My Kitchen Office.....And Where I Put The Wood Locker

Yes, you read the right!  I have an office area in my kitchen.  I know it's not that unusual to have a counter space that has a cut-out underneath so it can be used as a desk.  This is not what I have going on in my kitchen.  I haven't really shared pictures of my kitchen, just bits and pieces and today I'm still not sharing the whole kitchen.  I'm still trying to finish what I'm doing in the kitchen before I can share pictures of the whole room.  

When we were looking for a new home to buy, we knew we wanted something with a nice kitchen that would be great for entertaining.  We didn't expect to find a kitchen like the one in this house.  It's a lovely, open and very large kitchen with a huge island.  It has huge a vaulted ceiling with skylights that let's in tons of light.  There's also a large palladium window above the sink and an extra large sliding glass door that leads to the deck.  This is a big room with lots of light.  I love being in there making a cup of coffee and watching the birds outside.  There's an eat-in kitchen area as well and then my office area.  

In our other homes my office has always been upstairs,  but since there was space so much space in the kitchen I decided I should have it downstairs.  The hubby is using the office upstairs now, but poor guy it's far, far from done!  Last week I got my office area organized and now I feel like it functions well.  Now I can start using it!

Here are some pictures of my office area in my kitchen.

I had originally thought of selling my Pottery Inspired Desk, but I couldn't part with it.  To the left you can see the sliding glass door.  This is a very large door and it lets the light flood in.


What you might notice right away is the painted wood 'locker' I did for Hunter.  It's now in it's home in the office area.  We spend the majority of our time in the kitchen or family room.  Being that the  office area is in the kitchen, it has a good flow into the family room and entry way which are right off the kitchen.  It made perfect sense to put the locker here where we spend the most time and Hunter gets ready for school.  Now instead of him rushing around to find where he 'put' his backpack, shoes, gloves, etc he knows where they are.  Hunter has his own place to put his things.  He was so happy when we put it in place.  He made signs for the inside of the cabinet...one for each person in the family.  Right on the inside of the door there is a sign that reads "Hunter's stuff only!"  It's easy for him to get to and it makes putting his stuff away fun.  

One thing I didn't think would prove to be a problem was too much storage!  Well, too much storage equals too many place to put things and forget where they are.  I'm really guilty of this and unfortunately my little guy seems to do the same thing.  The locker is helping him know he has his space where no one else will put their coat or shoes.  








I bought this chair last year at an estate sale and it's been sitting in storage waiting for me to make it pretty.  For now I want to leave it as is and next to the 'locker.'  I like the style of the chair, even with it's chips, scratches and age.  It think it goes well with the whole look of the office.


The room you can see to the right in the picture, with the dark walls, is the dining room, then beyond that you can see the living room.  The dining room is getting a huge makeover very soon!  I have a very talented friend who's going to help me with that.  I can't wait to get started and share the process with you.  




My desk chair is part of my kitchen dining set.  The set has 6 chairs and I'm only using 4 with the table.  It's comfortable and helps with the flow of the room to have the same fabric throughout the room.  I'm hoping in the next few weeks I'll have everything in the kitchen area ready for some pictures.


Every day our home feels more like home.  Adding personal touches and making it our own feels great.  I'm ready to start on our next project!

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As always I love to hear from you so please keep your comments and emails coming.

Thank you and have a wonderful week!




Wood Locker Makeover

It's been a busy few weeks around here and I'm SO happy to finally be posting a new project!  A couple weeks ago a friend asked me if I was interested in purchasing a cabinet that didn't work in her space.  When I saw the picture on my iPhone I knew I had to have that cabinet!  I've written before about my love of lockers and even wrote a post about another locker-inspired project I did here, Metal Pantry Turned Locker.   My previous locker post was about a metal locker and this new locker was wood.  I knew wood would be a lot easier to transform then metal was!  

I couldn't wait to start transforming the piece once I picked it up!  Here it is before I got started.


I'm guessing this piece had previously been a built-in because of the way it was put together.  It was not in the best shape, like 99% of the projects I work on, but I could see how incredible it could be with a bit of hard work.


I instantly fell in love with the door closure.  


The paint was peeling and the wood was warped in spots.  OH and the cabinet was super filthy.  It was coated in dirt, grime and spider webs.




After a thorough cleaning I got to work sanding.


I did LOTS of sanding before I realized there was no way to get all the crackling paint and age to go away without stripping the finish down to the bare wood.  The piece isn't made with the best lumber so I decided it wasn't worth the time to strip it.   I sanded it as much as I thought it needed and went with it.  

The sides needed to be secured so I added some nails and wood glue.  I put a few clamps on overnight while the glue dried and the next day it was sturdy and all the warping was gone.  


There were lots of spots that needed some wood filler.  I gave those spots a few layers of wood filler and sanded them once they were dry.  


Now it was time to paint!  If you follow me via Facebook you might have seen a post where I asked what paint lines everyone is interested in trying.   I've decided it's time to try some new paint lines.  There are LOTS of paint lines out there so I thought it was important to see what I thought of them.  I did some research and picked a few paint lines to try over the next few months.  

The first paint line I tried was CeCe Caldwell"s Paints.   This paint is a non-toxic mineral based paint that goes on without priming or sanding. I painted two coats of Omaha Ochre on the entire cabinet.  Since I hadn't tried this line before I didn't know what to expect.  I read a lot of reviews online before I purchased the paint, but I was still surprised with the consistency and coverage.  The paint was a lot more watery than I had thought it would be.   I figured out after two coats that I wasn't getting enough coverage so I switched over to  Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan in Old White.  The color was a bit lighter, but since this wasn't my final color it was fine.  




This is how the door looked with two coats of the CeCe Caldwell's in Omaha Ochre and two coats of Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan in Old white.


Somehow I missed taking pictures of the inside of the cabinet before I painted.  The inside was a high gloss red, but someone had attached contact paper on the shelf and the bottom of the cabinet.  It was a disaster!  It took lots of cleaning and scraping to get all the paper off before I could start painting the inside.  
This is how the inside looked with two coats of the CeCe Caldwell's Paint in Omaha Ochre.  


I had originally wanted the inside of the cabinet to be the Omaha Ochre, but I didn't have enough paint to do three coats .  I switched over to Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan in French Linen.   I gave the inside two more coats of paint to finish it all off.

  Once I got the outside of the cabinet covered in the Old White and the inside in French Linen I got too engrossed in what I was doing and forgot to stop and take pictures!

For my final color, I went with another paint new-to-me paint line, American Paint Company.  This   paint that doesn't require priming or sanding before painting like the CeCe Caldwell's and the Chalk Paint™ By Annie Sloan.  It's a mineral, chalk and clay based paint.  I was shocked when I opened the can and saw how thick the paint was!  I had heard it was thick, but didn't believe it until I saw it for myself.  I bought the paint from Jill at Weathered Pieces.  I have to say Jill is extremely  patient.  I asked her about a million questions before I bought a can of paint from her and even more questions after I got it in the mail.  Jill  had advised me to add some water to the paint and I'm glad she did!  At first I was hesitant and a bit skeptical, but WOW this paint went on like a dream.  The coverage was phenomenal and the depth of color was beautiful.  I love navy blue and the American Paint Company has a GORGEOUS navy blue called Born On the 4th.  It's most definitely one of my all-time favorite colors from any paint line!   I will be buying more of this paint for future projects.  It was a big hit in my book!

I went with stripes on the cabinet door.  I'm a stripe lover!  I taped off the parts I wanted to stay the Old White with Frog Tape and then painted everything else the dreamy Born On the 4th.  After one coat of the navy blue I was surprised to see that the only spots that needed another coat were the parts I missed with my brush the first time around.  There were very few spots.  This paint has amazing coverage.   I added a bit more paint where needed and the piece was ready for wax!  

For wax I went with yet another paint line (except this one wasn't new to me) Miss Mustardseed's Milk Paint Furniture Wax.  It's my favorite clear wax to work with right now.  It goes on like butter and there's not a long wait for drying time.  Also, buffing is a breeze!  I applied two coats of wax, giving drying time in-between coats.  Then I gave the whole cabinet a good sanding.  I wanted to embrace the age of the piece since I couldn't get rid of all the cracking and texture.  

Once I was done I thought it was missing something......a number!  Every locker needs a number, right?  Since my plan was to keep the locker for Hunter to use I went with his favorite number...3.  I printed a 3 on MS Word, using a big font and printed it on regular paper.   I had to figure out how to get my shape on the cabinet door.  At first I tried tracing the number with carbon paper....epic fail.  Then I tried my white chalk trick...I scuffed chalk on the back of the paper and then traced....another fail.  Finally I cut out the number and traced around the number with a pencil.  After I had it all traced on the door, I took some black chalkboard paint I had on hand and an artist's brush and filled it in.  I gave it a couple of coats, then added in some Old White to give it some dimension.  I waxed the number and distressed it to help it look old and worn.  

Here's the finished locker.






The color is beautiful!  I'm loving this navy blue!



Remember the before picture of the door closure and the hinges???  Well, after lots of work boiling them in water on the stove, scrubbing them with a toothbrush, salt and baking soda, I was able to get all the paint layers off.  I adore how they they look now!





The hinges and the door closure show their age, but I love how they're original and go with the look of the entire piece.  They still work really well too!



Here's the inside of the cabinet.  On the door I 'washed' the inside with a couple layers of French Linen.  I wanted it too look aged like the outside of the door.


The inside already had the shelf.  All it needed were some metal baskets that luckily I had on hand, but didn't have a place for.  They fit perfectly.




The hook was a challenge.  The piece had hooks in it previously, but they were flimsy and couldn't support much weight.  The wood wasn't thick enough to hold them in place.  I knew I wanted at least one hook for Hunter to hang his coat on,  or in this case his skateboard helmet.  I went with a Command Strip from 3M in a nickel finish.  This hook holds up to 5 pounds and was easy to attach.  It's easy to remove and won't damage the surface either.  I highly recommend them!  





It really warms my heart how excited Hunter gets about my projects.  He had no idea I was working on this for him until I asked him if he thought a 3 would look good on the front.  He really falls in love with the projects like I do and wants me to keep them all.  He was so happy when I told him I was doing this one for him.  The cabinet is going in the mud room for Hunter to put his coat, backpack and shoes in when he gets home.  I'm hoping this will make it more fun to put his stuff away (insert huge smiley face here!).  What 8 year old boy wouldn't want to put his stuff away in a cool locker?  Now I'm hoping the cool factor doesn't wear off!  

Thank you for taking the time to read this!  


New Living Room Tour

Well, I finally got around to taking some pictures of one room in the new house. This is one room I feel is almost done.  I don't know if a room is ever done because in my life a room is constantly evolving and changing depending on what I find along the way.  We've been living in our new house for just over two months now and It's feeling more like 'home' every day.  There are still lots and lots of things to do like organize the office,  figuring out my work area in the basement and working on our master bedroom to name a few.  I'm happy with our progress so far.  I need to remind myself to be patient things don't happen overnight.   Also, a house is never really 'done' is it??

My favorite room in our house is probably one of the least used rooms....the living room.  When I walk in the living room I immediately feel relaxed and happy.  It's bright, airy and full of some of my favorite pieces.  Sometimes when I feel like I need a break from life, I walk in the living room,  sit down on the big leather sofa and enjoy a few quiet moments (That is until the dog, cat, hubby or Hunter find me!).  

Here are a few pictures of the new living room....now when I saw a few, I mean a lot!

The living room walls are a blue-grey color, which don't show up as blue-grey in this picture.  However, this picture does show why I love this room so much....the brightness. The light floods in, especially on a sunny day.


My favorite part of any room is always the corner with a comfy chair,  with lots of light to read and enjoy the sun.  This little corner of the living room is the perfect spot to relax, take in the view outside, read a book and enjoy the sunshine.


One great thing about this room is the fact it was recently painted by the previous owners.  The color works great for us and was similar to the blue we had in our last house. This meant I didn't have to paint!  All I did in this room was remove the blinds and decorate.  When we first moved in,  I had plans to remove the blinds and put up curtains.  Once I removed the blinds, I realized I liked the look of the windows without any window coverings.  Thankfully we don't have lots of neighbors!  


In this picture you can see my antique mail sorter.  This was hung horizontally on a wall in our old dining room, but in this house I couldn't find a place I wanted it to hang.  I decided to stand it up on its side on the floor like a piece of furniture and I love how it looks!!  


This china cabinet was in the entry way of our last house.  I've had it since I was little so it's very special to me.  I wrote a post awhile back about what I did to update it here Childhood China Cabinet.  


There are so many things in this part of the room that make me smile.  My little green side tables,  factory cart coffee table and my antique levels.  I started buying the levels last summer and now every time I see one for a good price I have to buy it.  Weird thing to collect, I know!  I love old levels, measuring sticks and rulers.  



This is another corner of the living room I really like.


It makes me happy when I look at this picture and realize there are only two things I didn't buy brand new (the glass cloche on the little side table and the tan pillow on the chair).  The slipper chair I scored at Goodwill.  It was brand new from Target, but for some reason it was returned to the store.  They salvaged it and then sent it to Goodwill.  Our local Goodwill gets a lot of stuff like this from Target, which is great for people like me! 





I've been collecting coral for years.  Every time we go on a vacation somewhere warm with a beach, I search for coral then bring it home as a souvenir.  Hunter has joined in on the search for coral now and after many years of collecting, we had more than enough coral to fill the mail sorter.  I like the contrast of the old wood with the white coral.



Another thing I can't resist collecting is old silver.  



On either side of the entrance to the dining room, I placed a set of old wood shutters/doors.  I was able to buy these for a steal at a local barn sale recently.  I'm still kicking myself for not buying more!   They had so many shutters at this sale and I wanted to buy them all and hang them on a wall in our master bedroom.  Unfortunately the hubby wasn't on board with my shutter wall idea so I only bought one set.  The shutter on the left has white porcelain door knobs and the woman who inherited the house told me they were actually shutter doors.  I like how they add some interesting detail to a boring entrance.




I love this little green, metal side table I bought for nothing at an estate sale.  I wish there had been two.  All I had to do to the table was give it a good cleaning.  The green paint was already on the table along with a little big of aging and character. 

The green 'table' on the left side of the picture is a ceramic garden stool I bought on clearance at Home Goods.  It's almost the exact same color green as the metal table purchased at the estate sale.  


It's wonderful living in our new home and feeling settled.  After feeling like our life was in limbo for the last 2 1/2 years it's nice to set down some roots and know we're going to be here for awhile.  We've already made lots of memories here and I look forward to making many more.  For Hunter this will always be the house where we adopted our first dog as a family.  He's loving living here with the large backyard, a dog to play with and lots of room to ride his bike.  The living room and all its 'stuff' isn't what makes this our home, it's the people who live here and the memories we make while we're  living here.  

I'm always hesitant to show pictures of my house on the blog.  I'm fine with showing the before and after pictures of a piece of furniture I've worked on, but house pictures make me nervous.  I never want people to feel like I'm bragging, for lack of a better word.  I'm not a professional interior designer, nor do I have any formal training.  Anyone can do this stuff.   I'm only sharing because I received comments and emails asking for pictures of the new house and I aim to please!  I'm hoping that by showing you how I've decorated my house and not spending a ton of money doing it, this can help or inspire you in your own home.  There's only one expensive item in this room and that was the leather couch.  We did splurge on that last year from Restoration Hardware.  Other than that, nothing is crazy expensive or out of reach in this room.  Decorating a room doesn't have to cost a fortune and can easily be uniquely yours.  It's all about finding the right pieces and putting them together to reflect your style, tastes and interests.   

I hope you enjoyed this picture-packed tour of our living room.  Thank you for reading!

Take care,






Linking to:

House on the Way