Monday, October 31, 2011

Can you believe this is in my house?

It is totally out of my comfort zone to bring home sooooo much color, just in one shopping trip no less. But if you've ever had that feeling that has you saying "if I go home and it's gone tomorrow when I come to my senses and want to buy it I'll be heartbroken" then you can understand just how so much un-white furniture piled up in my trunk!

A glimpse of my progress in our kitchen reading nook.

I have so much fun playing with paint and then chipping it all up but my heart still flutters when I find that perfect, original patina. The fact that it is my all time favorite shade of blue only makes it that much more yummy!

The old yellow English mixing bowl is probably up there on my list of all time favorite finds. It has an apple green stripe inside and sits comfortably on its side for pouring (although I doubt I'll be mix anything in it soon!).

The dining room also got a punch of color with a beautiful old hutch that was cream but then received a green facade just on the front when a previous owner felt like they needed a hit of minty apple green.

It's truly the only pop of color in our living room/dining room besides the wall plates so it is a really fun, not so serious touch.

Of course, I love sharing my finds with all my whiteberry clients, but in my heart I really really want to hold on to them forever!!

Then again, in a week my obsessed with white brain might say they've got to go LOL.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where's WhiteBerry??

Things are busier than ever with WhiteBerry these days. I know I don't blog much about it because well, the kitchen had taken over our life, but Whiteberry is a huge part of our day to day life. During the renos I decided to take reduced client bookings, but even 1 or 2 clients a week was out of my league in the time-commitment department with all the chaos around here. So as I continued to plug away at client pieces my own pile of treasures grew dusty and untouched. It was actually refreshing for me in a way because it feels like a fresh start now that I am back to painting my own items.

Unfortunately, I have sooooo many items to get to that I made the tough choice to hold off on any new custom client jobs until the new year. And now that I am on my own schedule the paint has been flying like mad! So without any further delay here is what the last 2 weeks have held for WhiteBerry.

An ugly 80's tea trolley, giant brass casters already removed here, had TONS of potential. These are the items that I never second guess about bringing home; they are unique, fun and have details that translate beautifully with a little paint.

All cleaned up and inside it is became a temporary cutlery/dinnerware station.

But it went to a new home the very next day so I didn't have much time with this beauty.

A simple but classic coffee table transformation. I paint so many of these cuties that I don't think I've taken a before shot for the last 10 LOL.

One of my all time favorite french side tables. The detailing was beautiful 360 degrees around and was another no brainer for carting home.

My obsession with mixing spooky/pretty decor is at an all time high and it will be sad to pull it all down this week!

While almost everything at WhiteBerry is, umm, as expected: WHITE! it isn't all shabby. I love me a fresh coat of unscratched paint and some semi-gloss verathane.

Cute pink crystal Anthro knobs play off my plates.

This old dresser is one I am truly sad I didn't shoot befores of because it was a former cabinet-turned dresser and was a true hodge podge of different woods. I like to think that the original state of a dresser tells me what it wants to eventually become, sometimes I hold onto them for a longggg time before I can finally hear what it is wanting to transform into. But this funky little dresser told me right away that it wanted to have some fun.

Blue stripes flow off the top down the front, but in a nod to the fact that the drawers were later additions they remain un-striped.

I'm excited because this week I have been working on shots of my latest and all time favorite (as of yet!) WhiteBerry: Found Treasures that will be unveiled soon. As much as I love playing with paint and old furniture it is always a breath of fresh air for me to get new ideas and inspiration from the real deal. It's fun for me to picture someone playing with a beautiful shade of robin's egg blue paint 80 or 90 years ago that still looks stunning today.

What paint color have you been playing with lately? I am about to do an orange cabinet for my mom and it may just become a new staple in my regular paint lineup!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kitchen Life and a Candle of the Month

When you have an ugly kitchen you really dread cooking, baking, and washing. It is a constant reminder of how much you long to rip out the dated counters and cabinets so you don't enjoy spending time in there.

Now that I can honestly say I am in love with my kitchen it is amazing how much more interest I have in baking and cooking. I can't say that I am any good at it, but practice makes perfect!

I still love cookbooks, but as a new Ipad user I am enthralled with how fast and easy it is to track down a good cookie recipe. Never thought I'd be scrolling down my computer screen with flour covered fingers!

Last Friday we had all our toe kicks and cabinet baseboards installed and it really makes a HUGE impact.

You could just use big box store bought baseboards on any cabinets for a cost-friendly approach (Cabinet quality baseboards from Martha Stewart run about $150/8 ft) . But HomeDepot actually ordered us baseboards at no cost for the exterior of the peninsula and the whole stretch of cabinets with the fridge as a sort of apology for all the hassles. No pain no gain, right?

We didn't want baseboards in the inner cabinets because when you are working at a counter you actually have to lean over farther when you don't have indented toe kicks so we went with comfort over looks on this side.

If you are near a SuperStore definitely check out the kitchen candles they just got in (in the seasonal home decor). They are only $5!!! And the scents are beautiful and kitchen friendly. I am never a fan of walking into someones home and smelling all their cooking, so I am a bit paranoid about keeping mine odor free and this one is doing a bang up job.

I am a huge fan of Jasmine and this sea-salt version is both aromatic and refreshing. I will definitely be stocking up (on this and other scents) before they sell out or discontinue them!

A simple wire basket ($9, homeSense) houses old jars holding cutlery. I hate going to people's houses and not knowing where things are so this makes it fast and easy for guests to locate necessities.

$2.99 and $3.99 Ikea jars are perfect for storing baking necessities, and they don't take up a ridiculous amount of counter space either.

And because I have had a lot of requests about the stove, I will be doing a source list and pricing on everything in the very near future. But I hate to keep anyone waiting so for anyone interested the stove is a 36 inch Thermador Professional range. I don't have a model number off hand, but instead of 6 burners we have 4 burners and a griddle. The vent is not a match, but Thermador does not make a model I like so I chose an Elica hood.

It is still amazing to me to walk into this kitchen every morning, and I cannot wait to finish accessorizing and get it all up here on the blog!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween 2011

So we had a raging good time on Friday night! We have about 12 toddlers running rampant around the house and fun was had by all of them. But most of the fun started for me earlier in the week when I started decorating for the big night.

I have been pulling together the rest of the house now that the kitchen is finally done, and a new addition has been an antique plate display in the dining room. To add a dark touch to the floral and pink plates I threw some re-stickable halloween decals from Michael's. Fast, cheap (I think they were $5 or $6 for 8), and really fun. I actually had 2 or 3 friends confess later on that they thought that I hand painted the plates because they look so good!

Next week they will just peel off, talk about easy clean up!

Another super fast and easy spooky touch was throwing bed sheets over arm chairs. Not only did it look cool, but it saved me any worries over dirty little hands mucking up my newly washed slipcovers!

A little ruffle on the sheet kept it pretty enough for me.

Yet another decal, and a small murder of crows.

The most fun I had in decorating was actually our front door because I had help from Wren and her best friend Hailey. Pumpkins were rolling everywhere and giggles were flowing freely! And I totally know my ugly light is upside down, we were in the midst of changing it here but I felt like just tossing the thing... but I have to patiently wait until next year to tackle our exterior.

Thanks so my Aunt Carol for the antique milk crate! She recently moved and hauled over a pile of fun accessories for me that she didn't want to take.

The birds are watching!

To keep all the little people entertained I transformed the dining room table into a treat and toy station. Everything from play dough to stickers to candy, there was no shortage of fun.

How are you Halloween preparations coming? I am already looking forward to next year when I can really get back to business and crafting!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Kitchen Chronicles: almost at the finish line

A BIG congratulations to our donation giveaway winners!! Tara Jamieson, you are our first winner so please drop me a line at so I know which prize to send you! And Carmen Judge, you are our second lucky winner. In the event I don't hear from Tara within a week I will allow Carmen to choose the prize she prefers so she doesn't have to wait an eternity to get it in the mail~

THANKS again to every who supported us! As promised, here we were freezing our tails off pre-run at about 8 am.

But between moving around and all the body heat generated in this crowd we were warmed up and happy campers in no time at all!

It was so much fun (we walked with about 20 other people we knew) and we will definitely be back next year!

But besides doing a run 2 weeks ago you are probably wondering what the heck has happened to us? I promise, the kitchen renovation that never ends is very close to actually ending!!!

The week after the run we had cabinet installers here all week replacing busted and defective cabinets... then we came to a bit of a stand still with our sink. It seems that our cabinet installers didn't approve of putting it in the appointed cabinet... and our counter top measuring guy hated the thing because it required special notching in the marble to be made. After a full day of phone calls, pleading, begging and demanding, everyone eventually decided to play nice and get the sink in for me. But if you plan on using this thing to save some money over other apron sinks (this one is from Ikea, $400) I will tell you right now it isn't worth the trouble unless you are installing an Ikea kitchen. It was a nightmare all around, but in the end it is in and I love it.

Then last week we finally got countertops!!! Just to see them in place made my heart skip a beat, I am so in love. So we were able to bring in our appliances and finally get back to normal life.

So for the last week we have been busting our tails to get party ready! We are pretty close, at least close enough to not be too embarrassed at the state of things.

I took these photos at about 7am this morning before the sun was up so excuse the slightly greenish tinge.

I did all the window casings and tile this past weekend and I am hoping that the cabinet boys will be back to install our cabinet baseboards and crown and the few decorative side cabinet panels being replaced. It will be officially done once I paint the window casings, finish the trim on the ceiling and grout the tiles.

I am waiting on some stools from Restoration Hardware that mimic the factory/industrial feel of the light. I think the few touches of black like the light, stools and some accessories I haven't put out yet will give it some punch.

I am kicking myself for buying this light early because it is on sale right now at Restoration Hardware, but I love it so much that it was worth it!

The windows casings are probably my most complex project, using 4 different types of trim to get the look I wanted. But they make such a difference to the feel of the room now. Now I only have 20 more windows in this house to slowly replace LOL. I think I will do an easy tutorial on these soon because I found so little info on window casing looks that I feel like I need to put something out these for any future google searches!

So there ya have it, an early morning tour of our *almost* finished kitchen! After our party goes down on Friday I think life will finally be normal again and I can show you all the whiteberry stuff I've been playing with.

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