it includes a cat print dress, eek! It is a beautiful print and the drape of the dress looks particularly flattering – I could definitely see wearing it with a cardigan and ballet flats on Saturday during the day and then also with bright heels and a chunky necklace for a date night. Awesome! (Thanks to Honey Kennedy for mentioning her new collection first!)
Images courtesy of Anthropologie.
So I really need a new mousepad (how do they get so disgusting?!) The one I am using currently from IKEA is a white circle that I think cost all of one dollar. It is currently wearing a few coffee stains and black cat hair (classy). This beautiful painted leather mousepad from Freshly Picked would be quite an upgrade and I think would match nicely with my new Apple mouse and the butcher-block office desk!
Image courtesy of Freshly Picked.
I’m always looking for beautiful, unique (and durable!) jewelry that won’t break my always-paltry bank, but that is made with love and care and by a person rather than some gigantic company. I don’t remember how I ever found Lisa Leonard’s site initially, but I’m really glad I did. We bought this amazing necklace for our daughter who adores cameras and she-who-almost-never-wears-jewelry hasn’t taken it off since! Not only is the jewelry amazing, you really have to check out her blog (that I read everyday) where she showcases her outfits, pictures from her daily life, and also pictures of her beautiful family – I love the way that she always remembers to document the good stuff! Anyway, she just released her Spring line and I am coveting these particular beauties. Awesome!
Images courtesy of Lisa Leonard Designs
(contains affiliate links)
So I don’t know about you, but I book mark things all over the place that I find from here and there that I think are awesome. Since I write here about some of these things (again, here and there), I thought, why not put everything in the same place?! So that’s what I did. Today you’ll find a new category called “Awesome”. Why Awesome? Well because I come across such great stuff that I think is just Awesome with a capital A. If you read my blog every day (you do, right?) then you’ll also see these finds here on the main page, but at least everything will be a little more organized! I should point out too that these finds (unless they are part of The Collection or another topic) will be pretty short posts – just something that I saw that was awesome and thought you might like it too! So, onward.
Okay first up, I know you’ll be positively shocked, is a cat-related item. Of course if you follow me on Instagram (@kristenlovesdesign, you should) you might notice I’m slightly obsessed with cats. But anyway, who can resist a tote bag with “meow” in several languages?! Not I. So behold, the Mini Meow tote with text written by artist Sonja Ahlers from Fieldguided. Nothing says love like meowing to your cat in another language. Awesome!
Image courtesy of Fieldguided.
So did you see this Google search image the other day? Normally I don’t always go to this page, but – oh my! I was fascinated by this image, and I wondered what other almost-daily Google images I have been missing all this time. Well it turns out, these Google images are actually called “doodles” and the concept was originally created in 1998. In 2000, they were created more regularly and you can read the story here. There is also an image library for every image they ever created! I looked back at some momentous dates in my life and sadly there wasn’t a cool doodle for that day, but maybe you’ll get lucky. Oh and I should mention that there is even an online store where you can buy different items with the doodle of your choice. I don’t know about you, but Paddington Bear’s 50th birthday is one of my favorite, for highly sentimental reasons. Now of course I will be making Google search the first thing I check every day (just to see the cool image and read the history behind it)!
Image courtesy of Google.
So back to what captivated my interest in this particular image – the 166th birthday of the creator of the Fabergé Eggs. The doodle is such a beautiful design and I think it really captures the essence of the eggs and their intricate, unique beauty. What do you think? Some of the “doodlers” post a little history and examples of other designs they tried, which I find completely fascinating because sometimes I think the back story is often more interesting than the final design! I don’t know a whole lot about the eggs, but I have a very distinct memory of being a little girl in New York City with my parents (maybe at Christmas?) and one of the famous window displays was inspired by the eggs and it was magical! You can read more about the creator of the eggs here (note his cool middle name!) and did you know that there are many books written about the Fabergé legacy (and even a PBS special, that sadly seems to be no longer available)? And even better, one of the eggs is in a museum less than 4 hours away – so I think a road trip is in order!