Black is the new Black

If you haven’t noticed, I have a really hard time posting just for the sake of posting. I don’t like “fillers” and never have, so if nothing is inspiring me, I’m not going to post. Just an explanation if you’ve been wondering… Also, it’s officially summer here in Phoenix which means I feel sad. You know. Anyway.

The other day I saw an ad for a refrigerator with a black interior. WHAT. Did you have to go back and read that again? I did. It caught me off guard for a couple reasons: 1. A REFRIGERATOR WITH BLACK INTERIOR and 2. Why did it take until 2015 for someone to do this?

Jenn-Air recently announced the launch of The Obsidian. Aside from being amazingly black in the interior, LED lights illuminate your food and they say the food looks better. The lights are also placed throughout the interior to minimize shadows and reflect against the black lighting. They actually call it “theater lighting”. The temperature AND the humidity levels in the fridge can be adjusted and they included all of the technology to make the drawers soft-closing and smooth gliding. This fridge sounds more equipped than my car!

Obsidian Jenn-Air black interior refrigerator

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Ok, so now we’ve established that it’s beautiful and that your food has a place to perform, so what about the cost? I had a hard time finding an actual price but read a comment saying that the New York Times had reported it to cost $8,499. For some people that may be affordable and if it is, good for them!

Now if you’re into black but not into that kind of pricing, there is also the option of black stainless appliances. Coming in at $1,599 it would probably be a lot more affordable for most. You will have to apologize to your apples for not showing them in their best light though. We all know how important lighting is, right?

black fridge

 

So all of this talk of black appliances and new finishes and new interiors has got me thinking; Is this just another gimmick to get people to buy new appliances, even when they don’t need them? Do you remember the Avocado appliance trend?

Avocado appliances

 

When we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago, I was so excited to be able to get all stainless appliances. We kept our fridge, which is white, because it worked just fine and fit in the space. I’m so happy that I didn’t get a new stainless fridge because the more I look at the kitchen, the more I feel like having white appliances! Is that crazy? I’m going to answer for you. No. It’s really not. The kitchen space is small, and with the white cabinets and counter tops, the current stainless dishwasher breaks up the run of white and stops your eye. In a small space, I feel like you want to keep your eyes going, to make the space feel larger than it is. If we had a huge kitchen with tons of room, appliances that broke up the cabinet runs might be helpful to give your eyes a place to rest.

Black and white kitchen mint green

 

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See what I mean? With the fridge on the left, your eye doesn’t really stop and I feel like that’d be the case if the dishwasher was white too. The best part is that our dishwasher might need to be replaced soon, which would give me the perfect reason to put a white one in. I suppose I would put in a white double oven if I was able to find one, but with the amazing Craigslist deal I got on the current one, that probably won’t happen.

The bottom line in all of this craziness is this: don’t follow the trend because you feel like you have to (refer back to “Avocado Appliances” above). Trends die out and you’ll be left with something that looks dated. On the other hand, if you really love a trend and don’t care about it looking dated, then do it! I read a blog where someone said not to have multiple finishes on your appliances, but I think if you love it and it works in your space, you should do whatever you want! After all, you are the one footing the bill and you are the one looking at your space each day. Be creative and surround yourself with things you love that make you happy!

Turning trash into gold

I had seen the Sequoia Console table from Z Gallerie last year and thought it was so amazing! The mix of the natural shape with the glam factor of the gold was a mix that I am totally into. At $999 though, it wasn’t something I was ever going to get.

Sequoia console table, z gallerie, gold table, gold tree

When I knew I couldn’t afford it, I put it out of my mind. Fate has a way of bringing things back around sometimes though. Last year, an orange tree in our backyard got some weird disease and died. We sadly had to cut it down and there had been a 20″ stump in the ground ever since. Paying someone to remove a stump is expensive and a lot of work, so we just left it there for the time being. One morning, John realized that the stump was pretty wiggly and kicked it out of the ground! What a superhero, right?!!

So we had this stump just sitting there and it dawned on me that this was the beginning of my very own Sequoia table (or Sequoia stump?).

tree stump table

 

The first thing I did was put a super thick layer of primer over the entire stump. I wanted all of the trunk kept as is with nothing flaking off, and also didn’t want any creepy crawlies that had made a home in the trunk deciding to come out once it was inside.

gripper primer

After the primer dried, my next step was to address the hole in the top of the stump. This is the kind of hole that something evil can crawl out of, that your finger gets bitten off when you poke it, etc. etc. I wasn’t exactly sure how to fill it and we had run out of that amazing can of expanding foam… so I filled it with wood glue. Makes sense, right? Glue keeps the evils from coming out. I globbed it in there and let that dry overnight.

tree stump table

Can you imagine the horrors that might crawl out of there?! Not gonna happen now! So once that was dry, I added another coat of primer to the rest of the trunk, and painted over the dried glue on the top.

tree stump table

The white trunk looked pretty cool and I thought for a second about stopping there but the gold called me like it always does. Why leave it white when it can be fabulous gold?

best gold spray paint

I used this Montana Gold spray paint which I’m pretty sure is for actual art pieces and is super fancy. I’ve bought my share of gold spray paint before but none has ever had a finish and color payoff like this one. My brother had this can of spray paint and said I could have it and I’m so glad he did! The color in this can is SO much better than the other gold spray paints I’ve purchased before.

best gold spray paint, tree stump table

Side by side comparison of the white vs. gold. Definitely made the right decision to not stop at the white!

best gold spray paint, tree stump table

The gold paint was still wet at this point and I noticed that the thicker I tried to apply it, the more running and streaks that I got. This spray paint covered the tree in one coat, which is pretty amazing. The paint comes out in a fine mist and immediately has a mirror finish. I was hooked and looking around for anything else I could spray. Sometimes I have to take a step back from the spray paint!

best gold spray paint, tree stump table

I rarely wear gloves (or safety goggles… shh! don’t tell my mom!) and this is typically what happens. Since it was gold, I thought it looked pretty cool but going to the gym with gold hands gets a little weird.

My goal for my golden stump was to hold the tray that the mail falls onto. Our house has one of those old mail slots in the wall, and we’ve had a weird little stool holding the tray for the longest time. I considered painting that gold originally but the shape didn’t really call for that. The golden stump fits perfectly in the spot and adds a little glamour to an area that is otherwise not glamorous at all. It’s super heavy and was a bit of a process to complete, but it was easy and the best part was it was free! Nothing like saving a grand and bringing in a similar piece with a little elbow grease.

I love how the trunk is still knobby but also smooth. Since this turned out so great I am definitely looking around to see what else I can spray. Nothing is safe from the gold, really.

best gold spray paint, tree stump table

 

 

Laundry room re-do

How do you make a laundry room awesome and functional? This is something I’ve struggled with since we moved in years ago. Our laundry room was really a catch-all for anything we didn’t want seen, and also for the litter boxes, our cleaning supplies, half-used buckets of paint… well, you get the idea.

It didn’t feel like a room, it felt like storage and I didn’t like that feeling. I looked at photo after photo of beautiful laundry rooms on Pinterest and while some seemed achievable, most were either super large rooms (which our is not) or the materials that people used in their laundry rooms were high-end (which wasn’t an option for me).

Laundry room renovation

Laundry room renovation

Laundry room renovation

BOOOOOOOOOOO!

Yuck. Sad. Gross. Ew. RIGHT? There is just so much stuff and nowhere to put it.

I went to the drawing board to figure out how to make this room work. I wanted it to be well thought out, but still functional for what it was – a place to do laundry, store stuff, and have the cat boxes. The first step was to add base boards. I checked around to try to get someone to do this for us because it just seemed a little out of the realm of what I’m comfortable with. I didn’t get any responses in time, so I measured the linear feet of the walls and sent John to Home Depot to buy whatever white baseboard they already had that were able to be cut and were already painted. He came back with some beautiful white baseboards that I’m guessing are plastic of some sort. We set to work cutting and measuring.

We cleared everything out of the room and got a couple of samples of Jeff Lewis’ paint. I chose two grey colors (duh): Smoke and Dusk. The yellow we originally painted the room was cute, in theory, and I hoped it would make the room more cheery. Who am I kidding though? I’m not a cheery person and yellow doesn’t “fit” me at all.

Laundry room renovation

After the room was painted (I chose Dusk) we began installing the baseboards. We rented a finish nailer with an air compressor which was terrifying. As John was putting the nails into the baseboard, he made sure I wasn’t standing on the other side of the wall. (Old houses. You never know what might happen.)

Laundry room renovation

A tip if you’re installing baseboards; it’s good to have a good saw, and it’s good to have the tool that measures the angles of your walls, because I don’t care how new your house is, you probably don’t have 90 degree angles where the walls meet. We had neither a good saw, nor the measuring tool, so I did a lot of guessing. Not exactly perfect, but we got the job done and the room was starting to look more like a room.

I had an open shelving unit for storage, but because we store EVERYTHING in this room, it looked super cluttered all the time. I wanted something that contained everything behind doors, but possibly didn’t look like it belonged in a laundry room. I liked the idea of adding two Billy Bookcases from IKEA with full glass doors.

IKEA Billy Bookcase

They were super easy to put together, and super cheap compared to other storage units I was finding online. The knobs that came with them are pretty generic but fate brought me these gorgeous little things, and they couldn’t have worked more perfectly.

Vintage gold cabinet pulls

So once the bookcases were up, we were able to store everything behind closed doors, and while you can still see everything, it definitely makes the room seem more tidy.

IKEA Billy Bookcase

I also chose an Algot storage system from IKEA for the opposite wall. These are open shelves and are highly configurable to whatever room you are putting them in. Our hot and cold water supply valves, the dryer vent, a window, and the dryer outlet are all on this wall, so we definitely needed something that could be moved around to fit the existing space.

IKEA storage

Everything has a place! The laundry soap is stored above the washer! It’s the small things, really. I was trying the washer and dryer on the left side of the room so it felt different, but ended up moving them back to the right side.

IKEA Algot storage laundry

Look at all that toilet paper! Now I can buy it in bulk and we actually have a place for it. It’s pretty wonderful, really.  The room feels clean and not creepy, while being functional. Everything has its place and I’m so happy that it’s not embarrassing anymore! When people come over, we don’t have to close the door to hide the mess in there. All it took was some elbow grease, a little planning, and about $400. Not bad to change the mood and functionality of a room!

Now there is a not a “bad” room in the house. Sure, there are still things I want to change and ideas I have, but every room has been worked on and the house feels cohesive as you walk around it. It’s a nice feeling, although I worry what happens when it’s all done. That’s when we move, amiright? Anyone looking to rent a house? I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let this one go. We’ve put so much work into it, but it’s just a house… right? Has anyone else experienced this? It kind of makes me feel sad, but it’s also an exciting thought to have a whole other house to get ideas for. John might kill me.

On a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to share this little picture with you that I took today. This is the chair we had redone at the end of last year and it is just so regal and beautiful. Sitting there, I noticed how great it looks with the weird gold lamp (spray painted by yours truly) and next to our couch and with the carpet. It’s easy to feel like there is always more work to do, and easy to feel like there’s never enough time or money. Lately, I’ve had a hard time being inspired and motived to work on projects, but when I saw this today, I felt re-energized. There are beautiful things all around me when I take the time to notice! :)

Black and white living room

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

 

 

 

 

 

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