Sofa Makeover

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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..

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Now we’re getting somewhere.

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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.

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And the old sink/faucet are gone!!

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Old countertops gone!

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Kelly working his magic.

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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.

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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…

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Now it’s time for a new makeover.

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

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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!

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

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NOW we’re talkin’! What a transformation.

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

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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.

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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!

Bamboo!

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.

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Most of the bamboo clumps are 12+ feet high!

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After the first trip.

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

Fence

I mentioned before that I would post some pics of the fence, but we’ve been getting our usual summertime afternoon showers. We’re finally getting a little break from the rain, so I threw a panoramic image together. This lot was separate from our property and we decided to buy it a few months after we bought the house. We’re excited to get started on landscaping and other fun stuff. This is basically the “before” picture. It looked even more rough last month before Kelly had a dead tree and some other brush removed. We plan to chip away at it in phases, and we’re always coming up with ideas for the landscaping and yard. We love brainstorming together, and it’s great that we see eye to eye for the most part.

I love the ferns, oaks & palm trees. I can’t wait to hang my hammock!

Today we’re working on the spare bathroom. Kelly just removed some shelves that were a bit rough looking and now he’s patching the walls and prepping them for painting. We’re hoping to finish painting the entire bathroom by tonight. Wish us luck!

Around the house.

Since it rained all week, I wasn’t able to get any shots of the completed fence and things are a mess out there. We’ll be spending some time this week cleaning around the yard if the rain gives us a break.

The rain didn’t spoil ALL of our fun last week… I was super excited to find the perfect vintage light for our hallway to replace the hideous faux gold with ruffled glass shade fixture. It needed a little work, but Kelly worked his magic and restored it to the original finish. We also ordered a gorgeous vintage light fixture for our entrance, so Kelly will be installing that when the weather clears.

▲ Danish modern chair, thrifted by Kelly  ▲ Teak teardrop lamp + new thrifted pottery  ▲ Hairpin leg shadows  ▲ Vintage hall lamp, found on Etsy at Tinted Vintage  ▲ Lane secretary in our office  ▲ Sunset shadows in our living room

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!