December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Trad Home's Online Magazine Special: Great Kitchens

Hola darlings!

I have been perusing Traditional Home's special online magazine this month on Great Kitchens.  I've oohed and aahed my way through the first 41 pages thus far and while lovely, I confess that I just cannot relate to the humongous cavernous kitchens that are beautifully done up but make me laugh when I think about today's nuclear family in one of them.  Then I got to page 42 and "Small Size, Big Style" (written by Ruthie Staalsen) and I fell in love with a kitchen!  There are before-after pictures too, that were missing from the previous articles.

In this roughly 14' x 14' kitchen, existing cabinetry was retained, painted white and glazed with a warm color to give a time-worn patina and rich glow.  Wrought iron hardware was added -- pulls and knobs.  New lighting was installed, the existing island was expanded to add an in-cabinet waste bin and then the island was embellished to look like a stand-alone piece of furniture in a contrasting finish to the cabinets.  Just gorgeous!  New flooring (tile set on the diagonal to visually "enlarge" the space) and tumbled stone inset with black wrought iron medallions backsplash treatment were added.  A soffit was added above existing cabinets to the ceiling and then trimmed out with elegant mouldings to eliminate cabinet tops that used to just collect dust.  A bay window was added by the sink to flood the room with light.  Here is one of the pics of the refinished space I snipped from the online magazine article:


Is this style Provencal or Valencia?  I don't know, but it's so beautiful.  I love the chandelier above the island -- so light and airy but providing tons of work light.  And the sconces on the cabinets on either side of the sink area.  How on earth???  The wiring must disappear inside the cabinets and then into the wall.  I imagine that would be very expensive to have such wiring installed.  The sconces themselves, though, are drop-dead gorgeous! 

Other changes included replacing an outdated drop-in cooktop with a flush surface cooktop mounted directly into the new granite countertop and new appliances, including a new microwave installed above the cooktop. 

This homeowner was able to do this gorgeous designer-created kitchen due to an inheritance from her grandmother that specified the money be used to remodel her kitchen!  I do not expect to receive such beneficience from any of my relatives, but there are plenty of ideas in this kitchen remodel that I may be able to borrow and adapt to my own humble kitchen. 

And humble budget, too!  In the next post I'm going to show you a handful of some kitchen redos from various blogs, most of which have one thing in common:  low cost! 

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