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Monday, March 31, 2014



It Continues

Last I left you we had the marble installed, and they were starting work on the tile back splash. (click here for that post.)

The tile has been installed, and grouted and to say I love it is truly an understatement. Both the tile setter, and the grout guy did an amazing job.

Tile end wall 010 (600x800)
(This was taken before grouting)

I know that the darker contrasting grout is in vogue right now, but I did that in the 70's and realize it comes and goes, but grout that matches the tile is always in and a classic, IMHO!

With that in mind I chose to  use bright white sanded grout. I chose this over just plain white because the white sanded grout had a slight pink undertone to it. 

With green cabinets the pink undertone would only be more exaggerated. Remember red and green are opposites on the color wheel so they will make each other stronger.

The bright white grout had more of a gray undertone, perfect with the Carrara marble counter tops.

kitchen after grouting 011 (800x600)
(after grouting)

I did make one change to my plan that caused a great deal of discussion, but I knew I had to make the change in order to be satisfied with the overall design.

The plumbing has been done so my faucet has been installed.

It is a beauty and  it just sparkles like beautiful jewelry in the room.


I chose a Rohl faucet, soap dispenser and sprayer in polished nickel.  It is in the Country Kitchen collection. I liked the softer lines that it offers.

The pieces are separated fairly far apart because I wanted the faucet to be the star, and I love the way it sits on the back of the counter. 

I wanted to see as much of the marble between each piece as possible.

We placed the faucet so the water will hit in the center of the sink, allowing for easy access when washing large pots.

Faucet arms will come in different lengths standard is around 8-9 in. and longer will be around 11in.

Measure from where your faucet will be installed to the middle of your sink and that will tell which length you will need.

We needed the 11in. arm. This is a detail that is often overlooked so be aware of it if and when you need a new faucet.

Next we have some finish work to be done and then we will be able to use our kitchen.


When the marble was installed I noticed some hazing and streaking. At the time I mentioned it we thought it could be cleaned off when it came time to seal.(I had my doubts)

I did not pursue the conversation at that point because it was not time to clean and seal it.

Throughout the project I would mention my concern but not go into a lengthy conversation until necessary.

This past week it was time for cleaning and sealing so the discussion ensued. It has been determined by my contractor and me that it needs to be re-honed for a more uniform finish.

I appreciate that he is always willing to make his work acceptable to his client.

Soooooo, we are waiting for a professional marble finisher from San Francisco to do the job.

Another delay? Yes!, but in the end we will have the finished product I have always dreamed of.

My Contractor even said, “We want Kathy to be happy!” I liked that!!

So again………


Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm In A Vacation Kind of Mood!



Certain times of the year I get an aching inside to go somewhere. It almost always involves going to the beach.

When we are at the beach the lifestyle is more relaxed and casual, and I love that.

Once in awhile we like to go out to a nice dinner so it requires us to dress up a bit more than our usual flip flops, t-shirt and shorts.

I want to be comfortable, but look as if I made some effort. 

summer white skirt
It has to be comfy, stylish and somewhat casual in style.

There is one type of outfit that I have always been fascinated with that is thematic, and to be honest I am not usually the girl that dresses in thematic clothing. 

We all remember the 80s with the themed sweaters. Oh My!! Thank goodness that is over.

But there is one themed typed dressing that I find classic, and it has been around since the 50’s.

summer skirt with denim

I have  a fascination with clothing that has vacation scenes on them, but have never owned any. I realize it is not for everyone, but this girl loves the look.

summer skirt
I find them fashionable, fun, and uplifting.

A designer that epitomizes this look is Kate Spade.
Kate Spade is my kind of gal. She loves color, and a bit of whimsy, and adds that to her collection. 

This year she came out with this dress…..

kate spade elza $448
I fell in love with this look until I saw the price! $448. I don’t know about you, but that is just NOT in my budget.

That began the search!!!

Sometimes it takes a bit of research, but often times you can find something similar in the price range that feels more to your liking. So it makes the search worth your efforts.

Recently I have been going to Boden online and finding several pieces that I love. They use color, interesting prints and feminine silhouettes. I have been pleased with the quality and the pricing.

Look at what I found!

boden dress

I can’t wait to get it and see if it is something that I can wear! If it works, I will wear a yellow cardigan and gold sandals with simple jewelry. I want the dress to be the star!

I try to always be open to all styles and price points. I know others that will only look at what they think they can afford. 

I highly recommend looking at all fashion, and learn from what you see. 

If you see something you love,study its lines, pattern and flow. See if you can find something that is more in your price range that will give you the same overall look.

That is exactly what I did, and if it fits and looks good on me I will have saved quite a bundle….

Ribbet collage Blog post hi and lo

I challenge you to start looking beyond your usual shopping sources. Find things that you love, and see if you can find them at an affordable price point!!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5 Decorating Mantras To Live By


all time fav9 living room
I recently saw something on Pinterest that I thought I should share here on my blog.  Personally I think it is great advice and something we can all do for ourselves in our homes….


Lets take a look at each of these suggestions individually…..

1. The closer something is to your body the better it should be.

Sheets, Towels, Throws
I am a firm believer in this mantra. In fact I think I might be a bit of a snob when it comes to sheets and towels.

I don’t pay top dollar for either one. Try to wait until they are on sale. Every couple of years I replenish my towels when Neiman Marcus has their PINK sale.

white towels

Now don’t shut me out, just because you don’t think you can afford Neiman Marcus. 

Would you believe I get good quality, monogrammed towels for $12-15 each? 

If you have ever had anything monogrammed it is at least $6 a piece so this is a great deal.

Neimans towels

Homegoods is also a good resource for finding good quality towels for good prices. I like Ralph Lauren, Charisma and Sferra. 

So keep your eyes open when shopping. I always get all white towels. There is nothing prettier to me than a stack of fluffy white towels.

2. Surround yourself with quality not clutter.

This is near and dear to my heart, and I am a firm believer in not having clutter in my home.

One of my own personal mantras for decorating a home is……
 “Less is more and Big is better!”

I know that there are two camps when it comes to this one, but I have to stress how important it is  to not have clutter in your home, in order to make your home a peaceful place.

Clutter= Chaos

If you have a table full of items that are not of the same type, which one item do you see? 

The answer is, none. What your eye will pick up is visual clutter if there are too many pieces. Try to limit yourself to 3 pieces unless it is a display of a collection of like items.


Remember the eye needs a place to rest in a room or in an area like a table top.

If you see something you really love at the store, stop and think for a moment where do you want to put this, where will it’s beauty be appreciated the most.

Buy one quality piece instead of ten inexpensive pieces that will just add to the visual clutter.

3. Every room needs something living, flowers, 
    goldfish, or a pet, and I would add plants. 

This is such an easy addition to your home as far as plants and flowers go. I purchase flowers weekly at my grocery store for under $10.

vignette striped pitcher

If I have not gone to the store, I will go out in my yard and clip some greenery off of one of my plants. This cost me nothing but a little time and attention to detail.

I have a small vase on my guest bath vanity that I put greenery or a small bouquet of flowers.

vignette yellow freesia
The kitchen window sill is another pleasant little spot to view some life of greenery or flowers.

vignette daffodils 1

Try it, I promise you will like it!!

4. Honor the acts of daily living and make it beautiful.
This one made me think a bit. We all have certain habits in our families, whether good or bad they are habits that never seem to change.

For instance if you find that your family always clutters up an area with backpacks. Make a spot with hooks that will look uncluttered and organized.

Do you have trouble with paperwork/mail? Use a basket to gather it up in.

storage for mail

How about keys and cell phones? Are these a reoccurring problem? Then find a spot and a container to hold them.

storage for cell phone


storage for keys

In other words, instead of trying to change habits and complaining about them, look for beautiful solutions.

5. Life should sparkle, every house should have some ……

Think of elements in your home that can sparkle!

I have faucets on my mind because I just got a new polished nickel faucet for my kitchen. Trust me it sparkles.


Clean glass can sparkle too! Clean those windows until they sparkle!

If you have silver, polish it up until it sparkles.

Crystal vases look so beautiful when they sparkle.

Look around at your home and see what could use some buffing up a bit so it sparkles.

All of the above suggestions can be done by anyone.

It does not take a lot of money, it just takes some caring, attention to detail, and effort on our part.

Instead of looking at your homes problems and dwelling on them, look for….. 


What will you do in your home to make it a place you love living in?


Monday, March 24, 2014

Kitchen Update

The last I reported on my kitchen we were in the middle of having to take out all the bottom cabinets and level them for the new marble slabs. 

You can read about it HERE if you need to catch up.

Kitchen reno 003 (800x600)

Because of that one delay we are a bit delayed with everything else, but at this point the marble counters are in and the tiles have been set.

Today the tile will be grouted.

Kitchen reno 015

We had two other set backs. My contractor checked the work that had been done, and found two 1/4 in mistakes he wants changed. ( I appreciate his attention to detail)

1. the window sill was off
2.the sink was set off

Needless to say he is not happy with his workers, but is fixing the problem.

The sad part is having to take out work that has already been done.

Kitchen reno 001 (600x800)

Speaking of work that has been done and is being taken out…..

keep calm
YES!! She did!

There was one detail that I let my husband, and the contractor talk me into, and I am not happy with it. Soooooo, Today that has to be changed out.

Hubby is not happy about that, and I would imagine the contractor will not be very happy either. But I know in my heart it is the right thing to do.

Kitchen reno 002 (800x600)

I am learning all over again that men and women speak two different languages when it comes to this kind of stuff.

For instance. I was standing in the middle of my kitchen discussing with my contractor and husband about the plumbing fixtures. 

I told them of my concern of having them in place while there still had to be work done on the window sill. They both reassured me that it would not be a problem. I still had my doubts.

Kitchen reno 015 (800x600)

At the end of the day after everyone left, I mentioned it again to my husband and he agreed so he cancelled the plumbers visit until tomorrow. 

When I mentioned we had a whole conversation about it with our contractor earlier in the day, he did not remember it at all.

Here is why: Men talking about plumbing fixtures means underneath the cabinet and sink. Women talking about plumbing fixtures means the pretty faucet on top. See what I mean?!!

Now I will clarify what page we are on! LOL

Kitchen reno 009 (800x600)

Fingers Crossed that moving forward all goes as planned!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Designer Tricks of The Trade


One of the things I love about Pinterest is all the information and images that it provides.
I have always been an information gatherer. I figure if I don’t know, then maybe some of you might not either, so I am going to start doing a post about things I learn each week, or things I think would be helpful to my readers to know.

For instance I saw this yesterday……..

hydrangeas secret
Click HERE To Read the How To!

Moving right along into the kitchen………..

Decorating secrets!

Very good advice .

Decorating Secrets - Interior Design Secrets - House Beautiful

I think this is a great idea whether you have pets or not, it sure would save the upholstery and it would look nice too.

Use the Color Wheel

By choosing colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel you will get a more calming effect, as pictured in the room below.

If you choose colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel they will make each other stronger. 

Such as Red and Green, or Orange and Blue. These two easy pieces of knowledge can be very helpful when deciding on what colors to put in a room.

Notice in the picture below how the yellow and blue combination is bright and cheerful. That is because they are complimentary colors, or opposite color families on the color wheel.

when it comes to color!

 Pinks and Greens are complimentary to each other.

If you are seeing pink/red undertones in a color and you don't want to see that, do NOT put it with any colors with green undertones, it will only make the red/pink come out more.

35 Decorating Secrets from Top Interior Designers. Almost all are great things to consider. I absolutely agree with this advice, about color on your walls

This is a BIG one people!!
So many of my clients would want to pull out that little tiny speck of color out of a fabric and put it on the walls.
 It doesn’t work, trust me.
Even if you choose a dominant color in a fabric try to muddy it up a bit on your walls. What works on fabric won’t always translate onto your walls. 

It can often make the room look color bookish, or contrived. Muddy or grayed-out colors tend to be a bit more sophisticated, and easier to live with when on your walls.

Adding black to your can of paint WILL NOT be the proper way to muddy or gray it up. 

A good tinter knows to add the color that is opposite on the color wheel to the pigment to do this.

If you don’t know color hire a colorist, or a designer, or find a great paint store with a tinter that knows how to add pigments to change the color to what you need for your project.

Spring time is a time we all start sprucing up our homes so I hope these little bits of advice will help you out.