Memory Lane: Christmas Decorating

December 9th, 2014

This year’s Christmas decorating in our home is the definition of minimalist: there is an evergreen wreath hanging indoors for the scent, a faux tree, glitter confetti strung here and there, and a few white branches, and it’s just enough. We will get our real Christmas tree when we arrive in Las Vegas for the family reunion and we’re bringing our box of treasured ornaments so we do have that to look forward to.

We’re also taking this year off from hosting our annual Christmas party which feels somewhat strange, but all those hours not spent baking or decorating has freed up time to attend local plays, go out to dinner with friends, or take long drives just to enjoy the twinkle lights and outdoor decorations around town. It’s different, quiet, and nice.

I’m in correspondence every evening as the two Elves on the Shelf that my children adore… answering questions like “Who is your favorite reindeer?” (Comet, he is the fastest) and “What is your favorite movie?” (theirs of course) and “Are you on Instagram?” (Why yes). Forming letters in an Elf’s handwriting like y and g requires multiple swirls and it’s so hard to disguise my own writing! I can’t believe they haven’t figured it out yet so I’ll treasure their belief while it lasts. :)

This year I have no house tour to share, although I’ve been enjoying so many of my fellow bloggers lovely homes this season! I was looking through some old images from Christmases past, years when I have decorated the house for the holidays and it looked so festive all dolled up. Here’s a stroll down memory lane with trees and favorite vignettes from the past, a “recycled Christmas” if you will. :) 

2011:

poinsettias on porch

 

poinsettias and wreath kitchen window

 

flocked red and white tree

 

2012:

kate holiday entry

 

branches and bowl of ornaments

 

mirrored apothecary with stockings

 

blue and white christmas tree

 

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Kitchen Remodel: It Begins!

December 8th, 2014

Last week we placed the order for our kitchen cabinets for the Las Vegas fixer and we’re now in the process of picking appliances and the backsplash tile. We gutted the kitchen in November now it sits empty with no cabinets or appliances until the end of December when the new ones arrive.

Ordering new kitchen cabinets is always a huge deal, one that requires a lot of research – it’s not like a quick refresh with paint or toss pillows ha! No, the decisions are so FINAL so you’ve got to think it through. We spent many months considering our options and I decided instead of repainting the 25 year old cabinets, to upgrade and replace them with a classic yet contemporary Shaker style. For this remodeling project I’m partnering with Cliq Studios, this post is part one of a four part series where we’ll be documenting the kitchen remodel from demo to completion in February.

First, some details about the kitchen itself. When we bought the house the kitchen was my least favorite space. I’ll come right out and say it, I hated it at first. It has no window, so it must get all its light from adjacent spaces. I’m a big believer in the idea that a kitchen of all spaces should have a window so that little detail was disappointing. Also the kitchen sits right in the middle of the home so it acts as a pass through and as a result will see extra traffic from kids and pets and visitors. As a cook I prefer kitchens that are tucked away, especially when I’m simmering sauces while drinking wine :) It also has an awkward angled peninsula and I prefer the classic U or L shape with a window above the sink so this kitchen’s layout was almost a deal breaker, but I concluded since I liked the rest of the house so much it was a space that if modernized could be really nice!

Here are pictures of the old kitchen cabinets before we removed them, it will give you an idea of the layout since the new cabinets have a similar elevation.The first thing we did over the summer was remove the *lovely* wallpaper which was everywhere and we replaced the tile floors (full details of the new porcelain wood tile here).

kitchen before range wall

Same view a few months later, but that big ugly box florescent light above has been replaced with four recessed lights and we added three pendants over the peninsula which is already a huge improvement.

range wall

The adjacent wall and old pantry…

cabinet wall

 

When we pulled out the cabinets they were in pretty bad shape, so we had no regrets replacing them. Pulling out the backsplash destroyed the sheetrock so we replaced that too. Here it is today, our blank slate!

kitchen before

 

Instead of an all white kitchen we opted for gray bases and white cabinets above. After our samples arrived, we chose the basic White and the very pretty Harbor hue.

cliq studios painted cabinets

The new cabinets will look much more modern thanks to the elevation drawn up by the kitchen cabinet designer at Cliq Studios. We’re not moving any appliances but we are upgrading with details like drawers and lazy Susan cabinets in the corner.

To the range wall we added drawers on the left for cookware, and to the adjacent wall we included a few glass cabinets in the new design. We are not adding a microwave, only a hood. We may build a chimney hood ourselves and paint it to match, we will share the step by step if so!

new kitchen cabinets cliq studios

 

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