Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - September Recap

It's Fall!!! Isn't it the best? My suggestion is to cuddle up on the couch and sip on a pumpkin spice latte whilst catching up on my writings this month. There are a lot of good ones (I'm modest, I know)

If you are even thinking about a kitchen project READ THIS!! The order in which people choose to make decisions when it comes to a remodel is often to blame for the stress and sub-par results of their experience. 

Microwaves are necessary, yes, but they were not meant to be the star of the show. Finding the perfect inconspicuous home for these little appliances is easier than you think and this article  contains my favorite options. 

You know what's better than open shelving in the kitchen? Open shelving supported by cool brackets!

Wood planks are a relatively inexpensive and effective way to add instant pizazz to your space. 

5. Silgranit Sinks

Our Blanco Silgranit sink is definitely one of my favorite elements in my personal kitchen. Read all about the many perks of this sink in this article. 
6. Incorporating Touches of Fall into the Kitchen

Read a few easy ways to bring the tones, smells and feel of Fall into your kitchen. 

My contract has been changed a bit so now I'm only doing 6 new articles a month and updating 5 existing ones from years past. is all about maintaining new and relevant content so I'm more than happy to accommodate. Below is a list of the 5 articles I updated this month, check those out as well if you like:

And if that's not enough all of the articles I've ever written can be found here on my Kitchens page. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunroom Turned Home Office Reveal

Y'all, I love our home office. Like really, really love it.  And that feels really good to say after having worked on it off and on for over a year!!  I know you guys are ready for a little less talk and a little more SHOW ME THE DANG ROOM ALREADY!!! So, without further adieu, let me show you around...


This is the view of the space from the living room. A little spurt of happy, eh? 

We had Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios (the company I work for) make custom cabinetry for the office. Because we really needed this space to be equal parts functional and pretty, we spent a lot of time brainstorming ways to make this cabinetry provide AS much organizational and functional opportunities as possible. 

We only have one full depth drawer in the space, so we designed dividers to custom fit inside the drawer so everything kept inside would have it's own little nook. In general items are more likely to find their way back to their home after use if they actually have a designated home to come back to. Write that down, it's a fact!

Underneath this drawer we have a cabinet with a printer pullout installed. 

We love this feature because it keeps the printer off the countertop, but easily accessible when we are ready to use.

We incorporated two knee spaces along the wall so Brent and I would each have our own area.Two cabinets were installed between us to help differentiate the two spaces. In the first cabinet we have two file drawers.

This drawer makes me feel like such an adult.  I mean, I actually know where my 2012 tax returns are. It's like HELLLO Courtney you organized devil.

To keep the look cohesive we had the front of the cabinet next to the files look the same as the filing cabinets, but it actually functions as a double trash pullout. Obviously we don't generate that much trash in the office so we replaced the back bin with the shredder.

As we were planning this office Brent  had one specific request. He wanted the desk to lift up to serve as a standing desk should he want to work that way. Standing desks are popular right now as it is supposed to be really good for you to stand during the day as opposed to sitting hour after hour. To make Brent's dreams come true we divided the wood countertop into two sections, one for each of us, and had special lift mechanisms (Brent actually found them on-line) installed under each top. The desks sit at normal desk height most of the time, but on the occasion that either of us decide we want to stand, we simply un-hinge the top, pull up and poof... the standing desk comes to life. Our respective sides have their own lift mechanisms so when one of us stands or sits it doesn't necessarily mean we both have to.

 Here Brent is utilizing the feature last week during one of his calls...

Since moving in to this house we have tackled a lot of projects and made a lot of improvements, but this space is definitely one of my top three transformations. Being organized and productive never felt so good! 

All photos are my own. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

DIY Curtain Rods

So, we finished our home office um.........6 months ago and I have yet to show you all the final results. Bad blogger, bad. I know...But I'm back today to redeem myself. Before I show you the fully finished space I want to tell you about one area we DIY'ed wayyy back at the beginning. The curtain rod. Before we painted the ceiling, stenciled the floor or even decided to turn the sunroom into a home office we had curtains on the brain.

There are windows on the entire left wall of the room in addition to the back wall with glass doors that go out onto the back deck. Our concept was to install a curtain rod that would run along both of these walls so we could install curtain panels to cover all windows should we ever choose to. In general, we wanted to keep costs low on this project and we realized this may be difficult given the custom sizing and orientation of the rod, so we decided to try and tackle it DIY style.

We found some cool stair rail supports at Home Depot and decided these would work perfectly to hold the rod. We bought 6 and installed them spaced out above the windows.

For the rod itself we bought a piece of rounded trim that Brent mitered for the turns. 

And then stained with a warm Ash stain. 

Once the stain had dried on the rods they promptly went into the yellow room (junk room/soon to be nursery) where they were stored until 6 months ago when the office was finishing up. Obviously this was not the plan initially; we had actually picked up four white curtain panels from Ikea when we were gathering the rest of the supplies for the project. But by the time the hardware was installed and the rod was stained we had decided to tackle the floors, and hanging the drapes PRE stenciling those floors seemed like the worst idea ever. Especially since the curtains are stark white. So we stored those bad boys too. 

Fast forward give or take a year and a half and the desks were installed, which meant the curtains along the window wall had to be custom chopped (courtesy of our in-family-seamstress Cindy) and up they went! 

The new desk cabinets (yet to be revealed) run along the window wall so the three panels on this wall were cut to  rest atop the wood countertops. 

We were however able to keep the panel to the right of the glass doors full length which frames out this wall nicely. We really liked/like the look of the stair rail mount holding the wooden rod, but because the rod is screwed to the actual mount getting the curtains on the rod took a bit of finagling, but it was well worth it. 

It's super fun to sit back and appreciate a project so long in the making. The curtain rods + curtains are only one small part of the big picture of this space, but we are really happy with how they turned out. Full reveal coming soon. PROMISE! 

All photos are my own. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - August Recap

Another month, another 8 posts coming at ya from my Kitchens Expert gig. I was all over the place with my topics last month but I'm pretty happy with the content, so read up and let me know what you think!

The backsplash is a great place to really add some texture and pizazz to your space. In this article I've found a handful of options that are not only pretty, but 100% steal the show in their respective kitchens. 

Whew - this is a conundrum a lot of people face when working on a new kitchen. Both options will get the job done, but which one is right for you and your kitchen? Read on to hear my thoughts, of which I have many, even though I don't cook. Don't judge. 

Wood....a subject I've learned a lot about during my time at Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios. A custom cabinet shop is the best place to see, learn and experience the characteristics of wood. If you have a specific look in mind for your cabinetry, this post will tell you which wood species you want to go with to achieve your desired aesthetic. 

Plates are such a fun, inexpensive and impactful way to fill a wall. You know I'm a fan, remember the  Blue Willow Swoosh we did in our dining room? Check out more plate wall ideas in this post. 

I could write a novel on this subject. As a designer there is nothing worse than seeing someones holiday spirit go down the drain because they are stressed and worried about their project getting done. Don't do it to yourself or the people around you. Read this post if you are even thinking about starting a project today to be done by Christmas. 

Everyone loves the look of white marble, but if the upkeep is just too much for you check out these quartz (man-made) countertop options. The two brand new offerings from Cambria are REALLY good!

7. Hidden Pantries

Hidden rooms are so lame...said no one ever. The truth is hidden rooms, specifically hidden pantries are cool on so many levels and this article talks about the many perks (cool factor included) to utilizing this concept in your space. 

I love a good backless barstool, especially when cow spots are involved. Check out a few other fun picks I gathered in this article.

To see all of my Kitchen articles, check me out here