Tag Archives: island

Lauren Liess On HGTV

So.  Flash back to just a few days ago.

Remember when we were all psyched about designer Lauren Liess’ HGTV pilot?

They named it Best House On The Block.


Her book is called HABITAT / A Field Guide To Decorating.

You can buy a signed copy (it’s good) on her website.


I just went to her website, but there was no mention of whether HGTV

was going to pick them up for an entire season.

While we wait for good news, let’s look at + judge my bad photos of the TV screen!

Here are the lucky homeowners:


Their 60’s brick ranch was in a neighborhood filled with identical brick ranches.


They had $60 grand to spend on their re-do, + here’s what they were getting:


I’m always surprised at the amount of money that’s allotted for painting on HGTV.

$5,000?  Really?

That’s why you do the painting YOURSELVES, you whippersnappers!

Seriously.  I am going to insist that you get off my lawn.


But first, this, speaking of paint:


Raise your hand if you knew they were going to paint their brick.

That makes G.O. cross, but I’m usually on board.

More on this, later.


I failed to take many before  or during snapshots, because who cares, really?

Ha!  I “kid”!

Here’s one before look at the back door + stairway to the basement.


Lauren was able to level that area by reversing the basement steps!


Here’s a good look at it in the after floor plan:


In real life:


You can also see that they removed the wall between the kitchen + family room.

How I love the black cabs with the warm wood counter tops!


Everything’s so wonderfully staged!


Yes, it’s unconventional to put the stove under the windows,

but I think those are fixed + not made to open.

WOW, that’s a stunning stove, isn’t it?

The exhaust fan is probably along the back.


Did all this black + warm wood remind you of this house boat from Fixer Upper?

If you’d like to see more of it, check out my blog post devoted to it.

fixer upper boat after

The island is custom made with old barn wood.


Lauren + her husband, David, went to a reclaimed lumber business in Virginia.

The boards they chose came from an old barn that was built just after the Civil War.

Come ON, though!

Look at her!  How stylish is she?


Back to the island:



Wait.  What is that artwork in the family room?

Lauren foraged for botanicals in the homeowner’s wooded back yard,

gathering enough to press, frame + hang multiples in a grid.

This is one of her signature “looks”, + I love it!


Here is a view across that new basement staircase,

from the new dining room.


Homeowner hubby, David, is inspecting the new shelves

Lauren designed for their daughter’s toys:


The couple already owned the round Saarenin “tulip” table,

+ Lauren added a few pieces to make the dining room complete.

I’m glad to see that pairs of lamps are still a thing.


Here’s a photo of the after front exterior.


Some asbestos was discovered in the kitchen,

+ it cost $3000 to be removed.

As you can see, they took that amount from the furnish + style fund.


I really loved the show, didn’t you?

Fingers crossed there will be more episodes!

$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!

What I Want MOST In Our New Kitchen

kitchen #5

Does everybody have at least one kitchen design feature  that they truly + deeply + madly love?

kitchen window #4

The one scrumptuous thing that draws your eye in each + every Pinterest photo you spy?

Small Black And Cream Cottage Kitchen With Italian Details P ItalianSomething that you’ve always wanted for your own kitchen + vow to have, someday?

lower cab plate rack

Well, I do!  Can you guess what it might be?

kitchen window #5

That’s right — it’s the large windows/window wall above the kitchen sink!

kitchen window #3

YUM, right?  To me, those puny, little single over-the-sink windows are just tragic!  J/K, kind of!

Here’s my current kitchen (below).  Tragic!

Kay's kitchen

And look!  It’s our Dutch colonial kitchen, ‘before’!

Potential tragedy, am I right?


Good news!  It’s my lucky year!

 We’ve sprung for the larger (dare I say ‘ginormous’?) above-the-sink kitchen window!


Here’s the brand of replacement windows we’re using, all from Home Depot:


We can’t recommend them more.

They’re very substantial + well-made + come with dozens of options!

We chose this window grille style — called Farmhouse.

window grill -- farmhouse

We also sprung for the option of having high-profile grilles

which rest on top of the glass, both inside + out!


I’m a huge fan.  Seriously, they make the windows more authentic + original-looking!


Is that window ‘calling’ for a window box, OR WHAT?

$150 Home Depot

Home Depot

Those brackets really put that white vinyl** charmer over the top, don’t they?

**Our Dutch colonial’s exterior will be white + vinyl + as charming as I can possibly make it!

But I digress again!

Here are a few more photo ops of my newest love:


Here you can see how our kitchen flows nicely with our dining room + its gorgeous bay + huge windows:


Another view.  Please pay close attention to the 2×4 board on the center of our floor:


I’ve decided we won’t replace our ‘before’ kitchen’s peninsula . . .

. . . (they’re SO ‘last century’!  J/K!)

Instead, we’ll have an island, + it will be approximately the same length at that 2×4 board.

I’m still pondering over its exact style + color, etc.,

but I’d like to incorporate a plate rack like this one:

lower cab plate rack

Our space is limited, but I’d love to provide room for seating.

Stay tuned.



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