Kitchen: DIY Back Splash

It will be a long time in the works, but I want to make some big changes to my kitchen. New paint and new appliances are first on the agenda. Long term: complete redesign complete with a redone wall, counter-tops, and back splash. New floor would be sweet, too. I don’t know who much DIY will occur with this, but this looks interesting if I decide to tile the back splash myself:

I Made Art (or #38 in the #100in500)

If you have been following along, you know that I am plugging away at my “do 100 fun/important/just ’cause things” in my deadline of 500 days. Number 48 on that #100in500 list is to create at least 30 blog posts talking about completing items on this list. If you count the first post about the list (which I will), this will be post #3. Still a lonnnnng way to go, but here it is!

NUMBER 38:   Paint an abstract painting




Please allow me to explain. I have been a fan and follower of Illustrator, Artist, Blogger, etc Lisa Congdon for many years. She always amazes and inspires, but lately she has been doing a ton of abstract paintings. They are really amazing. I have been thinking to myself lately, “Self? Wouldn’t it be fun to put paint on a canvas and create something?” But here’s the thing: I’m not a painter. I know amazing artist and painters – and I am just not one of them. At least I didn’t actually get a formal education in fine art. But I put it on the #100in500 list anyway, hoping to inspire myself.


Then, I came across this:

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Then, I found a blank canvas at our condo garage sale for $2. The universe – and my list, were trying to tell me something.

I pondered on an image, a thought, that inspired me. I came across this amazing piece, I pinned it, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was the white space and the reflection that really spoke to me. So I ordered some silver leaf and stuff that Amazon  recommended I might need with it. I’ve never used silver leaf, and have no idea what made me think of it – but there you have it:

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I painted the canvas with my favorite interior white, that I just happen to most always have around: Ben Moore’s decorators white. Then made a half circle maker with a ruler (to center), tack (on the back), piece of tape, string, and chalk:

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Then I painted the circle with some silver paint I had leftover from the failed ‘stainless steal’ backsplash. (I was on a budget!)

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Then I used the ‘glue’ that I got from Amazon and painted over the silver part, waited for about 30 minutes until it was just very tacky, and then my son and I went to town on a windy Chicago day sticking super thin silver leaf all over that bad boy. Until it looked like this:


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SO there you have it! Post #3 complete! I kind of love it in all of it’s reflective glory. I AM an art-teast!

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Cool & Peaceful Paint Colors

colors for house

I have discussed paint colors for my condo quite a bit on this blog. I first started contemplating it way back in 2009! It’s been such a fun work in progress for me. It helps me to stick with one paint brand (Benjamin Moore) and frequent my same favorite paint store (Thybony).

It’s taken me a long time to embrace and accept my love of cool neutral tones, but here I am. After all this time, and collection of ideas, it’s what I have discovered about myself. I also want my house to be cohesive and peaceful. I pinned this photo of the ocean a while back (via A Well Traveled Woman) because I loved the colors and emotion of it.

I am confident in the color choices I have already painted on my walls. Still very happy with the Deep Space with white chair rails in my dining room. (these are just random instagram pix from my feed, so bear with me.)

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The kitchen took a bit to figure out. I do love the Black Panther on the two walls, the chalkboard paint on a select few, and I really love the Lacey Pearl on all the others. But the faux stainless backsplash I tried? That has since been painted black chalkboard and I like it much beter.

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Lastly, I do love the Stonington Gray in the foyer and hallway, but unfortunately I chose flat paint and now it’s already looking smudged and dirty. Big sigh – I’ll be doing it again someday soon.

It’s the rest of the rooms that I keep waffling on, but I think I am nearing the finish line. And here it is! Some reused from other rooms, some new!

Bathroom: Gray Wisp 

Master Bedroom: Lacey Pearl

Living Room: Revere Pewter

2nd Bedroom: Storm

All trim and ceilings:  Decorator White

But, these too could change! That’s the fun of it!

The Pinterest Challenge

The wonderful bloggers over at Young House Love and Bower Power have once again thrown out the seasonal “stop-pinning-and-start-doing” Pinterest challenge. I think this is an excellant idea. In an effort to push myself into action as well, I am going to join in this winter.

Here’s what’s going to happen over at the Ci: I am giving myself a deadline of March 31 to repaint my kitchen! I have been pinning countless photos of black, white, wood, with a touch of chalkboard paint kitchens for what seems like ages. I started pinning this color combo before I realized that I was just pinning the same thing over and over again. (One of the things I have grown to really love about Pinterest is it’s continued ability to explain a little bit about more about me to… well, …me.) But of them all, it’s this kitchen that really got me:

I love the clean line between the dark and light. With my cabinets already all white, and no current actual backsplash to work with, I thought it best to ‘create’ one with some glossy paint.  So, here’s the plan: as my dining room is right next to my kitchen, and I painted that in Benjamin Moore Deep Space way back when, I will take a cue from the paint strip, and move up a notch darker: (this is looking lighter on screen then it does IRL)

So, it looks like the backsplash, and space above the cabinets will be getting a little glossy Black Panther treatment. This will actually end up being a very minimim amount of black happening in the kitchen ultimately. The rest of the space will be inspired by what one of my favorite bloggers (Door Sixteen) calls “the world’s palest neutral gray”: Benjamin Moore Lacey Pearl: [edit to add: D16 is NOT on Pinterest, and does not have the love affair with it that I do. In truth, she has what I believe are to be very valid points against it. Here is a link that she shares on her FAQ you can read if you want to hear more about why she feels this way. As such, the following photo was not pinned to any of my boards, and I have attempted to clearly credited her here.]

Photo by Door Sixteen

All the trim will be Benjamin Moore Decorator’s white, that has been slowly going up on all the trim in my house:

Then, lastly, a hint of green chalkboard paint thrown in for good measure: (bonus points if I can nerve up to paint my refrigerator:)

And, that will be that! Please know that I know that the end product will look NOTHING like any of the attached inspiration photos – but that’s the point! Create something new by being inspired by others!

Wish me luck!

Kitchen Remodel: Planning Stage

I am not planning on moving anytime soon, so it makes me think about remodeling. It especially makes me focus on what I would like to do to my kitchen/dining room. Here is a shot from the dining room into the kitchen  – prior to painting:

Ewwww, Barney purple walls! Why?? And so I painted it black . Well, actually Benjamin Moore’s Deep Space. And, I kept the chair rails white. Just in case you don’t like to look back, here’s a refresher:

But, I have always wanted to knock that wall between the kitchen and the dining room around a bit, like my neighbor whose condo is a mirror image of mine did. Here’s what his looks like currently:

Love it!!!! It opens the space so nicely and really brings the light and view together. I would like my redo to be a wee bit less modern, and thought that some glass cabinets and a friendly bright yellow mosaic backsplash might be just the trick. So by the magic of Photoshop: let it be so!!!

Ok, my Photoshop skills leave something to be desired, but can you see it? Do you love it? How much would this cost? $10,000? Whatever the cost, it’s out of the question for now. But someday! A girl can dream right?