When Remodeling Kitchen Where To Start, I have been working on a “home tour” section for the site lately so all of our made over spaces are in one easy to find spot and figured I would share our main living space with you all today. We had a major style shift a couple years ago…our house went from containing a lot of dark furniture and warm accent colors (think browns, creams, yellows, reds, golds) to a more natural & cooler color feel & tone (grays, whites, blues, greens). We wanted a lighter, brighter and fresher feel.
It has been a work in progress, but I feel like our space finally reflects our style, personalities and us as a family. And best of all, it functions so well for us. My favorite part of making over a space is that no matter the size, you make a space function at it’s best for you and your family. I cannot stand when a room is not being used at it’s fullest potential.
This is one of the reasons we turned our formal dining room into an office/den. It might not work for everyone, but it works for us and allowed us to gain an extra room in our home that serves so many purposes.
Installing board & batten and custom wood corbels along the backside of our kitchen counter and bar is really what started this whole makeover process. I remember looking at the finished product and feeling like it was so white, fresh and clean and everything else suddenly felt so dark and kind of dingy in comparison. So, that led us to paint our kitchen cabinets white and finally install a kitchen backsplash. We updated a few light fixtures and it brought a whole new look to the kitchen.
We did re-use a few pieces of furniture that were passed down to us, but we put our own spin on them to allow them to reflect us and our style. I gray washed our dining room table and painted the chairs. The buffet cabinet in our eating area was the very first piece of furniture that I ever restored. But we did buy some new items that helped increase the functionality of our space.
These industrial barstools were only 16 inches wide and allowed us to put 4 of them comfortably at the bar whereas, before we had 3 large barstools that always seemed to leave one person standing to eat their food or siting by themselves at the table. Another detail that we decided to change was the wall color in each room. We painted the every wall with one color throughout the main area of our house.
We have an open floor plan and before each room was a different color. It was amazing how much larger the space felt when we had a continuous color throughout the space and there were no breaking points to stop your eye from taking it all in. The color is Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood and it is such a beautiful gray…I call it the chameleon of wall colors because depending on the light, it will range from a true gray, to a blue-ish gray to an almost silvery white. This gray is definitely not dull, that is for sure.
We have played around with bringing in texture with our rugs and softening the windows with curtains.We have always had wood blinds that allow us to control the light, but bringing in the curtains and hanging them the “right way” (this public service announcement still cracks me up.) really enlarged the feel of the windows and also that of the room.
And one of my favorite items that we brought into the space after many talks are the wood beams on the ceiling. Hands down…they might be my favorite detail of our house. You can even see our beams and house on the company’s website…I highly recommend them.
The other huge detail in our home was making everything kid friendly. We have two wild boys (now 3 & 5) and we realized very quickly what would work and what would not when decorating with kids. I wanted our house to reflect that we had children without being overrun with toys. I wanted all the toys, books, games and puzzles to be accessible but not necessarily visible. Because we don’t have a ton of closet storage in our house, we had to get creative.
I bought these workman’s utility baskets that you see under the console table to hold the toys that the boys were constantly bringing out from their rooms and playing with.
The corner cabinet soon became a place to hold all the books and puzzles and we bought a soft white leather (it’s wipeable!) storage ottoman to hold blankets and some of the larger toys and games.
We inherited a big antique milk can from my grandmother that we use to hold the boys light savers (Star War fanatics), pirate swords and a few other just as strange items like Oliver’s stick horse that he loves to ride around. Then, there are the smaller containers that hold building blocks, legos and Mr. Potato head and all of his parts. All of these things are in our living room within reach to our boys but can easily be thrown into a basket, bin, bowl or tray when guests come over. I love that. gray-couch-sitting-area
We also bought a few of these CD cases that hold all of their Kinect games and DVD’s and place them inside the console table drawers. The other drawer holds their game controllers and their handheld Nintendo games. Everything they can get out and easily put away without needing to ask me. However, some of their items, I do like to display and leave out…mainly the colors and crafting items.
I place them in the centerpiece on our table and it is such a good distraction for them to sit down and color, draw or cut up & glue paper while I am making dinner. It might get messy at times, but everything is fairly organized and doesn’t take long to put away so it works for us.
The last thing that I tried to add to these rooms was a story with the art and wall decor. We didn’t have a ton of wall space in this area for family photos so I wanted to be able to add wall decor and art that represented us and told a story of who we were.
I made our wedding song art that you can see above our kitchen table in the pictures above, hung a couple of Sam Sam the hunting man’s deer antlers and the picture that Sam bought me for our 1st year wedding anniversary. Yep, I am quite the sentimentalist here.
So, this is really the heart of our home and where we spend the majority of our days around the house. I will be showing you all a more detailed view of our office and the master bedroom next week. I would love to know your storage secrets, too! Anything I missed or don’t know about???