Pink Houses and Mosaic Toilets

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My neighborhood is kind of awesome. It’s in a historic district so it’s filled with all of these really great, old houses. In fact the house I live in is over a hundred years old. It’s also an arts district so we have some really creative houses throughout the neighborhood and even on my own street.
I live right across the street from what looks like a dollhouse. It’s a beautiful old Victorian with lots of pinks and blues. There are a lot of these and many of them are in fabulous, non-traditional house colors including bright greens and purples.
Here’s another just down the road. I particularly like the way the window boxes are done on this house.
I think by far my favorite house on the street though is this one. It just has so much character. I can’t wait to see what the yard looks like in spring once everything is in bloom.
Plus it has some rather interesting mosaic sculptures out front. Like this mosaic sink that is being used as a planter.
And even a mosaic toilet sculpture turned planter. The shark on top really cracks me up.
I’m also a huge fan of their awesome garden box out front. It’s like a miniature green house.
And there are old doors that have been painted and re-purposed as a privacy fence.
What are some of your favorite places and what makes them appealing to you?

More of the New Apartment.

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Scott and I are just over a week living in the new apartment so I thought I’d share a few photos of the living room and bathroom. I still need shots of the bedrooms – one of which is empty expect for soap stock but will hopefully soon have a futon and dresser for Cody – and the foyer where I have my office. Yes, it’s that big. (You got to see the kitchen yesterday.) We’re still looking for suitable artwork for the empty wall in the living room. So if you have any suggestions of artwork or artists that fit, please let me know!
The bathroom. It’s not huge, but it’s functional. And it has a great electric heater built into the wall in addition to the radiator. So even when we’re saving money on gas by keeping the heat low, we can crank the electric heater so we’re toasty stepping in and out of the shower. I got the shower curtain, rugs and towels at Target.
Another angle of the bathroom. We’re thinking curtains at some point, though it’s a low priority because the front bedroom needs them much worse. The blinds are horrid, wrecked and filthy. Also, an interesting FYI, this bathroom used to be painted a Pepto-Bismol pink color. It wasn’t pretty.
A view of my living room from my bedroom. The kitchen is the door off to the right. (My baby Jasper is hanging out in the doorway. He’s such a spoiled mini doxie.) I LOVE the built in shelves in this room, so of course I’m using them to showcase a lot of my larger pottery pieces from local artists. I also have a few hand bound blank books on the top shelf that I use as albums for my ACEO’s. I have two albums for prints and two for originals. Now that I’ve dug them out of storage I hope to start collecting again!
A view of the living room from the hallway. The oil painting on the way is by a local artist, Scott Toobz Noel. I have another, much larger, painting of his in my bedroom.
And finally, a view of the living room from the kitchen. We have a closet (right corner) with shelving that we’re using as a bookshelf. We simply took off the closet door. We’re looking for a painting or print to put over the couch (to the left) in this room. And we still need to find curtains and maybe a few throw pillows. A dark red, maybe? What do you think?

DIY Kitchen Makeover – Getting Started

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Moving into a new place always requires a lot of work and a lot of love. But if you really want your place to shine – and not be just another renter – it also requires a little extra elbow grease. I like to treat every place I live or work as if it’s my own. Therefore it receives the same love and care. The one really big thing I want to put some work into first is our new kitchen. It was freshly painted before Scott and I moved in, but in a flat paint and nothing more. Therefore the grease over the stove has bled through the paint and it can’t be cleaned. The cabinets are also a very dull, non-exciting white, and overall the kitchen feels very bland to me. It lacks any kind of personality. My son, Cody, and I decided to start on a few things to give it a cheery makeover until we have more money. First on our to do list was to make a space for notes and honey-do lists for Scott. We decided to apply chalkboard paint to the two outer kitchen cabinets for a little pop and to make it more fun.
Here are the cabinets over the sink before we started. That’s my son, Cody, at the ready with a cordless drill.
Cody took the doors off the cabinets from the actual door. At first we tried to do it the “right” way and remove the hinges from both the cabinet and door, but as it turned out the hinges are attached pretty well to the cabinets courtesy of many layers of paint.
We laid newspaper outside on the back porch and Cody went over each door several times with nice, even layers of Kryon Chalkboard Paint. This was the right cabinet door.

And this was the second cabinet door. He did go back and do the sides as well.

Once the doors dried completely, Cody re-hung them.

After letting them dry for a good 24 hours, we then brightened them up with some chalk.

In the meantime, I’ve also started looking at paint colors to cover the grease in the kitchen and to add a little color while still keeping the space neutral.

These are the colors I have my eye on. (Check out the real deal in Lowe’s stores to get a better idea of the colors. Computer screens I have found vary greatly and even my computer screen doesn’t accurately portray these colors.) I’m thinking the tea stain in a good paint with primer for the walls – it’s only slightly lighter than the colors on the walls now – and the Grandma’s linen for the cabinet structure and remaining cabinet doors. I believe they will tie together beautifully and give the kitchen a little pop without going overboard since we’re renting. We’ve already started on some of the preliminary work. Cody spent much of Saturday pulling nails and screws, tracks that attach to nothing, hooks, etc. left in the walls – of which there were many! So now there’s just hole filler, paint and brushes and rollers to buy and a lot of work ahead!

I’ve also looked all over for spice racks and when I couldn’t find any locally I started pricing them online. I’ve had a love affair for magnetic spice racks for some time, however, I have read multiple complaints about the tins not sealing tightly. In the end I’ve decided to simply buy earth magnets and E6000 glue to adhere to the back of my existing spice containers which I will then store on the side of the fridge in arms’ reach of the stove. (I bought my magnets and glue from CandyTiles on etsy.) As my spice jars run empty I can refill them with bulk, organic herbs I’m able to buy at a discount from Mountain Rose Herbs. And for fun, I’ll decoupage my own hand designed labels to cover the existing herb jar labels. Which reminds me, I need to buy mod podge! I’ll post photos once I get that task completed!

In the meantime, here are some photos what our kitchen looks like one week after moving in.

We’ll be replacing the valances once we have the money and decide on the final wall color. That’s the pantry door to the right.

Another view. You can see there’s no light over the sink. I’m wondering if there’s a battery version we might be able to install there. And then you can see our kitchen radiator under the window.

The stove area along the same wall as the sink. Unfortunately there’s no exhaust vent either and in the winter it can be a tad too cold to open the windows. Any suggestions for options there? As you can see the fridge is right behind the stove so I think the side of the fridge is perfect for putting spices. I also have all handmade magnets on the fridge. There are several fortune cookies pinned to it. My two favorites are: “Happy event will take place shortly in your home.” and “Get your mind set…Confidence will lead you on.”

We have a dishwasher, which is amazing in a house over a hundred years old that’s also a rental. The little alcove behind it is a washer/dryer hook up area.

Does any have other suggestions for improving my kitchen? Thanks so much for taking this little journey with me.