Tag Archives: Home Renovation

My Kitchen…for now

Here is a shot of my kitchen with the Thomas Paul plates that I had previously blogged about here. I love those melamine plates so much I have suggested the use of them in other projects, like the idea board we put together for Amy here. I would eventually love to ditch the recessed lighting and hang pendant lights above the island….but as my Mister says, “One thing at a time.”

He reminds me of that because when we moved in we replaced the floor, countertops, backsplash, sink, the dishwasher and the micro. We also painted the base of the island which used to be a light birch color. We also rushed to finish as our previous home was on the market at the time. I think he is a bit tired of projects. Luckily, he has me for motivation! A pendant light above the sink would look great too. If you agree, I’ll tell him you said so.

We purchased a new table a few months back and I am loving it. The only problem is the maintenance. The marble shows EVERYTHING, even water spots. After a panicked phone call on what to do, the helpful staff at Crate and Barrel suggested a thin, custom piece of glass be applied to the top. So I am on the case, calling around to get the best price on that. I love the idea, because it won’t tamper with the look.




Filed under Decor, Kitchen

Upholstered coffee table project

I have another project to announce! Inspired by this blog, I am going to upholster a pair of benches I picked up this week at Home Goods for $50.00. Mine look similar in shape to the below, but they are covered in an ugly fake leather.

Via Caitlin Creer Interiors

The fabric I chose, and just purchased is this pretty brown Chevron. Available for an amazing $7.99/yard at this website.

Via Premier Fabrics

I can’t wait to share with you the transformation. The best part, the total will be under $150.00, that’s better than the $400.00 I was about to pay for a similar table at a big box store.

Happy Friday!



Filed under Decor

The Old Ranch House Backyard and Patio

Here is a before and after of the back yard space at our previous home, the “Old Ranch House”. The only redeeming quality of the entire area was the newly poured concrete patio. The rotten pergola was in need of a massive demolishing, and the entire house needed new siding.

Check out the before shot…

Pergola with dry rot and a giant heap of old siding, not so pretty

First, we tore out that awkward wall that was blocking the yard to give us more light and the illusion of extra space. Next, we ripped off the damaged boards and beams and replaced with new wood. Finally we (well, the painter we hired) gave the entire structure a much-needed paint job. Oh yes, and the entire exterior was re-sided and painted as well. The result was pretty fabulous if I do say so myself. Check it out…

The finished product

Happy almost Friday!


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Filed under Renovation Chronicles

Before and After – Bungalow Kitchen Renovation

Good morning everyone! Sus and I are starting a new series here of Before and After’s of our homes, so you can see what we’ve been working on these last few years. Both of our home renovations started our love for decor and the whole renovation process, so really, we wouldn’t be here with you had we not embarked on home ownership of the fix up kind.

So on to my kitchen renovation! This was the first project that the boyfriend and I (with the help of my parents) tackled. And boy, was it a doozy! As I’ve said before, our house was a total mess when we bought it. A possible hoarder was living there with all the cats in the neighborhood. Clearly, we needed to start with giving us a sanitary place to cook for ourselves.

Here’s a shot with what we were working with on move in day. I just want to note that the white cabinets actually look a lot better in this picture than they really were.

Shot from the back of the kitchen towards the dining room. Don't you love the old linoleum?

This picture is of a wall that covered a chimney from a decomissioned oil furnace. Our first step of the renovation was ripping the chimney out of the entire house.

Old breakfast nook. Featuring the lovely border which ran throughout the kitchen and a dusty old light fixture.

The grimy inside of the cabinets. You wouldn't want to store food in there would you?

We promptly began tearing this out the day we moved into the house, and spent the next couple months of our first summer in the house putting in our new and improved kitchen. We did most of the work ourselves. Only having the cabinets installed by a professional. And by “we” I mean the boyfriend led the charge in this renovation. I’m basically just a pack horse/garbage dump girl, tear outs are my specialty. He’s the brains and brawn behind the operation.

First of all, here is the inspiration image for the kitchen. You might remember seeing it in a old issue of Domino magazine (RIP, sniff, sniff). I loved how the horizontal stripes widened the galley kitchen, since changing the layout of this kitchen was not an option for us. I also loved how the black and white stripes gave a hint of the feel of the 50’s black and white tile look, but were also modern and fresh.

striped kitchen floor via  simply seleta

Domino inspiration image

So here’s our kitchen today. We still have a few items that we want to work on, but it’s fully functioning and pretty! New cabinets from Pacific Northwest Cabinetry, who I highly recommend. They were a fantastic company to work with. Gave us lots of options and were professional and quick on the install. Flooring is marmoleum from a company that Sus covered here on the blog before, Eco Floors. Besides being from the inspiration image, the flooring is also easy to install “click” flooring, so we were able to tackle this project ourselves. The countertops the boyfriend and my Dad found at our local Rebuilding Center, which helps recycle unwanted items from construction projects or older homes. It’s a fantastic resource and I highly encourage people to check there first, especially if they are fixing up a older home. Light fixtures are from Rejuvination Hardware, who sells both vintage and period style fixtures.  Finally, all the appliances are from the Sears Outlet, which is a great place to start/look when you’re appliance shopping. It’s hit and miss, but we were able to find some great higher end Jenn Air appliances for a fantastic price, about 50% off of retail. Who doesn’t like to save that amount of money?!

The new kitchen today. The fridge on the left is in the place where the old chimney used to live.

Picture of built in breakfast nook that the boyfriend designed and built. Table is a Craigslist purchase that I refinished. Shade was made by the boyfriends Mom.

Refinished countertops from the Rebuilding Center. Slate around the sink to keep the water off the wood.

Picture of the other side of the sink, on the shared wall with the dining room

So that’s it! What do you guys think? Any tips you have to share on your own kitchen renovations? Great vendors to work with?


Filed under Local Love, Renovation Chronicles

Local Love

We are starting a monthly post here at TLS called “local love.” The goal here is to highlight vendors we have used in our home improvements/decorating projects in hopes that we can spread awareness of our favorite places to frequent, encouraging other Portlander’s to use local resources. Rest assured that all services, businesses, and products we are recommending are tested and approved by 2 home improvement/decorating junkies. Our first installment is shining the spotlight on our go-to resource for flooring. The honor-roll in this category is Eco Floors located in the Sellwood area. I have used Eco Floors fantastic flooring in my previous home (tile and carpet) as well as our new home (Carpet and decorative runner for the stairs). The selection at Eco Floors is fantastic. Cork, Bamboo, Marmoleum, Tiles, as well as walls of carpet options. (Check out their selection of wools, so many to choose from and so beautiful). The best part about Eco Floors should be obvious, they are an eco conscious vendor. All products and installation materials are low chemical, and sustainable. The staff at Eco Floors is extremely knowledgable, helpful, prompt, and kind. Read “about” them here. Another helpful hint: Owners Sam and Darius will apply a 5% discount to returning customers. We love that “pass it on” attitude which is why we are shouting from the rooftops our praises to the guys at this fabulous company. All we ask, is if you happen to purchase or install through EF, pass along our info. Tell them that Susan and Lyn from TLS sent you.

Eco Floors Tile- (Pictured in our previous home)

Eco Floors 100% Wool Runner (Pictured in our new home)

Here is to happy floor-shopping! Cheers, Susan

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Chandelier “fix-up” and other ramblings

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Filed under Decor

The Old Ranch House…

My sabbatical from the blog is for good reason, I assure you. In an amazing turn of events, last summer we decided to put our house on the market and purchase my husbands childhood home. We sacrificed our entire summer, all to end up with a sale on our first offer. I’ll admit due to the speedy timeline, there were a few panic attacks had and several tears shed (all from me of course), but we actually did it, we sold our house in the worst market in decades! That in itself was a major victory. Yay us!

Here are some before and afters on our old place to show you just how fast and furious this process actually was:

Exterior Before

And After

(New Siding, a bit of landscaping, and a paint job)

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

This is a short visual of what we were actually dealing with. The list of things we accomplished in a short amount of time is very lengthy and boring, but the short version includes:  new windows, doors, siding, all interior paint, exterior paint, new carpet, baseboards, lighting, building a patio covering, and a complete kitchen demolish and remodel.  With the sale of the ranch house we took on an entirely new venture, remodeling and decorating our new home and trying to make it look different than the house my husband grew up in. This process has been much more enjoyable and a bit less stressful, so I’ll have time to blog about our adventures along the way. Now that we have reclaimed our lives, and our sanity, we can slowly chip away on projects at a more sustainable pace. Now the fun begins of making our new home a LOVELY space. More to come on that.

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Filed under Renovation Chronicles