Before & Afters

Modern Hen Classic Kitchen Reveal

I love before and afters, don’t you?

It’s so much fun to see what a room looked like once upon a time and then in mere seconds… wallah! The Big Reveal.

Out with the old in with the new.

Just. Like. That.

Speaking of makeovers, I hope you’re in the mood to browse the big changes in our kitchen.   Let’s start with the way things looked before.

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Vintage Vanity Stool Makeover {And A Love Story!}

 

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Do you remember my dear friend, Mr. Gene?

I mentioned him here in this post.

He was a sweet fella who wore debonair hats and plaid jackets every single day. I never saw him in a pair of blue jeans.

Not even once.

He was classy and sophisticated but in a simple kind of way. He loved horses and his country and served in World War II.

 

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I’ll never forget the smile on his face when I asked him how he met his wife Ms. Jean (spelled with a J).

While strolling around an outdoor ice skating rink one evening they collided.

Smack dab in the middle of hundreds of other skaters whizzing by they fell… literally.

And he was smitten.

Just like a scene from an old black and white movie.

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Before & After: Vintage Copper Boiler

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While camping with my family over the summer I bought this old copper boiler from an antiques store. It was sitting outside in a corner of the shop’s front porch covered in cobwebs and rusty grime.  With a little elbow grease I could see flowers displayed in the tub or maybe I would use it as a novelty storage bin I thought.  Since it was left out to rust and the price tag was reasonable, I purchased it with hopes of gussying it up and giving it a new life.

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Before & After Painted Vintage Side Tables

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A little elbow grease goes a long way on vintage side tables given to me by my dear friend Gene from his estate sale last summer. I’m guessing they’re from the 1950s/60s based on what he shared with me over the years about his traditional home decor.  Mr. Gene, as my sons affectionately called him, also gifted me with two picnic bench seats I added seating to and shared more about in this post here and here.

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Building A Chicken Coop From Scratch

Good morning Friends! I thought you might like to see a chicken coop being built from scratch at 12 Oaks Blog. I’ve been reading Ben and Amanda’s complete home makeover this past year or so, and this week they are sharing their adorable backyard chicken coop, along with what it’s been like to raise six chickens and enjoy really fresh eggs. I’ve noticed chicken coops have made a big comeback lately and sure can see why!

 

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You can read about the coop, view their photos of the process and see their cute chickens at this link: Our Backyard Chicken Coop by 12 Oaks Blog

I hope you enjoy the read and will leave a comment for me with your thoughts about the coop and the whole idea of raising chickens from home.

Lisa

Lara Spencer’s New Book “Flea Market Fabulous” Debuts

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Book Review Update:  This is a gorgeous book with big, bold, colorfully detailed photos on every page. Lara doesn’t disappoint readers with varying tastes either.  Not only does she showcase many design styles in her stunning real-life rooms, but she gives readers plenty of captions, tips, and fixes we can use right now. Throughout the pages she has sprinkled helpful advice from professional designers who weigh-in on how they create beautiful homes, too. Lara also shares her design dilemmas for each project and then walks readers through her process for solving them. And her mood boards are amazing and fun to see! And just like she did in her first book, she tells readers what she paid for her flea-market finds then shows us the reveal on how she used them in each stunning room. Lara has written another fantastic book that readers will refer to again and again! It’s perfect for anyone who loves to decorate, but especially inspiring for those of us who love to  do it on a budget and with our fabulous flea-market finds! Love it! Continue reading

Before & After: Painting A Kitchen Island On A Budget

After 13 years our maple kitchen cabinets had become worn and dark, more gold than light maple in tone. I also noticed our light maple laminate floors had taken on a pink cast, while the interior doors and trim were more pecan in color. The different tones clashed making the room look tired and worn and this bugged me. It was time to freshen things up.

I’ve always appreciated the easy on the eyes classic white kitchen, but my husband prefers the look of natural wood.  Thankfully he was onboard with my ideas for change. We agreed on a budget and I called two professional painters for cabinet quotes. Both had different thoughts on how to do the job, and their prices seemed fair for the big job, but way more than we wanted to spend. My husband suggested I paint them and use the savings to replace our old countertops. That got me excited! Still, I had to mull it over because looking at all those doors and cabinets, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and much more than a weekend project. I finally mustered the courage and went for it starting with this island.

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BEFORE:  This is the spot where we stood to do most of our food prep. The island was fairly small with no extra counter space to sit and eat, even though we kept a stool at one end. The outdated black, white and salmon laminate top was scratched and dull.

 

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AFTER:  Sanding, priming and painting the island Acadia White by Benjamin Moore made a tremendous difference. A carpenter friend added thick, decorative trim moulding to each end and gave the cabinet a really nice custom look.

 

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We chose a black soapstone countertop with creamy pearlescent waves running through it. This particular stone is similar to granite and very dense and hard to scratch. It’s easy to clean, too. We had the corners squared to give it a more updated look.

 

 

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Adding six inches to one end of the counter made it much more comfortable to sit at for the kids. And we saved $600 by purchasing a remnant already in stock and ready to cut.

 

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Mouldings give the island the look of a custom piece of furniture now.

 

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I replaced birdcage medal knobs we had on the unpainted cabinets with glass knobs from Hobby Lobby for $2 each when on sale at 50% off. The birdcage knobs sold on eBay for $2 each so the knobs were a wash in cost. Love it when that happens!  To avoid adding holes to the drawers I kept to one knob on the three main drawers like we had before. The cup pull is from Lowes and cost $4.

Kitchen Island Savings: 

SAVED $500 DIY sanding, priming, painting island cabinet and trim moulding

SAVED $600 by purchasing an in-stock remnant top

No cost for new glass knobs

Labor to install wood trim: Priceless. We got a really good price from our friend and he added crown moulding to the ceiling in the room, also.

Total savings was about $1,000 after buying paint, supplies, trim moulding and paying for carpenter labor.

 

I’m happy with how the island turned out and it has made a huge difference in the look of the kitchen. The room feels airy, light and clean. It has that classic look I’ve always dreamed of having for my kitchen. It was well worth the effort. And overcoming my fears for taking on a big project like this gave me the courage to paint the rest of the kitchen cabinets. I will post about those soon.

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