Category Archives: Kitchen


Earlier this week, I posted my musings about this week’s Fixer Upper episode

on my biz Facebook page.

I’m happy to report that it garnered a lot of interest, which I love!

fixer -- sister's house couch + kitchen

Fans of the show recognize this project

as what I named the retro / West Elm re-do for Joanna’s sister + family.

Nailed it!

That couch can be found at West Elm.

Same.  Exact.  Couch.



I could fling aside  those back cushions + spoon with my Dachshund.

chloe in leaves

And, that color of leather is such a favorite that I named it.

Baseball glove brown.

cardinal in a bar with bears

Please.  Why do you think my business is called Red Bird Vintage Home?

Anyway, yes, I do love West Elm,

although some of my FB besties said they thought it was too modern.


Never fear, though — even I had a slight issue (imagine that),

+ proclaimed that this particular open concept, while stunning,

skews a tad too “gymnasium” for me.

open conept sisster house

Don’t get me wrong — I embrace an open concept as much as the next person,

but this had me pondering how one achieves one more to my liking.

Off to Pinterest I dashed, as one does,

+ I saw some awesome photos of beautiful, open plans.


open concept large arch

This is nearly as open as the errant gym plan,

but the small wing walls + beautiful arch visually create some separation.

Next method — CASE OPENINGS

Once again, this is very open, but the woodwork says,

I am a separate room!

Here’s my  fave version:

Isn’t it amazing what a little molding can do?

  Next version:  ISLAND COLUMNS

Is it just me, or does every homeowner on HGTV desire the open concept?

Seems like 99% of them end up spending $1,000’s on a huge beam

to keep the second story from crashing down.


I gotta ask why? — when a couple of columns on one’s island do the trick,

+ looking FABULOUS while doing so!

Exhibit A:

open concept brick gable

Exhibit B:

Surprise!  Here’s a pair of columns in a kitchen designed by Joanna Gaines!

open concept white posts with gingerbread

The decorative brackets add a lot of  charm, don’t they?

And in conclusion, what on earth did we do before Pinterest?




Kitchen Windows + Door

Last Christmas we had wreaths like this in every window.


I wanted to hang them on the windows outside this year.

Like this:

wreaths of window

Or this:

wreath on wiindows

How charming is that?

G.O. wasn’t on board, sadly, so maybe next year.

Meanwhile, the wreaths do look good on windows inside the house,

don’t you think?


The cute, little trees were from IKEA a few years ago,

+ my favorite Guy Wolff pots were from Smith + Hawken.  RIP



Those sweet red checked curtains started their lives as a bed skirt

from when Martha Stewart still sold stuff at K-Mart.  RIP

Watch here to see a K-Mart commercial starring Martha Stewart.

F U N !

Awwwww!  That cute Dachsie card was sent to me by cousin, Gwen.

Those red light fixtures were from Ballard Designs.


We hung another wreath on our kitchen door:


How adorable!

But now I must ask for your opinions.

We painted all of our interior doors Black Magic by Pittsburgh Paints.

Here’s the door to the powder room:

Here’s our bedroom closet doors:

door of black with greg

We just assumed that the kitchen door

would receive its own coat of Black Magic paint someday.

But wait.

My friends were here for brunch a few days ago,

+ they both thought the door looked good, as is!

kristen wigg

I had never thought to do that!

Of course, I am now kind of obsessing about it.

See Exhibits A + B:

What do you think?

Black Magic?

door of black with greg

Or chippy white?


Time will tell, so stay tuned!

Peel + Stick Subway Tiles


I shan’t lie —

our canned ham counter top re-do was a real morale boost!


I couldn’t wait to see how swell those groovy, new black counter tops

would look with the white subway tiles we’d chosen for our back splash . . .


. . . so we didn’t wait.

Fast forward to this afternoon.

Behind those crazy scribbles (?), there’s G.O., installing our peel + stick tiles:


Yes, it looks like he didn’t want his photo taken (sorry!),

+ I’m pretty sure he was swearing like a sailor at this point.

Turns out those tiles were insanely difficult to install!


Think contact paper, in hell.

 But they look pretty fan-tastic, don’t they?

Perhaps it was worth it.


NOW I can’t wait to see our sink + our new faucet back in place!


Stay tuned!


Many, if not all, of our Dutch colonial projects

start at Plan A but end up at Plan B, or Plan C, or beyond . . .

Take our range hood.  Please.


The tape marks the size + location of our Plan A,

which we carefully planned + about which I recently blogged.

G.O. was going to build ours with wood, painted white.

Here is our inspiration:


We soon realized that this was a way more complicated

+ time-consuming project than we had anticipated.

Our Plan A quickly switched to Plan B!

Here it is — the Datid range hood from IKEA:


I love those decorative rails very much

+ have long wanted this hood for my own kitchen.

Its cost, $679, was more than we wanted to spend,

but sometimes, these things can’t be helped.

Yes, even though it’s quite perfect,

I still wished to tweak the design just a bit.

Since our kitchen appliances are white with stainless accents,


I asked G.O. to spray paint the body of our new hood white,

leaving the decorative apron + rails stainless.

(Please notice our white + stainless dishwasher in the background.)


  Here is the painting, in progress:


G.O. is using Rust-oleum Appliance Spray Epoxy

from the home center:




I am very anxious to see this final bit of kitchen FINISHED,

at long last.

I’ll keep you all posted, so stay tuned!

$3 Garage Sale Happiness

It’s Thursday, which means one thing in my little world:


You never know what treasure you’ll find!

Just last week I enthusiastically bought this homemade magazine rack:



 As you can no doubt tell, I shan’t be using it to hold mags.

Instead, I plan to use it to display some of my beloved platters.

Exhibit A:

 4 of my ironstone platters on our most recent past kitchen wall:

platters on walls bungalow

For our current kitchen, I wanted to do something like this,

on the end of our island:

platerack atticmag

plate rack kichen island eclectically vintage

Normally, I would just ask G.O. to make me something.

He’s so talented!  But he’s just so busy!


Instead, I have been searching for one to buy, for months.

I liked this from an etsy seller,

Apple Tree Woodcrafts:

plate rack applewoood crafts overall view


Since I hoped to find something more affordable,

my plate rack project was put on the back burner for a while.

Then, last Thursday — this:


HA!  Yes!  $3!

When I spied it, I knew it would be perfect for my plate rack hopes + dreams!

I couldn’t buy it FAST enough!


The bottom portion will have to go away so that it fits our island like a glove.

No worries, though — I know that super talented G.O. will be able to do that.


The dowels have to go, as well, but that’s not much of a problem (not for Greg!)


So.  Other than those few tweaks to make it perfect,

I must also decide what color to paint it.

The color must complement + contrast

with both the dark wood island + my light-colored platters.

Right now, I’m thinking this blue:

Chambray by Pittsburgh Paints

blue kitchen ceiling

 I think I shall distress said blue,

as our kitchen is skewing a tad too “new”.

Stay tuned!

2 Islands, No Waiting

I’m assuming that we all watched last night’s Fixer Upper episode on HGTV.

G.O. tried to watch but couldn’t stand all the Chip hi-jinks,

so he excused himself + took refuge in another room.

But that’s not what I wish to type about.

This is:

magnolia with 2 islands third

2 islands, no waiting.

It think it’s genius!

Here’s kind a blueprint-style sketch of the before + after:magnolia with two kitchens

Seems to me that I’ve seen this done before.

I tried to find Pinterest images of 2 islands in 1 kitchen, but came up empty.

Anyway, here’s a closer look-see:

magnolia with two islands

The twin islands will work wonders

for the traffic flow between the kitchen + living + dining spaces,

 more so if there was one very long island

Like Joanna did in the French country kitchen, here:

magnolia long island

Is it just me, or does anybody else think “too many footsteps!”

from the stove or the sink, all the way around the island, to the refrigerator?

surprised boy

Seriously, I noticed it right away, + I felt sad!

Perhaps the homeowners + Joanna were sad, too.

magnolia long island 2

Perhaps Joanna then opted to break up the kitchen space in last night’s house

with 2 islands instead of 1 airport runway.


 She said that the idea for twin islands was the single man homeowner’s!

Well, kudos to him, then!

Meanwhile — here’s a look at his living space:

magnolia with 2 island living room

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I have always wanted a room with 2 couches facing each other

+ a pair of baseball glove leather chairs.

Also — did you notice the gray woodwork with the white walls?

Next house, for sure.

Stay tuned!

Old Red V.S. New Red

Since my last blog post, BIG things have happened!

 We’ve moved into the Dutch colonial!

I am SO happy!

Right now, my own pet project has been making myself a sewing studio.

I’m squeezing it inside an odd, L-shaped closet,

the space for which came from the large front staircase foyer of our house.

To amuse myself, I call my room

My Tribute To Where Women Create Magazine.

where women create magazine

If you don’t know what that means, it’s using old stuff, + lots of it!


I started with this groovy cupboard,

which used to be our house’s laundry chute.


Of course, I’ll blog about all this in greater detail (stay tuned!)

Today’s obsession, however, involves our new kitchen light fixtures.

At long last — we’ll have lighting over our sink!


I say at long last because, as is my way, I couldn’t decide!

Until this:

light fixture over-the-sink

It’s the Logan Goose Neck outdoor wall sconce from Ballard Designs.

I loved everything about it, but the red was off.

The catalog photo didn’t look like MY red,

but after a few months, I went ahead + took the plunge.

Oh, dear.

It wasn’t the red that’s happening now.


It has an antique glaze brushed on it.

See for yourself:


Back in the day, during my primitive country phase,

I would have been head over heels!

My taste has evolved since then,

+ I am currently digging a more bright + clear red.

Let’s compare + contrast:


My new red is the brighter red of that spatter ware plate.

Here ’tis again in our kitchen clock:


+ yet more on these kitchen design choices:



Soon, I’ll sew something,

using 1 or more of these awesome vintage fabrics:


Yum, amIright?  Definitely stay tuned!

But back to the light fixtures’ getting their bright red makeover.

Of course, when one is me, one already has a can of red spray paint.

spray paint

Rustoleum Gloss Apple Red!

When one is me, one also asks G.O. to please spray paint

our brand, new light fixtures.


surprised boy

As we speak, he is now doing this latest project for me,

+ digits crossed he’ll be able to hang those lights for me, TOday!

Stay tuned!

Vintage Corbel Snafu

Yesterday I bought a pair of antique corbels,

hoping to use them at the corners of the opening

between our kitchen + dining room.

Like here:

corbel doorway this old house

This Old House

And Like my idol, Sarah Richardson . . .

sarah richardson

. . . used in her family’s farmhouse:

corbel doorway -- sarah richardson

Look at all those prints, playing so nicely together!

That’s so Sarah Richardson!

But back to me.

 Here you can see our doorway where I hoped to add corbels:


But wait.

It’s kind of hard to see in this photo,

but the cabinet at the right corner is too high on the wall.

There’s no room for the corbel!


F A I L !

surprised boy

The humanity!

Of course, I could always sell my corbels in my retail space.

I will probably do just that, but not before I explore my other options,

or as I like to call it — punting!


Once again, Sarah Richardson serves as my inspiration.

She really likes to use vintage corbels in her designs.

Here are not 1 but 2 pairs,

in the kitchen of that same farmhouse we saw previously:

corbel under range hood -- sarah #2

At the left are painted yellow ones holding a shelf,

+ at right, some white ones are incorporated into the range hood.

corbel under range hood -- sarah richardson

Hey!   I thought.  We’ve not finalized our kitchen’s range hood!

Could that possibly be Plan B for my corbels?

Well, here I am, holding one in place:



Frankly, I am smitten.

They’re certainly beautiful + quite old (1890’s, I was told),

+ I have been trying to add some “age” to our kitchen!

Since I’m not the only person in our household who gets a vote,

we’ll have to wait to see what happens.

As always, stay tuned!


I amused myself the other day,

as it occurred to me that I should re-name my blog:



I doubt that he finds all this as amusing as I do.

But wait.

Here’s yet another idea I must have —

painting our upper cabinet’s interior a contrasting color.

Oh, + the bead board?  That, too.

cab interior o' dark blue

I would love to accomplish all this in our own glass door cabinet, here:


When I first sprung this idea shared this idea with poor G.O.,

he was definitely not on board.

Pinterest images to the rescue, once again!

Feast your eyes on this yummy-ness, below —

I’m so loving the yellow ware + ironstone with the pretty gray!

Oh, + more bead board!

cab interior with bead board o' gray -- bhg

When was the last time I saw old school cup hooks, like this (below)?

cab interior o' blue -- apartment therapy com

How retro!  How cute!

Looks like I’d better get showered + dressed + be over at the Dutch colonial!




Different day — same topic.

How can I make our Dutch colonial kitchen look more original??!!



So far, my instant age ideas include our cabinet hardware.

Red glass!


Some reclaimed lumber in a beam + possibly a range hood:


range hood o' lumber fixer upper

Possible vintage fabric curtains for windows + sink:


And now for my latest, greatest instant age idea!

Tricking out the toe kick!

range hood design something

Check it out — they, too, have a blue ceiling in their kitchen!

You see, it’s all about making one’s lower cabinets look like furniture.

Faux legs, like on a dresser!

toe kick

range hood lettered cottage with deer heads

The Lettered Cottage blog

Or we could include what I’m calling a solid kick.

This is definitely a ‘thing’ now.

All my beloved British home magazines have kitchen toe kicks like this:

kitchen -- cab with no toe kick

I couldn’t love this kitchen more, but I can’t find the source. If anyone can give me the heads up, I’d be glad!

And for our last but not least toe kick eye candy,

this kitchen has both the furniture legs + the solid toe kick!

toe kick -- b h g

Better Homes and Gardens

OMiGosh!  I’m not sure I could love a kitchen more!

Note to self: find a vintage or vintage-repro rug, stat!

Here’s a contender; it’s indoor/outdoor, believe it or not!

rug -- cross stitch outdoor -- overstock

Called the Cross Stitch outdoor rug from

I love that it looks like a modern log cabin quilt!

But, once again, I digress.

 Back to my new toe kick obsession.

Poor G.O. is not yet hip to this latest design idea.

surprised boy

 I hope to share all these photos with him later today.

Stay tuned, everybody (+ keep your fingers crossed, too!)



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