Monday, December 26, 2016

Prepping Our Butcher Block Countertop for the Kitchen

Although most of my previous kitchen makeover posts have been cabinet-related, there's been other progress (slowly) happening as well. Just to quickly recap, we decided to go with butcher block in our modern farmhouse kitchen as it's a very cost-effective option for the amount of counter space we'll have. (Especially considering we're adding a breakfast bar.) 

Old tile countertops.

Getting these layers off was not fun, in case you were wondering.

The new countertops we chose are builder oak from Lumber Liquidators. Although something like walnut would have been beautiful, the oak was much cheaper and still gives us that natural look we're going for. We actually ordered them about three months ago, but they sat in their boxes a good while before we were ready to do anything with them. Finally, a couple weeks ago, we figured we could go ahead and at least get two simple pieces cut for one side of our kitchen. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Creative Decorating Alternatives to a Fireplace Mantel

I've probably mentioned before (most likely in a Christmas-related post) that we don't have a fireplace in our house. Which makes me feel like I'm really missing out on mantel-decorating opportunities. That's right, I have mantel envy.  I would even go for an electric fireplace just to get that mantel. 

But until that happens, there is still hope for me and others who lack a fireplace. I've done some browsing and gathered these alternative decorating ideas for your inspiration. Some of them involve creating a faux fireplace, and others are unique ways to emulate that coveted mantel-esque focal point! Mantel wannabes, if you will. 

Want to go with the more "loose" aesthetic interpretation of a fireplace mantel?  Some common decor pieces you'll want to keep an eye out for include:
  • Old doors
  • Chunky shelves
  • Architectural salvage pieces
  • Old window frames
  • Decorative wood corbels
  • Shallow buffets/dressers/sideboards/console tables

{ image via }

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Painting Interior Doors: From Outdated Orange to Updated Gray

In the process of our kitchen renovation, we came across a minor dilemma recently. What to do about our pantry door and garage door? I had already painted all the surrounding woodwork white, but the doors were still that orange-y Colonial Maple stain.

It's worth noting that these are your average flat panel doors with no detail or interest whatsoever. Painting them white just seemed like it would be too much white, since the two doors are right next to each other. And I didn't want them to detract from or compete with my newly white upper cabinets

(Old picture before the cabinets were painted and the floor was removed.)

But buying some fancy new doors was not an option, so the solution had to be found in a paint can. After much debating, we finally came to our conclusion: the door to the garage would be painted to match the wall color, and the pantry door would be painted to match our dark gray lower cabinets. In my mind, it was somewhat of a bold move since all the other doors in our house are white (but they're also six-panel doors instead of completely flat). 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Bar Cart Styling Ideas for the Holidays

In case you hadn't noticed, bar carts are kind of having a moment right now.  It's easy to see why -- they add a touch of sophistication along with a fun way to display adult beverages and pretty accessories. 

I don't have a bar car (yet!), so unfortunately I have no pictures of my own to share. Instead, I scoured the interwebs to find some of my favorite bar cart styling ideas.  And with the holidays right around the corner, bar carts also provide another opportunity to show off your festive spirit! 

{image via Inspired by This}
I'm kind of obsessed with copper, so it's no wonder this bar cart caught my eye. Love the neutral, understated elegance for fall gatherings!

Friday, November 4, 2016

DIY Farmhouse-style Wall Organizer for the Kitchen

For quite some time now, this idea has been percolating in my head. With the ongoing transformation of our "modern farmhouse" kitchen, I knew we would need a new wall organizer customized for this space. (Here are a few kitchen de-cluttering inspiration ideas I posted recently.) 

The existing organizer, which hangs on the narrow wall behind our door to the garage, was very sad and outdated. Along with being a holder for our keys and dog leashes, it had become a dumping ground for random receipts, appointment reminder cards, gift cards, etc. Quite frankly, we had let it get pretty junky looking. 

At first I thought of just painting the wood frame white to give it a fresh updated look.  (That's pretty much what I've done with everything else around here.) But I still really didn't like the look of the corkboard anymore, and the three cubby holes were too small.  On to Plan B...

Monday, October 31, 2016

Little House on the Corner is on Facebook

Happy Monday, friends! Just a small update for today... In an effort to revive my blog and get back to regular posting, etc., I've also decided to create a Facebook page for it.  It's just another convenient way that you can get notified about new posts as well as other DIY inspiration.

Feel free to head over to Facebook and give it a "Like"!  Don't forget, I'm also on Instagram @LHOTC_amanda.  

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tips and Tools for Painting Trim White

So you wanna paint all your woodwork white? 


I kid, I kid.  

In all reality, if you don't have hundreds of dollars to spend replacing all of the woodwork in your house, painting it white is a very cost-effective (albeit time-consuming) way to make a major transformation. And if you don't have 3,618 other DIY projects going on at the same time, it's probably seems much more of a surmountable task. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tips for Edging Ceilings (and Other Tricky Painting Dilemmas)

In the 8+ years we've lived in our house, I've now repainted every single room with the exception of a couple closets and the pantry.  I also painted our entire basement after we finished the drywall last year. My husband hates painting, so the task usually falls on my shoulders.  I don't mind though; I actually enjoy it for the most part because I get satisfaction with the immediate results of changing a wall color.  The only part that I dislike is all the prep work (because I'm an impatient person and just want to get to the results).

While I still wouldn't consider myself a pro, I've learned a few things along the way that have made some of the tricky painting areas easier.  These methods may not work for everyone, but I figured I'd share just in case they come in handy for someone!  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Operation Declutter: Organization Ideas for the Kitchen

I'm generally a pretty organized person.  I like to have a place for everything, and everything in its place.  I try to sort through junk mail right away and deal with the rest as needed.  

With that said, I have my moments where things start to get a little out of control.  Our current kitchen renovation being one of them.  For some reason, it's less motivating to stay organized when everything around you is just a mess.  But once we get the kitchen all put back together and it looks amazing (hopefully), I'm going make a conscious effort to get-and stay--organized again. 

It irks me when papers, junk mail, and other random things accumulate on the counter.  Counter space is valuable real estate in our small kitchen, so I'd prefer to keep it as uncluttered as possible.  I've been brainstorming a few ideas for a mail station/organizer to hang on the wall behind our door in the kitchen.  Aside from mail, it needs to be a drop zone for keys, dog leashes, sunglasses/wallet/cell phone, etc.  A low profile is also important since it's right behind the door.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kitchen Cabinet Chalk Paint Makeover: Part IV

[NOTE: Be sure to check out Part I, Part II, and Part III to see the progress from the beginning!]

For the past few weeks, the painted drawers and doors for our lower kitchen cabinets have been spread out across our house while we removed the existing tiled countertop and backsplash. (NOT a fun process, but my hubby did most of the dirty work on that part.)  This past weekend though, we decided it was probably safe to put them back on the cabinet bases so we can at least have a somewhat-functioning kitchen.

The process took a little longer because we still had to drill holes in the drawers to add the hardware.  But finally, everything was back in place. And it looks just as good as I had envisioned -- if not better! The contrast of the crisp white upper cabinets with the graphite lower cabinets looks really sharp. Apparently this style is known as "tuxedo" kitchen cabinets, according to this HGTV article. It's also been identified as one of this year's hot kitchen trends, which isn't too surprising given how much I've seen it on Pinterest.

Enough of my rambling -- let's get to the progress pictures!

Our temporary "countertop" is actually the plywood that was beneath all the tile. My husband cleaned it off and we just laid the plywood back on top so we at least have a working surface for now. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Our Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Inspiration

I've already posted some of the progress of our massive kitchen makeover (see Cabinet Painting Part I, Part II, and Part III), but I've never really shared the overall vision for the kitchen.

Even though I have a Pinterest board with plenty of ideas for kitchen inspiration, I thought I'd put together a little vision board here because A) it's helpful to see all the specific products together and B) it's just fun to create one! I'm calling it this "modern farmhouse" but with all of the blending of styles out there these days, who really knows? All I know is I'm a fan of mixing and matching different materials, finishes, and textures to create something unique and individualized. 

If you haven't been following along up until this point, we will also have white distressed upper cabinets, and dark gray distressed lower cabinets.

The only things we've actually ordered so far are the pendant lights and the cabinet hardware, but I think we're fairly set on the rest of it. I'm sure I'll share an update with final selections once our kitchen is done, but let's face it -- that's weeks (if not months) down the road.  In the meantime, sources below!

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It's worth noting that once the oak countertops are sealed/oiled, they'll probably be a little darker than what the stock picture shows.

And, we're still debating on the mosaic tile -- Menards also has a Copper Medley style.  But the all-silver tile may add more of that "modern" contrast we're going for. So of course I had to swap it out for another vision board!

What do you think?? We'll probably just have to bring home a sample of each tile once we have the butcher block countertops installed.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Crazy for Copper: Top 12 Copper Home Accents

Whether it's smooth or hammered, shiny or antiqued, rosy-hued or bronze-hued... I'm crazy for copper!  This beautiful metal is so versatile as an accent in home decor, and mixing it with other metals is a big "yasss!" in my book. 

Copper adds such warmth and richness to a space. So with fall right around the corner I thought it would be a great time to compile a list of my top 10 favorite copper looks. Well, except I had a problem narrowing it down to just 10. So with that said...  get ready to indulge in some swoon-worthy copper goodness!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kitchen Cabinet Chalk Paint Makeover: Part III

[Be sure to check out Part I and Part II if you haven't already!]

If you can't tell, I'm breaking down this cabinet painting project into lots of bite-size blog posts. First of all, it's much more manageable than trying to do just a couple massive ones. Second of all, this project in itself is very loooong and drawn out as part of a total kitchen renovation that's becoming quite the behemoth. It will probably be a 10-part blog series by the time it's all said and done!

Anyway, I've completed all of the upper cabinets, which are painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White.  We then ripped out the countertops (to eventually be replaced with butcher block) on one side of the kitchen so I could start painting those cabinets with Annie Sloan Graphite.  

Bye bye, honey oak!

Luckily the Graphite is darker and therefore has better coverage than the Pure White.  I was able to get away with just two coats on the inside of the cabinet doors, and three (for good measure) on the fronts. This also means I might be able to cover all the lower cabinets with just one can of chalk paint... my fingers are crossed. This stuff isn't cheap!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kitchen Cabinet Chalk Paint Makeover: Part II

I thought it was about time to share another update on our kitchen cabinet makeover. (If you missed Part I with "before" pictures, be sure to check it out here!) I've finished painting all of the upper cabinets with Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint, followed by some hand-distressing and finally a coat of Annie Sloan clear soft wax. Whew!  It makes me tired just thinking about it.  

I removed all of the doors and painted them separately from the cabinets.  It took a full four coats of paint for a completely uniform appearance that covered up the old stain color (which I like to call "Orange Oak.")  Confession: I skimped and only did three coats on the inside of the doors... you rarely see them anyway!

Without further ado, here are some more progress photos of our newly-white cabinets: 

After four coats (!) of chalk paint

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An Interview with Floor Coverings International

I've always thought of my corner here in the blogosphere as a pretty humble little space, so you can imagine my surprise when I was contacted for an interview with Floor Coverings International. They've featured some pretty talented designers and DIY-ers on their own blog! 

Head over to Floor Coverings International to read the full interview -- you might just learn something you didn't know about me!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Kitchen Cabinet Chalk Paint Makeover: Part I

The list of renovations we're working on has slowly gotten out of control grown over the last few months. Like, to the point where we're pretty much removing, replacing, or repainting everything (besides the walls, which I already did a couple years ago).  

Amidst the chaos is a much-needed kitchen makeover, which will consist of "new" cabinets, new countertops, new backsplash, and new sink. Our existing cabinets are the run-of-the-mill, builder-grade variety. Nothing special here. They are very un-special, in fact. And the Colonial Maple stained oak has long worn out its welcome. All I can see when I look at our woodwork these days is orange. (Which also doesn't do our gray-with-a-hint-of-blue walls any favors, either.)

Our kitchen is pretty small. I had to cram myself into corners
and use odd angles to get some of these pictures.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Shameless Plug

One of my goals this year is to start updating my blog on a more regular basis again. What's that, you say?  It's already July? And I've only posted once so far? Hmm...

Well, anyway.  I guess I still have six months to redeem myself--if only for my own personal satisfaction. There really has been a ton of progress made here at our little house on the corner that I haven't documented on the blog yet.  We have a basement that's livable.  We've torn down walls. We've removed flooring. We've painted most of the trimwork in the house. And that's just for starters.  

But in the meantime, while I try to put together some posts to catch you all up on said progress, here is a shameless plug for my Etsy shop. I opened up Sandplum Studio earlier this year, as another avenue to put my DIY passion to use. Because, you know, there's just not enough DIY happening in our house as it is... 

You'll find a lot of handmade wreaths and wood signs, but occasionally I branch out and create other home accents too. In any case, I hope you'll check it out and follow Sandplum Studio on Facebook & Instagram. Thanks, loves! 


And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chalk Paint Coffee Table Makeover

** UPDATE: I just wanted to say hello and thanks to all of you who are visiting from Pinterest! It appears this particular pin has gotten a lot of love. Since I finished this table makeover around 2 years ago, it's still holding up great. The table doesn't get a ton of heavy use, although I've since applied two extra coats of wax for good measure. And now back to your regularly scheduled blog reading! **

Seven months. That's how long it's been since my last blog post. Whoops! There's been much progress in this past year around these parts--mainly related to finishing our basement. But I wouldn't even know where to begin with those updates, so for now I'm just going to share this latest project that's totally blog-worthy (if I do say so myself).


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