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Jul 22, 2014

{Modern Cottage} Kitchen Plans


Hi Everyone!

Happy Tuesday loves!  I hope you all have been enjoying these past few weeks of summer.  After returning from Haven last week, its been new home prep mode all the way. Thank you all so much for your support and excitement for us.  You have made this process so much more special. I feel like we have this huge extended family all waiting to come visit.  We just love it. We've made it through inspections unscathed and up next is the appraisal.  We'll be headed to the closing table in no time!

In the meantime I've been compiling a list of everything we plan to do with the house, prioritizing, and gathering tons of inspiration. So far it includes refinishing the floors, lots and lots of painting, changing out almost every light fixture, landscaping, creating gardens and outdoor entertaining areas, sprucing up the fireplace and hearth, and much more.

This house will be our home for many, many years to come (perhaps even our forever home), so my design and decorating approach is definitely more that of a marathon than a sprint.  I really want to stay as true to its cottage bungalow roots as possible, so I'll be taking my design and styling cues from that perspective.  Well, that and Naomi's desire for less "cottage" and more "modern bungalow"! We have such a distinct vision of what we want this home to be, so in this case when it comes to actually creating home slow and steady will win the race. 

One of the areas we plan to give some pretty immediate attention is the kitchen.  I can't even begin to explain how much I adore the kitchen.






Between the four windows, checkered floors, pantry, and overall size there's a lot of goodness going on in there.  Even still, there are a few things we'd like to tweak to make it a tad more functional for us. 

At the top of the list are the lower cabinets.  As you can see there are only four drawers and one cabinet.  As much as I hate to touch them because they are original, they just aren't gonna work.  We don't need a ton of cabinets, but I think we may need more than one! We'll deal with that awkward area over by the stove as well. I love the upper cabinets and wouldn't dare touch them, so they'll be staying.

The tiled countertops are another detail that'll be getting the axe.  We are definitely looking for solid surface here.  Not quite sure whether that means corian, quartz, concrete, or butcher block at this point.  We just know grout lines are a no go.  

We'll also address some minor electrical, add venting on the wall for a range hood, possibly widen the doorway a bit, add a freestanding island, install a subway tile backsplash, and change out the fixtures.  The space will be a mixture of DIY and hire-a-guy.  There's a tight budget too, so it'll be smart shopping and clever solutions all the way.   I loved our last kitchen, so many of the same elements that went into that space will repeat in here.

Here are a few kitchens  I'm really inspired by


 Unknown (pinterest)


Via

 

Via

Kinda all over the place, but there are elements of each that I'm drawn to. Only a week and a half to go!

What ideas would you incorporate into our kitchen?  Id love to hear! Until next time....

Xo-Shavonda

Jul 9, 2014

Haven Bound

Hi Everyone!

Happy Wednesday loves!  So the house inspection went well and we are sailing through escrow soooo smoothly this time.  The end of the month will be here before you know it and we couldn't be more excited. 

Right about now I'm probably somewhere cruising over the central states headed toward Atlanta for Haven Conference.  Its my first time attending and I'm really excited.  I cant wait to finally get to meet so many of you.  My travel buddy, Katrina, and I will be a long way from home, so If you happen to see me floating around please come and say Hi!!  Id love to hug your neck! Can't wait to see you there.  Safe travels, my friends, and if you're not attending Haven I wish you a happy weekend:)

Until next time....

Xo-Shavonda

Jul 3, 2014

The Wild Card

Hi Everyone!

Happy Thursday loves!  So the funniest thing happened guys...we found it! Like IT, it. 

We feel a bit like Goldilocks actually, except for there's no threat of forest bears popping up at the front door.  After looking at houses that were too big, or too small, or too expensive, or too wonky, or too stinky, we finally found the one that is juuuuuuuust right. 

I happened to find it online late Tuesday night and was intrigued. I text our realtor first thing Wednesday morning and told her I found a property that was a bit of a wild card, but it just might work.  She said she could meet us at the property in 30 minutes.  She made it to the property before we did and while we were on our way I received a text from her that simply said "You'll love this!".  That has never happened.  She was our realtor when purchased our first home. She helped us sell that same home and is now helping us purchase this time around, and she's never said that before. I knew it had to be good.

Long story short...she was right. She was oh so right.  The outside drew us in, and the minute I walked in the house I just knew...I felt a wave of peace come over me. There was so explanation needed.  Naomi walked quietly from room to room analyzing..as is her personality.  I walked not-so quietly from room to room imagining.. as is my personality.  Once we finished the tour we looked at one another, smiled and knew this was our home. 

Without hesitation we told our realtor to submit our offer immediately.  The house had only been on the market for 4 days but I knew it wouldn't last past the weekend.  We wanted it. We wanted it bad. We included a personally written letter to the sellers introducing ourselves and our family and explained how much we adored the house and appreciated how lovingly it had been cared for.  This was personal, and I wanted them to view us as people and not just an offer.  It worked.  Our realtor called me yesterday morning and said we got the house! 

We are beyond excited.  Its absolutely everything we envisioned when we embarked on this downsizing journey.  Did I mention its only 2 beds/1 ba?  Wha? Where they do that at!!  I promise we aren't completely insane.  There's a method to that madness.  The bathroom is big, (we've been sharing a small bath in the apartment and it hasn't been an issue) and there's a secondary living area at the back of the house that will function as the master while we scheme up some future plans.  Its a tiny sacrifice we are more than willing to work for a property that has everything else we've been looking for.  Its in our dream neighborhood, on a beautiful lot, in our price range, and is surprisingly move in ready save for some style tweeks that need to be made. 

Enough of my yapping, lets get to the good stuff!  The property is vacant so I'm comfortable sharing some pictures knowing there aren't any privacy issues.  These are pictures from the property listing and one that I snapped during the tour:

The Wild Card Bungalow
 
 
 
 




 
There's so so much more to this home that I cant wait to share with you. For now I'm at ease knowing everything happens for a reason.  We lost the other house only to gain our dream home.  Inspections start Monday. This process should go smooth and quick since its a traditional sale and isn't controlled by the bank.
 
Have a wonderful and safe Holiday weekend loves.  I'll be smiling from the inside out. Until next time....
 
xo-Shavonda
 
 


Jul 2, 2014

The Hunt Continues

Hi Everyone!

Thank you all so much for your words of support and encouragement in response to our news that we are back on the house hunt. We appreciate it more than you know.  We know that everything happens for a reason and we feel assured that our house is out there. Since walking away from the last house we've been busy looking at more properties. We've zeroed in on our favorite neighborhood and decided to look pretty much exclusively in this area. Here are a couple that caught our eye:


The Yellow Wonder
 






We liked this one because it was on a really large lot, its in our target neighborhood, its on a gorgeous street, has 3 beds/2 ba, and had a great layout.  It was spacious, maybe even a little too spacious. It had an added den/living area that we didn't really need, but could use Im sure.  There was a 3 car garage.  One attached and a two car detached.  We thought the attached one car could be used as my office/studio space since the laundry was located in it. We didn't like the laminate floors, and it was priced a bit high.

 MidCentury Charmer
 
 





 
I was really apprehensive about this one because while still being in our desired neighborhood, actually just around the corner from the Yellow Wonder, the street wasn't as pretty. And it had ZERO curb appeal.  I hated the exterior architecture of this house to be frank. BUT the interior architecture more than speaks for itself.  It was beautiful.  We loved the original floors, the amazing beamed ceilings throughout, there was a sunroom, and it had 3 bds 2 ba.  The floor plan as great and the size was more in tune with what we are aiming for.  The kitchen needed work pretty much right away, but overall it was a great house.  The thing that killed the deal on this one was the lot size.  The yard was smaller than that of the house we just sold....and that one was tiny.  In a perfect world if this house was on the lot of the Yellow Wonder we would've submitted an offer on the spot. The lot size is a deal breaker for us so sadly I had to say bye to all that gorgeous light. 
 
 
House hunting is fun, but Im so ready to be settled already.  Here's to finding the one soon. Until next time....
 
Xo-Shavonda

Jun 25, 2014

A Lemon

Hi Everyone!

Happy Wednesday my friends!  I hope you all have been enjoying these first official days of Summer.  Things have been quite interesting in our neck of the woods.

Well, we got down to the final countdown before our scheduled closing date, but Monday we made the decision to walk away from The One.  As I mentioned before during our inspection period we discovered several major issues with the home.  We brought in multiple contractors to assess the scope of the issues and help us determine the costs to correct them.  In the end we realized the house would not be a smart move for us financially. Because the property is a short sale we dealt with the bank and not a seller in the traditional sense, which made negotiations a bit tricky. Compile that with a sellers agent who wasn't the most professional individual in the world and it was easy to see this was definitely not the property for us. 

We are once again on the hunt for our next home. Its unfortunate that we've set ourselves back 45 days, but we are completely happy and 100% satisfied with our decision.  We knew from the beginning this could be a lengthy process, so we are looking at this as a learning experience and moving on optimistically.  I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. The house we are meant to be in is out there and it will be so.  House hunting is an adventure that's for sure...

Until next time....

Xo-Shavonda

Jun 13, 2014

TGFI-Thank Goodness For Internet

Hi Everyone!

Happy Friday loves! Boy am I happy the weekend is here. Out of curiosity...how many of you will be watching Jason marathons all night? or Nah?

Yesterday was my daughters last day of school.  Can't even wrap my mind around the fact that I'm now the parent of a 7th grader!  My how the time flies.

I've been busy helping my dear friend makeover her kitchen, and I'm itching to share it with you guys.  We have just a little more to go until we can call it done. Its such a gorgeous space.

Wednesday was the appraisal on The One, and I'm on pins and needles waiting for the results.  We are in the final stretch of escrow, and I'm hoping things go well. As I've mentioned before, we've been faced with a couple challenges with the property, with regards to its condition, and I'd really hate to start all over with another house.  We're just dying to get in and love it back to pretty.

Home buying is stressful, yall. Here's what's been keeping me sane this week...

Cassie's kitchen reveal...

 
 
 
 

 
Scheming of ways to DIY a version of this fantabulous neon light fixture...
 
 
Caitlin Wilson's new summer brights collection. Hello Tribeca, would you like to come live with me?
 
 

 
Sarah Sherman Samuel's gorgeous outdoor space...
 
 
and my baby girl's fav treat ever in art form...
 
 
What's been keeping you sane lately? Happy weekend friends.  Until next time....
 
Xo-Shavonda
 

 

Jun 10, 2014

Beautifully Simple

Hi Everyone!

Happy Tuesday loves.  Today I'm guest posting over on the Crane & Canopy blog .  Pop in and say hi!

Until next time....

Xo-Shavonda