Happy Saturday, All!
If you were with us earlier in the week, you watched our kitchen transform from a blank slate with colonial pineapple wallpaper to a warm, but vibrant space in just one day! Although that work took such a short amount of time, I cannot say that decorating and adding the finishing touches was the same experience.
Our experience with this house so far: the painting, re-carpeting, and renovating goes fairly quickly and the “making it our own” is a slow, evolving process.
This is okay with us because our taste in what we like also seems to be a slow, evolving process! For instance, at one point, we were loving the quirky layout of these large frames in the Master Bedroom… but as we continue to look at them, we’re thinking that we might want to try a different look. Although we knew it was not completely finished (please ignore the fake couple in the middle and the photo displayed in the wrong direction) even when we hung these, now we are looking into a completely different plan than our original intentions. See? Tastes change as the room evolves!
We’ll save that project for a rainy day.
Back to the kitchen: Over time, we collected and added things to the room that have really upped its “cozy factor” and have taken it from a house to a home! My hope for today is that you can 1. gather some inspiration and 2. share what has worked for YOU and your space! So, without further ado, let me present…
1. These New Curtains (from BBB). For the longest time, our sliding glass door “covering” was a shower curtain because it was the only thing we had for the job. Shabby chic, maybe, but not cozy. We replaced it with three curtain panels, installed side by side on a glider. It is tough to find a full length one anymore and this is what the employee at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (BBB from here on out because that is a ridiculous name to type over and over) recommended to us. Bonus Points: These curtains are double layered and have been a great source of insulation for this room in the winter months!
2. This Teal Rug ($9.99 @ Target if you’re hunting). What you may or may not know about me already, is that teal and all things similar are my go-to. You will see that our kitchen is mostly yellows, with blue accents. Enter, the teal rug. Probably not a necessity, but we love it and it adds a bright pop of color to this side of the room! Negative Points: I still have yet to thoroughly rinse/wash this rug to get the excess dye out of it, so whenever something spills, we have to scrub at it in the sink for fear of ruining a whole load of laundry.
3. A New Light Fixture (about $10 @ Home Depot). The original light fixture had good and bad to it. It was unique looking and added some flair to the room, but put off virtually NO LIGHT! Very frustrating to work in a dark kitchen. We changed it out for a standard looking, but more effective fixture. Bonus Points: Don’t worry- we’re not throwing the original away! I have big plans for it, come the spring…
4. These Bar Stools (sorry, folks- you’ll have to hunt for some of your own, as these came from a thrift store). This was a happy accident! The thought of having bar stools had briefly crossed our minds as we decorated the kitchen, but we dismissed it quickly upon figuring that we’d never be able to find anything small enough. On our way to somewhere else, we stopped (last minute) in one of the local Thrift Stores with no agenda or “to bring home” list. As it always tends to happen, that’s when we stumbled on these little beauties! They are compact, were in perfect working order, and fit in with the style of our kitchen nicely. We freshened them up with a quick coat of Behr Ultra White paint and called it a day! Definitely one of our favorite parts of the kitchen…
5. These Canisters (from BBB). We LOVE these! They are an off-white, warm addition to the counters. We like how they contrast with the dark wood of the cabinets, but tie into the white (ish) accents that we have used throughout the room. Bonus Points: They are pretty AND functional. You will soon learn that NOTHING (well, not much, at least) comes into this house unless it can do more than one thing.
6. This Mirror (from Home Goods). For the longest time, we could not figure out what to do about the backside of our microwave/shelving/oven hood unit (which we love!). Although the one side is super functional, the back of it left something to be desired. It seemed to make the room feel small and create a barrier between the galley and dining area. We thought of painting it with chalkboard paint, but figured that that wouldn’t solve those problems. Adding shelving would make it stick out so no one could sit on the bar stools. We ended up choosing to go with a mirror. We started with one that had an off-white frame, but it stuck out like a sore thumb against the wood. This mirror fit the bill! It opens up the room, brings in light, and acts almost as a window from the dining area into the galley!
7. A Crock full of Accent Colors (crock from BBB). Again, we went with the white to tie into our theme here. We also have much of the same colored kitchen utensils and tools (thank you, wedding registry!) and have realized that they are just as much a part of our kitchen decor as anything else! We even ventured out of our yellow and blue comfort zone into the orange and purple family… although they’re different, they add some depth to the collection. Most of the blue tools are from BBB and Macy’s, orange and purple come from Home Goods, and the cute orangey patterned rolling pin can be found at Target. Bonus Points: Again, decorative (which I never thought kitchen tools could be so!) and functional.
8. The Clock (from BBB). A necessity! We like how the colors of the border play along subtly with the rest of the kitchen. Not drastically the same, but close enough to tie the space together. It is in a prime location because you can see it from everywhere in the room and the hallway. Plus, shells remind us of the beach and we love the beach. Win!
9. This Valence Curtain (from BBB). The original curtain here was not too bad, but we got a fresh, crisp new white one because the original had been covered in soot. Mitch was at a meeting one night and I made it my own personal goal to get it installed before he came home. With the help of an electric drill and the Walt Disney Pandora station, I had that baby up in no time! Bonus Points: Although it is not exactly the same shade of white or style as the other curtain, the two still help to tie the room together into a cohesive space. I actually like that they are a bit different- it adds a twist!
10. A Variety of Decorative Nick-Nacks. We’ve collected these from various places and at various times. You know what I’m talking about- everyone has a few special nick-nacks in their home. These are the things that really make our space our own (just like they do for you in your home/room/office!). I’ll give you just a few:
Ceramic Bird Salt ‘n Pepper Shakers (I believe they came from Pier 1). My mom has the same ones at her house and I love love love them, so she got me a set for my Bridal Shower. Thanks, Mom! Note: They are not the most consistent items in the way of dispensing said spices. Depending on the angle in which you use them, you could either end up with a grain of salt or a mound, but once you get the hang of it… not so bad. And anyway, their charm makes up for their lack of spice control!
Olive Oil Dish Soap Dispenser (BBB). A super fun, easy way to keep dish soap on hand and not have the Dawn bottle out all of the time. Bonus Points: It matches our color scheme and almost acts as a form of “art” in this way! Double Bonus Points: I am a culprit of using too much dish soap (and that stuff is not cheap!). This method is AWESOME for regulating how much soap we use- turns out, a little bit goes a looooong way!
Window Sill Art (Puerto Rico). We love collecting things from places we’ve been! This was an easy way to add some color to the window sill and help us remember the fun we had while we were there. The purple plaque has a funny/embarrassing story, but I’ll save that for when we’re in need of a good laugh around here… Bonus Points: This one is super easy to replicate (and I don’t mean going to PR to track them down!). Do you have any trinkets from adventures you’ve taken? Find a way to put them on display and you’ve instantly added personality to your space!
Hand-painted Bowl (Mexico). Same story here, folks. When traveling, we try to look for souvenirs to bring home that are functional so that we can use them in our house and enjoy them at the same time.
So there you have it- 10 (or so) easy ways to warm up a kitchen! The thing about this is that it works for ANY space! Living in a dorm? Apartment? Bedroom at home? No matter where you are, there are always things you can do to cozy up your space.
Leave a comment! What is the Number One thing that has aided in the coziness of your kitchen, house, or room? I’d love to hear from you!
See any images that inspired you? Pin ’em! And as always, enjoy “the fun of it”…