It’s the Little Things

I’m back from a break to show off some small changes to our “breakfast nook.”  The original part of our house was built in 1958 and at that time this little area right off of the kitchen was the only dedicated dining space in the house.  Since some add-ons were made in the 70’s, there (thankfully) is now plenty of room in the house for a proper dining room table.  So, now we have a breakfast nook to play with.  First, let’s take a look at what the space looked like when Darrin first got the keys to the house.

A view of the nook from our great room. If you look carefully at the upper right corner, you can see remnants of the 1980's country wall paper we found.


Just look at that lamp! At let me tell you, it hurt like heck when we bumped our heads on it!


We love these storybook windows. But, those blinds had to go!

So, before we look at what changes have happened to this small area.  Here’s a reminder of what things look like on the opposite side of the kitchen.  We went with some bold blues and greens.  This was the first room we painted and we were tired of dull and dingy and needed something bright.  We got it.

kitchen after 2

We've since rearranged some of the use of the counter space. But we're still so happy with the colors!


And now for the transformation on the other side.

We painted the walls a bright white, removed the dated wall paper, changed the light fixture, and updated the window treatment.


Here's another view of the space looking into the great room. We decided to paint the cross beams to highlight some of the architectural details of the space.


The roman shades (from Cost Plus World Market) were a great find! They tie in the blue and green from our cabinets while bringing in the red from these great club chairs Darrin found years ago while traveling.


While we are certainly pleased with the progress of this space.  It is not over.  Still to do:

  1. Find a permanent light fixture (the current shade was stolen borrowed from Darrin’s night stand)
  2. Buy canister trash and recycling cans to replace our current eyesores.
  3. Buy or build side board to place on blank wall and use for storage (the only place in the house we’re lacking storage, really).
  4. Hang artwork on blank wall.  Right now, I’m leaning towards something with the following concept (without the words):
I love the colors and the idea of hunting around for beautiful plates to complete my collection.
So, what about you?  Do you have any small projects you’ve completed lately that you feel good about?  Share, share!

Check It Twice

So, I’m a list person.  I love lists.  Love them.  I get things done by making lists.  Lists make me happy.  The best part of a list – checking things off.  Often (and I know I’m not the only person who does this), I’ll start a list with one or two items that I’ve already accomplished, just so I have something to check off.  That’s not so wrong, is it?  It simply is one little trick I play to motivate myself.  When I see those extra checks, or a couple of items already crossed out on a list, I start to feel like, “Hey, maybe this mountain of tasks isn’t so hard to climb.”

It is in the spirit of that practice that I’m writing this post.  Today, I’m posting about our kitchen.  We finished painting the cabinets in this room quite a while ago.  But, I feel like I need to add this accomplishment to the top of my list.  Just so I have something to check off on the mountain of things to-do in our home.

Let’s start at the beginning with some before photos.

A view of the kitchen before. Be glad we didn't show you the inside of that oven.

And here’s that same kitchen after we painted.  We settled on green for the outside of the cabinets and blue for an accent color.  We also painted the inside of the cabinets blue, which is a fun surprise when you open them.  We traded out the old hardware for some shiny new chrome ones that felt like they reflected the time period of our kitchen a little better.  During the whole process we became quite the contortionists, twisting and bending to paint the undersides of shelves and make sure we got the paint in to the far reaches of every nook and cranny.

We took a leap and went with some bold colors. We were so sick of the white walls.

And one more before and after.

kitchen before 2

How about that wall paper?

And after:

kitchen after 2

We've since rearranged some of the use of the counter space. But we're still so happy with the colors!

It feels so good to check this off our list.  Makes me want to move on to something else!

What about you?  How do you go about organizing your things to-do?  Do you have any special tricks to get yourself motivated?