Upgrade Your Kitchen Island

Upgrade Your Kitchen Island

This was a super quick, inexpensive, easy weekend project, that provides a lot of character to an otherwise basic kitchen island. In other words, you will  get a lot of bang for you buck. 

THE BEFORE:

Here is where my kitchen island started this past Friday afternoon. Let me say, I have always loved my kitchen, and the island is the perfect size for the room which allows me to have four barstools and eliminate the need for a kitchen table which truly opens the space up. However, I have always found that the basic drywall island was very blasé. It also seemed to get very dirty, I noticed lots of shoe marks in the bar stool location, and flat paint is not very scrubable.I did had the option when we were building our home to upgrade to a a furniture leg island, but it just didn’t grab me either, I found the legs were to slim which made the island feel very top heavy. I do actually liked the size and scale of the basic drywall island, but I wanted it to have more of a custom feel.   

    

This is the finished picture made Sunday morning. I am so happy with the outcome and final product, not to mention it literally took about 8 hours total to achieve the look I was wanting. Win, Win if you ask me!!!

As you can see I have a bunch of the Wainscot columns in my home. This particular upgraded trim package is part of the reason we choose to go with our builder. Even though I have a more of a industrial farmhouse chic style, I liked the classic feel of the custom trim and thought it really dressed up all the rooms. We also  have the decorative Wainscot at chair rail height (approximately 32″ above the floor) in our adjacent dinning room. So it only made sense to carry that same application through to the island. Believe me I thought about adding shiplap, which you all know I love, but I felt like the rooms were getting to shiplap heavy, and that they would lose there focus if I continued to put shiplap everywhere. Sometimes you really have to know where to draw the line with an open concept floor plans, how much is actually too much in one space.

Plus you also always want to look at the overall resale value for you home as well, just because you like it does not mean everyone will. Since the island is a permanent piece, like the columns I choose to make feel as if it was constructed that way with the rest of the home. To make it pop I added a deep gray paint to really make the Carrara Marble counter tops stand out.  In design you always want to highlight your higher ticket items, everything else should only accentuate them in a supporting role. 

DIY PROCESS:

Ok so here is the details of what we used and what you will need for this super easy project. 

Supplies:

  • Molding of choice
  • Paintable Caulk
  • Paint- we used Sherwin William Gauntlet Gray SW7019
  • Blue Painters Tape

Tools:

  • Miter Box
  • Nail Gun
  • Tape Measure
  • Level 

As you can see in the picture above we pre measured and drew on the squares where the molding was to be installed. Why, you may ask? Well in my experience nothing is ever level or straight, so I would rather eyeball the squares and cheat them, to look visually correct to the human eye, rather than just doing whatever the level might say. By pre drawing the boxes no only do we one have a guidelines, but I can make sure that level is actually “visually level” which is more important to me (and my husband) at the end of the day. 

Then make you cuts with the miter box to create your frames. We cheated a bit and measured our existing column frames for continuity.

Here is how to do it, first  measure the size of your box. Then measure the width of the frame material you’ve chosen. Double that width and then add it to the length and width of the size frame box you are making. Those numbers will be the length and width of your frame material.

{Example- For example, let’s say you want to frame an 8×10 photo with wood that is 1/2” wide. That means the length of two sides of your frame must be cut to 11” and the other sides must be cut to 9” in length.}

 After cutting your 45 degree miter corners the inside of the frame should line up with your purposed box lines.
You a nail unto adhere the molding to create a frame. Caulk any gaps with paintable caulk, I like the pink kind that turns white when dry. Then paint…. ta dah…upgraded kitchen island.    

 

We also decided to upgrade our plugs located in the end of the island to USB plugs. I have found this seems to be the place our guest like to charge there phones, iPads, and laptops when in this space. So for about $20 a plug plus a new face plate we have built in charging stations on the island, which I am sure will be super handy. 

  All in all,  this entire project cost about $150 to do, a lot less than the $1,500 up grade, and I am very happy with the final results. It is exactly what I had envisioned in this space and it gives my kitchen the instant custom look it needed.  

Here is a look at the back side of the cabinet as well. No we did redo the cabinets, I have never seen painted cabinets that hold up very well so that idea was out. We were lucky that the mill work was already in place to make the backside also look like a piece of furniture. 

As you can see the new upgraded island has become a major focal point in the kitchen. By choosing a darker color paint I have visually weighted the island to feel like a custom piece of furniture which also makes it feel’s very solid and sturdy. The gray also helps to break up all the white in the subway tiles, cabinets and Carrara marble counter top. It also flows very well between all the spaces of our open concept family living area. I hope you have enjoyed this easy weekend upgrade, I know we sure will!!!          

Are you a fan? Then be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter, to get all the insider tips and tricks everyone else misses out on!!! 

 

SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford CABINETS- Georgetown Maple (Color- white) COUNTERTOP-Polished Carrara Marble OVENS- 27″ Double Wall Ovens Kitchen Aid  BACKSPLASH-  3×6 Gloss White Subway Tile Interceramic  BARSTOOLS- Allen Barstool Ballard Designs   ISLAND PENDENTS- Addie Pendents Ballard Designs MIXER- Kitchen Aid Professional 6 SPICE RACK-Kemenstrein 19 jar Revolving Rack BLENDER- Oster 6 cup Heritage 400 TOASTER-Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome COFFEE MAKER- Keurig 2.0 575 CUTTING BOARDS- West Elm (discontinued) 

 

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 5

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: A SOUTHERN STYLE SLEEPING PORCH

So we are in week 5 for those of you that are following along on the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge. This is a link where you can check at all the participants in the 2017 ORC hosted by House Beautiful and Linda @Calling It Home.  

QUICK RECAP:

If you missed a week check out the past weeks here so you can catch up:

 Week 1          Week 2            Week 3          Week 4        Week 5          Week 6

As a recap or to bring you up speed, we are updated a basic screened in porch, into a southern style sleeping porch.  This is the inspiration board for this project: WEEK 5: PROGRESS REPORT:

This week is all about the accessories and bringing the whole look together. I just love the accessories week, it is my favorite week of all design projects!! I always like to think of the accessories as the icing on the cake. Yes you can have plain cake, but the icing is the super yummy part that elevates the style of the cake and makes it pretty.  These are some the great looks I have found so far that will be worked into the final design. Along with the “mystery antique DIY”… Have you seen it yet? If not, you should sign up for our email alerts to stay in the loop [wysija_form id=”1”

However, this is also the week I have had to strayed the most from my inspiration board. Since my 1st choice rug was back ordered this derailed the basis of my designs. While I am still sticking with tones of sea glass I have decided to use the bolder sea glass colors like navy blue, aqua, sea foam, and hints of green.   

  I was able to located the fun pillow cases seen above but not exact throw pillows from the inspiration board. But, hey that why it is a inspiration board to focus your mind to get a continuity to your end result. Check out the fun pillows I got below as I took a quick picture of them all heaped in the corner waiting for installation.

  

The other big project we marked off our list this week was making…..(yes I said making) and installing the drapery rod. We chose to utilize plumbing pipe to keep the rustic farmhouse feel, plus it’s weather & water resistant, so no rusting. Plus it was so super easy too!!! We took the overall measurements of the space, then had plumbing pipe cut and threaded at our local Home Depot. We added the outdoor drapes and sheers to the pipe and hung them up. Viola easy peasy!!! 

Since there will be a home build on the lot next to us eventually, I decided that I might as well implement the prior proper planning rule and  I decided to add the sheer drapes in the middle to give us a little bit more privacy.  Of course we have the solid light blocking panels as well but I just find something so relaxing about those sheer panels blowing in the wind. However, on really windy days I might need to devise a cute drapery weight system, to keep them from ending up in the ceiling fan. 

Sometime I like to make a list just to see how far I have journeyed into a project, where and my biggest wins are …  however with that being said a list also provides a closer look at all my deficiencies.  So here goes lets see if I am going to make the 6 weeks challenge:

THE TO DO LIST: 

DIY-Paint Ceiling-Haint Blue

DIY-Install weather stripping to seal up all cracks and grabs between screens and house

DIY-Repaint Ceiling Fan

Draw Pallet Bed Plans for building

DIY- Build a Pallet Bed From Scratch 

Install Ambient Night Lights under Pallet Bed

Purchase Mattress and Outdoor protection bags/pads

DIY- refinish/install the “Mystery Antique item” (Almost done just needs a few touch ups after moving up 3 flights of steps)

Order/Install Rug ( the rug has been my greatest challenge, dream rug Out of Stock, and not being able to find anything to make my heart sing like the original….. guess I will hit the bricks and see what I can find at HomeGoods, I tend to have unexpected luck there when nothing else will do. 

Shop for an end table that also provides storage

Purchase/ Install  Bedding, Pillows & Throws

DIY-Create Plumbing Pipes Drapery Rod

Purchase/ Install Drapes

Purchase/Install Wall Art 

Accessorize the Room

Stage Room for Photo Opt.  

SHOP MY STYLE

EXTERIOR WALL PAINT- Dorian Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- City Loft Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Thompson Water Sealer Acorn CEILING FAN-52″ White Ceiling Fan Home Depot CEILING PAINT-DCR075 Piazza Blue Sherwin William CURTAINS- Outdoor Weighted Panels White Ballard Designs MATTRESS- Hampton & Rhodes 6.5″ HR100 Firm Mattress Firm of Cumming (see Aaron) MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS- 4″ Gel Foam Mattress Wayfair  MATTRESS COVER- Waterproof/Bed Bug Blocker Hypoallergenic Wayfair  MATTERESS TOPPER- Waterproof Mattress Topper Wayfair EURO SHAMS- Clairebella 200 Thread Count Wayfair BEDDING/QUILT- Cynthia Rowley Blue Green Medallion, HomeGoods HELLO HANDSOME/GORGEOUS PILLOW CASES- Wayfair END TABLE BASKET- Jacquelyne Lidded Barrel Basket Pottery Barn  WALL MIRROR- Wall Mounted Votive Holder Pottery Barn 

Microblading @ Browworks by Nori

Microblading @Browworks by Nori

Hey ya’ll guess what I had done? That’s right, I got my eyebrows microbladed and I love them!!! Mother’s Day is right around the corner and May is a great month to treat mom to a spa treatment she has always wanted. 

I have been wanting to share my recent microblading experience, with Browworks by Nori, for about a month now. I am sure many of you have probably seen my preview pictures below, and mid procedure progress teasers. You see, I actually started my microblading journey back in February, but keep in mind the entire microblading process takes around 4-8 weeks from start to the final heal. Therefore, I have delayed my post so I could include my final healed photos after my touch up. This photo below is from my initial microblading procedure, and have since had one touch up to complete my brows.  

WHAT IS MICROBLADING

So many of you may be asking, what exactly is microblading? By definition- Microblading is a form of semi-permanent tattoo, that involves using a small specialty blades to deposit pigment under your skin. Ok, so now that your mind is reeling, let me just say it is painless, all you feel is a light scratching sensation on your brows. The final product is a set of flawless eyebrows with out any additional work from you. 

CLIENT PREP-

There are a few things you need to know prior to getting your brows microbladed. Nori at Browworks by Nori will be more than happy to go over all pre and post care procedures, and what you need to know leading up to your appointment.  It all pretty basic stuff like avoid tweezing or waxing your brows, mainly since your new brow shape will be based on measurements done before starting the procedure. Nori was great and made sure I liked the proposed new brow shape, size, and color prior to starting the procedure. You want to avoid using exfoliators and any skincare products containing glycolic acid, Retin A, Renova, and alpha hydroxy acids 72 hours before procedure. You will also be asked to avoid any blood thinning medications, such as aspirin, pain relievers and alcohol 24 hours before procedure. Pregnant, nursing, and diabetic clients should avoid the procedure all together. 

MY EXPERIENCE-

As you can see in the picture below, I have blonde hair, so my eyebrows have always been light. Although I am not sure where my eyebrows went over the years, as they have gotten progressively thinner the older I have gotten. I was so excited to hear that I could have a  proceedure to end my morning routine of filling my eyebrows just to make them even show up. To me the entire experience was relaxing, think of like a spa experience to get beautifully shaped eyebrows. The entire procedure takes about 3-4 hours, depending on how extensive your microblading needs are.  The first step as I mention above the to define your shape. The first hour Nori, measured my brows, drawing the shape in with removable eye pencil as guide. During this time, she could show me a basic idea of shape prior to beginning the procedure. Nori was actually able created a higher arch on top of my existing brow, essential giving me a brow lift as well, bonus!!! She truly is a brow genius.As far as the color goes there 5 main color that can be mixed to make 100’s of custom combinations to either match your natural brow color, or if you your like me to darken up what you already have and define your brow line. I was a mix of the light brown cappuccino with a just hint of boudreaux, since I do have red undertones in my natural hair color. Just like a visit to the hair salon, Nori keeps a client file with your custom mixed color so your touch ups are flawless.  

Before the microblading procedure begins, a topical numbing cream is applied to the brow area to minimize discomfort, followed by a liquid anesthetic. Once successfully numbed the blading process begins. You will hear a scratching sound, so if you know things like that bother you just ask for a headset during your procedure, or bring along some earbuds for your phone to listen to your own favorite tunes. Again as I mentioned above, it does not hurt, you just feel a slight pressure as the blade is pressed into your brows to make the surface cuts. Although some clients may feel a slight discomfort, I personally found that the procedure is relatively painless.  Also if I notice my numbing cream starting to wear off, I would let Nori know and she would add more numbing cream to the offending brow, and then move her work to my other pre numbed brow. 

As you can see in these pictures one brow is completed, and Nori is starting on my second brow. The pigment, located in the super cool the ring cup, is being injected directly into my brows, via the blade. After the cuts are made additional pigment can be wiped across the brows for additional absorbtion.

AFTER CARE-

The healing process is different for everyone, and it takes between 25 and 30 days to totally heal.  Keep in mind that you can not wash or even wet the area for the first week. The after care is similar to that of a tattoo: No pools, no sweating, using a healing cream like Aquafora. I did find that my brows swelled a lot the day after my procedure. So you might want to make sure your schedule your appointment during a stretch of down time, where you are not going to events, parties, etc. In about 5-7 days I looked completely healed, and was able to wash my face completely.  
This is a picture taken immediately after my first microblading touch up session. As you see my brows are very bold, full and starting to swell just a bit, which is to be expected. Now as for my unruly hair that’s an entirely different post….lol. 

TIP- After scheduling my touch up procedure,  I found out I would need to be in attendance at a funeral. Since I knew I had some swelling the previous time, I iced my brows the night after my touch the procedure. The next morning, I looked much better than the first time round. No redness or swelling, and I retained all my pigment. Losing pigment is a common concern when icing, so most technicians don’t recommend it, but if you find yourself in pinch like I did you can try it, but be  warned it could result in loss of pigment, I guess I was just lucky.

TOUCH UP’S-

About a month after the initial procedure it is recommend that you have one touch-up. Nori includes one touch up in your initial investment price. You can check out pricing at her link here, Browworks by Nori. The touch up is mainly to check how your body healed, make sure the pigment took properly, and if needed add in some additional strands to complete the fill process. If you have read anything about microblading, all professionals agree that you will retain more pigment your second time. In my opinion I agree with them, it seems like my brows stayed fuller and darker from the final touch up. I am now 6 weeks healed and they look amazing. In fact, they are so natural I have to tell people that I had them done, but when I look back at pictures pre microblading the difference is so dramatic. This is my completely healed picture 4 weeks after my final touch up. I am very happy with the final look and love the fact that I no longer have to pencil in my eyebrows to have them show up. So take if from me, if you are in the market for some new brows, I highly recommend Nori Blagg, @Browworks by Nori.

Always want to keep up with what the Gainer’s are doing? Sign up for our “insiders only” newsletter and know before it hits the blog.

 

 

 

 

One Room Challenge Week 4

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: A SOUTHERN STYLE SLEEPING PORCH

WEEK 4: PROGRESS REPORT

So we are in week 4 for those of you following along on the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge. This is a link where you can check at all the participants in the 2017 ORC hosted by House Beautiful and Linda @Calling It Home.  So my rug saga continues….. the replacement rug I ordered and have place into the room to look at, just is not working for me. I truly had my heart set on the other rug and this new style is just not living up to my expectations. Sadly I will probably be returning it….and scrambling to find a new suitable replacement, or none at all. I have been know to just wait for what I want….. once my heart is set on something. So we will see how the RUG SAGA sorts itself out….

 RECAP:

If you missed a week check out the past weeks here so you can catch up:

 Week 1               Week 2            Week 3               Week 4               Week 5                 Week 6

Don’t forget, you can catch a sneak peek of the mystery DIY Antique as a subscriber at

As a recap or to bring you up speed, we are updated a basic screened in porch, into a southern style sleeping porch.  This is the inspiration board for this project: WEEK 4 PROJECTS:

This weeks project scope was 100% focused on building the day bed for the sleeping porch. Last week, we posted the actual blueprint designs for the pallet daybed. These plans were designed and drawn by my uber talented husband Ron Gainer. You can check them out (here) in case you missed them. Just as a quick recap we obtain pallets in Week 1, disassembled pallets in Week 2, drew up plans in Week 3 and are now ready to build in Week 4.  

The project started with building the base for the mattress, or pallet boxsprings. The base is just a little bit longer than one standard pallet width, mainly because we chose to use a full size mattress, a twin would have been the exact pallet width. A full size mattress run 54 inches wide by 74 inches long. In order to accommodate this size we were able to split a pallet and attached it to the back side as seen here. Then we replicated this process for the second layer.

The next step was to build a frame out of 2×4’s to house the pallet bed frame. This frame work creates the faux head board and side rails of the daybed.

Once we completed the frame we added a plywood backer to make the adhesion of the pallet wood easier. I know this seems like a uneccessary additional step, but as we learned on a previous project, if you have a solid backer surface you can cut the pallet wood to any length. This will enable you to make a pretty pattern with the wood, instead of being locked in to full size boards that can only be attached at ends. Plus it also makes the frame very sturdy.  

The final step in building the bed was cutting the pallet boards at random length and attaching them to the plywood.  While attaching the boards keep in mind the more random of the sizes, placement and colors the better. This will help create a that rustic farmhouse look, which is the look we are going for. 

Since the bed is very large, for moving purposes, we will assemble the base, frame walls, and sides on the porch, in place. Please keep in mind that this beast is being moved up 3 flights of steps to our screened porch. Prior to moving up to the porch, I will be sealing the pallets with a great new product I found. Weathered Wood Accelerator by Varathane available at Home Depot.  This product is amazing, with one pass coverage!!! It weathers the all wood both new and old to beautiful gray, brown and black color depending on piece of wood. 

Make sure to check in next week as we start to assemble the room for the BIG REVEAL!!! On the agenda for next week: hang curtains, assemble bed, finish up mystery antique item, and get ready for staging.  

 

SHOP MY STYLE

EXTERIOR WALL PAINT- Dorian Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- City Loft Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Thompson Water Sealer Acorn CEILING FAN-52″ White Ceiling Fan Home Depot CEILING PAINT-DCR075 Piazza Blue Sherwin William  RUG- Outdoor Savannah Mist Aqua Overstock CURTAINS- Outdoor Weighted Panels White Ballard Designs MATTRESS- Hampton & Rhodes 6.5″ HR100 Firm Mattress Firm of Cumming (see Aaron) MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS- 4″ Gel Foam Mattress Wayfair  MATTRESS COVER- Waterproof/Bed Bug Blocker Hypoallergenic Wayfair  MATTERESS TOPPER- Waterproof Mattress Topper Wayfair EURO SHAMS- Clairebella 200 Thread Count Wayfair BEDDING/QUILT- Cynthia Rowley Blue Green Medallion

 

 

 

Chandelier Shopping

Chandelier Shopping

As many of you have seen JENRON DESIGNS company tag line is ” Good Designs Never Goes Out Of Style, It’s a Way of Life.” Today I would like to share with you all why  I believe this statement to be true. 

Below is a picture of my favorite chandelier in the entire house. I just love the way the iron filigree casts a beautiful light design in my stairwell at night. We have added a dimmer, which I recommend doing to all your lighting if possible. A dimmer allows you to control the amount of light at all times, so I can create a relaxed ambient vibe or crank it up to full blown “mop the floors , better not miss a spot” functional.

So not only is this a stunning light fixture, it also has an amazing story to go with it. The story actually proves that my design mantra above is in fact a true statement. This gorgeous chandelier was purchased from Progressive Lighting, no surprise I am sure, but here is the kicker….. It was purchased almost 10 years ago. At a tent sale….. yes I said tent sale. I actually ran full speed across the Gwinnett County Fair Grounds, with 100’s of other crazy light fixture people. I latch myself on to this beauty in order to get it for the absolute steal of $75. I know it’s  unbelievable, but I promise it’s a totally true story. The next generation of this beautiful Maxim Southern Foyer Pendent is still available at Progressive Lightening today for an everyday price of $1,100. We totally got a deal!!!

So moral of this story:

1) Always go to the Progressive Lighting Tent Sale, and choose wisely.

2) If you miss the tent sale check out the Progressive Outlet located at the 400 Cumming location, it’s in the back warehouse behind the showroom.

3) Always get classic pieces that will hold the test of time. Feel free to embrace a current trend with changeable items such as paint, pillows & accessories.  

So people have asked, why did you buy a huge light fixture and store it in the attic of your previous home? Well why not, I knew I planned to build bigger home at some point it was inevitable. I also knew that I loved the style of  this lantern style chandelier, and it had a classic feel that I knew would never go out of style. As far as it’s grand scale, well I was hoping build my new home with ceilings high enough to accommodate such a large fixture.  I really loved the fixture so it really did not matter to me if it went into a foyer, master bathroom, or bedroom. When my husband and I saw this beautiful open stairwell in Sharp Residential Highcroft model home, we knew right away that our $75 tent sale find would be the crowning jewel this area needed desperately. Please keep in mind we did have to install this ourselves after we closed on our home and moved in. I am sure every home inspector that came by  wondered why we had such heavy bracing for a simple Jeremiah ceramic lamp holder …..lol.

 This is another one of my tent sale finds that we used in one of our guest rooms to glam it up and make it feel special. Be sure to sign up for our monthly email updates, to see this room along with our “Shop My Style Details” for  this room. 

 

SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford LANTERN LIGHTS- Brickyard 3 light Foyer Pendents Wayfair  LAMP- Pier 1 METAL WALL ART-“GROW OLD WITH ME”JDH Iron Designs CONSOLE TABLE- Black with storage baskets Kirklands PLANT STAND- Pier 1 

A Vintage Valentine’s Table

A Vintage Valentine’s Tablescape

I am very excited to share our vintage Valentine’s Day sweetheart tablescape.

The color story that influenced me for this cute couples dinning table was based off of the theme of,”The Days of Wine and Roses” which was carried out by utilizing flowers in wine shades of red, purple and blush. 

This star flower of this stunning centerpiece is the purple anemone (pronounced- A-Nenemy), because everyone mispronounces it. The rest of the arrangment is filled with red and fuchia spray roses, pale pink stock, and luscious green pittosporum.

Floral FYI: I love stock because it has one of the most beautiful fragrances on the planet. It is not boldly over powering like a lily, or even a tea rose, but it has a very lite, airy fresh smell. Be sure to to subscribe to my blog see my future posts on how to make this simple centerpiece.

  

By keeping the table linens understated, the open concept dining room is still neutral enough to transition into the rest of the home. I used mom’s antique white linen table cloth, layered with a simple Pinstripe linen runner from Sur la Table , which allows those beautiful flowers to be the main pop of color. 

I love using burlap chargers, they go with everything, and really fit into the farmhouse theme nicely. I picked up these cute ones up at Hobby Lobby, for a very reasonable price of $2.99 a piece. Talk about setting a table full of love!!! The vintage Noritike china, belonged to my mother, and I am very lucky to have inherited this priceless set from her. My mother had impeccable taste, and the pattern she picked back in 1958, Versailles, still holds up to the test of time today. It is a dinning pattern with simple, timeless elegance. 

I added these sweet little heart shaped porcelain bowls from HomeGoods, so could I fill them with water and float a single spray rose inside. I think this technique invokes a subtle, yet chic nod Valentine’s Day without being to theme oriented. Then add some basic red napkins from Crate and Barrel and that makes your table.

DESIGNER TIP: I love a good multi tasking item, these red napkins can be utilized for the 4th of July and Christmas seasons.  

Now top it off with some sweet treats like these dainty little petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries from Publix, and of course don’t forget the wine. 

My husband and I love the Gainey Vineyard wines, we discovered them on our recent trip to California. Located just south of Napa Valley in Santa Ynez, this quaint little vineyard stole our hearts, and the wine is excellent. Since we decided to become members, we receive around 2-3 bottles a month. After trying several we highly recommend Patrick’s Reserve Vineyard for a red choice, and of course the Sauvignon Blanc is our choice for a white. Although I must admit, they have an amazing Chardonnay. I am not normally a huge fan of Chardonnay, but the Gainey Chardonnay has a wonderful buttery quality I have never experienced before, it is not oaky at all. As a side note I think it’s pretty cool that “our house wine” we offer guests has a glorious golden G on every bottle. It’s as if had our own personally monogramed wine bottles, and don’t get me started on the possible craft projects!!!    

Never miss a post.

SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford LANTERN LIGHTS- Brickyard 3 light Foyer Pendents Wayfair  TABLE- Benchwright 108″ Extended Alfesco Brown Pottery Barn  SIDEBOARD-Benchwright Buffet Alfesco Brown Pottery Barn CHAIRS- Remy Side Chair Brunshed Steel Restoration Hardware  LAYERED METAL WALL ART- Antique Ceiling Tile Pottery Barn discontinued  IRON WALL ART- Nicole Metal Wall Plaque Discontinued RUG- Rust and Taupe Houndstooth Ballard Designs Discontinued (similar)  DRAPES-Gray Grommet West Elm CURTAIN ROD- Industrial Pipe Rod Rubbed Iron West Elm CHANDELIER- Colton 9 Light Progressive Lighting 

The Art of a Perfect Bath

The Art of a Perfect Bath

Have we lost the art of a perfect bath?

I can not begin to tell you how sad it makes me, to hear that people today are opting out of bath tubs in their homes. I have heard people say ” they are just dust catchers” and ” just give me a huge shower”. Well yes, I love a palatial shower as much as the next guy, in fact I have huge a double headed shower in my master bath. Although, I  could not image living without my jacuzzi bath tub. I try to take a relaxing bath at least once a week, especially in the winter when it is cold outside, a nice hot steamy bath cures all that ails you.

Yes, the perfect bath is truly a lost art. I have said before in previous post that I believe in living a resort lifestyle, where you are able to integrate work, play and relaxation. Stress is one of the big killers today, it ages us, causes us to develop physical and metal illnesses; it effects our sleep habits and lets not even get me started on “eating your feelings”. So don’t you think your health is worth carving out a little “you time” and relaxing with a dip in the tub?

Well once you have decided to allow yourself some much needed R&R, my advice is not to skimp on the bath products. After all if you taking the time to do something nice for yourself, using good quality products will only enhance your tub time. I like to create my own spa like experience at home. Soft tranquil spa music, super fluffy white towels, maybe some scented candles and fantastic products. I have specific seasonal items I use depending on the time of year, to sooth my skin or sore tired muscles.

BEAUTY SECRET: It is incredibly good to dry brush your skin prior to baths, or even showers, especially during the dry winter months. I like the softer boar bristle brush shown above, it’s not not harsh but does a nice job of exfoliating my skin prior to a nice hot soak.   

I personally love Jo Malone Orange Blossom bath oil in the winter. The bright citrus smells perks up any cold dark day. It is a  fresh mixture of clementine flower, orange blossom and water lily, with warm undertones of orris and balsamic vetiver. The oil is enriched with sweet almond, jojoba seed and avocado oils, are natural conditioners to soothe and hydrate my dry skin, so it is a pure delight for a sumptuous bathing treat especially in the winter months.

SAVVY SHOPPER HINT: If you sign up for email reminders from Jo Malone they offer free engraving of their products. Nothing says “Lux” to me, like having my initials engraved atop that pretty silver cap of my favorite Jo Malone fragrance. 

Another good bath product to aways keep on hand are Epsom Salts. I am sure you have heard of Epsom salt baths from your mom or grandma when you were a kid, it’s a cure all. Epsom salt is a natural exfoliate and anti-inflammation remedy that can be used to help to relieve sore muscles and will actually pull toxins out of your body. Epsom salts are perfect to relieve the pain from tired achy muscles if you have a cold, or as a post exercise workout treatment. They also have the ability to reduce swelling and increase circulation, soothe muscles, relieve tired feet, aid in leg cramps, and relax the mind. Did you know the quickest and most effective way for magnesium to be absorbed through the body is through an Epsom salt bath? Magnesium is responsible for many different processes in the body including, controlling blood sugar, regulating blood pressure and making new proteins. I personally like the Dr.Teals brand of Epsom salts they have lots of different types and scents for specific skin type.

DESIGNER TIP: I store mine, as seen above, in a pretty glass apothecary’s jar and use a large scallop sea shell for the scoop. I really like the idea of displaying my bath products as part of the bathroom decor.

I also use an apothecary jar to store hand creams I might have picked up while traveling. **Some hotels have very high end creams which are totally worth squirreling away in the luggage for later. 

I also use an Apothecary jar to store my large collection of LUSH bath bombs, these bath bombs are by far my favorite on the market today. LUSH is a great company, with organic handmade products, no animal testing and environmentally friendly. In addition to the fact they have so many amazing, one of a kind scent combinations, which really plays up the aromatherapy spa portion of bath time. If you have never used them be prepared, some of them such as the Dragon’s Egg have gold glitter and confetti inside the bombs, which are completely biodegradable, but can leave behind some tub residue. Nothing has ever stained my tub or made a huge mess. In fact, the Dragon’s Egg is one of my all time favorite bath bombs, the color is visual stunning while dissolving, the lasting smell of lemon and bergamot makes me smile, and don’t forget about that kiss of gold sparkle on left my skin.  

Ok, so maybe you are a purest and sparkles and rainbow swirls are just not your thing. Then allow me to present my favorite soap, the Lemon Verbena Organic Olive Oil Soap by 100 % Pure. These “superfatted” bars contain highest amount of organic plant oils and steam distilled essential oils to make them a very high quality extra luxurious organic soap, with a very full rich lather. It is a soap that smells amazing and you can feel good about, organic palm oil is RAN (Rainforest Action Network) certified, the organic red palm fruit oil produced in Brazil with no orangutan habitats or other wildlife affected from the harvesting of the palm nuts. 100% Pure is company that is also a passionate advocate for animal rights and is committed to producing the highest quality products without ever directly or indirectly hurting animals.BEAUTY SECRET: I also like to give my hair a hot oil treatment or moroccan oil treatment, while I am in the tub. I apply the oil to my dry hair and the wrap in a twirly towel and the steam from the tub and towel do the rest. 

Finally enjoy your soak, and do whatever it is that helps you to decompress and relax. Whether you put cucumber slices over your eyes and meditate, catch up reading a good book, or like me flip through the pages of your favorite magazines. Whatever it is, just enjoy your time to yourself to clear your mind, recharge your battery and become a better you. 

DESIGNER TIP:  I prefer the usage of all white towels in a home for three reasons:

  • One, white invokes a spa like quality of cleanliness.
  • Two they are very easy to keep crisp, clean and maintenance, by bleaching and there is no color fading.
  • Three easy of replacement, since they are all white it’s a snap, no color matching.

If this post isn’t enough to make you want to go take a good soak, you must not be a bath kind of person. Well I am, and I can hear that tub calling my name right now. Happy Bathing!!!

 

Just in case you want a little extra reading while you enjoy your bath:

 

SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford CABINETS- Harmony Maple (Color- coffee) COUNTERTOP-Piedrafina Carrara TILE FLOORS-Paraiba White Amazonia Interceramic MAKEUP BAR STOOL- Chapman 24″ Swivel Frontgate  TOWEL RINGS- Mercer Polished Nickel Pottery Barn LIGHTS- Progressive Lighting Archie Collection BARNWOOD FRAME- Home Depot  H2O Water Glass (Discontinued)- Anthropologie (Similar) Silver Perfume Tray- HomeGoods Apothecary Soap Dispensers- HomeGoods  RUG-Safvieh Adirondack Vintage Ivory Overstock. com BEAUTY ROUTINE- Tata Harper Gift Set BATH OIL- Jo Malone Orange Blossom

 

 

 

 

The Lux Mini Bar Armoire

THE LUX MINI BAR AMOIRE

How to put a luxurious, rockstar mini bar in your very own bedroom. 

One of my favorite things about going on vacation is booking a super luxurious hotel room. You know the kind, with a super plush luxurious bed all made up with high thread count sheets, a fantastic bath suite full of fancy spa themed toiletries, and of course an off the chain mini bar.

Now everyone knows the mini bar is a complete rip off. I mean $12.00 for a bag of pretzels and $8.00 for Sprite, that is not the way to spend your hard earned cash on vacation. But we have all done it… yes, we have open up the illicit mini bar just to peer inside at all it’s tasty contents, only to slam it shut and think, oh my why did I even have to look. 

Well I believe in living a resort lifestyle so that every day in your own home feels like a mini vacation. In fact I love my house so much, the hubby has to take me to some pretty special places to even get me out of it. So I decided to adapted my old, antique Armoire into my very own mini bar. The armoire over the years has lost it’s usefulness, as we no longer use it to hide away the television and all our clothes go into the closet. Then it hit me, I know we will buy a mini fridge and put it inside to create a mini bar in our master bedroom…..GENIUS!!! So that is exactly what we did, and now we live like rockstars in our daily lives.

As you can see we purchased a mini refrigerator, you can pick one up for about a $100 at most local retailers, I think ours came from Walmart. I personally liked the ones that had a small freezer, so you can have ice for drinks, or store some ice cream snack bars.

DIY TIP: If your armoire does not already have cable holes in the back you may have to drill one out for the plug to pass through.

Then we added clear stackable acetate closet shelves bins for snack storage. We purchased them from The Container Store, the large bins were $19.99 and the small bins were $9.99. I added a cute linen bar topper, sparkly glassware and voila, your very own in room mini bar.

BEAUTY SECRET: I also like to utilize the mini bar to store some of my beauty products as well, like face masks, and cooling eye gels. Oh they feel so good when they are applied straight from the refrigerator cold, and it also really helps with eye puffiness too.

So save your self the trip down stairs for that late night snack of cookies and milk, or just hide all the really good snacks from the kids, either way it’s a win win. Everyone I have shown this too loves the idea, and can’t wait to add one to their home. 

This can also be a super cute idea for a guest room, as well, however your guests may decided they never want to leave.      

Never miss a post, and stay in the loop.

 

SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford  CEILING FAN- Mystique 52″ 5 Blade Progressive Lighting LAMPS – HomeGoods  CURTAIN PANELS- West Elm Cotton Canvas Stamped Dot CURTAIN ROD- Bali Mercury Glass Rod JC Penney RUG- Pottery Barn Braylin Tufted BEDROOM SUITE- Haverty’s Bahamian Classic- Tobacco Cherry (Discontinued) WALL QUOTE- Loved You for a Thousand Years Huckleberry Creations