The beginning of the year for us, like so many others, started out looking very different. We had decided to sell our home and move to the next city over and build a cute farmhouse in a fun community. That all quickly changed largly due to the pandemic that hit us hard in March. Although at the time it was hard for me to see, I soon realized this was a HUGE blessing in disguise!!
I was always a little sad about the thought of leaving our current home because we put our blood, sweat, and tears into making it what is is today. The one area of our home I always wanted to make changes to was our kitchen. I originally picked out off-white cabinets but they always looked a little yellow to me.
Fast forward to late March – I’m not going to lie, I cried like a baby after we found out we weren’t going able to get the new house. But I have the world’s best husband and he knew my heart was broken. So he said to me “how about we do a kitchen remodel and turn our current house into everything you wanted” Seriously this made me cry happy tears way more than sad ones!
This project was mostly cosmetic. I love the layout of our kitchen – it was one of the big reasons we choose to build this model home back in 2015. What I wanted to change was the cabinets, countertops, and of course a farmhouse sink!!!
I had all my cabinets painted bright white (this is just the white base color without any additional color added in). I find this to be the truest bright white. We had the island painted Nevermore Grey by Sherwin Williams. We then had new white quartz countertops installed and modified the sink cabinet to accommodate the most beautiful farmhouse sink I found from BLANCO.
I chose the IKON® 33″ sink for a couple reasons. It’s a granite composite material that is stain and scratch resistant, which is super important with 5 kiddos in the house! It’s also a matte finish which gives it a more modern feel. This fits in perfectly with the new modern farmhouse design I’m going for in this kitchen remodel. I also picked out this gorgeous MERIDIAN™ faucet from BLANCO. It’s design makes me feel like a professional cook even when I’m not!! In all seriousness it’s not only beautiful but one of the best faucets I have ever had!
We took our sink cabinet doors to a custom cabinet maker to have the doors cut down to size. My farmhouse sink has a 10″ apron but our older sink was just a basic drop in. That meant our doors were too tall and didn’t fit under the sink anymore. We also had to change the support braces to hold the sink properly. We built small brackets inside the cabinet for the sink to sit on and lowered part of the horizontal cabinet face. Now my dream of having a farmhouse sink is a reality!!
This kitchen remodel is the largest project to date that we have done on our home and easily the most rewarding!!
BLANCO is a fantastic company and we have been extremely happy with their products. Our BLANCO farmhouse sink and faucet can be found here:
I have always wanted to be a plant lady! I have bought and killed many plants in my lifetime and thought I would forever have a black thumb. Every time I walked through the plant section at the home improvement store I thought to myself “I can do many things, but keeping plants alive is just not one of them.” They would tempt me every time as I walked the isles picking out my next victim. That is until I bought a ZZ plant 2 years ago. TWO YEARS I have kept this plant alive and thriving!! This got me thinking that maybe there are other plants that can work for people who are challenged in the garden like myself, so I did some research!
Oh boy was I excited to find a huge variety of these un-killable plants. I couldn’t wait to boost my self confidence in gardening and bring my dreams of becoming a plant lady to reality!! Here is my list of my top 5 favorite house plants for beginners!
ZZ Plant This is the one I stumbled on over 2 years ago and it is thriving! Truth be told, the more I ignore it the happier it is, that’s my kind of plant! It has a beautiful deep green leaf and helps clean the air inside your home! These are my favorite house plants!
Pothos These come in so many color variations and each one is absolutely beautiful!! Something really neat about these is you can easily propagate them with a clipping and then have more of these beautiful plants without having to go buy more!
Snake Plant Although I HATE the name (I’m deathly afraid of snakes…) I love this plant! It’s similar to the ZZ plant since it likes to be ignored and only requires 1 cup of water every 2 weeks. It also likes low light and has beautiful colored leafs!
Fern These are beautiful and easy to care for indoor/outdoor plants! You only water the soil when it is dry and they require medium light!
Peace Lily If you want something that has a flower on it then these are a great option. They grow best in high light but can tolerate low light too, making them a go with the flow kind of plant. They do need to be watered weekly so on the scale of low maintenance plants these are a little more high maintenance but still easy!
Our Favorite Summer Time Drink!!
About a year ago I stopped drinking diet sodas. Since then, getting my kids and I to drink more water has become really important to me! This is why my favorite feature in my Samsung Refrigerator is the built in water pitcher. It has the ability to make fruit water, and automatically refills itself after every use! We love it and it’s a fun change for our kids when they get tired of plain water. We have tried a ton of different combinations and here are some of our favorites!
strawberries, lemon, and mint leaves
sliced cucumber and mint leaves
strawberries and pineapple
orange and lime
kiwi and orange
You can use fresh or frozen fruit which makes it so easy! We just slice up the fruit, place it in the middle chamber of the water pitcher that came with our Samsung Refrigerator and then place it back inside the door. We can keep it for 2-3 days and then clean it out to make a new batch! Since it automatically refills itself we never run out!! My kids love making it and it has truly limited the amount of soda and other sugary drinks they drink each day!
I wonder if my plants get jealous of our yummy fruit water?? 😉 😂
I have heard many concerns about painting doors, but I have a few tips to help you get that perfect streak-free finish!
1. Lets talk paint
The most important part of any painting job is to make sure you have the right paint and supplies. I always suggest a paint+primer. This will give you the best coverage, and because the primer is already mixed in with the paint it also saves you a step, and who doesn’t love that!! Since doors are excellent dirty finger magnets, you want to make sure you can easily clean them. I use a satin finish on all my walls and doors. I find it’s much easier to clean than a flat finish but not as flashy as a semi gloss or gloss.
For this job you will need a paint brush and a small paint roller. These items are my products of choice when I paint doors for a couple reasons. The angled brush really helps you get into those detailed areas of the door that your roller just can’t reach, and since it’s cut at an angle it gives you better control then a flat cut brush. The rollers should be low pile or foam, and small since the area you’re working with is not a large space.
3. The Process
Before you start painting you should remove the door handles. Most handles have two screws on the inside of the door that are easily removed. I do not recommend removing the hinges as you can easily strip the wood out of the screw holes in the door. Start with your brush and trim all the tight edges where your roller won’t fit. You will generally need to do two coats on all these areas because the coverage with a brush is not as good as a roller. You also want to do this step first to avoid any brush strokes in your paint after it’s dry. I usually wait about 20-30 minutes between coats.
Once you are done with this step it’s time to get out that roller and finish up your door! Put a generous amount of paint on your roller and cover your door with thick even strokes. Work the roller in one direction (usually up and down), and watch out for obvious overlap or drip marks. After you’re finished, give your door the once over and check for thin areas. While your paint is wet it may look patchy, but this will disappear when it dries.
Once your door has dried overnight you can put your hardware back on and enjoy your beautiful painted door! Happy painting!!
-Grey Birch Designs-
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