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A Small Kitchen Tour

 

Welcome! Take a tour of this small galley kitchen and see how we make the most of this space!

small galley kitchen tour

Like most ranch homes built in the 70’s, we have a small 8′ x 9′ ranch house kitchen. It’s a true galley kitchen that is literally a walk through galley. If you want to walk from the dining room to the family room, this is the only way. Creating a functional kitchen that is also a main passage way through the house was more about design aesthetic rather than changing the actual footprint of the kitchen (due to both space and budget constraints).

small galley kitchen tour

The previous owners had painted the cabinets in a pink stain and tied the countertops in with a laminate pink granite and matching pink tile backsplash.  I wish I had before pictures, to say there was a little bit of pink overload going on in here would be an understatement!

small galley kitchen tour

small galley kitchen tour

We started by painting the cabinets a bright white to bring some light into the kitchen and to help open it up visually. In keeping with the bright and light theme we chose a classic white subway tile for the backsplash. A note on the subway tile: I picked out a “handmade” style subway tile which has a great organic look to it, but is kind of tricky to install because all of the edges are uneven. If I were installing this again I would just go with the basic straight edge subway tile.

small galley kitchen tour

small galley kitchen tour

My favorite part of the kitchen makeover was the “splurge” element, aka the soapstone counters. They really are the best, matte finish, beautiful natural veining, and just the touch of moodiness this little space needed. Full disclosure, everything people warn you about regarding soapstone counters is true. They are soft, prone to scratches and chips, and do have to be babied a little. But after 8 years I still love them.

small galley kitchen tour
small galley kitchen tour

I’m a true believer in making the best of what you have, and this little kitchen is a true testament to that idea. We may not have been able to afford to move exterior walls or expand the kitchen footprint, but it’s amazing what painting the existing cabinets alone did for this kitchen!

Thank you for following along, I hope you enjoyed the tour!

p.s I’ll be linking up over at Remodelaholic this Friday, so come join us for more inspiration!

Best of Ikea Round-Up

 

6 must have items for your next ikea trip.

Happy Saturday! I’ve talked a little bit previously about our upcoming move out of the city and our future renovation plans (full story here). The further we get into the planning phase, the more and more we are realizing how expensive renovations are. So. Very. Expensive. In an effort to rein in the skyrocketing bids we seem to be getting, I’ve been searching for ways to save money. Can we do the kitchen remodel ourselves? How hard can putting flooring down be? Could I learn to tile? You get the picture.

All of this to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time at Ikea lately looking at different renovation options for kitchens. We live in the Portland area and are lucky enough to be within close driving distance to an Ikea, which I know isn’t the case for a lot of people. Even though we are within a 45 minute drive, it’s still a bit of a jaunt, so I try to have a list of specific things I’m looking for or want to stock up on when I go there, otherwise it can be overwhelming.

There are a few items that are my favorites because they check all of the boxes – form, function, and price! I thought I would share them with you today in case you have an Ikea trip or online order planned in your future.

Begarlig Vase – I have and love this vase for a lot of reasons. It’s quite large, great for holding flowers or candles. It also has a hand blown vibe to it that makes it look a lot more expensive than it is. In fact, I’ve seen some similar vases for way more money on designer websites.

Elly Towels – I think everyone loves these towels. They are such a great deal, are super absorbent, and I don’t feel bad if my toddler gets a hold of one to “help” me clean.

Fryken Boxes – These are perfect for just about anywhere in your home. They look just as great on a living room coffee table as they do on a bathroom shelf. They add extra hidden storage while adding a great seagrass texture to any room. I already have one set, but am contemplating if I need another.

Bumerang Hangers – All wood hangers for under $4 a pack? Count me in.

Kampig Hook – Brass accents have been around for a while now and I don’t see them going anywhere soon. These hooks are an affordable way to try out the trend without over committing – and I would never guess they came from Ikea!

Ingabritta Throw – This lightweight throw is the perfect color at the perfect price point for a little spring room refresh.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Home

 


1.  letter board  2. plates  3. blush pillow  4. heart molds  5. the year of cozy  6. xoxo decanter

I love Valentine’s Day. I know the spiel about it being a consumer holiday marketed by the card companies, but I can’t help it, I love what it stands for and the sentiment behind it. I also don’t believe it’s just for sweethearts, I think it’s a chance to show someone you care about them, no matter what their relationship is to you.

For me, having a baby has really changed holidays. I’ve always love them, but they’ve taken on a deeper, more special meaning as our family has grown. I think a lot of it also has to do with the state of our world right now, there is so much heartache and, honestly, evil out there. It’s enough to break your heart. To me, a holiday, especially one centered around love, can only be a good thing.

If you’re in the mood for some Valentine’s Day cheer, here are some of my favorite love inspired links from around the inter webs:

via daily quotes 

Also, in honor of the holiday of love, I’ve put together some of my favorite valentine inspired gifts for the home. After all, love starts at home, right?

 

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5 Tips for Making Your Home Cozy this Winter

 

January often gets a bad rap, it’s dreary, it’s cold, and everyone is in withdrawal from the bright lights and glitter of the Christmas season. I think there are two kinds of people when it comes decorating: the ones who can’t wait to get their Christmas decorations packed up because they feel claustrophobic, and those who feel like their home is empty and cold after all of the decorations come down.

I can totally relate to the latter, and I think most of us want our homes to have the cozy feeling…minus the clutter. So I’ve rounded up some inspiration below along with 5 simple ideas for adding the cozy factor to your home.

1. Layers 

via My Domaine

Start layering all the things. Layering rugs is a trend that’s been around for a while and it’s a great way to add warmth to a room. Nervous about the right combination of rugs to layer? One of the easiest formulas is to start by using a natural fiber rug as the base layer and add a second slightly smaller rug with some color or pattern on top. If you want to make it extra cozy, try layering a sheepskin over a chair or foot stool (p.s. isn’t that wallpaper amazing?!).

2. Warm Wood Tones

via Proverbs 31 Girl

After years of painted furniture and dark wood floors, warmer wood tones have been making a comeback. While most of us don’t have the luxury of changing our floors out as trends come and go, I think a similar effect can be achieved with a great statement piece in a warm wood tone. This could be anything from a distressed farm style dining table to a oversized wooden bowl.

3. Moody Paint

via Room for Tuesday

Ah, moody dark paint. Done right, this is a budget friendly way to add some depth to your home and up the cozy factor. I really want to give this a try, but just haven’t figured out the right room to do it in yet. I love the above image because it illustrates how you can try the dark color without having to paint the entire room in that one color.

4. Candles & Fairy Lights

via Apartment Therapy

Candles and fairy lights are two of my favorite ways to add warmth to a room, probably because it’s so easy! I use battery operated tea lights, candles, and fairy lights throughout our home to create pools of light in different rooms. The best part? Most of them are programmable so you can set them to turn on and off automatically each evening – talk about easy ambiance!

5. Add Woven Texture

via Alon Studio

Woven texture can be brought into a room in so many different ways, through blinds, baskets, rugs – the list goes on and on. Baskets in particular are one of my favorites because they provide a utilitarian purpose (holding and storing items) while bringing an element of cozy to any room they’re in – and anything that serves a duel purpose is a win-win in my book!

 

Cozy Home Sources

A Small Linen Closet Makeover

 

To follow up my previous post on using baskets and bins to organize, I thought I’d share how I put that into practice with an easy small linen closet makeover.

Welcome to our linen closet….or should I say our everything closet. I think I’ve mentioned before that we live in a small ranch stye bungalow, a cute little house with equally cute little closets. In fact, other than a small coat closet when you enter the house, there are no other main catch-all closets…this is it. Which means this five shelf, narrow closet that’s tucked away at the end of the hallway has to work hard. Really hard.

This past year, with the addition of a baby to our household, we lost our office (aka storage room) when we turned it into a nursery. Having to find a new home or purge all of the items in that room made me realize how important it was for everything to have a spot. I no longer had the luxury of throwing stuff into a room and shutting the door.

In a desperate effort to find more space, I turned to the main closet in our home, what you would traditionally call the linen closet. In our case it needed to work as our everything closet. It needed to store not just extra linens, but also towels, first aid supplies, toiletries, ironing supplies, and other random extras.

I started by re-designating what each set of shelves would need to hold. This helped me figure out what I was actually going to be able to fit in there. For instance, I would love to have a bunch of extra sheets and towels in here, but the reality is I could only justify one shelf for our household towels and one extra set of sheets, so I downsized our collection of those items until only what would fit was left.

Speaking of fit, you may notice the towels are stored rolled up rather than folded, which is because the closet is so shallow it doesn’t fit a traditionally folded stack of towels. While they are a little bit of a pain to put away, it maximizes our use of space and looks cute, so no complaints here. And yes, we do have a whole basket devoted to holding heat packs – priorities, right? I listed one of my favorite heat pack brands in the sources link at the bottom of the post.

Once I had figured out how I was going to organize the linens and towels, it was on to the matter of finding bins or baskets that would fit the shelves in a way that maximized the space. I found the gray woven bins at Target for a really budget friendly price. They have handles that make them convenient to pull out and are made of an easy to clean plastic material.

The final touch was to add something pretty, because why not make the inside of your closet pretty to look at? It’s like a nice little pop of happy every time you open the doors up. For this closet I added some graphic black and white contact paper to the back wall. It adds interest and pattern while complimenting the gray and aqua color palette. I bought the contact paper at Target, but couldn’t find a link to it online, so I linked to a similar one below.

For me, this tiny space was the perfect way to start the new year with small organizing baby steps. What about you, have you tackled any new year organization projects yet?

p.s. I’m linking up over at Remodelaholic, come and join us if you’d like to!

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My Favorite Baskets & Bins

 

1. bamboo bin  2. mint box  3. striped bin  4. woven cube  5. handle basket  6. wire basket

Baskets and bins, bins and baskets! January has such a reputation for being the month of new beginnings and clean slates – it’s also the dreariest month here in the Pacific Northwest. It just rains. And rains. And rains some more. Which makes it the perfect time to tidy up and organize inside our cozy little house.

I think that sometimes the holidays and all of the decorations that come along with them can make our homes feel cluttered (in a good way), so by the time January rolls around people are ready to purge, streamline, and organize their homes. I am definitely one of those people, although if I’m being completely honest, I’m probably one of those people all year long.

One of the main ways I’ve organized for a long time is with baskets and bins. Whether it’s under sinks to corral extra toiletries, in linen closets to keep extra towels ready for guests, or in a main living space for a handy place to store blankets, baskets and bins really are the workhorses of our homes.  I know this idea isn’t anything earth shatteringly new, but there are so many new options out there to organize with beyond traditional wicker baskets, and at great affordable price points too!

Wicker baskets will always be one of those forever items in my home, they’re so classic I don’t think they will ever go out of style, and so versatile that I’m continually surprised by the new uses I find for them. That being said, sometimes you want to change it up a little, right? I like to mix baskets with other materials for a more collected look. I think the key to a collected look is to use multiple items, but still keep it cohesive. The easiest way to keep things cohesive is to use complimentary colors, materials, and textures.

I’ve rounded up some baskets and bins that I love and use throughout various parts of our home. I always seem to gravitate towards striped patterns and hues of blue, and this round up definitely attests to that. I love that the variety of textures (from canvas to wire), and the array of patterns (from herringbone to stripe) work together but still keep it different enough to be interesting.

Happy organizing!

 

A Cozy Winter Charcuterie Board

 

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always one of my favorites, it almost seems like the world takes a big exhale and every thing slows to a crawl. As I write this, the wind and rain have combined forces outside to create one of those howling storms the pacific northwest is so famous for. It’s the perfect time to curl up at home and do cozy things.

One of my favorite things to make during the winter months is a good cheese board (also known as a charcuterie board if you want to be fancy). So good. I could eat this everyday, and the added bonus of being beautiful to look at and simple to make doesn’t hurt either.

To keep it simple I follow these basic rules when I’m making mine:

  • No Space – Keep the groupings of food close, touching in fact. I’m not sure why this is so much more pleasing to the eye, but it is.
  • Choose from staples you already have in your home – Part of what makes a cheese board so easy is being able to pull one together at a moment’s notice. Cheese, crackers, nuts, and a piece of fruit are really good basics that become elevated when you group them together (I used a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cheese in honor of New Year’s for this board).
  • Use a serving board – I love the old world feel of using a wood serving board, it just makes everything a bit more special. No need to spend a lot of money, the more worn, the better. You can find used ones with a beautiful patina at thrift stores or goodwill. If that’s not your thing, I’ve seen some great affordable options at Target as well.

I hope you get to enjoy some cozy time at home this week as we get ready to ring in the new year!

December Favorites

 

A Nod to Navy 

Only 4 more sleeps till Christmas! Remember when you were a kid and Christmas seemed to take forever to get here? And now it comes so fast it seems to sneak up on you and hit you in the face? If that’s not an analogy for adulthood, I don’t know what is.

There is so much inspiration floating around out there on the interwebs that it can start to feel like you aren’t doing Christmas right if you aren’t doing all the things.  This year I decided to make a simple list of four things I’d like to do this season – that way I have both a plan so I don’t feel overwhelmed, and the satisfaction of feeling like I enjoyed the season to its fullest. And you know what? It worked! I made a dried orange garland, started and advent calendar, made homemade hot chocolate, and planted paperwhites.

In honor of that list, here are four of my favorites from around the web this past month in all of their festive goodness:

  • In an effort to slow the season down and enjoy the little moments, I made stovetop potpourri yesterday and let it simmer on the stove all day. To me, it’s what Christmas would smell like if you could bottle it, and it’s so easy. I used a sliced up orange, a couple of cinnamon sticks, a pomegranate, and some rosemary. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer (just remember to add water throughout the day so it doesn’t dry out).
  • Gift guides for the holidays abound throughout the internet, but mommypotomus always curates a great one. Her suggestions are useful, healthy, and she always manages to come up with unique ideas that you don’t see duplicated on other gift guides.
  • The White Buffalo Styling Company just revealed her newly renovated kitchen and it turned out amazing. As someone who currently lives in a small space and is about to embark on a renovation with our new house, it’s inspiring to see a reveal that looks both beautiful and attainable.
  • Edie from Life in Grace is doing an Advent series on her blog. It’s such a good way to take a moment out of your day to really concentrate on the true meaning of the season.
  • If you don’t already follow Half Baked Harvest, you should. The photography is to die for and her recipes draw you in unlike any other. Her baked cinnamon crème brûlée french toast with raspberry preserves is a recipe I’ve put on my must make list.

Merry Christmas!

 

Touches of Christmas Around the House

Good Morning! I thought I would share some touches of Christmas around our home, nothing fancy, just the little stuff that makes the season feel extra special.

I have been looking for just the right advent calendar for what seems like forever. The majority of them seem to be geared towards having a gift or treat in it each day. I was looking for something that had a fun way to celebrate each day of December without being so gift centric (although I have seen some cute ideas for how to do that with Bible verses or quotes). I finally found what I was looking for this year at Paper Source (it’s sold out online, but still available in some stores). The cute houses remind me of european architecture, and moving the santa doll to its new pocket each day is a cute tradition to look forward to.

I think a lyric or verse from a Christmas song is always such a fun and unexpected way to add some holiday cheer to a room. I’ve had this pillow cover from etsy for a couple of years and still enjoy pulling it out to use.

Who doesn’t love a little bit of whimsy at Christmas? For me, ornaments are one of the easiest ways to add it. The llama ornament from World Market.

I pulled out some classic Christmas books like The Night Before Christmas and The Nutcracker, as well as some winter books like You Belong Here for the shelves in the nursery.

Some wreaths around the house are a simple, easy way to add cheer. For me, boxwood wreaths are a bonus because I leave them up throughout the winter to keep the house feeling cozy after the Christmas decorations come down. The juniper wreath and dried boxwood wreaths are both from Target.

I used fresh evergreens for the first time this year with clippings from our yard. It’s one of those things I wished I hadn’t waited so long to try. You can see how I used them on our Christmas Mantle and Festive Dried Orange Garland.

I hope you are enjoying the season and the simple delights it has to offer. Thank you for stopping by!

Village House Christmas Mantle

 

Hello! I thought I would share a bit of our home with you today as I add touches of Christmas here and there. I’ll be sharing more in the weeks to come, but thought I would start with our Christmas mantle.  We actually have two fireplaces in our home, one in our living room and one in our family room. This is the family room fireplace. The room is open to the kitchen and has patio doors opening out to the backyard, it’s also painted an aqua color that changes throughout the day depending on the light. All this to say, this room has a lot going on, so I always try to keep the mantel pretty basic.

This year I used evergreen branches clipped from our backyard for the first time to make a fresh garland. I added in some red winter berries (also from the yard) for some pops of color. To make the garland I just laid the branched out along the mantle and tucked the berries into the branches – so easy!


The little wooden houses are the nesting houses from the Hearth & Hand collection at Target. With the white painted brick and all of the green tones, I think the wood houses really add some warmth.

I hope you all are enjoying adding touches of Christmas to your homes this holiday. Is there anything new you’re trying that you’ve never done before?