Monday, August 27, 2012

A New Nook!

Let's take a little trip together.  A trip to the dark and dreary land of our breakfast nook.  After scrapping wallpaper and removing the old dark chair rail, we were left with this.  

A feast for the eyes, eh?

The first change to this space (besides removing that old fruit wallpaper) was to address the lighting.   Installing recessed lights throughout the kitchen made a world of difference!

It stayed just like this for quite awhile but with school fast approaching it was time to tackle the rest of this eat in kitchen area. The kids ate breakfast and lunch here regularly but we really needed this to be a multifunctional space for eating, painting/crafts, homework, learning activites and congregating as a family.

We began by priming and painting those aweful walls.  I'm not one to jump on a trend but I couldn't resist the pull of the ombre!  I had planned to use stripes to help the space feel larger, so a subtle ombre striped wall was the perfect backdrop.  You can read about how we tackled that bad boy here.
grey ombre paint stripes


Seating was a big issue in this space - the table and chairs could seat four, so someone in our family of five was always out of luck.  To expand seating we took advantage of the corner space by adding an L-shaped bench (scored off craigslist), which expanded our seating to seven.  We said goodbye to the honey colored finish and gave her a fresh coat of white paint.

They were pretty basic, but the feature that sold me was the additional storage in the bench seats.  Show em', Vanna...

I lined the inside with a graphic shelf liner from TJMaxx and filled them with art/craft supplies.  This one holds all of our painting supplies (in one box so that when it's time to paint, I only have to pull out one thing) as well as pencils, crayons and tape.  I keep glue and scissors in a nearby bookcase where little fingers can not reach.
 

The other bench holds paper, dry erase handwriting boards (Target dollar bins), a box of dry erase markers and plenty of activity books. 
 
 It is so nice to have all of our arts and craft supplies in one location, right where we'll be doing the creating!  We also made a kids art gallery in the dining room, so new masterpieces can go straight up for display. 

To ensure the benches would be a comfy spot to sit, we made a cushion using 2" foam, cut it to size with a sharp serrated knife and covered it with some grey fabric (actually a sheet).  I will probably replace it with a fun outdoor fabric at some point.  Outdoor fabrics are a great option for well-used areas like this - they hold up well to little ruffians and clean up well too.  Another option is to treat your regular fabrics with Scotch Guard to give them an added durability and protection against spills and stains.



I busted out all of the pillows in about an hour using this super easy envelope pillow cover tutorial by Maillardville Manor.  I don't think I'll ever make pillows another way!  (You can use Scotch Guard to prevent messy stains on these puppies too).  The envelope cover makes it super easy to pull off and toss right in the wash.

We stuck with the same table and chairs giving them a fresh coat of paint and making a minor adjustment to the height of the chairs.  I had the hubs take off the top rung which was a much better proportion to the benches and gave them a smaller footprint in the tiny space. 


A quick sanding and they were ready to go!


I wanted to have some fun with color here, so I covered the natural seat fibers with painters tape and Press n Seal, then went to work.  Hhhmmmm.  Salmon anyone?

A lovely color but not the bold coral I was going for.  This color was Valspar's Passion Pink.  It was very close to the color chip but far less dark and saturated as the color sample on the lid.

Our second attempt (sample on the right) was the perfect shade, Valspar's Autumn Fire.  It gave the chairs just the right pop of color!

ombre striped breakfast nook


The prints on the wall are another DIY project.  I took one of our favorite Dr. Seuss quotes ("The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go") and broke it up into four sections.  I used a digital scrap-booking kit, "First Comes Love" by Shawna Clingerman, to create a print for each section and then framed them in these white lovelies I grabbed on sale from Target.



 They mark this is as a place to explore, learn and create!


We mounted 3 knobs from Hobby Lobby right next to the benches.  With 3 kids so close in age everything tends to get identified with an initial or color coded to keep everyone's belongings with the right little person.  Here we went with pink/purple (Mia), green (Jack), and blue (Sully) knobs for each of the kidlet's art smocks.  Easily accessible and easy to put away when art time is over.


painted coral chairs

Mr. Owl holds our twistable Crayola colored pencils that we use most often.  His spot in the corner keeps them handy but also out of the way.
That colorful scallop striped fabric by Michael Miller inspired the whole color palette for this cozy space.  The entire area feels so much brighter and much more inviting. 

We are over-the-moon thrilled with this fresh new area of our home!
 


One last before and after?  Here we go....

Before:


After:

Now to get the rest of the kitchen and floors up to speed!  But first maybe a little break :)


*I'm linked up at...A Bowl Full Of Lemons, The 36th AvenueTatertots & JelloOne Artsy Mama, Watch Out, Martha!, The Dedicated House & I Heart Naptime 
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75 comments:

  1. Deme, WOW, it looks amazing. When we buy a house, you will have to come over and share some of your wonderfulness with me! This area really came together nicely. It is fresh, clean, calming, and I LOVE it!

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    1. You are too sweet, Stacey! Thank you! Just tell me when to book my ticket ;)

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  2. I planned to do something very similar to this in our kitchen nook! I bought a very similar benches, with seat storage, off CL months ago but I still haven't painted them. How did you paint them, spray paint, sand them and them use a brush, etc.? Can't wait to do this after seeing yours...nice!

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    1. Hi Valerie! I gave mine a light sanding, wiped them down with a damp cloth and once they were dry, gave them a couple coats of spray paint. I used a primer/paint combo and it worked great, otherwise just prime first. I followed the same step I did here:

      http://freshpaintabq.blogspot.com/2012/03/tutorial-fresh-coat-of-paint-for-wood.html

      hope that helps and good luck tackling yours!

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    2. I did the ombre stripes in blue over the weekend and painted the benches and tables white. I used 11 cans of spray paint and the table top looked splotchy so I re-did it with trim paint and a brush. I'm trying to figure out which way to go with my cabinets in the rest of my kitchen (paint them white or dark brown/expresso??) When I finish up I'll show you what you've inspired in my home! I am curious to know what you plan for the rest of your kitchen (i.e. if you plan to paint the cabinets, etc.). thanks again for inspiring my project and motivating me.

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    3. Awesome Valerie!! I can't wait to see how it turns out! We are in the middle of painting our cabinets white and we'll be carrying the darkest shade of grey on our ombre wall to the rest of the kitchen. We'll update the hardware and maybe paint the grout lines on the tile floor. I would love to replace the floor but it's just not in our budget.

      Here's a post on the full plans for this 2nd phase of our kitchen reno:
      http://freshpaintabq.blogspot.com/2012/06/kitchen-phase-ii-our-summer-project.html

      And here's a pic of the back splash tile we'll be installing in phase 3. We're hoping to go with walnut butcher block countertops in that final phase too.

      http://freshpaintabq.blogspot.com/2012/06/weekend-finds.html

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    4. Hi Deme!

      So, I finally (almost) finished this nook project enough to share it with you! The spray paint method for the furniture did NOT work for me (maybe because I sanded the sheen off the original finish (even though you said I didn't need to), it kept coming out dull looking despite using semi gloss spray paint, so I finally busted out the roller and paint brushes and used latex paint. As far as the walls. I may change the darkest (bottom) color in my ombre effect wall as it does not flow as well from one color to the next like your's does, probably because I didn't mix them together but picked 5 different shades of blue straight from paint swatches. Anyway, Here's the link to the post that you inspired....thanks so much!

      http://www.makingitworthy.com/2012/10/breakfast-nook-makeover-aka-hola-ombre.html

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  3. Hi Deme. Stopping in from I heart. LOVE everything you have done. And I have to ask. . who is the ND fan. I graduated from Notre Dame and love spying other fans!

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    1. That would be the hubs. He's a 2001 grad, so by default blue and gold runs through this household :)

      Thanks for stopping by Courtney! I've been a follower of your blog for awhile so it's great to see you here!

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  4. Those walls and the color of those chairs are incredible!! Love what you have done! Great job! :)

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  5. Hey! I came over here from ihearorganizing and I just had to tell you that I LOVE this nook! I have a similar weird space/table arrangement and now I am so inspired to find some benches and take advantage of that corner! Thanks for the idea and inspiration. :)

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    1. The benches made a world of difference! I hope they do the same for you - good luck!

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  6. What a beautiful transformation of a space!!! Absolutely love it ( and love the hidden storage too )
    Hugs,
    Suzan

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  7. What an absolutely amazing transformation! This is BEAUTIFUL! Great job. Love the benches and pillows.

    www.itsybitsypaperblog.com

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  8. You did such a great job on your makeover! I would LOVE for you to link this up at my first LINK PARTY!

    http://thecreativeorchard.blogspot.com/2012/08/tutorial-link-party.html

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  9. Wow, you are so creative. I love that you cut down your chairs, makes them look so much more modern. And I adore the little owl in the corner holding the kids pencils. What a great space! I love it.

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  10. I so very much we had a space like this in my house. I just love what you did with the space. The chair color is great! Thank you so much for sharing {and making me really jealous}!

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  11. Oh wow - it is beautiful - so calming.

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  12. I am loving your new nook! I love the colors, the coziness, and..well everything! I am a new fan of your blog. So much so that I nominated you for a Liebster Award (have you ever heard of it? I hadn't it but it is a fun idea!). To find out what that even means go here: http://mjsomethingoutofnothing.blogspot.com/2012/09/ive-been-nominated.html
    that is the post at my blog that I nominated you in. Thanks for sharing your talents with us! I am going to steal your idea with the different tones of gray on the walls. I was going to do 2 tones of alternating gray but I love your idea much better!

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  13. So inspirational!! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful breakfast nook. Now where did you get that adorable zigzaggy pillow??

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    1. Thanks Val! The fabric is Sorbet Spa Scallop Coral (by Michael Miller). Grabbed it here for just $8.98/yd

      http://www.fabric.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=12a91b57-724b-4cae-9d4a-6ca3d0a1ac7f

      And followed this tutorial from Mini Manor Blog to make the pillow covers :)

      http://www.maillardvillemanor.com/2011/01/how-to-sew-envelope-pillow-cover.html

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    2. Okay so I'm going to try this (hopefully this weekend!). If it turns out well I'll send you a pic, if not, you'll never hear from me again...;)LOL.

      Can you tell me how many cans of spray paint you used???

      I have the exact same benches so if you have an idea it would help me alot...thanks!

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    3. also, I haven't fully decided on a color yet (thinking grey, teal, or purple), but I wondered what you did with the rest of your kitchen, is it done (or going to be done) in ombre effect too, is it one solid grey color, or another color all together? thanks so much for the inspiration and help!

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    4. nevermind on the paint color questions, read on another post you plan to make the rest of the kitchen granite dust. :)

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  14. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm obsessed with this! So cute!

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  15. I am featuring you tonight... Thank you so much for sharing!

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  16. What a beautiful transformation! I love the wall! And the colors. And the patterns. And everything! It's so pretty and inviting. I would come over but then you'd never get rid of me because I wouldn't want to leave :)

    P.s. I would love if you shared this at my Throwback Thursday party. I hope to see you there! http://www.hubbymademe.com/throwback-thursday-no-10/

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    1. Thank you, Britni! Off to check out your site :)

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  17. What a beautiful transformation! I love the bright chairs and all the fun pillow covers! Beautiful.
    Sarah

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  18. You really made this corner in your kitchen come alive. Love all the charm and colors you used. What a great idea of cutting down the chairs. I never would have thought to do that.
    Happy to be a new follower, Mary Alice

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  19. I am in love with the color of the chairs! What a fantastic color! Very fun and fresh space. Enjoy!

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  20. Popping over from YHL--LOVE IT! Great work! I now am on the lookout for a bench like yours. :)

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  21. Just found you guys from YHL- this is awesome!! I am absolutely in love with everything about this nook! I think the owl in the corner holding the colored pencils is the icing on the cake for me. You guys are fab- excited to be a new follower!

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    1. Thanks so much Brooke! The owl is my fav too - especially since he was a Target dollar bin steal ;)

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  22. You have quite the ambition to do that paint treatment! It looks great! And I love the little aprons on the hooks, my favorite part!! Great job.

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! It was a bit labor intensive but totally worth it!

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  23. Just discovered your blog through YHL. I really like your kitchen nook, it's beautiful! I especially love your ambre painted walls and your red/coral chairs.

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  24. Also stopping in from YHL it looks amazing! Great job!!

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  25. Just over from YHL, and wanted to say how much I like your kitchen nook makeover! Fantastic job.

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    1. Thanks Arli - it was definitely a labor of love :)

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  26. found you over at YHL - I'm a new follower here - love your kitchen!

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  27. This looks fantastic! I love how you brought in the ombre!

    My walls look like your 'before walls' after having removed all the wallpaper. How did you prepare them for paint?

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    1. Thanks so much! Since the walls were flat, we had a contractor friend texture them to match the texture on the other walls, and then we applied two coats of a good primer to seal them (we used Kilz from Lowes) before painting the stripes. Hope that helps!

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  28. Looks awesome! I love how you changed the chairs you already had to fit the space, and that owl is great. I (as a 31-year-old kid) use those twistable colored pencils all the time, too!

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  29. So gorgeous!! I am diggin' the walls- they look amazing. :) Where did you score that little owl? (sorry if I missed that earlier.) He is so stinking cute, and I love me a good owl. :)

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    1. I sort of love him too...and even more that I scored him from the target dollar bins last spring! I think he was $2.50

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    2. Target. I shoulda known ;) That is quite awesome. Thanks! :)

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  30. I love everything about this - down to the owl colored pencil holder!! I'm a new follower!!

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    1. Thank you - I think the owl's my favorite part ;)

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  31. GOOD CALL on the ombre walls...it's honestly the cutest use of the technique I've ever seen!! What an adorable, cheery, stylish little nook. You must just love using it! Where will ombre look good in my house...

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    1. Especially in a home with half-done rooms, we definitely love using this cheerful space!

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  32. I don't know what I love more, the ombre gray walls or the cherry red chairs. Soooo fabulous! I want this nook!

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  33. Oh my gosh - you have such creativity! I am coming over from YHL and my gosh, what a cool house you have (and certainly some neat projects coming up!). Can't wait to stay tuned! Keep it up -

    Geneva

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  34. This is fresh and beautiful (and inspiring), I love it.

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  35. what a beautiful transformation! And cutting down the chair height to balance the table / room = GENIUS!!!

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  36. Love what you did with the chairs! Great job!

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  37. This is lovely. Love how it turned out. The owl bowl is the cutest too.

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  38. I would love to know where you got the owl pencil holder and that scallop fabric!? I love that fabric so much! The space looks so great!

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    1. thanks, Annastacia! The owl was a Target dollar bin score last spring and the fabric is Sorbet Spa Scallop Coral (by Michael Miller). It's on sale right now for $7.63/yd :)

      http://www.fabric.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=12a91b57-724b-4cae-9d4a-6ca3d0a1ac7f

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  39. Hi! I'm a new follwer on this blog and your family blog (I'm a catholic mum so it's nice to read along with others) and found you via YHL. I absolutely LOVE this nook! I sent the link to my hubby and we are going to start making bench seats this weekend as our dining area needs to be like yours. Got three kids and no space. thanks for the inspiration and looking forward to seeing what you're up to in the future. :)

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Jacinta..and for following along! I hope the bench seats end up being a perfect solution for your family!

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  40. I love your new space! Both pretty, colorful, and functional!

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  41. Your nook looks great! I am VERY impressed and thinking about doing a similar thing in a house I just bought. I actually found similar benches on CL today and was wondering if you would mind saying what you bought them for? I am not very good at negotiating and wanted to know what a good price would be.

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    1. Hi Sarah! I'm not sure if I got a great deal either but I think we got them for right around $100.00 (they were like new). The table wasn't included, just the benches. If they are in good shape, I think between $75-$125 is reasonable but it depends on where you live too. Hope that helps!

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  42. Hi, I loved this so much I went out and bought an entire bench set (bench, table, and chairs) on CL. It was $150 for the poster above who asked and I live in DC, so usually inflated prices:).

    Deme, I was wondering about the cushions you used for the benches. Did you make them yourself or custom order? Sorry if you already answered that above and I missed it, Thanks for the great idea!!

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  43. $150 is a great deal for the whole set! I made the cushions by cutting a large piece of 2" foam to size. I covered them with an old sheet at first just to see how dirty they would get, and eventually decided on an a wipe-able, water resistant outdoor fabric that has held up great. I have a post coming soon on how I made the fabric covers :)

    Hope that helps! And I would love to see how your space turns out!

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  44. Hi Deme,
    This looks wonderful! I'm looking forward to your post about the fabric covers.
    Jennifer:-)

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