Tag Archives: Curb Appeal

How To Pick The Perfect Farmhouse Sink For Your Kitchen

If you love the look of a farmhouse sink and want one in your kitchen, you are not alone. The farmhouse sink with its apron front was designed for the comfort of women who spent long hours in front of them. By eliminating the countertop in front, women did not have to lean forward over sink. So, what is it about these sinks of yesteryear that appeals to us today? I think there are a number of reasons they are so popular. The size is larger since the apron front extends over the bottom cabinet. This makes them ideal to wash even large pots, pans, cookie sheets and more.


Besides looking beautiful that apron front means that any drips will not be falling on the cabinet but onto the floor eliminating the chance of water damage to your cabinets. Without having to reach over the countertop it is much more comfortable than a conventional sink. I think there is a certain romantic quality to a farmhouse sink that beckons us to simpler times and tugs at our heartstrings.

When you are considering a farmhouse sink there are some factors to consider. Material is a major one. Farmhouse sinks are available in white porcelain, cast iron enamel, Fireclay, stainless steel, copper and more.


For me the look of the white Fireclay along with the durability make it a strong contender. I do have a more modern stainless steel farmhouse sink in my laundry room but I still find myself longing for the true farmhouse look of the Fireclay. There are sink grills available which will help protect your sink. I love sink grills and would highly recommend them. If a Fireclay sink does chip, it can be repaired with a repair kit.nantucket-sink-grill


Fireclay sinks are heavy and some require that the sink cabinet is customized with extra support to handle the weight. You will also need to decide on a double or single bowl. For me it is a no-brainer. I want the full experience of the large sink and don’t want to split it into 2 bowls.


Since I grew up with a dishwasher and don’t hand wash anything that can go in the dishwasher, I just did not see why I would want 2 bowls. The things we hand wash are large and so I know a double bowl would not be able to handle them with the ease of a large single bowl.

Even after you have decided on a sink material and bowl size there are still other decisions like the design. This is the hardest for me. I have been working with Jake from Nantucket Sinks and he has helped me tremendously. I finally made my decision and I choose the Hyannis 30″ Fireclay Sink.


So that is one decision down for our kitchen and about 1,000,000 more to go! What do you think of my choice? If you have any questions please let me know.



Filed under Cooking, Curb Appeal, Decorating, Home, Home & Garden, Home Improvement, Kitchen

An Easy Way To Add A Pop of Color To Any Room

I love growing things, I have been growing mango trees from seed all summer. I have germinated 10 or 11 trees now that are doing wonderful! I am growing pineapples too from the pineapple top and it is so much fun and so rewarding. I love to garden and also plant and maintain many perennial gardens on my property. I have a vegetable garden too and one of the things I hate about winter is the drabness that seems to take over. Sure the white snow on evergreens is pretty but the long winters can leave me longing for color.

That is where silk flowers come in. They can give me those pops of colors that really cheer me up and make me smile. I also like to use them in areas where it would be hard to maintain real flowering plants. I recently picked out a gorgeous Dancing Orchid. It is 32″ tall and comes in a beautiful ceramic pot.






I am really happy with it and plan to put it around my whirlpool tub in my master bathroom. I like to take a lot of warm baths in the winter and having that colorful orchid there will just help me to feel that spring is not too far away.

Do you decorate with silk plants? Would love to hear your thoughts.

I received the dancing orchid to facilitate my review. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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Filed under Curb Appeal, Decorating, Gift, Home, Home & Garden

Overcoming Challenges When Designing Your Child’s Room

Designing a child’s room can be a challenge. It can be tempting just to utilize an adult bedroom set for them, especially if you already have one you can use. Using adult furniture sets can present several issues. Often, the furniture is not suitable for children, it may have sharp corners, lack safety features or just be the wrong size to be safe or functional.  Children’s rooms tend to be smaller than what many adult size sets were made for. This can leave a child’s room overcrowded, cramped and lacking in style, functionality and fun!

You might be scratching your head trying to figure out how you can create a child’s room that will be functional, fun, stylish and grow with them.  I am happy to tell you that it’s not so hard.  You might want to take a look  at modular childrens’ bedroom furniture as an option. Modular furniture is the perfect choice when trying to maximize storage and function for kids, even in small spaces.

bambini bedroom set

The versatility of having some pieces with wheels that can be moved when needed and rolled back when not. Modular pieces provide storage for what you need most. Create a unique storage solution for your child’s things by combining cubbies, cubes, shelves, drawers, hooks etc to get exactly what you need. Wardrobe units can be added and are a solution for more than clothing storage, they can be customized to fit many purposes.


Modular pieces also let you work around oddly shaped spaces where more traditional furniture just won’t work. Other advantages are the ability to add  bold punches of color in a drawer or bin that draws the eye and gives the room flair. If your child is old enough, letting him/her plan their room with you and decide on pieces and colors will empower your child and makes them so much more in tune with their room.



Bunk beds or loft beds with desk space underneath  add function and style in any space.  As your child grows, pieces can be added, colors swapped, pieces rearranged  and more to adapt to their changing needs.  Changing the color of walls and textiles will also give the same pieces a totally different feel as your child grows.



If you have a budding artist adding a fold down modular wall cabinet that transforms into an art table with smaller cubbies and drawers above for art supplies would inspire and delight any budding Picasso.

Bambini Childre's Room


If you have a child collector, there are great options for storing and displaying sports memorabilia, dolls, cars and more. What are your greatest challenges in your child’s room? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.



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Make Choosing Tile Easier With The Interior Design Tile Style Guide From Drury Design!!!

As someone in the middle of several home improvement projects with extensive tile work involved in 2 of them, I am excited to share a new guide to make choosing tile easier.  One of the most daunting parts of picking out tile is trying to find what you like, staying in your  budget and choosing tile that is right for the application you are using it for.  Walking in a tile showroom can be positively overwhelming!  There are so many patterns, colors, materials and finishes that it may cause your eyes to glaze over or make you have a panic attack.

Tile ModernBath

Last year at this time, I was picking out the tile for our master bath and I remember being so overwhelmed.   I just wanted to be in a room with 3 choices and make a simple decision.  Tile is something you don’t just change on a whim, you know it’s going to be with you for a long time and that’s why picking something that is going to go the long haul for you on style and  durability is paramount.

Tile Backsplash

If you wished an expert could be with you, holding your hand and guiding you, I may have the next best thing.  The Interior Design Tile Style Guide from Drury Design will help you understand everything you need to know when making a tile purchase. From the basics of whether  to choose glass, ceramic, porcelain, natural stone or exotic tile based on where it will be installed, durability, maintenance and your budget to lots of interior design ideas simple and ornate. Armed with the proper knowledge beforehand makes picking out tile a much easier and pleasurable task.

Tile Steamer_in_kitchen_drury

Tile Steamer_in_kitchen_drury

You can browse great design ideas for bathrooms, kitchens, backsplash trends and more for inspiration.  Check it out today and see what you think.  Let us know your thoughts.

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Master Bath Reno Update Featuring Concealed Cabinets!!! #CurbAppeal

concealed cabinet logo

Have you wondered what part of the master bath ren0 we are up to?   Did you think we were finished and going to do the big reveal?  I wish we were finished.  We have so many home improvement projects occurring simultaneously in our home right now, it feels like we are living in an episode of Hoarders.  What I mean by that is, since we had to empty rooms and closets, we are now storing so much in towers of boxes and bins it feels like our stuff is taking over.

Concealed Cabinet image

I cannot wait until the master bath is finished and it almost is but there have been such delays with the tile contractor and things have been done backwards.  He needs to finish the tiling of the stairs around the whirlpool and grout certain areas and then he still has to finish prepping the walls for paint which is going to get dust over everything again and should have been finished but let’s not even go there!

Anyway, you probably remember posts about the medicine cabinets and how we decided to go with Concealed Cabinets. If you missed that, you can read about it HERE and HERE.  We installed 2 of the extra-large concealed cabinets on either side of the vanity.  It was an easy install and they look great.  Concealed Cabinets  look like a picture frame and you can add whatever art work you like to the door front and change it whenever you want too!

For this review and update, I just put some scrapbook paper in the back of some prints I had.  I am changing them to something that fits the entire space and will be using photographs I took of our lake and gardens.  I tried two different papers with the prints but decided to use the print and changed the one that had the solid green-blue metallic paper. Until, the other prints come in, these will do and it’s just as well since we still have a lot of dust and construction to come.

this was a very stiff metallic paper and it looks very weird in the photo because of the way it reflected the light and it looks like two different colors.  That is not how it looks in real life but I did like the look of the print paper better so changed them.

This was a very stiff metallic paper and it looks very weird in the photo because of the way it reflected the light and it looks like two different colors. That is not how it looks in real life but I did like the look of the print paper better so changed them.


Concealed Cabinet 2

I have not put anything inside yet, since as you can see the walls still have to be finished.


This is the print background that I decided to put in the other as well until the enlarged photo prints come in.

This is the print background that I decided to put in the other as well until the enlarged photo prints come in.


Concealed-Cabinet 5

Concealed Cabinets are made of REAL WOOD, no plastic and come in different sizes and finishes.  We choose the white in the extra-large size. If you are looking for a change from the traditional look of ordinary medicine cabinets, a concealed cabinet could be just what you are looking for.  Right now they are having a SIZZLING SUMMER SALE and you can save 20% at www.concealedcabinet.com.  You can follow Concealed Cabinet on Facebook  and Twitter to see the latest news and updates on their product line.


Stay tuned for more updates and hopefully very soon the big reveal of the Master Bath!!!  I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it will not be much longer.

Innovators sponsored our project by providing us with the 2 Concealed Cabinets, as always, my views and words are 100% my own.

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6 Ways to Brighten Up Your Apartment!!!

Although you can’t do any major remodeling when renting an apartment, you don’t have to put up with living in a dark, dreary place. There are all kinds of ways to brighten up even the darkest abode, and there’s no need to spend a fortune to make it happen.


Put These Six Tips to Work to Transform Any Gloomy Apartment

  1. Reflect the Light – If you’re maxed out in the lamp department, have limited amounts of natural light and still want to make things brighter, invest in reflective decor. Mirrors, glass tables and shelves and metal furniture and accent pieces all reflect the light to make it brighter and more dazzling. As an added bonus, mirrors make rooms seem more spacious too.
  2. Ditch Dark Floors and Walls – Light-colored paint works wonders when it comes to brightening up a room. If your lease doesn’t allow you to repaint the walls, invest in light-colored artwork and decals. The same applies to floors. You can’t install new flooring, but adding a few light-colored rugs into the mix should make a major difference.
  3. Get Creative with Pendant Lamps – Again, the terms of your lease may or may not allow it, but installing pendant lamps and hanging them at different heights is a terrific way to add significant amounts of brightness to a room. With bulbs shining at different levels, even the most cramped spaces seem a lot roomier. There are all kinds of beautiful pendant lamps out there too, and brightly colored models pack a major wallop.
  4. Make Windows Look Larger – Installing new windows isn’t an option, of course, but it’s easy to work with what you have. One of the best tricks for making windows look larger is to get creative with curtains. Invest in floor-length curtains, and then hang them so that they precisely flank either end of the window. At a glance, the window will appear much larger than it actually is. While this won’t actually bring more light into your apartment, it will create the illusion of doing so.
  5. Use a Light Touch with Furniture – Large, bulky pieces of furniture increase the darkness of a room. Invest in lightweight chairs, sofas, coffee tables and other types of furniture instead. Seek out items that have sleek, slim profiles, and choose pieces that have lots of open space underneath. Finally, use furniture sparingly in general. The more space there is, the brighter your apartment will seem.
  6. Add Brightness and Visual Interest with Flameless Candles – Regular candles are lovely, but they’re also safety hazards. With flameless candles, you can enjoy the benefits of candlelight without the risk. They come in many shapes, sizes and designs, so finding suitable pieces for your place should be a breeze.


From mirrors to flameless candles, there are all kinds of ways to bring your apartment out of the darkness and into the light. Try one or all of the preceding tips to revamp your place in a big way.


Filed under Curb Appeal, DIY, Home Improvement, Main Page Post, Mommy Ramblings

8 Ways to Brighten Up Your Living Room

Natural light flowing into your living room makes the room feel spacious and inviting. Therefore, it is beneficial to your overall decor to allow the maximum amount of natural light into the room. When natural light is limited, you can do make some creative design and decor choices to brighten up the room.
Window treatments
Using the minimum amount of window coverings will allow the natural light to flow more freely into the room. Light weight window covering fabric is a good design choice. You could choose window treatments such as blinds that can be raised to leave the majority of the window uncovered during the day and lowered for privacy at night.

Hanging a mirror across from a window is a smart design trick that helps brighten a room. Choosing a mirror with a gold or silver frame gives you an additional reflective element in the room. Mirrored tables are an ideal accent piece in any room that you wish to brighten up.

Decorative accessories
The accessories you incorporate into your decor can help brighten up the room. Clear vases such as those found at different online shops are an ideal choice. Shiny gold and silver vases add elegance to a room while providing a surface for light to bounce off of. Clear vases can be used in a variety of ways in a living room decor. If you want to include a unique accessory in your living room that will both reflect light and allow light to flow through it, you should check out the metallic vase as well. Metallic items add casual elegance to a decor. That is often an ideal combination for a living room.

One of the simplest ways to brighten up your living room is through the use of vibrant, energizing colors. You may want to paint an accent wall a brilliant orange, bright yellow, energizing red or shocking green to brighten up the room. A bold colored fabric on an accent chair, pillows made with bright floral print fabric, magnificently colorful wall art, vibrant colored rugs or painted accent furniture are all great ways to use color to enliven your living room. 

Furniture placement
When you place your furniture in the living room, be sure that none of it blocks a window. A room that is overcrowded with furniture is not visually appealing. Using a minimal amount of furniture allows any type of lighting to flow more freely throughout the room. 

The lighting you choose play a large role in determining how bright your living room is. You get a bonus when you select lighting such as a chandelier, mini chandelier or lamps with clear shades. The light they emit shines through and sunlight reflects off of them. 

Flowers and plants
Placing a vase of fresh flowers in your living room is a wonderful way to brighten up the room. At various online shops you can find some very attractive vases that would be the perfect container for a bouquet of fresh flowers. As an alternative to fresh flowers, you can include some lush green plants in your decor. A large single leaf, showcased in an attractive glass bowl or vase, looks lovely sitting on an accent table in the living room.

Brighten your room with black accessories
When you are searching for ways to brighten up your living area, you are likely focusing on bright colors. However, you should not overlook the powerful way black can enliven a room. You might consider black slip covers for your furniture. Accent pillows in almost any color would pop against the black fabric. Silver or gold decorative items command attention when placed on a table with a black top. A clear glass bowl with a colorful candle or festive candy in it is a cheerful accessory for a room. Place a small colorful accent rug over a black area rug and the room will immediately brighten up.

By implementing some of the previously mentioned ideas, you can easily brighten up your living room. Work with the flow of natural light as much as possible. Beyond that, let your creative decorating skills have unlimited freedom and enjoy the results.


Filed under Curb Appeal

Master Bath Renovation Update in our Curb Appeal Series!!! #CurbAppeal

Well, it is time for another curb appeal update.  The master bath is slowly coming along. Our tile contractor still has about a week to finish but things are finally shaping up. Tomorrow they are grouting the shower and finishing more walls.  After all the walls are done they will tile the floor, then put the new toilet in, install the tub and we can get the shower panel and frameless doors on, the vanity installed, countertop and sinks, all the trim and the paint.

Here is a look at some of the progress since last time:

master bath


master bath 1


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Filed under Curb Appeal, DIY, Home Improvement, Mommy Ramblings, Uncategorized

Master Bath Renovation Update-The Walls Are Going UP!!! #CurbAppeal

Very noisy and busy day in our household today.  The tile contractor finished the rest of the tile demo and started tiling the area that will be around the whirlpool tub.  Things are taking shape, of course we have a huge amount of work left but for the first time we are seeing the start of our new bathroom.

tile phase 2

These are 2 of the walls that will be around the tub.

tile phase 2 5

This picture shows the two walls in the picture above plus the third wall that is tiled to the ceiling since it is attached to the other floor to ceiling wall where the shower will be.
You can also see the niche that was tiled with the mosaic accents in the back of it.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

With the walls demoed we were able to try the Concealed Cabinets for placement.  The cabinets are being installed in the walls on the side of the master vanity.  They will look a picture and hide a large medicine cabinet.  The walls will be tiled around the cabinets.  Above  each sink will be a large mirror and then we have new lighting that will be installed above the mirrors along with all the recessed lighting already installed.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

I am sure there will be more updates tomorrow along with more noise but it is noise with a purpose.


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Curb Appeal Updates: Master Bath Remodel, Let’s Talk About Tile, Tubs, Showers and Niches with a Side of Koi Pond!!!

Curb Appeal LogoWell, the master bath/master bedroom renovation project has officially commenced.  We already had the tile floor demoed and removed  back in the fall.  This week the tile contractor removed the old whirlpool tub, had to tear down the old platform and steps because there was a height and size difference with the new whirlpool.  He then ripped out the rest of the 5 foot high tiled walls in that section.  He is leaving us the shower, sinks and toilet still useable until the whirlpool section of the bathroom is finished. This week that area should be completed and he can start the rest of the demo and reconstruction/remodel.

New Platform Curb Appeal

Now, I thought about recycling the old whirlpool, since it worked and was in good condition but the color a bit dated. I know the components like the pump etc could be offered for a small fee or free via Craigslist or Freecycle, but what about the tub?  What could I do with that?  That is when I got a great idea.  I wondered if I could use it as a Koi pond.  I went downstairs and did some reasearch and indeed I could. It can be covered with a heavy-duty pond liner and set into the ground.  So that will be saved and we’re going to take you through that project as soon as the ground thaws.  Please tell me that as we brace for yet another snowfall that we will experience spring soon! Now lets talk about the tile, this is some of the tile we choose for the bathroom.  It was shipped straight from Italy and was delayed in customs, but finally arrived.  The pictures don’t do it justice.



tile 10

Tile 1

The colors are a gold/ivory color and the wall tile is a subway style, the floor has the same tile  but in 12″ by 12″ squares and then the gorgeous mosaics will be installed near the top in a 2 row width and finished with a row of the bullnose subway tile.

schluter logo


Niches, niches, who has the niches?  We do, and we have lots of them thanks to Schluter Systems and their prefabricated shower niches.  We will be using these in more than just the shower!  The largest niche is going in one of the walls surrounding the whirlpool.  It is a full tiled to the ceiling wall and will have the 12″ by 28″ niche installed with the subway bullnose tile and the mosaics in the back that will make it pop off the wall.  It also has a floating shelf that will be set midway and tiled.

Schluter Shower Niche


Schluter Shower Niches


Schluter Shower Niches


Installed Schluter Shower Niche


Floating Shelf Schluter Shower Niche

I thought it would be a great accent as well as useful storage that was handy for bath products. A shower niche is an ideal spot to keep shampoos and soaps in a tiled shower. Building a fully waterproof, properly sealed tiled shower niche can be a detailed and time-consuming task. Schluter-Systems has developed four prefabricated and completely waterproof shower niches that are ready to tile. Made of Schluter®-KERDI-BOARD, the shower niches are completely compatible with surface applied waterproofing systems, such as the Schluter®-KERDI and KERDI-BOARD shower assemblies. All four shower niches feature a 1/2″ (12.5 mm)-thick by 2″ (50 mm)-wide integrated bonding flange that sits perfectly flush with the surrounding wall area. The larger sizes include an optional prefabricated shelf that can be installed at any height to create separate compartments within the shower niche.

The preformed shower niche provides installers with increased speed during installation, combined with complete waterproofing dependability. The corners of a traditional shower niche are the most challenging area to waterproof and can be very susceptible to standing water and mold growth. With pre-sealed niche corners this challenge is completely eliminated. The niche complements an already wide array of preformed shower components available from Schluter-Systems, including shower trays, curbs, ramps, and benches. All of these components help installers build waterproof and vapor tight tiled showers more quickly and effectively than with traditional construction materials.

The shower niche is available in four different sizes and we have all of them so we will show you how they not only function so well in the shower but we will install them in areas you might not think for some great design option.  For instance the install in the tile wall by the whirlpool and we also plan to install two in the tiled wall above the new vanity to hold soap and other frequently used products neatly off the countertop.  We will of course be also using one of the larger sizes in the shower as well as one or two of the smaller sizes.  We will take you through the progress of the installation of these great products.  To see more about the niches or anf the other great products from Schluter, just visit their website and be sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.


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