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Kitchen Nook Progress

IMG_20150103_113547_582IMG_20150103_113513_599My house was built in the 50s, but the area off the kitchen was built in the 90s and was built from garage space. Our garage is laughably narrow so it was probably actually a good thing that they took this space from the garage. The kitchen nook has been on of the most neglected place in our home so far. It’s been a dumping ground for stuff that doesn’t quite fit in the kitchen or hasn’t been put in the garage yet. The pictures on the right show that it’s been in a haphazard state: too big dining room table moved in their once we bought one for the dining room, mismatched chairs, random lamp, and random stuff on the table. I’m also not a fan of the light green paint that extended from the kitchen to here.

I knew I wanted to paint it a clean white. Since this room gets a lot of light, the white would work. Small, dark rooms don’t do well with white because the white tends to get grey and dirty. Here’s the result!

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I bought the bench on craiglist for $75. It actually has a corner part you can see above, but since that didn’t have a leg for support we didn’t want to attach it until we could build something. It’s clearly handmade and fairly sturdy, and the seats have some shallow storage space in the bench seat. The table I bought a bit later on craigslist for $50. It’s very sturdy and it’s got two small fold down leaves.

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I also took some leftover paint from the kitchen and repainted this little IKEA cabinet that was left in the house when we moved in and was originally painted the same light green color as the previous walls in this space. It now ties in nicely with the kitchen. You can see my silly outfit in the reflection of the cabinet in this picture!

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I’m not sure about what to do in this space in the corner. The kitchen cart fits there, but I’m thinking of putting some shelving above it to hold my cookbooks, which are currently living in the dining room. The room also needs some art to break up the blank walls. Here you can see the great view into the back yard!

winter 2015 312 This space is also a bit of a mystery. It currently has this wire frame set of drawers that we moved from the garage to make way for some more space, but it definitely doesn’t fit or belong here. I’m considering putting some sort of pot/pan storage as it’s too narrow. I’m looking at a few different options like shelves or hooks or a pegboard.

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The Kitchen Repainted

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I painted the kitchen a long time ago, but never posted anything. It’s not terribly exciting, but makes me happier than the light green that was there before. The before picture of the light green-ish paint is below.
before kitchen

I wanted to paint some sort of COLOR in the kitchen, since a lot of other things are fairly neutral. I ended up getting a sample of the Behr paint Bayside to try out and liked it enough to buy some to paint.

Overall I do like it better than the green (which was also painted on the laundry room door seen below), but I don’t think it’s quite right for the long term. Long term we’d probably do some kitchen remodel. Probably paint or reface the cabinets, new countertop, redo the floor since some of the parquet got a bit water damaged from the beer fridge in the kitchen nook. We don’t be looking at renovating for a while though, because the kitchen is perfectly usable and we’re fairly happy with it right now.


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I think the Bayside color does look good with the grey in the dining room, and flows fairly well. It was really tough figuring out a color that would go with the warm wood color of the kitchen, and I think I did an alright job in injecting some fun, and getting rid of the light green paint I didn’t like.

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The small bedroom painted!

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I tackled painting the small room before Thanksgiving! I was thinking of doing a DARK color like blue or grey but everyone was against it: Sam, my mom, my sister. Sam suggested a purple and at first I wasn’t sure. I got samples for Behr’s Lavender Champagne and Grape Creme. The Grape Creme ended up being the winner! It’s the perfect purple/grey and was a nice compromise between Sam and I. It’s also more towards the dark side so it made me happy too!

Figured it’d be an easy paint job to knock out, but as I needed to do trim, ceiling, doors, and the walls it actually took me a few hours over the course of several days. West Wing used to be my go to painting show but I finished it. I started watching Scandal and pretty much finished the short first season while painting.

Of course I didn’t take good before/after pictures. I took these after I had painted the trim. Before I painted it white, it was painted the same yellow as the walls. You can also see we originally oriented the bed along the wall under the window.

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Here are the rest of the after shots. I moved the bed so the headboard was on the wall with the window. I think that really improved the room!

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I took a look at the random pile of paintings and pictures we have that came from our previous places or from stuff my parents had. I grabbed this Ikea print that was framed and the colors look good in the room! I’d like to add some more art in the room but didn’t have anything that seemed quite right in the pile at this point.

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We got a new rug for the living room! And it ended up being quite the saga. I’ve learned the past few months that it is really TOUGH to find the right rug. I think it’s even harder than choosing a paint color (and more expensive)!

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Since upgrading our sofa and living room paint color, I’ve been looking for another rug to replace the dark blue one. The dark blue one is fine but just looked too dark. Sorry for the bad phone quality on the picture. It was just a phone pic I shot when we got the rug delivered


And here’s a reminder of what we were working with after we painted!
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I was originally looking at a bunch of different geometric styles online and in person.

I really loved some of the rugs in West Elm, specifically liked the Vines Wool Rug. For some reason Sam HATES this rug. I think the berber texture of the rug just isn’t his style.

West Elm Vine Rug

We ended up ordering a Pottery Barn rug, but shipping was very expensive so ended up cancelling the order. We were a little afraid the blue-ness of it wouldn’t be the right shade in person, but liked the geometric print.

We then ordered this RugsUSA rug and had it delivered. It actually looked good and seemed like good quality… but something didn’t seem quite right to us. On the right is the picture I took with my phone when we rolled it out partway. It just didn’t feel like it belonged in our home for some reason.




I then tried to sell it on Craigslist and internally within my company’s for sale mailing list, and had an unsuccessful and time consuming attempted sale. Now it looks like one of my close friends wants it for her living room so it’ll all work out! Rugs USA actually has a good return policy. I would just have to pay for shipping back, but figured I’d try to avoid the hassle of the packing it up again and shipping it. In retrospect, it would have been easier to pay the return shipping fee rather than deal with a few different potential rug buyers.

I thought that maybe the reason something more “modern” didn’t look right at our place was because both Sam and I are used to see more traditional rugs at our mother’s houses. My mom found this rug on craigslist for $280 and we ended up getting it to see if it would work in the space. It feels cozy and homey to us right now and it ended up being a pretty cheap option! It’s in great condition and 100% wool, which was something I was looking for. My mom even said she’d buy it off of me for her cabin when it’s completed if we didn’t like it. All in all, I think it’s a win! It is really traditional though and when I showed a coworker she said “It looks like grandma’s house!”

It has really grown on us over the week. It’s pretty muted in tone and has some light shades of blue and green that work well with the walls and some of the art in the room.

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Here are some more pictures of our living room. We got Sam’s grandmother’s watercolors framed. I’ll probably try to include close ups of those in another post, but they look wonderful over the couch and we’re so happy to have them up.

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The living room is really coming together well and there’s not much more to improve! There are a few more things it would be nice to do:

  • new lamp for the side table by the door – the current one was my bedside lamp from the dorms and doesn’t give quite enough light
  • new throw pillows
  • a wall sconce for reading above the corner of the sofa
  • a fireplace insert – my father has one that we can have, we just need to transport it over and get someone to install it

There are a few things longer term we’ll want to change in the room:

  • recessed lighting or track lighting. The living room gets so dark!
  • media console – the Expedit works great and looks fine but it’d be nice to get something with a little more oomph and style some day!