Following Trends … or NOT

Long time readers know that in the past two years, Hubs and I have been redoing the cabinetry in our little house.

The one and only bathroom was attacked first,  with B4’s featured here and resulting AFTER’s here.

It was not too difficult, but very time consuming.  When finished, we decided to live with it for a bit, wanting to evaluate the products chosen, to see how they held up under wear and tear.  And then too, we were just pooped and needed a break.

The kitchen project ahead, took more consideration.  Go with all one color on those cabinets, or the two-color combination, then a big TREND.

And if two colors were used, would uppers be one, and lowers another?  Would everything on the walls be the same and only the island different?  While on break, a color strip from our local True Value store was agreed upon, and a dark tone from that was used for a quick redo on our island.

Newly Redone Kitchen Island

Through the next year, we painted all upper cabinets in a lighter tone (from that strip), and the remaining lowers were done to match the island.  Will the two-color look go out of style?  Honestly, we don’t care.  Our decisions were based strictly on what we liked and thought we’d enjoy for a long time to come.

Artzzle KITCHENS, COUSINS and CABINETS feature

AND, it’ll be just fine, because . . . we’re not going through all that again … at least not for a very.long.time!

There needn’t have been any worries about styles, then or now.  Trends in kitchens continue to be varied in styles and materials, as well as colors.

The HGTV newsletter recently featured this great collection of kitchens.  Every color – or combination of, along with woods, steel, glass, copper.  And cabinets – modern, closed, glass doors and/or open shelving.

HKITC108_After-Full-Kitchen-Orange-Cabinets_4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

Above is one of my favorites from the article.  Ya all know I love cozy spaces, AND the color orange, of course.

GH2012_Kitchen-01-4-Hero_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

↑↑  Here’s a definitely different look . . . and unique combination of materials.

DP_Renewal-Design-Build-White-Kitchen_s3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.1288

↑↑   This could be considered a combination of old and new looks, with the glass doors and open shelving.  Nice use of small spaces.

H2DSW206_Blue-Kitchen-2_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725

↑↑ Talk about color.

Be sure to check it out.  The article has 100 different lovelies to look at.

TIP:  Treat Trends as Treacherous Territory
TREND is one of the words to be used very selectively in decorating. There are always certain looks, colors, objects and so on, that are popular at any given moment. That’s fine and can be fun when with small items or a can of paint; things that can be easily and cost effectively changed out.

TIP:  Take time with MAJOR decisions, changes & purchases
Make sure you go with something you like, enjoy and will be comfortable with for an extended time.  Don’t do something big, just because someone says it’s the trend.

When in doubt, it usually works out to go a bit more neutral in expensive areas, and dress them up with smaller items as “trends” change.

I’ve never really cared to fit myself into y specific “Style”.  I approach decor and design differently, especially when working with others, and that “what style am I” question comes up.  For me, it’s important to stress that they explore and not to trap themselves into one concentrated look.

We’ll talk again soon.  Meanwhile, do a little decorating to chase away those January gray days.

Later – Cheryl

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Room Tour

It isn’t a very mobile Monday as my back remains out of whack, but I don’t like to miss a post. Recently I’ve gotten some requests to feature our place in a home tour, so thought this might be a good time to put some of those pictures out there. Today the light was decent for getting some living room shots so that’s what I’ll share this time.

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This angle is looking into our living room from the kitchen.

Our house is a basic one level. In Minnesota it’s called a rambler, but is also sometimes referred to as a ranch style. The main living areas of the house flow into each other, in a very open floor plan. This includes a living room, dining room and kitchen, and on into a family room.

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You’ve seen this shelf piece before. We purchased it several years ago at Crate and Barrel. Such a versatile unit, it can be on a flat wall, up against a corner wall or straddled across a corner as it is here. You can also pair it back to back with an identical shelf for a nice look. We’ve even used ours horizontally on the floor as well. The two glass owls in this display are from KOHL’s (a birthday gift). Except for the photography and plants here, everything else is from thrift stores or garage sales, and was purchased for next to nothing (including the Hull, Frankoma and noemi pottery pieces).

The blue metallic piece is simply a small table from an outdoor patio set. It holds our electronics and a little basket for movie storage. The open leg area makes a perfect spot for extra toss pillows too.

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This is a small credenza piece, circa mid 1960’s. It was one in a set of three tables in my mom’s home; a brown, wood-look formica style popular at that time. I have redone this table three times. This treatment is my favorite as I used metallic copper paint to resurface the top and hardware, and added a light texture treatment to the paint in the body of the piece. Formica can be easily and economically redone. I love this credenza because its’unique shape and size can be used in so many places, and it was a special piece to my mom.

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The art piece pictured here is something I painted several years ago. I just plotted out a geometric layout that I liked. It is painted on masonite, simply using latex wall paint. Then the blocks were outlined with a copper paint pen. Over time, as I change colors in my houses, these colors change as well. The piece is designed to hang either horizontally or vertically as featured here.

The orange lamp, petite coffee table and its’ accessories are all thrift store finds. $7.00 for the lamp (new with tags), $10.00 for the table and $.75 for the scarf (which is an original Vera Wang textile). The copper tray was under a dollar.

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Our living room is wonderfully workable for several layouts. The couch out into the room as it is here, is one of our favorite arrangements. We also like our hutch across the angled walls as you see here.

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The larger, square toss pillows are in indoor-outdoor fabric, and were purchased new at Wal-Mart for $4.64 each. I liked the design and durability, especially with our pets. The orange and patchwork corduroy pillows are part of a comforter set that I found at a garage sale recently. The material washed up quite nicely and is very durable. And by using some of the items in different rooms, it helps unite the spaces.

Finally pictured is Hubs’ favorite chair. Let it be known that a man is not easily separated from his electronics OR his favorite chair. I can hear someone saying “that looks like one of those vinyl sets you used to buy at big box stores”. Yes it does look like those, but it has a special story. In the late 1990’s I worked for Dayton’s, a wonderful upscale store in Minneapolis. At that time employees got fantastic discounts, and even more so twice a year during their “employee appreciation days”. Hubs fell in love with this chair, which was an exclusive design, in leather, imported from Italy. We had never seen anything like it. Even with my discounts, it was pretty spendy for us, but I wanted him to have the chair. Fortunately for some, but unfortunately for us, within a year’s time, there were vinyl knock-offs of this design in every big box store around, going for about $99. The only proof we have of its’ authenticity is that it is nearly 20 years old, and still looks and feels like new.

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The three framed items were made with dollar store picture frames. I removed what was originally displayed, lined the back with black velvet, and then arranged several pieces of jewelry that had belonged to my mom, my aunt and my grandmother. The lamp is another thrift store purchase @ $5.00. TIPS: Always inspect wiring on these lamps; you don’t want dried out, or taped cords, or cracked cords or switches. Take a light bulb with you on your thrift trips, to test the lamp before you buy. REMEMBER, shades are easy to buy and or replace now days, so don’t pass up a great lamp base because of an ugly shade!

Thanks for stopping by today. Let your friends know we’re here. The more the merrier.

Later – Cheryl