Prairie Days Design

loving your home one prairie day at a time.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

i still shed a few tears when i think about it....

If you want to sit back and relax with me today, I will tell you the story of how I lost all of my marbles and had a slight break down (an adult temper tantrum) because our kitchen took a turn for the worst. I mean it is better now, but I was really struggling to see the good that could be for awhile. One Friday night, I came home to what I was hoping would be a semi-complete kitchen. Instead I found just two cabinet boxes hanging on the wall. Now, I am not blaming Steve for this one at all, it’s not his fault... well it’s partially OUR fault and partially IKEA’s fault. So here we go. (A part of me still gets super sad and angry when I talk about this)!!!

Upon further inspection, we discovered that our initial measurements were off on the kitchen... not a huge deal right? We can make this work. But after MUCH deliberation, we discovered that the upper cabinets WOULD NOT WORK AT ALL! I was only slightly horrified. I figured a quick trip to Ikea, return the ones that we aren’t using and buy new and we’re home free. NOT that easy. As we discovered and I’m sure most people already knew, the AKURUM Ikea kitchen was discontinued (we knew that part), but what we didn’t know was that they would no longer be ordering it for us from the store either. Enter freak-out mode. What we also discovered and did not know is that the new Sektion kitchen is not compatible with Ikea’s old Akurum kitchen.... this is the first time Ikea has ever done this. Enter REAL freakout mode.
I seriously lost my shit at this point. I was hysterical and thinking that we just spent all this money on a new kitchen and now what, we have to start from scratch? Buy all new? And we can’t even return what we have?! All worst case scenarios were going through my head (Steve does not like this trait). After much deliberation, we decided that we would call Ikea head office in the morning and see what they could do for us. There might still be a possibility that we could order new upper cabinets from SOMEWHERE! PLEASE!!

So we get up real early Saturday and we go over and figure out exactly what we need in order to make this kitchen work, thus the pictures that i'm showing you.. We hung all the uppers that we had and tried to figure out what we could keep and what sizes we needed etc. THEN as we are deliberating, I happen to look at the lower cabinet door fronts.
Insert slight back track here: When originally going over our design at Ikea, we had hummed and hawed about doing all white or doing dark lower cabinets and white upper cabinets...and I was pretty sure we had decided on dark lowers and white uppers. However, when I started assembling the base units for the cabinets, they were all white. So I assumed we had decided last minute to do all white... safer option, right? Well.....fast forward to last weekend...and we find that the lower doors are all black brown .... WHAT THE #$%@!?

ugly cry

That was it... that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I almost gave up and was at the point where I just wanted to go to the bank, take out a loan, hire a kitchen expert and get them to rip out all that we had done and start from scratch. THAT’S how frustrated and angry and truly sad I was. How could Ikea let us walk out of there with white boxes and black brown doors? Another sidenote: I do not dislike Ikea, I love them. I think they have great products for those of us who are on a tight budget but still want our homes to look great! I do however, not like the “big company” feel that they have. They don’t seem to be looking out for the little guy, and you are all on your own. The risk is yours, even if you are spending gobs of money with them! THAT I do not like. But then, someone restores my faith all over again....

And now i'm just showing you progress shots because it makes me happier!

Saturday morning, after finding out that the door fronts were all wrong as well, we figure what the hell, if we can manage to order the top cabinets from somewhere, might as well throw in new bottom door fronts as well... in WHITE! So Steve makes the call, and of course the first person we get is unwilling to help us at all... and my heart sinks. But in my infinite wisdom/experience with today’s society, I tell him to call back and maybe he’ll get someone who IS willing to help us... and low and behold... we get the nicest guy in the world (or at least he was to me in that moment!) He was able to order us everything that we needed, and said it would ship out in two weeks...

Now I am not jumping for joy yet, but the stress level has definitely gone down a notch or two. I will not be happy until everything arrives, it is correct, and we can start reassembling our kitchen... again. For now, we have installed all the lower cabinets (sans doors) and the pantry. We are slowly oiling our countertop (which was also short but that’s another story for another day), and getting the appliances put back into place. Until all those cabinets come, not much else can be done. But it’s almost usable and for that, I am VERY grateful! Crisis almost averted...crisis hopefully averted.... I will keep you posted and let you know if I can relax or if I will most certainly have a heart attack when the shipment arrives... cross your fingers for me, would ya!?

Friday, 18 September 2015

book report

August was a slow reading month for me, but I managed to sneak in a couple of really good reads! The first book I finished was A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett. This book... wow.

A House in the Sky is a memoir about a young woman from Alberta, Canada. She grew up in a small town and always wanted more, always wondered what else there was out in the world. She began to travel and eventually ended up as a war reporter in Somalia. She and a fellow traveler were eventually kidnapped and held hostage for 460 days. 460 days... it boggled my mind when I first read it and it still boggles my mind now. How she managed to survive still astounds me. It is definitely worth a read, and if you are anything like me, you will learn to appreciate all that you have and you will give your loved ones a little extra squeeze when you hug them goodnight.

The other book that I read was called Family Pictures by Jane Green. This book started off a touch slow, and I honestly had no idea what it was really going to be about. Once you get passed part 1, it gets really good. Like don't really want to put it down good. Not in a suspenseful type way, but more in a what will they do now way...

This story is about two families who meet under very odd circumstances and have to learn how to overcome the unthinkable, and find the good in life again. It's a very easy read, but a very heartwarming read too. I recommend it as a great beach read... or Sunday afternoon, cuddle up on the couch, read.

Have you read any good books lately? Next on my list is A Girl on a Train... finally!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

wanna stay?

I feel like I'm channeling Emily Henderson with this design... If you don't know who she is... you should likely check her out and then you'll see what I mean! LOVE HER!

Anway, I've really been into the dark moody colors lately, so I thought I'd try my hand at something completely different, and I came up with this...

When I am planning out a room design, I like to find one item that I truly love and go from there. It helps me to have one thing to work around, whether it be a painting or a bed.. doesn't much matter! In this room? Clearly it was that bed. It's velvet... can you get any cozier and regal than that? Seriously. It mostly just reminds me of my Grandma and all her velour track suits she would wear. She made them classy and I freakin miss that velour maven!
To go along with this BE A UTIFUL bed, which I could have absolutely made appear much more regal, I pared chambray curtains. These curtains relax the room and give it a much more comfortable appeal. Throw in a plant and the relaxation level goes up another ten notches! Now, may I please comment on the beautiful dresser? It's a new piece from West Elm and it's what my dreams are made of. Rustic and modern all balled up into one beautiful piece. If only I were made of money and my home had five hundred rooms that I could decorate and use fabulous pieces like this. If I bought another dresser I think Steve might actually have me committed. We have three sitting in our basement that are not in use already! Someday.. that's what I keep telling him... and myself...

**bed**plant**curtains**sconce**carpe diem**chevron pillow**lattice pillow**dresser**

Sunday, 13 September 2015

it's looking like real progress now...

Since I last updated you on our kitchen progress, we have had a major hiccup... one that included a lot of swearing, some tears (on my part!), and a few lengthy phone conversations.

First, let me back track a touch. The flooring is in! It took a couple of days, but it's in and it looks great and it's made a huge difference! It's nice to have something under foot to actually walk on with bare feet again! I was getting a touch sick of wearing shoes every time I wanted to walk over the kitchen floor. If you have been following along, you know that replacing the flooring was not actually on our to do list (read more about that here). However, now that we have done it, I am really happy that we did! This kitchen is finally starting to feel like us and not ... like a 1970's hospital!
The flooring was relatively easy to install, that being said, I forgot to take pictures of Steve and his dad gluing the tiles down, but it was very similar to tiling with mortar. First, they put down new subflooring, sanded it down and filled in the cracks with a type of wood filler. Then they slowly applied the glue for the tiles in small sections and troweled it out like mortar. Then they placed the tiles down, turning them 90 degrees each time.... and then it looked like this....

Then it was time for grout. For vinyl tiles, you have to use a sanded acrylic grout.... instead of cement grout which is used for ceramic tile. It was applied the same way though.

It took us an entire evening to grout, which I thought was pretty good! It was a lot of work, but it went relatively smoothly. Definitely needed two people though! I basically ran up and down the stairs dumping buckets of grout water all night!

The finished product was perfect. Truly. It brightens up the room so much and it feel great under foot. We still have to clean the tile of any excess grout, but that will be one of the last things that we do. Finishing the flooring really got us motivated to finish the rest of the kitchen! Minus the hiccup... which i'll fill you in on next time... For now, I'll leave you with this little sneak peak! Happy Monday!

Friday, 4 September 2015

seriously...it's September...

Where did August go? I know we only say this because it's summer, and we know that the white stuff is going to start flying soon, but seriously...where did August go? Maybe I missed it because all we've been doing is kitchen, kitchen, kitchen! As much as i'm going to miss the beautiful summer weather, I am looking forward to some bonfires, chunky sweaters, and.... a kitchen that works. Too much kitchen talk? Well good news, i'm taking my mind off of the kitchen by pining over amazing finds on Etsy. Pine with me, won't you?

1. I always have to include at least one throw pillow. I love the simplicity of this one.

2. This shop on Etsy has fabulous prints. They are so bright and literally feel like they are giving me energy when I look at them. I am picturing in a nursery, or a little girls room. Or in my bathroom?! Ok, could pretty much put these prints anywhere.. LOVE!

3. Brass, i'm still on the brass band wagon. It's so gorgeous and i'd really like to add some to our home, and something like this would be a super simple way to do this! More greenery and more brass is never a bad thing in a home!

4. Furniture...on Etsy...is amazing. They have such a selection now and I always love me some wood and metal mixed furniture. I was drawn to these stools for their bases. There's something funky and modern yet simple and rustic about them. That combination always bodes well with me!

5. Please visit this Etsy shop and just try and tell me that their pieces don't make you smile! I bet you can't do it!

6. I am on a bit of a plant kick since I bought my first one this summer. Yes, you heard me correct, I bought my first plant this summer. I have never been known to have a green thumb, but I wanted to bring life into our house, and I'd love to add a little bit more in a tiny form like this... seems like I'd be able to handle taking care of something this small and cute!

7. A simple, chic magazine rack. I'd like to try my hand at making one just like this someday, but in case you are like me and never actually get around to doing what you think you can do, go to this shop and buy this one (just like i'll likely end up doing)!

8. Now, this is technically an actual first aid box, but I would most definitely use it for anything... keys, jewelry, pom poms, snacks.. you name it!

9. Another super simple, but freaking awesome print. So incredibly simple but gives up such a fun vibe!

10. Concrete.. my love affair continues. This time I'm taking it to the bathroom.

**1**2**3**4**5**6**7**8**9**10**

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

it's coming along...

A month of chaos! That's what our house is all about right now. I always wonder how the hell people do renovations with kids! I know that it will all be worth it when it's done, but right now, I cannot WAIT to get my house back in order and start working on the little projects that I thought were big projects! I feel like we can accomplish anything now! Ok maybe a slight exaggeration, but renovations are nuts and stressful and exciting, but a LOT of work.

Now let me catch you up on what we have accomplished so far. We decided to strip more of the drywall than we had originally thought. We decided to do things right. Drywall is not expensive, so we ripped all the drywall that was behind all the cupboards and replaced it with "water resistant" drywall.

Before we put the drywall up though, we (and by we I mean Steve) reworked some of the electrical. There were numerous switches that we did not know what they did. There were open wires just protruding from the wall and there were also phone jacks and outlets that were in ridiculous spots. SO, we got rid of the light switch that was hooked up to the dishwasher... yes you heard me correctly. We got rid of the light switch that we legitimately had no idea what it did. We also moved some wiring so that we could put sconces up on either side of the bay window.... which I am VERY excited about!

Once the electrical was complete, Steve hung the drywall and a friend of ours came by and did the mudding and taping! Steve is a very handy guy, as I have said many times before, however I have officially found one thing that he cannot do... mud and tape drywall. It's a good thing that's not why I married him ;)

The mudding and taping took a touch longer than we had anticipated, but that's what you get when you call on a friend instead of a professional... and we wouldn't have it any other way! While waiting on drywall, we went and picked out flooring. This was a touch more difficult than I had thought it would be. We had to pick something that wouldn't take too long to order in, which narrowed our choices a touch. We knew we didn't want ceramic tile, because we wanted something very durable and with our luck, we'd lay the tile and chip one within a matter of days. We then wondered if there was any possibility at all that we could get the same laminate wood flooring that the previous owners had put in the living room. They only left us one box, but we thought it was worth a shot to see if we could get more. No such luck. We looked at vinyl after that and nothing at all was catching our eye... there is still some very ugly ass vinyl flooring out there!

We were feeling a touch discouraged when we came across another couple just like us... and they were looking at vinyl tile. I have to admit that I did not know such a thing existed.. but it's actually quite brilliant! It looks like ceramic, but it's not nearly as cold, and you grout it like ceramic, but it's much more durable! We picked a very light grey...

I cannot wait to see how it turns out! It's a touch lighter than we had originally wanted, but I think the texture will work. We had to get a little extra too because we eventually want to change up the flooring in the entry way as well as down the stairs so that there aren't three different types of flooring as soon as you walk in our house! The entry is a ceramic tile and the stairs are covered in the old kitchen vinyl... We are slowly trying to pare down the different types of flooring that go all throughout our house! But maybe that's another post all on it's own ;)

As I speak the flooring is being laid out and grouting will happen soon and then the next step is the cabinets! You have NO idea how pumped I am. Seriously. I might get my kitchen back in a week! MIGHT!