Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Touch of Fall Around the House

For the past few weeks I have been collecting my fair share of Fall favorites to add some festiveness to the apartment.  My decor consists mostly of Fall produce since there are so many ways to incorporate them into your home decor.  A little paint, a pretty vase or a cute basket is sometimes all you need to showcase your Fall veggies.
Above is our front stoop area.  We share this with the other tenants of the building.  I added a pumpkin one day and the next day the beautiful yellow flowers appeared from another friendly neighbor.  A few days after that came the colorful arrangement in the pot. All of us came together to make our home festive without ever speaking a word to one another beforehand.  I think it turned out to be beautiful with a little neighborly teamwork :)

In the living room I tried to stay within a neutral color scheme with a touch of blue/grey.
I recently found this adorable basket at one of my favorite boutique kitchen stores.
I always seem to be filling these vases with latest season or holiday decor.  I LOVE crab apples, they are so cute.
This great cubby space is the perfect place to boast some Holiday cheer in the kitchen.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Candy Corn Treat Bags

Candy Corns are always a staple item during the month of October. Though I am not crazy about their taste (too sweet for me) their bright bold colors are perfect for Autumn and scream "FUN." I could't resist trying to come up with a way to make candy treat bags look like candy corns.  Besides this bag may look like a candy corn but the candy inside tastes even better.  I used an icing bag instead of a regular cellophane bag so it would have a cone shape.  I cut off part of the top right where the bag starts to angle in one direction.  Then tied it all up with a pretty orange piece of ribbon.  I found these bags in packs of 3.  For the White top I used white chocolate covered pretzel balls.  For the middle I used orange slices and the bottom is filled with lemon drop hard candies.  I'm sure you can get creative and think of several other favorite candies to substitute in white, orange and yellow.  Have fun with it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Doors and Stoops Part 2: Autumn & Halloween

Aaaah, the crisp cool air of Autumn has really been boosting my mood over the past few weeks. As many, this is my favorite time of year.  I love the spirit of this season and all that goes along with it, ie; turning leaves, pumpkin picking, sweet treats, dressing in layers and bold colors.  Seeing how differently people express their joy for this time of year is always fun and brings a smile to my face.  I decided to get out and explore my newish neighborhood since is this will be the first Fall I spend here.  I was so pleasantly surprised at how much thought, effort & creativity people really invest in making their homes festive. I have been taking photos over the past week of several decorative door steps and entry ways. I posted just my fave pics but there are many more where these came from.  I hope you enjoy these photos and let them bring you some decorative inspiration or even just a smile :)
Happy Friday!

 If you look closely you can see that there are eyeballs in this tree and the black pumpkins are spiders.
 This house is shown in the daytime and again when I walked by at night.
 It's questionable but I think we may be under attack by aliens!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kitchen Makeover: Before and After

I have been Super excited to post this Amazing before and after story. I am in total envy of this Kitchen Makeover.  My sister (Kim) and her other half (Rob) recently purchased their first home together.  This new old house is a split level style built in 1957 and contained most of its original fixturing. They made the purchase with the intention of fixing up this wonderful house over time.  They knew this old house had great bones and that over the next few years they could make it their own and turn it into a place they are proud to call their "home."  First up on the fix up list was the KITCHEN! I think most of us can agree that the kitchen is the hub of the household.  I thought it was a smart decision and great place to start so it would be the first area complete. 
I think I was just as excited as they were when it came time for the kitchen renovations to start. Since I am still a renter I have not yet been able to turn any room into my exact dream space.  This was my chance I thought! haha.  They were nice enough to let me help with opinions on color pallets and lay-out options.  Of course I dove right in willing and extremely excited to be involved in anyway possible.  They really took the bull by the horns and finished this project in just 2 months.  I have to say for first time renovators they did a wonderful job collaborating ideas, being decisive about lay-out choices and materials all while staying within their budget.  The end result is beautiful so scroll down and check out the progression of how it all came together.

OLD Kitchen: The original kitchen was complete with rustic wooden cabinets with black wrought iron handles, metal appliances, laminate formica (boomerang) couter-tops, linoleum flooring and lets not forget the wooden paneling around the entire kitchen and breakfast area. - I apologize for the poor picture quality of the before shots.  They are from the Home inspection report since I was unable to be in the area before the kitchen renovations began.

The main objective was to open up the kitchen space.  Ultimately this was achieved by extending into the breakfast nook, adding floor to ceiling french doors, using a light color pallet and adding 2 additional windows along the empty wall.  
And now for the renovations......
Everything original was removed. Dry wall and  French doors were installed to provide more light.
Next the ceramic tile floor placed and grouted.
Cabinets were installed, walls were painted and 2 windows installed along right wall. 
The Refrigerator is in the space where the wall oven used to be.  They opted for a free standing range.
Soon to be filled with several bottles of vino.
The neutral colors in the tile and granite help to tie in the color of the ceramic tile flooring
Towards the end of the renovations Kim and Rob had fun adding additional small details such as these shelves and the wine rack.  
The French doors help in providing beautiful sunshine and natural light for the kitchen.
I LOVE the pop of color from the teal light pendants.  My sister plans to add other teal decor to the room.
Here you can see that there is an additional small counter top & wall unit towards the
 entrance of the kitchen from the living room.
View of the Kitchen from the dining room with cabinet lighting in effect.

NEW Kitchen: The renovated kitchen consists of white wooden Cabinets by American Woodmark (Gettysburg collection), Hardware found at Home Depot, stainless steel Appliances by Kemmore, granite Countertops by StoneMasters, ceramic Tile Backsplash found at Home Depot and ceramic tile Flooring by Marazzi also found at Home Depot.
There are still minor details being added such as new bar stools that match the kitchen a bit more. Also there is a possibility that  that some additional cabinetry may be added along the left empty wall. Kim and Rob thought it would be best to feel out the space of the kitchen before adding anymore components.  Overall they saved money by having a handy friend do all of the labor and by choosing all materials used from different vendors based on personal preference, quality and value.  Oh and doing some of your own Demo work is always a big $$$ saver.  Who wouldn't want the opportunity to take out all of your stress and inner anger on banging out and demolishing your kitchen cabinets and countertops.  Kim and Rob are extremely happy with their remodeled kitchen.  Kim said "It didn't feel like home until we cooked our first meal in the new kitchen."

I would love to hear about any of your Kitchen makeover stories.  Please share :)