Buried alive in my kitchen {5,000 miles away}

How many of us bemoan the lack of posting? I have been particularly bad at getting anything up these days other than inspiration posts. The calendar is very full my friends, and next month is even busier. And so is May. And June is moving month so we can forget anything remotely lengthy happening.

I thought I would share a bit about what has my mind so busy that I’m even dreaming about it now {literally dreaming about it. I wake up freaked out that my kitchen is purple with yellow flowers.}


As I’ve mentioned, we are preparing to renovate our kitchen in Seattle {it really needs to lose the 2006 look}. It is crunch time. Work begins around July 5th. Selection needs to be Final Answer in about two weeks, so countertop slabs can be reserved, long-lead item orders placed and a construction crew booked in. We’ll be spending a day and half in Seattle with our contractor picking finishes {the other half day we’ll be ordering/buying cars. A very fun but no less anxiety producing task for me}

That’s a whole lot of pressure to get it right {yo. I want to add yo to everything these days – and frequently do in my head. I started watching Breaking Bad for the first time (thanks Netflix!) and I can’t seem to help it. yo} This renovation thing is only happening once. Period. Full stop.

Because it’s expensive. And it’s hard to make your spouse agree with your vision when he actually has the NERVE to have an opinion.

We negotiated. I wanted to add hardwood to the family room, he didn’t {he won}. I wanted to remove the cabinets on the right side of the window and do a floating shelf {I won}. In the big picture, we have a similar vision, we just differed on some things, and I’m sure we’ll have to employ more negotiating as we move forward. It does feel exciting to be at the stage we are at.

Over the last couple of weeks we hired a designer here in London to help us visualize our goals. I could have done this myself but it helps to have a professional provide her thoughts. We now have a solid image of what we want {even though it turned out a bit opposite of what we originally thought we wanted}.

This is what we’ve chosen thus far:

  • Whirlpool hood (to replace the silver country monstrosity)
  • Elkay sink (wide enough for baking dishes)
  • Paint: Farrow & Ball Down Pipe for the island, Cornforth White for the walls, and Strong White for the cabinets
  • Caesarstone Raven (for the outer lying countertops around the kitchen)
  • More contemporary squared handles for cabinets & drawers
  • Ann Sacks Lucian Field tiles for the backsplash (currently the color is ‘oxygen’)
  • Pental Quartz White Fusion (for island countertop)
  • Natural tone wood floors (refinishing existing and adding hardwood to dining room)

We haven’t sorted out paint colors for the stairwell (which is a very unpleasant brown), the downstairs guest bathroom (even darker brown, and that includes the ceiling as well…). With the openness of our foyer/stairwell/dining room/hallway, it’s hard to know where to stop the color without shelling out to repaint the entire house (in truth it needs it, it needed it when we bought it 3 years ago – the previous owners picked the green and brown scheme – but have you seen what it costs to repaint a room these days? That is not cheap. I can do most of it myself but the two-story on the stairs with a ladder is not my cup of tea.) We also need to finalize the exact design of the island (which will be made smaller in width but longer to move the seating to the end, adding big drawers instead of cabinets and building in a wine fridge and wine storage area.)

Things like a light fixture for the dining room, redoing the weird mirrored area, and deciding one hundred percent on the smaller items (like floor color, I’m still on the fence about a light stain). These keep me up at night.

My head is spinning with all the decisions. It is a lot more than I thought. We’ve built two houses through builders, and you basically pick package A or B or C and it comes with everything all coordinated and decided. It’s much harder when you are in charge of all those choices.

But it’s also a lot more fun.

What’s been occupying your mind lately? Are you tackling any renovation projects?



Monday Mojo: Inspiration

Good ole Monday. No matter how hard we try, she just keeps popping around every week. And it’s always manic {cue Manic Monday}. Today’s Monday is no exception:

  • alarm check
  • landlord suddenly decides at 7 am to attend alarm check appointment (and see to leaking skylight)
  • cue total freak out and cleaning marathon {I even shined up the windows}
  • freak out Ocado delivery man because you are holding a barking dog while answering the door, because you thought it was the dog people, which leads to…
  • dog pick-up to spend the day at daycare; she’s neurotic enough without listening to an alarm going off for 20 minutes
  • skip to Oxford Circus to make a return before non-returnable deadline
  • make it home in time to grab children from school bus and find time buy dinner, and finally mail things at the post

Ah, Monday’s. So since it’s Monday, I thought let’s share some of the lovely things I pinned over the weekend. The redesign kitchen/living room theme is still strong in my mind, and I found some beautiful wallpapers. The Husband and I have discussed making one wall of the downstairs 3/4 guest bathroom a feature wall with a dramatic wallpaper. Oddly enough, we mostly like the same thing, which is great.

My first pick:


Beautiful. I’m not 100% on using it in the bathroom because I think it’d look wonderful in our bedroom as an anchor behind the bed. But I doubt the Husband would be fine with that. One that would look dramatic for the bedroom would be this blue number:

It would also look awesome in the office. We’ve decided to change the downstair bedroom back into the guest room but with a murphy bed set-up (since the 3/4 bathroom is right there on the main floor) and make the extra upstairs bedroom into his office/my art room. The wallpaper above would certainly inspire me to be creative. And it’s blue, so it’s win-win.

These two are super fun:

They are both dramatic and would work best in a full large wall. The dining room room would be perfect for this {it might even make it okay that we most likely can’t take down the kitchen/dining room wall and I won’t get my eat-in-kitchen}.

The wallpapers these days are sort of mind blowing. I remember the options when I was a kid and I wanted to redo my bedroom. It was Little House on the Prairie stripes and pink roses. Wallpaper has come a long way.

I couldn’t see this working in my house, but it’s impact is enormous {and fabulous!}:

Wow, right? Of course I did find these posters hilarious, and they would work well in the office or even the living room:

Definitely a good one for the office. I actually think the husband’s work office would look good with something like that.

What is making you feel inspired on this Monday?

Photo Inspiration: Grey

Monday’s can always use some inspiration. It’s not a grey day here in London, but I still love these images. The paintbrushes make me feel creative, and I am planning to start testing out painting with oil colors, something I haven’t done previously. I like finding images that can tell a story; what art inspiration was created with these brushes? Something modern, or maybe a landscape?

Images that are all in the same tone can help use create and set a mood, the same way music can. When I sit down to write, typically I listen to music. The style I choose often depends on what I’m writing. For each piece I have in progress, I actually have playlists set to help capture the mood of the story. I also put on music when I cook, something either rhythmic and soothing, or upbeat and bright. It helps to create a positive mood, which reflects in my cooking.

I love taking time to start the day by reading through my daily blogs, and then going over to Pinterest (where these images are from – captions are links to these images and credits) and pinning images that either provoke me to think or feel something. By trying to start the day this way, it feels more positive and creative.

Hopefully every Monday, or possibly more often, I will post images that have the same style theme or in the case of these pictures a color theme.


What do you do to keep creative and add inspiration to your day?