Monday, June 30, 2014

Mulling things over Monday

Happy Summer finally! I feel like we have just started to enjoy some summer-like activities around here but the days are already flying by! I have managed to hit the beach a few times, camped twice over long weekends and paddle-boarded when the sun breaks through every now and then. I know you are out squeezing every last bit of summer you can as well 'cause I'm always slower this time of year in regards to home consults. 
Which means, more down time for me, but more missing you all.

At times, I've considered looking for a day job that consistently gets me out and about every day-in business attire, not just 'workshop rags' on my off days but I always come back to the flexibility and creativity of it all and I'm motivated once again. 

Talking about the ups and downs of owning your own business with my friend Dann who also sells repurposed junk and lamenting about the unsteady income and unpredictable schedule, he reminded me that when he did have to 'punch the clock'-even if it meant more 'you-can-count-on-it' cash, he felt his soul dying a little bit every day. 
I laughed and agreed.
I'm definitely not in this for the $. and it was a good reminder that I am so fortunate to be able to do what nourishes my soul every day. 

At times I've shared with you that all the remodeling, building, prettifying, and spending can seem like a futile, worthless endeavor, but I am always reminded by you guys that helping someone make a home that is comfortable and welcoming is worth something. 

I read a quote recently that said, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life"?-Mary Oliver. I have been mulling that question over as I contemplate turning 46 in a couple of a weeks. I guess the fact that I'm closing in on 50 has me analyzing or over-analyzing (which I'm great at), my one shot on this planet and am I doing what I can to make a difference? So many days, it doesn't seem so. 

My oldest daughter just returned home from a week long outreach trip to Pullman (a small impoverished town 40 minutes south of here) and I saw so many families struggling with providing the basic essentials for their families-living in trailers with no windows and doors-that yes-those moments make my day job picking out wallpaper and coordinating window treatments seem meaningless.
But then, I come across a client that has waited patiently for over 25 years for a new, workable kitchen and is so thrilled with how her new one functions and looks and is no longer apologizing for her living space or insecure to have company over that I do feel like I am helping and that my skills are beneficial to someone.
Here are a few shots of Tricia's beautiful new kitchen. Not huge. Doesn't need to be. Not over-the-top showy. Doesn't need to be. Not full of bells and whistles. Doesn't need 'em. 
Nope, sometimes simple and subtle packs just as much of a punch. 
Simplicity and Subtly. 
Two of my weakest traits. 
I think I'll concentrate on those today. Along with a little gratitude. 
Miss you Champs and hope you're enjoying these summer days.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Not So Shabby-Zeeland

 Just brought a small truckload over to the Zeeland store this afternoon.  I'll let ya in a little prices are a bit lower here than the Holland store. Not on everything, but a lot of the 'smalls'.  My booth is smaller, and my rent is cheaper, so i am passing along those savings to you!  Check it out sometime! 

Cute patterned bunting for a baby's room? (below)
 Hand Stenciled embroidery Ring signs:
 Blue Wire Basket to hold keys, mail, junk: (It's all connected-it hangs on the wall as one unit). Print out cute labels and it makes a great organizer. Or use in the bathroom to hold hair bands, jewelry, q-tips, etc.
 Topiaries and accessories:

 Primitive Cabinet.  Would make a great linen cabinet in bathroom or laundry.

 Signs and Letters.  My sister always teases me that there's always lots of reading in my house and booths!:)

Vintage Oil Painting that spoke to me
 Small Blue Mason Jars: Too cute to pass up at only $6/each.
 Spring/Summer accessories 

And another book recommendation from yours truly. I just finished this one and will be returning it to the library tonight. You know I love memoirs and I'm a sucker for anything sappy. This is both and is SUCH a good read.  Kelle Hampton's Bloom. You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll be amazed at her poetic voice, eccentric vibe, and breath-taking photography
Enjoy your weekend doing what you love!!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Short Summary of Summer so far

This will be short and sweet but I wanted to give you a brief summary of what I've been up to lately. It's been off to the races already this summer with kids' activities, work, play and trying to soak up all the sun we missed from a long, gloomy winter. 
Sign orders have been rolling in and I really appreciate you thinking of me and my business when you're looking for unique wedding, b-day or personal gifts for yourself! Thank you! I love to see what you sayings/quotes you choose!

 I had the pleasure of attending and helping prep my best friend's daughter's highschool graduation party. I can take no credit for the amazing ideas and catering. I can only take credit for bossing Debbi and crew around, and staging a few items here and there.

 Beautiful girl, inside and out.  Made me nostalgic for all the times our families have spent together and a little bit sad to think that we are only 2 years away from Kennedy leaving the nest. 
 I try to stop in and stage both booths at Not So Shabby Holland and Zeeland locations) a few times a week when I can. :)

We even managed to complete our backyard pergola project two weeks ago! I say "we" like I actually contributed to the process.  I did hand him a board or two, but otherwise Contractor Ken banged this baby out in a day all by himself!!
I'll be in charge of staining it which I'm not looking forward to, but we are happy with how it defines the sitting area of our new deck and gives us a little bit of shade.

 I'm still shopping for clients and helping with interior selections for remodels and new construction.  The housing industry is booming again and I have noticed people willing to spend $ on their houses. Thus, paying me to be their friend along the way.:)
(Side note: I'm super impressed with some of the new tile options at Lowe's). 

We even managed to sneak in a short camping trip already with the cousins to the Holland State Park. So relaxing and fun!
Hope you're summer is everything you want it to be so far. 
I'll meet you back here soon for more randomness with a little home decor inspiration mixed in.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Meticulous Monday-(a well thought- out kitchen remodel)

Once again, I stink at trying to stun you with before/after pics of amazing kitchen remodels. 

 You'll just have to believe me when I tell you that you wouldn't believe me when if I told you how different this space looks from where it started. 
This is Scott and Gwen's kitchen/main floor remodel. Scott is my friend Julie's brother. I helped with Julie's kitchen remodel several years ago. Subsequently, Scott and Gwen hired me for help with selections, colors, furniture purchasing/placement and accessories.  

I loved working with these two. They complimented each other wonderfully as husband/wife collaborating on this project (which doesn't always happen with home improvement updates-as most of us know from experience).  Scott was the engineer of the project, always thinking through the functionality of things, and Gwen was the organized list maker and investigator.  I had the easy job of agreeing or disagreeing with their suggestions and giving them guidance or further direction. :)
This whole corner below used to be a dining room.  A wall was removed in order to make the kitchen twice the size of the original. What you're looking at below (double doors) is actually a secret passage-way into a hidden walk-in pantry!!
I'm not even kidding!

 This is it below! Sooo cool! They had seen this in a parade home before and it came a priority when re-configuring this space.

 Here is the same angle from a little further back. 

 We are still waiting on a backsplash.  Some kind of dimensional tumbled marble.  Everything you see is new. Cabinets, counters, flooring, windows, lighting, fixtures, appliances, etc.

New Granite countertops.  Kitchen remodel was designed and constructed by Woodways Cabinetry in Zeeland.

 We're looking at some kind of mosaic design for underneath the stainless hood. We'll be patient to find the look we want.
Once again, the engineer in Scott came out and he suggested using this small space by the prep sink as an easy-to-access station for their kitchen aid mixer.
 It lifts up and out and tucks back in when not in use.

This small 1/2 bath got a complete facelift as well.  New vanity, granite counter top, and we're still deciding on a mirror/tile combination.  I voted for the dimensional tile below. This will adorn the entire wall from top of counter to the ceiling. 
 Linen shades on wall sconces flanking the new mirror.

 This mudroom/back entry got the same special treatment.  New wall board, cubbies, bootbench and flooring.  New brushed nickel hooks will be added all the way around the room for maximum grab-n-go storage. 

 Look how Gwen tricked out this repurposed storage closet with the same fabric from the boot bench!! She said she was inspired by something similar on Pinterest. 

 We're still in the process of putting the finishing touches on the living area which is adjacent and open to the kitchen.  In search of a rug, wall art, and some accessories to complete the look.
 The new rustic hardwood is actually vinyl planking!! People LOVE this product! It's all the rage right now, and comes in tile, linen and wood looks.

 One more quick debriefing before I sign off.  This is Gwen's friend Trisha's home- whom I've worked with and blogged about before (kitchen remodel last year). If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, one of the best things about this design gig is meeting all of you and realizing that somehow we're all connected! I wanted to show you the amazing job she did on the picture collage wall in her newly remodeled dining room. Last year, I had her paint the chair rail and trim creamy white (it was oak). We chose a light buff color for the upper wall and used dark  accents in the room. The neat thing about this display is that all of the pics show a travelogue of places they've been and things they've seen and experienced as a family. 

 Sweet chandelier from Pottery Barn too, huh?

 Other side of the room as you enter the kitchen:
 1/2 bath remodel that I think I've posted before:

 Entry foyer.  Picture all the trim work oak. What a difference a little "Acadia White" makes. Feels like a brand new house. 
 I can't take credit for this artistic display although I wish i could.  Trish did this by hand and changes it out each month to showcase a new bible verse. Google "Chalk art" or "Chalkboard fonts" if you want some tutorials.
Can't imagine closing with anything better than God's word. Great reminder as we start another new week. Love you Champs!