Let There Be Light!

Our newly found motivation with household projects continues, which means my cooking has been made up of quick and easy meals and lots of leftovers. It’s a little sad for our bellies these past few weeks but so many things are getting accomplished in the house that I can hardly be upset. I promise to get back to cooking and sharing my recipes with you all soon but for now, let me show you our latest project and by our I really mean Eric’s because he did all the work while I handed him thing he asked for and paced around the kitchen.

Here’s the back story to this project. When we moved into our house four years ago, I liked the kitchen a lot. I was large, had a big island work space , a decent stove/oven with a flat top and a huge beautiful pantry, what more could a girl ask for? Unfortunately, my tastes were not the same as the previous owners and I quickly got to work painting the walls and trim. A few years later, painting the cabinets white followed and for the last year we’ve been searching for a new light fixture. I wanted something that would open the space up and something that emulated the style of the kitchen I was hoping for and not the previous owners’ kitchen. We found a really nice glass jar chandelier from West Elm around Christmas time and I began stalking West Elm for it to go on sale. Of course when you’re waiting for a sale, it seems to take forever and I think every other category on their website went on sale except for lighting. Finally, in May I got the email that they were offering 20% off all lighting and made my move. I ordered one chandelier for the kitchen and one pedant light for over the sink.

The chandelier was back ordered and didn’t arrive until the end of June. Eric was traveling for work for 3 weeks and we finally got some time 2 weeks ago to put up the large chandelier. It ended up being a pretty simple switcheroo, the old light fixture for the new one. After some aggravated words, turning on and off the power several times and a trip to the hardware store, things were looking nice and bright in our kitchen. We went from this:

Don’t you feel like that one is really heavy and large for the space? I also feel like it should be over a pool table, not a kitchen island. Here is the new light:

I love it so much more! It makes the whole kitchen feel lighter and brighter.

Next, Eric started on the area above the sink, you can see it in the above photo with the wood over top of the curtain. Eric took down the wood, went into the wall, moved the electrical wiring and the light box into the ceiling, installed the new light, re-hung the trim on the cabinets, patched the wall and then painted everything. Now it looks like this:

Didn’t he do an amazing job? It looks like it was always like this. Here’s the full effect in the kitchen with both new lights:

And just for fun, lets take a look at the kitchen when we moved in:

And now:

We keep hanging out in the kitchen now because we love it so much and I just go and and flick the lights on an off sometimes to gaze upon their beauty. What do you guys think, is this an improvement? Have you replaced lighting in your house and loved the results?

While the Cat is Away, the Mice will Play

What have you all been up to this week? I can tell you one thing I haven’t been doing…cooking. I know, I know quel horreur! But, Eric is out of town on business for the whole week and this is the 3rd week in a row. When its just me and Bailey, I don’t cook a lot. The desire to fill my days with baking is strong but then I think to myself, who will eat all those baked goods? The answer is me, I will eat them all. So its best not to make them at all for fear of turning into a cupcake (you are what you eat, right?).

Instead of cooking, I’ve adjusted to this new state of unemployment by going over every square inch of my house and making To-Do lists. I currently have 4 lists compiled. One of cleaning tasks to be completed this week. One of deep cleaning tasks that will be spread out. One of smaller/cheaper projects that require less time and finally, one of major projects to be completely that require planning and saving.

I figure, this house is now my job, I’m going to make sure it looks great! Plus, projects make me happy and keep my occupied. Eric works really hard and his job takes him away from home a lot. This means that when he is home, he isn’t all that excited about helping me paint the spare bedroom or hanging a light fixture. He’ll usually give in to me and do it, if asked, but I like accomplishing things while he’s away that he can come home to and relax with.

Here is my run-down on projects. Last week I gave an old night stand a makeover. This was an old IKEA night stand that Eric purchased for his apartment before we got married. I was keeping it in the living room, purely because I didn’t have anywhere else to put it. You can see it in between the two chairs with picture frames on it.

I was also searching for a new night table for our office/guest room. While walking through the house last week it occurred to me that I could simply paint that night stand white and use it in the guest room. So I primed and painted that bad boy, purchased some cute new knobs and voila!

 

 

Also note the lamp on the night stand. That used to be painted with blue and gold flowers, not my style. So I took a can of glossy white spray paint to it last week and then covered the lampshade with some sale fabric I picked up at the fabric store. Bam! New lamp! I love how it turned out.

While I was spray painting, I had a bunch of different color picture frames that I couldn’t really use anymore, those also got a fresh coat of white spray paint and now I’ve got 4 new white frames that I can fill and hang!

The next project was also simple and cheap. I’d seen images on Pinterest of china hutches with the backs painted or stenciled in neat patterns. I knew I wanted to do something to spruce mine up, but mine is an antique so I needed whatever I did to be removable and temporary.

 

 

I found some textured wallpaper at Lowes and used some poster putty to attach it to the back of my cabinet. I reloaded the cabinet (in a more organized fashion) and the end result was this:

 I like its subtlety and the way the white backing really shows off my glassware and brightens up the whole china hutch.

These all happened last week. This week, I’ve given an old desk a makeover and painted our spare bedroom. They’re not fully complete yet, so I’ll wait to show you those photos next week.

What about you guys, any DIY projects going on at your houses? Do you get into mischief when your spouse is away? Spill it.