Week 4.5 of the New Kitchen: Little Projects Add Up

These last few weeks have found us in the land of ‘little projects’. You know, those projects that take just a couple of hours to tackle and aren’t that exciting, but make a difference just the same? Truth be told, the kitchen reno has halted a bit while we use spare weekends to tear apart the future nursery and to finish other minor updates.

But we did make a bit of progress that I’m anxious to share with you – and the goal is to have a working kitchen in just a few short days! We initially went into the makeover with the hopes of completing it – start to finish – in 30 days. Not 30 straight days – but 30 days of dedicated work. Here’s a quick post line up of days 1-6, 7-12, 13-19, 20-28, plus the inspiration board and ‘before’ pictures.

And now for days 29 & 30:

Day 29 was devoted to the light fixtures and a working hood over the range. Because the kitchen was built out of an old bedroom, we needed to cut new vents and airways for additions like a hood range (and pretty much build the rest from scratch). When it came to tracking down hanging pendants that we both loved, we found the perfect set at Lowe’s (for a great price) despite much online searching. They have that Spanish feel without feeling too rustic and we love how they look with the other dark metals in the room.

By Day 30, Kevin was ready to install the molding around the doors. He placed special orders for the same stain as our cabinets from the manufacturer (Kraftsman) and the same wood (pine) as the doors and windows. Then he painted, planed and installed the flat molding around the edges – we have plans to do the same for the floor boards and cabinets.

That brought us to 30 days of labor (over the course of three months) and so sadly we won’t be hitting that dreamy deadline… but hopefully it won’t be much more than a few extra days until we cross the finish line! Our list of little projects is growing, but the determination to get everything wrapped up is hugely motivating.

A few of those little projects include: installing appliances (as well as connecting to gas, water, etc), adding finishing cabinet touches (such as molding, uplighting and cabinet can lights) and modifying our current Craigslist barstools to fit the new counters (a couple of inches off of each leg and new cushions ought to do the trick).

We’ll keep plugging along over here and hopefully after the Thanksgiving weekend we’ll be able to show off a brand new space!

Christmas Cards by Tiny Prints

I can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner! I love this time of the year and even though it’s not yet Thanksgiving I’m making progress on crossing items off of my to-do-before-Christmas list. The goal is to have presents bought (not easy when you have 7 brothers between the hubby and myself) and the house decorated by the first week of December. I’m very much trying to avoid a 9 1/2 month pregnant me cruising down the aisles of Target before closing on Christmas Eve!

On one note, offering up our home in an open-house sort of fashion for family over the holidays made sense. We’re not planning on traveling (both of our families live a good 6 hour drive away) but we’d love to be surrounded by our loved ones during this special time. On another note, the realization that we are a home under construction with a babe shortly to follow while hosting three families is now catching up to me.

So! Back to knocking out those items on the list early. First up? Christmas cards.

Tiny Prints, Contemporary Christmas Cards, Modern, Pepper Design Blog, Maternity

I knew I wanted to invest in maternity photos and the fact that they will play double duty as our 2010 holiday card is even better. We shot family photos with the very talented Robert Goold here in San Diego just last week (a wonderful team to work with if you’re in the area!) and now I’m editing and pulling together my favorites. (Kevin insisted Bodie be included!)

Tiny Prints, Maternity Christmas Cards, Modern, Contemporary

I love love the contemporary Christmas designs offered by Tiny Prints this year. The graphic designer in me has a deep affection for beautiful fonts and I was all over the options in their Signature and Premium collections (the pop-up and tri-fold designs are very cool, too).

Tiny Prints, Maternity Christmas Cards, Modern, Contemporary

Ultimately, I was won over by this unique card shape and beautiful design layout (I love the colors!):

Tiny Prints, Maternity Christmas Cards

Loading, cropping and editing the images directly in Tiny Prints was super easy – and since I had created 8 different mock-ups (not unusual…) I was pleased to find an easy-to-sort folder to save my favorites for comparing.

One big item on the list complete – now I just have to figure out what neat & exciting gifts I can purchase for college-aged boys and if I can get a bulk discount ;).

Project Nursery: Inspiring Rooms

My usual decorating process goes something like this:

1. Collect inspiring images into a folder on my desktop (over days or months)
2. Identify and pull from those images what resonates with me from each room (maybe a beautiful chair or wallpaper pattern)
3. Compile an inspiration board of furniture & general aesthetic from the images
4. Use the inspiration board to inspire colors and patterns
5. And finally DIY and search out components of the board until the room is complete, tweaking to incorporate great finds and changing tastes

Try as I might, I’ve gotten as far as step 2 for the new nursery over the past 8 months (yes, 8 months!). That darn room has changed so many times in my mind that as soon as I’m ready to commit I change my mind again.

But here’s a look at step 2. Here are the images that have resonated with me over the past year for this reason or that:

Inspiring Nurseries, Nursery Inspiration, Decoration, Decor Kid's Rooms

It only adds to the conundrum that the room has to stay fairly gender neutral until baby comes. We’re both excited to wait for ‘the big surprise’ but it’s difficult to build a design concept that doesn’t inch too much towards masculine or feminine.

Inspiring Nurseries, Nursery Inspiration, Decoration, Decor Kid's Rooms

I’m pretty certain the basic colors will stay in the neutrals (white, tans, browns) with splashes of red accents. From there, baby blues and yellows can build up a more colorful backdrop and I’m excited to use a decent amount of playful patterns in various fabrics for crib bedding, window valences (to corral those three awkward windows), curtains, pillows, fabric decals and the like.

Inspiring Nurseries, Nursery Inspiration, Decoration, Decor Kid's Rooms

Here I go, back to the drawing board. If I don’t have a pretty descriptive inspiration board to help guide my choices I end up doubting and returning more than I’d care to admit! Laying out pattern and color choices in advance makes for a fun design process – and pulling all of the pieces together is always my favorite part.

Stay tuned!

Inspirational rooms from above: Ohdeedoh, Samantha Pynn, 6th Street Design School, Ish & Chi, Isabella & Max and others from months and months ago…

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