Shannon Berrey

I have something to tell you...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

{and boys!!} All of my lovely readers!!

Have a Great St. Patty's Day!

{image via thoughtfully simple}

Bringing it indoors

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I love cut flowers in my house. When I see the tulips start blooming I get super anxious to start filling my vases indoors. My favorite arrangements are simple tall budding branches.  Unfortunately, my yard doesn't really start blooming until well into April. This beautiful weather had me out scouring my property for something to bring indoors. I really only had 2 choices--Mountain Laurel and Cherry Laurel.       

I snipped a few branches of the Cherry Laurel and plucked them in a vase.

They look great but I wanted blooms!!  A trip to Wal-Mart {don't judge, that's what I got folks} and I grabbed a $5 bundle of lilies {I think these are lilies?} There wasn't a name on the sticker! {update-thanks to a few lovely readers, I found out the big girl name is Alstroemeria. Thanks ladies--my readers are so smart!!}  

Their stems are nice and long. I added a few into my branches.


A pretty, inexpensive, super easy arrangement that brings a little spring inside!

I also grabbed a small bunch of tulips and had enough lilies leftover to add them in and then make a smaller arrangement. I love them on my window sill!



Congratulations to my Vintage Jane tote winner, #7 Jennifer Settergren!!

How to add height to your kitchen cabinets

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I shared the transformations that my kitchen has gone through in yesterdays post. If you remember, this is where I started.

And this is what it looked like as of last week.

I felt like the height of the upper cabinets looked out of proportion with the tall ceilings and visually cut the space. What I really wanted to do was to add another cabinet on top that would go all the way to the ceiling. But there were 3 problems--1} one of the recessed lights would be cut in half if the cabinet went all the way up and the light could not be moved 2} building these would require a *real* carpenter and not our DIY skills and 3} our budget was $0. yep, zero.      

As much I would love to have the storage that more more cabinets would allow, I realized that it wasn't going to happen. I began to brainstorm ideas on how to add height so that it would at least look better, more custom.

Here's a simple trick that I use when I am in the beginning stages of a design. I use my computer screen like a lightbox and bring up the room that I am working on. You have to do this in a dark room. I put a piece of paper over the room and then sketch my *change*.   

In this case, I added approximately 8" of height to the cabinets to see if that would give me the results I was after. I know it's a little hard to see, so here's a close-up.  


I really liked the added height and decided to get started! Luckily, I had 1 piece of 3/4" MDF {medium density fiberboard} left over from another project. This stuff paints beautifully and doesn't warp so it was the perfect material for this project. {fyi--a 4'x8' piece sells for $30 at Lowes}. 

Using a pry bar, we removed the molding off of the cabinets being careful to not to damage it {we would reattach this on our taller uppers}.

Once the molding was off, I sanded the top edge of the paint to knock down the thickness of the paint layers.

 We cut the MDF board lengthwise in to 10" strips on the table saw {If you buy your board from Lowes, they will cut this for you} Then we measured the width of each cabinet and used this measurement to cut each piece of MDF. We then took little scraps of MDF and used them as back supports. Using the nail gun, we nailed from the back of the cabinet into the scrap. 


Using wood glue on the bottom edge, we placed each piece on top of the cabinet and then nailed into the supports. 

     Here is all of the MDF in place 

I primed the MDF. You could do this before you attach them if you wanted.Then I used wood filler to fill in all the tiny holes made by the nail gun. Everything then got sanded lightly.

Then, this is where bad things happened. I blew the budget....we needed a tiny piece of molding to cover up the seam where the new board meets the old.  

I didn't have any in my *stash* so we had to buy it. bummer. I selected this one. We needed 3 pieces.

We cut the pieces to size, mitering the corners and attaching with the nail gun.

Then I gave it a coat of primer. The next step was attaching the {old} molding. I measured up from the  trim piece 7 1/2" and used a level to draw a pencil line all the way around the MDF. This was the line the molding would follow.

This was the easiest part because it was already cut to size and mitered {remember nothing has changed except the height}.  

Remember the piece over the window that connected the cabinets?



   Using the wood filler I filled more holes and then I caulked all of the attachments.

I sanded again and then painted everything -- 2 coats on the MDF and small trim and 1 coat on the  molding {it was already painted}.  

I already had the paint, primer and MDF. I did have to spent just under $19 for the small trim, BUT we had a $15 Lowes gift certificate!! So our grand total was $3 and change!! I think it's worth it!

 Obviously, the size of your kitchen would determine the cost of doing this. But, if we did have to purchase everything that we needed to do this, then it still would have been under $50.


I would love new countertops. {Why did they do that crazy shape on the island?} I would do a substantial overhang so that we could put stools around it. But, unless there is a vendor out there who wants to throw a little granite, soapstone, or concrete love at me, then these will have to suffice.  

I am going to make a roman shade that will attach at the molding level to *increase* the window height.  





Today is the last day to enter our giveaway for the sweet Vintage Jane tote. Click here for details on how to enter. I'll announce the winner tomorrow. 

My kitchen - before and during

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Many of you know how hard it is to move from a home that you love, no matter what the reason. Your  walls display beloved family photos, but those walls also hold special stories, memories and moments. But, change brings new opportunity. That's what I love about design. Changing or tweaking our surroundings to reflect our interests and passions really does allow us to embrace our best life. Our home needs to function *beautifully* for our families needs. 

Back in 2005, I was embracing a lot of change. I found myself a single mom with 2 kiddos not being able to afford the home that *we* designed and built and had lived in for the past 5 years. My home sold a year later and then jump ahead another year, I was engaged {yay!} and became the owner of a new home. This is the picture of the kitchen in the MLS listing: 

A fine perfectly functioning {well, minus the fridge, the stove, and the dishwasher...} kitchen.

But, this is what I saw that I wanted to change: 

I wasn't blogging then, so I don't have the during pictures of all the changes we have done over the years. But, I will share some of the 'now' photos. There are still a few things I would ideally like to improve upon, but, I am happy with the way it is evolving. Everything that has been done, I am proud to say, WE have done--all DIY.    

First up, I wanted to add character to the island, so I used {free} cultured stone. At the time, I was working on a big commercial project and a rep really wanted to woo me with his product {great perk!}. He gave me enough to cover the island. This was my starting point.

Next up, came the backsplash. I love the slate and the variations in color. Living in the mountains, this is a popular selection. 


Next up, the cabinet color. I had maple cabinets in my previous home and I was ready for a change. Painting is the cheapest way to change furniture or cabinetry. It's not necessarily easy to paint your cabinets, but, it offers a huge transformation. You need to remove all the doors, drawers and hardware. The surface needs to be sanded to allow the paint to stick. Everythings gets primed and painted, sanded and painted again.

I decided to paint the lower cabinets with a dark gray paint. I wanted slightly distressed edges. I used Dark Brown Briwax to give a velvety sheen and to antique the distressed parts. I love the luster and hand rubbed finish the wax gives. This frame was my inspiration.




   I felt like having all the cabinets dark gray would be a little too dark, so I painted the upper cabinets white.

And, as I was painting them, I found I really liked having the doors off of some of them. 

The fluorescent light was removed along with the lighted hanging potrack. Our pans were NOT something I wanted hanging in spotlight above my head everyday. In its place, I hung a seeded glass pendant {I can't find any pics of this-sorry}. This worked for a few years, but I really wanted a more substantial pendant. I used birthday money last year to order the hanging pendant lamp {they put a lot of creativity into naming that one, huh?} from Wisteria. It was on back order for a long time and finally arrived last month.

I love this pendant. The oxidized finish really plays so well with all the varying colors in the rock below and the slate backsplash. If you are in the market for a new pendant, I highly recommend! 

 We also added recessed lighting {what a difference} and I have a lamp on the island. You've heard me say it before--Lighting is so important. I am a big believer that you need lighting at different levels.  

'So show us the wide shot, Shannon!' Yes, I hear you! But I am going to wait and show you that tomorrow. Along with showing you our new mature upper cabinets. These babies have grown up--literlally--they actually grew 8" last week!!     What??      You mean your cabinets have stopped growing?   No worries, I'll show you how to encourage your 'slow-growers' ! 


Don't forget to enter the Vintage Jane Giveaway--click here for details. You have until tomorrow at 5pm to enter!


Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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