Friday, September 26, 2014

Formica Calacatta Marble Revisited

It's been a while!

I've come back from the dead to show you two other fantastic uses of Formica's 180fx Calacatta Marble Laminate countertops.  The single most traffic source for this itty bitty blog is from people searching for real life photos of the laminate.  So here are a few more.

Amber at Restless Arrow did a $5K complete kitchen gut and it looks fan-freakin-tastic.

And Pam from Simple Details spruced up her already beautiful kitchen.  She used the Formica on a large island with a bullnose edge.  When I first saw the pictures I assumed she did a real slab of marble. So good.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Slipcover and Piping Hack + Room Switching

When we moved in four months ago there were two formal spaces.  A formal dining room and formal sitting area.  Formal sitting areas always make me think of plastic covered couches like on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Anyway, we made the dining room into a playroom and the sitting room into the dining room.  Everyone confused?  Good.

Here's the original formal sitting room.  The bi-fold doors led into what was the dining room.  




The sitting area became our dining room, now able to fit a ten foot table.  I've already added curtains, a china hutch and wine cabinet since this picture but that's another post. 


And the dining room became our playroom!  While we were unpacking and getting settled, I realized the kids were playing in this room the most since it's right next to the kitchen, where I spend the majority of my time. So it worked out all beautiful-like.

Do you see that happy chair?  She has a good story.  A good, thrifty, story.


You see, she used to look like this.


A tired and yet intensely comfortable $20 Goodwill rocking upholstered chair.  Complete with rips and a slightly suspicious smell.  I'd always intended to reupholster or slipper it but it sat in our house for two years in its original state. 

It was the end of September and the budget had been exhausted but I was on a roll in the playroom.  I decided the chair was my next project.  I wanted her to be bright and happy, preferably wearing a large graphic print... something like the duvet cover that used to be in Ella's room!  In my determination not to spend another cent, I cut apart that Pottery Barn duvet cover in a flash and pinned it into a slip cover as per Miss Mustard Seed.


But then I realized I had no piping on hand.  -cue drama-  But I had a large roll of twine.  

Folks, I don't recommend it.  It is twisty, finicky, slightly skinny and will make you want to rip your hair out. But it got the job done for free and all sewn together you can't tell it's not store bought piping. 

So when in doubt, cut up your bed coverings and break all the sewing rules.  

P.S. One twin sized duvet cover will cover one upholstered chair.  But just barely.  I may have pieced together about 176 scraps for the piping.  The pillow was sewn from the standard sham that came with the duvet.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Painted Wood Paneling

Ramone left our house around 4:30 for the last time today.  After two weeks it's done. 

Words really aren't necessary. 







These were taken at the same time of day!  Walls are Decorator's White and the back of the bookshelves is Hale Navy, both Benjamin Moore colors. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wyatt's Airplane Birthday

I asked him what he wanted to do for his third birthday and he immediately spit out, "Airplanes!"  So that's what we went with.  Tyler has a fantastic Historical Aviation Memorial Museum complete with out of commission military aircraft on the runway.  If you haven't been, make it a to-do this summer!  Boys and girls, parents, especially Dads love it!

I purchased the invitations and paper goods from Hank & Petunia on Etsy.  She was great to work with and I really love how it all turned out!

The Airbus was Rob's when he was a kid.  His Dad traveled a lot and purchased it coming back from one of his trips.



The giant airplane was already there and I'd completely forgotten about it until we arrived to set up.  Perfect!  Tablecloths are drop cloths and the 'runner' is a white curtain from Ikea.

*Note to self, iron tablecloths, even drop cloth tablecloths.*


Don't hate on grocery store cupcakes, y'all.  Brookshire's makes some fine buttercream icing.




 The gift/favor table.  The cloud backdrop was supposed to go on the food table but thank goodness for that giant airplane.  These would have been way too small to make an impact.  But they work great here.  Dollar store foam boards with cut out clouds.  Airplane banner is two packages of card stock airplanes from the Teacher section of the dollar store sewn together with navy thread. 



I also purchased Air Mail washi tape to seal the invitation envelopes.  The extra helped on the favor bags.  Inside each was a foam glider, bubbles and several jumbo crayons.  I wanted plastic Army men paratroopers but Wal-Mart didn't have enough.  I still like to play with those. :)



Cheap tablecloth idea for a kid's party --- a $9 roll of 'painter's paper' from Lowe's.  One hundred and forty feet per roll, baby.  I put out party cups filled with markers along each table so the kids could doodle. Runners are just strips of giant gingham fabric.





The coolest thing happened while we were out looking at the planes!  If you look closely in this picture, next to that white sign is a rope sectioning off the museum area from an actual runway.  Right as most of the party goers were outside perusing, a decent sized passenger jet turns the corner, revs his engine, turns around, and takes off right in front of the kids!!  I couldn't have paid for that!  

It was 'Very yowd, mommy!' so we covered our ears.  

You would have thought we injected the kids with a shot of syrup they were so stoked.






To make our cups run over, were blessed to have our Nonie and Opie there to celebrate with us!  
These pictures describe my parents so well.  Dad is openly affectionate and the most kind man I know besides Rob.  And Mom is happy, happy, joyful!






I told Rob I tried to keep it simple and not go all crazy letsbesupercreative and he said, "Honey, I think your simple is most people's complicated."  
He said he meant it as a compliment.   

It truly was an easy set up and take down, plus the kids had fun.  So I call it a win.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Third Tri

Rob completed his third triathlon recently!   The kids and I had so much fun watching and cheering. 
It was a sprint distance so the swimming portion was actually in a pool. 


Running to his bike transition. Yup, he's cute.  



Munching and waiting.  And falling into a muddy creek... that was traumatizing.  Hence the Huckleberry look.



Daddy finishes!






I hope this doesn't embarrass him but I am so proud of my husband.  



Friday, March 15, 2013

She Walks!

Ella has decided that walking just might be the way to go.  She's been taking a step here, three steps there.  But in the past few days she has voluntarily been walking from place to place! 


Interesting outfit, I know.  But we were playing outside in the dirt.  I took this next picture and had crazy deja-vu. 




Almost exactly two years ago, here's Wyatt the day he walked. And then he made a mud pie to celebrate.  
I guess it's tradition!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Great Kitchen Remodel


Over Thanksgiving, we had our friend/handyman remodel the kitchen.  It was like being on HGTV except without the stylist. 

Reader beware, this post is picture and link intensive.


The 'before' is a shot we hastily took on our first walk-through of the house before we even bought it.


There was faux butcher block laminate.  There was shiny blonde laminate flooring.  It was pretty much a 1970's ad for Formica.  The sink was maybe 6" deep with the very cheapest faucet available from Lowe's.  

Not any more!!





After much (MUCH) debate, we went with Formica's Calacatta Marble 180fx laminate countertop. Yes, I replaced Formica with Formica.  And I couldn't be happier with it!  I had a hard time finding reviews of real people who actually installed it and lived with it so it was a bit of a leap of faith.  Especially on my husband and our handyman's part.  They were a tad on the unconvinced side.  

I loved the look of white on white with pops of color.  And I was able to skirt the annoying problem of our little 1600sqft-er not being able to uphold the value of real marble, or any stone, quartz, or composite.  Not to mention the, ahem, budget. 

It's been installed for 4 months so far and I've set hot pots on it, cut veggies on it and generally abused it with two small children climbing on it and trying their best to stain it.  But it has held up perfectly.

The light fixture came from Barrett Lighting and Appliance. If you live in the area, I highly recommend them.  Their prices were comparable if not better than Lowe's and their selection vast.  What you didn't see in the before pic is the miniature white ceiling fan that the previous owner's had installed.  Strange, yes?  It did come in handy a few times when I scorched something but that didn't make up for the tax it took on my eyes. 


Our handyman also installed under the cabinet lighting as a last minute request.  It has made all the difference in the world.  He had to do a bit of re-wiring and we almost said forget it but I'm SO glad we didn't!

In my dreams, I would have a Shaw apron front sink.  But for now $1,000 can go toward many other causes like oh... say, a car payment!  


So instead, we purchased this sink from Lowe's.  And a Kohler Bellera faucet.  I love the extra large compartment on the left side of the sink and small one on the right.  But unfortunately, it has scratched very easily and is my only regret in the entire remodel. I completely agree with the one reviewer who gave 1 star.  

This picture is after borax, steel wool, and several types of scrubbers.  Our Calphalon pan handles make a mark on the rim of the sink if you aren't careful when setting them down.  

UPDATE: A friend suggested I use a cleaning product called Bar Keeper's Friend.  She said it has worked wonders on her white cast iron sink!  

UPDATE 2:  Bar Keeper's Friend is the bomb.  It works like a charm!



The pelmet box on the other hand... fabulous.  If I do say so.  I followed this tutorial from Life on Mars as well as the one from Little Green Notebook.  I took a cue from the shape of Danielle's pelmet.


The ikat fabric is Robert Allen off of Etsy from Green Apple Fabrics.  At $23 per yard it is on the more expensive side of my fabric purchases but it's exactly what I imagined for the space.  And I only needed one yard even though the window is 60" wide. 

The print above the sink is from French Press Mornings.  She posted it as a free download the other day on Facebook.  She also has an Etsy shop with a lot of really pretty Scriptures.  We chose gray grout instead of white to play up the streaks in the farble.  (That's faux-marble.)


A few of my favorite little tidbits here and there...

A pie bird from my Mom.  I read a fun article on antique pie birds, or pie whistles, in a magazine a while ago.  I didn't even know what they were.  Then we saw one at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  By the way, a pie bird vents steam out of the middle of a pie so it doesn't get soggy.  Now you know.









One last time...


Oh, and my helpers!  They were very helpful in the scootching of the tripod, leaving toys in the outskirts of pictures, etc.  I can't do without them!


Update:  I had a commenter ask about seams and the standard brown Formica line... Here are a couple of pics showing you both.  

The edge does have a line but it isn't obvious since the Calacatta isn't one solid color.  This could be eliminated but doing an ogee edge or something similar, which is an option with Formica.


There's only one seam in our kitchen since the Formica comes in 4'x8' sheets.  It's in the corner and doesn't bother me at all. 




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