Decorating

October 29, 2014

My Laundry & Mud Room - Part 2

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When designing our home, it made sense to use pocket doors in a few rooms. The laundry room was one. A door hanging into the hallway wouldn't be ideal and if it went the other direction, it'd be blocking my access to the laundry chute. So, a pocket door it was.

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A huge favorite feature in the room is the laundry chute, which connects from the boy's bathroom upstairs. My brother and sister-in-law's beautiful old home has an amazing multi-floor laundry chute system and I always admired it. Turns out adding a chute was really simple, as it was designed into the plans and I'm so glad it was something I made sure to have. Although laundry chutes are found in so many old homes, I'm really surprised it's a feature that's not more frequently added into new homes. For us, it's simply an opening in the floor, to the laundry room below.

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When I was thinking about counter material, I wanted something that was industrial, as I really liked the thought of mixing an industrial surface with the beauty of the wallpaper and softness of the beadboard tile. I went to a local metal fabricator to talk about options. There were many, and my favorite was galvanized steel. I really like that galvanized steel actually has an almost soft appearance, as opposed to something like stainless steel. The fabricator advised against using it, as they were concerned it may rust. With my experiences with all of the galvanized materials I've encountered on farms for many years now, I've not seen that, so I was willing to take a chance. It's been wonderful and I don't foresee any issues. The custom counters were extremely reasonable - coming in around $400.

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I made sure to add in a nice big sink for soaking. I added in a spray nozzle, as it makes it so nice for cleaning out the sink.

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I kept the cabinets and hardware consistent with what was used throughout the house, as I think it's important to do, so the rooms don't feel choppy. It's one of those design elements that you don't consciously think about when you are in a home, but affects the feel without you even knowing why.

A really convenient feature is the vacuum pan adjacent to the door. The boys track in so much dirt from the fields and I love being able to sweep it all right into the pan. To turn it on, I just click the little switch with my foot and it sucks up all the dirt. I think it's magic.

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I opted for white hex tile on the floors in this room, with a nice dark grout. Dark grout is key here. I love the old-fashioned look of it and how it helps to show each and every little hex, but it's also really hard working. It scrubs right up.

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The walls are covered in beautiful Dirk Elliot beadboard tile, tile base trim and tile cap. I can't tell you how many times I've seen mud splattered on the walls and it's such a nice feeling to be able to just wipe it right off. Dirk designed the cap just for this room, as well as designed the tile layout. They now offer the tile cap for sale, in addition to all of their stunning tile, including the beadboard tile that was used throughout the room.

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Although the tile is barely visible behind the washer and dryer, I still opted to have the tile fully installed there, all the way to the floor. Even though I only see brief glimpses of the tile behind there, it was a really nice way to finish off the room. It makes it feel complete. And although I opted for a dark grout on the floor, to call out each hex shape, I opted to keep the grout on the walls as close to the tile color as possible, so it sort of just whispers. It's softer that way.

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This is my favorite room in the whole house.

You can read the first part of my Laundry & Mud Room post here.

Wallpaper: Wallflowers, Spokane, WA

Farm Painting: Forget Me Not, Coeur d'Alene, ID

Small Basket near window: Funky Junk Jennifer, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Towels: Walmart

Washer & Dryer: Bosch

Large Laundry Chute Basket: Silver Suitcase, via Roost, Spokane, WA

Wooden Box: Funky Junk Hollie, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Cowboy Boots: Forget Me Not, Sandpoint, ID

Entryway Rug: Ikea

Countertops: Fabricated by Carlson Sheet Metal, Spokane, WA

Beadboard Wall Tile, Tile Trim, and Tile Design: Dirk Elliot Tile, Spokane, WA

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

 

February 26, 2013

Sprinkles

This time of year I begin craving color, light, and happy things. What can you find around the house that can add a little cheer?

How about sprinkles? This week, I'm going to show you some happy little things you can do with these sweethearts of the pantry.

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Sprinkles make pretty confetti. Sprinkle them all about the table.

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It's like an instant party. Just because.

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And that makes me happy.

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Sources:

Star sprinkles can be found in most supermarkets.

Jar: Walmart

Tablecloth: Pottery Barn

Pink Dotty Paper Cup: Bake it Pretty

Letter Candies: Hope and Greenwood

Pink Square Plate: Martha Stewart, Macy's

White Square Plate: Target

Button Candies on plate: Jean Philippe

Miniature Plastic Fork: Target

October 05, 2012

Fall Fills Our Home

I went walking around our property to gather bits of fall to bring inside. My first stop was the wild little apple tree by the road.

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Golden autumn leaves were next. Gather gather gather.

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Then some oak leaves from one of the scraggly little oaks along the fence. The leaves are fire-like.

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I trudged through the thick dusty field to the backside of our property where pumpkin harvest is in full swing. A little basket of minis was all I needed.

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I stopped by the garden for a few cornstalks too, then back inside to plug it all in.

I started with this beautiful antique runner from my friends Dustin and Christian of Uber Chic Home.

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Cornstalks were added in to create a base.

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Then some leaves

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and little pumpkins.

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I like to incorporate just a few elements. I think a display is more impactful that way.

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All the remaining gathered goods were added onto the shelf in my kitchen.

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Now, fall fills our home.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The table runner is from Uber Chic Home.

The dining room table was made by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from World Market.

The dining room light fixtures are all from Pottery Barn.

The basket on the shelf above my stove is from Roost Antiques in Spokane, WA.

The mortar and pestle was found at a little bargain shop in San Francisco's Chinatown.

The tile in the kitchen is from Dirk Elliott Tile.

May 21, 2012

Lilacs

I'd been dreaming of a lilac scented home. There's nothing quite like it really. So I headed out with my picnic basket to fill to the brim.

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And then, a sprinkle.

Drip. Drop. Drip.

So I wandered back home.

A canning jar and a pretty tin were all I needed.

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A little dream come true.

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April 26, 2012

My Laundry & Mud Room

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I'm a big believer in wallpaper in the laundry room. I think it adds a happiness to the room and makes me want to be in there. Good thing, because we go through a lot of laundry each week!

Because I'm short, I needed to keep the counters as low as possible. Rather than build a countertop over the washer and dryer, I opted to simply use the tops of the washer and dryer as counter space. It works great.

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The shelf on the left (shown above) doubles as a hanging rack for freshly ironed clothing. I can iron and hang each piece as I go along. When I'm done, I take the clothing off the hanging bar and into the closets where they belong. It also works really well for hanging items I need to air dry. The shelf is really high, so it's not practical to store things on top. I'm on the lookout for just the right decorative piece to place there at some point.

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The shelves on the right began with a mistake. When the cabinet installers hung what was supposed to be the only shelf on that wall, they hung it too high, as I'd be unable to reach any laundry products up there. Rather than have the shelf removed, and have wallpaper damage, I had them hang another shelf, just below. I had originally planned on hanging artwork above the lower shelf, but now just use the higher shelf to hold rotating art.

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The room doubles as a mudroom, as it's the entryway from the garage.

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I made the bench out of an old wooden box I found at the Funky Junk antiques show. I use a standard pillow and pillowcase as the cushion.

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Just to the left of the bench is a big closet which holds coats, shoes, hats, gloves, and the ironing board.

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And to the left of that is the entryway cabinet, perfect for setting down armloads when we walk in the door.

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It's also home to one of my favorite finds ever - this great old key rack I found at Hunt & Gather in Minnesota.

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Tomorrow I'll be sharing the closer details of the room and my favorite features.

Wallpaper: Wallflowers, Spokane, WA

Farm Painting: Forget Me Not, Coeur d'Alene, ID

Small Basket near window: Funky Junk Jennifer, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Towels: Walmart

Washer & Dryer: Bosch

Large Laundry Chute Basket: Silver Suitcase, via Roost, Spokane, WA

Wooden Box: Funky Junk Hollie, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Cowboy Boots: Forget Me Not, Sandpoint, ID

Entryway Rug: Ikea

Keyrack: Hunt & Gather, Minneapolis, MN

Countertops: Fabricated by Carlson Sheet Metal, Spokane, WA

Beadboard Wall Tile, Tile Trim, and Tile Design: Dirk Elliot Tile, Spokane, WA

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

April 19, 2012

Organization For Your Home Office

HGTV recently asked me to participate in a project for decorating home offices.

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I think it's always great to try and use what you have to help organize your life - especially your office space. You can see lots of great ideas by visiting the HGTV site here.

March 02, 2012

Flower Purse

My website has moved. You can view the Flower Purse post on my new website here.

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December 22, 2011

A White Christmas

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Another way to make a beautiful holiday display is to group all of one color together. I happen to love white.

It's surprising how these items, none having anything to do with the other, can look so pretty together. Look around your house and see what you have in like colors, and then pull it together for a display.

It will be beautiful!

Image by John Granen

December 08, 2011

Making Something Out of Nothing

Growing up with very little was a blessing because I was able to see the beauty in the everyday objects that are often overlooked. That's what you do when you don't have much.

When you take the time to look around at what you have, you can make anything special. Take this collection of syrup dispensers for example:

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It's really simple:

1.) Gather together clear, like objects that can be used as vessels.

2.) Fill with Christmasey items such as little trees, ornaments, and fake snow or objects in a color to fit your Christmas theme such as old game pieces and glitter. (This can be done with anything you love, any time of the year!)

3.) Display as a grouping.

You can find this Christmas inspiration, as well as decorating ideas, recipes, and Christmas cheer in my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Special thanks to my friend, Nancy, for letting us into her home to play and display with her collections. You can find more wonderful objects such as these at Nancy (and friends) shop, Forget-Me-Not, in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.

Image by John Granen.

December 02, 2011

Adding Christmas To The Cupboards

One way to add Christmas cheer (or any season for that matter) to your kitchen is to add wrapping paper to the cupboards.

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You can line the back of the cupboards, inside the doors if they're glass, or line the inset panels on the front of your doors.

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Simply cut the paper to fit the spaces you'll be covering and attach with removable double sided tape. It's quick, simple, and darling!

You can find this project and many more, as well as decorating ideas, recipes, and Christmas cheer in my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Images by John Granen.

December 01, 2011

The Perfect Little Bench

I always find it interesting to watch the trends that come and go in the world of antiques. I remember when trunks were popular. Now they're not. But these old pieces shouldn't be overlooked. In fact, they are so useful for turning into entryway or mudroom benches. (And they have storage space!)

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I bought this old trunk/box from my friend, Hollie, at her antiques show.

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I simply topped it with a standard pillow covered in my favorite vintage Christmas pillowcase and it was instantly transformed into a little bench.

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I can easily change the pillowcase to fit the season.

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Have a large trunk? Use two pillows or several toss pillows. It's as easy as that!

I found the trunk here.

My floor tile is from Daltile.

My beadboard wall tile, tile base trim, and tile cap is all from Dirk Elliot Tile.

I purchased my wallpaper from Wallflowers in Spokane. I'm sorry, I can't remember the brand.

November 30, 2011

Christmas Around The House

We've been decorating for Christmas and I love it when I add some cheer and the boys notice it first thing when they come home from school.

Today I decorated the bookcase in the kitchen. I organized the cookbooks by color and then just added in happy little bits I have on hand. I love that about the holidays. Just making things special with what you have.

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As you know, I love displaying sprinkles, and Christmas is no exception. Little old milk bottles are the perfect receptacles. Since they have no lids, I simply capped them with cute mini cupcake wrappers.

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Little vintage ornament boxes fit right in.

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A vintagey looking Christmas tree cake topper adds the perfect touch to the old toy sedan.

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Who says treats can't make you happy?

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Cupcake wrappers and cake topper from Bake it Pretty.

Mother's brand Christmas animal crackers are from Fred Meyer.

Cheer Up canister from Fishs Eddy.

My Christmas Book can be found here.

November 17, 2011

My Old Crafts Space

At one point in our last home, I got tired of not having a crafts space and got a crazy idea to incorporate it into my tiny office (World Headquarters) nook. Jenny Doh featured it in her wonderful book, Signature Styles. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of my favorite ways to re-purpose kitchen, household, and often overlooked objects for use, as I shared in Jenny's book.

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Sprinkles in a jar are perfect for holding pens:

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Pages from a vintage textile and ribbon sample book become artwork for the wall:

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Pretty fabric should be displayed for added happiness. Twine is easily accessible in a clear jar. Cakestands are great for housing an array of supplies. A vintage baking dish holds rick-rack. A disposable plastic Christmas tablecloth is better utilized as a shelf liner:

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A colorful old flour sifter is the perfect size for holding a big cone of baker's twine. Sturdy cupcake liners work as vessels for small objects such as twist-ties.

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The entire feature, as well as My apron pattern and instructions are available in the book.

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Special thanks to Jenny for creating such a beautiful book and featuring so many creative women, and to Christina G., who photographed this story. All images seen here are by Christina G.

The sprinkles, cupcake liners, and twist-ties are from Bake it Pretty.

The cakestands are from Martha Stewart for Macy's.

The disposable plastic Christmas tablecloth is from Martha Stewart Crafts.

My desk is from Pottery Barn.

The oilcloth covering on my desk is from Cath Kidston.

P.S. Don't forget to enter for your chance to win EARLY ADMISSION tickets to The Farm Chicks Show! Click here to learn more!

November 14, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 5 (Pantry & Built-In)

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When we were working with Nancy on the floor plan, the pantry started out quite large, which in my opinion, can't ever be big enough. (I store all our food in the pantry). Growing up, no matter how small our living space, my mom always had a larder and I really loved those spaces with our home-canned goods and bulk foods all in jars, glistening on the shelves my dad had built by hand. In the design of this home, the pantry was continually downsized to make room for other areas, such as the built-in buffet in the dining room, which sits on the other side of the pantry wall. So, I had to get creative with making more out of the space than was originally intended.

I knew there was some space underneath the stairs leading to the second floor and asked Craig if we could add a bookcase there. Directly behind that wall sits the stairway to the basement, so some adjustments had to be made. Luckily, I came up with the idea while the framing was happening, and Craig was really amazing with making adjustments for me, so it wasn't a big deal.

I talked more about my built-in bookcase here.

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With the new pantry design, I was down to the shelves in the back of the pantry and one interior wall, but I really wanted both walls to be utilized. Staring at the studs that were in place during framing, I came up with the idea to have a can-depth wall to best utilize that space, and once again, Craig was able to make it happen, without altering the dining room built-in on the other side. Now I have a really useful wall for all of my canned goods, and the shelves are all fully adjustable.

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The back wall and opposite side wall are much deeper, so they work well for storing extra serving dishes, glassware, small appliances,

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and my bulk foods.

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And it all sits nicely tucked behind this pretty door. When I was working with Harry on the doors, I asked him to make my pantry door with wavy glass, partly because it's old-fashioned and beautiful, and partly because it obscures the view into the pantry, which I wanted to be able to see into, while not making the contents be the focal point.

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I talked more about my pantry here.

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

November 11, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 4 (Sink & Stove Wall)

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A big dilema with my kitchen was the fact that I designed the wall of cabinets, as seen in earlier posts about my kitchen. In doing so, it really made the kitchen lopsided, with the wall of cabinets having a lot of weight, design-wise. What was left to deal with was the wall with the sink and windows, stove and shelf. When I showed my plan to my friend, Dirk (of Dirk Elliot Tile), he pointed out the heavily-sided issue with the wall of cabinets. I knew I wasn't willing to change that wall, so the challenge was how to add weight to the other walls - all without adding upper cabinetry, which I didn't want.

Dirk offered many different design solutions for me to consider. My plan was always to use subway tile and after touring Dirk's tile factory, I was open to using different than normal sizes. One of Dirk's suggestions was to go with smaller subway tiles - two different sizes, and to take them all the way to the ceiling - both of which would give it the much needed weight. I loved that idea.

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He also pointed out that I needed to make my shelf MUCH bigger than I had originally planned, which would also add weight to that side of the wall. (And this is how the Mega Shelf came to be).

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And last of all, he recommended that I add legs of some sort to the cooktop cabinetry, which balanced everything out, gave some heft to the base, and made it feel a bit like a piece of furniture.

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The Mega Shelf has lighting built-in underneath, which is really nice while cooking. The lighting is all accessible by a panel that was built-in for easy access.

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I've had lots of questions about my cooktop and venting.

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To keep the design clean, I opted for a built-in downdraft fan, behind the cooktop. When I need to use it, I simply push a button, and the fan system raises up.

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When I'm done, I just press the button again, and the downdraft lowers back down. I had the same system in my last kitchen and I really love it. The cooktop and downdraft are both by Thermador and they are really wonderful, and really easy to clean which is great, because my boys cook quite often and can be really messy. I also love the burners. Stars!

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I have open shelving beneath the cooktop, which houses my pots and pans. I had the cabinet maker wrap the shelves with stainless steel, to take a beating, and to avoid terrible looking scratched shelves.

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I've talked before about the built-in cutting board located near the cooktop.

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It is so handy for chopping and scraping the scraps straight into the compost bin below. The day I met with the cabinet maker to talk about this feature, I had asked Colin to join me, which turned out to be a great thing. When he saw what I was asking for with the drawer, he came up with the idea for it to be spring loaded. So, to open the drawer, all I have to do is give it a slight push and it pops out, which is so convenient when I have a handful of veggies and have forgotten to pull out the drawer first. The board is maple and studies have proven that maple is highly resistant to bacteria - much more so than plastic or other cutting board surfaces that are out there. (I only use the board for veggies, and wipe it down when I'm done). The chute is lined with a PVC sort of pipe.

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I plan on growing herbs on the window sills throughout the winter.

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An idea from my friend Christina was to use stone for the sills. I loved the thought of it, as I've ruined many sills in the past with water marks from planters. When I ordered the countertops, I ordered the sills as well, in the same material. Mike, our finish carpenter, asked me to provide him with a sample of the stone material so that he could build the windows to fit perfectly. Unfortunately, the countertop contractor gave me the salesman's sample, not the actual building material sample and the measurements were all off. After much ado, the countertop contractor adjusted the sills to fit what Mike had built, as it was their error.

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I talk a lot about how much I love texture in design, and although my kitchen is very white, there is a lot of depth to it, thanks to the textures we incorporated. From the beadboard ceiling to the crown moulding to the tile.

When Dirk was sketching tile layout options, I fell in love with a design that sort of mimicked a basket weave, which was a perfect transition from the dining room grasscloth wallpaper to the kitchen.

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It's important to acknowledge that my kitchen would not be half as wonderful if it wasn't for our friends, Dirk and Christina, who spent so much time and effort in helping me with a lot of the design. Their eye for detail is amazing, and I'm incredibly thankful for their help.

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

November 09, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 3 (The Island)

I have an affinity for kitchen islands. When my dad built our first home, we had a huge old chopping block that held center stage in the kitchen and I used it often. It sort of set the need for one in my mind.

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The island was originally designed to be much larger, but it meant having it be a non-square shape, to conform to the layout of the kitchen, which I really didn't like. I have a real love of clean lines and think that they are much more classic in style. If the island weren't square, I think it would scream 2012 and I wanted it to just be timeless.

And speaking of timeless, the island is flat, rather than having an elevated bar for the seating area. That just doesn't match my style, and is too trendy for me.

I do all of my food prep on the island, and my favorite function of the space is that it is my baking center. The six drawers on the left hold my flours, sugars, spices, and baking utensils, such as measuring cups, sifters, cookie cutters, etc. (Nearly identical to the layout of the island I designed in my last kitchen. You can see it here.) The center bin is a second garbage bin and a recycling bin behind that. It's really handy to be able to scrape flour, etc, right off of the counter and into the garbage.) And under the microwave, is a large drawer for holding tupperware, rubbermaid, and glassware used for leftovers and lunches.

To utilize the back-end of the island space, I added in cupboards on both sides to house my baking sheets and cooling racks on one side and chopping boards on the other. I also made sure that I can control the island lighting from both ends, and have plug-ins there as well. But my FAVORITE feature of the island is the little gadget at the base. It functions as a vacuum. So when I'm sweeping in the kitchen, I can just sweep right into that space (activated by flipping the switch seen to the right with my foot) and it goes straight into the central vac.

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The base of the baking sheet cabinets are plastic, so they won't look like terrible scratched paint over time.

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I used some design restraint with the seating side of the island. Originally, I had planned on using beadboard on that side, but decided I wanted to keep the beadboard to the ceiling alone and not over-do it. I'm really happy with the classic framed approach that I took instead.

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I ended up putting the microwave in the island, and I like that it's something that's only seen when working in the kitchen. I also chose not to have it built-in and super fancy, as the microwave just isn't important to me and I didn't want to make it look like it is. I kept it simple and I like that.

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Design Note:

The structure of the island is six feet wide by three feet deep. (The counter adds about an inch all around and the seating area has about 11 more inches of counter, making the total depth of the island four feet).

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

November 03, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 1

Many of you journeyed along with my family and me as we built our new home. (If not, you can read all about it here). The whole experience was actually pretty enjoyable. Of all the emails I receive, one of the most requested things I hear is to see my completed kitchen. So over the next while, I'll be focusing on just that, and walking you through the choices I made.

But before you see the completed project, here's a look at it, under construction. Here the sheetrock has all been installed, and walls painted:

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And here it is with the beadboard ceiling now installed, cabinets in place and crown moulding in:

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And here we are today. Welcome to my kitchen. Yes, I love white. I find it calming and warm, when combined with the right touches.

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Much of the kitchen plan really revolved around the big beautiful farm sink. Because of the sink's high back, the windows needed to be higher than normal. The sink is also really wide - about 4 feet - so it takes up a lot of real estate. And when I laid it all out in my mind, I just couldn't see upper cabinets fitting in to my plan. So, I skipped uppers all together. Instead, I have the full wall of cabinets surrounding the wall ovens and fridge and on the opposite wall...

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...sits what the building crew named The MEGA SHELF and the cooktop. The shelf is my area to do seasonal displays or showcase my favorite artwork at the moment.

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Tomorrow I will begin taking you through the different areas of my kitchen and talk about the design and mindset that went into each one.

Thank you for visiting, at long last!

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

>>>><<<<

Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there, Username: thefarmchicks

>>>><<<<

 

October 13, 2011

A Pumpkin Here, A Pumpkin There

Want to know the quickest way to cheer up your house for the season? Tuck pumpkins here and there.

a bookend

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a chandelier

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a coatrack

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the kitchen.

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A little or a lot.

Hooray for pumpkins!

October 10, 2011

The Miniest Pumpkin

IMG_9520 Hello! Welcome to Pumpkin Week! This week I'll be sharing pumpkin inspiration with you. Decorating, celebrating, and baking. It'll be fun!

Today let me tell you about this cute little pumpkin - the miniest of them all.

Isn't it adorable?

It's actually not a pumpkin at all, but a cute little seed pod called a Putka Pod.

These little pumpkin look-a-likes have so many decorative uses around the home - today I'll show you two ways.

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Our Realtor, Jack, stopped by to see our new house and brought me some beautiful fall mums. So I took out a little galvanized tub, some fabric, and putka pods to make a happy fall arrangement.

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1.) I removed the wrapping from the mums, saving the elastic band.

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2.) I re-wrapped the mum with fabric and attached it with the elastic string I had saved.

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3.) I placed the plant in the tub and surrounded it with the pods. They just add that extra bit of Autumn cheer.

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Now, how about some tea? Tea to celebrate the season. How should we serve it to our guests?

Let's start with this great little wooden box:

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Line with Putka Pods, and fill with tea bags, spoons, and sugar:

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So simple and festive.

Tips:

Putka Pods can be found in craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, or online.

The pods are pretty delicate. They can last for several seasons, if handled with care. Once you're done with them for the season, seal in a ziploc bag or sealed container. Keep away from an area where there may be mice, as mice love seeds and pods.

 

October 02, 2011

The Party Table

I was having a party but my table needed some harvest splendor. Ho hum.

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So I went out and found some

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and brought that splendor in and washed it all up.

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Then I began to pretty up the table.

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But it wasn't quite enough so I added some more.

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And then I decided to just get carried away

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because the harvest comes but once a year.

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P.S. Just in case you wondered where warts come from...

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hee hee.

August 04, 2011

Collecting: Glassware

When I designed our dining room built-in, I wanted to make sure I'd have a spot to store all of my extra glassware.

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I love how something so simple can add such sparkle to a room.

My favorite source for glassware is estate sales. It seems that most people just pass them by. Most of the sets I find are quite large, which is a must for me. I usually won't buy any sets with less than 12 glasses. Although I couldn't pass up this set of 8 tiny juice glasses (shown at left) recently.

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The set was mine for $1. And I do really like how old-fashioned juice glasses are tiny. I think juice is more special sipped, not guzzled.

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I still have several shelves to fill and can't wait to see what I'll find next.

P.S. Have you ever seen Matthew Mead's Entertaining Simple book? I love his use of glassware throughout.

Post Edit: I ordered our table from Antico. It works really well for our big family because it seats 12. I love that their furniture is made from reclaimed and sustainably harvested wood. The chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

July 21, 2011

Recovered

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When we moved into our new home, I took some of our furniture for World Headquarters. Our old kitchen table is now my sewing table, recovered with a sweet new oilcloth.

This was the table before:

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And I did love that oilcloth so much, but was ready for a change. I'm funny that way... looking at certain things makes my mind wander with the memories I have from that piece. So, for example, every time I saw that table, I'd be sidetracked with so many memories and thoughts from our old house, dinners, etc., that it was a distraction from what I'm trying to do in WHQ (World Headquarters).

Time for a tiny change.

And my fabric is slowly getting organized.

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And once I'm done with that, I'll be mopping the WHQ floor as my final move-in chore.

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Sources:

The desk in the background of the first image is from Pottery Barn.

The cubbies are from Ikea.

My oilcloth (before and after) and sewing basket are all from Cath Kidston.

My pincushions were Christmas ornaments from Martha Stewart.

Much of my new fabric is from Sandi Henderson (Hi Sandi!), Amy Butler, and Cath Kidston. The rest is all vintage.

My upholstered chair and ottoman are from Ikea and the slipcovers are from an old Ikea line named Rosalie that I was able to find on ebay.

Photo Credit: The before image of my table is from my first book, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen, and was shot by John Granen.

July 13, 2011

Strawberry Fun

Let's have some fun with strawberries around the house!

Little cups of fresh strawberries are darling at each person's place at the table:

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An old strawberry ice cream carton turns an ordinary supermarket plant into something sweet:

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Strawberry Candies, like these marshmallows, make a lighthearted display:

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Sources:

The clear glass mini cakestand is from Pottery Barn.

The Italian Strawberry Marshmallows are from Wal-Mart.

May 26, 2011

Let's Talk About Antiques

For some reason, I have a real hang-up with the word "antique". I know what you're thinking.... She's the promoter of an antiques show. I know...

Let me explain.

I love old things. I find comfort in bringing them into my home. And I've always lived surrounded by them. For some reason, the word just seems so stodgy to me.

When thinking about what I wanted to name my show, I struggled with calling it an antiques show. But that's what it is. And antiques aren't stodgy. In fact, they're cool.

Antiques are actually the best way to add your own unique, one-of-a-kind style to your home. And they can be used in cool and unexpected ways.

I think when many people hear the word antiques, they think of treadle sewing machines, high-laced women's boots, and old dolls. (Don't get me wrong, I learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine). But to me, those are my grandma's antiques.

These are mine:

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And at my show, The Farm Chicks Antiques Show, these are not your grandma's antiques. They're yours. Because it's all about what you love and what you do with it. Antiques are cool like that.


Don't miss out! The Farm Chicks Antiques Show runs June 4th & 5th at the Spokane County Fairgrounds, in Spokane, Washington.

Inspiration abounds. And you don't want to miss out. I promise.

The first six images are by my friend, John Granen, from my first book, The Farm Chicks in The Kitchen.

The ice-cream image is by Ray Kachatorian, from one of my stories for Country Living Magazine.

April 18, 2011

Vosges

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

April 13, 2011

Rhubarb Flowers

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

January 19, 2011

An All White Palette

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 14, 2010

Serena's "Sweet" Centerpiece

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

March 25, 2010

Easter Place Settings

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

January 18, 2010

Table Covering

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

January 13, 2010

My Happy Home

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

January 06, 2010

My Print, AD FC

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 19, 2009

Christmas Star Cookie Wreath/Centerpiece

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 03, 2009

Christmas Pantry

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Garland

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

October 22, 2009

The Laundry Room

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

August 25, 2009

My Favorite Things

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

June 17, 2009

Curtain Crush

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

June 09, 2009

For Me?!

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

April 03, 2009

Mary, Mary, How Do Your Flowers Show?

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

February 03, 2009

Back to Normal

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

January 02, 2009

Happy Home Office

I love feeling happy, so my office nook needs to look that way and be organized at the same time.

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I use a lot of clear storage boxes to hold my supplies, but didn't like seeing through to the contents.  So, I just lined each one with some dotty wrapping paper.  On the shelf below, Ikea magazine files keep my magazines tidy:

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Business cards:

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A painting of downtown Spokane, by my favorite artist, Chris:

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Sweet little clutches by my friend, Jennifer Paganelli.  I use them for my coupons:

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My pin cushions were actually Martha Stewart Christmas ornaments from a couple of years ago.  I just cut off the hangers:

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Tacks from one of my FAVORITE stores ever - the Japanese dollar store in Seattle.  The gingham CD organizers and stack of colorful journals shown above were found there as well.

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The HOORAY card shown above is from the lovely Elum Designs.  The Big Boy figurine is from Kitschy Kitschy Koo, a vendor at the show.  All of the tins are from Michael's.

October 21, 2008

Patience is a virtue

When we built our house, the plan was to have a big fireplace in the living room.  The chimney was built, the wall framed in, and everything was set to go.  Then, for one reason or another, we decided against it.  So, now we had this angled area in the wall that didn't really make sense.  The builder built in a little platform and covered it with beadboard and carpet.  We decided it could be a little sitting area.  And it was.  Until the boys discovered its potential.  It became Thompson family X Games Central.  Boys running at full speed, slamming into the platform, and thrusting themselves up, as if in a handstand.  "Sweet!  I just did an Ollie Quarter Foot Backspin 360!"  "Rad!  A Fakey McTwist!"  (You get the point).  And although Colin and I love their constant energy and enthusiasm, we were ready to relocate the X Games.

Here is what our X Games Central looked like:

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And here is what it looks like now, as a part of our living room:Ent ctr2
Now, the planning for this re-model began last fall, and after a few delays, finally began during the winter.  Perfect timing to coincide with working on the book.  So, on the days that Teri and I were working at my house, it wasn't the X Games we were dealing with.  It was the ZZZZZZZZZ of the saws, BAM BAM BAM of the hammers, GGGGGG of the air compressor.  And a couple of weeks later it was almost done.  Then one delay led to another and it was incomplete until last week.  Imagine my joy when the last doors were added on.  Patience is a virtue.


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