Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Kitchen

The saying goes that the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  Well, I'm here to tell you, the quickest way to a woman's heart is through her kitchen.  At least this woman's.  I don't know what it is about a fabulous kitchen that makes my heart sing- what am I saying, yes I do.  Kitchens are always the jewelry of a house ("Candice Kitchens" anyway, which is the name I use for beautiful kitchens in reference to Candice Olson, host of HGTV Divine Design, and mega home dec genius).  Everything about Candice Kitchen is on purpose, carefully thought out.  They get the best accessories, the gorgeous lighting, the most hard-working counters, and awesome flooring.  And the options.  Tumbled marble, polished granite, slate, rock, hardwood, beadboard, track lighting, recessed lighting, underhead lighting, uplit lighting, oh-my-gosh-where'd-you-find-that-lighting, glass tiles... well, it's no wonder kitchens are the jewelry.  And it's no wonder why they make my heart sing.

But kitchens do something else, too, if you aren't careful. Cha-ching.

With all the options to put in your jewelry room, it's easy to get carried away and hard to stay on budget.  At least for those (me) easily over-stimulated by the mountains of hardware/lighting/appliances to transform into Candice Kitchen.

Here's our not-so-Candice-Kitchen the day we moved in.  But, as Candice would say, I think it had really "good bones".  The big plus? Some of our jewelry was included in the price tag of the house- polished granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors. 

The most striking things to me when I walked in this room was the lighting was all wrong, and the walls were all yellow.  And the combination, well, my heart wasn't singing, let's leave it at that.  I had my eye on the Pottery Barn Hundi Lantern (refer to my Obsession post, I'm a PBR, you'll see).  However, in keeping with the notion that the jewelry room can lead to cha-ching, and wanting a budget Candice Kitchen, I'd have to have a budget leftover.  And so, PBR or not, I would have to look elsewhere for a similar Hundi Lantern.

(image from Pottery Barn)

And I found it.  On no less.  A lantern similar enough, I really can't tell the difference.  But my wallet can.  Here it is hung in our new space. 

We also replaced the "boob" light with a more modern track fixture. 

Then it came down to tackling the grayish yellow paint, I'm really not sure what the color was.  What I did know was that it was leaving, immediately.  I ended up settling on Behr's Silver Sage.  It's a great smokey blue-green. 

Then, there's artwork.  And art can be expensive.  If you can brave it out and do your own, budget saved.  The easiest style artwork to whip up is definitely something abstract or contemporary.  Just pushing pigments, drawing shapes.  Anyone can do it, really.  Anyone.  This past weekend, hubs hung the artwork I painted back at the city condo.  A 40x60 marsh view.  Seems so much bigger in this space than it did in our 12 foot ceiling living room at the condo.  It makes a cool impact here I think. Hubs says it's so loud being so close to the river.  Harr harr.

Last but not least, some finishing touches through textiles.  Can't forget the soft accessories in your jewelry room.  And, it really doesn't hurt a budget when you have wonderful family and friends that help make your space special.  My mother-in-law gave us a house warming present when the Columbia Houstons came to visit.  The Malika Rug from PB.  sigh.  I've always loved this rug, and now I'll always think of my in-laws when I see it.  The towels we got from our realtor, Bev.  (Thank you all so much!)

And now, my budgeted Candice Kitchen is complete.  Eventually, I'd like to have roman shades made for privacy and light control (cha-ching), but right now my heart is singing.  I guess the only thing left to do is cook a big meal in this jewelry room of mine.  I have to get to hubs' heart now, afterall.


Ann in SC said...

Ashley, This is my first visit to your now famous blog. Your home will be a shining jewel when you are done with your artistic touches! I love the way you express yourself. Uou are a woman with many amazing abilities!!

Ashley said...

Thanks Aunt Ann!

Melissa Babcock said...

I'm in love with it! I really love the painting in the kitchen and Mark's corny comment too! So, when did you say you were coming to my house?

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