Ugly Kitchen Quick Fix - Vinyl Floor Tiles

29

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


In my last kitchen post I mentioned that we had just bit the bullet and chosen a strange-for-us, dark grey, click-together vinyl floor tile as an easy quick-fix for our gross kitchen floors.

Exhibit A:

So nasty, right?

The boxes sat in our breakfast room for a good week while we second guessed our decision. The tiles were really dark. And the pattern on them was kind of weird (out of the four samples we brought home I tried to choose the one that looked the least like fake ceramic.) After awhile we came to the conclusion that pretty much anything would be better than what we had before. With the help of his dad, Alex went for it.

They had a few issues to contend with, seeing as our house is a bit odd, and, well, 75 years old. One of the main problems that they had was cutting the tiles to fit under the doorway trim of SIX door openings. Our kitchen has doorways that lead to the dining room, living room, basement, powder room, breakfast room, and pantry. When I called the boys at 2 pm to see how everything was going all I heard on the other end was cursing. At that point I knew it was a bit of a challenging install. Also, they ended up having to place the tile directly over the linoleum (instead of removing it and a layer of plywood) because the gaps under the trim would have been much too big. That required trimming all of the doorway trim with some kind of magical tool that I forget the name of. Even with all of the hiccups, the whole installation took about two weekend mornings.

I'll be honest. For the first few days, neither of us liked the floor at all. We were kind of sad about it. It didn't help that after removing everything from the kitchen it was painfully obvious that all of the walls needed to be repainted, the baseboards needed work, the appliances and kitchen carts were filthy on the sides and back, and everything in general just looked tired and scuffed up.

With everything out of the way we took the opportunity to do some fixing up. First, I gave our kitchen carts and appliances a thorough cleaning on the sides and backs that aren't usually accessible. After that I washed, sanded, and repainted the kitchen walls. We also sanded, caulked, painted, and added quarter round trim to the baseboards. Alex also replaced a seriously old light switch with a nice, shiny, new one.

Exhibit B:



Exhibit C:



With everything repainted, cleaned, and put back together I do have to say that the floors look a lot better than they did before. Do I love them? No. Does Alex love them? No. But do we like them now? Yeah, we're getting used to them. :)

P.S. It's hard to tell in the photos but in person you can in fact see the lines in between the large, rectangular tiles as well as some subtle texture on each tile.

Now let's take a look at the before and after pictures. Here is a picture of the original linoleum flooring:



And here is a picture of the vinyl flooring installed over top:


What do you think? Do you like the before or after better? For me, it definitely feels crisper and cleaner in there and a lot less dingy. Yay for a less dingy kitchen!!!!

Wanna hear some other fun news? We have two boxes of white subway tiles and two lengths of butcher block counter sitting in our basement right now. Our kitchen quick fixes aren't done yet. The idea is to spruce up this side of our oogly kitchen next:


Someday soon I will be saying goodbye to that green and white laminate. Triple yay!!!

A Little Window Chalkboard DIY Project

9

Thursday, February 26, 2015


I have a little table and chair set for Cooper's new room. Right now it's situated on a little section of wall at the end of his twin bed. Since it's so low to the ground it was in desperate need of some wall art to be hung over top. Hmmm, what to do, what to do?

That's when I remembered that my mom had a set of teeny, tiny, old windows stacked up in her greenhouse. Of course I went over and stole one when she wasn't home one day. Just kidding, she generously let me have my pick. Score!

So here's what the window looked like when I first brought it home:


For some pieces, I really like the idea of keeping the original, chippy paint. However, the original paint looked really dreary up against the paint colour in Coops' room. I really needed a nice, bright white to make it pop. I also didn't want to have loose paint chips flaking off all over the place.

Here's what I basically did:

- removed the glass
- gave the painted wood a light hand sanding with 150 grit sandpaper (with a mask on of course)
- gave it a quick wash with TSP and then a damp rinse with water
- primed the wood with Fresh Start Primer by Benjamin Moore
- painted the wood with Simply White by Benjamin Moore
- applied a glaze over the freshly painted wood with a combination of Behr's Faux Glaze and Benjamin Moore's Castlestone wood stain
- purchased a sheet of hardboard from Lowe's
- cut four rectangles the size of the window openings with an exact-o knife
- primed the hardboard
- painted the hardboard with chalkboard paint (three coats)
- secured the hardboard in behind the window with silicone
- added a picture hanger to the top 

You can see that the glaze / stain combo settled into all of the grooves, cracks, and imperfections and really gave the window some of it's old character and charm back.







The black paint on the chalkboard looks so crisp and clean that I haven't had the heart to condition it yet with chalk. I'll make sure to share a picture the day I finally give the Coopster a piece of chalk and let him go to town.

Oh yeah, and this little project isn't really the most practical for daily chalkboard use. It's kinda more for decoration. If he really likes it, however, I'm not opposed to making a bigger one for him. There's nothing like jumping on the chalk paint bandwagon five years late.

:)


P. S. Four of my little friends wanted to say hi today. That's Roary, Lexie, Cooper, and "Big Ryder".




Sharing Here:

Inspiration Gallery Link Party @ Design, Dining, and Diapers
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
March 2015 Before and After @ Thrifty Decor Chick

Vinyl Flooring Samples for an Upcoming Ugly Kitchen Quick Fix

17

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


In my last kitchen-related post I mentioned how I had finally bought some new hardware for our recently painted cabinets. Holla!!! I was excited.


We spent one Saturday morning installing all of our new knobs and pulls, and I was feeling pretty good about the simple, little kitchen refresh.

(You can see in the next picture that we did actually put them on.)


So why no pictures for the ol' blog you ask?

Well, I lugged out my big camera and tripod for the sole purpose of having a nice before and after post. In my mind it was going to be an epic transformation. 

Ugly Kitchen with Old Cabinet Hardware

But then, but then, but then. When I uploaded the pictures onto my computer all I could see was the gross linoleum floor and the swirly retro countertops / backsplash. The epic before and after wasn't exactly as epic as I had hoped.

The floors especially have been driving me insane. Remember our cute Ikea kitchen carts? They're not so cute with a disgusting, peeling hole right beside them let-me-tell-you.


So, what to do about the floors.

We talked about it for weeks - weighing the different options and possibilities. One of the easiest things to do would be to throw some inexpensive peel and stick vinyl floor tiles right on top of the linoleum. The only problem with that solution is the local selection at Home Depot / Lowe's is limited to about four options each. And, I'm not really a fan of any of them. 

I thought a peel and stick floor in a checkerboard pattern would be a very cute option. 

Source - Holly Mathis Interiors

However, the only plain black and white tiles that I can find are from www.armstrong.com and it would cost an arm and a leg to get them shipped here since I don't even think they ship to Canada directly. 

For awhile I contemplated painting the floors with porch paint in some sort of checkerboard or stripe pattern. I found a few cute examples on the internet but Alex was really hesitant because of the heavy traffic our kitchen gets on a daily basis. (Our doggies are confined to the kitchen / breakfast room when we aren't home). We also have those spots where the linoleum has peeled right off.

I also thought about ripping up all of the existing flooring to expose the wooden sub-floor. If it was in good shape I thought that maybe I could paint it. Alex did a little bit of investigating and found about five layers of flooring / plywood on top of the sub-floor. Hmpfh.

So, this past weekend we went again to look at the inexpensive vinyl options. This time we went to an actual flooring store instead of a big box hardware store.

They had four click-together vinyl floor tiles that I didn't hate. Progress, people, progress. We took some samples home to try them out. Be forewarned that all of the tile samples in the next picture are WAY out of my comfort zone. I like light colours. I like wood. 

Alex gave me a pep talk and said that this is just a quick fix until we are ready to do the full, expensive, gut-the-whole-kitchen-reno. He said it would be okay to choose something a little bit different than I would normally.

So, I did. I picked one. We are going to remove the top layer of linoleum and install a layer of vinyl click-together floor tiles in it's place. 


Oh my. I'm freaking out a little bit just looking at that picture. Gulp. What have I done!?!?!?!??!?!?!

Can you guess which option we chose? 

It's Option #4 - in the bottom right-hand corner.

I keep going on Pinterest to find pictures of kitchens with similar looking flooring to help my anxiety-ridden brain settle down a bit.

Here are a few cute inspiration pictures that I found:

Source - Decor Pad

Source - Decor Pad
So, Alex is talking about possibly installing this new flooring in our kitchen on Saturday. That's in four days.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Afternoons

16

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I always have grand plans for weekday afternoons. As I'm driving home from work I always run through the possibilities..... household chores that need to be done..... projects that need to be started, or, ahem, completed..... fun places to take the Coopster.... errands to run..... dinners to plan and cook..... treats to bake..... the list goes on and on.

For example, this afternoon as I was driving home I thought that I would absolutely be able to:

1) Put the last coat of paint on the kids table and chair set I mentioned in this post.
2) Take Coops and the dogs out for a sleigh ride in the snow (it's snowing like crazy here at the moment).
3) Get started on dinner by trying out a brand new recipe that's been on my to-try Pinterest board forever.

But then.

By the time I arrive at Grandma's house to pick up the Coopster, hear about his day, get him dressed, pack him up in the car, get home, get unloaded, and get our lunch boxes cleaned out I realize that I am:

a) losing steam fast, and
b) starving again

So of course instead of eating my planned yogurt with berries I decide to make myself a fried egg sandwich on an English muffin with cheese and butter. This leads to a lot of dishes and my little guy deciding that he needs to make himself "lunch" as well. 

After playing on his own for oh, about two minutes he decides that we must bake cookies together. By the time we roll the dough, cut the cookies, ice them, cook them, taste test every single one, make some coffee to go with them, burn the coffee, make another pot, re-pour the coffee, add the sugar, milk, and pepper(?), get burns on our hands from the hot stove, get bandages and kisses, and finish our "treats" over an hour has gone by. 








Oops. The sleigh ride for Coops / walk for the dogs / exercise for the gaining-way-too-much-weight-Mama is not going to happen today.

:)

I wait a few minutes to see if Coops will start to play on his own for a bit. Please oh please will he play that game of "hide the cars, a rainstorm is coming!" because I really need to finish painting my furniture.

Alas, Coopaloops decides that we must put on our skates to go skating. So we take our socks off and skate around the main floor on wooden blocks. We do about 5 laps around the house. I tell him that I hurt myself on the ice so I need to take a break. Instead of getting to play the lazy mommy card this turns into a game of doctor. 

So much for painting that furniture.

:)

I warm up some milk and take my little friend upstairs to see if today will be a nap day. Did I mention that afternoon naps are now a rare, magical occurrence? Once I've read him his stories and tucked him into bed it's already 3 pm and I pretty much need to sit for five minutes and have a little break. I'm able to watch my little stinker practice his ninja moves in his bed on a video monitor (best investment ever btw). After ten minutes and a lot of thumping, I can tell that today's nap is not going to happen. 

My motivation to try a new recipe for dinner has gone way down by this point. So much for a fancy supper. 

:)

I decide that Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes are a great alternative.

Some afternoons I get frustrated that I never seem to get anything done. But then I stop for a second and realize what a gift it is that I am able to spend these quiet afternoons with my mini best-friend. After all, that's the whole reason I decided to work part-time in the first place, right? Not to do chores, not to do painting projects, but to spend quality time with my little cutie.... baking cookies, getting pretend "ouchies", and skating around the house scratching the heck out of our hardwood floors


P.S. One quote from the day that I will not be writing down any time soon:

"Mommy, move your big bum out of the way please."

At least he said please?!?!? 

:)

Kids Room - Adding Some Accent Colours

19

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I can't believe that my little dude is already sleeping in his new, big boy room. I was so excited for him that I didn't really have a chance to process what a huge milestone it was. That is, until I peeked into his old, half-empty nursery that very first night. Where did my little, chubby-cheeked ninja baby go!?!?!?


Over the past few months I've been slowly moving things out of the spare room (it's official - I'm a hoarder) in order to move some of Cooper's stuff in. To make it a smooth transition I moved some of his familiar furniture with him into his new room. Here's what I hauled over.

His bookcase (minus the baskets because they're corralling toys in our sunroom):



His armchair for story time as well as his dresser for clothes:


I also brought in a kids table and chair set that I painted many moons ago (when I painted my house with fluorescent yellow paint by accident)(this picture still scares me):


The table and chair set will be getting a simple makeover to avoid stripe overload. I love me some stripes, but I don't want to go too crazy with striped walls as well.

I explained in a recent post that I'm working with the horizontal stripes that were already in the room. That decision has it's pros and cons. It's a lot less work if I don't have to sand and repaint an entire room. To be honest though, I'm kind of over the paint colours. Let's just say that if I were starting from scratch I would probably choose a different wall colour. I still like it, I just don't love it as much as I did way back when.



After making a bland and boring design board thingie I decided that I would need to liven up the room a little bit.

Bland and boring design board thingie:


I decided that I would try to incorporate a few accent colours. This was so hard. You know me. I like the colour white.

The colours I started with included:


Simply White - Benjamin Moore
Old Prairie - Benjamin Moore
Camouflage - Benjamin Moore
Kendall Charcoal - Benjamin Moore

After a lot of deliberation (and anxiety)(things like this stress me out)(I'm weird like that) I finally decided on the addition of two accent colours.

Here they are altogether.... dun dun dun......


Westcott Navy - Benjamin Moore
Palladian Blue - Benjamin Moore

Here's my new plan for the room incorporating a little bit of navy and light blue:


I am loving the look of everything together in the above picture, I just hope it will look nice together real life. Eeeeeek!

What do you think? Love it or hate it? Any suggestions? I'm all ears! :)
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