Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Touches Inside and Out

 I decorated the top of my piano with a bucket of hydrangeas and few silk florals.

I don't do a lot of interior decorating for fall~just a few touches.
 Lets go outside and see what is new in the yard~
summer is waning and the garden is testament to that.
 Purple asters are in bloom under the cherry tree 
now with just a sprinkling of roses left.
 The old iron bed is still covered with morning glories.
 This is also where my roses and tomatoes grow, side by side.
 The tomatoe plants have been pulled out, save one.
An iron bird bath is new to the garden from summer antiquing runs in New Hampshire.
 If your birdbath is too deep I was told to
 put a rock in it so the birds 
will have a stepping stone~they don't like a deep bath.
 A vintage wire plant stand holds tiny mums
 and assorted clay pots by the front door.
 I plan to add some small pumpkins to the stand soon.
A few more pumpkins will fill the old iron planters too~
Yes, fall is on the way to Boston.
linking to

Vintage Inspiration Friday
Farmhouse Friday

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

180 FX Marble Counter Top

 For a long time now I have been wishing 
I had marble counter tops in my kitchen.  
Every time I see a kitchen with white cabinets like this one, I want marble!  
 Our home is a pre-fab that came with the kitchen cabinets
 and the laminate countertops in place. 
I decided to paint the cabinets white~and am ever so glad I did...
I used Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Old White.
I painted the lower cabinets with a grey wash using Paris Grey Chalk Paint®.
But the speckled laminate counter tops remained...
with many of my kitchen posts writing about my wish for marble instead.
Since this is not our "forever" house, 
and with plans to leave in the future,
I had a hard time spending $$$ on a counter top 
in a kitchen that had a less than fabulous layout.
Delaying my gratification for 8 years seemed impossible~
so images of beautiful white cabinets and marble tops filled my wish files.
 I liked the idea of marble with a bead board back splash.
You won't see this combination as much as you will with subway tile
 or even an all marble back splash.
However I found a few images that had that combination.
But saving pictures of what I wanted just made me work to come up with a solution~
We are going to replace the counter tops 
with this newer product called 180FX by Formica. 
 This sample shown is the Calacutta Marble.  
What is really interesting about this new Formica 
is that the image is reproduced in 8 foot lengths, 
so you don't have the small 8"-12" repeats 
of the old simulated stone patterns.
It will be seamless and has a hefty 1.5" thickness
 vs  the standard .75" thickness.
Everything I have read about 180FX indicates
 it is a crowd pleaser and  pocket book friendly.
We shall soon find out!
Mr. MD and I will install it ourselves after it is delivered in 21 days!  
We have a bit of prep work to do,
 as our pre-fab kitchen came with the counters installed
 and the plaster work was done around them. 
 That means cutting it away from the wall,
 removing the existing counter tops, and repairing the wall.
The other thing we are going to do is slightly change the layout.  
 I suggested to Mr. MD that the fridge should 
be moved to the right, and the cabinets on the end removed 
and added to the end of the run that is currently to the left of the fridge. 
 Mr. MD ordered this house, and since his lot was less wide
 than the full house plan allowed, 
he let them take it out of the kitchen,
 which made for a dysfunctional corner to the left of the fridge.
By this small change, 
we should gain a better work space. 
 That also means the crown molding has
 to be removed and reconfigured.
  So a bit of work ahead to be ready for our counter tops. 
I will finish repainting my lower cabs white too,  
the grey would look nice with the fxmarble,
 but it is just too dark of a space.
 The natural light is all but non-existent. 
This kitchen layout in that corner is very similar
 to what I will have after I move the fridge over 9".
This is my hearts desire for my small kitchen~
this perfect image showing a bead board and marble combo
 with white cabinets is my inspiration photo.  
So keep your fingers crossed with me and 
lets hope the new Formica does not disappoint.
 And for all of you who have a marble fetish and a small budget~
stay tuned, this could be a solution for you too!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

My favorite summer home improvement projects

I was feeling like I didn't get that much done this summer, 
because I never got my rose trellis done...
but when looking through my picture files, 
I surprised myself with the projects I did complete. 
My side porch came together when I grabbed
 these two rockers out of the neighbors trash
 (I'm never too proud) and painted them black.
 I paired them up with a black umbrella 
and hot pink toile pillows and filled my urn 
with pink geraniums~what a lift this space is now.
My favorite project was lining the bookcase shelves in this powder blue chintz.
I think I will be stapling it to the back and adding a trim to finish off the edges~
this is a look I am completely in love with!
I never shared this small makeover on an old victorian bench I found during the summer.
Here it sat in the back of an antique shop in New Hampshire.
 It was dark wood and totally UGH~
but I knew it would look great at my bathroom vanity table
after a white paint job and a matalesse cover.
Worked out nicely~
 Making new cornices out of old metal valances I found was pretty satisfying too. 
They certainly are different than anything else I have ever had for treatments.
I have been plugging away in our little family room making small changes as they come to me.
Originally I had planned on wallpapering this room entirely in the wood plank paper, and I still might do that. I like how the tennis raquets and other things look when they are "nailed" into the wood.  This room is kind of evolving as a summer camp theme~its cheerful and vintage sporty.
The Company C rug started the whole makeover 
and the coffee table was next getting a green paint job. 
This upstairs hallway got a striped and stenciled paint job this summer~
I was dying to use some pale purple in the house.
There were a few chandys I made over too~including this Belgian inspired number. As soon as it was madeover it sold in my Etsy shop.
I did this one too, giving it a white paint job and more crystals. 
Working on chandeliers is very fun,
and I can imagine being a chandelier designer if I had more time on my hands.
The third chandy I redid is hanging up over my front door now. 
I got my climbing rosebush in the ground, 
but have not finished the climbing structure yet. 
That is a fall project now I guess.
 I won't be too hard on myself because
 I really did get a lot of things done this summer!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

A big girl sleepover

I am going to my first virtual sleepover~
this is getting kind of crazy in blogland, but stick with me.
 It is kind of a neat idea~a bunch of bloggers are going to
 virtually sleepover at a pal's house and watch movies 
and have some refreshments and talk about girl stuff~to include
 our favorite all time movies, based on the set designs!  
I have picked out my jammies~
they are by Nick n' Nora and I got them
 at Target a couple of years ago. 
 I bought them for Christmas one year, 
but since they are all pastel colors, they don't scream Christmas!
So I get to wear them as soon as it starts getting cold around here. 
They are soft flannel in my favorite colors and they
 have little dogs and pink houses on them~
so for me that is a winning combination.
Cute, right?
 I reached up on top of the fridge and 
pulled down a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to bring along.
That is one thing that you do get to have on  big girl sleep overs~ big girl drinks!
I'll bring along some baked brie and crackers~
enough to share with my gal pals. Yummy.
The movie I want to share with the best set design, 
in my opinion, was Out of Africa.
I loved everything about this movie, 
and fantasized about being living in such a dream house.
Karen Blixen's House in Out of Africa
The living room~its very English cottage! 
 This is amazing~Karen set up house in the middle of Africa, 
and yet it is English Cottage inside.
The set designers did a great job with this movie~look at all of the details.
Don't you love those french doors with the curved cut outs at the top?
 So romantic! Karen made all the helpers wear white gloves
 so as not to ruin her precious things.
She sets a fancy dinner table every time she entertains. 
Look at the silver and the centerpiece. 
Karen is drinking white wine too I see.
 Her bedroom set design is fabulous and timeless~
(I could find a room like this on a blog somewhere on any given day.)
She's just like me! I love to read in bed before I go to sleep.
A lovely window seat in her room done in a romantic french brocade stripe. 
The lace panels are lovely too. The dog is just as beautiful.
 She would have tea with her linen cloth and silver service out on the veranda. 
That is the life!
 Look at the set design, the wonderful wicker chairs, 
the topiaries and bamboo slatted roller shades~
it all seems vintage and current at the same time.
 This was a very sad scene for me to watch~
her yard sale when she had to leave Africa. 
I actually cried at this part. 
So sad to see her dream die, 
and to have the furniture littering the lawn with price tags
was just very moving. I cried a lot during this movie.
 But it is still my favorite movie of all time.
Have you ever seen it? It won picture of the year you know. 
I think most might say it is a girl movie, 
so I am glad I can share it with my GFs tonight.
I got all the images from Julia's Hooked on Houses post
 that she wrote about this movie.
Click Julia's name above to go read more about this fabulous movie.
The Slumber Party is at Donna's of A Reclaimed Life. 
You are invited too! 
So come on over and see who else is showing up
 in their jammies with their favorite movie!

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