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Dear House on the Mill

Posts tagged Kitchen
Spring Home Tour

Welcome! If this is your first time here, my name is Nicole and my family turned a 1923 mill house into our home.  Spring is the best time of year (even though in SC it only lasts a couple of weeks before the heat takes over).  This season epitomizes my style - simple, natural, light and bright! 

To be invited for the Hello Spring Home Tour with all of these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful homes is inspirational.  It's only Wednesday and I'm already planning projects for this weekend because these ladies have given me so many amazing ideas!  Carrie with Lovely Etc. did an amazing job hosting.  There is something new everyday this week so follow the links at the end!

For me, Spring means being outdoors!  We love to grill, sit on the back deck, wave to neighbors, and my son absolutely loves taking rides on the golf cart.  (Riding around the neighborhood on your golf cart is kind of a thing to do on week nights around here - welcome to Small Town, SC.)

So, let's start outside.  A broken old chair adorned with flowers and an old window, mismatched seating, and Ikea dinnerware complete the look.

From wreaths to counter tops, I really am a Do-It-Yourself person.  And if you can't DIY, buy it really cheap :) Michael's had their floral stems for 60% off so I stocked up on some really pretty stems for all of my Spring projects.

A few new (and on sale) pillows, bringing out my colorful throws on the quilt rack, adding simple touches of flowers, and freshening up the mantle complete the living area.

For Christmas I asked the hubby for things from local thrift and antique stores.  I gave him no direction and honestly just wanted to see what he would think I'd like.  He was spot on!  Seriously!  He scored a trunk (below) that was in great condition and only needed a little paint to take it from black and bold to bright and beautiful.  He also picked out the above RC Cola tray and everything that's on display in it. 

Our home is on the smaller side so our main living area doubles as my office.  By painting the desk my favorite color, teal, keeping the cords hidden, and having simple decorations I turned an eye-sore into an extension of the room.

I think our kitchen is the heart of the home.  When people gather here we tend to spend most of our time in this area.  If it's just us hanging out, you can always find us making snacks, cooking dinner, or toy race cars lining the table.  When friends and family arrive, coffee is brewing, desserts are devoured, and our children race around the island.

With the amount of traffic in this area, I really keep it simple in here.  I thrift containers to hold wooden spoons, use dough bowls for fruits and veggies, and my refrigerator is our social calendar (I mean wedding season this year is CRAZY!).

We did almost everything in this kitchen ourselves - from painting the cabinets and the counter tops, installing an island with a dishwasher, to painting the second-hand table and chairs.  This home has a lot of sweat and tears involved but it's our sweat and our tears.

It just so happened that the day I snapped these photos was the same day of a very special dinner with our family.  We are expecting another baby this September and we all gathered to find out the gender :)

These are the moments our home is made for.  It's great to take photos of a spotless home and wish that it would stay that way forever.  But, honestly having 15+ people over, a toddler running everywhere, crumbs on the counter and laughter in the air - that's beauty.

After a delicious dinner, we handed out surprise-filled cupcakes and waited for everyone to take a bite.

And...

It's a Boy!

 

I beyond thankful that you stopped by and spent a few minutes with me today.  I'd love to get your feedback or simply say "Hi" so feel free to leave your comments below.

It's only mid-week so there are still lots of wonderful blogs to tour for the Hello Spring Home Tour.  You do no want to miss anything that these lovely ladies have in store.

Merry Christmas Tour!

First off, welcome - I am so appreciative you are here!  I love this time of year and celebrating the true love of Christ with family and friends.  "We love because He first loved us."

Before our 2 year old woke up and started pulling toys into every room, I had about 30 minutes to photograph a clean home!  I love traditional reds and greens and this year I also decided to add some cotton and natural elements into the mix. 

I had the pleasure to photograph Christmas mini-sessions at a local tree farm in Greenville (Mystic Tree Farm) and while I was there, I picked out our tree.  Instead of the traditional green fur, we went with a Blue Ice tree that really does have a little blue hue to it.  It's beautiful and smells so wonderful!

I didn't have room on my mantle to put four stocking holders and I don't like using command hooks since the top of our mantle is a little thinner.  So, a white curtain rod and two flat stocking holders did the trick! 

Décor in the kitchen is a little more subtle - just a few small wreaths and pops of red and green!

I shopped around for a cotton wreath but the price tags were a little more than I wanted to pay...so a friend informed me of a place in Greenville called The Tomato Vine and they sale cotton by the stem or by the bunch for super cheap!!!  So, a DIY cotton wreath it is!

I've spent weeks searching for a wooden bench for our kitchen table.  I wanted to move things around and center the table with the mantle.  After no luck at my favorite antique and thrift stores, my wonderful father made me one instead.  I can't decide what color to paint it though...all white, stained and white, a color...

Our son will empty an entire toy box looking for his cars (he calls them "beep beeps") so I've started putting them in smaller containers that he can easily find.  This saves us a few minutes of toy clean up each night...one afternoon, he put them in this dough bowl on his small table.  So for Christmas, I thought I'd keep it that way!

But literally, as soon as he woke up - straight to the toys and the photo taking was done.  Mostly because I wanted to play with him too!

I hope this season is merry and bright for you all but never forget why we truly celebrate.  We can make our homes beautiful and get inspiration for one another but His beauty, love and inspiration are unending and all powerful.

Merry Christmas!

-Nicole

 

 

 

Fall tour

I was able to sit down and enjoy an almost spotless home for about 15 minutes yesterday before I heard the first, "Uh Oh" that came right after a dropped cup of milk - lucky for me my dog licked it right up...  This preceded the sandy footprints, crumbs on the floor, and toys thrown about in every room.  But, that's life and that's my style. 

I've had several people ask how I can manage to decorate with a son who likes to climb, crawl, run, and jump on everything!  I don't purchase expensive items for a reason.  I have a two year old and many of my friends that visit have children the same age.   That doesn't mean I don't like nice things, I just keep things simple.  My decor fits with our life and our home.  Small items that are clean and simple with pops of color (usually teal haha).  I also really like old pieces that go with the feel of our 1923 home. 

More times than not if you visit you will see dishes in the sink, toys everywhere and smudges on surfaces.  But, you'll also hear a lot of laughter, little feet running and songs being sung.  Occasionally you will find my home "presentable" but those times only last for about 15 minutes! 

But, here is one of those 15 minute moments from yesterday morning...welcome to my Fall home tour.

 

Thank you for stopping by - I truly appreciate it.  You took time in your day to come here and that means so much to me.  Have a blessed day!

Love,

Nicole

Simply Fall...

My love for Fall is beyond words - I mean college football, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, perfect weather, and colors that match my hair - what's not to love!  I couldn't resist and I started decorating before September...I tried to hold myself off but once the store shelves were lined with candles and white pumpkins, I just couldn't make it. 

I thought this was the best time to work on a project I have been envisioning for a few weeks.  We have some great, original mantels in our home (but no actual working fireplace).  To showcase the one in our main living space, I thought a simple window with a magnolia wreath would look great.  The task was, how to get the window to "float" where I wanted it to.  So, a drill, four hooks, and heavy duty twine later - it's a hanging window!  The best thing about this, I can use the hooks for so much more than just this window (hanging mason jars with flowers, Christmas decor, you name it)! 

It wasn't the easiest thing to hang - these mantles are made of super hard wood (I actually lost a screw from the back of the hook in there somewhere).  I also had to make sure to get products that could hold the weight required.  The hooks each have a safe working load of 35 pounds and the twine has a working load of 90 pounds.  The little extra elbow grease was worth it though :)

I've added simple touches of Fall throughout our home - white pumpkins, candles, some wood pieces, and an adorable sign I found on clearance at TJ Maxx that says "Pumpkin Kisses; Harvest Wishes."

To start off September 1, 2016 I even made pumpkin cookies...yum!

Happy (almost) Fall Y'all!

Love,

Nicole

 

 

Color!

Who doesn't love free things?!  Well, I got my hands on a FREE kitchen table with four chairs.  It's in perfect condition but it was just all white.  It needed color.  Chalk paint to the rescue - this stuff is amazing (and a little pricey) so I stuck with only painting the chairs.  However, I couldn't decide on just one color...so I picked a different color for each of the four chairs.  It turned out amazing - one is teal, one green, one grey, and one yellow.  It sounds like a lot of color but with soft grey walls and white cabinets, it really looks great together. 

Now, I'm in love with the color teal! I've decided I want to incorporate it into ALMOST every room in my house.  For the kitchen, the one teal chair was not enough so the mantle received a fresh new paint job.  It started off just blending into the room but now it is a focal point of the kitchen.  The color just pops against the grey walls! 

Small accents complete the room and being that they didn't cost any extra money is a bonus.  I already had the mason jars and the paint.  I simply poured a small amount of paint into the jars, mixed it around, let it dry and voilà

The pallet turned wine rack was another FREE project that only cost the time it took to cut the pallet down into the size we needed.

 

 

Lastly, the floating shelves were a creative way to display all of the photos I have.  I love having a place that allows me to change out the frames and photos without worrying about nails in the wall.   Special thanks to my father for putting these together for us.

 

By saving money on the details and décor, we were able to get the new floors and appliances we wanted.  Our kitchen is now a space that we enjoy being in together as a family.  We pray together, share meals with family and friends, laugh, and live. 

The kitchen may be complete but there are still plenty of rooms in my house, so onto the next chapter of our story...Dear House on the Mill

-Nicole

 

use what you have

Dear House on the Mill...

Before we were able to get to the cosmetics, we had to deal with some "behind the scenes" moments.  From new HVAC, ductwork, re-wiring, decking, patching holes, plumbing, and oh yeah...the time we woke up to ankle deep water in our kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and laundry room... These types of fixes are harder for me because I can't physically see the changes they make.  Re-wiring an outlet or fixing a leak may not add beauty to my home, but it is a necessity and I'm very happy we were able to make those changes.  Now that most of that is (hopefully) behind us, I'm ready to make-over every room! 

Starting with the kitchen! 

Our kitchen is a very important place in our home.  Meals are cooked here, preparations are made, prayers are said, and it's the largest room in our house.  We started with dark, stained cabinets, black and white checkered flooring, and deep red walls.  It was too dark.  I had to lighten the space up! 

When I started designing what this space would look like, I imagined light, airy, charming, and pops of color.  But when I started to shop, I found expensive, expensive, expensive!  There was no way I could make-over every room in my house if I spent my entire budget on just the kitchen.  And so the fun began...

I started with the cabinets.  They are beautiful, custom wood cabinets that just needed to be lightened up a bit.   So with a little elbow grease and the help from a few family members, we were able to sand, prime, and paint these dark cabinets a bright white all in one weekend.  (Side note: having a paint party with family or friends is a great way to knock out painting a large room or tackling something like re-finishing cabinets.  Make sure you provide the food and drinks since they are working for free!)  The last step for the cabinets was to take a trip to the local hardware store to find pulls or knobs.  I went straight to the discount section and picked a simple, stainless look that was only $0.49 each!  What a bargain!

Next - the counter tops!  I was very indecisive when it came to this.  Did I want white and bright or to add a little contrast and go darker...  I couldn't decide.  Then I read an article about painting your own counter tops - using what you HAVE to get what you WANT!  This was a perfect solution for me.  I could try what I thought I wanted and if it didn't look okay, no harm - I could paint again.  The steps are simple... 1. prep your existing counter tops (clean and lightly sand) 2. prime 3. paint your base coat4. using a sponge, dab your second color 5. using another sponge, dab your third color 6. lightly sand and apply your clear, protective coat 7. lightly sand the clear coat after drying and repeat step 6 (I applied a total of 6 clear coats). I used all Valspar paints - Birchwood White for the base color, Very Black for the second color, and Ivory Lace for the third color.  (Side note: they do make kits that include all of the products you need but I saved over half of the cost by buying them individually).

Now the walls - one of the least expensive but most dramatic changes you can do is paint.  It can instantly transform any room.  Take our red kitchen, I needed to brighten the room up and make it feel larger.  So, I needed a color that was light and refreshing.  My dear friend, Dipali, found the perfect color for me - Frappé by Valspar.  The best thing about this paint is that it has paint and primer all-in-one!  That's a huge time saver and worth the extra money.

So for less than $150 in paint and kitchen hardware, my kitchen was already starting to transform - I now have bright, white kitchen cabinets and walls that reflected natural light to make the space feel larger and more inviting.  Remember it's not always about what you need for your space - sometimes it's about what you already have.  Use the pieces you already HAVE in your room but change them up a little - add some paint, new knobs, or new fabric - and make them work for the space you WANT.

Join me next week as we add that pop of color!

-Nicole

 

The BEFORE....(the first photo I found of the kitchen)

 

The AFTER...