Sofa Makeover


Kelly and I have had this Ikea sofa for over 7 years now, and it has really held up nicely. The leather is perfectly worn, and it honestly has no issues or damage. We had discussed updating it with some more Danish style tapered legs, and Kelly finally got around to doing it. I really love how it looks!



I’m SO happy with the results! It’s amazing how a small change can make such a big difference. I love little improvements like this. Thanks, Kelly!


Kitchen Before/After

I’ve been waiting to be able to post this for about 3 years. The time has finally come, and I’m beyond excited. It’s like a whole new world for us in our house. When we moved in almost four years ago, we knew that we would completely change the kitchen. We had to. See for yourself.


Our house was built in 1959, but it looks like they tried to do some “updating” sometime in the late 70s or early 80s. The stove was from the 80s, and the refrigerator was from the mid 90s. We immediately pushed the stove out to the trash, but we had to keep the refrigerator until, well, just about 2 weeks ago. So basically what we have here are some light wood grain laminate cabinets with butter yellow countertops AND backsplash. They actually continued the laminate up the wall..



Check out the lovely hardware. We decided quickly that we had to take action. We immediately started taking doors off.


Ok, so the doors came off, and the laminate peeled off easily. Here’s what we had to deal with on the inside; nightmarish yellow contact paper with what appeared to be molasses spilled on it. Yes, more yellow. This was extremely difficult to remove.


…And there’s more. I almost killed myself trying to take this stuff off.


Here are the upper cabinets once the contact paper was removed. Ok, we’re making progress now.


And then there was THIS! Yikes! It was bad. Sooo bad.


Ok, the contact paper is finally off here, and we were able to move on.


But first, a little overview of the chaos. So scary.


So here everything is cleaned and sanded. Time to remove the “backsplash”!


If I only knew what was lurking behind that yellow mess…



Don’t be jealous. Here we have some lovely petrified glue. Great. We also have screws sticking up from the countertop from where we removed the backsplash. Fun.


Absolutely gross. We had to sand and clean this immediately.


After we sanded the glue and prepared the backsplash, I painted the interiors with enamel paint. I wanted it to be super durable. It actually turned out great. Nice and clean.



Now we’re getting somewhere.


So back to THIS problem. We actually lived with these for about a year (or so). Then we stumbled upon some quartz, yes QUARTZ countertops for $100 on good ole Craigslist. Kelly had to pay to have it cut for our new sink, etc., but it was still a great deal, and they were exactly what we wanted. I was SO excited when it was time to get rid of these old countertops.


And the old sink/faucet are gone!!


Old countertops gone!


Kelly working his magic.


Here are the new countertops, but we had to continue to live, so here’s what our kitchen looked like for the last, ohhh, two years. Every time someone would come over, I would apologize for the kitchen situation and made sure to tell them that it wasn’t permanent.


So much stuff. Too much stuff. Finally, about a month ago, we were able to finish the kitchen. We hired a local cabinet maker and he resurfaced our existing cabinets and made new doors and drawers. But first, it was time for me to purge! Boy, did that feel great. I took everything out of the cabinets and deep cleaned the interiors. I got rid of so much stuff…


Now it’s time for a new makeover.


But first, we changed our view with a brand new window!


Whoa. Where am I? Here’s the new space after the cabinets were done. We chose a laminate due to durability and easy maintenance. The color we chose was Columbian Walnut. We also chose some nice modern stainless steel hardware. We were VERY happy with the results, but there’s more!




Now that the cabinets were done, it was time to install the backsplash and under cabinet lighting. Kelly was up for the challenge…


NOW we’re talkin’! What a transformation.


A new refrigerator! Now we’re living in the lap of luxury! Seriously, I’m so happy with this new situation.





There’s my beautiful new window and windowsill. We found that pendant lamp at a thrift store a couple years ago. This was the perfect spot for it.





So there you have it. Honestly, after living with no cabinet doors and no drawers for almost four years, we were glad to have ANYTHING. It’s funny how you take those small things of convenience for granted. Sometimes we just walk out to the kitchen, stand there, and stare. It’s completely life changing. We feel so fancy now.

Anyway, my apologies for the super long post. It’s probably the longest one EVER, but I needed to do it that way in order to show the entire process. It took a long time to finish this, but it was so worth the wait. We’re already planning another project, so I’ll be back to share that too. Have a great week, everyone!

Around The House





I just love the light coming into our home this time of year. Kelly found the hairpin stand at a thrift store a few months back, and he added a wood top for me. It was probably an old stand for a fish tank, but it works for us.

I’m excited about spring, and have started to give my plants more attention. I’ve also continued to collect vintage pottery, and I try to sell most of what I find, but these are a few that made the cut (for now). The hoop chair has been sitting in the garage for close to a year (or more). It needs some love, but I brought it inside just to play around and see how it looks in our space. I love it! I actually talked Kelly into keeping it, and he’s going to refinish it for me when he gets around to it. I rescued that little citrus tree from our yard when we first moved here. It was just a little stick with a few leaves. I love how it’s coming along.

I’m blown away that it’s almost May! Summer, here we come…


I’ve always loved being surrounded by plants and I get satisfaction from caring for them and watching them grow. When I was a kid, I watched my mother transform sad clippings into lush plants. Living in Miami helped, and we could easily grab perfectly good plants from the trash. Some of my own favorite plants have been rescued from the trash and I’ve been scouring Craigslist lately for some freebies that people just don’t want to deal with. We have a large yard, and one of the first things we wanted to do was improve the landscaping. Of course that’s a huge expense, but we’ve been trying to be creative. One important thing for us is privacy. We managed to get our privacy fence up last year, but we wanted more. We decided that we wanted bamboo, so we researched ways to keep it from being so invasive. Then that plan was put on hold because it was on our long to-do list that required more money.
One day while I was browsing Craigslist, I actually stumbled across an ad for FREE bamboo. It wasn’t too surprising since it’s invasive and people are always trying to get rid of it around here. So Kelly made a call and checked it out. As it turned out, a woman owned some property close to her home, and the bamboo was too close to the road. The city needed her to cut it back or have it removed. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy job, but this was something we really wanted for our yard. So far, we have made four trips and plan to keep going back. It has been backbreaking for Kelly, and one of the most difficult things to do is install the barrier, but we’re really happy with the transformation so far.


Most of the bamboo clumps are 12+ feet high!


After the first trip.


We’ll continue along this fence until it reaches the next oak. We’ll be making our next trip this week. To be continued…

Around The House







1. Danish candlesticks // 2. Turquoise rings // 3. Vinyl collection // 4. Hairpin lamp // 5. & 6. Kitchen pendant lamp

Well, summer is winding down and we’ve been working on a few small projects around the house. Kelly found this vintage glass pendant lamp a few months ago, and I immediately knew where it should go. Before this, we had an ugly fluorescent light fixture with a plastic cover. It just had to go… Luckily, he can reuse it in his workshop. The hairpin floor lamp is actually up for auction right now, so check it out at KL Vintage Modern.



New Project ▷ Tripod Bowl


I’ve always loved creating/making things and working with my hands. Lately, I’ve been trying to come up with some ideas for something I could make and sell in my Etsy shop. It has been more and more difficult to find good items in thrift stores, so if I started making items to sell, I wouldn’t have to rely on finding things while I’m thrifting. I had to keep a few things in mind, though.. I don’t want to give Kelly more things to work on, so I had to come up with something that I could handle myself. I have absolutely no problem working with tools, so that’s not an issue, but I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.

I’ve always loved plants, and I’m constantly looking for ways to display them. I really love wood materials mixed with metals, and of course I’m drawn to mid-century modern designs. Carl Aubock made some fantastic tables using natural wood slabs with simple angled legs. I thought it would be cool to make a small version of that with a bowl for a planter or catch-all. I originally came up with the idea to sort of carve out the center of a piece of wood, but we don’t have to proper tools for that right now. Kelly mentioned that he had some vintage bowls he had been stockpiling for lamp bases, which are now just taking up space. We grabbed one from the pile, and decided to go from there. I figured I could just pick up some small steel rods at the hardware store, and we would get the project started.

The next day, I was out thrifting, and I noticed some knitting needles in front of me. I immediately thought that they would make great legs for the bowls. I picked out a handful of assorted sizes, and presented the idea to Kelly when I got home. He liked the idea, and agreed to make the first one for me. So this is the finished product. Very simple.. I love it.


As you can see, it’s a small bowl. I have plans to make assorted sizes and legs, just to add more variety. I’ve already got a bunch of different ideas for the next batch.


This particular bowl even has the original stamp on the bottom. I love that they’re all vintage + upcycled materials. Most of the knitting needles you find in thrift stores are mismatched sets and probably end up in the garbage. From now on, I’ll be looking for other materials that I could possibly use for future projects. I’m telling you, people.. being broke = being creative!


So as soon as it was assembled, I took some photos and put it up for sale in my shop. The next day, it sold!

I’ll be needing a drill press, so I have to save up for that, but as soon as I get my hands on one, I’ll be busy making more!

Around the House





Just a few new shots from around the house. I’ve been playing with my camera more often and feeling more inspired to rearrange/change things. Kelly finished the first chair of our set of four Shelby Williams Gazelle chairs, and it really motivated me to get some shots and work on some other projects. I’ve been brainstorming every day and making lots of lists. Everything seems to require sanding, painting, or other materials. It’s endless, but fun! I’ve been working on one particular idea for my shop, and I’ll have more info on that soon…

I’m Back!

I can’t believe it has been almost a month since my last post! I took a little time off from the blog because the holidays were crazy, and it was nice to just focus on my family and my shop. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays as much as I did!

So now it’s time to get back to work, and I’m excited to be posting again. Kelly has been working on a few projects around the house, and I’m so happy about our latest improvement. I found this shelving unit on the side of the road about 7 years ago. I always used it for my records and stereo/turntable, but when we moved into our house, we needed a place for the TV. I’m personally not a huge fan of having a TV in the livingroom, but Kelly has his needs.. haha.. So we came up with this solution. Kelly built a “floating” box to match the existing design.


This is a huge deal to me because before this, we just had a small end table that didn’t match at all. It bothered me every day! It’s so nice to have a guy that’s handy. Now it’s all one unit instead of three separate pieces. In previous posts, you may notice that I avoided showing the other side of the stereo shelf. Well, there was a reason for it!




Yet another photo of this space! It’s one of my favorites…

So, this weekend we’ll be going to Renninger’s Extravaganza! I am so excited because we missed the last two (last year). We’re hoping to find some goodies, and I’ll be doing my usual post on the adventure. I hope everyone has a great week, and it’s good to be back!

Kitchen Sneak Peek

We made some progress in the kitchen this past week. Kelly completed installing the quartz counters, sink and faucet. There were some obstacles along the way, but he managed to stay patient and work through it. We’re far from being done, though. He still has to put wood veneer on the surface of the counter frame, and he’s also building new doors and drawer fronts from scratch. He’s going to chip away at that in between working. I’m just really excited to have our new counter tops and sink/faucet! So here are some details…

I am loving this quartz! Everything is so much cleaner AND easy to keep clean.

So here’s a list of what’s left to do in the kitchen:

  • Put wood veneer on cabinet frame
  • Make new cabinet doors/veneer fronts/new handles
  • Tile backsplash
  • Make new windowsills
  • Replace window
  • Install new lighting
  • Install under-cabinet lighting

We still have a LOT to do, so I will do a complete before & after post when everything is complete. When you’re on a serious budget and doing it yourself, things take way longer than you anticipate. I’ll be sure to give updates on the progress… It’s a good thing we’re patient and just happy to have this house!

Bathroom Project

So we’re finally done with the spare bathroom (for now). We still have to re-do the tile in the shower, but we’ll have to wait for that. Kelly gets all of the credit for this one. He chased me out early in the process because the space was so small.

The following shot is an overall view of the house when we first bought it. This gives you an idea of where the bathroom is situated. Yes, it’s kind of… outside. We love it though. It’s perfect for gatherings, BBQs, working outside, etc. That was one of the reasons for us adding stainless and commercial accessories.

On a side note, we still plan to paint and landscape, among other things. It’s a slow process when you’re on a budget. Since this was taken, we completely cleared the front beds and made a clean slate in preparation for the concrete block walkway and tropical plants. Just go with it…

Ok, so here are some before shots. I wish I had the true before shots of the hideous particle board vanity and sink, and filthy linoleum floor. But thankfully Kelly ripped all of that out before I had a chance to grab my camera.

Ugh, so gross… But the new/old sink is already installed here. That was part of phase one. We found the vintage sink, commercial paper towel holder and mirror in thrift stores, like Habitat for Humanity.

This is a small nook on the opposite side of the bathroom that had some really rough shelving. This was a nightmare for Kelly to deal with. This was one of the reasons for things taking so long. There was a lot of patching and repairs involved.

Ok, so here it is!

So I understand that the commercial towel dispenser isn’t for everyone, but we like it and it’s practical for our future outdoor activities. The light fixture is also vintage, from an old school.

There’s ugly beige tile lurking behind that black curtain, but we’ll just forget about that for now. This rubber runner is perfect for this bathroom, and I can just pull it out and hose it off when it needs to be cleaned. I’m ready for the dirty construction workers!

I really love this sink, especially for $20! That price allowed us to splurge for a new faucet. We’re fancy now.

Now here is the nightmare wall AFTER Kelly worked his magic. We found these vintage Geneva kitchen cabinets about two years ago (an entire kitchen), and Kelly used most of them in his workshop. We had these left, so up they went! Perfect for storage.

Whenever possible, we like to keep the original fixtures and accessories (if we like them).

So as I’m speaking, Kelly is working on the kitchen project. We FINALLY had the quartz counter tops cut to our specifications, and he’ll be ordering the walnut veneer for the cabinets. We’re hoping to get that started (for real) within the next two weeks. For now though, there are plenty of other things to be done. Looks like we’ll be working out in the yard this weekend.