Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cottage Kitchen Update On A Dime

I really love our new kitchen. It's more cottage-y, more country, more me! There are still a few big projects left in here that we will complete when we can afford it, the biggest being the floors. I have dreams of extra wide plank pine and hopefully we can get that done in the next year. 

Here is what we started with. This was taken before we moved in.

 And here it is today.

As you can see, one of the most awkward aspects of the old kitchen was this tiny upper cabinet that ended well before the base cabinets.  We decided to put in open shelving to fill the gap. I had also originally planned to raise all the upper cabinets up about 6", but because of how they were attached to the walls it was impossible. 

Even though it looks like we have had new countertops installed I swear we didn't! I spray painted the old ones with a textured spray paint and topped them with several coats of polycrylic (more info on our countertop makeover process coming soon). My husband put up the bead board backsplash and I painted it a neutral gray/beige

We took out the "bridge" that connected the upper cabinets above the window and added a pendant light. We also added new trim around the window

I kept all the original hinges and pulls. I absolutely love these cabinet pulls! They are so 60's and I think they fit the house perfectly. 

We've had this Ikea bookcase for years and it fit perfectly in this space and adds lots more storage to our kitchen! We use the bottom cabinet as our pantry which has worked out very well. 

I estimate that we've only spent about $200 total on this kitchen and I think it looks pretty good for costing so little. 
Besides replacing the floors we also plan on getting a new sink and faucet, and making a built in cubby for the fridge, so its not just floating off to the side. After those adjustments I think we will be all set!

Let's do one last before and after....




Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to keep an eye out for more updates on our new home!


Stop by my Etsy shop for rustic handmade art and decor.                       

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Choosing to Live Small

   One year ago our family was looking to move back to Utah, but this time we wanted something a little different. We wanted to live somewhere rural and somewhere that had cooler summers. We looked at houses for only one day before finding the perfect fit for us.

We found a little old cottage in the mountains and so far it has been heaven! Don't get me wrong, this house has definitely been a project. We've accomplished a lot but we still have quite a ways to go. I'm excited to share the progress we've made so far, but first I'd like to share something else I've learned this past year.

Smaller is Better.

I said it, and actually lots of people are saying it lately. I just want to share the reasons why I feel this way.

Before we downsized I was nervous to make that switch so I was always trying to find blog posts about this topic to ease my worries, but I found very few that were helpful. Most were about couples with no kids living in tiny houses (which is great and all but it's not helping me) or about families forced to temporarily downsize because of financial trouble.  I wasn't planning on living in a small house until we were "back on our feet", I was choosing to live small, for good.

The idea of downsizing started when we were living in Arizona. We would often take trips up to towns at higher elevation (and more importantly cooler temps) and our favorite place to stay was a tiny a-frame cabin in the mountains. It had one bedroom plus a loft for the kids, a miniature kitchen that was open to a living room/dinning room, and one bathroom.  Instead of feeling cramped, it felt comfortable. We were always so happy there and would just think "THIS is all we need!".  If you haven't had this same epiphany here are some points to consider:

1. You will acquire less junk.
With limited space you really think twice about what objects are important to you and what you can live without.

2. You will spend more time with your family!
This is a big one for me. With one living room and no playroom we do everything together, it's that simple. We all can still retreat to our bedrooms when needed, but our kitchen, dining room, and living room are all one space so that's usually where the party is.

3. You will spend less time cleaning!
I didn't realize how much less time it would take to clean my smaller house.  I can do a standard deep clean (bathroom, kitchen, vacuuming, dusting, change bedding, and tidying up every room)  in 2 hours!  If that doesn't sell you on a smaller house I don't know what will.

4. You will stay more organized.
We all share one small bathroom and it is never left a mess because that is just not an option. With a single vanity with basically zero counter space there just isn't room for anything to be left out. We LOVE our tiny bathroom! (nearly) Everything in our house has a place because there isn't any extra space to shove items aside.

5. You will save money.
This one is obvious. Less square footage costs less than more square footage. A smaller mortgage will make you happier! Less stress and more money to do fun things like travel with your family! And let's not forget about all the money you will save on utilities.

6. It's better for the planet.
Enough said.

7. You will be happier!
Okay, this is not a guarantee but it has been true for us and I think there is a good chance it will be true for you too.

If living small is something you've been considering I hope this has helped you to take the next step!