Friday, September 7, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Big Results on a Not So Big Budget

Crisp white kitchen cabinets have been my dream ever since I can remember (I couldn't have been the only 12 year old dreaming of remodeling my future kitchen? Right?), So when my husband and I were shopping for a house I was specifically looking for a kitchen with potential. I was hoping for icky looking cabinets that were sturdy and in good shape, plus a layout that would work.

          When I saw this kitchen I knew exactly what I needed to do to make it look like this

I have learned that there are a few very important (in my opinion) things that are often overlooked during a remodel. Of course there are the big changes like painting the cabinets and installing new countertops, but I want to talk about the smaller details that can make all the difference.

1. Add crown moulding to builder's grade cabinets.

Before we bought our house I began to notice that cabinets in high end kitchens usually had thick beautiful crown moulding along the top. This is an easy change that I think has the biggest impact of any I will mention here. I also added bead board to the sides of my cabinets but that is just a personal style choice.

2. Stager upper cabinets

We raised the cabinet above the microwave and popped it forward a couple inches too. I think it gives the kitchen more of a custom feel. I wish now that we had also raised the cabinet above the refrigerator but that can be done another day I guess!

3. Cut out center of cabinet door and add glass

I had no idea how simple this would be! We just cut out the center panels then took the doors to a glass place (I'm sorry, I really don't know what else to call it!) and they installed a pane of glass in each. The best part is that it only cost 20 bucks for the two of them!

4. Add new hardware

New pulls and knobs give you a chance to personalize your kitchen a little more. Replacing old knobs may be a given but if your kitchen doesn't already have any to begin with I would definitely add some. When it comes to hinges, they will  make cabinets look fresh and clean (plus hinges are totally cheap so  you really can't lose!).

5. A new faucet

A pretty faucet will liven up the kitchen! I got mine at Costco for a great deal and it had all the practical features I was looking for.

6. Backsplash

We went with tile but there are lots of options. All the tile for our backsplash cost about $200 which I thought was a good deal but you could definitely spend a lot less and still have good results. Shop around for your tile, don't just choose from the selection at the big chain stores. I prefer a more neutral colored backsplash as opposed to a fun, trendy colored one that may not be trendy for long. You can always add color with accessories that can be changed out whenever you feel like it.

7. Remove outdated features

In my case I had one of those...what are they called? Appliance garage?  Not really sure. All I knew was that it had to go, and look at all the extra counter space i've got now!


That's it! If you have any other advise to add I'd love to hear it!


If you like my style be sure to stop by my etsy shop for handmade decor!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Circus Party

My son's circus birthday party was so much fun to plan.  Thanks to my endless searching online and at the dollar store, making things ourselves, and borrowing what we could from friends, we only spent about $100!
I wish I had been able to get some pictures before the kids started to arrive but it was a crazy day.  Luckily I do have a bunch of pics from during the party! Enjoy!

I absolutely loved making the invitations and signs! There are so many cute circusy fonts you can download for free! I got most of my fonts here, just search "circus" or "carnival".

 "Welcome to the Circus!"                                     I got the idea for these signs from some things I saw on Pinterest.                                                The banner is just made out of some old poster board that had been used on one side. 

The goodie bags are dollar store bags (10 for a buck) with labels that I made glued on the front.                                  
                                                                                      Each party guest got a bag, a clown nose (I don't know how, but I don't have a singe picture of any kids wearing the clown noses!), a horn and unlimited tickets (also from dollar store) to use to play games.

The kids won a piece of candy at each carnival game so the bags were used to hold all their loot!

This was our "big top".  I bought a red and white striped table cloth roll from Oriental Trading that had so many uses for this party!

The balance beam along with the other fun stuff under the tent I was able to borrow from someone who runs a gymnastics class.

The cake! This may be one of my favorite thing from the party. I found these adorable free printables to top off the cake.  Notice how the ball on the seal's nose is really a lolly pop? I just can't get enough of this!

Corn dogs for lunch worked out well and we absolutely had to have cotton candy!


          I got some temporary circus tatoos from Oriental Trading that were a hit!
And of course we couldn't have a circus without peanuts!

 My husband downloaded a couple circus/carnival like albums that really helped create a fun circus atmosphere! The music was definitely my favorite part of the party!

I can't wait until his next birthday party! There are so many fun themes to choose from!