Saturday, July 26, 2014

Plate Rack

I have admired plate racks for a couple of years now. The ones where the plate or platter face forward... as apposed to the plate racks where you only see the sides of the plate.

It seems like the majority of the Swedish homes have a plate rack and style it with beautiful plates and knick knacks and an occasional tea towel draped very stylishly over one of the rungs. I love that idea.

And, I also love them as part of a hutch.

From Somethings Gotta Give

I loved the full wall ones like KariAnne from Thistlewood Farm 

Built-in Plate Rack | Thistlewood Farm.
Or this one from DecoPad
white kitchen cabinets, kitchen island, turquoise blue lanterns, white seagrass counter stools, sink in kitchen island, glossy subway tiles backsplash, turquoise blue decorative plates and polished nickel goose neck faucet.
Or the one from Room for Rent
DIY plate rack - great use for an unused wall, and other small space ideas from
I had the perfect wall space for it... the big blank wall space on the side of our built-in refrigerator.

But for some reason I just couldn't commit to it. I was afraid I would get tired of it, or someone would bump it coming in and out the back door. So I just kept it on my "I would really like that" list.

Then one day while pursing Pintrest I found the perfect inspiration piece.

196962183676289275 Making Childrens Bookshelves | Step by Step | DIY Craft How Tos and Instructions| Martha Stewart
I could use it in the space and when/if I got tired of it there I could move it to other rooms and even repurpose it to serve another function.
So the hubs purchased the wood and constructed it for me by using the above picture as a guide ... I'll have a tutorial in a future post.
And here it is...

This picture was taken from our back porch. That is the exact door that I've been worried would cause problems with a rack being there.

But as you can see... the rack has a very narrow profile.
And, I think the best part is I can style it to my little heart's content.

Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

House Tour

Our little 1940 Foursquare
We moved to a charming little village in Western New York from Northern Virginia April 2013. If you would like to see the before tour of our house you can go here for the original real estate MIL pictures. We are slowly making our house a home. I thought I would share the house as we make it more our home.

Our house is a cute little 1940 house built in the classic style of a "foursquare." They are very common in this area. It isn't very big and it is what it is, nothing hidden... just a simple basic layout that covers 1,300 square feet. The square footage doesn't include the full basement.
I painted the trim around the door and front double windows a light gray. The shutters the hubs made for me after finding a tutorial on Pintrest. They are made for simple dog ear fencing that we purchased from Lowe's. They are painted the same color as the trim.
Our Kitchen and Butler's Pantry: To see more details regarding our kitchen and butler's pantry renovation click the corresponding link Kitchen and Butler's Pantry.


Upper Kitchen Cabinets Paint: Glidden's Eloquent Ivory
Lower Kitchen Cabinets Paint: Amazon Stone
Wall Paint: Glidden's Eloquent Ivory
Our Dining Room: To see how our dining room has evolved in the past year or so click Dining Room
Walls: Behr Dolphin Fin Grey
Trim: Ultra bright white
Curtains: discontinued repurposed Threshold Tablecloths
White Metal Stand: IKEA
Table: gift from aunt and uncle
Buffet: thrifted from  Salvation Army
Rug: Home Depot 2009?
Chairs: thrifted from Buffalo Habitat Restore
Our Living Room:

Wall Paint: Behr Dolphin Fin
Trim: Ultra white
Coffee Table: Upcycled


Evolution of our Dining Room

We have lived in our house for a little over a year and our dining room has gone thru many edits/changes.

Shortly after we moved into our house my aunt & uncle gave us their old trestle table. My uncle had added to the width of the table by add additional two by fours to the sides. However, with the size of my extended family we needed to add additional length to it also. So my guy purchased some two by six boards and attached them to the ends of the table. Once that was complete I sanded it down from the original reddish pine color and did a Restoration Hardware effect by using medium oak stain and light dry brushing on various colors of watered down gray paint. I love how it turned out.

This photo was taken shortly after we moved in. We actually had the Barrister bookcase in the butler's pantry holding all of our food staples. It was in the dining room at this time because we were working on the built-in for the butler's pantry. You can read more about it here: The Butler's Pantry
Notice the two tones of yellow. The one wall was all marked up and it drove me crazy so I grabbed the only can of yellow paint that was left by the past owners and started painting. Not sure why they left that color because it didn't match the other walls at all.
We found the buffet in the garage when we moved in. And, the sphere was from our last house. When we put the house back on the market last fall I had my guy remove it and put the old living room fan/light combo in the dining room.
The rug is an indoor/outdoor rug that I love because it is so easy to keep clean. It has spent more time than not in our dining room.
As you can see I painted the dining room blue and we added a trim molding around the room and painted the lower half bright white. Along with all of the trim.  Notice how I have the table at an angle? That drives my aunt nuts. She actually straightens it little by little when I leave the room.

This is a close up of the chair that the hubs spray painted a wonderful gray and I recovered with some outdoor fabric I found at Joanne Fabrics.

He also painted the hard rock maple spindle back chairs the same gray.
I brought the rug back in.

I have also attempted to use our old round oak table... But it never worked if we had more than four for dinner.
I tried to live with both types of chairs for a while but it just wasn't working, neither did the size or the round table.
I don't know why but at one point I also pull the old table from our old apartment out of the basement and attempted to use it. Yeah... It was even smaller than the oak table. What was I thinking??


Eventually I went back to the trestle table. It worked so much better for the larger dinners we have. I can seat eight people around the trestle table and in a pinch actually squeeze in ten people. LOL... yep we are a close family like that.

I love having a side board for storage. Living in an older house always calls for creative storage and I love changing out the display on top. Not just seasonally... sometimes as often as weekly.

But the biggest change in the dining room seems to be my love of chairs or should I say addiction??
We bought these from Habitat Restore for $3.00 each after I sold the above gray chairs... Don't ask. My uncle doesn't get it either. :-)



They were never comfortable and they lacked substance for the room. I tried various items in the room trying to get the balance right. Moved my grandmother's desk into the dining room to replace the side board that we sold... again, don't ask. That just didn't seem to work. 
Notice how I moved the Barrister bookcase to the wall that had the sideboard and desk? I just removed the one case and stored it in the basement. And, where the bookcase was, I brought in from the back porch, one of the metal stands we purchased from IKEA years ago. It gave the room a light airy effect on that wall, but it just didn't work for me.
When I finally decided that the faux bamboo chairs were not going to work I searched Craigslist for any and all chair deals. And, that is when I stumbled onto these...
A church in north Buffalo was selling their chairs for $5 per chair. We could only fit four of the chairs into our car. They are so big and bulky. But I was sure that these were what was needed for our family. We pulled the upholstery off the back support. There was no way I was going to be able to remove the fabric from the foam on the back of the chairs. The foam was so old that it just fell apart. So I decided to repair the wood. I filled the staple and screw holes, and repaired the damage caused by a protruding screw or two. Then I spray painted them a pretty French blue color and used a drop cloth from Lowe's to recover the seats. They were comfy, but just way to bulky for the table. I couldn't get the legs of the table and chairs to play nicely... they kept bumping into each other and fighting for space.
We lived with the chairs for a while... quite a while considering the life expectancy of all furniture in our dining room. But in the end I just wasn't loving them.
So the search was back on. Not only for new chairs, but I also wanted another sideboard. I just didn't realize when I sold the old sideboard how much I would miss the storage that it had offered.
We had started our search at Habitat Restore. We found the perfect piece however we didn't have the cash and their credit card machine was down do to the renovations they were doing. Oh well, it just wasn't meant to be. But the more I thought about it that evening the more I thought the piece would be perfect. So the next day we headed back with cash in hand. But this time I had to resign myself to the fact that it truly wasn't meant to be because there was a sold tag attached where there was once a price tag. I was disappointed but we both believe that if it isn't meant to be it isn't meant to be. 
A couple of weeks later we stopped in our local Salvation Army Store and found this piece...
Sorry for the poor photography... it was taken with my cell phone.

 It was even better than the one at Habitat. It was a little more than I was wanting to pay but we didn't want to chance loosing it while waiting for it to go on sale. I'm debating on how I want to restore it... strip and stain, paint, ???
The top looks as if a cat had used it as a scratching post.

A couple of places have chips missing.
As you can see it does have issues but for now I just scrubbed it down with soap and water and a little Murphy's Oil Soap.
I think it is perfect and looks great in our dining room. But I was still searching for the perfect chairs. I truly wanted some old wooden school house chairs like the ones Pottery Barn used to sell. But I could only find one or two at a time and they were way to expensive or in need of a lot of work. More than the price warrants.
So I continued my search on Craigslist and thrift shops. I even stopped at the occasional lawn sale but nothing. Then one day on a whim we stopped at Habitat Restore and there they were and at a perfect price.
Similar to the ones I loved at pottery barn but only at a very reasonable price. When we found them they only had the blue and red ones. The cashier said all 30 of the green chairs sold that morning. So we quickly snatched up four of the blue ones - it is all that could fit into our car. The whole way home I kept thinking we should really go back and get two more. The next day we headed back and as hard as it is for me to believe in that little bit of time (less than 24 hours) they only had two blue chairs left and half a dozen of the red ones. The cashier said that they had 30 of each color. Again, we believe if it is meant to be... it will be. Those last two blue chairs were meant to come home with us.
And, this is how our dining room looks today. 
I love the feel of it. There will be changes in the future... there always will be.  But for now it is perfect for us. It feels more like 'our' dining room than any of the prior setups that we had.
Thank you for stopping by.