A Quick Kitchen Switch

The last time I blogged about our kitchen, it looked like this:

Progress Kitchen

I had added a cart for extra storage and counter space, our own open shelving, and pretty baskets for storage. But… the outdated pulls still remained.

Kitchen before hardware switch

Don’t get me wrong. I have full heartedly jumped on the gold trend bandwagon, but these will always look dated. With splashes of paint on the edges, these will always be an eyesore.

Kitchen pulls 2

I had been planning on swapping them out for a while, and when I saw a set of six pulls for 16 bucks at Target this past weekend, I was sold!

Silver pulls and open shelves

I finally tried using our drill for this project, and I. Loved. It. How have I gone so long without using power tools? Way faster, easier, and so much more fun! With a tiny kitchen like ours, the whole thing took less than an hour.

Care for some before and afters?

Gold pulls

Silver pulls

They may not be as trendy as some new modern brass ones would be, but I just wanted some basic ones to streamline our basic white cabinets. Don’t they just look so much cleaner?

Crate and barrel baskets

Baskets and silver pulls

So, once again, here’s how our kitchen looked shortly after move in day…

Kitchen Before

And here it is now!

Kitchen with new pulls

(You may have noticed our white and yellow striped rug has disappeared… My puppy ate it. Doesn’t it sound like a cliche homework excuse? I was not impressed.)

It’s cleaner, less dated, and a little more me. Eventually I’ll add in some contrast colours… I’m leaning towards a warm grey accent wall like this one. What do you think?


Pretty No-Sew Placemats

We had Shaun’s parents over Saturday for dinner. It was a really nice, low key, casual dinner (I made fish tacos and brownies if you’re curious… yum!). Shaun’s mum appreciates pretty tablescapes as much as I do, so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to make the placemats I had in mind!

Table close up

I like to have placemats to break up some of the white we have in the space. Love white furniture, but white walls, white table, white chairs, white dishes… not so much. My kitchen needed some contrast. We had been using some of Shaun’s old ones and they were looking a little… tired.

Place mats before

Last weekend I was at the fabric store looking for something to cover my pillows and found this great outdoor fabric. Great for pillows, but even better for placemats! Because it’s made for the outdoors, it’s water and stain resistant.


Here’s how I made them:

1. Using my existing mats as a guide, I cut out my fabric, leaving a bit of excess for the hem.

Use your mat as a guide

2. Creating a perfect parallel rectangle was the trickiest part of the project. Again, I used the mat as a guide to create a straight line and 90 degree angle.

Fold sides in sides for a hem

3. After I knew where the hem would be, I ironed each one down.

Iron edges

Tip: It was much easier to use a geometric pattern than a solid colour: I knew my line was straight by following the pattern.

4. Once I finished the sides, I tackled my corners.

Make the corners   

Based on the point where the folded edges intersect, I folded over the corner to create a triangle at a 45 degree angle.

Fold corners

From there, I had a perfect corner hem:

Final corner

5. Following the ironed hemline, I used Aleene’s Fabric tape (the same stuff I used to recover the inside of my jewelry box) to finish off the hems. It’s basically strong double sided tape, no ironing required!

Fabric tape hem

I finished four in less than two hours. Little more than I had anticipated, but the straight lines are worth it!

Finished place mat

Don’t they add a nice pop of colour?New place mats

I especially love how the square lines in the geometric pattern, the dishes and in my yellow hurricane (pot? pottery? What would you call that?) compliment the rounded ones of the table, chairs and pottery in my photo. Plus, the turquoise mats echo the turquoise in the picture!

Set table 2

Total costs for this project:

Fabric tape: Free, since I had some leftover.

Fabric: It was 50% off, so 8 dollars a meter. I only used about half of that, so each mat worked out to about a dollar each.

Total: $4. Cheap cheap cheap!

Table close up

What have you added recently to welcome in summer?

I’m linking up with

Reasons to Skip the Housework

Tips to Add Extra Kitchen Storage (and Salvaged Shelves Reveal!)

Back in March, I blogged about how upcycled some worn pieces of wood for my future salvaged shelves. I thought they would look nice, but I’m thrilled with the results!

Salvaged open shelving

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I have a mini apartment sized kitchen: 7 by 7. This does not give me much to work with (especially since I’ve been downsizing from the much larger kitchen we had in our last place), and when we unpacked our kitchen items, it all ended up looking like this…

Kitchen before Kitchen Before


With little cabinet storage to spare, extras ended up above the shelves or onto precious counter space. Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful to create more space:

1. Add a cart. (Admittedly, you can see snippets of it in the before pictures.)

Ikea Bekvam Cart

It’s been said before, but that’s because it works! We got this one off Craigslist for $40, but it’s originally from Ikea for $70. (I probably should have bargained a bit more for this one, but apparently I was feeling carefree that day…) The colour isn’t my favourite so I might paint it eventually, but it’s fine for now.

Not only does it add counter space, it holds some small appliances, a little tool box, and our kitchen linens. As a bonus, it’s a perfect fit for my stool! Yes, being 5’3, I own a step stool, and it’s so worth it.

2. Make use of vertical space.

Crate and barrel baskets

There is often a ton of wasted space above kitchen cabinets, and I needed to make use of every square inch. I had used it as you can see in the before picture, but all those exposed boxes were a definite eye sore.

Instead, I bought these baskets from Crate and Barrel. I love the warmth and texture they bring in (not to mention how well the complement the shelves!), and having three of the same baskets creates a clean uniform look.

And of course…

3. Hang open shelving.

Salvaged open shelving

Not only is it functional, it’s a lovely way to display your dishes and favourite pieces. I’m especially fond of the handmade blue and white pottery I bought down in Mexico.

Open shelving  Open shelvingOpen shelving

Again, here’s the before:

Kitchen Before

And after progress!

Salvaged open shelving

Let’s take a look at the to do list:

  • Replace hardware
  • Add one or two new rugs (to cover up our ugly lino) : 1/2
  • Paint an accent wall in the eating area
  • Make a bench and coordinating cushions
  • Hang salvaged wood shelves 
  • Decide on artwork (if needed)
  • Create storage systems

Progress for sure, but still work to be done. I’m not sure if I’ll still feel the need to replace the hardware and make a bench, but we’ll see. Enjoy the process, right..?

What about you? Any projects you’ve been dying to finish? Anything you’ve envisioned and been over-the-moon about the results?

Our Kitchen and “Dining Room” Mood Board

It’s been almost a week since my last post! Blame my Spring Break in Mexico. I did do a bit while I was down there, but it just seemed wasteful to sit inside in front of a screen when I could step outside to the beach.

I did, of course, still think of my next few blog posts, and opted to share my mood board with you all. (There’s only so many projects to share when you are leaving your current place, but more to come, I promise!) The last one I made for our bedroom (feel free to check it out here) I made on my own, but this time I tried out the site Olioboard. Let me tell you, completely worth it! I worried they wouldn’t have enough furniture to choose from, but they had more than enough inspiration. (And no, they didn’t pay me to say this, I just wanted to share my find with you!)

Here’s my plan for the room, with the sources listed below. I’ve love to hear your opinions!


1. We’ll be making our own salvaged shelves to add some much needed storage (check out my sneak peak!). This one is from West Elm.

2. A few posts back I wrote about the jar decals I made from our Ikea containers that will house our sugars and flours. This one is from West Elm as well. (I’ve got a bit of a thing for that store…)

3. White dishes from Crate and Barrel, but I have similar ones to display from Costco. I think they’ll really pop against the dark colour (instead of the white on white on white and you see in the mood board…)

4. I plan on reusing most of the pillows I have now with updated fabric (why buy new when I can reuse?), but I’m liking the idea of a monochrome colour scheme with different patterns. These pillows are from: (left to right) Layla Grayce, One Kings Lane, Layla Grayce and My Two Designers.

5. This is a stand in for the dark grey accent wall I (ie Shaun most likely) will be painting. (I’ll let you know what the final colour choice is!)

6. You’ll notice #6 appears twice on the mood board. I want to switch out the hardware in the kitchen, but I can’t decide which way to go. I’m leaning toward gold (these are actual brass door knobs, since they didn’t have any gold knobs on Olioboard), since I’m on a gold and white kick, but I’ve loved crystal knobs for ages… Thoughts?

7. These chairs from Dwell are fairly close to my current chairs from Craigslist. I just used these to make sure I didn’t have too much white in the space.

8. I found the exact table I (also bought) off Craigslist! This one is from Crate and Barrel.

9. Like I said, I’m loving gold and white. I think a gold bowl could add a nice touch… which of course, if I do end up with one, will most likely be DIY’ed. I couldn’t possibly justify the 90 dollar price tag from Zinc Door for this one…

10. My lovely bf is going to make me a (less elaborate) version of this bench. Happily, now that I see the mood board, white is the way to go! (Crate and Barrel)

11. I love this mirror from My Two Designers, but I don’t think I’d have the room (or the budget!) for it. I just threw it in there to see if the wrought iron would fit into the scheme.This one again, is way out of my budget at $1000 (!).

12. I knew I wanted the accent wall and shelves, but I wasn’t entirely sure of the colour scheme… This rug was my helpful jumping off point. (Zinc Door).

I will most definitely be posting more in the coming weeks! Big plans…