18 Jul 2014

DIY Black and White Kitchen Decor

Since I've been talking about and working on our kitchen renovation, my mind has naturally started imagining the finished space.  Unfortunately, there's still quite a bit to do, but I can't help thinking about all the fun DIY projects I could make for our new kitchen.  So while I'm dreaming of projects, I thought I would share some DIY black and white kitchen projects you (and maybe I!) might want to try this weekend.  Most of them are really simple too and can be made in one afternoon or less.

*Click on the photos/titles below to find the tutorial for each of the above projects

1. Painted Jars from Delia Creates

2. Tea Towel Apron SlowMama

3.  Wooden Bead Trivet from Yours Truly ;)

4.  Birch Branch Hooks also from Yours Truly :)

5. Brass Towel Hanger from Bambula

6. Leather Wrapped Cutting Boards from Ikea

7.  Minimal Mountian Clock by The Merry Thought via Say Yes

8.  DIY Bread Basket by Viktoria Brikho

 9.  Painted Tea Towels from Mamas Kram

I hope you have a little black and white kitchen DIY inspiration for the weekend!  

14 Jul 2014

The State of Our Kitchen Renovation

We got back from our almost three week, super nice and relaxing vacation to Boston and Cape Cod early last week to a kitchen/house that is in full reno mode.  It was just a small reality check!  Half of our kitchen cabinets arrived before our vacation and the other half we got last week.  Our new french doors were delivered as well.  This past week has been all about the kitchen:  installing cabinets, making an opening, installing french doors, shopping for marble slabs and other finishes.  All these projects along with regular old work has been taking up much of our time.

Since we have done quite a bit of work on the kitchen, I thought it would be a good time to show you some progress pictures (you can see the last kitchen update here).  I'll warn you though that these photos are not pretty, but I think you can get a good sense of the layout of the new kitchen and my favourite part: the new walkout.  At the end of the post I have some inspiration photos that are much prettier and will give you a sense of what I'm hoping this kitchen will become (one day we'll get there!).

 Please excuse the open cabinetry that's missing some shelves, tray dividers, etc. and is overall, pretty unorganized.  The doors/faces, fillers and toe kicks are still being made.  I think it'll be another couple weeks of living like this until we get them (if all goes well!).  We've put in the couple of pieces of our old countertop that fit to have a little bit of counter to work with.

We've temporarily installed our new sink by Franke on top of some plywood pieces (it'll be under mounted when we get our countertops).  We like the rack that lifts up half way for drying dishes, rinsing produce, etc.  It's really helpful in this single bowl design.  The hubs and assistant are trying to level the stove in the background. :)

Here are the new french doors.  There still needing some trim and the walls need some drywall work after removing the old backsplash tile, but the space really feels a lot bigger and bright once they went in.  This room faces north and the amount of light that the doors let in make such a difference.  Of course, there was a hiccup with them as well.  The hardware for the doors didn't arrive in time and the supplier let us borrow one handle from his shop.  The doors are pretty traditional looking with their divided lights, but they go pretty well with the rest of the windows in the house.  Once we replace all the windows, we have the option of removing the grills if we want a more clean look.

I also put together a few images for you to see the look we are going for in the kitchen.  I want the kitchen to be very minimal and simple.  These pictures are a little nicer to look at after seeing our reno mess. :)

1. We are planning to go for marble kitchen counters and backsplash this time around.  I'm prepared to let it patina because I know with a house full of boys it's not going to stay pristine. (image)

2.  I would love to get this Aalto pendant light for over the island.  I think this brass ring will work well with the brass of our entry light fixture. (image)

3.  We are going hardware-less!  I love the simple look of the routed handles in this kitchen.

4.  I love the simplicity of the Arne Jacobsen designed Vola faucet. (image)

5.  Another kitchen with marble and wall sconces.  I'm thinking of doing uppers on the stove wall for just one side and want to put some kind of wall sconce on the other side. (image)

We have a lot still to do in the kitchen, but at least something's happening now.  Today I'm hoping to finalize a marble for the counter.  It's been super hard to find anything since, here in Toronto, most stone places reserve the good stuff for the designers and builders even before it gets on the ship from Italy. How frustrating is it when you go into to these places and they tell you the aisles and aisles of slabs are already spoken for?!  Oh the problems of the DIY renovator! ;) 

Thanks for reading!  Have a great Monday!

2 Jul 2014

A Marimekko Entry - The Reveal

I'm so excited to show you my entry finally complete!  I think this space really reflects my love for Finnish/Nordic design with a good dose of Marimekko along with some Artek, Muuto and even a vintage chair from Finland.  I feel like I really got spoiled with this space.  I ended up with many of the pieces I chose initially for my inspiration board and it is so nice to see it come together in our home.  Tech Guy liked it so much that he wants the rest of the house to have the same feel.  So, without further ado, here it is:

I thought I'd show you the details from top to bottom.  I was so excited to be able to get this Aalto A330s pendant for a super deal.  My friend Jenny let me know about a floor model sale that was going on at Mjolk. 

I ended up going with Muuto Dots coat hooks in four different colours/finishes.  I did end up adding one pink on for the sole lady in the house. :)  I also like that they are large enough to stand out in front of the Marimekko Ruutukaava wallpaper.

You've already seen my DIY artwork (you can download a copy for yourself here).  It's hanging over a couple of shoe storage boxes that have been super handy.  I've been storing sunscreen, the boys' hats, etc. in the top drawer and their shoes in the bottom.  I can see it being a great spot for hats and mitts in the winter too.  The top of the boxes also worked really well to corral keys, sunglasses, etc.  I used a small gold tray for keys and loose change and love how the geometric vase goes with my print.

The chair in the space was my sister's when she was little.  My parents brought it with us when we moved to Canada.  It's petite size and airiness of the spindles was perfect in this small entry.  I didn't take a good picture of our entry tile, but we did it when we first moved in three years ago.  It's grey stone tile that was laid in a running bond pattern with a border of marble mosaic (also in shades of grey and white).

Here's one last look of the entry.  It gives you a sense of how small it really is.  The door will need to be replaced soon.  It sticks like crazy, is not very weather tight and has weird wavy/tubular/frosted glass.

That's our new entry.  Now I can't wait to finish our kitchen reno!

There are a lot of pictures in this post, so I will be back with another listing all the sources for this space.  I would like to thank Wallpaper Direct for kindly providing the wallpaper for this space.

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30 Jun 2014

I Scream for Ice Cream and a Printable Calendar

If you follow me on instagram you may already know that we're on vacation again this year in Boston and Cape Cod.  The weather has been perfect and it has been nice to relax a little.  Half of our kitchen cabinets arrived the week we left for our vacation.  So there's a lot of work waiting for us when we get home. 
I'm popping in today to share the printable calendar for July.  I decided to go with an ice cream design this month.  My boys and I love our ice cream and I thought it was fitting for the summer.  I've also added a few pictures to the end of this post of a little trip we took to an ice cream farm as evidence of our ice cream obsession (thanks Ina, for the recommendation).  I've put the calendar here at the top of the post in case you're not as obsessed with ice cream and/or my boys as Mummu and I are. :)  Here's the calendar displayed in my diy wood veneer calendar:

Your printable will look like this.  I put the green border around it as a cutting guide, but I think you could use it with the border too.

I've made both English and Finnish versions.  Click on the images below to get your copy. *these calendars are for personal use only*

And for those of you who may want to see some photos of the boys and/or a cute ice cream farm continue on….

We stayed in the outskirts of Boston for a couple of days before heading to the Cape.  It was a little easier than staying right downtown as we were able to get a hotel room with a small kitchen which was really helpful for meals with the boys.  One of the days we decided to drive up to Kimball Farm for some ice cream.  It was a super cute set up with ice cream, an old tractor and some animals.  I'm staring off my post with some ice cream hand holding.  Co-pilot is staring longingly at that ice cream, isn't he?

So folks, this is what we call a kiddie scoop in America!?  The boys shared this one.

This was my kiddie scoop of raspberry chocolate chip.  I was almost  able to finish it.

Just in case, you were worried that Co-pilot didn't get any. :)

Tech Guy ordered a single scoop and couldn't even finish half of it.  

In addition to the tractors, the boys loved the animals.  They could have watched the animals all day.  It really was a fun little outing that ticked off a lot of the things my little guys liked including ice cream, vehicles and animals.

Here's one last handholding photo for you.  It seems like whenever I tell Little Pilot to stand for a photo with his brother he thinks he has to hold his hand.

 I hope you like this month's calendar and don't mind me indulging in some photos of my boys and ice cream.  Have a great week everyone!

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