names of prescription drugs

Front Porch Mini-Makeover

Front Porch Mini-Makeover

I spotted this photo with these gorgeous red doors (Benjamin Moore Red Rock) and knew immediately that I wanted warm red doors in our house.

red doors

I headed to Benjamin Moore to check out paint strips. Our space doesn’t have as much natural light as the inspiration photo so I went with a shade lighter–Benjamin Moore Hot Apple Spice. It’s very similar to a Sherwin Williams color that we used in our Seattle house. If you have a Sherwin Williams nearby check out Fireweed.

After painting the front door I didn’t love it. I decided to live with it for a while. It wasn’t until I painted the storm/screen door that I finally loved the transformation.

Our front porch went from this:
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front porch 1 hometownperch.com

to this:
Painted door hometownperch.com

Painted door after hometownperch.com

The next step will be to paint house numbers on the door. Something like this:
Numbered door 2

or this:
Numbered door

Porch Light: The Home Depot Zinc Wall Lantern

Custom Console Table

Custom Console Table

You may remember me complaining about our worn out, too small, very uncomfortable couch in my House Anniversary post. We bit the bullet this summer and finally ordered the Henry Sectional from West Elm. After going back and forth between two colors I decided on Performance Velvet in Otter. I love it! The fabric is so soft. It’s a microfiber which means it’s easy to care for but it has a longer nap so it feels more like velvet.

The sectional takes up the entire corner leaving no room for side tables. I ordered the sectional with one shorter side to leave room for a console table. I knew finding a console table long enough would be a challenge and possibly very expensive. We looked at several options before deciding that Dylan could build one that is the right size and for the right price.

I told Dylan the dimensions I wanted and the basic look and he nailed it! The finished table measures 18 inches wide and 8 feet long. I painted it Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore. It’s a paint color I am also using in our kitchen remodel.

console table 1

console table 2

console table 3

painted console table

I love how it turned out. The best part is that, after packing them around for over 20 years, we finally have a place to display our fathers’ flags and that makes me a happy girl.
custom sofa table 2

custom sofa table

sofa table 2

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Living Room After

Quick Barstool Update

Quick Barstool Update

I had these very orange saddle seat bar stools that didn’t match anything in the house.
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I decided to give them a quick facelift. I wanted to test out the Minwax Polyshades in Classic Black Satin to see if that’s what I want to use to re-do our stair railing. It was a great chance to kill two birds with one stone.

This is what the stools looked like after one coat. I actually kind of liked this look but decided to keep going.
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The stool on the left has one coat, the stools on the right have two.
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After they dried completely I was left with pretty bland looking black stools that I didn’t love. And I decided that the satin sheen isn’t the right choice for the stair rail in the future. It will be gloss for sure. I took a medium grit sanding block and sanded around the edges of the stool to get an antique/weathered black look (un-sanded on the left below, sanded on the right). It made all the difference. I love the finished product!

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You can use this technique for just about anything–chairs, tables, dressers. These are the steps I followed:

  • Lightly sand entire surface with a medium grit sanding block. You don’t need to strip off the old finish, you just need to rough it up.
  • Apply the first coat and let dry completely overnight.
  • Rub steel wool (000 or 0000) over the entire surface. This helps the next coat adhere.
  • Apply the second coat. Let dry overnight. You may even want to let it dry for two days depending on the temperature and humidity.
  • Use a medium grit sanding block along the edges until you get the look you want.

stools after

Painting Tips for Cabinets and Furniture

Painting Tips for Cabinets and Furniture

A friend asked me the other day about a cabinet refinishing product. I haven’t tried any packaged products however, I do have tried and true steps that work for me when it comes to painting cabinets and furniture. And trust me, I’ve had a TON of practice these past 16 months. I’m not ready to do a kitchen reveal–far from it–but I will show you a sneak peek.

I used a step-by-step process to take the cabinetry in the house from dark and dated to light and bright.

Before: dark and dated oak

Before: dark and dated oak

After: warm, glossy white

After: warm, glossy white

This is what you need to know:

Paint Quality Matters

Choose a high quality paint. Working with cabinets or wood furniture is not the time to skimp on quality–paint quality varies greatly. High quality paint costs more but will save you time, energy and money in the long run. If you use an inexpensive or basic paint, chances are you will have to repaint much sooner. I use Benjamin Moore Advance semi-gloss paint on cabinets, furniture and trim. It was recommended by a local furniture maker who made a couple of dressers for us. BM Advance has excellent coverage and leveling properties.

Right Tools for the Job

The old adage “use the right tool for the job” applies to painting too. I use a high quality angled brush and a 6 inch mini-roller with a 1/4 nap mohair blend cover–perfect for furniture and cabinetry. This combination of tools along with the leveling properties of the BM Advance paint leave the perfect finish.

mini roller

mohair roller

Take Your Time

Painting furniture is a multi-step process. Don’t expect to knock out a set of cabinets in one weekend. The time and effort you put in now will ensure you are happy with the end product and that the paint lasts.

Follow These Steps:

  1. Remove doors, drawers and hardware. Set-up doors and drawers in a staging area (garage, shop, basement).
  2. Lightly sand all surfaces. You don’t need to remove the finish, you just need to rough it up. You can use a sanding block or a palm sander with medium grit sandpaper.
  3. Prime, let dry
  4. Lightly sand
  5. Prime, let dry
  6. Lightly sand
  7. Paint first coat, let dry 12-24 hours
  8. Lightly sand–your goal is to knock down any wood grain that is raised and rough up the top sheen. This helps the next coat of paint adhere better.
  9. Paint second coat, let dry 12-24 hours
  10. Mark and drill for your hardware if you are adding or changing knobs & pulls
  11. Lightly sand
  12. Paint final coat on cabinet/furniture frames. Let dry at least 24 hours. 48 hours is ideal.
  13. Hang cabinet doors and paint final coat on front of doors**
  14. Install drawers. Be sure to put round rubber disks on the corners of your drawers and cabinets so that they don’t stick to the frames and pull the paint off. They are inexpensive and you can find them in your hardware section.

**I complete the back sides of the cabinet doors first to prevent the fronts from getting marked up. Prime and sand both sides. Paint and sand the backs using steps 7-12 above. Allow to dry completely (24-48 hours). Turn doors over, use cardboard underneath to protect the new surface, and then paint and sand the fronts using steps 7-11. Hang the doors and do step 13. This process takes more time but the flawless finish is worth it.

Good luck with your project.

 

Front Door Refresh

Front Door Refresh

I’ve been eyeing colored doors. It’s starting to become a bit of an obsession. I search for them on Pinterest and Google. I was in awe of them at Bella Beach in Gleneden Oregon. I slow down on my drive to work when a new door catches my eye. Admiring the colored doors of others is different than committing to a colored door of my own, but I think I’m pretty close.

For now the exterior of our house is a very light blue. I want a door that goes well with the current color scheme.

I considered fresh green to add a punch of fun.

image via HGTV

image via HGTV

I considered yellow to add a bit of happiness.

image via Real Simple

image via Real Simple

I considered charcoal gray or black to keep it classic and timeless.

image via Brooklyn Limestone blog

image via Brooklyn Limestone blog

I considered red and orange as complimentary colors to light blue.

image via A Blissful Spirit blog

image via A Blissful Spirit blog

I finally had a moment to stop by the paint store to pick up a few swatches. I tacked these Benjamin Moore colors to the door for consideration:
door colors 1

I was able to quickly rule out green and any red that was too red or leaned toward purple. Kendall, Taylor and I were drawn to Tucson Red. But, of course, we needed to get Dylan’s input.

Our process went a little like this:
front door colors 2

Dylan’s process went like this:
door colors 3

Pretty typical. :) I think that means three are kind of in the running. I’m leaning heavily toward Tucson Red. It’s a nice balance between rich orange and red. It compliments the house color nicely. And it’s similar to a color we used in our Seattle house that I still love. But, I’m also a sucker for classic and timeless.

What do you think? What would you go with?

A New Routine

A New Routine

It is time for a new morning routine.  I’ve been considering this idea for awhile . . . as if it requires a great amount of planning and deliberation.  To clarify, it doesn’t.  All it takes is actually doing it.  A few week’s ago, in another post, I wrote the following:

“I’m a little obsessed right now with the idea of transforming my morning to make room for my sanity (writing, photography, yoga).  What are my mornings like now?  Notice the sun is in my eyes.  It is 5 a.m.  Turn over and ignore said sun.  Daisy walks over and nudges me with her nose.  I let her out.  I leave the door open and climb back into bed.  I fall asleep . . . slightly.  Daisy lets me know she’s back in.  I roll over.  I start to think. I don’t want to think so I grab my phone.  5:45.  I click on pinterest and aimlessly wander the online bulletin boards of people I love and those I’ve never met.  I stop in at Facebook to see my friends’ kids and some random political ranting.  I finally drag myself out around 6:15/6:30 and the mad rush begins.”

Since this post, a selection of diary entries from the last few weeks as I’ve attempted to get into gear:

  • 7/30 I’m pissed off that I’ve been sitting around for 2 weeks and I’ve done nothing . . . To clarify, I’ve done stuff, a lot of stuff, just not the stuff I really WANT/need to do.  What the *^%$#@*&^?  Why is this so hard?
  • 7/31 Woke up early and laid in bed . . . looked at my phone for awhile . . . picked it up and looked at Pinterest.  (Crap!)
  • 8/2 Woke up at 5:45 . . . closed my eyes and imagined roaming around the yard . . . Got up at 5:50, put on my robe and flip flops, found my camera in the kitchen and went outside to get some shots.  Wandered up the north side of our property, capturing . . . 6:10 a.m.–back inside to do a morning yoga routine.  A few photos from this lovely, cloudy morning:

 

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Concorde grapes stretching upward.

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The first rose to catch my eye.

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A sea of grasses, roses, and Russian Sage.

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A tale of 3 tomato plants gone wild.

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Confetti in the grass.

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A blossom sneaks through the fence.

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Coral roses edging the front walk.

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And my favorite yellow rose.

8/10 Get up at 6:15 and head out to the yard with Doug.  He is dressed properly–jeans & t-shirt. I am wandering around in my robe like someone of a certain age who refuses to do any household related task without the requisite dressing gown.  But–and here’s the beauty–I don’t care.  I honestly don’t.  Most of my neighbors are still in bed and we have great neighbors anyway . . . so if I want to wander in my grey, plush, polka-dot robe, who on this great, green, beautiful planet is going to care?  So, Doug and I–unequally dressed as we are–pick some tomatoes and then I go to town on my roses.  It is just slightly brisk, it is quiet, the world is light and silence and it is the perfect time to trim and weed and prune.  Then, back inside,  yoga stretches and a ride to nowhere on my exercise bike.

So, what’s next?  The true benefit of this routine will come from the habitual so the new goal is not just to do it, but to do it regularly.  I don’t want to be tied to the same things every day.  I want to get up a little early, I want to go outside, I want to come back in and stretch my body.  That’s all–how that time is broken down will be dependent on mood.  And this winter I’ll be figuring out how to easily bundle up and keep the outdoors a part of the experience.

Today, I am celebrating change, however small.  Here is to each precious day and what each of us chooses to do with it!

 

House Anniversary

House Anniversary

What a difference a year makes!

I consider myself an impatient remodeler–Dylan would probably agree. He’s pretty impatient himself so I guess we’re a good match that way. Or a bad match. Depends on how you look at it. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the list of all the things we still want to do with the house. So, taking the time to reflect on the changes we’ve already made helps mellow me out.

Here is a breakdown of some of the projects we have knocked out in the twelve months we have called this place home.

Hall Bath

Painted light fixture, toilet paper holder and towel holder with brushed nickel spray paint
Replaced glass shades
Painted walls a light sand
Added baseboard trim
Painted vanity
Added brushed nickel drawer pulls
Replaced vinyl floor with tile
Replaced mirror
Added art work

Next Steps:
Replace toilet and sink with white fixtures
Replace sink faucet
Replace counter top with solid surface material
Add crown molding

Bathroom Before

Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

Bathroom After

Living Room

Replaced flooring
Painted walls a warm gray/beige (Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray)
Added white baseboard trim
Painted doors and trim a warm white (Benjamin Moore Floral White)

Next Steps:
New couch (GAH, I need a new couch!)
New chairs
Coffee table
Hanging pendant light over NEW couch
Replace art work
Replace can lights with a less bulky version
Paint stair rails
Build out fireplace wall between built-ins (flush mount fireplace, stacked stone, chunky wood mantle)

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Living Room After

Fireplace Wall Before

Fireplace Wall Before

Fireplace Wall After

Fireplace Wall After

Living Room Bay Window After

Living Room Bay Window Before

Living Room Bay Window After

Living Room Bay Window After

Hallway

Replaced flooring
Painted walls gray
Added baseboard trim
Painted doors and trim white

Next Steps:
Replace knobs and hinges with silver versions
Add a gallery wall (photo ledge, photos, art)
Replace ceiling light shades

Hallway Before

Hallway Before

Hallway After

Hallway After

Entry

Widened hallway
Replaced flooring
Painted walls
Added baseboard molding
Removed closet doors
Painted Moroccan pattern with stencil
Installed coat hooks using reclaimed wood from the fencing we removed from the lot

Next Steps:
Add baskets to top shelf to house umbrellas, etc.
Build a bench with storage for shoes below

*Before and after photos are not the same angle but this gives you an idea of what the space looked like.

Entry Before

Entry Before

Entry After

Entry After

Former Desk Area

Removed desk
Added buffet
Painted light fixture with Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint
Replaced thermostat

Next Steps:
We may build a beverage station with wine fridge here. We’re undecided.

Before

Before

After

After

After

After

Back Patio

Replaced window with glass doors
Added paver patio
Installed hot tub
Added light fixtures

Next Steps:
Landscape around patio to bring it level with the ground
Finish filling holes with wood filler and touch up paint
Add a privacy screen between patio and heat pump (bamboo in a rectangular pot)
We may add a trellis or arbor over the doorway

Patio Before

Patio Before

Hey! Check out my new couch. :-/ That’s how projects occasionally go around here. We had an opportunity to get a hot tub for free from Dylan’s sister. But, free things aren’t really 100% free. Sure we’ll take the hot tub but we need a patio and a door to go with it. So, I begrudgingly handed over my couch funds and they quickly turned into patio paver funds. I can’t complain though because guess who has been using the hot tub almost every night–this girl. It’s way more comfortable than a new couch.

Patio After

Patio After

Patio Door

Patio Door

There are so many other things we have knocked off the list and so many other things we still want to do. But you get the idea. I’ll be back with details about our powder room remodel. The total project cost was around $300, most of that in tile flooring. It was an inexpensive project that made a big impact. It’s a happy little room now.

Have a great weekend!

Kitchen Inspiration

Kitchen Inspiration

I’ve heard people say that you should live in a house for a while (at least a year) before making major changes. We made several changes before we moved in because they had to be done. But the one project I’m glad that we waited on is the kitchen. It wasn’t really by choice; it was more about budget restrictions. But having lived in this house once before and then living in it again for a year allowed my vision for the space to evolve. Modern country kitchen is the look I am going for.

I have looked at hundreds, if not thousands, of kitchen photos over the past year. When I shared my vision of the laundry room/kitchen cabinet swap project with Dylan, these are the photos I showed him that got him on board with the idea:

Crown Molding Inspiration

image via Bryn Alexandra

image via Bryn Alexandra

Door & Drawer Front Design

image via Amber Interiors

image via Amber Interiors

Pantry & Refrigerator Arrangement

image via In The Fun Lane

image via In The Fun Lane

And the biggest decision I have yet to make–whether I want all white cabinets or dark gray lower cabinets with white upper cabinets. What do you think? Do you have any strong opinions on the matter?

Bi-Color Cabinets or Not?

image via Apartment Therapy

image via Apartment Therapy

Playing Musical Cabinets

Playing Musical Cabinets

As you may know, my kitchen has been in this state since we moved in–not very functional.

stacie kitchen 2013

stacie kitchen 3 2013

stacie kitchen 2 2013

When we moved in nearly a year ago we hadn’t planned to touch the kitchen for a few years. But then we realized all the flooring needed to be replaced before we could move in. We knew we were going to change the layout of the kitchen and decided to do that before installing the wood floors. I’ve been dreaming about cabinets, countertops and backsplashes ever since. However, our budget for a kitchen remodel is essentially non-existent at the moment and I don’t see that changing in the near or even kind-of-distant future. I was feeling a little hopeless about it.

You can see the style I want by checking out my Kitchen Remodel board on Pinterest. See all those gorgeous white cabinets? Turns out that even basic cabinets are thousands of dollars. Then, it dawned on me, I have almost all the cabinets I need right here in this house. They just need to be rearranged.

Bear with me here; my husband does all the time. Poor guy. We have these not-so-lovely cabinets in our laundry room:
stacie kicthen 4 2013 They are the exact same cabinet boxes as what we have in our kitchen–just different doors. Redoing the laundry room is one of our future projects and these cabinets were slated to go. I sat down and mapped out a plan. I numbered each cabinet using sticky notes and drew out my ideas. After a few adjustments I was completely happy with the results. And then Dylan came home. Our conversation went a little like this:

Dylan: Why are there numbered sticky notes on the cabinets?

Me: Because I figured out how to do our kitchen remodel for practically free! Well….pretty much free. Mostly free.

Dylan: (stunned silence) (blink, blink)

Me: No, really. Just listen.

I told him my plans and showed him the drawings. His response: “Can we do that? Will it work?”. That was way better than the “HELL NO!” I expected, which is often his response to my brilliant ideas. I knew I had an in with him. I also knew I needed to work on him gently because he didn’t seem totally, 100% convinced. I may have been a little too eager the other night and I think I pushed my luck. I asked “Can we move some cabinets today?” :) He sighed and maybe rolled his eyes. They were closed, I couldn’t tell for sure. But I’m pretty sure he’s mostly on board. I sent him a link to a video tutorial on how to build custom cabinet doors and drawer fronts. He put his foot down there. It’s not a project he is interested in tackling. So those will be made by a local company.

Here are my sketches:

Kitchen-North Wall
kitchen sketch 1

Kitchen-West Wall
kitchen sketch 2

Laundry Room
laundry room sketch

These are the steps we will take to make it all happen:

  • Move the wire rack to the garage to store pantry items (they now reside in the laundry room cabinets)
  • Move three upper cabinets and one lower cabinet from laundry room and install in kitchen
  • Buy and install a second-hand 18″ upper cabinet
  • Add counter top to new lower unit since it currently houses the laundry room sink
  • Replace microhood
  • Replace laminate on all counters
  • Paint trim on cabinet boxes
  • Have doors and drawer fronts made
  • Add new hardware
  • Replace kitchen sink and faucet
  • Add crown molding
  • Replace refrigerator (this may have to wait a while)
  • Build a custom pantry unit to fill in the space between the refrigerator and wall
  • Add tile backsplash
  • Build wine storage boxes for above refrigerator

Wish us luck. I will be back later this week with an inspiration board to show you some of the ideas I have for the design and materials.

A Productive Weekend

A Productive Weekend

We decided to stay home this weekend and take advantage of the extra time to knock some projects off of our to-do list.

Our weekend has also been peppered with questions from the girls about the purpose of Memorial Day. It has given us a chance to talk about our fathers and their service in the military. Dylan and I both lost our biological fathers to car accidents when we were young. We don’t really have memories to share with the girls but we do have stories to pass on which were shared with us by our families as we grew up. The conversations this weekend remind me of another project I want to tackle in the future. We have our fathers’ flags. Currently they are stored in something like this–

But the triangle cases are starting to fall apart. I am in search of a creative, more modern way to display them. If you have any ideas, please send them my way.

Dylan’s big honey-do was to re-tile the powder room floor. I will have photos later in the week. My honey-dos revolved around the sewing machine. Some of you may remember that I have a love-hate relationship with my 1970′s era JC Penney sewing machine. Our relationship just got a little more complicated. The reverse button started acting up. I don’t know if she’s going to last much longer. But I was able to knock out these cuties.

Cafe Curtains 1

I started with this Market Floral fabric from The Alexander Henry Fabrics Collection. I simply cut and sewed four 19-inch squares and used ring clips to attach them to a tension rod. If you want super simple cafe curtains just buy square cloth napkins–no sewing required. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Cafe Curtains 3

 

Cafe Curtains 5

Cafe Curtains 4

Cafe Curtains 2

What are you up to this weekend? Are you relaxing at home? Traveling? Doing projects?