7th House on the Left


posted by Ashley  /  54 Comments

Alright, it’s about time we call this turkey DONE. The turkey being the kitchen. Now that we have artwork, lighting, and floating shelves, the last two things on the list of to-do’s are counter stools and a window treatment for over the sink. I’m still wanting to edit the accessories here and there, but that will come together when the two final to-do’s are in place.

There haven’t been many changes since we last talked about the kitchen (which was a while ago), except moving the mixer over to the left of the sink, adding the coffee station, and the addition of the red squirrel cookie jar.

I really like having the mixer over in the left corner of the kitchen because it’s out of the way, yet still easily accessible when I want to use it (admittedly, that hasn’t been very often, but I’m hoping to change that in the future). It also fills up the corner quite nicely. Since it looked kind of lonely sitting there all alone, I grouped it with a little faux Ikea plant and a candle. (I love having candles lit around the house at night or on rainy days. It makes everything so cozy.) Since fall is in the air, right now, we also have a tiny white pumpkin.

By moving the mixer, we now have room for a “coffee station”. After months of having the kitchen “sorta done”, we finally got around to buying a coffee maker. We love this coffee maker. Like, love love. It’s Cuisinart’s 12-cup drip brewer and hot water system. The hot water system is what sold us on this baby. We eat a lot of oatmeal around here   and Greg likes the occasional flashback-to-college Ramen noodles, so it comes in really handy. It was originally $120, but was on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond for $99. Then I had a 20% off coupon (which I collect in my office like a squirrel stocking up for winter because they let you use expired ones!) and that dropped the price down to $79. A good deal in my book. I talked more about the coffee station (and how I organized everything) in this post over on iHeart Organizing. (Love that blog!)

When I saw this cookie jar at Target, I’m pretty sure I let out an audible “Oooo”. I have a thing for squirrels. We have a lot of them in our area, and I have fun watching from time to time. My family teases me about it a lot, but I’m not a crazy “squirrel watcher” or anything. I just think they’re cute. When I first saw it, I already had a ton of stuff in my cart, and I was trying to be “good”. So, even though I loved it, I passed. I texted a photo of it to Greg later that day and said something to the effect of, “He needs to come home with us!” Without me knowing, Greg went by Target on his way home from work and picked it up along with the matching butter dish. He’s a keeper. So the squirrel cookie jar now sits on the small counter space next to the stove. If I want to clear off the counter for some reason, I just put it in the pantry but I love that it adds some color and personality all in one. I think it would be fun to switch out different cookie jars seasonally, too. I have an antique one from my mom waiting in the wings that I’d love to revamp down the road.

Now… for what’s left on our list. First, a window treatment for over the sink…

Greg and I both like the look of roman shades, so we started there. We didn’t want our window covering to take away from the light fixture. The light is super simple, so the shade needed to be equally simple. Also, neither of us wanted anything white (we have enough of that already). Taking those things into consideration, we wanted to go with something like this…

…but in a darker shade of brown. Image from here. I think it would bring in an interesting texture that could be translated as a smidge rustic (which we both like).

We looked around at Home Depot, Lowe’s and even WalMart, but couldn’t find the finish or color we were looking for. I finally found this shade at JC Penny (or “JCP” as they’re saying on the commercials now) and think it will do just the trick. The inside of dimensions of the window are an odd size (36″x35″), but luckily, they offer custom cut blinds for just a few dollars more. I ordered it last night, and if we like it, we’ll be grabbing a couple for the half bath and laundry room, as well. They should be here sometime week after next, and we’ll be waiting, drill in hand.

Next on the list… bar stools. Growing up, the kitchen island at my grandparents’ house was the place for family cooking, school projects and long chats. It was one of those spots where you’d start talking and realize, three hours later, you’ve been standing the entire time. With that in mind, I want our peninsula to be a comfy place to work on projects, eat a quick lunch or talk for hours with friends and family. We also want the bar stools to tie in with the rest of the kitchen yet go with the (future decorated) living room.

Just for fun, we brought in the chairs from my office to see what a little color would look like…

While we really like the pop of color, we don’t think it’s the right color to be popped. Since the kitchen is completely open to the living room, I’d constantly be needing to tie in the coral bar chairs. Oddly enough, even though these are “counter chairs” instead of “counter stools”, they are actually a pretty comfy height. Even so, we think we need to go with something a little more neutral. So, the hunt is on.

Here are the three counter stools on our “short list”…

1. Rustic Counter Stools from West Elm
Likes:  Rustic wood, dark metal that ties in with the hardware, deep 21″ seat
Dislikes: Too straight? No padding?
Price: $320 for 2

2. Vintage French Cane Counter Stool from Restoration Hardware
Likes: Very comfy, weathered wood, a lot of fabric choices
Dislikes: Too traditional? Too… “French Country”?
Price:  $239 for 1

3. French Bistro Counter Stool from World Market
Likes: Wood tones, looks nice from the back, least expensive of the three
Dislikes: Not so comfy looking?
Price: $139 for 1

I could easily marinate on these for two weeks, but I’m giving myself a deadline of 36 hours to make a decision and place an order. So, Thursday night, time to order some counter stools. Finally, right?!

Scroll down to the giveaway widget to see who won!

While a doozy of a storm is tracking through here on the East Coast, we’ve got a doozy of a giveaway! The fine folks at Lamps.com are giving one lucky reader a $300 gift card! How cool is that?!  Whether it’s a bathroom, entry way or kitchen, one of the easiest ways to freshen up a space is by switching out the lighting. Changing the lighting can totally transform the look and feel of any room. Lamps.com has a massive amount of lighting options in pretty much any style, shape or size for any room in the house – and outside too!

To get your hands on some new lighting, here’s how to enter… Scroll down to the giveaway widget below and log in with your Facebook account or enter your email address. (As always, your information is kept private.) Once you’ve done that, you’ll be shown the entry requirements set by yours truly. Click the “Do it!” button, type the required phrase in the blank in the widget, then click “Enter!”. Now that you’ve entered, you’ll see some optional entry options. To gain additional entries and increase your chances of winning the prize, you can do one or all of them. If you already follow Lamps.com (or us!), go ahead and enter your Facebook or Twitter info, and you’ll be automatically given the extra entries. As usual, the winner will be chosen using Random.org. This giveaway is only open to US residents. We’re hoping to have more international giveaways coming your way soon! Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Isn’t it so crazy that the end of October is already here?! So, so crazy! Well, it’s the last Friday of the month, meaning it’s time for another round of His + Her Favorite Things.

Gifts for Him

1. Star Wars Glass Set – Every time we go to Target, I’m tempted to pick a set or two these guys up. I’m hoping to use one as a pen holder in my office, then store the others with the “special occasion” dishes. Then I can pull them out whenever my geeky friends come over!

2. Thomas Paul Tool Pouch – I’m forever trying to find a good place to store small tools and parts that I use around the house. Larger tools, oddly enough, aren’t that big of an issue–they tend to fit nicely in a drawer or a storage bin. The biggest problem I have is losing small tools and parts, like nails, picture hangers, and even small pairs of pliers. One of these pouches would be a great solution – and a great gift for a fellow DIY’er.

3. Child’s Play CharityDon’t worry–it has nothing to do with the movie! Child’s Play donates video games and game systems to hospitals for sick kids. The distraction helps them keep their minds off the treatment they’re receiving and focus on something fun and exciting. Rather than feeling like patients, the children can feel a bit more like other kids while they’re in the hospital. As a bit of a gamer, I think this charity is pretty cool and different. Check out Child’s Play the next time you’re thinking about giving a charitable gift!

4. iPhone Gramophone – Isn’t this thing awesome?! I love the trend of high-tech electronics being incorporated into designs that are classic with a modern flair, and this is a perfect example of why. While this isn’t really something I’d buy for myself, it’s definitely something to look at.

5. Skil Jigsaw – I’ve always wanted a jigsaw, and I’m not completely sure why because I can’t think of too many projects we’d need to use it for. Regardless, since we’re going to be doing some minor woodworking on a project this weekend, I now have a great excuse to own one. Even though this isn’t a top-shelf professional-grade tool, it’s an affordable solution for pretty much any project we would find ourselves doing. If we end up using it a lot more often (or for heavier-duty projects), we’ll upgrade to something with a bit more oomph.

Gift Ideas

1. Red by Taylor Swift – I come from a very musical family. Well, scratch that. My dad isn’t musical… unless you count running a sound board? He’s more the handy type. But, my mom and brother are, and I married a musician. That being the case, it’s no surprise that I have a rather eclectic taste in music. I listen to everything from Tommy Dorsey, Feist, The Temper Trap, Tony Bennett, Lady Antebellum, One Republic to Adel. Yes, eclectic. The latest favorite album added to my list: Red by Taylor Swift. I love how she still has the country roots but it’s mixed with big hooks and unexpected melodies. Not only are the tracks really good, but I love the photography and graphic design on the album art (particularly the inside art). It’s really bold and modern with a tinge of vintage.

2. Thanksgiving Cards. – This year, we’re switching it up a little, and instead of sending out Christmas cards, we’re going with Thanksgiving cards. On our short list of design options is Rifle Paper Co.’s Thankful Forest design. I love the colors, espresso envelopes and… it has squirrels on it! I love squirrels. I’m thinking about adding a gold envelope liner – it would look awesome against the espresso envelopes!

3. Macbook Pro Retnia Display – I finally “pulled the trigger” (as Greg puts it) on a new computer. My desktop made me a slave to my desk, and not being able to work anywhere else was starting to take a toll on my brain power. On top of that, my circa-2005 Mac Pro was as slow as molasses and crashed constantly. Don’t even get me started on the time I lost ALL of my Brown & Barkley files. That was a bad, bad day. After a lot of going back and forth, I decided on the 15″ Macbook with Retina Display. I have to admit, after I hit the “Place Order” button, I immediately second guessed my decision. I read a lot of mixed reviews on the retina display. Regardless, I left my order as it was and crossed my fingers. I’ve been working off of it for about two weeks now and I can confidently say… Best. Purchase. Ever. Like, seriously, this thing has changed my life. Not only is it fast as lightning, but the retina display is amazing – especially for someone like me who writes / reads a lot. Yes, some web images are a tad blurry because they haven’t “crossed over” to the higher resolution yet, but it’s not enough to bother me, and I’m pretty picky when it comes to that. Bottom line: my new BFF.

4. Nate Berkus Decorative Box – It’s official. The Nate Berkus Collection has arrived at Target. Yay! It’s hard to pick a favorite item, but I’d have to go with this yummy mustard yellow decorative box. It’s the “perfect yellow”, and it would be cute to keep a few decks of cards in it on the coffee table or something, right? Also, I wish I had an excuse to buy new towels, because I’m really loving these.

5. Dog Toy – The holiday line of Martha Stewart dog toys came out at PetsMart this week. Need I say more? I may or may not have picked Bentley up a pet turkey. I’m going to save it in our “secret future toy stash” to give him around Thanksgiving. Seeing as how turkey is his favorite snack around the holidays, that makes this toy ironic… and oh so cute.

That wraps up this installment of His + Her Favorite Things! Have any fun plans this weekend? We’ll be busy finishing up our project for the Home Depot Style Challenge. Let’s just say… we’re going to be building something, and Greg’s new jigsaw might come in handy. Keep an eye out for a few hints on Instagram over the weekend. ; )