Three things for your Monday morning. One…90s music is SOOOOOO much better than today’s new hits. I mean c’mon…90s Britney vs today’s Britney? Or Katy Perry vs the Spice Girls? No contest. Two…winter needs to be over with a capital “O”. But alas…we’re still stuck in single digits and below. And three…magnetic wall paint is AWFUL! These three things are obviously my opinions, so feel free to disagree. Actually, I welcome disagreement. Anyone up for arguing Pearl Jam vs Imagine Dragons? I’m game. But that last point…about magnetic wall paint…let’s discuss my recent experiences…when we put in a combo magnet/chalkboard wall in our kitchen:
In case you’re just joining us (welcome), we recently built in our refrigerator and installed a pull out baking pantry, leaving this side of the refrigerator built-in wall blank. Perfect spot for a combo magnetic wall/chalkboard wall. I dreamed of the combo since I’m THAT person who refuses to hang anything on her beautiful as is stainless steel refrigerator. I did hang Christmas cards there this winter but was sweating bullets the entire time dreading the thought of the refrigerator getting scratched with those heavy duty magnets. So when I came across the Rustoleum magnetic wall paint I was sold! Magnet wall here I come (or so I thought…foreshadowing say what?!).
In retrospect, I probably should have read some reviews or did a little research about magnetic paint but I was jumping in full force. Hindsight is 20/20 right?! So what was so awful with the paint?! One…it didn’t work as I wanted it to. After four coats of just magnetic paint a heavy duty magnet barely staid on the wall. No way would it ever hold something to the wall. Two…oh the stink-age!!! I kid you not I thought I was going to die while painting that wall. In fact, my running commentary during the project went something like this, “Colby…I’m dying! The smell…it’s so bad…I feel faint! THUNK! I’m dead now! Babe…come here and Snow White me and bring me back to life.” And three…it’s not the easiest paint to work with. Enter photo exhibit A:
See that chunk? That’s a magnetic parts chunk. I couldn’t stir the stuff in the can since it was not only full to the brim but literally a solid chunk of metal at the bottom of the can. So I dumped it in a paint tray and stirred…FORRRREEEVVVVVVER! It took alot of stirring to even out the consistency and get the paint to a point where I could whip out my mini foam roller and start rolling it on the wall. Needless to say, in the end I not only scrapped the magnet wall project but also my paint tray and mini roller (foam part, handle and all) since the stuff also stuck to everything and didn’t
play clean up nicely.
Moving onward to my trusty ol’ chalkboard paint (who saved the day by the way):
I love that stuff. I’ve used it on a couple of mini chalkboard projects in the past and still had half of a can left so I could take our refrigerator built-in side from drab:
To slightly more fab after painting and adding a bit of trim around the edge for a more finished look. Ignore the beam progress. We’ve got about 8,000 kitchen projects going on simultaneously.
And boom….finished, trimmed out chalkboard wall in the kitchen. I didn’t get any good “in progress” shots of the process since I was too busy cursing the day that magnetic wall paint was invented. But all I did was use a mini foam roller to roll on two thin and even coats of chalkboard paint right over the also black magnetic wall paint.
Here’s the wall from another angle….along with a finished beam…but more on that another day.
The last step in the chalkboard wall project was seasoning the wall. I have to admit, I’ve never done this before with other chalkboard projects but I’ve heard through the
grapevine blogosphere that it’s helpful. All it takes to season your board is smearing chalk all over the board.
I may have gone a little overboard…note the dust buster on the floor.
And wipe the whole thing down.
And from there, feel free to chalk away! I just slapped up a quick “Welcome to our beautiful mess” free hand message. It seemed appropriate at the time since most weekends we spend it destroying our house via projects and then spend the rest of the week putting it all back together again. It’s like we live in a Humpty Dumpty house. But I envision switching up the message seasonally or whenever I feel like it. Maybe even make it fancier.
Oh…and this was Colby’s contribution to the chalkboard wall art:
Goose’s food and water dishes sit right in front of the wall so it seemed appropriate to add what’s on Goose’s menu…a consistent helping of “foods”. I don’t know what I’m more concerned about….that we have horrible grammar when talking to our dog (ie…”Goose, we got you new foods” or “Goose, you want some lunch-es-essss” or my personal favorite “Goose, let’s go do some business-essss”) or that we talk to our dog on a regular basis and sometimes think he understands us.
Pssst…I’m curious, has anyone else ever played around with magnetic wall paint? Did you have a better experience than I did? Did I just do something wrong?!
Now that we’ve established that not only will Kris Kross make you “jump jump”, but also “flop flop”, I think we can get along with today’s oh-so-riveting (note the sarcasm) blog post about table flopping. But before we start, show of hands, how many of you now have that dang Kris Kross song stuck in your hand?! Muah ha ha ha ha! My evil work is done.
Some of you may have noticed in some of the recent blog posts about our kitchen that our dining room and kitchen tables have performed a little flopping around. Like a fish out of water kind of flopping around. Case in point…the previous dining room table and the new-to-the-dining-room table that was living in our kitchen:
And here’s the kitchen table when it was in fact in our kitchen (also about 8 million kitchen projects ago):
And now with the previously in-the-dining-room-table that’s now in the kitchen:
I think it was New Year’s Eve, Colby and I were hanging out in the kitchen getting ready to blow this taco stand…I mean…house….and head out for our annual New Year’s Eve date night. (Random side note…Colby and I officially started dating on New Year’s Day five years ago after meeting the good ol’ fashioned American way…at a bar. We go back to this bar, the Sea Dog in Bangor, every year on New Year’s Eve and even request the table that we met at. It’s our little thing.) Somehow the topic of the kitchen/dining room tables come up and we start messing with the idea of switching them around. All of a sudden I’m silent, which NEVER happens, and Colby looks at me says “you want to move them now, don’t you?!” Oh dear husband you know me too well! So we flopped them. And I have to say, I’m particularly loving the new dining room setup.
So why did we flop the tables around?! Trajectories dear Watson! Trajectories! Actually, it’s mostly about choosing the path of least resistance. When the brown table was in the dining room, it was much rounder so we had to walk more around the table to go down the hall from the kitchen. Now it’s a much straighter path. Even straighter for Goose who just tromps right down the middle of the table…underneath it of course.
Same situation in the kitchen. When the white table was in the kitchen it was more rectangular and didn’t quite fit the little breakfast nook. But when we moved in the rounder, brown table it fit like a glove and I…I mean…the laundry fairy could get to the laundry room MUCH easier!
It was one of those “duh” moments that I wish we had thought of sooner. We’ve lived with them like this for a couple of months and have no table flopping remorse. Although, now that they’re flopped I’m super jonesing to paint either the brown chairs or the brown table or both to break up the overt brown-ness of the kitchen. But the new dining room table…me-ow!! I’m totally digging it. Especially from this angle in the kitchen, where you get a snippet of that exposed wood wall along with the white, curvaceous table:
Feel free to ignore those mis-matched ladder back chairs. I had spray painted one as a desk chair back in the day but not its match. Then later decided to use them both…together…as dining chairs. Then I totally missed out on spray painting the second chair during the three week window of spray painting season here in Maine (which is wedged between mud season and black fly season). So I have a brown chair. So sue me. But I’m thinking of painting both chairs a bright new color. Yellow perhaps?! Green?! The color wheel is my oyster!
Pssst…For the record, I’ll be spending the rest of the day reminiscing while listening to 90s hip hop on Pandora while breaking out my acid washed jeans and responding to Goose’s complaints with “as if”. Happy Monday all!
I’m so mad at Young House Love right now for stealing pretty much the only worthwhile pantry pun out there (you know…pants party/pantry party…Anchorman). Actually not really, it’s pretty much impossible to get mad at those two Young-Sters! But they totally trumped me! Curses! Next time YHL, next time.
So yesterday we revealed our pantry finishing touches and also gave you a bit of sneak peak on how we organized it. But today we’re going to get down to the nitty gritty of how we organized it! Yee-haw! It was such a fun time organizing the pantry. Just picture me perched on a kitchen chair maniacally drumming my fingers against each other and muttering “some of you will get organized and some of you must go” while peering over my overabundant collection of baking supplies spewed all over the kitchen counter. Such fun, such fun!
The whole pantry ended up turning into a baking pantry of sorts. We keep most of our food in the two cupboards between the sink and the oven and it all fits quite nicely. What we did need help organizing was baking tools/supplies. They were thrown everywhere…more specifically thrown haphazardly everywhere…and I longed for a super sleek, organized storage solution for often used items like flour, sugar, and my Kitchen Aid mixer. I don’t bake nearly as often as I used to which I attributed to having to take everything but the kitchen sink out of the old baking cabinet just to find the brown sugar. It wasn’t ideal. But now?! So much easier to access all my supplies!
Just so you get an idea of what I’m talking about, here is our overstuffed kitchen buffet (it’s an old hardware store cabinet we picked up at a yard sale for $50 two summers ago) which we store dishes, electrics, pots and pans, linens, miscellaneous baking supplies, and Goose food on.
And here is the baking storage cabinet in all its unorganized glory. I’ll pause while you pin it.
Got it? Good! Like any good organizing project, I started by pulling EVERYTHING out of the cabinet. I’m talking everything, everything out of the cabinet. I found things deep in that cabinet that I hadn’t seen since I stuffed them in there when we first moved in four years ago. It was ugly.
I purged, I donated, I threw out the six year old rice, may have snacked on a few chocolate chips along the way, and slowly put things into the pantry in an organized fashion. Let’s take a tour of the organized afters, shall we?! Starting with the top and the microwave nook.
The space fit our microwave perfectly. Maybe it’s because we built it that way?! Custom build for the win! There was even enough space beside it to fit my beloved Martha Stewart cake dome with enough room behind it to expand the collection (hint hint Colby…add mini cake domes from the Martha Stewart for Macy’s line to the list of gift ideas for your wife). We do intend to upgrade our microwave in the not so distant future to a stainless steel one to match the rest of our appliances. We’ve found one and it’s just a waiting/stalking game until it goes on sale.
Next up…the top pantry pull out drawer:
Since this shelf is the hardest of the five for me to access, I opted to include items that I don’t use as often. This includes bread pans, cake pans, and a mini pie pan. The basket was an organizing purchase from Home Goods (a whopping $16) and holds all my cookie cutters. While in Home Goods I briefly debated (as in couldn’t decide so I called Colby and made him decide) getting an open weave, wicker-ish trash basket but opted for concealed and dust free.
Moving down…the second pantry shelf:
These items I use slightly more often than the top shelf items and pretty much includes all my Kitchen Aid goods. That’s another one of those Home Goods baskets…I got two…and this one holds the Kitchen Aid attachments like my saving grace of attachments…the shredder! This shelf was also an appropriate spot for the flour sifter since I often use it in conjunction with the mixer.
Moving even further down…shelf number three:
This shelf features the first of two baking supplies shelves. Remember back in October when I was working with Coupons.com on a sponsored post? And I had to buy something for fall (using one of their coupon codes) that could transition into everyday? And I bought glass jars? And turned those glass jars into a gory Halloween specimens display? And said I would re-purpose those jars in a pantry? Could I ask you anymore questions? Well folks….THIS is what I was referring to. I decided to dedicate this shelf solely to flour and granular sugar…the two most used baking supplies, appropriately stored in the two largest jars.
And shelf number four:
This shelf was organized similarly except integrated a few of the smaller jars. The large jar is for confectioners sugar (for Christmas mint making), with the two smaller jars housing chocolate chips and brown sugar. The beauty of these two glass jar storage shelves is that when I’m baking, I just mosey on over to the shelves, pull them out, and scoop my measuring cup/spoons into the jars and dump the ingredients into my mixing bowl. So super easy with no digging through the cabinet underbelly for that long lost flour!
And finally the bottom shelf:
The kitchen electrics (and errant apple peeler shelf). Which reminds me, our poor blender which I’ve had since college is on its death bed (hint hint number two Colby…hint hint number two). The shelf also houses our kitchen scale, which is honestly about one of two kitchen things Colby moved in with that I didn’t get rid of. When I obligatory razzed him about it, he admitted that it really wasn’t his and he wasn’t responsible for picking it out. He inherited it from a friend’s wife when they moved across the pond. Should have known. It was too cute for him to have picked out.
Now with the pantry organized, the buffet is looking a smidge better:
And the kitchen cabinet, former baking storage cabinet, is looking TONS better.
Both spaces still need a bit of work. Both are just haphazardly put back together. But I have a few more organizing tricks up my sleeve. So let me divert your attention back here to the organized baking pantry for a bit while I work my magic on the remaining mess.
Mad love over here for the new pantry…crazy mad love! I’ve already baked a crap ton (official measurement, conversion to metric unknown) of cookies with about eight more dessert recipes pulled ready for testing out. I can feel my pants getting tighter as I type that.
We still have a few more items on the kitchen to-do list, like finishing up that chalkboard wall, boxing out the kitchen beam, and painting/installing all the baseboards and toe kicks around the kitchen but it’s much improved. The kitchen is actually a place I want to spend time in these days. And just because I can’t resist good before shots…like move in day before shots…without further ado:
Bahahahaha! Now that’s some serious ugly! That space with the old cabinet and white fridge is where our new fridge and pantry live. And since our pantry project has pretty much come to a close, here’s the final budget breakdown:
- Particle board for pantry sides and microwave shelf: $42
- Drawer slides for pull out shelves: $100
- Kiln dried spruce for chunky pull out shelves: $30
- Pull out drawer hardware and screws: $19
- Various pine trim pieces: $15
- Primer, paint, stain and poly: FREE (already had on hand)
- Chalkboard paint: FREE (already had on hand)
- Two baskets for pantry organizing: $32
- TOTAL: $238
Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Especially since it’s a custom built piece that totally transformed our kitchen both functionally and aesthetically. The beauty of this pantry project is that it all stemmed from a bit of kitchen “what’s behind the walls” exploration gearing up for a big kitchen reno. When we first started this project we thought it would just be temporary until we get around to completely renovating our kitchen. But now that it’s done…we’re designing the new kitchen around this since we love it so much!
Pssst…Have you guys finished any lingering projects around your neck of the woods? Any organizing projects? Dish!
Psssssst….Catch up on this entire project with exposing the wood wall, framing the pantry part 1 and part 2, installing pull out shelves, and adding finishing touches like hardware and a microwave shelf.
Let’s finish this pantry, shall we?! Well…kind of. The pantry is
signed, sealed, delivered done, fully organized and functional. But after going through all the photos and photo editing and whatnot, I was left with 30+ pics of “finishing and organizing the pantry”. Uh…long blog post say what?! And since I value sleep these days (seriously…can’t get enough of it) and don’t want to be up all night blogging, I’m breaking the post up into two parts. Today, we’re talking about the finishing touches (a little painting and little hardware…nice little pantry post) and tomorrow we’re talking about organizing it! But I couldn’t resist a full monty shot of the before and after of the whole pantry project:
So…much…better! The haphazard collection of mismatched furniture no more! But anyway, the pantry finishing touches. When we last left off, we had just finished installing the pull out shelves. And the pantry looked like this:
We intended to put our microwave, who has taken up precious counter space the last four years, above the refrigerator. We feared that it would be a little awkward to have a microwave so high, but we powered through. After all, I’m 5’9″ and Colby clocks in at a whopping 6’5″ so at least we would have no trouble reaching it without the aid of a step stool or ladder. But before we could move the microwave, we needed an above the fridge shelf, since we didn’t want to set the microwave directly on top of the refrigerator. We wanted more of a finished, built-in look. To make this shelf, we started by installing the shelf supports which are 1″ x 3/4″ pieces of pine screwed into the pantry sides.
And then created the microwave shelf by first cutting down two pieces of scrap particle board (leftover from building the pantry sides), using another piece of pine to cover the gap between the two particle board pieces, screwing it all together from the bottom side.
We dry fitted the shelf in place since nothing is more frustrating than building something, painting it, and then realizing it doesn’t fit (been there…done that…lessons learned). Thankfully it fit better than your favorite skinny jeans after eating paleo for a few months and training for that 15K.
Not only did I take the time to pre-paint the shelf before installing, but also all the trim pieces for the pantry. The trim pieces helped hide all the rough, unfinished ends and gave the pantry that chunky, custom built look we were going for.
Next up, the shelf attack. Remember when they looked like this?!
The ends were a bit on the unfinished side. All it took to polish up the ends was attaching some pre-stained and polyed fronts. They’re just tacked on right now with a bit of wood glue and a couple of nails but you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun…I mean…that we secured those shelf fronts in with screws.
The final finishing step was my favorite, adding the hardware. It took us FORRRREVVVVVERRRRR to find the right hardware. For the record….that’s “forever” like the Sandlot forever. Makes more sense now, right?! It’s also how we say goodbye to Goose when we leave him while grocery shopping on the weekends. We’re all like “bye Goose, FORRREVVVVVERRRRR”. Poor Goose.
For the hardware, we couldn’t use traditional drawer pulls since we needed the handles to screw in from the front and not the back. So then we thought about window sash pulls for drawer handles. But that was a fail since they looked so dinky on our freshly finished, chunky wood drawers. Enter the screen door handle. We picked up five of them for $2.99 each at Lowes along with some longer screws. We wanted the screws to not only attach the drawer handle to the drawer front but also be long enough to drill right into the drawer itself for extra drawer from security and stability.
Boom…drawer handles officially attached…Friday I’m in love!
This may have been the point during the pantry project that I mindlessly pulled each drawer open…and closed…open…and closed…open…and closed…and asked them where they had been all my life. I mean…I’m not getting any younger over here. And not being able to easily access the flour during cookie making is definitely adding years to my complexion. I mean, night cream only does so much.
Oh yeah, and then we created a chalkboard wall and started boxing out the beam in the kitchen. But more on those projects later. This is a pantry post and we certainly don’t want to bite the pantry’s moment, even if it does taste good. It’s been a wild ride in our kitchen these days with some awesome projects in the hopper. I can’t wait to share more with you! All in good time dear readers…all in good time.
I couldn’t resist sharing the finished AND organized pantry, so here’s the Pinterest worthy shot of how it’s looking real time.
The paint had barely dried on the trim before I was up to my eyeballs in flour and sugar organizing all our baking supplies. Actually, Colby was the one up to his eyeballs in flour since I totally, 100%, accidentally (I swear) spilled a bag of flour on his head while he was kneeling down by the cabinets fixing a toe kick. Whoops! Good thing he loves me! And that good thing for the laundry fairy!
So come back tomorrow for all the nitty gritty of how we organized our pantry, which has turned into a full on baking pantry. I’ll even show you the not-so-Pinterest worthy befores of how we were storing our baking supplies. If you want to feel good about your kitchen organization, no matter how bad you think it is, our before organizing shots should do the trick.
Pssst…All I have to say tonight is, is it spring yet?! I don’t know about you guys but I am DYING for spring to get here, more importantly summer. Did you all survive snowpocalypse?! Anyone else start planning their garden this weekend while being snowed in?!
Just stick a feather in my
cap bathroom and call it macaroni art. I’m a regular old Yankee Doodle Dandy. But seriously now…I did a little bathroom art upgrade. Enter the feather art stage right.
Do you remember a week or so ago when I got the windmill print from Etsy? Then I hung it and didn’t really like how the waterfall photograph next to it didn’t play nice with the bright white frame and colorful art. Here’s a reminder:
It’s not that I hated the frame or the picture. I kind of liked both of them. The picture/frame was one of Colby’s mom’s yard sale finds that she bestowed upon us. We both love the pic, which is a professional photo of a waterfall near Colby’s hometown in central Vermont, and we intend to use it in a gallery wall elsewhere in our home, but for our bright bathroom, I was digging white.
So while I was aimlessly walking around Hobby Lobby on Saturday, which is my cardio these days, I came across a tiny 2-pack of pink feathers for a whopping $1.39. I immediately grabbed them, whispered sweet nothings to them, and brought them home with me. Hey…when the husband is away…. My other supplies for this little craft project included some leftover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White, watercolor paper for the feather background, a little Miss Mustard Seed furniture wax, and other necessities like sand paper, glue, and a paint brush.
I love chalk paint these days. I am 100% addicted to the stuff…somebody find me a 12 step program. I have been walking around the house lately mentally adding things to my “oh…I can chalk paint that” list. The picture frame just happened to be my latest victim.
Here’s what I really love about this picture frame, and why it makes such a fabulous chalk paint/distressing subject, the texture! Look at those dangerous
I slapped on two coats of paint…like literally slapped on two coats of paint (another reason I love chalk paint) and barely cleaned/sanded/prepped the frame other than a quick little dusting (yet another reason for my chalk paint obsession). And then let the frame dry for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime…on the other side of the desk…I cut down a piece of the watercolor paper to fit the picture mat, taped it to the mat, glued the feathers to the paper, and put a few heavy items on the feathers to hold them down in place while the glue dried.
And then it was back to the picture frame. I gave the frame just a light sanding using a piece of 100 grit sandpaper. I just tried to hit the high spots…exposing the dark wood on the tops of the ridges while the valleys on the frame remained white.
After a quick waxing and a bit of assembling, this quick and easy DIY feather art project was done.
With the upgraded frame hung, the toilet nook is feeling much more polished and more importantly much more intentional than what we had hung there before. Now this is what I had envisioned! Maybe not necessarily feather art, but something light and airy to balance out the windmill art. And nothing says light and airy quite like
Anna Faris in House Bunny feathers.
And is it me or are feathers trending right now? Like those gold glitter tipped feather craft projects you see all over Pinterest, or the vessels filled with feathers, and the feather tipped arrows…oh the feather tipped arrows! I’m dying for a set, kind of like these.
With that, I think my noodling around with the bathroom toilet nook is complete. At least for now. I give it about six months before I’m back in here switching things around yet again. But what’s the fun in letting things be?! Half the fun in decorating is moving things around.
Oh yeah…and what blog post around these parts would be complete without a Goose photo bomb.
It’s been really fun these days working around the house because it feels like we’re nearing the end of all the major renovations. Granted we still have a complete kitchen reno along with other pseudo major tasks like flooring our bedroom and building in a closet. But with our home pretty much out of the construction phase it’s been a blast doing little craft projects and taking some time to think about art and accessories.
Pssst…what noodling (of the decorating variety) have you all been up to? Any easy art projects? I have to shamelessly plug one of my bloggie friends, Charming Zebra, for one of her latest little projects, a snakeskin duct tape planter. Seriously…go check it out!