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

Kitchen Breakfast Nook: Searching For a Pair of Chairs

Oops! You may have caught a sneak peek to a post that I’m working on called ’5 Lessons I Learned From My Mother’ that published itself at 3am this morning :). That one is still in draft phase… sorry for the rss email that blasted out for those that are subscribed to the blog!

Kitchen Breakfast Table | Tufted Bench, Giant Chalkboard | PepperDesignBlog.com
Do you know what’s missing from the above photo?

Kitchen Breakfast Table | Tufted Bench, Giant Chalkboard | PepperDesignBlog.com

A new door and another chair. We’ve installed and stained the new door (there are woohoo’s around here to be had for miles about this door! you might have caught a sneak peek here) and I’ve officially given up on finding my beloved little consignment guy a mate. I actually was very close – about a year ago we were on a weekend vacation to the mountains and, while stopping by a local thrift store called ‘the dump’ (so aptly named because it saves great finds from the dump next door), I actually found a bentwood that, with a little love, might have turned out just like the above chair. It was in bad shape… and Kev mistook it as trash while cleaning out our garage months later and took it to our local dump with a big haul one afternoon without me realizing as much. Ah well. Time for something new and perhaps a little less woodsy.

We have a lot of maple stained wood around the kitchen these days and if I picture a new pair of chairs I’m leaning away from a natural wood and more towards a solid color. At first it was white…

Kitchen Nook Breakfast Chair Inspiration | PepperDesignBlog.com

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But there’s not really that much white in the kitchen itself (except for white dishes in the glass cabinets or on the countertop). Next I thought that color could be really fun!

Kitchen Nook Breakfast Chair Inspiration | PepperDesignBlog.com

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Those red chairs are amazing! And color pops so well, especially in photos. But the more and more that I searched and sat (harhar) on the idea, the more I realized that I was drawn to a different color in this space.

Kitchen Breakfast Table | Tufted Bench, Giant Chalkboard, Black French Doors | PepperDesignBlog.com

Black? Yes, I think black. Between the chalkboard, black framed art, black french doors, oil rubbed bronze faucet hardware…

Kitchen Breakfast Table | Tufted Bench, Giant Chalkboard, Black French Doors | PepperDesignBlog.com

Black is awfully tempting. Is it too much?? Will the black chairs play friendly with the other pieces of furniture in the space? I’m off to explore some options. (It’s kind of nice for me to look back on these photos… at this moment that little kitchen table is filled with craft projects and magazine clippings from Liv’s latest venture. Maybe today I’ll unearth the table again for some great visualizing).

Projects from this space: diy tufted cabinets (aka a new breakfast table bench), a simple giant framed chalkboard, a little cork art & family station, glossy black salvaged french doors (found on the side of the road), calendar wall art (in the black frames) and the ‘before’ kitchen (talk about lots of maple).

I Love Picnics!

We had the opportunity this past weekend (including a Thursday night concert in the park – lots of dancing) to pack a picnic lunch on maybe three different occasions. Man oh man I love picnics. It made me realize that there are certain foods that I always keep on hand (well, almost always) for such awesome, spontaneous moments where eating outdoors is part of the adventure.

Summer Picnic Essentials | PepperDesignBlog.com

We ended up food trucking our dinner Thursday night and packing easy sandwiches and carrot sticks on Sunday for the beach. Seven out of 10 times though we usually assemble finger foods from our fridge that are sort of special picnic snacks and pack them up in a reusable shopping bag or backpack.

I love, LOVE picnics. Or maybe actually it’s the reason that we need to pack one. Eating outdoors on a towel or blanket means that we’re on a hike, playing at a park, walking the zoo, listening at an outdoor music venue, watching a movie under the stars, relaxing at the beach… we’re having a fun, out-of-the-house family day.

Special picnic foods might be fresh sliced fruits, handmade tapenedes, hummus, sweet or pickled veggies… plus foods that we almost always have stocked in the fridge:

1 | Heirloom tomatoes (love, love these with salt, they come in our csa box and I really look forward to their arrival.)

2 | Balsamic vinegar & mozzarella (because they pair so perfectly with tomatoes! Instant gourmet caprese salad. I should have included a handful of basil leaves from the garden in the above photo because in our house those four ingredients are regularly stacked in tupperware and poked with toothpicks for eating on the go.)

3 | Salad-of-the-week (leftovers from whatever we were munching on that week – potato, pasta, artichoke spinach… equally yummy when picked up from the deli down the street.)

4 | Cheese! (I really dig having lots of cheeses on hand for a spontaneous appetizer hour – really yummy while cooking dinner solo or with friends – so you can usually find brie or chèvre or something of the stinky variety in our cheese drawer. Also perfect for a picnic.)

5 | Liv is obsessed with salami. Don’t know what it is but it’s her go-to sandwich and snack, and she’d eat the entire package if no one was looking. We love it with french bread and swiss cheese, mmm.

6 | A loaf of french or sourdough bread (best picked up that morning) for soaking up caprese goodness or layering with sandwich fixings.

We don’t pack a separate lunch for the girls, they treat the above picnic menu like a buffet and choose what they want that day. Summer is awesome here in San Diego, sometimes it starts early in the spring and doesn’t end until well into the fall! That is, the warm evenings part of summer :). Picnics are sort of the ultimate summer activity for me…

My Favorite Liv-isms

Livisms | Farmer's Market | PepperDesignBlog.com

My monthly dose of favorites:

While we’re stopping for gas.
Liv: “I need to go potty.”
Mom: “Can you hold it? This gas station doesn’t have a potty.”
Liv: “Daddy can take me to a store that has a ‘this store has a potty and sells food’ sign.”

While at my brother’s graduation upon seeing a blow horn for the first time.
Liv: “I wish I could have one of those things that snorts at them [the students]!”

Upon discovering that most of the story books in the girls’ room have been rearranged.
Mom: “Why are you moving all of your books from your bookshelves to your rocking chair pockets?”
Liv: “Well, I recombized (recognized) that these pockets were empty so I decided to fill them.” Holding hands up innocently with a shrug.

While being silly.
Liv: “You know me, I’m Olivia!” And then bursting into hysterical laughter.

While laying in bed early one morning.
Liv: “Mom, can I marry you?”

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PS in other news, a big thank you to Saustark Design for featuring Liv’s Ikea hack mini kitchen on their blog and in their book (soon-to-be-published). This particular post link is in German, but you can read the English version on PDB right here.

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