Kitchen: 100% done.... finally

I've been a bit of a procrastinator. Maybe burnt out was more like it... after tackling the kitchen reno last year. It was a long road and when the final cabinet replacement items (mainly trim and side panels) were installed mid december, over 6 months since we began the process, I was not jumping for joy at the prospect of whipping out a wet tile saw in the dead of Winter. So I didn't whip it out. 

But that left me with this embarrassing scene.

I had a burst of DIY energy two weeks ago and decided I'd put it towards getting this sorted out (and lord knows I could have used it in pretty much any room of this house. But that is another story for another day).

{ a sigh of relief it's done }

But back to the start! I was at a party a couple weeks ago and so many of my Mom's friend's were telling me they love my blog but couldn't imagine tackling these things. I have to agree with them that it can feel overwhelming, which is why so many of us tend to have ever growing To Do lists, but it really isn't hard. Or scary, once you give it a go. For me saws have always been scary. I'd do a project but always stop and have Sean do the cuts for me. Until one day I didn't feel like waiting till he got home from work so I did it myself and now I am a breeze on most saws! You just have to try is the moral of my story. 

I wanted to continue the subway tile from the other end of the kitchen and still had enough left so that was easy, and because I knew my burst of DIY energy might be a short lived thing I was sure to buy a small tub of both pre-mixed thinset (mortar) and grout. This saves SOOO much time and trouble. 

{ what tended to be the dumping ground }

I spent about 3 hours getting it all tiled up and it looked good! But I knew that I wanted to do open shelves as well. I have always loved open shelving in kitchens and before we reno'd the last one it made a big temporary improvement to take down the upper cabinets and do shelves. 

These brackets from Ikea ($2.50 each) and the wood shelf (also from Ikea, $16.99) are also going into Lexington's kitchen and I liked the look so I bought an extra 4 brackets for here and one long shelf to cut in half to get 2 shelves in total. 

I actually toyed with the idea of going with the black brackets to tie into our few black items (lighting and stools) but holding them up in place just felt too dark.  So I painted them with matching cabinet paint (Martha Stewart, Picket Fence) to give them a custom feel. 

Once the brackets were ready it was time to determine where we wanted them to line up. I was SCARED to death when I realized I'd have to drill into my new tile job. What if the tiles cracked or shattered? With the help of a diamond coated tile bit I went through really easily and smoothly (all while holding my breath!).

{ could have been a disaster }

All up on the wall, I gave my screws a coat of matching paint as well. I was lucky that it lined up with studs on both sides so I don't have to worry about how much weight we throw on them. 
All done with the exception of one electrical outlet, my one remaining fear! I may learn how to do them in the future but for now I am steering clear of any electrical. I'll let the handy hubby handle that.

Those of you on my instagram feed probably recognize a few things!

{ no longer an eye sore }
I really like the weight of these shelves and they give just the right amount of interest without distracting from the items displayed on them. Plus they were half the cost of anything else I even remotely liked and a fraction of the price of some Anthro ones I was coveting. Well played Ikea!

We are getting close to the finish line at Lexington (I promise to update you early next week, or check my Instagram feed for daily updates) and I am starting to focus on the staging. While I made a quick stop at Goodwill to hunt down drapery options on the CHEAP I saw this funky antler. I loaded up my cart with 4 awesome panels of linen-like drapes (for only $13!!!) and left... but ended up thinking about this silly thing for the rest of the day.

So I caved and went back to get it.

{ $20 later... I'm still in love }

all in all, a crazy, hectic, busy, awesome week!

{Happy weekend}

Put a Hex on me

One remnant from our old kitchen was really a thorn in my side for the last few months; this dirty old lamp. The problem was that I really didn't see anything I thought a) suited the kitchen, and b) matched or somewhat coordinated with our hanging pendant over the peninsula.

I had thought about the hexagonal pendants from Restoration Hardware because they were the same aged bronze (nearly black) finish while most others that appealed to me had chrome finishes, and I liked their neat lines, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on the price.

But a few weeks ago I was out shopping with a girl friend when we found this box in a corner at HomeSense. It was a perfect replica, and the price was insanely good at $79 so I thought I would bring it home to see how I liked it in person.

Being the sweet guy he is, Sean held it up while I debated on how I felt. But without any other contenders on the horizon we decided to go ahead and give it a chance. After living with it a few weeks I can honestly say that it is the perfect fit for our fun/industrial vibe. I still need to track down a cool filament bulb, but I just had to share!

It is a perfect match in color to the light fixture only feet away, which was my biggest concern.

It is strange that I hadn't even thought about it before, but it actually makes so much sense visually because the room is hexagonal, so the light fixture (and antique table) really play up the odd shape really well.

Now I just need to finish these darn slipcovers!!

What do you think, crazy, cool or undecided?

Let's chat stools~

I have been wanting to share our new stools (thanks for the reminder in the last post Dawn!!), but I've been waiting for the partner for our stool. I think I mentioned that we were eyeing the Restoration Hardware stools but found the $315 price tag (plus shipping) a tad high (I now see they are on sale for $255). So while these look nearly identical, they aren't from restoration hardware.

I debated on whether to post about our experience with the stools because I hate being a debbie downer, but at the end of the day I really REALLY want to save someone else the same trouble we had. A few months ago I saw these stools at a local boutique called Urbane. They were priced at $250 each so I decided that after the holidays we would order them and save ourselves about $200.

We went in on January 2 and asked if we could order the stools but the sales associate told me that they were now $500 each. YIKES!! And to top if off they looked completely different to me. She was positive that there were no stools at $250 and even after I pointed out all the differences in the photos they emailed me she hesitated on pulling up any sort of pricing. Eventually she admitted they were different and that I could order the original ones I liked for $250 each. We paid and she told me she would call me a week later with details on when they would arrive.

3 weeks later I finally call them asking for an update and learn that there was one waiting for me at the warehouse the entire time. Thanks for letting me know! They had no idea when the next one would arrive...

2 weeks later I get a call asking if I was told what happened to my other stool. Ummm, no you were supposed to tell me what was going on, remember? Well it turns out that it arrived but was somehow crushed by a fork lift. But don't worry, they would rush order a new one. One week later I still hadn't heard when the new one would arrive so I called back and was told that this manufacturer doesn't ship until the truck is completely full so I would have to wait until more customers placed orders. Hello, that doesn't sound like a rush order to me?! I pointed out that it didn't seem too rushed based on that info and I kind of wanted to know when I could expect the other stool. I debated on just cancelling the order and returning the first stool to instead get the RH ones when somehow later that day a stool magically turns up and they brought it over... hmmmm.

Anyways, I have both the stools now and while I love them I probably would have just paid the extra money and ordered the RH version since I have had nothing but amazing service there. Lesson learned!

I think I will order another just because I feel like 2 isn't quite enough but 4 would be overwhelming for that ledge.

Sean loves that he can lower his seat while Wren and I like our stools higher!

Finally all the little touches of dark/black metal are making sense as everything comes together.

It's funny because this whole kitchen process seemed to be just one big fight from the cabinets to not shipping our tap and now these stools. The only companies I've worked with that I've had nothing but rave reviews for are Urban Granite who did our marble counters, Restoration Hardware who helped with the light and Tile Town who we ordered our subway tile with.

Biggest lesson I've learned? You have to be really vocal to get what you want! Patiently waiting doesn't get you much, and sadly the thorn in the sides are usually the ones who get the fastest/best response.