Monday, November 30, 2009

Linda's Kitchen: The Backsplash

And so, the kitchen makeover is slowly heading towards the final stages. The big work this weekend was to put up the bead board backsplash and on the soffit above the cabinets. The nasty part of the job was that we pulled out the 25 year old exhaust hood over the stove and pulled out the stove so we could clean behind it. Well, it wasn't as bad as I feared, but it wasn't great either. Am hoping to have the new appliances in shortly and so the time had come to face the dust and grime of many years.

After much debate about what to do with the backsplash, I decided to stick with the beadboard motif that I started on the side walls. Ultimately, in a small space, I do believe that the fewer mixed elements the better. Between the black and white checkerboard floors and dark cabinets, it seemed that adding a totally different backsplash wasn't the best choice. Also, in all honesty, this is the least expensive option as well. The existing backsplash is the same off-white formica that covers the counters. Unfortunately, the builders ran the backsplash up under the cabinets, so removing it is well neigh impossible.

As I've written before, I'm using embossed beadboard wallpaper for this job, which did not stick to the formica, so we had to prime with the trusty Zinsser primer. Same with the wood soffit-it required a coat of primer so the paper would stick. So we spent all Sunday priming, measuring the paper and hanging it. And, I love it. One thing I do like is that the the vertical lines makes the under cabinet space-which is only 15"-seem higher.

I'm now in the process of painting the backsplash, soffit and walls. I'm using Benjamin Moore's Cloud White in a semi-gloss. Now, honestly, it's not hugely different from the actual white beadboard, but as you can see in the photo, there is some difference. The backsplash is painted up to about 10" off the back corner (where my short arms can't reach). The reason I selected this color is that it matches the white Formica counter top, which I can't afford to replace at this time. It was important that the walls and backsplash color didn't make the counter top seem dingy by comparison. And, I must say that I really like the light counters with the dark cabinets. The final step will be to apply a polyurethane sealer to protect the backsplash from water and staining.

(before the backsplash was installed)

Here's a little collection of inspiration photos:

Image from Better Homes & Gardens via Nest Egg

via Flickr

via Flickr

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"The Blind Side" Movie Decor

I have a new post up on ::Silver Screen Surroundings:: on the set decorating of the new movie "The Blind Side". Read the post here.


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Skirted Roundtable - Alessandra Branca joins us!

This week at The Skirted Roundtable: Megan, Joni and I are joined by the fantastic interior designer Alessandra Branca. I'll admit that I wasn't familiar with her work until we had her booked on the show, but I am now such a fan of her design style and her personality. Her personal warmth and love of life come through in her deep laughter and her strong yet feminine interiors.

Have a look:

Alessandra has a new book: New Classic Interiors and 100% of her proceeds are being donated to a series of children's charities across the nation. You can order a copy on her website and 100% of your purchase price will go straight to one of her designated charitable organizations.

Meanwhile, have a listen here.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Look Up: The Connectictut Capital Cupola

Look up - as Meg's Dad would say.

When I was doing some research today, I was looking at some info on Wikipedia about Hartford, Connecticut. How seriously amazing is the state capital rotunda, designed in the high Victorian Gothic style by Richard M. Upjohn.

This statue in the capital building is called the "Angel of Resurrection" and was created by Randolph Rogers in 1878. 

Yup, another place on the ever long list of places worth seeing.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Bricklayers Contest at Velvet & Linen - Voting starts today!

Brooke Giannetti at Velvet & Linen has been running a fabulous contest where three (yes THREE) of these Brickmaker's tables will be given to the top three vote getters. Contestants were asked to send in a photo of where the table will go should they win and she received 170 entries. Brooke asked a group of fellow design bloggers to make the first cut down to the top ten. We were asked to select our favorite 5 entries and I can assure you - this was no easy task. So, without further ado - here are the top ten. Voting is taking place over on Brooke's blog - with the deadline by November 29th.

#3 Melissa L

#11 Susan D

#16 Katie D

#27 Suzanne K

#29 Brandy O

#32 Carolina C

#69 Gary P

#80 Teresa A

#96 Kari B

#155 Mary Elizabeth H

Go here to vote by November 29th and good luck to all the contestants!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

A New England Fall Harvest House Tour

I did a quick drive around my town this afternoon and shot some pretty local houses that are decked out for the Fall/Thanksgiving season. By the end of the weekend after Thanksgiving, most of the pumpkins around Duxbury will likely have been swapped out for Christmas sparkle, so I was glad I finally had time to do one of my favorite things - a drive-by "shooting". I have to admit that I'm getting pretty brazen about driving right up to the door and taking photos. I keep waiting for a scowling head to pop out someone's front door at some point.

This cute little Greek Revival farmhouse is located right near the historic John Alden House and I love the wreath, urn and pumpkin display.

This is a town of "tasteful" displays in general and there were many instances of tiny pumpkins lined up along the lintel over the front door. It does add an easy and nice pop of color.

This new construction shingle house sits hard by a river on a beautiful setting with great views. I love the plethora of pumpkins just piled up on the steps. It's very "bounty of the harvest" looking, isn't it?

This old shingle house look beautiful no matter what the season. I really like the naturalistic look that simply morphs from season to season.

Pimp my mailbox.

 This is the historic King Caesar House, which is owned by the Duxbury Historical Society.

And again, we have the little lineup of pumpkins across the pediment.

I love these green pumpkins with the pops of color from the red berries.

If I'm on the ball, I'll reshoot all these homes closer to Christmas when they are sure to be decked out in holly galore!

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