Author: Brooke

I Suck at Taking Photos

Ugh.  I keep missing opportunities for “big reveals” on this here blog because I keep forgetting to take pictures.  Dang it!  I have never been the person who takes lots of photos–even though modern technology means that I can do so whenever I want because of my phone and all.  As such, I missed out on doing an upper cabinet post for the kitchen.  So I guess now y’all get to see the upper cabinets PLUS the addition of more wood to the kitchen.

This is my singular photo of working of the upper cabinets in progress.  I went with a cream color.  As with the base cabinets, I sanded the uppers and used Behr Premium Plus Ultra brand paint from Home Depot in Satin Enamel.  I had it tinted to Sherwin Williams color #6127 Ivoire.


So, I painted all of the uppers and then Slowhand and I got to work adding more wood to the walls above the bulkhead.


This time around we used 8′ x 4″ bender wood which worked much better than the fence wood we used on the island.  It was thinner and much easier to work with.  For some reason we didn’t notice it at Lowe’s when we were looking at wood the first time or else we probably would have used it to begin with.  Live and learn I guess…


The one drawback was that we could not find any gray-ish pieces like I had found for the island.  I wanted a similar look, so I improvised with some Rust-Oleum wood stain in Driftwood.  I just rubbed it on some of the lighter pieces with the grain to achieve a gray/weathered appearance.


It ended up working out quite nice and I even added a little bit of the stain to some of the wood on the island.



Grrr.  Those white track lights.  They irritate me ever time I see them.  They are on the chopping block for sure.  We’ve been busy bees and are close to finishing up the kitchen, so more on that coming soon!

More Kitchen Projects

Next up on the kitchen refresh: ditching the microwave, replacing the range, and painting the base cabinets black.

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I refuse to use a microwave for anything, so we removed the old one above the range and dropped it off at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The oven was not working and I knew that I would rather replace it than repair it.  As luck would have it, I was strolling through Home Depot in search of something else and stumbled on a floor clearance sale on the EXACT GE Artistry gas range that I was considering.  It was half the price of a new one and in perfect condition (well, sort of perfect…someone had stolen the knobs off of it, but replacements had already been ordered, so I just had to wait a few days).


I love the simplicity of it–no goofy digital sh*t to deal with, plus it’s kind of retro and I miss my old 1960 O’Keefe & Merritt from our previous home.


As for the base cabinets, I gave them a quick 120 grit sanding with a multi-tool to take the shine off.  I then painted 2 coats with Behr Premium Plus Ultra in black Exterior Satin Enamel–no primer (it was a paint + primer in one deal).  I have to say, I am super happy with the results.  The satin finish looks great and the paint is sticking well.  I haven’t had any problems with chipping or scratching.


Bettie Lu was bored with the painting process and decided to sit this one out.


Lots more to come, stay tuned!

Kitchen Island

It started innocently enough.  I saw an advertisement for a place here in Las Vegas that sells reclaimed barn wood.  Slowhand and I had been talking about using some rustic wood somewhere in the house, so we decided to go and check it out.  The place had some really beautiful wood, but at $7+ a foot, we just couldn’t stomach the price.

Later that day we decided to stop in at Lowe’s for some light bulbs and decided to check out their lumber department “just for the heck of it.”  Well, wouldn’t you know it, but $20 and one hour later we were in the midst of adding some fence wood to the front of our kitchen island.  Here are some before shots (the first is from the real estate listing before we moved in):



We removed the wooden support brackets and covered over the electrical outlet on the front.  There are outlets on both sides of the island, so the one in front wasn’t really necessary.


We decided to miter the corners which was a lot more work than just butting the ends up together, but I think it has a more professional look.  We attached the wood with an air nail gun and liquid nails.  Lord help whoever tries to remove that wood in the future (hopefully it won’t be us!), because that wood is on there!


We chose a combination of redwood and cedar for color variation and staggered the boards.  This caused a whole mess of headaches because the redwood boards were slightly wider than the cedar boards.


As usual, Bettie Lu supervised the project.


All in all, we are very happy with the results.  This project has jump started a whole kitchen makeover, so more on that to come.

Thrift Store Frame

Just the facts: I buy an old Wrangler jeans advertisement off of eBay because it is vintage, western, and funny/weird.  Needs a frame.  I go to Goodwill and find a $3 framed picture that I think will work.  Take it home.


Nice rustic frame, clear glass.  I disassemble it.


Bonus: The mat boards come apart and one fits my advertisement.  The little cut-out at the top even mimics the southwestern detail on my fireplace.   Reassemble and pow!  New/old picture to hang.


Extra bonus: I recycle the old mat boards/picture and keep the unused 30 cents in stamps!  Happy dance ensues.


Crazy Fireplace Wall

Our house has this crazy gigantic wall in our great room that houses a fireplace and multiple alcoves.  I have a love/hate relationship with what the architect must have envisioned as a grand focal point in the design of this home.  It is big.  I suppose it is grand.  But, it is also kind of funky and awkward.  Here is what it looked like shortly after we moved in.


The previous owners left their flat screen TV behind.  Rather than taking it out (and putting it where?…there isn’t another good place for it even though it is difficult to watch all tucked back in there on the far right), we have decided to keep it in the same spot.  The 3 big alcoves to the left and above the “media center” are most often used to display art, pottery, or hard to reach dusty fake plants by other people in my neighborhood.  I’d prefer to use the space as storage.

As usual, I decided to start this project with some paint.  At first I made a bit of a mistake by painting the left side all gray.  It was dark and scary looking–especially at night:


So, I changed plans and kept the backs of the alcoves dark, but popped the front with a light cream color.


Muuuuuch better I think.  It is hard to tell from the photo above, but the detail above the bullhorns and the mantle are a darker blackish gray.  I still have plans to change the tile on the front of the fireplace and add some wood shelving, but it is a start.  I’ll post again when I have more to show.


Colors:  Sherwin Williams, Antique White 6119, Grizzle Gray 7068, Iron Ore 7069.

Boring but Necessary

When living in an all white house, there is nothing more unsatisfying than painting more white, but that is just what I have been up to.  You see, all of the ceilings are semi-gloss white–the same paint that is also on the walls and trim.  I am a big fan of a super flat finish “Ceiling White,” so away I went with painting white over white.


If you look closely, you can see the old shiny white on the right and the line of flat white on the left.  It took 2 coats to cover the semi-gloss.


I’m always amazed at how white can appear white until it is put next to an even whiter white which then proceeds to make the first white look dirty.  I think I need to go back and edit that last sentence to include about 5 more variations on white!


I painted our recessed “eyeball” lights white too so that they would blend into the ceiling better.


I promise that my next post will a bit more dramatic and a little less…white.

The Gray Bucket of Doom

The previous owners left behind a 5 gallon bucket of the aforementioned white paint from my last post (here if you missed it) that covers EVERY SINGLE SQUARE INCH of our new home’s interior.   I need to repaint most of the baseboard trim and it is a basic white semi-gloss, so I was hoping to salvage it. I have been putting off opening the bucket for weeks now because I was afraid to see what was inside.


You just never know what you are going to get in this kind of situation.  It has been sitting out in the garage for who knows how long.  Crossing my fingers that it is still good…


Oof.  The smell!  Good gawd.  Moldy and putrid.  I guess that answers that!  It’s a good thing Sherwin-Williams is having a 40% off sale this weekend.  I guess I’ll be adding trim paint to my list. 😛

Paint It Black

Just about everything in our new house is white.  White walls, white ceilings, white trim, white floors.  Slowhand says it is like “living in a marshmallow.”  Mmmmm…squishy.

One of the first things I did to fix the white situation was to paint all of the interior doors black.  In order to properly experience the remainder of this post, get the video below going really loud, continue reading, and belt out “WHITE!!!” anytime Mick says “red”).


Yup.  I had to paint 12 doors with that song stuck in my head.  2 sides.  2 coats on each side.  By hand with a brush.   I sang that song for about a week.   Anyways, here are some shots of what they looked like before:




Totally marshmallowy, right?  I initially took a few of the doors off of the hinges to paint because I thought it would be easier:

20140813_145724_resizedTurns out, it was best for me just to leave them on the hinges.  I’m kind of a crazy painter in that I rarely drip paint in the floor or my surroundings, however, I personally tend to come out looking like a Jackson Pollock painting.


I think they look sexy now.  The doors–not my green mock crocs!

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I still need to paint the hallway and add rugs, new lighting, etc., but that’ll have to wait for a bit as I have somehow found myself knee deep in a kitchen remodel.  Yikes!  More on that soon…

In a Nutshell

Hey there!  This is my 3rd attempt at blogging and y’all know what they say about that (but hey, I am going to make a noble effort to post regularly…like, at least once a week, because that seems reasonable in my mind).  Since you are taking the time to peruse this here blog, perhaps a quick backstory is in order: A midwest gal, her forever boyfriend, and their princess of a dog leave their family, friends, and super cute mid-century modern home and hightail it to the wilds of Las Vegas.  New house.  New style.  New life.  Got it?  Sweet.  On to the real postings!