Friday, June 14, 2013

18th Flaunt my Friend Friday! Susie!

For this eighteenth flaunt, I'm happy to introduce Susie to you. She's yet another of my mom friends from my little online moms group that I've mentioned... I'm telling you... tons of fab ladies! She has quite the talent for all things design related. Over the last six years I've been able to see all the wonderful transformations she's done in her home. They are skilled DIYers and while she's currently on a break from blogging... you should pop over to her blog, W Designs, to see some of these projects for yourself! Watch out, nothing is safe from her and paint! Plus she does it all with four little ones, I think she wears a super cape ;) Oh and I often seek her out for support and ideas when it comes to purging... this gal needs her own show, I tell ya. Today she's sharing with us her kitchen, and you're going to love it!

Hi Everyone! I’m Susie. I’ve been married to my Dave, my high school sweetheart, for almost eleven years, and we have four children. Greta is eight, Charlie is seven, Francesca is five, and Louisa is three. We live in a little tiny town in Wisconsin right where Dave and I grew up. Dave is a pharmacist, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. Between dance class and baseball practice, church, school, and friends, we’re busy – crazy busy. And to add to the fun of six people and a Shih Tzu named Roy, we bought our hometown pharmacy last December. Dave worked there in high school and throughout college and took a position as a pharmacist immediately upon graduating from pharmacy school and passing his boards. It’s been a long time dream of ours to own this pharmacy, and we’ve been blessed more than we can say.

We’re finding little time left for much of anything after balancing business and home life, but we’re always up for something fun and sometimes even a project or two. I love to decorate and organize, and I’m always dreaming of a new space to make over. When Tyson asked me to think of something to share on H Family Happenings, my mind jumped to one of my favorite projects ever: The Chalkboard Kitchen.

I love chalkboard walls. I love their old-time charm, that they provide a permanent doodle pad for your home, and the little bit of drama they add to a room. I also love open shelving. Oh my, do I love open shelving. Open shelving forces a person to cut down on clutter, to pare down to the essentials and display them in a way that makes art. I also love a little bit of bling – a little sparkle and shine (what girl doesn’t?). I like to look for ways to introduce a little unexpected glamour to a room. So I’d been drooling over open shelving and chalkboard walls and adding a touch of sparkle to our kitchen and finally convinced my husband to see the light. Last Fourth of July, he saw the light. That was when we removed our upper kitchen cabinets, painted our walls with black chalkboard paint, installed stainless open shelving, and added two crystal chandeliers to our happy home.

We started by taking every last bit of everything out of our kitchen cabinets. And we were starting with a lot of kitchen cabinets; years of stuff had found its way into hiding behind all those cabinet doors.

A before shot of this open shelving madness

Having open shelving was going to force us to have only our must-needs on hand and to abolish any excess. That sounded awesome to me; I’m known as a heartless purger by family and friends. Most of the cabinets’ contents went to camp out on our son’s bedroom floor while we completed our kitchen makeover.

Charlie had to maneuver through dishes and kitchen odds and ends for a couple of days. Payback for all of those Legos I stepped on?

Next it was time to remove the upper kitchen cabinets. We’re lucky enough to have a little storage shed behind our garage, and the cabinets are sitting safely inside in case we’d like do away with all of this open shelving business someday.

While Dave and his dad removed the cabinets, I went through what used to live in them and decided what could stay and what had to go. Dishes, bowls, glasses, and coffee mugs were obvious. We need as use those pieces every day. I also chose to keep pretty vases, some decorative bowls, a few framed pictures, and some wicker baskets for visual interest.

Once the cabinets were down, we prepped and painted the walls with two coats of black chalkboard paint.

When the walls were dry, Dave installed nine stainless steel shelves, Ekby Mossby from Ikea, to form our open shelving. We enlisted the help of Dave’s dad once again to install new lighting under the bottom row of shelves to provide some workspace lighting.

Remember that little bit of unexpected bling? We happened to come upon a gorgeous Swarovski crystal chandelier on clearance at our local Menard’s, and my heart knew it was right for our new space. We scoured the other local Menard’s and happened to find a mate. Those two gems now grace our kitchen and add a lot of extra light. Dave installed a hanging pot rack above our sink, and our stainless pots and pans hang right in the mix of the stainless shelves.

With the shelves up and new lighting installed, it was time to bring back what survived the kitchen cleanout. I hemmed and hawed and arranged and rearranged our kitchen must-haves a dozen times. I wanted plates and bowls near the stove where food is dished up and served. Glasses should be near the fridge for ease of filling with beverages. Coffee mugs were placed above where our CBTL coffee machine lives on the counter. With the essentials in place, I fiddled around with the extras until I loved the arrangement. 

When guests peruse the kitchen, I hear the same statement: “I could never have open shelving. I have way too much stuff!” Well, yes, I agree. I think most people do have way too much stuff. That’s the best part about open shelving. It forces you to keep only what you need. I didn’t need a bunch of mismatched coffee mugs and two cookie presses and an extra coffee machine. I have two types of things in the kitchen: pieces we use almost every day (plates and glassware) and decorative elements (vases or frames) that we love. Anything else must fit in the lower cabinets. I do keep two large baskets on top of the fridge for the unavoidable extras. One holds paper plates and napkins and plastic silverware. The other holds treats that Dave and I hide from the kids (hello chocolate covered potato chips from Trader Joe’s!). Do I need to dust a little more? Yep; that’s OK. Do we love our new, little bit more modern, little bit more glamorous kitchen? You bet!

Thank you thank you thank you Susie for sharing your amazing kitchen with us! I remember when it was transformed into the white kitchen years ago. What a great space. You guys do such goregous work! I also love that new pop of green in there too. Everything balances out each other so nicely in colors, textures, styles... I can so see you in this kitchen! Love!


W Design said...

Thank you so much for asking me to share, Tyson! Maybe this will inspire me to dust off my blog. :)

Charlene Juliani said...

Susie, I love it, but I could never do it LOL! I'm a clutter/hoarder bug!