Kitchen Cabinet Paint and Cape Cod!

So sorry for my absenteeism!  After arriving back to Dallas from Jackson Hole I was a little overwhelmed with cramming in 10 days of kitchen renovation makeup work before leaving to visit my sisters on Cape Cod.

Kitchen update:

With the cabinets and trim now in place painting has officially started.  Biggest issue was the TYPE of paint to use, I always try to implement green and/or eco-friendly décor options when available but paint is tricky.  Low/No-VOC paints are awful options for wood work like trim and cabinets as it can chip and peel after a few years and tends to have a watery runny appearance.  When I suggested it, my contractor was all…

So I reluctantly settled with the traditional version of Ben Moore’s Dove White, but wait!!  I met a painter while looking at paint samples who suggested I try Ben Moore’s Advance paint, which is low VOC but different from your traditional mix because its waterborne NOT water based.  I bought a pint and had the painter whip up a sample and it looked great – even our contractor approved!  Fingers crossed it looks ok – will be home in about 2 weeks to check it out myself, will keep you posted.

Cape Cod:

I was quite happy to leave behind 100+ weather in Dallas to head to the beach.  We are staying in my sisters guest house right on the water in the Town of Centerville.  Her home has gorgeous views of the ocean and the river – I love sleeping with the windows open and falling asleep to sound of the waves.  Her house is a traditional Cape shingle style home with enormous hydrangea bushes in a beautiful Merlot color right out front, neither of which you would see in Dallas.  Here are some gorgeous images of Cape homes that I find to be tranquil and traditional, capturing the essence of the architecture down here:

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One of the areas most sought after architects, Patrick Ahearn, is responsible for the two gorgeous homes below on the Cape and Islands – his work is exquisite!

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A lovely barn by Patrick Ahearn as well….

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Do any of you tune in to PlumTV??  We have close family friends who are part of the production team and I happened to find this clip about Patrick Ahearn on a Plum Homes segment: – if you are interested in his style its worth a look!

Hope everyone is having a great week!



Kitchen Wallpaper

We are going to have some extra wall space leading from the kitchen into the family room and I had been toying with hanging up some art work, possibly a decorative plate display but now I have moved on to wallpaper.  There is something about the way wallpaper can add a touch of warmth and sophistication to a room that I love.

Now that our color scheme has changed some with the incorporation of gray paint on the island and butlers panty I’m thrown a bit as far what direction I would want to take concerning wallpaper as I am always drawn towards blue.  If I was working with straight blue and white picking out a paper would be much easier but now I have to make sure it compliments the gray.

I think Quadrille has some beautiful options for a white and gray kitchen along with options from Katie Ridder and Farrow and Ball.

Here are some kitchens that I think really show case wallpaper well:


I think this Quadrille China Seas print is a fantastic addition to this blue and white kitchen.


This image is from a close friends home here in Dallas, I adore the yellow Clarence House Vases print wallpaper and blue upholstered combo and think along with her decorator she did an amazing job with this space.

Image via House of Fifty.

I love the use of larger prints in kitchens and think this look could be achieved as well with something like Katie Ridders leaf print in gray for our empty wall space.




Tory Burch’s breakfast nook really makes a statement with this strong Quadrille Arbre de Matisse Reverse print in French Blue.  It’s a little over the top for me but I do think it’s a great print.  Below is a similar more subtle print.


I think the small prints above could look nice as well in our kitchen in lighter shades, either in Quadrilles Lysette (in tan) or Arbre de Matisse Reverse (in white on white):



Here is another nice use of a larger wallpaper print by Farrow and Ball using their popular Lotus print.


I think this print in a light gray would look nice as well.



Although the below look would be way outside the realm of possible with a man in my house I do love this bold bright pink kitchen, I can see it in a little beach bungalow in California.

Eclectic Kitchen
Do you prefer the look of wallpaper to art work on kitchen walls?  Would love to know some of your favorite prints!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

The Kitchen Island

Over the weekend we went and picked out the marble we will be using for our kitchen countertops and island.  I had originally pictured our kitchen all white but after looking at slab after slab of marble I found myself drawn to one that was streaked with a lot of gray called venatino carrara.

Its changed how I see our kitchen and I now think adding in this gray tone will provide some depth to the space.  I’m also thinking of painting the island a complementary color gray or even blue to bring out the colors in the marble.  Our kitchen island will be pretty basic: sink, trash space, dishwasher and room for counter stools – nothing fancy but from what I have read, seen in person as well as on pinterest (after weeding through a million banana bread recipes, why is everyone obsessed with banana bread on pinterest?) I see that people are stepping up their islands with high-tech water filtration systems, steam drawers, hidden bookshelves and flat screens, etc.   I’m open to hearing how we can bring our island to the next level so if anyone has any suggestions let me know!

Here are a few kitchen islands that I think are beautiful as well as a couple that step it up past basic:


I love this kitchen, everything from the honed Calacatta marble to the walnut island countertop and gray painted island keep this kitchen looking interesting.


I like the idea of blue for an island as well, although this might be too light for our space.  The gray above is just subtle enough that it makes a statement without screaming for attention.



The above two images show off some space saving examples for kitchens that need some extra storage.  I love that antique Italian etagere which stands atop the kitchen island as well as a wine fridge making the most of the space they have.


This is a little too tricked out and I’m pretty sure my husband would be horrified by a flat screen featured like this in an island so I had to include it – of course this is an image from a home here in Dallas (via Traditional Home).

Hope everyone has a great week!

Dining Area Lighting

Our house is littered with tiny shabby chic chandeliers with a million crystals courtesy of the old owners.  We think at one point there were some nice fixtures up but once they listed the house they switched them out so they didn’t have to negotiate taking them when the house sold… or maybe lighting wasnt a priority…

For a while we lived with the crystals than one day my husband finally had enough and shook the chandeliers until the crystals fell out, well not really but he wasnt exactly graceful about it.  So for a while now we have had tiny chandeliers with open holes where the crystals used to be.  Not sure which was worse.

First shabby chic chandelier to go is the one in the dining / kitchen eating area room.  Since we are going to move forward with more modern dining chairs and keep the farmhouse table I want to find a fixture that reflects this coupling, so something modern with traditional undertones.

Below are a few images of fixtures I have found that might help achieve that vision.

First fixture type is the drum pendant:




I love the look of that first dining area with the farmhouse table, chalk board walls and drum pendants.  It’s a nice space yet causal and inviting, perfect for a kid friendly eating area off the kitchen.

Next fixture type is a more modern updated chandelier:



I think the large Bryant chandelier from circa lighting is always a good choice for a more casual eating area, I love its simple clean lines.


I feel the same about Arteriors Auburn chandelier, just wondering without the small shades if the light will be soft enough.

As less safe option would be a glass murano chandelier.



I think murano chandeliers are beautiful just not sure its the right look for our dining room.

Then there is always the good old lantern…  I just love Oomph’s palo alto lantern in navy.


Are you drawn to any one of these fixtures more than another?  Thankfully I don’t have to make any decisions now, one of the items I can put on the back-burner until our kitchen is complete.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Modernization of an Antique Farmhouse Table

We don’t have a technical “eating area” right now in our kitchen, the old owners used a room off the kitchen as their breakfast room but we use this space as a playroom and as a result my children basically eat standing up or in highchairs (both of whom are too old for one)…  its not a good scene and one of the major reasons we are doing this renovation is so they can learn how to sit at a table and have a proper meal.

Part of the renovation includes taking out a wall that connects the kitchen to our dining room so it will be much more accessible and the space more fluid.  We have a very old farmhouse table which is actually the table my husband grew up eating on himself along with the original chairs (that have been recovered several times).  We both love the table but agree the chairs need updating.  They arent bad chairs at all and are upholstered in this cute palm tree/monkey pattern which reminds me of palm beach but still – its time for some change.  So first up, new chairs… or the modernizing of this old classic dining staple that is the farmhouse table.

I have narrowed down my search to 3 different chairs that I like: industrial style lightweight steel chairs, lucite/ghost chairs or sleek simple white Eames style chairs.  Here are some images of updated farm tables I found that I like, is there a style you prefer?



The above images are of steel Nuevo chairs and standard aluminum bistro chairs.  Although I appreciate the style of these chairs Im not sure they are the look I am going for with our dining area.  The table seats eight and all that metal seems a bit crowding to me for the limited space we have.



My sister has the above Tobias chairs from Ikea and really likes them, she of course has her moments with 3 boys and food smudges but overall considers them durable, easy to clean and nice looking!  Who doesnt love a ghost chair?  I think they are fantastic looking but knowing I could likely get 8 Tobias chairs for the cost of just one ghost chair has me sold.  Maybe I could do a Ghost chair in a fun color for my new desk:)



I love the look of the white style chairs in the first image as well as the Eames chairs above but wondering with an all white kitchen if this would be just too much white (although I do love white).  I think I’m going to have a hard time choosing between the Tobias chairs this Eames style…  might have to wait for the kitchen to be completed before making any final decisions so I can see which chair fits this new space best.

My next dining area decorating concern…  lighting!  Stay tuned:)

Cabinets and Hardware

Most major kitchen renovations require the skills of a “cabinet guy” if you are going the custom route.  Because we require some specific cabinetry due to awkward corners/walls and working around appliances already in place this is the way we are going.  Our cabinet guy, Stan, requested that I send along images of cabinets I like.   I actually struggled with this task for some reason but managed to find a couple that could at least act as a starting place.  I knew I wanted something clean and simple; nothing too decorative as little fingers have a knack for getting food in the hardest to clean places!

Here are a couple of the kitchen cabinet ideas I sent along to Stan:



I was also toying with the idea of white top cabinets and a color on the bottom, either in navy or gray.  I’m not sure if I will tire of a two toned color scheme sooner than I would an all white one so I think im going to go in the all white direction – seems almost cleaner to me to have everything streamlined in one color (but is that boring?).

Here are a few two toned kitchen images that pull it off:




I love the tiled floor from that last image – so beautiful.

As for what KIND of white paint I should choose I only know I am in favor of a low or no VOC option, Stan has conveyed to me that the low VOC options are more dull than your standard paint but I think a strong paint odor lingering for months will bother me more than a dull finish.  Any opinions here?  Has anyone worked with low/no VOC paints?

For hardware, as of right now, I’m going with these knobs/pulls from Restoration Hardware:

prod1080017_HW07  prod1278082_HW07

Do any of you have refrigerator drawers (in addition to your standard upright)?  I found a floor model on sale and was thinking it could be a great addition.  I love cooking and am already envisioning storing baby #3’s homemade baby food in there!  Speaking of cooking – has anyone picked up a copy of Gwyneth Paltrows new cookbook “It’s All Good” – I personally love it and my kids love her chicken meatballs – I highly rec if you are looking for healthy dinner ideas for  yourself and/or your family.


Kitchen Counter Stools & Bedding Decisions

Serena & Lily is currently having a 20% off sale through tomorrow – which is forcing me to make a kitchen island bar/counter stool decision.  I love the look of french bistro stools/chairs, here are a couple of my favorites:



I think the Riviera Counter Stool at S&L hits the nail on the head as far as what I’m looking for.


I was thinking of waiting until our new island is in place but with this sale and the fact that S&L often runs out of stock quickly I think this is a sign I should pull the plug and get to buying…  now I just need to figure out how many I need!?

Speaking of Serena & Lily and discounts I recently had a coral headboard made in Schumachers Chenonceau for our guest room that DESPERATELY needs bedding.


The walls are a standard grasscloth with light blue linen window panels so I was thinking the bedding should be neutral (below is an image of my inspiration).


Maybe something like this from S&L with white duvet:


Or even Restoration Hardware’s Italian Hotel Satin Stitch bedding line in Shore with coordinating duvet (RH is also having a 20% off sale):


Decisions decisions!

On a different note – as mentioned in my bio I am what my husband refers to as a “nutritional hobbyist” (or completely obsessed with health and nutrition – especially the homeopathic variety).  I’ve always been a firm believer in the benefits of probiotics and found Michael Pollan’s NYT Magazine article today “Some of My Best Friends Are Germs” fascinating.  If you are interested you can read here.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!