Monday, March 28, 2016

       What is it about those vintage sinks that appeal to me? For me, they're a nod to a simpler time. A time when meals were cooked from scratch, a time when families worked hard all day and gathered around a big table in the evening to talk and enjoy the meal together.

       My grandmother's sink from the 40s or 50s is still in the family farmhouse today. It is a double bowl, double drainboard sink that is 6' long. It sets on the original metal cabinet and is beneath two large windows. One day that sink may be replaced and I've asked begged my aunt to give me first dibs on it.
This sink is the second one I picked up and most likely the one we'll use in the kitchen one day.

       I have a love/hate relationship with washing dishes. There are times where I relish putting my hands in warm, soapy water and washing dishes while gazing out the floor to ceiling windows in my kitchen. Yet, there are other times when I'll do every other chore on my list just to put off washing a counter full of dishes. And the truth of the matter is it only takes an average of 20 min. to wash even the biggest pile of dishes.

This is the sink I currently use. It too is cast iron and I love how deep it is - 8"!

       The sink above that I currently use is another vintage, cast iron beauty I came across while looking for a sink with an attached drainboard. I scooped this one up for under $50! It is deep - 8", and wide enough that I can place a plastic dish tub on one side and still have room to rinse. There are days when I consider keeping it in the kitchen when we redo it rather than using one of the drainboard sinks. (See how attached I get to these things?)

       The gorgeous view from my kitchen windows! Right now wisteria is in bloom but in a couple of months the honeysuckle will bloom and bring about the most wonderful smell!

       It is amazing once you start looking at vintage sinks the little things you'll notice. If you're searching for one pay attention to these details - the height of the backsplash and how tall the apron is. In the beginning I didn't realize that there were any differences in these but now I have collected a few I definitely have preferences. Other considerations are: double or single bowl, double or single drainboard, and which side of the sink the drainboard is on.

      My husband calls me the sink lady now and I have a feeling he's on to something. I know of another sink, an old laundry sink with a super high backsplash and really deep basin that is just sitting out in the elements but the owner and I can't agree on a price. I have visions of it in my laundry room with a ringer mounted like the one below.

This one was sold at Laurel Leaf Farm
Just check out the utility sink installed in a laundry room at Liz Marie Blog. It's a beauty. I love those cabinets!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our Master Bedroom

I've been trying to find a paint color for our master bedroom for years. Literally. Like ten years. The walls were beginning to look like a very bad camouflage job. Part of the problem was that we changed from dark cherry and mahogany furniture to a medium toned rustic oak. But most of the problem stemmed from our bedroom facing north. There is very little natural light. Then a year ago Mr. Wonderful began night shift. To help him sleep I purchased black out curtains. So.much.darker. I get sleepy just walking in there during the day.

I can't even remember the different names of paint samples I used. I started with grays. More recently I tried Elk Horn and Rattan, both by Benjamin Moore. My friend has these colors in her house and I LOVE them. They didn't work in our room.

Then Thanksgiving 2015 rolled around and I found myself at The Farm. The Farm is my family's 200 year old farmhouse. It is where my dad was raised. It has always held such a special place in my heart. My aunt now lives there and she's made several changes including repainting several rooms. I'm so happy that a family member has the home! Believe me it is a labor of love because there are so many things that have needed updating. 200 years of living can really take a toll on a place.

As we gathered in the dining room to give thanks for all the wonderful things we were about to partake of, I noticed the new paint color. It was green of course, my favorite color. I looked at the walls and the color of the oak table and realized that the color just might work in our master bathroom. Fortunately my aunt remembered the color she'd chosen and even gave me the paint chip to take home.

A couple of weeks later and I was getting my gallon of paint. After painting the bathroom I had a tiny bit left. I walked into the bedroom and thought, "One more paint sample can't hurt."The wall already had 7 different colors on it (and that's not counting the original wall color). The moment the paintbrush hit the wall I knew, I KNEW I'd found it. Unfortunately it was only enough to paint one coat on one wall. So now I'm waiting until I get back to the store for another gallon.

Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble

Headboard Vaughn Bassett Timber Mill collection in oak. Wall color Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble.
I know I need to do something above the headboard because the picture isn't nearly big enough now that I see it in a photo. 

So that's it for now. I'll do another post when I get the rest of the room painted and the bedspread is back on the bed. The trim we plan to stain (which was another reason it was difficult to find the right color). And we have some AWESOME knotty pine doors to install. Here's a sneak peak of them.
Now if I can only decide on a stain for the doors. *sigh

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Make Do Kitchen

Three months after I married Mr. Wonderful I gave him series of surprises.
1. I announced we were expecting. 
2. I caused a kitchen fire that destroyed the majority of our kitchen. 
3. I got fired from my job. 
The one good thing that came of this was that it cemented the fact that I'd married a great guy. He loved me through all of this.

Fast forward 16 years and we now have six children. And our kitchen? Well, it's still in basically the same state it was post fire. So now I have what's commonly referred to as an "unfitted", or what I like to call a "make do", kitchen.

The microwave is in a temporary location to conserve what little counter space we do have. The vintage Chambers model B gas range is a project and not working at this time. To the left of the fridge is a large pie safe we use for a pantry and to the left of the pantry is the electric range we currently cook on. With the current layout there is no space for a eating table.

The centerpiece of my kitchen is my beloved Seller's cabinet we found it at an estate auction in 2006. Mr. Wonderful was immediately drawn to it but I was not. What I really wanted was the 7 ft tall mahogany wardrobe I'd spied. I had visions of putting it in the master bedroom and tearing out the built in closet. (Yes I know how crazy this sounds) The bid on the wardrobe went higher than Mr. Wonderful was willing to pay so my dreams were dashed. I walked around the rest of the auction pouting, literally.

A little while later bidding on the Seller's cabinet began. I stood in the background, my eyes drilling holes into the back of my Mr. Not So Wonderful while he kept raising his bid higher and higher. Obviously he won the bid and while he grinned and gushed about his purchase I was looking at our new piece of furniture wondering where on earth would I put it. The barn and the fire pit were the first places that came to mind.
The main cupboard holds all of our everyday dishes
Love the built in flour sifter.

I'm not quite sure when I fell in love with the old cabinet. It just grew on me I guess you could say. Now it's my favorite piece in the kitchen. It holds all of our everyday dishes in the top cabinet, the bottom cabinet holds are baking pans, we keep bread in the bread drawer, flour and sugar on the counter top, and silver ware and often used utensils in the drawers. Over the years we've added to and subtracted from our collection of vintage pieces but this one item has never been for sale. I guess Mr. Wonderful was right all along.

The Main Bathroom

I am simply giddy with excitement because today we put the final touch on the main bath. The last project on the to-do list for this room was to install the barnwood shelf. I'm loving how it this room turned out! It makes me (just slightly) more confident moving ahead on our other home improvement projects.

Here's a better view of the shelf. This was before I decorated the shelf. And the paint color doesn't show true in this photo. The main photo (above) is a closer to the actual color. And speaking of paint color we used "Grandma's Linen" by Valspar.

This is the medicine cabinet we found years ago while antiquing. I honestly cannot remember where we found it or how much we paid. I love the patina on the wood.

This pedestal sink we found for under $100 at Lowes. 
Rug from Through the Country Door

This egg basket was another find. I thought of staging it for the photo with cream colored towels but I decided to be honest. This is what we use it for - to hold the bath toys.

And finally the curtains are from Country Curtains. I've wanted them for a few years so I was shocked when I didn't immediately love them when they arrived. Fortunately they've grown on me but the picture does not do them justice.

So here's what we used for this bathroom makeover:

  • Walls - we installed a product called "ply bead". Lowes sells it under the name Plytanium Natural Sawn Plywood. It comes in 4' x 8' sheets and easy to install.
  • Paint - Grandma's Linen by Valspar 
  • Curtains - Macrame Medallion Tier and Valance in ecru by Country Curtains
  • Bath mat - Crochet border bath mat in ivory by Through the Country Door
  • An old medicine cabinet we found antiquing 
  • Barnwood shelf - cut from a board we took from an old house, with permission :)
  • A small claw foot tub - we found it for sale in the local classifieds and had it refinished
  • The fixtures for the tub - ebay
  • Knotty pine interior door - our local supplier is Southern Building Supply but they can also be special ordered at Lowe's. 
The budget for this makeover is just an estimate. This bathroom has been done a bit at a time over many years. My best guess would be about $2,000 which includes us hiring someone to install the walls and flooring.