cups and succ(ulent)s

IMG_0024The last time I published a post about our kitchen, we had installed new cabinets and had partially rearranged it. After all of that, I still had not yet achieved the light and airy look that I was hoping for. You know the one. I can usually be found in the IKEA catalogue. White walls. Open shelving. Exposed plates. Greenery. Minimalist. So, I rearranged things once again.

IMG_0043I dragged the massive wire storage unit that we purchased from Home Depot into the kitchen, switching out the antique wooden armoire. After I washed the rack down, I set about arranging all of our plates, cups, and succulents on it. 

IMG_0034IMG_0038I couldn’t have asked for a better fit. It blended in so beautifully. I love how it displays our plates and bowls from Crate & Barrel, our glassware from Anthropologie, our organizers from IKEA, and my collection of over thirty succulents that I have been carefully growing over the last few years.

IMG_0039IMG_0023This is now my favourite corner of The Little Barn

IMG_0059Have a great weekend!

<3

Emory

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kitchen makeover 2

Little Barn Cupboards - 2Remember this post? The one where I revealed to you that I was unhappy with our current arrangement of The Little Barn’s kitchen? Well, we finally did something about it! We removed the seating, added cabinets and a countertop, switched up the layout, and brought in a new table. The best part is that it hardly cost a thing!

IMG_0090Above is a before photograph. Yikes! Crowded!

Below, a breakdown of what went down.

IMG_2235First, we moved the church pew and picnic table outdoors. They now both comfortably reside on our massive deck. While we were planning and building our home, I was initially more concerned with seating as opposed to storage. I had envisioned TLB being a gathering place for family and friends. Upon moving in, that idea went out the window. While we still hosted a few get-togethers, we quickly found that storage should have trumped chairs. Sure we had crates, but they were more of a decorative feature for our better looking kitchen knickknacks. We then turned our broom closet into a pantry in this tutorial. Yet, it still wasn’t enough.

Months later and after viewing the IKEA catalogue, I decided to bite the bullet and finally install cabinets. Now came the daunting task of choosing them. Where to begin? For weeks I had searched the local classifieds and secondhand furniture stores looking for cupboards that I could turn into a project. Given that space was so limited and we didn’t need upper cabinets, it was not an easy task. In fact, it became fruitless.

Little Barn Cupboards - 7Next I turned to an online search of new cabinets. I found myself cringing at the prices and even the overall look of most of them. I thought that IKEA’s kitchen design would be the best fit in the end. However, I was so paranoid about ordering the wrong sizes that I ended up giving up. I thought that we would never find cabinets.

One day while I was visiting with my mum in her home, I saw a few cabinets just pushed off to one corner. I knew that she had recently custom-ordered them, and had used them for only a few months before taking them out and installing a second fridge. I asked her what she was going to do with them now. Her reply was that they were useless to her, and that we could have them. Yippee! Nice, free, and still being a project? This was music to my ears.

Little Barn Cupboards - 3What we gained were two upper and two lower cabinets. They had identical finishes and hardware, but were different heights and depths. I knew that this wouldn’t be a problem for my husband. With a lot of creativity, it wasn’t.

The only thing that we needed to purchase was a countertop. After much searching for both new and used, wood, granite, and laminate options, we both thought that a new, laminate top would be the smartest, best looking, and least costly choice. We quickly lined up the four uneven cabinets, grabbed measurements that made sense to us but not to the workers at the countertop place, and ordered a piece that we hoped would look great. We prayed that it would also fit, since they weren’t yet properly installed.

Little Barn Cupboards - 8We chose a grey countertop that we hoped would suit the trim of the cabinets. We decided to use reclaimed wood to keep with the theme of our home.

Our countertop arrived a few days later, just in time for the Christmas holidays. Over the next few days, and in between Geoff’s shifts, we moved furniture around (big mistake for me, since it brought on cramps and contractions for the rest of the day) and he got to work on our newest kitchen installation project. We kept the two bottom cabinets as end pieces, and put the two uppers in the middle. Because they were shorter than the bottoms, and much more shallow, the base that he built had to reflect these differences. He also had to saw the bottom of one cabinet since it was slightly uneven. These steps took the longest.

Little Barn Cupboards - 1After he completed the base, he carefully fit the cabinets onto it, and screwed them into place. The countertop was next. We removed it from the box and … it fit like a dream! That was screwed into position as well.

Little Barn Cupboards - 6Last but not least, it needed trim work. Geoff used one piece of reclaimed wood that he again had to intricately cut to amalgamate the different cabinet lengths. In the end, it fit into place so perfectly that he didn’t need any nails or screws. 

Little Barn Cupboards - 4Geoff also ended up building a table from scratch out of reclaimed and pallet wood. These photos will come later. At last, our new kitchen makeover was complete. Thanks to my parents for the cabinets, and Geoff’s for the wood, the only thing that we spent money on was the countertop. I would call this another successful project for The Little Barn.

<3

Emory

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home: an enchanted forest (florian)

IMG_2395Hey! My name is Wren and I am so excited to share my home with you today! I live in a three-bedroom home on an acreage with my handsome husband, beautiful children, and a menagerie of animals. I am a photographer/musician/designer and I have a blog called “Florian“. There I mainly post my photographs, with little ramblings about life. Thanks so very much to Emory for inviting me to come over and show some photos of our place. It has been a big project for our family for the past few years and so it is nice to be at the point where we can share some of our progress. There is still a ton left to do, but it’s home for us for now and we love it! Hope you enjoy.

IMG_2373Where is your home located?

Our home is located in a beautiful little forest near a meandering stream with a wooden bridge running over it. There are woods, fields and orchards all around, with amazing views from the nearby hilltops. The big old trees standing around our home shade us nicely in summer and keep us cool. Then they thin their leaves enough in the fall and winter to let lots of sunlight in when we need it the most.

IMG_2375Wild animals wander through our property all year round and we have enough space to have a large vegetable garden in the back (with a fence around it of course). We also like to have bonfires and camp-outs in the farthest reach of our property that makes us feel like we are far away from it all.  I even have a swing up there that I like to visit whenever I need a few moments to unwind and feel like a kid again. We also have the perfect toboggan hill for the winter, which I am pretty sure is the main reason our kids agreed to our place when we first saw it! It’s a pretty great location with lots of natural beauty and of course the necessary amenities within close reach. We looked a long time before buying our home and really thought about what we wanted from our property. I think we lucked out and found a great spot for our family for right now.

IMG_2710IMG_2363What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

I think my motto is “home is where the heart lies”. I have moved and travelled a lot throughout the years so ‘home’ has meant a lot of different things at different points in my life. (Once I got married and had kids, I kept on moving only with more stuff and people to tow along!) Because I have lived in so many places and homes, I think my approach to making a house into home has become pretty straightforward. Home for me is wherever my husband and kids are, where we make our space comfortable and functional, and where we create memories together. I like to set up my furniture, art and instruments right away whenever we settle into a new space, which makes things feel familiar. But it is honestly not about stuff for me when I think of home. It is more about the feelings of nostalgia that you get whenever you bake an old cookie recipe from your childhood. Or when you smell wood smoke and remember all those times you sat by a wood stove or bonfire with the ones you love. It’s how you feel when you get out decorations from the attic to get ready for the holidays. That is ‘home’ to me. The good stuff in life that you share with the people you love the most. It’s also a safe place to relax and unwind away from it all. We named our property “the hide out” for a reason. It’s a place that we feel hidden away and happy in, with space to play and to work on projects, celebrate holidays and enjoy our time together. 

IMG_2292What kinds of things influence your design style?

I am a fan of mid-century modern and Scandinavian design, so I tend to gravitate towards that look. We also have a lot of different eras of vintage furniture and collectibles in our home, which set a certain tone with their aesthetic and colour palettes. As far as an overall look in a space, I love the graphic quality of black and whites with bright colour thrown in to contrast. I think my tastes in design are pretty similar whether it be in home design, photography, or fashion, etc. My photos are the best (I think) when they are more graphic looking, I wear a lot of black and white in my wardrobe, and I have noticed that my home is increasingly looking more like this as well. I have been told that I am “daring with colour” in my home, which I suppose is true in some ways. However, most of our walls are white, except for an occasional accent wall. The floors are also all painted/tiled/carpeted white throughout the house. This was a choice I made because I knew that it would allow the space to breathe and feel light, as well as leave room for the colourful pieces that I wanted to showcase. (And no, it isn’t super hard to keep clean! It requires about the same level of cleaning as any floor surface does.)

IMG_2297A really colourful choice that I made was on my kitchen cupboards which are from Poggenpohl. The colour they are is called “fluorite” from a line the company did based on minerals. Essentially it is this delicious citrus green. I loved them the minute I saw them, but I think some people would shy away from putting in such strong colour on so much area. They work really well though and add a lot of life to the space. We had all white walls initially in the kitchen, but I pushed for the main wall to be painted black and I am so happy that we did it. It makes the space feel substantial and shows off the chrome and stainless steel in the room (like my industrial sink!).

IMG_2327Change is good with design, and honestly I think that the evolution of a space is often the most interesting part. I have found that too much of one style tends to make a space into more of a museum than a livable home. I really like the sparseness and space of mid-century modern, but it has proven to be a bit too cold for daily life with a family. My husband and kids have pushed for more soft furnishings, so we have compromised a bit on some of our furniture. I have gotten rid of some of the vintage pieces that I loved, but were not comfy or durable enough to keep. Our bright blue couch is a departure from the usual style/shape I choose in furniture, but it is super cozy and perfect for curling up on with a good book, so it works great for our family room.

IMG_2306Having kids and pets also adds a lot of clutter and commotion to life which has led me to realize that striving for a ‘perfect’ room with pristine furniture and no toys/books/art supplies/shoes laying about is like shoveling in a snow storm. I am not going to ever get it finished, no matter how hard I try!  I do daydream of all white furniture with lots of teak, but my puppy likes to chew wood and my kids have spilled on almost every piece of furniture I own. I guess my design style is best summed up as “aspiring for clean/functional/fun- with a good dose of having a family friendly surfaces.” 

IMG_2760What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

Other than my family, which I could never live without, I suppose my favourite items in my home are my musical instruments. We have moved far and wide and left behind many a sofa/chair/coffee table, but we always take our instruments. My husband and I are both musicians and have built up a collection of instruments that we play regularly and are, I think, a beautiful part of our space.  I feel like it is home when we get the instruments all set up and arranged. The drum kit takes up a lot of space but I also just feel that I want to live in a house that has a drum kit in it. Our kids love playing music too, which I think is invaluable for them to experience. They have learned to feel comfortable around things like violins, banjos and sitars from an early age, which I hope will lead them to having music in their lives as they grow. It’s something we really value in our home. It makes our house feel more like a ‘home’ to me whenever we play music together. 

IMG_2286Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

Well, our home has been a real “labour of love” for our family. We bought it a couple of years ago and have worked incredibly hard on it since then. I mentioned earlier that we loved the property and surroundings when we found our place. The other part of that story is that the house itself was in terrible condition and needed an immense amount of work to get it up to current living standards. We literally started out camping in a tent for a few days when we moved in because the house was in such dire straights. But with a lot of elbow grease, a couple of large dumpsters, and lots of dreams we have been able to make our house into a space that works for our family. There were definitely moments where I thought we had bitten off more than we could chew, but it has all been a great learning experience that allowed us to make our house into what we want and need. We had some excellent work done by electricians/gas fitters/installers etc. on the things that needed inspection and certification, but other than that we have done a lot ourselves. This has meant that we get to think about what we are doing and make sure it works, which is wonderful. But, it has also meant that things have taken a bit longer because it’s been us doing it rather than some big crew rushing though. Sometimes we had to wait to do something because it was outside of what our budget would allow. Or we had to find the right materials and it took a lot longer to do that than we had planned. Often we had to stop and reassess where we were heading with a plan and decide if we were making the right choices. It was harder than I first thought to make some of the decisions, although it was super fun at other moments too. I would say that the kitchen part was the worst for me simply because it is such a central part of our home and it seemed to take so very long to complete. I knew what I wanted with the lay out and design, but it was a process to get it all set up. (It took forever to find a fridge that fit properly and didn’t take over the entire space!!) In the interim, we still had to make meals in it, which was pretty tough some days.

IMG_2305Overall, our home has become a lot of what I envisioned when I first saw it. It is open and bright and looks out onto our property with big windows. The children’s rooms are finished enough that I feel good about them, finally!!  My bathtub is exactly the big and luxurious type that I wanted; I just had to wait a little while for it. The plans that we have for the rest of our home are exciting to look forward to. We have worked hard on this house with our little budget and our big hopes and dreams, and it has taught me a lot. I have grand designs for an art cabin in the back of our property where I can write, paint and play music. I am hoping that next spring it will be time to get that project going. I know that it will be a snap to do compared to what the rest of the house has been. I feel like we can do pretty much anything now due to all that we have accomplished.

IMG_2740As I said before, there is still a ton to do on our house, but it is getting there and we are really loving what we have made it into. I suppose that that is what I would say is the biggest thing I’ve taken away from this whole experience; dream big, work hard and keep your chin up. Things tend to work out all right if you do those three things. Yay!! for dreaming big! 

IMG_2285Thanks so much Emory for inviting me to share my little home! It was so much fun!

Love Wren.

If you would like to take part in this series, entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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home: an american familial haven (blue eye diy)

Things I love and my husband hates!Guys, please welcome Letisha and her lovely and oh-so-comforting American home to Hello, Scarlett Blog. Letisha’s blog, Blue Eye DIY, is self-described as “where lipstick meets sawdust.” It is there where you can find the most amazing creative projects to beautify your home. I hope that you enjoy touring her home and reading her thoughtful answers as much as I did! I think that her domicile sounds like nothing more than a little slice of heaven.

Emory

Life in Every Space and Color!!1. Where is your home located?

Home?  Boy that a good question!  I have moved quite a bit so the idea of “home” has evolved for me.  If you would have asked me this question 5 years ago I would have said “anywhere my kids and are.”  Now my kids are starting their own lives and making their own homes.  So I have had to reevaluate.  I think about the moments that I am most happy, when I am most at peace.  Those moments are when I have finished a good day of work, I am relaxed with my husband and dogs and eating food I don’t let myself feel guilty about.  That is home!

Memories2. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

I wish I had a unique perspective to offer, but I really think home is about love and laughter not necessarily the location.  My son is leaving for his first “home,” it will be a tent in Nepal as he helps individuals rebuild after the earthquake.  I imagine him laughing, crying, sleeping, eating, working, playing music or cards … in his little tent.  Meanwhile back here in the states I will hang pictures on my walls, cook meals, watch tv, play cards, complain about slow internet … in my house.  Both are filled with love, both are a beautiful home.

My Personal Junk Yard3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

When I am designing my own home, I say my style is if Marilyn Monroe married Davey Crockett.  By that I mean, I love a bit of femininity and glam blended with rustic and distressed items.  I also LOVE to reuse or repurpose any item that I possibly can.  I believe everything should be purposeful if it takes a place in our home.  Even if its purpose is just to bring us joy!

Mirror and Brush 4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

My favorite item is an antique mirror and brush set my husband gave me for my first birthday with him.  I told him a story of watching an old movie where the handsome man marries the town ugly duckling.  He told her she was the most beautiful woman in the world to him.  For their wedding gift he gave her a mirror so she could see the beauty in herself. 

My Memory DrawerTwo things [that I could never live without],  first, my memory drawer.  I have saved mementos and collectibles over the years from my children and courtship.  These items make me laugh and remind me of when my kids thought I was cool!  

The second thing is my personal junk yard.  I just love my junk!  I have an addiction with all things old, dingy and discarded!

The Hubby's Guitar5. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

When I decided to become and interior designer it was originally because I loved color and making spaces attractive.  As I have grown and had more experience in the field I have learned that what I love more than that is making people feel alive, comfortable and finally excited about their homes.  In my home I try to keep that same attitude.  I love to see my husbands guitar around, doggy’s toys, even the painting in my living room that my husband hates!  Because all these things mean that “WE” live here.

Daughter and DoggiesLetisha

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cross medicine cabinet : diy

Medicine Cabinet DIY 6-1When we were designing The Little Barn, we always knew that one of the most important rooms would be the mudroom. The reason for its significance was the fact that it had to serve various roles, from an office space, to a boot room, to a greenhouse, to a laundry room, to a dog room. While we ended up removing two of those five functions, the three most important (laundry, boots, and dogs) stayed. Because this mudroom would serve as a bedroom, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, porch, and apothecary for our own animals, I wanted to make sure that it was well-equipped with everything that they could ever need and I could ever want for them. 

IMG_0134Holly has quite a few medical issues, all of which I have chronicled over the last year. This results in her having a number of medications. Rather than keeping her medicine with ours, I wanted to make her a whimsical storage unit. It was also my way of putting a positive spin on her medical issues. Plus, it looks damn delightful in their mudroom.

Medicine Cabinet DIY 1This is what you’ll need to make your own hand-painted Cross Medicine Cabinet:

Glass cabinet
Glass paint
Brushes
Q-tip
Painter’s tape
Measuring tape

Steps:

Medicine Cabinet DIY 21. Lay the medicine cabinet flat on the ground. Using the measuring and painter’s tape, measure and mark off a symmetrical cross that will be located in the centre of the cabinet.

Medicine Cabinet DIY 32. Take the base paint colour and brush. Fill in the cross. 

Medicine Cabinet DIY 43. Once the base coat is dry, take the border colour and outline the cross. I did mine using a freehand method, but you can also use the painter’s tape for cleaner lines.

Medicine Cabinet DIY 54. Once that coat is dry, it is ready to be installed and used!

Medicine Cabinet DIY 7Medicine Cabinet DIY 6<3

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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