Ask Kate

Paint Closet Essentials

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Greetings!  I had a fun time with a lot of great gals this past week, but thankfully I’m on a plane flying back to California today.  I miss my family.  I miss my broken in pillow with its perfect fill that never gives me a kink in the neck.  Mostly, I miss my paint splattered sweat pants from 1995, proudly worn here.   

There’s just no place like home!  

Terri asked a great question yesterday on my Facebook page:

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Terri, I get a little nervous when my paint supplies dwindle so I keep several types of primer, paint and protectant around at all times. 

1)  I always have oil based primer on hand, especially for laminate surfaces like floating wall shelves or for covering wood like this oak mantel.  No sanding required!  Spray paint formulas are faster, but thinner in coverage.  I like brush on formulas for surfaces that will get a lot of wear and tear.  If you’re bored or curious, awhile back, I wrote up a few tips on refinishing with oil based primer and paint

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10 Lessons Learned From Building a Kitchen

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Melanie from Washington recently wrote this to me:

“Hey Kate, I read that when you remodeled your house a few years ago, that you designed and built your kitchen.  We’re in the beginning stages of gutting our very dated kitchen and we’re starting over from scratch!  We’re so excited!!  My question for you is, were there any pitfalls you ran into?  Anything you learned along the way you’d be willing to share?  What should we know about building a kitchen starting from four bare walls?  Help!”

Great question Melanie!  Me and my Mister built our kitchen over five years ago, so to answer Melanie’s question, I had to dig through the archives and pull out all my files to refresh my recollection of the process of building our kitchen from scratch.  It resulted in a mild rash and minor heart palpitations, but I’ve since recovered.

No, I’m kidding.  I absolutely love kitchen design, and loved the entire process of choosing all the details of the one in our own home.  I’m one of those people that if I overheard at the grocery store you were building a new kitchen, I’d butt my ponytail right into the conversation and want to chat all about appliances, countertops and the exact style of door front you’re choosing for your cabinets.  “Really?  Oh, fabulous!”

Building a kitchen from scratch is an enormous task.  Unlike throwing the latest most popular shade of paint on your walls, a kitchen must be a space that can stand the test of time.  My kitchen suits the style of my home, and also my own personal tastes as well.  While there are a few things I wish I’d done differently, for the most part, I really love the floor plan and finishes we continue to live with every day.

Ten Lessons Learned from Building Our Kitchen

cg kates kitchen

 

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“The Problem Wall”

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Jennifer from I Heart Organizing wrote to me today asking if the board and batten loft solution from Monday would work in her home on her ‘Problem Wall’.  Jennifer wrote:

“I would love to do this project right in between our front door and large picture window in our living room/entry.  It almost looks to be a similar situation to the room you worked on . . . I have always struggled with no coat closet in this room.  When I saw what you did, it seemed like a perfect solution!  Just wondering your thoughts.” 

So I got a little creative with her entry and decided with a little Photoshop ‘cut and paste’ she could visualize her improved foyer. 

Here is Jennifer’s ‘Problem Wall’ now:

ProblemWall1

 

And what it would look like after installing some simple board & batten.   

jennifer wall after bandb

 

I hung her pictures a bit higher to accommodate for the ‘new’ wall treatment.   Since Jennifer is a busy mom of three boys, those extra hooks will come in handy.  She could use some extra storage, but there’s no need to make it drab or expensive, so I added this upholstered bench

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