Saturday, April 19, 2014
Elsa is a professional model!! She just did her first (and probably last, I was kidding about wanting her to be a model. SCIENTIST!) photo shoot for Bell Helmets. Our friend Niki works for them and she so kindly gifted Elsa a sassy Paul Frank helmet a few months back, which Elsa happily wore, we took a picture, sent it to Niki, who then gave it to the Bell executives (this is conjecture at this point by the way), who then freaked out because they found the PERFECT toddler model for their new catalog!
Fast forward to last Wednesday, they were doing the photo shoot in Huntington Beach and we were all supposed to come so they could photograph us as a family. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A MODEL TOO!! But then stupid science got in the way, and instead of becoming famous and frolicking in front of a camera while wearing a helmet, I had to deal with a clinical trial audit instead. Awesommmmmme.
So the two Karens stepped in and brought Jude and Henry to model along with Elsa instead. Which I guess was cool. I still get a free helmet out of it though so that's my consolation prize.
They surprisingly had a helmet in Jeff's size so he got to model too.
Posted by Liv at 5:00 PM
Friday, April 18, 2014
Rent-A-Green-Box again to help box everything up (we used them when we moved into this house- they are awesome and it is SUCH a great idea. I will never move crap ever again in cardboard boxes. These rule.) and they called us up a week early and asked if we would mind getting the boxes that day, for an extra week at no charge. Uh, YEAH! They also gave us a dolly to use and free labels that you can peel off and plant when you're done with them because they have snapdragon seeds in them. WHAT!? Amazing. I love them. That extra free week though was really great so we could do a little at a time. Elsa helped:
Just kidding. No she did not. She would take stuff out as I put stuff in. Baby doesn't understand rules of packing. At least she looked cool in her Robin Thicke pants and galoshes.
Oh beautiful dining room! How we have abused you. The table got pushed to the window wall and is covered in our glasses and dishes (easier than wrapping and boxing them, but fingers crossed for no earthquake or exploring Siamese!) and the boxes of flooring and other new items for the spaces are stacked in here.
I'm working at the kitchen island for now, but Mandy and Seth will be picking that sucker up tomorrow for their kitchen so I'll bring my circle table in here to work from next week. Not at all a distracting office. Sigh.
Aaaaaaaaaanal! I know. But work like this is SO much more pleasant to do when you have all the proper tools you may need within reach. While being organized on a grid mat. I just got that handy cordless Black&Decker drill and love it. I also got a bunch of attachments for it that will replace the stupid little Ikea hex tools that give you massive hand cramps after like 3 screws. POWER! *grunt grunt*
Lillangen sink and cabinet combo from Ikea and the scale was just right for our mini half-bath that we're adding. It looks like this finished:
If Plan A works out, the leftover toe kick from the kitchen will be used to wrap these legs on this cabinet to make it look more built in. Plan A will not work though if the black/brown from the Ramsjo cabinets do not match the black/brown from the Lillangen cabinet. I have a feeling they won't, because the Ramsjo cabinets are really black, and this one is looking warmer. We'll see how funny it looks, and if the idea gets scrapped, Plan B comes into effect. Gold legs! So sexy.
I also sprayed the cabinet door pull gold to match, naturally. I love how they look so I won't be upset with Plan B at all, but Plan A would make cleaning the bathroom floor easier for Jeff.
More pics later of our cabinet building shenanigans! Unless Jodi was serious about bringing over wine, in which case we may just build one cabinet and I'll make Jan do the rest when he comes over on Sunday.
Posted by Liv at 8:01 PM
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I love the brass bracket clamp thingy on top of the shade and the black and white cloth cord, exactly the look we're going for in the new kitchen. Clean lines and modern, but with a nod to the vintage.
And my sconces!! The gold capped light bulbs came in the mail this week and they are so awesome. I sprayed the white porcelain sockets black as I talked about doing here, and they came out matte black and to my liking. I love the little gold pull chains on them too, super happy with these, especially considering they were only $12.50 each!
Posted by Liv at 12:37 PM
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
It doesn't really feel right to bring in stained and frayed tea towels and pot holders into my future beautiful new kitchen, so I think we may part ways and welcome in a load of shiny new kitchen goodies. Plus I've kind of already picked out everything else going into this remodel and need something new to shop for. STUFF! Just kidding, I'm probably going to make most of this stuff.
These tea towels from Gingiber are so my style. Animals, graphic but cute, black and white. Love 'em. Tea towels are easy to sew up though and might be a good opportunity for some design craftiness. A meeting of the Craft Club is in order.
Everything that Sarah Sherman Samuel does/is/wears is amazing. All of the products from her shop A Sunny Afternoon are so good. I want that spotted peach tea towel, and the hex cutting boards are rad. We're going to have a chunk of 1'x 6' butcher block left over from the kitchen, maybe I can ask our carpenters to chop it up into a bunch of hex cutting boards. I'll bribe them with treats.
I learned my lesson with my last potholders- you want to go black with these. Our old ones are looking pretty rough, and certainly not worthy of being displayed off a hook like these awesome storm clouds. I feel guilty ripping off someone's idea, but these would be super easy for me to make, and $55 on two pot holders is a little insane.
these vases. GAH! I love the colors, love that there are three.
Our massive collection of bamboo kitchen utensils are going to get the dip treatment for sure. It's coming. Picture via Poppytalk. That peachy pink is going to be my kitchen's accent color.
Our new washing machine is going to make me want to laundry constantly (I actually already really enjoy doing it) so these eco-towels to replace paper towels will help keep that washer running. Elsa is crazy messy and I feel guilty going through so many paper towels, so if we can at least reduce our usage by swapping in these, I'm for it.
And duh, we need a few awesome copper baskets to put these eco-towels in for easy access around the kitchen.
I think we're nixing the pot rack since we'll have enough cabinet drawer space for everything so I'm thinking this wraparound corner shelf would be awesome on the range wall to window wall corner. Perfect little perch for all my cute kitchen things above. And they can do that accent paint edge in a light peach! Want. Just need to make sure our corner is actually 90 degrees, otherwise it will be wonky and there will be no wonky in my new kitchen.
Posted by Liv at 11:27 AM
Friday, February 28, 2014
The IKEA kitchen came last Friday, 141 of 143 pieces delivered! It was stressful. At least Jeff took Elsa out to the park to play during the scheduled delivery time, it would have been a madhouse to have her underfoot while they stacked everything in the back room. When I bought the kitchen, the sales guy said to take the time and check in every piece on my receipt to ensure a complete delivery, so I pretty much did that. The delivery guys were super annoyed with me, and tried to tell me that I had 10 days to confirm everything was there, but I just gave them my best "I'm not an idiot" glare and went back to checking item numbers off my sales sheet. It took like 30 minutes, but I did a lot of it as they were bringing the stuff in, so they were waiting around maybe 10 minutes. I didn't feel bad.
I neglected to go through the box of individually packaged hardware bags that came with the delivery, because it was like 37 pieces and everything was under $7, so I figured if something was missing, it wasn't a huge deal. I didn't check them in while the guys were there because in those 10 minutes, we also got our rug delivered and our gorgeous kitchen faucet delivered so the doorbell kept ringing and I was overwhelmed. I checked the hardware box after they left and found out I got screwed out of two bags of hinges, but they're only a few bucks and I already called IKEA and they said they'd give them to me. At least all the big items made it and nothing looked damaged!
We rearranged a bit and most everything is now in the area shown in the first picture. It's pretty out of the way, but I'm itching to open everything up and build it into my dream kitchen. The cats are loving it though as perches to lay on and look out the window, and a maze to hide from Elsa in.
And here's our new bedroom rug!
Getting Elsa's leopard print wool rug for her room totally made me a rug convert. I was all about hardwood floors only for awhile (probably residual emotional scars left from Lily Mae's bulimia) but playing with a toddler means a lot of time spent on the floor and a cushy rug is just so nice to roll around on. This guy is from RugsUSA.com and is 100% wool awesomeness. It hardly sheds at all, and I got it during their 60% off sale so it ended being around $110, with free shipping! Such a deal. Looks a lot like this West Elm one that's 5x more, maybe a little fluffier.
And the kitchen faucet! I love the Delta Trinsic line a lot, and the champagne bronze is exactly the finish I was going for. I read enough bad reviews for the Touch20 model (you tap it and the water turns on) that I decided to go with the basic model. It scared me to think one of the cats could brush up against it turning it on, and then leaving it on until we noticed. We're in a drought, ain't nobody got water for that!
We got the single-handle pull-down sprayer faucet because I think we'll need the reach of the sprayer for the farmhouse sink we're getting, and I like the simplicity of the single hole and single handle.
I open the box a lot and gaze adoringly at it, whispering sweet nothings. I love you Faucet...
Posted by Liv at 1:20 PM
Thursday, February 27, 2014
You won't believe how rare simple, modern, not-crazy-expensive, gold cabinet hardware is to find. I went Level 9 Obsessive on searching of the perfect hardware for our new kitchen, knowing it would be one of my "splurge" areas. It's the bling of the kitchen and something that gets touched multiple times a day so it's not something you want to go cheap on in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, the Ikea hardware is stupid cheap, but looks really well made and solid and I would have been happy to go with their stuff if they made it in the finish I wanted. I'm talking more about all the internet DIYs on spray painting the Ikea hardware gold. They look good, but for how long? I'd be so bummed if the paint started to wear or chip off.
So I knew I wanted a brushed brass/gold finish, and definitely not the super shiny yellow brass, but unfortunately a lot of the sites don't break down their brass hardware into these two color categories so I did a lot of scrolling past terrible hardware to get to the 3% of choice pieces that met my design wishes. My budgetary wishes? Not so much. I budgeted about $500 to get all of the hardware for the kitchen, and got pretty close. I was right at $500 but the clouds parted and the Gods of Internet Coupon Codes blessed me, and I scored a very rare 20% off anything coupon code from one of the several websites that carried the hardware. Paired with free shipping over $29.99, ATGStores.com got my business. I hesitate to link them here, because they were TERRIBLE with the customer service aspect. I purchased the hardware once I thought the kitchen was finalized, but if you remember from the last post, a few cabinet changes were made in the final IKEA plan, so I wanted to swap out a couple of the pulls. Long story short, they were terrible, I didn't swap out anything, but it's going to work out and I just ended up with one extra pull that will get used in the bathroom. No biggie, but boo hiss to ATG's customer support team.
So roughly $400 got me 17 of the 10.5" pulls on the bottom of the picture, 7 of the 5" pulls in the middle, and 9 of the shorty knobs on top. I am SO happy with them too. They are heavy and feel solid and great, and the finish is so pretty. I think they look awesome against the black cabinets, and will go with the cork floors better than silver hardware would have. No regrets!
Posted by Liv at 3:59 PM
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I totally hesitate to post these drawings here. Because they show you how crazy I am. Yeah, I doodled the gold hardware, subway tile, and a hanging plant on the Ikea layout printouts. These are the sacrifices I make for you, dear blahg readers.
I'd love one of the big classic Karlsson Calendar flip clocks to the right of the range hood, but they're expensive and sold out on Amazon. Boooo... Commence clock stalking!
Posted by Liv at 9:50 PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
There were internet rumors. Internet rumors too intriguing to let slide. Specifically, when you are an IKEA Family program member (which is free to join), if you buy something and it gets discounted within 90 days, you can march your receipt back in to the store and get that money back. Normally it's just 30 days. This becomes a HUGE deal when you consider the IKEA kitchen sales. They happen twice a year, for a month, so if you have three months on either side of those sales to get the discount, laws of math tell you that the kitchen sale is ALL YEAR LONG! Yeah, so you don't have to buy your IKEA kitchen during the sale months when nothing is in stock, and all the IKEA kitchen people are stressed out and snippy.
Posted by Liv at 8:58 PM
I found new kitchen sconces!! I love the simplicity of them, and it doesn't hurt that they are crazy cheap. $12.50 each!! Plus the cost of spray paint. Before you think I'm crazy, let's see some pictures:
I ended up ordering these sockets below from Amazon, for only $5 each! I like the brass pull chain on them (we'll have them wired to a light switch so we don't have to pull them on constantly, it's more like jewelry for my sconces), and that price is pretty amazing.
Posted by Liv at 10:12 AM
Sunday, February 9, 2014
We have a couple of opportunities for some good lighting choices in the new kitchen. The area I'm most excited about is the bumped out wall that will have the shallow (12" deep) cabinets. We wanted to keep this area free of upper cabinets so we could put a big painting here (yet to be chosen, fingers crossed for a Danny Heller), flanked by two sconces. I think it will make it a little more homey and less kitcheny. That's a word.
Again, ignore the dumb Ikea home planner picture where it looks like the cabinets are overlapping with the doorway molding. They will not.
So sconces! So many to choose from... and such a potential budget buster. Lighting can be freakin' expensive! I started immediately limiting my search results by price, because I was too often finding awesome sconces I wanted that ended up being $400+ per sconce. Ain't nobody got money for that! Us at least.
These first ones from OneFortyThree ($85) are in the "budget friendly" category and may be my top runner:
These brass Alto Sconces from Cedar & Moss are my favorites, but about twice as much ($179) as the ones from OneFortyThree so we'll have to see where we're at budget-wise once things get underway.
These Soho sconces from Shades of Light are also pricey ($198), but really cool.
These cuties are from Schoolhouse Electric and are a decent price ($128).
And the bigger one ($39.99) for the middle of the kitchen, in front of the range:
The fancier options are from West Elm, and still pretty affordable. I'm a sucker for milk glass anything but I really like the shapes of these. I like this bowl one too. This is the smaller one (normally $99, on sale now for $79 making this pretty tempting...):
Posted by Liv at 2:59 PM