Hot and Fresh Out the Kitchen

I recently shared with you the transformation of our fireplace. Today, I am walking you through our little kitchen reno.

When we moved in, the kitchen cabinets were oak, the countertops were laminate and the colour of cat barf (oh look, I am talking about cats!), the backsplash was the same porcelain tile as what was previously on the fireplace, and all the walls were, you guessed it: Builder’s Beige.

Here’s a few before photos:

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The first thing I did was hire professional painters to paint the walls (Benjamin Moore’s “Coventry Gray”) and spray the kitchen cabinets. I horrified everyone over the age of 50 when I decided to paint the cabinetry – sorry Boomers. I chose the colour “White Ice” by Benjamin Moore.  It’s a stark white with a blue tinge to it. The bronze hardware was replaced with glass knobs and silver pulls.

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We then replaced the laminate countertops with Caesarstone Quartz. The colour is Nougat.

I chose quartz because it’s low maintenance – easy to keep clean, stain-resistant, scratch resistant, and doesn’t require sealing, polishing, etc. I would have loved marble countertops, but, after a little research, I discovered that marble is not very practical for the kitchen. We also replaced the sink and faucet.

The porcelain backsplash was ripped out and replaced with marble and glass mosaic tile. The tile per square foot was pricey, but it’s a very small area so it was worth the splurge.

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And…(insert drumroll)…here is the finished product:

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Thanks for reading (and please do not judge me for using the lyrics of an R. Kelly song for the title of this post)!

What’s Inside My Closet?

My broom closet, that is!

After Christmas, I declared February “Indoor Organization Month”. I had big plans. I made a huge to-do list. Well, here we are at the end of February and how many things have I crossed off that list? Zilch, zero, zippo, nil, nada. You get the point. I finally got my a** in gear this weekend and tackled a small organization project: the broom closet. Let’s look at it before:

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Now, let’s have a look at it after:

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Isn’t it pretty?! Organization makes me more excited than I should admit!

I used baskets to group similar items and hide stuff that isn’t particularly pretty: lightbulbs, cleaning supplies, rags, garbage bags, vacuum attachments, and mouse traps (hopefully, I don’t need those again!).

Let’s take a closer look:

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Tip: Before you start organizing, decide the purpose of the closet and get rid of or find a new home for items that don’t fit that purpose.

One more look because it brings me so much joy:

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Thanks for reading! I also wanted to mention that my goal is to post every Thursday and Sunday (hopefully that’s not too ambitious!) so keep your eyes peeled.

P.S. Did anyone notice there isn’t actually a broom in my broom closet?

C’mon Baby, Light My Fire

When we purchased our home a few years ago, I knew that I wanted to give the whole place a facelift. Everything was brown, beige, and blah! We started on the main floor which contains our kitchen, living room, laundry/mudroom, and powder room. One of my first projects was the fireplace.

 Here’s a few pictures of what it looked like before (these were all I could dig up because I never actually took any “before” pictures):

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Me with my token glass of champagne

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What didn’t I like about the fireplace ? Hmmm, where to begin? The “Builder’s Beige” paint on the wall, the oaked out mantel, the faux stone porcelain tile, the tiny sconces that only cast light onto the ceiling (seriously, what’s the point?)…

I had big plans to completely rip out the boxed out drywall surrounding the fireplace, downsize the hearth, and install an ultra slim rectangular wood mantel. Unfortunately, there was no hardwood laid underneath the boxed out area and there was really no way to carry out my vision without ripping up a lot of the floor ($$$). So, I re-imagined my vision. Here’s what I did:

The Hearth

The entire dry-walled area surrounding the fireplace was retiled with 12″ x 24″ Carrara marble tile. I chose a brick pattern with white grout to draw attention to the pattern (at the recommendation of my tiler).

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The Mantel

I am a big fan of Sarah Richardson and my original vision was to build a mantel that looked like this:

Courtesy of sarahrichardsondesign.com

Once the whole area was tiled though, I realized that the mantel would have to be wider to provide balance to the area. I love walnut wood so we purchased a sheet of it and my father-in-law built the mantel. He mitered the edges together so there are no seams showing.  And for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the stain so I can’t share that with you!

The new mantel was installed right on top of the old one (to provide more support) and  glued in place with tile glue. The wall then looked this for the longest time (this is a year after the first “before” picture – you can tell by the Christmas decorations!):

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I think the patches of plaster and exposed wires add a little je ne sais quoi

The Wallpaper

Part of my vision was to wallpaper the wall surrounding the fireplace. I chose a neutral cream and grey wallpaper with a gold sheen to add some elegance. The wallpaper is by a company called Anderson Prints. The style is from their Gossamer Collection and the colour is “GM10206.” I have loads of scraps leftover that I am hoping to use for another project one day (suggestions, anyone??).

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Lighting

Sometime after the tile and mantel were installed, the old sconces were ripped out. It then sat that way for a long time while we waited for the wallpaper to be installed. I purchased these sconces online and, I have to admit, I am not totally thrilled with them. I love the style, but I wish they were bigger because I think the scale is a bit off. Oh well, I must live with them for now.

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Dressing It Up

I am still working on styling the mantel. I like each individual piece on the mantel, but it hasn’t totally come together yet. Nevertheless, here’s what it looks today:

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Thanks for reading (if you made it the whole way through this long-winded post)! Stay tuned for a post about the kitchen reno!

Welcome to Chez Sharah

Hi Folks! Welcome to Chez Sharah or “the home of Sharah” (that’s me)!

It seems my house is always a work in progress whether I am renovating, redecorating, or reorganizing. After following many design blogs over the last few years, I decided that blogging would be a fun way to chronicle my never-ending design journey.

Then I got thinking, why limit myself to just design? Why not blog about entertaining, fashion, makeup, food, wine, cats, and barbies too? Now, I am just  rattling off random nouns – I doubt I’ll be blogging about cats or barbies, but never say never (I learned that from my homeboy, Justin Bieber). So, at the risk of frightening you all away, I declare that this blog is really about all things Sharah (shoot, I’ve scared many of you away already, haven’t I?). Well, for those of you still reading, I hope you enjoy and find a little inspiration as well.