Monday, November 14, 2011

lighting selections

The choice of what light fixtures to use was one of the most difficult ones in the process of our remodel. The decisions have been made, and I'm ready to see them all in place.
Capiz Shell Floral Pendant Light - White.Opens in a new window

This one is from Target of all places, and I'm most excited about it. It's going to go in the entry way and will be such a great first statement for all who enter!

Canarm IPL320A01ORB14 Monica Large Pendant, Oil Rubbed Bronze 
The kitchen peninsula will get a pair of these overhead, but not before a quick makeover. I wasn't crazy about the oil-rubbed bronze finish, so I'm planning to give them a paint job. I'm going for antique silver, so wish me luck!

Quorum International 6006-6-70 6 Light Salento Chandelier, Persian White

This is the dining room chandelier. I thought it was a fun departure from all the clean and simple we have going on.

Zoomed: Portfolio 5-Light Aztec Brushed Nickel Chandelier
Lastly, we have the breakfast area fixture. Simple and clean lines, with a more casual feel.

Our first priority was budget. We had a lot to buy, so nothing could be super expensive. The goal was to stay under $1,000 for all of it and we did it! Now, they will be installed this week and I'll be sure to share pics of how they all look together.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

remodel progress

I am so happy with the progress in our kitchen/dining/family room remodel project. It is coming together better than I even imagined. In the last two weeks, cabinets were installed, everything got a coat of paint, countertops came in and the wood floor went down.

A few pictures for your enjoyment...







To refresh your memory, this post will give some perspective of how far we've come.

We are so close to the end... only a few things left to do this week. Backsplash tile will be installed, final electrical work - including light fixtures, cabinet hardware and appliances will be placed.

Almost there!! Cannot wait to show you the final product, and even more, I cannot wait to have such a beautiful space to enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cabinet Evolution

As we embarked on this massive project, my biggest fear/uncertainty was the kitchen cabinets and layout. Removing two walls meant losing almost all of our upper cabinets, which meant losing a LOT of storage space. That is precisely what you do not want to do when spending thousands of dollars updating your kitchen. So I knew we'd have to come up with some creative solutions that were functional and pretty at the same time. That's what we all want, right?

Here is a look at three different views of our first draft cabinet layout...



 I felt like this was a really good start. I loved the general layout. I loved the idea of hiding day-to-day appliances like the toaster, coffee maker, etc. behind cabinet doors in the 'appliance garage' with the microwave also hidden above. And that silverware drawer. Did you notice? That's another thing I pinned on Pinterest, via Apartment Therapy. It's seriously genius, and my contractor sent my kitchen pinboard to the cabinet designer, so I'm going to have it!

vertical_kitchen_storage_053111.jpg


Upon further review of the plans (and some slightly OCD notes all over the print-out), we realized that while pretty to look at, this plan did not provide nearly enough storage. So, we asked the cabinet designer to draw up some additional cabinets for the adjoining breakfast room wall, and here is what he came up with...

 Again, lots to love about this hutch... big, deep drawers, pretty details, but I still wanted more storage. You know, while we're at it. You can really never have too much storage in the kitchen. We went back one more time and got this...
Now, that is what I'm talking about. This hutch in the breakfast area, combined with the peninsula and back wall with the range and fridge will be perfect! I am so excited to see it all come together. We should be getting our cabinets installed this time next week. Now, to pick paint colors... I'm overwhelmed with so many options!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Power of Pinterest

I know those of you who are avid blog readers are very familiar with the latest internet phenomenon that is Pinterest, but I just thought I'd take a minute to share my testimonial of the power of Pinterest.

A while back I was browsing one of my go-to sites for fun clothes on the cheap (Forever21). I came across this very cute top and proceeded to pin it to my 'Fashion & Beauty' board on Pinterest.

Pinned Image

You know, just so I was sure not to forget about it, should the day come that I had a few extra dollars to spend on my wardrobe. Fast forward to this week, when I celebrated my birthday. To my delight, my sweet sister had spotted my pin, ordered the top and surprised me with it for my birthday! So fun, right?! On top of that, she sent a polite nudge to my husband about this pin as well (and he took her advice)! She's a keeper, that sister of mine!

Not only did my favorite new internet addiction serve as a birthday gift finder for my loved ones, but our remodel contractor asked me to send him a link to my kitchen board so he could get some ideas of the feeling we're going for. Gone are the days of tearing pages out of magazines and being forced to keep up with them... I can access my inspiration photos from my phone, anywhere I happen to be (and I have, many times)!

Pinned Image

I can't tell you how helpful it has been to see several different images of kitchens I love and be able to determine exactly what I like about each one. With so many options for countertop, cabinet color, flooring, backsplash, etc., I have such a better idea myself of what I want to achieve in our space. And to have a contractor who has a vision for what we want the space to look like... priceless! He and his team have even been on the hunt for pretty green light fixtures to try to recreate the look of the gorgeous kitchen above!

So, while Pinterest can certainly be a time-sucking black hole if you're not careful, it has proven to be quite valuable in my book! I recommend checking it out if you haven't already!

Birthday Boys

We celebrated my sweet boys' first birthday last weekend, and I can hardly believe their first year of life has already come and gone! It sounds so cliche to say, but the time goes by so quickly, I sometimes wish life had a pause button.

In my mind, this celebration was not only to commemorate the momentus occassion in the boys' lives, but also celebrating the fact that their parents survived the first year of parenthood!

The theme was a football tailgate, and given that we are a household of OU alums and super-fans, the decor was all red & white! I designed an invite to set the tone...

A few photos from the big day... they got more presents than any kid would ever need, and had a wonderful time!




My sisters served as fabulous photographers, and we had so much help from both sets of grandparents to get ready for this party. I am so very thankful for all they did! As it has been since they boys were born, we honestly wouldn't survive without the help of our families.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

D-Day!

I've been ready for this day since we laid eyes on our new house... Demo Day for our big kitchen/living room/dining room remodel was Tuesday, and I am amazed at all the progress already!
Here are a few progress photos for your viewing pleasure. My mantra for the next few weeks is, "It has to get worse before it gets better..."
Had you walked into our house through the front door on Monday, this is what you would have seen...


Here's another shot of the entry on the left, compared to the demo-in-process shots on the right. Amazing, huh?? We have removed the walls between the front, formal living room and the family room and between the family room and kitchen.


Here is a shot looking back at the front door, with the kitchen behind you...


What that space looks like now...


I am so very happy we decided to open it all up. It's going to be such a great space to enjoy our family and entertain a little!

I know it's tricky to get a lay of the land from these photos. I am working on a little floorplan diagram to give an idea of what we're working with.  As you can see, we have a lot going on, and I couldn't be happier to have such a mess!

 I'm going to do my best to get a few photos up every couple days... So stay tuned for more progress!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Let there be light

I made a quick trip to Lowe's for some spray paint (more on that project soon) on my way home the other day. I ran through the lighting section to take a peek, and was very pleasantly surprised at the stylish collection of fixtures they had. I have always thought their selection was better than the other home renovation chain. Here are a few of my favorites... any of which would be welcome in my home anytime.
Zoomed: Portfolio 18"W Bronze Pendant Light with Fabric Shade

While I'd like this better in silver or gold, I love the design on the shade of this one. Nothing a little spray paint couldn't fix.

Zoomed: allen + roth 18"W Bronze Pendant Light

This one reminds me of a fixture I keep seeing on the blogosphere. Very cool.

Zoomed: Portfolio 20"W Brushed Nickel Pendant Light with Tinted Shade

I really like this one. In fact, I think I might try to talk the hub into doing this in the laundry room. It's a super steal at $79 and perfect for high impact in a space that I'm not willing to break the bank for.

Zoomed: Bel Air Lighting 5-Light Chrome Chandelier

This one looks much better in person than the photo. I first saw it when Lauren used it in her office... beautiful!

Zoomed: Portfolio 6-Bulb Chrome Chandelier

This one was my favorite. Love the lines, so clean, so dramatic. Love.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Outdoor Living

We recently purchased a new 'chat set' for our covered patio. I love that it's called a chat set, because that's exactly why I wanted it - to have a comfy place to sit, chat and perhaps enjoy an adult beverage.

Budget was our main consideration in this purchase, and when I found this set at Home Depot, I couldn't resist. At $279 with free shipping, I was sold! The reviews were very positive, and my girl Martha put her name on it, so I was pretty sure it would look great.


It came this week, and we unpacked the mammoth box as quickly as we could. It's pretty light weight, so I wouldn't put it out in the crazy Oklahoma wind, but I think it looks much more expensive than it was. I'm very pleased with our little purchase! Next summer, we hope to run cable and electricity to the patio so we can install a TV, hang a fan and maybe get an outdoor rug.

For now, it's supposed to be 85 degrees on Sunday and Monday, so I cannot wait to get out there and enjoy. I'll try to finish up styling a little and take a few pics too.

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Laundry Day

I consider myself extremely blessed to have a husband who does all the laundry. Yes ladies, he's quite the catch - handsome and does laundry! Even though this is not my chore, the room dedicated to this task suddenly topped my list of to-do's around the house.

It became a priority in my book because it's small enough to feel manageable, and the yet-to-be-unpacked boxes (only two months later) were driving me batty. Our laundry in the former house had tons of storage, and this one is lacking in that area. Thus the unpacked boxes... no where to put our cleaning supplies, extra paper products and the everyday necessities that belong in a laundry room.
One of the primary purposes of this blog is to chronicle our remodel of the house, so I'll show you the lovely before photos. I think you'll agree that it leaves much to be desired.




For now, the plan is to prime and paint all the woodwork and doors, paint the walls, add storage in the form of shelving and hooks, replace the light fixture and maybe get a cute rug. Eventually we'll replace the ugly, peeling laminate floor, but I think this little makeover will help tremendously in the meantime.

A few inspiration photos from my favorite site, Pinterest...



Hoping to have some after photos to share very soon!

Friday, July 22, 2011

kitchen obsession

We have a kitchen remodel project I am dying to start, so I have kitchens on the brain. Here are a few beauties I wouldn't mind having. I mean, if you made me.






And Pinterest isn't helping with the obsession. Every time I get on, there is so much kitchen loveliness I can hardly handle it.


Last, but certainly not least... my favorite. This one is serving as my inspiration photo. I'm thinking different light fixtures, but love pretty much everything else.

At least I'm consistent: white cabinets, big island, wood floors and light counter tops are all musts in my book. Can't wait to get started!

all images via Pinterest 
1, 2 & 3 from House Beautiful, final image from Style at Home

becoming + two

My first attempt at starting a blog began on March 25, 2010 after receiving some big news. Here are my thoughts from the wee hours of the morning... 

It's been a wild week around our house, so here I am at 5 a.m. deciding to put these crazy swirling thoughts all in one place for prosperity's sake.

As you may have gathered from the title of the blog, we got some huge news yesterday that will forever change our lives - for the better, of course! After finding out we were pregnant about a month ago, yesterday we had our much-anticipated first OB appointment. We were so thankful to find out everyone is healthy and on the right track... the news we got next prompted a rather different reaction. The doctor warned us that we might not be able to get a great ultrasound picture because of the way a few things are positioned in my body. So after much moving and smooshing, studying and hmmm-ing, she asked if we would mind moving to a different room to try another ultrasound machine. We didn't think anything of it. Once we were situated and she was able to get a good picture, she said, "that's what I thought!" What? What did you think? As long as I live, I will never forget the words she uttered next. "There are two babies in there," she says very matter-of-factly.

The following minutes and hours consisted mainly of the following phrases 'Shut up! You're joking! Are you serious? Shut up! I don't believe it! Shut up!' And my personal favorite, courtesy of my sister, 'Am I being punked?'

Needless to say, last night was one of many, many sleepless nights in anticipation of the amazing adventure we are soon to experience! I am overwhelmed with emotions and thoughts, but I rest assured in my faith in a powerful and capable God to provide for every need we will have in the coming months and years.

Well... here we are 16 months later, and I made it. Through the pregnancy, hormone roller coaster, life with newborn twins, working full-time and beyond. I'm sure more details of our twin adventure will make their way onto the blog. But, for now, I'll leave you with a gratuitous photo of my amazing kiddos taken days after they blessed us with their presence...