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A Bathroom Rescue: Before and After

21 Aug

Here is what our second upstairs bathroom looked like when we bought our townhouse. It was truly scary! The floors were gross! The vanity cabinet was dark and dreary. It needed some TLC for sure! Image

Here is what it looks like now. Image

First we replaced the flooring with the same dark wood floor we have throughout the entire house. I like houses with flooring that never changes. I think it creates a great flow from room to room and it makes the house feel larger. I painted the walls Oasis Blue by Benjamin Moore and the ceiling in a fun yellow and white stripe (sorry don’t remember the color). I primed the vanity with BIN primer. BIN primer is a shellac base primer that will just about stick to any surface. I have painted a lot of pre-finished furniture and cabinets with this stuff. It works really well and leaves a smooth finish. I used two coats of primer on the cabinets because the primer is very thin by design. I think this allows it to stick better and go on smoother. Oh yeah, and this primer dries very quickly, so it makes the project go pretty fast. I used a sponge roller when painting both the primer coat and the finish coat. I always use sponge rollers when painting furniture and cabinetry. It creates a smooth finish and the rounded edge of the roller makes painting nooks and crannies much easier.

Click these pictures to check out each product from Home Depot.

bin sponge rollerThen I painted the vanity cabinet gloss white. I used a 100% acrylic gloss paint for this. You can use acrylic or oil based paint over the BIN primer. It only took one top coat because the primer had already done most of the work covering the wood finish.

 For a finishing touch on the vanity I replaced the hardware with pulls from an Ikea chest I already had. I had previously replaced the hardware on the Ikea chest with cute knobs I found on clearance at Anthropologie.

The last step of the makeover was to add some fun and colorful decor. I chose a cute Cow picture (also from Ikea), a colorful shower curtain (from Target) and bath mat (also Target) and done. It doesn’t look too shabby now and it is a fresh space that is airy, inviting, and fun for Luke!


The Kitchen (What you didn’t see)

5 Aug

Recently you may have seen my “house crash” on Young House Love. I was so thrilled to have them over to my home and they did an amazing post about the highlights of the townhouse. However, in order to hit all the highlights and not make the post WAY too long, they didn’t show you everything (I don’t blame them, just to clarify). So I thought I would slowly go back through the house and show you some of what you missed in more detail (and straight from the horse’s mouth). Today I want to show you the heart of the home and the most dramatic change, the KITCHEN!

Below you see a before of the kitchen. This is right after we closed on the house and before we moved in. You can see I am testing paint swatches on the cabinets already. We bought the townhouse with the intention of rearranging the kitchen to make it an eat-in kitchen. In the before shots you can see that there are a lot of cabinets (in my opinion over-kill) and not enough floor space for a table.


This is where the builders intended the table to go, underneath that chandelier. However, I didn’t want to share the living room space with a dining space. Why? Well, first of all I felt like that made it feel like every apartment we had lived in so far and I wanted it to feel like a house. Secondly, the space just wasn’t big enough for both spaces, and I always opt for more living space and less dining space.  Image

This is after we ripped out some of the cabinets on this wall. The plan was to move the fridge over here. Image

Now you can see the after. We moved the fridge into the corner from the other side of the room. We painted the cabinets, replaced the hardware and the floors. We replaced the appliances from white to stainless. We also replaced the counter tops.Image

I eventually want to raise the look of the cabinets by adding a header to the top and some crown molding. However we haven’t had a ton of time to make that happen, so for now I put a salvage find up there. It brings your eye up to the ceiling and kinda has the same effect as a header would. I also like that it adds personality to the space. I love old crusty relics!


Here is another view of before. You can see the builder grade cabinets were not a good look. The floors were filthy and in desperate need of replacing. Also, my least favorite thing in the house, the pass-thru window, just made me frown. I personally hate pass-thru windows – another thing that I feel looks like an apartment. (Side note: my hate for pass-thru windows has recently been replaced with the fact that they are convenient for keeping an eye on my son. I still don’t like them and would rather open the wall up but it is load-bearing so that can’t happen.)


Here is the after! Yeah, I hated my pass-thru window, so I decided to make the best of it and make it my own. I started by painting the stripes. Then I added the glass jugs and burlap curtains. I actually really like it now.

You can also see below a better view of the counter-tops and a new shiny faucet. In order to contain clutter around the sink, I purchased a cute galvanized container from Target (meant to be for flatware). It holds all the uglies that live around the sink.


(via Young House Love) 

Here is a view of the other side of the kitchen. This is where the fridge used to live. There was also a pantry. Image

We ripped the pantry out!


Now here is the after, with our found space for an eat-in kitchen nook. We built a banquette for lots of seating in a tight space. We also recovered our loss of storage from the remodel by adding IKEA shelving that wraps the side of the kitchen.


(via Young House Love) 

I put locker baskets with burlap liners on the shelves to hide the stuff inside. However, so I know what is up there, I put chalkboard tags on them (I was thinking with my noggin’ :)) The chalkboard tags allow me to change what is labeled as the storage needs change.Image

Now for a few detail shots.


 (via Young House Love)

My favorite accessory. My duck decoy!Image

More jars for pretty storage.


That is the story of our kitchen. I hope that this inspires you to think beyond the floor plan and make your space function for you. I love our kitchen and it is finally a welcoming heart of the home.

Until next time, Katrina

Weekend Surfing

6 Nov

I found a fabulous new blog and am already very inspired!

Check out Abode Love!

I first found this blog via Pinterest where I fell in love with these striped walls.

From there I ventured to this lovely blog and fell in more in love with her entire home!

I love the Anthropologie look of the living room. I always hesitate to add pretty “clutter” like this and like the fabulous Anthropologie stores but when I see it, I always want to do it.

Can’t wait to dive further into this blog for more and more inspiration. THANKS ABODE HOME!

Bright and Colorful, But Not Too Much!

4 Jul

You don’t have to be afraid of bright colors! This home demonstrates perfectly how to use color to transform a space without it overwhelming the space. I love all the white with pops of color. However, those pops of color are continuous throughout as to not shock the senses and create flow.

The other things I truly love is the way the space combines modern and traditional. I recently had a conversation with a young professional just starting out in her first apartment. The apartment is in an adorable historic building in downtown Richmond yet she said she didn’t like it because she likes modern design and her apartment had crown moldings. Umm, really?!? I politely encouraged her to mix her modern furniture and decor with that lovely historic backdrop in all white and bam…Modern! Hopefully she takes my advice and embraces her lovely space.
 Hope you enjoy your holiday weekend! Until next time…

via My Black Book

My Precious has Arrived!

8 Jun

Guess who showed up to surprise me last Friday, my Precious (a little “Lord of the Rings” throw back there). What I mean is my sofa is here! Finally after a month of waiting (which isn’t that bad for a custom-made sofa) my sofa finally arrived last week and I couldn’t be more pleased!

I ordered my sofa from a fabulous North Carolina furniture builder. I chose this sofa because it is extra deep (great for lounging in) but at the same time the two rows of pillows support your back if you want to sit up straight (for entertaining purposes because you can’t slouch in a LBD). I also loved the long bench cushion and elegantly rolled arms that are not too over-stuffed but not too modern.

I hand select the fabric, of which I chose two. The back, sides, and back pillows are in an intricate trellis pattern of dark taupe and cream. Complimenting the trellis pattern is a casual, yet sophisticated stripe in taupe and cream. I love how the trellis pattern is feminine and French, while the stripe has a masculine “menswear” appeal. The combination is stunning and inviting!

So here is a review of the progress so far: We went from this…

To this…

To this…

Not too shabby! Stay tuned for the budget breakdown and be amazed by just how little it took to create this look.

Contemplating Cabinet Colors

12 Mar

So, I have been planning all my many projects for our new house and one thing I am still debating is cabinet color. I am painting the cabinets no doubt but I am trying to decide between painting them all white OR painting them all gray OR painting the top cabinets white and the bottom cabinet gray. So many choices, all good ideas, I just can’t decide. Any thoughts?


Color of the Year! Pink…Haven’t I been saying this for awhile?

23 Feb

Not to sound boastful but I had to laugh when Pantone declared “Honeysuckle” the color of the year. Yep pink is hot and the blogosphere  has been on that trend for years. Of course it makes “Pink” no less the color of the year. House Beautiful’s March 2011 cover drives the trend home with the perfect pink rooms and even gives us the coveted wall colors of the rooms featured!


Another Fabulous Before and After

15 Jan

I usually try not to repost another blogs post, but this Before and After was too amazing not to share. Check out all the pictures on CoteDeTexas. You won’t be disappointed.

A Return to Traditional Blue and White decor

17 Nov

Trend watching recently, I believe I am starting to see a trend in trends. Traditional blue and white decor is making a come back. Blue is always in of course always in varying hues. As spa blue, aqua settles into its appropriate place among beloved blue hues there is more room again to love other hues of blue such as transferware blue. Keep an eye out, you’ll notice this trend too.

A Fabulous Before and After!

13 Sep



I just had to share this amazing “before and after” from Elements of Style! Check out this amazing blog full of great inspiration!