Archive for October, 2011
We’ve mentioned having a backsplash + open shelving + range hood idea a few times without much elaboration, so here’s the full monty explanation: we basically want to create a counter to ceiling accent wall of backsplash tile with open shelves and a range hood going on. This Sarah Richardson kitchen is especially appealing to us when it comes to the tile choice (we love white subway tile, but we’re thinking we might do something a little less white since our cabinets will be going white and we don’t want to completely whitewash the whole room).
Now I will read your mind in a move I like to call “David Blaine-ing” you. You are thinking the following things:
- What type of tile are you going to use?
- What type of range hood?
- What color will your shelves be?
- Will they be floating or have brackets?
- Won’t open shelves get dusty and full of grease?
Allow me to address those questions below:
- Not sure yet
- Not sure yet
- Not sure yet, but most likely white like the cabinets
- Not sure yet, but for the moment we’re leaning towards floating
- We’ve asked friends who have them and their short answer is no, but it’s just one of those to-each-his-own things. Allow me to elaborate:
We’re not going to have open shelving everywhere and zero cabinetry with doors. We’ll have plenty of base cabinets and some closed uppers to stash not-so-pretty stuff out of sight. As for the one eight foot wall that we’re excited to smack with a range hood, some open-shelving, and counter to ceiling tile, we did a little “research” before committing. We know two different couples who both have one wall of open shelves above their stove with a range hood… and they both love it. When we asked them if they got greasy or covered with steam they both looked at us weirdly and said “we have a range hood.” Apparently up-to-date range hoods have better suction than over-the-stove microwaves (which we should know since we had one in the last house but never actually stopped to think about it). So if you use them when you cook they should suck up the steam and grease and all that stuff without any issues of it somehow migrating up and to the left or right around the hood and mysteriously landing on the cabinets.
We also asked about dust. Again they had similarly no-biggie answers. One couple said they use their shelves to store items they use so frequently that they don’t have time to sit around getting dusty (ex: plates are used and washed and then stashed back up there and used again in rapid succession – so they don’t sit for weeks on end without getting touched thereby becoming furry). The other couple said they just like the look more than they hate dusting, so they don’t mind wiping things down with a duster every few weeks for the trade off of a light open look and easy-access to items that aren’t tucked away behind closed doors.
Then we headed over to Layla’s blog since she has open cabinets and read what she had to say about them. Here’s a big post all about it, but this quote at the end pretty much summed up her take: “Think you can’t have open cabinets because it’s too dusty where you live? It’s dusty in Alabama too! (cough, cough) We use the dishes in our open cabinets every day though, so they usually don’t have time to grow sweaters. If something does happen to collect a little dust, we just give it a quick rinse before we use it.”
And because we’re complete weirdos who don’t know when to stop, we also heard from readers who have open shelving in their kitchens and this is what they had to say:
- “We installed open shelving last September and I don’t regret it one bit. I only get up there and dust about once a month and I just crank up the music and make the most of it. In fact, we’re working on building a third row of shelves because I have so much pretty stuff to put out!” – Betsie
- “We have three cats and some open shelving. Hasn’t been a problem.” – Caroline
- “I have open shelving by default, but I’ve come to like it. It shows off how your dishes match your kitchen, and keeps you accountable to only having what you NEED.” – Carrie
- “I only have open shelving in the kitchen and love it. It doesn’t get as dusty/greasy as you might imagine. I love being able to display all the nice kitchen things I have. I have a separate space for the not so nice stuff. “- Debe
- “I have open shelving with regularly used items and closed cabinets with rarely used items and the rarely used items in the cabinets are the ones that get the most dusty and need a rinse before use. So it’s not like cabinets keep things that sit around from getting dusty!”
All of a sudden this post is sounding like an infomercial, huh? Before you know it I’ll be trying to show you just how much water my Super Shammy can hold (picture my head on that dude’s body trying to sell you an amazing liquid holding cloth).
But really the point of sharing our “research” on the subject of open shelving isn’t to convert anyone (we just babble about the choices that we make along the way, DIY-diary-style). So if it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. I’m sure there are folks out there who hate their open shelving, we just happened to hear from a ton of people who had nothing but great things to say. In the end, when it came down to figuring out what we wanted to do with our kitchen, we just had to… do what we wanted! Haha. So some open shelving and some closed upper cabinets fit the bill. But we hereby solemnly vow to keep it real with you guys. If after a month of use (or a day or a year) we start to hate the choice of open shelving (or anything else for that matter) of course we’ll tell you! And we’ll share whatever we decide to do to change things. Oh and when we make any final decisions about the backsplash tile and the range hood we’ll definitely spill those beans.
Pssssst- This morning I’m over on BabyCenter keeping you posted (as promised) when it comes to how our house is changing thanks to Clara. Let’s just say we’re adding storage galore for all those toys and blocks and books and balls…
***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!***
Random.org had a tough job of sifting through nearly 7,000 jewelry hungry ladies (and gentlemen!) but has selected two random winners as… Lisa S. (who, like many, always wears her wedding ring but never gets sick of it because her husband did a great job) and SJ (who also wears her wedding and engagement rings out everyday). Congrats!
Sherry here. I don’t usually write the giveaway posts, but we’re making an exception since I was the one who twisted John’s arm into this week’s giveaway. Instead of our usual DIY & decor-related prizes, this week we’re giving away some body decor that was DIYed (well, created) by two talented jewelry designers. Yup, we have two hundred dollars worth of sparkly, sparkly jewelry for ya (or for your mom/wife/sis/girlfriend/grandma if you’re a dude).
The bling comes from two designers that I couldn’t love more (nope, I didn’t get any swag to say that – I truly love their stuff). The first is Erin McDermott, a Charlotte-based designer who studied at both my and John’s alma maters (FIT in NYC and UVA here in Virginia) and has been featured in Real Simple. Here are some of my favorites things of hers:
And then there’s Towne & Reese, whose studio we crashed earlier this year. Not only do I love their stuff, but I love that they name their pieces after their friends’ children (Towne and Reese are the founders’ daughters’ names). And get this, Clara will actually have a piece named after her in their Spring collection. Do you know how excited that makes this geeky momma? Probably too excited. You bet I’m staking out their Facebook page for a sneak peek. Anyway here are some of my favorite things from their current collection:
- PRIZE: An $100 gift card to Erin McDermott Jewelry AND an $100 gift card to Towne & Reese
- TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “OOOH SHINY!” and tell us…
- BONUS QUESTION: …if there’s any item that you wear every single day. If so, is it a wedding ring? A watch? A meaningful piece of jewelry from a relative? An inherited pocket watch from grandpa? An i-Pod? The same pair of lucky underwear? Hope not.
- GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Wednesday, October 19 at 8pm EST (or at 10,000 entries)
- NUMBER OF WINNERS: Two (each winner gets both gift cards)
- PRIZE SHIPS: Anywhere in the whole wide world! (yesss, we love when they’re international)
- USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced on Thursday as an update to this post. That’s right, come right back here on Thursday for the announcement of our winner. Good luck…
Note: We weren’t paid or perked for hosting this giveaway, we just do ‘em to thank you awesome folks for stopping in. See our Giveaway FAQ page for more info. Pics courtesy of Erin McDermott Jewelry and Towne & Reese.
We finally got around to painting the area under the chair rail in the office a shade darker than the stenciled wall above it so it feels more balanced (as mentioned here). It was a little top heavy with the stencil going on above the chair rail and nada happening underneath, so I slid one square down on the Benjamin Moore paint swatch with the wall color on it (which is Moonshine by the way) and landed on Gray Horse (which we also had color matched to Olympic No-VOC paint in satin). Total spent: $10 for the quart of paint. Das it.
Doesn’t it look more grounded now? Hence the title.
You might notice that we returned the matching metallic-y gold gourd lamps that we used to have in favor of these two that were also from HomeGoods (one’s a tripod desk lamp in ORB with a white shade and the other is a glass based lamp in ORB with a white shade). They don’t match but they definitely go, and it’s nice to break up all the symmetry just a little (mirror image desk + centered window + two matching chairs =über balanced, so we thought it could take a little imperfection).
The not-matching lamps might bother you without any art on those walls (yes, mom I’m talking to you) but I promise once we hang art there won’t be quite as much focus on the lamps and they’ll fall into the room and be just another layered element that will make more sense as the whole picture comes together. Or you’ll still hate them but will still love me as a daughter (also for mom).
Oh and we brought in the dark leather chair from the bedroom since the dark wood top of the desk looks pretty nice with that guy nearby (it just held mounds of clothes in the bedroom but actually gets used in here). And a bright green lumbar pillow that we already had (you know pillows are like nomads around here) tied in the new green desk chairs that we painted a few weeks back.
For some reason I’m especially enamored with the file cabinet thanks to the colorful accessories. Gray walls + white desk & cabinet + brown chair & desktop = a craving for color (hence the addition of the green chairs and a few other punchy accents).
I tossed these books down with some stacked bowls and a ceramic pear and said out loud (yes I talk out loud to myself all day) “oh man, someone should base a room on these colors.”
Then I realized that:
- the yellow tones in the bowl and bottom book are in the chairs’ upholstery and the wall stencil
- the green bowl mimics the color of the desk chairs
- the dark gray book on top is just a shade or two darker than the darker gray that we just added under the chair rail
- the turquoise in the globe and middle book are also in our desk chairs’ upholstery fabric
- the glossy white from the ceramic pear relates to the white trim, desk, and file cabinet
Duh, we sort of did base a room around these colors. Purely by accident. Gotta love when you back into things like that (trial + error = not a bad way to go). So I highly recommend white + green + yellow + gray + turquoise. Oh yeah and some chocolate brown too (maybe someday I’ll ORB the globe base to represent that color, you know when I’m just sitting around twiddling my thumbs).
Much like every other room in our house the office is nowhere close to “done” (as in, it’ll probably take us a few more years of tweaking like our first house)…
… but it’s definitely feeling more finished than it did a few months back when it looked like this:
So far we’ve:
- built the wall-to-wall desk (more on that here, here, here, here, here, and here)
- brought in an Ikea file cabinet (more on that here and here)
- added a toy basket for Clara (function = the most important thing)
- painted the walls soft gray (BM’s Moonshine – more on that here)
- painted the chandelier indigo & added a huge drum shade (more on that here)
- stenciled the walls (more on that here and here)
- painted and reupholstered the desk chairs (more on that here and here)
- painted the bottom half of the room darker gray (BM’s Gray Horse)
- brought in a chair for the corner (Clara demands storytime in nearly every room)
- hang art
- add some window treatments
- figure out a rug (the existing one is too wide and not long enough)
- add a floor lamp to the chair corner (for some height) along with a proper side table
- tweak a ton of stuff (we’ve learned it’s par for the course for us… stuff evolves as we go!)
What have you guys been up to? Any other fellow WP’s (weekend painters) out there? It was a nice weekend for outdoor stuff too. Anyone seeding or weeding or transplanting? We definitely have the outside itch to tackle some of that stuff before it gets too cold…