Polar Vortex inspires home decorating project

Bearded Orchid from local grocery store

Bearded Orchid from local grocery store

 

Tablecloth from Crate & Barrel $10; Light fixture from West Elm, assorted dishes

Tablecloth from Crate & Barrel $10; Light fixture from West Elm, assorted dishes

 

Benjamin Moore's Copley Gray offers a gallery type backdrop from my collection of chicken pics.

Benjamin Moore's Copley Gray offers a gallery type backdrop for my collection of chicken pics.

 

One result of living through the polar vortex is that we’ve all spent a  lot of time inside this winter.  That can be both good and bad.  After so long inside you begin to notice the things that are less desirable about your home even more.  The need for new paint or light fixtures or bedding.  In my case, I’d been eyeing the kitchen for some time since the appliances were dated and it had no discernable style to speak of.  So in the midst of the holiday I decided to tackle the beast and get it under control.  Because I made the decision in November it was an excellent time to take advantage of holiday sales.  I’d done some research in advance and knew I wanted GE appliances.  A friend of ours had worked for GE for many years and gave some guidance on the brands.  The best bit of advice he offered was to do some comparison-shopping at Grants Appliances.  We waited until 5 p.m. on Black Friday - can’t really abide the over hyped minor league shoppers - and within one hour we’d selected a full suite of stainless steel GE appliances - refrigerator, range, microwave and dishwasher.  Most importantly, we got an additionally $1000 off  the sale prices plus a rebate on delivery of $258.

With the major choices made and money spent, next up were the changes to the kitchen itself.  I have a great guy who handles all our remodeling projects, works fast and for a reasonable price so check that off the list.  The kitchen is large and boasts an open floor plan from a past remodel so another plus. Despite those updates one nagging left over was wood paneling along the perimeter wall - and not wood paneling in any good sense of the word.  Removing the paneling and putting up drywall was job one.  And because one thing leads to another I ended up with new wall and door trim and baseboards.  Thanks 84 Lumber.  I’d replaced one light fixture earlier in the year with one in oil rubbed bronze from West Elm Oak Brook’s moving sale and now it was time to replace the kitchen ceiling fan we rarely used with a light fixture.  Again love the holiday shopping season because I was able to score a similar fixture in oil rubbed bronze from West Elm for 20% off .  It did require dry walling the overly large hole left by the fan, but in all cases we added new insulation in the walls and ceiling.

Quickly pursuing Houzz.com I found the perfect paint color - Copley Gray. If you’ve not visited Hozz.com make it a priority and create your own ‘ideabook’.  So many inspirations and if you need a professional they are listed by area.   The ceiling required painting and because it flows into the living room that had to be done as well. Lastly, when the appliances did arrive we had to add a kitchen cabinet above the stove to accommodate the microwave as the old appliance came with its own housing.  It all came together by New Year’s in time for me to host New Year’s Day brunch for family and friends.  And I could not be more pleased.

As January gives way to February I’m still scouring the bins, clearance racks and sales so plentiful during this time of year and yesterday had a great time at the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Naperville.  In the back there are several bins with left over curtains, tablecloths, bed linens, pillows and more all marked for quick sale.  After several dives I came up with a wonderful bright  yellow linen tablecloth, just the thing to brighten up a February day.  No problem to outfit the tabletop since my dishes run the gamut from Wedgewood cups and saucers from the Kane County Flea Market to French ceramic dishes from Tabula Tua’s annual sale to finds from Ikea and Crate & Barrel.  Add a lovely bearded orchid I found on the overgrown plant rack at Woodman’s and I have enough brightness and light in my kitchen to hold me until the thaw begins.   It’s never about spending the most money, rather it’s about spending the money you have wisely and shopping well.

Next up, hanging the grommetted curtain panels I found for $14 for two at the Fabric Outlet on 21st Street in Pilsen.  Wonder what surprises await me.

 

 

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