December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. 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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