Happiness is. . .


a HAPPINESS JAR.IMG_5914The description of the Happiness pot said that traditionally newlyweds in China were given two of these pots with the Chinese ideogram for Happiness. What a wonderful gift! I bought it for myself and it makes me happy every time I walk by it!

Here are some more of my new purchases that are making me happy as well! First is a cross bottle made by my friend Artie Vanderpool. He makes them himself with old chandelier crystals and old bottles, and then he solders everything together. One is more beautiful than the other. This is the first one that I purchased, hopefully I will add to my collection in the future. The bottles sell out very quick. You can check out his wares on his Facebook page – CrossBottleGuy.










There are other treasures that have been added to my home lately and they all make me happy as well. I guess I'm into blue and white right now. Here is one of two blue and white garden stools I recently purchased that will be used a side tables for two chairs.


The stool is sitting on a new (well actually it's old) kilim rug that will sit on the seagrass rug, that I have been waiting forever to get! I love all the color it brings to the room.

IMG_5945And last but not least is our new dog! Yes, Jim brought home a dog. He's so quiet and well behaved, the perfect dog to have. We call him Walter.

IMG_5960We are at the end of week two of the kitchen remodel and this is what it looks like now.










Doesn't look much different that the end of last week, but if you look close you can see new wiring. The electrician has worked for almost a whole week rewiring and getting rid of the low voltage wiring that was in the house. And in the window is the permit that shows the electrical work passed inspection. Next week dry wall and new heating elements!

Kitchen Details

There are so many details to pick out for any renovation. And then you always hope and pray that it all works once they are all put together!

First a couple of inspiration pictures.



Most kitchens I am attracted to have white inset cabinet doors, exposed hinges, farm house sinks, bridge faucets, commercial style ovens, black countertops. I have chosen  all of those for my new kitchen.

The cabinets I ordered are made by Medallion, they will be white in an inset door style with exposed brushed nickel hinges.

The faucet I ordered is the Waterhill Bridge style by Moen in the stainless finish. It's just like a brushed nickel finish, very soft looking.


The farm house sink that has been ordered is the 36" Kohler Whitehaven sink.


I've ordered a Blue Star 36" commercial style range. I had never heard about this range  until I started reading posts on the kitchen forum through "That Home Site". Someone even said that once they starting cooking on the Blue Star their life changed! Not sure a range can do that, we'll see!


I've also ordered a 36" french door Viking refrigerator. I like bottom freezers. Because there is only a counter to the right of the refrigerator it would have been most useful to have a single door refrigerator that is hinged on the left. But that style only comes in a 33" size and it just seemed to be too small inside. I have never had a French door refrigerator but I like the look, so I hope it works out.

618e1d626a32e591d79c82dde734a0a5I wanted something other than granite for the countertop. I love the marble that I used in the master bath but it was going to be verrrrrry expensive for the square feet of counter material needed in the kitchen. I have read a lot about soapstone, it's not carefree, but it has the same soft feel and look as marble, and that is what attracts me to these stones. I also think the dark color will be a nice contrast with the light cabinets. You can leave the soapstone as is and it will be a gray color. Or it can be oiled to darken it and the veining will be more pronounced.I love the veining, so I will be oiling my soapstone. In this picture the stone was wiped down with water to show what it would look like oiled.  And the soap stone is not much more than the granite price. So soap stone it will be.


Am also thinking of putting a couple of sconces on the walls where there will be no upper cabinets. This one  from Restoration Hardware is a front runner so far.



At the end of the first week towards the journey to a new and better kitchen space this is what she looks like now.




That's our old refrigerator in the picture, too heavy for our contractors to get out of the house. But guess what, I sold the kitchen, everything, cabinets, appliances, countertops and even the kitchen sink! So the refrigerator will have to be taken out by the people who bought the kitchen. The rest of the old kitchen is stacked neatly in the garage and should be taken this upcoming week.

One week down, how many to go?


Yea!! We are finally on our way to getting a new kitchen. I thought it might be helpful to layout a week by week account of the process. Just in case I might do this again (just kidding honey!), I don't remember much from past kitchen renos. Maybe it's like having a baby, you forget the pain and just enjoy the outcome.

First I visited 3 different showrooms. It's hard to figure out where to go to pick out cabinets  So I asked my contractor for his recommendation, then I asked a friend for the name of the person she had used for her beautiful new kitchen, and then I stopped by a kitchen place close by my house. I ended up working closely with the two that were reccomended. That process took about 4 weeks. The kitchen designers came to my house, I look at my inspiration tear sheets, pins on Pinterest, and my Houzz ideabooks, I went to their stores,  looked at pins, ideabooks, tear sheets, they came to my house. Round and round I went, until I finally just had to make a decison. Price really wasn't a factor since the prices quoted were very close. I went with the kitchen designer that really demonstrated that she knew what she was doing and seemed to have the most expertise.

So now we have the plans, and cabinets and appliances have been ordered. The contractors started demolition today!

This is what the kitchen looked like this morning before demo started.

IMG_1942 IMG_1938It doesn't look too bad from the pictures. But the cabinets are dinged and the appliances, while they work, have seen better days.

Our contractors are brothers and they started here today at 2 and left a little after 5. This is what it looked like at the end of the day. They are so neat and tidy while they work, I sooo appreciate that!IMG_1951 IMG_1949

Here was an interesting find.


They think there might have been a corner fireplace in the kitchen. Wouldn't it be great if it was still there!

I wonder how long will it be before I can cook my first meal in my new kitchen?



This room is probably the most completed room in the house at this point. It's a very cozy room and where we end up most nights to catch a little TV. I also make good use of the built in desk!

Here are some before shots.IMG_5633IMG_5637

And here is what it looks like now.


It is lined in the most beautiful wood. I spent many hours with Howards Wood Refurbisher. It really cleaned up the wood and gave it a nice shine. We also had the back of the shelves lined in grasscloth wallpaper.

Most of the furniture we had in our last home. The chair with the brown and white check I purchased at a barn sale during a Holiday Home show in Lewiston in December.

Notice the built in wet bar in the before picture.  We knew we wouldn't use that space very much and there wasn't a good place to put a telelvision. So this is what the contractor made in its place to house a television.


The box was stained to match the existing wood. We found a television that looks like the spot was custom built around the television. The cabinet right above the TV houses the cable box and the DVD player. We definitely put that space to much better use that meets our needs. But there have been times during this renovation that if the wet bar were still there you might have found me standing right next to it mixing a strong drink!!