Tag - Home

1
Screen Detox Part 2
2
Screen Detox- 9 Days In
3
REVIEW: The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden
4
DIY: Sliding Barn Door
5
Oh Man… it’s Mother’s Day
6
Screen Time Rules and May 2015 Netflix Streaming Releases, Kids Edition!
7
Yard Work, Space Ships and Calming Down
8
Goodbye 1980s Bathroom
9
DIY: Subway Tile Backsplash Tutorial
10
» DIY: Kitchen Makeover for Under $250

Screen Detox Part 2

It seems like there was a lot of build up to this moment. 14 days without screens ended on Friday, Elliott’s birthday and the day we left for a weekend in Gatlinburg. We didn’t use screens on the way there and I noticed lively (and loud) car games being made up in the backseat as we drove along. There were moments when I missed the silence of screen time in the car but I pressed on for the greater good. At this point we still weren’t sure what kind of TV viewing/screen using we wanted to return to. I had planned to let them watch a movie in the cabin that evening after all the exploring, swimming and birthday partying was over.

Once we arrived at the cabin the kids let loose exploring the bedrooms and game room and porches with breath-taking views. We went for a swim and then returned to the cabin to prepare the birthday dinner and dessert. (This was interrupted, in a good way, by a surprise visit from my sister and law with my brand new nephew) Who needs TV when you have a newborn to hold! The kids were enamored with little Jonah and enjoyed every moment of his little baby ways.

The kids did end up watching a bit of TV before they fell asleep that night. It was a treat, each room had a big television and it felt almost like their own personal movie theater. They were allowed to do the same thing the next evening. On the way home I did not allow them to use screens. Rather they made up games and talked about the fun things they had experienced that weekend. We dreamed about future adventures and asked each other questions.

Once home, with screen usage on the table again, it was time to set forth the new guidelines. The old guidelines were no TV or screens on week days. TV/Screens were allowed on Saturday and Sunday in moderation. However, as we said before… controlling that moderation sometimes got out of hand.

Our new guidelines are as follows:

No TV/Screens on week days. Instead choose books, building materials, crafts, science experiments, sports, books on tape or imaginary play.

One family movie night per weekend. This is a family event, something we choose together, make special snacks etc.

Possible 30 minutes of TV or screen on Saturday morning. This does hinge on behavior and attitude.

When we were detoxing we noticed better sleep patterns, more self-starting behaviors, less whining, and less melt-downs. And above all, we found better things to do. That’s the bottom line as a family with small children. There are much better things to spend our time doing than watching a screen. It’s not necessarily the easiest choice… our house is messier, our intentional interaction with four children must increase and we have to watch our own screen usage as well. The best choices for our family are not always the easiest, but I feel certain that we will continue to see the fruit of our labor when we intentionally invest in the lives of our children.

Screen Detox- 9 Days In

As promised I’m going to share about our TV fast, or detox as the professionals call it. First, let me explain our TV and screen rules prior to the fast. We only allowed TV and screens Friday through Sunday. Friday evening the kids typically viewed a movie together, and then watched about 2 hours of TV on Saturday and Sunday. They really enjoy getting up early and watching Netflix on Saturday mornings. I viewed this time as relaxing for them. However, it quickly became the very opposite of relaxing. They fought over which shows to watch, manipulated each other and sometimes ended up watching more than they were supposed to. Our oldest was also finding ways to sneak in screen time. He was playing a dinosaur role playing game on the ipad, each day an egg would hatch and a new dinosaur was added to his collection. He began by asking if he could check to see if his egg had hatched each morning. I saw no big deal with letting him take a quick peek each morning and consented to this “illegal” screen time. However, being the crafty sinner… I mean young boy, that he is, this quickly spiraled into 10-15 minutes of hiding somewhere and actually playing the game. We gave him a couple warnings and then finally put an end to the egg checking scheme. This decision was met with massive moodiness and disrespect. When challenged with his disobedience he was not repentant… instead he challenged us back with his disrespectful attitude.

This left Calvin and I thinking. We know screens are addictive. Our kids often have a hard time sleeping. Screens make everyone argue… everyone is cranky. Even with strict limitations we began to feel that screens were not healthy for our children.  Calvin pulled up a study from Psychology Today which suggested a two-week tv detox and we decided to give it a try.

We are now 9 days into our TV fast. I promise you, the first 3 days were the most difficult. No glancing at a quick funny cat video on daddy’s iphone, no checking to see where Megalodon was last spotted, no 30 minutes of Sprout for the 3 year old once the big kids headed to school, and worst of all NO Friday night movie. Nada. Nothing. No screens.

The first three days we battled with moody kids. Liam (3) even grabbed my phone and ran off. We began to see the effects of these little once in awhile screen uses. They begged and pleaded and we held our ground. And we did something else. We played with them.

We pulled out beads, and crayons and science experiments. We jumped on the trampoline. We played board games and read questions to each other from little card sets. We listened to more music, we read more. As we inserted ourselves into their lives more we found they complained less about their lack of screens.

The week days were not bad. They are not accustomed to watching TV on those days anyway. But as the weekend approached we knew we needed a plan. On Friday night Calvin drove the kids to the church where they ate a pizza and raw vegetables (gotta off-set that pizza treat!) and roller bladed and played basketball on the courts. On Saturday we spent the morning on the soccer fields and ate lunch together afterwards. We then cleaned up the house together and the kids rode bikes, made things out of sticks and had some crafting time. By the time Sunday hit they were actually breaking out on their own. Elliott and Liam spent HOURS outside playing with a nerf shooter and exploring the small wooded area behind our house. When Liam woke up this morning, Monday morning, He said “I want to play in the secret fort.” This is a drastic change from “I want to watch a sprout show when the kids go to school.” That one sentence alone showed me that this fast was effective in beginning to reset his brain.

I can’t wait to share more when we complete the fast in 5 days! We are coming up with new guidelines as we approach the end.

 

REVIEW: The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden

Disclaimer: The folks at Crossway kindly provided a copy of The Biggest Story for this review. As always, the opinions are my own.

When I first heard about The Biggest Story, I was excited to read through it with our children. The first thing anyone would notice is the beautiful illustration by Don Clark (co-founder of Invisible Creature). This has been great for Charlotte as she has recently been interested in art and illustration. But then you get to the eloquent use of words from Kevin DeYoung (senior pastor and regular contributor for The Gospel Coalition). In DeYoung’s words: “When you write a children’s book you don’t use many words, so you feel much more of the weight of getting them right.” Of course the 132-page book isn’t the Bible but it is one of the most well written summaries of God’s work of redemption for children and adults to engage with.

Conclusion: For us, The Biggest Story is more suitable for all kids with lots of illustration and short text. Children as young as three could follow along really well. We are definitely going to make an effort to build this book into our bedtime routine (we’ve done about half of the book so far). The Jesus Storybook Bible, which many people have, covers many more stories with quite a bit more text.

FYI – You can read the author Kevin DeYoung’s explanation behind the book at The Gospel Coalition.

DIY: Sliding Barn Door

What a week. Back to school and home improvement are in full swing. I’m a big fan of this project because it means we FINALLY have a bathroom (see bathroom reno here) door in the master bedroom. It took us some time to commit to the barn door but I’m very happy with the results and the convenience of the sliding door versus traditional door. We did choose to build and design our own door after pricing out several options. Hopefully this will inspire you to tackle some long awaited projects and design choices.

Part 1- Building the door
I headed to Lowe’s with Calvin and our youngest. We had a rough sketch of a door design and we needed to check out the wood selection for possibilities. We chose “whitewood” 1x10x10 boards which we cut to 82 inches long. The instructions from National Hardware’s hardware kit (more on the actual kit below) were good but we still took our time measuring and thinking through where the sliding track would drop the door and the distance we wanted between the bottom of the door and the floor. So basically, to get your length you measure from the hanging slider to the floor and take an inch and a half out for your floor clearance. We chose additional boards (2x6s) for our cross pieces. These were cut to 36 inches long. A trip down the hardware aisle produced a modern/rustic handle and I quickly chose a weathered gray stain by Rust-oleum that I’ve become completely obsessed with.

IMG_6784

Building the door was a very smooth process. I laid the boards out on a large table applying beads of Liquid Nails Wood between each board.

IMG_6692

I then attached the cross boards, after measuring the placement area, with wood screws. The wood screws should enter through the back of the door to ensure a clean look on the front. It is advisable to use a clamp or some other device while the glue dries, but I’m a short cut person and decided to quickly screw in the cross boards to hold everything together while the glue dried. It worked out great, I’m not sorry.

IMG_6693
I did not screw in the middle cross board because it needed to be stained and have a handle added before becoming a permanent part of the door. I traced the location and set to work with the stain and drilling holes for the handle.

IMG_6699

IMG_6698
Once that portion was completed I began to work on staining the entire door. The Rust-Oleum stain I chose is a one coat stain, and it does indeed work very well for that method. However, I like to add details to the staining process. I brushed on the stain and rubbed it in. Then I used my sander to round the edges of the cross boards and top of the door. I also gave the entire door a quick pass with the sander and then rubbed another coat of stain into certain parts of the door to achieve the character I wanted. Once the door was finished I screwed in the center cross piece with handle attached. (I also cleaned off the stain residue with finger nail polish remover… it’s a messy process ya’ll)

IMG_6704
IMG_6709
And then there was a door. A modern/rustic barnwood door. Once the stain was dry (1 hour!!) I applied 2 coats of clear polyurethane giving 4 hours between coats and lightly sanding as well.

Part 2- Installation

Installation was fairly painless. National Hardware provided a great kit with instructions for this project. It includes the track, rollers and stopper hardware necessary for a quick and easy installation. You can also combine two sets to create double-sliding 3 ft. doors, which we did not need.

National Hardware

I stained a header (National Hardware recommends a 2×6) to install above the molding around our bathroom door. The track for the rolling hardware is screwed into this beam. This provides a stylistic touch and security to the door system. Make sure you have your level for this step as you don’t want a door that slides open or shut on it’s own. Calvin and I took turns hanging with kids and working on installation. My hair just screams Saturday morning project.

IMG_6720
IMG_2869-e1439855107453-704x528
Once the beam and track were installed we added the rolling hardware to the door. They provide a template that makes drilling the holes into the door really simple. After installing the rollers the door slid easily onto the track and we screwed the guides into the floor, very simple.

IMG_6728
IMG_6726

FullSizeRender

Conclusion: If you’ve been wanting to do this project but unsure of the cost and difficulty level, you have nothing to worry about. Building the door is easy (do all your measuring and math before you leave the house) and with two people, installation was a breeze. I don’t have any other hardware kits to compare against but the National Hardware system had clear instructions and the pieces were all sorted and labeled nicely. For two people, I would say this project would take about 3 hours. This doesn’t include the paint drying and the interruptions from kids who are constantly hungry and wanting to help hammer and drill things. Total cost for this project is $255

Our Material List (based on 36″x80″ door opening):

4- 1x10x10 boards cut to 82 in long
3- 36 in. 2×6 boards
1- 72 in 2×6 header board
20- wood screws (for door)
20- drywall screws (f0r header)
1- can of Rust-Oleum one coat stain in weathered gray
Liquid Nails for Wood
Paint brushes and old t-shirts for stain
National Hardware Rolling Door hardware kit
Door Materials: $85
Hardware: $170

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The folks at National Hardware kindly provided the sliding barn door hardware for this review. As always, the opinions are my own.

 

Oh Man… it’s Mother’s Day

It’s that day. The day that is really great for some women and really craptastic for others.

Maybe you are the mom who gets pampered. Whose children greet you with words of affirmation and arms full of potted plants and gift certificates for pedicures. Yet you feel ignored and unappreciated the other 364 days of the year.

Maybe you are the woman who is still hoping and waiting for a child to call you mom. Maybe your babies are in Heaven and today breaks your heart wide open.

Maybe you are the mom who won’t get on Facebook today because while everyone is getting celebrated you fixed breakfast for kids who didn’t even remember to say Happy Mother’s Day.

Maybe you are the mom whose child is still help captive by red tape and you spend countless sleepless nights hoping someone took the time to smile at them that day. You are praying that they had enough to eat, and hoping they are beginning to understand how much they are wanted.

Maybe you are the mom who is still learning to love a child who was a stranger just months ago. You feel tired, worn out and unworthy.

And maybe you are the mom who is having a perfect day today. You are prized by your family. (I am joyful for you!)

You might be one of these or several of these today. You might be something I forgot to mention even. So beautiful friend, let me propose a two-part challenge today.

1. Celebrate yourself and the women around you. Do not let bitterness take root. Find joy in the time at hand. Find joy in your service today. Remember that you are a treasured daughter of God. A princess. And heir to the throne. Your tasks and hardship and heartache here on Earth are not in vain. You are seen and loved.

2. Be kind. Don’t succumb to the temptation of disappointment. Hinging expectations on others is never a healthy way to live. Break free from that notion and find some freedom. Enjoy the day. If you have children, serve and teach them well today. Show them what joy in motherhood really means. I truly believe that joy is contagious. Share some today!

Happy DAY to each of you beauties.

Screen Time Rules and May 2015 Netflix Streaming Releases, Kids Edition!

The school year is ending but this is also a good opportunity to share what our current house rules are for screen time:

Monday-Thursday (school nights): No screens
Friday-Sunday: No strict limit on total screen time, but no durations longer than 1.5 hours (movie). This usually ends up looking like one hour of shows in the morning and one movie at night, after dinner.

I’ve searched the Internet and haven’t been able to find a list that’s exclusively for kids content so I’ve started one. Here are the upcoming new to Netflix streaming shows and movies for kids!

May 2, 2015

  • Lalaloopsy: Festival of Sugary Sweets (2015)
  • LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: Amazing Word Explorers (2015)

May 8, 2015

  • Puss in Boots: Season 1 (5 additional episodes)

May 17, 2015

  • Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2015)

May 22, 2015

  • H20 Mermaid Adventures (2015)
  • Richie Rich: Season 2 (2015 series)

May 23, 2015

  • The Boxtrolls (2014)

Yard Work, Space Ships and Calming Down

We recently put our home on the market. And I have OCD tendencies. I also bite my nails. I always assumed this was some form of anxiety or a form of weakness until recently, when my husband shared this study with me. Apparently it’s a habit linked with perfectionism. And boredom. My life is finally starting to make sense.

House selling, combined with these character traits can make for quite the disastrous situation. However, pat on the back, I’ve been pretty even keeled thus far. Yesterday I decided the lawn needed some extra attention, so once the big kids were in school and the littlest was enjoying Mother’s day out I hauled out the lawn equipment and got to work.

We have an electric lawn mower that my tree-hugging husband insisted upon. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen one of these contraptions but you literally plug it into an outlet and mow away. Men in big trucks laugh as they drive by because it looks like you are vacuuming the lawn with a space ship. You also get to play a fun game of don’t run over the cord and get electrocuted.

h2E1C560A

Once the lawn care items were pulled out, plugged in and ready I ran inside to open the upstairs windows and back door as well. It was a great day for just letting the house air out. We live in a great area and leaving the house open isn’t really a concern. As I was working I noticed several police cars patrolling and assumed it was routine, we see them from time to time as they monitor traffic etc. I continued to work around the front and back yard, pushing the space ship and just enjoying the sun. I checked my phone after a bit and noticed several text messages. One of my friends was sharing that there was a criminal on foot and police were looking for him. She named the neighborhood and I was immediately concerned, the area was one street away from me and my wide open house. I quickly began shoving items into the garage, locked the car and secured the back door. As I ran around to the front door it occurred to me that while I was in the back the front was open.

I wasn’t terribly concerned, you know, because I’m so fast. As I entered the house I heard a loud swishing noise. I took a couple of steps into the house to make sure it wasn’t my imagination. Indeed a loud swishing, banging noise was coming from the family room. I whistled, grabbed the dog and ran outside. I called my husband on the phone and explained the situation. As he urged me to call the police I chose a different plan. I locked Chips, our dog, in the car grabbed the metal rake and approached the door. I could hear the noise as I walked up and was convinced that someone was inside. I held up my weapon rake and yelled, “if you are in there just run out the back door!” I was answered with the continued swishing, banging noise from the rear of the house. I kept Calvin on the phone and decided to move further into the house.

With the rake.

As I approached the family room I began thinking, man that sounds like the washer… but I didn’t do laundry today! (Side note: If there are criminals that sneak in to do laundry, they are welcome in my house) I inched closer and the noise got louder. I raised my rake higher.

And indeed, the washer was on with a few rags and a random toy swishing and banging away. One of the lovely Goodbye Kids had pushed the timer button again.

I’m still trying to discern the moral of the story here. It might be Don’t do Yardwork, Ever, it could also be Don’t Approach your House if you think there is a criminal inside, but most likely the moral of this particular husband is rolling his eyes at crazy wild-imagination wife story is Calm your Life down.

In the recent days I’ve felt such pressure to be perfect and to look perfect as people inspect my home. And in an effort to make things faster and smoother I end up spending a lot of time chasing perfection instead of believing that things will happen at their given time. You see, Calvin had promised to work on the yard when he came home. And instead of focusing on other things I jumped the gun and did it myself. And as a result I ended up looking pretty silly. So yes, Calm down. For me, for you, for everyone.

Goodbye 1980s Bathroom

This post has been a long time coming! We actually finished the bathroom months ago and I’m just now sitting down to share with you. The bathroom has really become one of my favorite rooms. It’s simple, clean and its design prohibits clutter. Hallelujah!

Here are the before shots of the bathroom. Not terrible, but it did have carpet on the floor and avocado colored tile, soooo. Yes. It was time for an upgrade. It’s hard to convey the sink situation in pictures. The counter top was some kind of almond colored wonder that absorbed the color of EVERYTHING you allowed to sit on it. Blue bracelet, blue counter. Yellow soap dispenser, yellow counter. You get the picture. The sink itself matched the avocado shower and was recessed. This caused water to hit the bowl with force and splash out the sides, get on the carpet, smell bad… you see where this is going.

IMG_6122
IS-1krs1oncvhdgd

We knew there were certain aspects of the remodel we could not do ourselves, plumbing, electrical etc. But we found if we were willing to do a little demo, paint, trim and tile treatment we could accomplish the renovation and stay within a VERY budget price. I designed the layout, selected the toilet (Calvin replaced the toilet with help from a friend!), sinks, paint, trim and tile. I chose clean, well priced fixtures and used barn lighting to tie the entire thing together. We chose to install medicine cabinets to hold our items rather than having a cluttered counter top.

First, everything was pulled out of the bathroom. This lovely wallpaper was hanging out under the paint. Then the drywall was smoothed and bead board was installed.

First, everything was pulled out of the bathroom. This lovely wallpaper was hanging out under the paint. Then the drywall was smoothed and bead board was installed.

Then the hexagon tile flooring was installed and twin pedestal sinks, light fixtures and medicine cabinets entered the picture.

Then the hexagon tile flooring was installed and twin pedestal sinks, light fixtures and medicine cabinets entered the picture.

The tile in the shower was transformed next! Love it!

The tile in the shower was transformed next! Love it!

IMG_6123
IMG_6131
IMG_6132
IMG_6133

And finally, everything came together and it’s so peaceful, and calm and old school and NOT cluttered.

IMG_6155

IMG_1467

IMG_1468

IMG_1469

IMG_1470

IMG_1471

IMG_1472

DIY: Subway Tile Backsplash Tutorial

It’s DIY Friday! Is that a thing? If not, it should be. I posted our kitchen before and after pictures earlier this week and now I’m ready to reveal the super-complicated-very hard tutorial for the tile back splash. Not really. It was so easy, friends. Just a little patience and a lot of tile and mess will give your kitchen an updated look.

Project Cost: $210 (yours may vary based off of tile choice and kitchen size)

Total Time: 14 hours including set up and clean up

What We Used (and how much):
1. Speed Square
2. Wet Tile Saw (saw not included in project cost)
3. Measuring Tape
4. Tile Spacers (1/8″ for subway tile)
5. Pre-Mixed Grout (1 Gallon, various colors)
6. Ceramic Tile Adhesive (1 Gallon)
7. Subway Tile (2″x4″ in our case, various colors)
8. V Notch Wall Trowel (3/16″ x 5/32″) (aka Adhesive Spreader)
9. Red Rubber Grout Float (9.5″x4″)
10. Grout Sponge (3)
11. Microfiber Sponge (1)
12: Ceramic Tile Caulk (1 tube)
13. Scrub Daddy (for cleaning!)

How We Did It:

IMG_0973

First, we lined up our tile, starting in the corner, and measured (remembering to account for grout space) each piece we would need to cut to get started.

IMG_0975

Then we measure using this handy dandy tool (aka Speed Square) and made a mark (with a crayon!) to guide us while using the wet saw.

IMG_0978

We didn’t have a stand or table for the wet saw so it looked like we were doing beginner yoga poses as we bent over the saw trying to make straight cuts. I was a little intimidated by the wet saw but it turns out wet-sawing is super easy. You just guide it along patiently making sure not to push it through too quickly. Calvin cut most of my pieces because I enjoy being the “project manager.”

IMG_0979

We aren’t big fans of mixing stuff (seen too many HGTV fails) and I was hoping for less mess and less work so I spent a few more dollars and bought the pre-mixed versions of tile adhesive and grout. There are so many great grout colors now! I counted 17 alone at Home Depot. Our grout color is called Earth.

IMG_0980
IMG_0992
With our tile pieces cut to size and my adhesive spreader in hand I began the project. I did lightly sand the wall before applying. You simply spread the adhesive onto the wall with the smooth side of the trowel and then makes grooves in the adhesive with the notched side of the trowel. It looks very pretty. Then carefully stick the tile onto the wall and press with a clean grout float. This helps the tile adhere evenly. As you can see, we removed the outlet covers (make sure you turn the breakers off, too) and tiled right around them. Make sure to tile around the screws so that you can loosen and remove the outlets if you ever need to. In order to put the outlet covers back on, flush with the tile, you will likely have to loosen the outlet boxes and pull them forward a bit.

IMG_0986

So much messiness here. Don’t worry, it all comes off the tile. As you can see, we placed grout spacers under the bottom row as we went. This creates a space for the grout and caulk along the bottom. We also used tile spacers when we cut tiles or tiled around the outlets. You want to make sure the spacing and pattern stays the same throughout. Pay attention to your pattern and lay things out on the counter as you go to avoid pattern mistakes. You’ll also notice that there is a line on the right side. I used a level to draw a line where the tile needed to end. It was like my little finish line. At this point we measured and cut the tile that would complete this row.

IMG_0998

Notice the bottom row beneath the outlet covers. We cut the tile slightly to fit around the screws. Don’t tile over the screws. Trust us.

IMG_0991
IMG_1003

After the tile is up, looking pretty, use a damp sponge to wipe off the excess tile adhesive. Don’t scrub, the tiles can still shift if the adhesive hasn’t dried. Save the scrubbing for later when everything has set. The tile needs to set for 24-48 hours before grouting. We waited about 30 hours and then went to work.

IMG_1007

Remove all spacers from the tile before grouting. Then, holding the float at a 45 degree angle spread the grout and press it into the spaces between the tiles. You need to clean as you go. So do a small section, then wipe the grout away with water and a sponge. You’ll need a large bucket of water to continually rinse and ring out your sponge. We, unfortunately, don’t have pictures of the grout cleaning… because it was wet and messy and iPhones don’t jive with that scene. I promise, just get your wet sponge and wipe over the tile in a circular motion. The grout will stay in the cracks but come off of the tile. Once everything has been grouted double check to ensure that all cracks, lines etc. are properly filled. Then the grout will need to set about 4 hours before removing the grout haze. They make grout haze removers but we used water and white vinegar and it worked perfectly.

IMG_1113
IMG_1124

After everything was clean and dry we used Ceramic Tile Caulk on the ends of the tile rows and bottom, where the tile area meets the counters. You could also use sanded tile caulk as well. This will need to set for several hours again, so order take out for the third time and you’ll be set.

I had a great time with this project and it made such a big change in our kitchen. If you’ve been procrastinating just go for it! It’s a great, inexpensive change to start out the New Year.

Are you planning a back splash project? I would love to hear about it or see pictures! I’ve already got a stack of tile I found on closeout waiting in the upstairs bathroom, we can tile along together.

» DIY: Kitchen Makeover for Under $250

We purchased our current home 2 years ago as we anticipated the homecoming of our fourth child. It truly is my version of a dream home. Colonial style, traditional touches throughout and a cozy sitting room with a fireplace. When we moved in I waited patiently and did little updates as we could, which is totally out of character for me. I can be a bit of a bulldozer with projects and sometimes I end up with things that I don’t really like. So this time, with this house I love, I was much more careful with my decisions.

The kitchen project was a must, I spend 75% of my time in there. It’s the hub of the house. Which is exactly what I want. A kitchen remodel was not in the budget and really not necessary. The cabinets were sturdy and changing the layout of the kitchen wasn’t a priority. I decided that paint, back splash, hardware and more paint were the keys to lifting the mood in the dark kitchen. Here are the before pictures.

IS-1krs1oz725pb1
IS-dawytlxyurml

I chose to use Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Old Ochre to repaint the cabinets. Originally I decided to go for the two-tone look and left the bottoms black but recently painted the lower cabinets with Old Ochre as well.

DIYKitchen

IMG_0895

IMG_0900

Mass Chaos I tell you. It’s worth it in the end but I don’t love being the mom that keeps saying “please don’t touch anything in the kitchen” all day long. But hey, it’s one day and we got to eat Blue Coast Burrito since the kitchen was out of commission and it was $1.99 kids meal night.

Now it was time for the back splash fun to begin. A full tutorial will be up on Friday but for now I’m just going to share the beautiful results. We chose a simple white subway tile and grouted with Earth colored pre-mixed grout. I’m in love with the results. (and the black ovens… well… they are on their last leg so I’m stalking the whole town for a crazy good deal)

IMG_1121
IMG_1113

IMG_1124

IMG_1122            
IMG_1125

IMG_1123
So, once again, I’m spending all my time in the kitchen. But I’m really really enjoying it right now. I can’t wait to share how we accomplished this look on Friday, hopefully you’ll be inspired to pick up a paint brush (and a grout float) and have some fun!

And just for kicks, here is one more side by side view of the before and after:
IS-dawytlxyurml
IMG_1121

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal