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A Kitchen Reborn

I’ve had grand fun these past three months, helping a lovely couple revamp their kitchen, entryway, living and dining rooms.  Initially they approached me to help them with the myriad of design choices for their kitchen.  They had selected the tile, countertops plus they were adding a built in bar, but they wanted my help with other decisions and to give the room some personality.

The kitchen definitely needed a fresh look.  You can see the dated lighting fixtures from the  fluorescent light above the island to the fan with the tulip lights and the can lights not to mention the blue countertops and faded linoleum. 

I first tackled the lighting by selecting a number of pendants and chandeliers for my clients to choose for both the kitchen and the dining room.  My clients like overhead lighting so I choose a more streamlined fan with an LED light to replace the one with tulip lights.

A  good friend of my client’s with electrical experience tackled the lighting, including the new fan and pot lights above and the two pendants that hang above the island and one above the sink below.

The kitchen needed a burst of color that would compliment not only the various features in the kitchen, but that would work with the adjoining rooms.  I presented a number of different color schemes for the kitchen walls, the living and dining room walls and the entryway that would flow from one room to the next and recommended using gray and black as accent colors.

My male client is an engineer by training and clinical in his thinking.  As I was making my presentation on different color combinations, he asked me to “defend my position.”  I still smile at that memory.  Working with colors, textures, textiles were all new to my clients as they hadn’t had any color on their walls in many years, and he wanted to understand why I suggested that certain colors worked together.  Ultimately we selected a sage green for the kitchen with black accents to pull in the bar.

There was a piece of wood that connected that two cabinets on either side of the sink, which I recommended be removed.  With the large swath of wall above the sink, I proposed installing a tile feature, picture with tile so to speak.  I thought it would add a touch of whimsy.

I choose subway tiles as the backslash, and to set off the feature, bullnose trim was used as the picture frame for the diamond tiles.  An undercount stainless steel double sink and a sleek new faucet finish the kitchen sink area.

Even though the kitchen cabinets were in good shape, my clients were mulling over whether to have the same company that created and built their bar replace all of the kitchen cabinet doors, which was going to be a costly proposition.

I suggested painting the kitchen cabinets off-white, distressing them and then applying brown glaze plus adding new hardware for the cabinet doors and drawers.   Cleaning, sanding and taking off the cabinet doors and drawers can take just as much time as applying a coat or two of primer.

After sanding and cleaning the cabinets, I used my sprayer to prime the cabinet doors in some cases with two coats of prime.

I am touching up the cabinet doors before distressing them.

You can see on my work table, my handy mouse sander and a water spray bottle, rags and a small bottle of glaze and finished cabinet doors lining up below.

I really love how the newly painted cabinets look in the kitchen.  They immediately brighten the room with their streamlined and more modern look for a fraction of the cost to replace them.

My next post will include a storage solution for the kitchen, a kitchen table and chairs make over plus new curtains.

Regal Black Bookcase with Table

Nearly every Friday when there is an estate sale, I go out to breakfast with my gal pals and then we go to the sale.  Normally I purchase very exciting items like a broom, aluminum foil, envelopes, knives etc and every once in awhile furniture.  A week ago I purchased this tall bookcase, sitting on a table, along with a vanity with a pop-up mirror and 4 Pottery Barn Napolean rush seat chairs.

Bookcase with Sofa Table

Initially I thought that I would only need to clean this piece and replace the hardware before selling it at the Plaid Rabbit.  Once I got the piece home, I realized that it needed to be cleaned and repainted before I could consider selling it.

side view

After paining this piece in a glossy black oil paint, I held onto it for a few days, while I tried to figure out where I could put this piece in my own home, but to no avail.  I would love to have it but there isn’t a good spot for it unforunately.

below shot

I love the knobs I found for this piece, lending a funky but regal appearance.


This piece is for sale at The Plaid Rabbit in the Village of East Davenport.

Unique Gate Legged Desk

I received this adorable desk as payment for a painting project.  My client’s young daughter, who had this desk in her room growing up,  is now in college and no longer needs it.  Just a few weeks later a family came looking for something to serve as a desk for their daughter and snatched this beauty immediately.

before after

From the “before” photo below, you can see that one of the gate leg desk extenders had broken in two caused by heavy books being placed on it.  Thanks to my father-in-law, who passed away a few years ago, he fashioned long clamps out of pipe metal.  They worked like a charm when I wood glued the two sides together.

Howells desk before

This is the fifth desk I have painted for a young lady’s bedroom and I’m still having as much fun as I did with my first desk.  The new proud owner of this desk loves pink, and wanted pink knobs, which I happened to have 2 for the drawer in my hardware stash, but I was unable to find a smaller knob in the same pink hue for the small desk top drawer, but the glass knob works just as well on the desk top drawer.

angle with chair

I love how this desk works like a gate legged table and even looks like one with its legs.  I have never seen a desk that has wings on either side to expand the working space.

front desk with sides up

This piece could reside in an entryway or even as a table sitting underneath a newer thin television set.

sides down

When the sides are down, this desk takes up a minimal amount of space and it looks fabulous in the young lady’s room.  It is such a treat to paint furniture for young kiddos.

britta with desk

Buffet and Bar Cabinet

Having seen my furniture for sale in The Plaid Rabbit in the Village of East Davenport, my client asked me to paint her buffet/bar cabinet.   When I went to pick up her bar/buffet cabinet, she was watching the French Open and we discovered a shared passion for tennis.  straight on

Her house is full of bright colors and vivid patterns, so she wanted this piece to not be too showy and choose a blue/gray color with white detailing.  As you can see from the photos, there are two different hardware options on this cabinet.  My client decided to go with the darker, more playful hardware on the left hand side.  Frankly, that side was hands down my favorite.


I love the functionality of this piece that you can use as a bar or a buffet when entertaining.  I have painted another piece just like this one a few years ago with diamond patterns.

keli bar 5

One of my first clients had me paint her bar with a diamond pattern and I love how it turned out.

bar open

As you can see from the above photo, the top unhinges to provide a much larger space for any entertaining needs.  I would love to have one of these versatile pieces in my home.


I love to see the before and after photos ~ the furniture almost always looks like an entirely new piece of furniture.  Hopefully this bar/buffet will be well loved for many more years to come.

Last Bedroom Set Piece ~ Tall Bookcase

Here is the final completed bedroom set piece for the lovely young high school student.  An oak bookcase to hold all of her textbooks, books and other miscellenaous items.  We decided to paint the exterior of the bookcase lime green like the bedside table and the bookcase’s back in eggplant like the vanity.

bookcase up view

The bookcase is substantial and there is a lot of space for storing any number of different items.

side bookcase

All of the other bedroom furniture has been glazed but this one will be just straight paint this time.

close up bookcase bottom

Her room looks so lively and fun and the bookcase will make another great addition.

room with furniture

The variety of colors works in the room, thanks to the white walls, which allows the furniture to stand out on its own.

dresser in room

I’m looking forward to seeing how the bookcase looks in the room soon.

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