A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Guest Blog Interview: Cassie of Kent Heartstrings

Guest Blog Interview: Kent Heartstrings | PepperDesignBlog.com

I have a friend here in San Diego that I’ve been urging to start a blog for some time. She’s so creative and is such a great hostess, and I knew she would enjoy sharing her crafts, personal style and home-making with others. Well, happy news! She pulled the trigger and launched her own little creative slice of the blogosphere last month.

I thought it would be a nice introduction to have Cassie run through my favorite five interview questions as a part of the larger series. Cassie is also the crafty mind behind Kreative, a monthly diy night for all of our friends that allows us to enjoy time together (we celebrated my birthday this year making string art).

Cassie is mom to two little ones (Gigi & Charlie) and is in the process of transforming their 1940’s family home little by little. Hop on over to check out her new site.

Guest Blog Interview: Kent Heartstrings | PepperDesignBlog.com

I’m partial to her new backyard pallet succulent garden. Follow the jump for the full interview.

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Kitchen Breakfast Nook: A New Pair of Chairs Found

I’ve been on a serious chair hunt over the past few weeks…

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

Actually, replacing our one solo consignment store find has been on the to-do list for ages (one chair isn’t really that functional in here) but July has been my get on that month. Happy to report that I’ve found two that I’m really excited about for price, look and general kid-friendly-ness for our breakfast table in the kitchen.

It took a while, but when I finally narrowed my options down to anything and everything black (was toying with white or a colorful set of chairs just a couple of weeks ago), ideas began popping out at me left and right.

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

1 | 2 | 3 |4

Those top two photos helped to solidify why I thought black would be a terrific neutral color in a space full of warm tones (which our kitchen has plenty of). It became my goal first to happen upon a set of chairs that were unique in design – a cool shape, maybe a cool back, maybe a bentwood just like our previous solo chair…

I thought that these were kind of awesome:

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

But price was restrictive and suddenly my two new breakfast chairs were feeling like a focal point in the space rather than a functional element that would just sort of ‘blend in’.

To help with price (and I really found fun options that could break the bank all over the board), I decided to peruse Ikea’s website.

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

Not bad, right?? Ikea, you have outdone yourself.

I’ve read so-so reviews about the quality of materials of many of the more design-oriented chairs that Ikea has recently released (and we’ve had cheaper chairs crack or even smash apart on us – one particular dinner party rings a bell…), but I was willing to give them a shot for a space that is more of a ‘breakfast nook’ for the under-5-year-old crowd in our kitchen rather than a regularly used dining space. Plus, I was really wanting something that kids could destroy and that I wouldn’t care too much about.

Suddenly kid-friendly became the focus of my search. Durable became something that I considered for every chair. The image below of a basic chair became very appealing (love that they also have a yellow settee sort of bench set up!):

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

I visited Ikea with the intention of trying out the 2nd from the right in the top row above chair and found that they actually don’t sell that model on the floor at my store. What I did discover though were these ‘classic’ black wooden chairs discounted to $39/each (Ikea family deal through July 29th) which could potentially mean that my kitchen investment would be less than $100 for two chairs that would sort of ‘blend right in’.

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

That online description makes me chuckle.

I made an onsite decision (rare) to bring them home and give them a shot. I loved that they were made of wood and that if sometime in the future we did want to have a bit of fun in the space we could spray these guys cranberry, sage or even orange. Liv was keeping an eye out over my shoulder while I was searching Houzz and fell for these kitchen chairs hard:

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

Begged me to paint the two chairs orange right then and there.

The chairs came in a box each and weren’t all that terrible to assemble.

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

Especially with this one making sure that I didn’t lose any key parts (we’re assembling in my parent’s backyard to keep cool during these warm San Diego afternoons).

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

At a reader’s suggestion after my last post about debating color vs. black chairs, I visited Crate & Barrel recently to view their selection in person. I regretted choosing a really basic, black chair almost immediately.

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

Liv specifically requested a photo with the blue chair.

In person, oh the adorable options. Those black, orange or green bentwoods! Or the slatted modern farmhouse in red… Most of the chairs have a shiny lacquer quality and are actually pretty reasonably priced (I’m thinking between $110-$150 if I remember correctly). Oh tough decisions!

I was more than tempted to make an Ikea return at that moment. But at the end of the day I decided to give my new set a chance for a while. With all of the little home updates we’re making around here, the Ikea price tag feels about right at this moment. I’m going with my gut to see how these guys hold up (they are already regularly pulled across the floor for counter climbing and I’m anticipating some serious tipping/rocking by a certain little someone in the future). I’m crossing my fingers that their current durability will last longer than any of my Ikea furniture in college ever did. But these two chairs feel solid and tough, I’m pretty sure they will.

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

A New Black *Ikea* Chair for the Kitchen Breakfast Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

I’m really digging the black in this space (especially with the black french doors, the chalkboard…). In person, it feels really right and not too dark at all.

PS more kitchen transformation (this room used to be a carpeted and paneled den, she’s come along way!) chronicled right here.

Six Fresh & Sweet Summer Recipes

Thank you so much for all of your comments and emails regarding yesterday’s big announcement, we’re super excited and we’ll have so much to share as we make little house and lifestyle updates to get ready for expanding our family. The news is still rocking my world!

Today, a little round up of some of the recipes on my hit list this summer. There’s just something magical about fresh summer fruits and veggies – so sweet! so juicy and seasonal and perfect – and they especially make the best base for so many delicious appetizers and drinks whether they’re roasted, pureed, coated or served up á la carte.

Six Summer Fresh & Sweet Recipes | Bites & Sips | PepperDesignBlog.com

sorbet watermelon wedges (the assembly of this is so easy that it makes
me smile that that’s not what initially came to mind)
cucumber & feta boats | watermelon punch bowl
nectarine & fried mozzarella stacks | proscuitto and cantaloupe
watermelon aqua fresca mimosa (or mocktail?)

I’d like to plan an under-the-stars dinner party sometime soon to take advantage of these warm summer nights and our soon-to-be-updated (pillows ordered!) backyard. Most of the above – especially the nectarine + fried mozzarella + balsamic glaze stacks – are on the dream menu.

PS more good eats to try right over here.

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