Wednesday, February 24, 2010

lucite love

i'm not sure if lucite is still considered trendy, but i've never really cared about trends anyway.  it's all about what you love, right?  and lucite i indeed do.       

i've been eyeing this acrylic cb2 peekaboo coffee table (at the reasonable price of $249).   

if i had one i would recreate a version of lauren's living room.   

or i would get a pair of lucite chairs for my dining room like samantha reitmayer (if you haven't seen her house, go now.  it is my favorite sneak peek of all time).  the mix of rustic and modern is simply perfection.  

and that, my friends, is the beauty of lucite. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

painting cabinets 101

after my kitchen remodel was featured on design sponge, i received a lot of questions on the painting cabinet process.

Q:  are the cabinet doors the original or were those replaced? did you have tons of holes in the cabinet frame and doors from the original hinge? did you fill them will a wood putty or something?  and most important! what hinges did you replace them with/ where did they come from!?  - kristen

great questions!  i did keep the original cabinet doors. this is the basic step-by-step painting process i used:

1.  remove all the cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware.  be sure to use a good screw driver to prevent stripping any screw heads.

2.  fill old holes and crevices with wood putty using a putty knife.  allow putty to completely dry before moving on to the next step.


3.  sand down all wood surfaces with a fine grade sandpaper.  you may want to invest in an orbital sander to make this step more time efficient.

4.  clean all surfaces to eliminate all dust and prepare to paint.

5. apply a very good coat of primer.  i think i actually did 2 coats of oil primer. oil primer is somewhat of a pain to work with but i knew it would adhere to the wood. find someone knowledgable in your paint department to help direct you to a good primer for this type of application.

6. apply 2 coats of paint.  i have found it better to do a couple of thin coats rather than one heavy coat.  if you apply too much paint it will start to drip in which you inevitably will have to sand down later. 

7. once paint is dry, attach new hardware.

now about those hinges:

the hinges were a tricky part of my remodel that i posted on briefly here.

i ended up converting to a partially concealed hinge from an exterior hinge.  the problem was that the new hinges added 1/8" in width to each of the cabinet doors to where they wouldn't fully close.

i found my hinges at locks and pulls in kansas city. they told me there was no way to prevent shaving down the doors unless i stayed with an exterior hinge (and i could not find a halfway decent looking exterior hinge anywhere). i ended up going with the hinges i liked and called in rob and his brother, john, for help.  they had to shave a little off each door in order for the doors to close properly.

i will be honest with you, painting kitchen cabinets is a HUGE task.  i thought the whole process would never end ... but it did and the end results are so worth it!  remember, your kitchen is a highly visible and used space and a room where you are certain to get a good return in resale value.  keep your eye on the prize!

a special thanks to my photographer friend, angela, for taking this "after" photo!

Monday, February 15, 2010

master bed update

some good progress has been made as of late on the master bed makeover.  you may remember the previous bachelor bedding:

i found some serious deals on ebay to help my dollars stretch.  i scored a down comforter (originally $200) for $49 and a duvet cover (originally $495) also for $49.  what a steal! 

i had first seen this duvet at homegoods but it was still priced higher than i wanted to pay.  the color was perfect and i could never quite get it out of my mind.  when i found the same duvet on ebay bidding so low, i jumped on it.  (i recommend tracking down your ebay purchase in person first so you know exactly what you're dealing with.)

although our current bed is a full, i knew we'd be upgrading to a queen in the next year or two so i opted for king size.  why king?  i wanted to make sure the duvet had good presence and i really dislike how every other comforter i have owned barely covers the mattress.  i can honestly say that i don't have to worry about that anymore ... 

now i cannot wait to get my hands on a queen bed.  i think the king comforter will be a perfect fit.

if you're in the market for a new bed, both sears and macys are having incredible president's day mattress sales right now.  be aware that sears mattresses are sold without box springs (even though the photo shows a complete set).  i am trying to change my order now since making that discovery.  happy shopping!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

keeping it clean

the subject of wood floor cleaners has come up with several of my friends in recent weeks.  i am no expert, however, i've had wood floors professionally refinished and their cleaning recommendations stand still in my mind:

wood is not made to be wet.  it will expand and contract with moisture, therefore, do not use a wet mop.  large amounts of water can cause wood to swell and may cause your floor to crack or splinter.

my refinisher specifically recommends Bona (which I have recently also spotted at Lowe's).  seriously awesome product with no film residue left behind.  you can purchase the whole kit or just the spray to use with a dry mop of your preference. 

image from

AND i may have found a more efficient solution to eliminating the dust bunnies than hauling around my bulky vacuum from room to room. i was just introduced to the dirt devil kurv by sherry on young house love. she is raving about this little guy:

image from
So for anyone with hardwood and tile floors looking for something a bit less cumbersome than a vacuum and a bit more thorough than a swiffer duster pad or a dustpan, feel free to court the Kurv.
this may just be the solution i've been looking for.  it is lexie vs. dog hair 7 days of the week at my house.

what about you?  any cleaning tricks or products that you swear by and care to share?