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

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