Monday, November 29, 2010

Drum Roll Please... For The Butler's Pantry Reveal

Here is the moment no one else but I have been waiting for...

My elegant laundry room/butler's pantry is complete!

I'm am thrilled with the finished product.  And especially proud that this has made such a huge impact on the house and didn't cost a lot.  In fact, it was 1/4 the cost of the last contractor's estimate thanks to IKEA.

Now I don't mind with people cut through from the kitchen to our sunroom. Notice Digby cutting through.

My vintage venetian glass chandelier that I found at the Georgetown flea market for only $80 is the perfect size and color for this room. 
I've seen similar new styles for over $500.

Turning it into a pantry makes it way more roomy and functional.  My trick for saving A LOT of money and making more room was to use IKEA Billy bookcases with doors instead of kitchen cabinets.  The color of the bookshelves is a perfect match with my kitchen cabinets and the bookcase depth of 15 inches gives me organization with out taking up a lot of room. There are a lot of inexpensive options to go with the Billy bookcase. They have several different door options. I chose this one with the top glass and bottom panel so I could see the pretty things and hide the ugly stuff.

Another option with the Billy bookcase is to add glass shelves which are only $10 each.
I added the glass shelves and lighting. 

I love that I can see and enjoy my china, crystal and milk glass collections. I know I'm a geek, but I like to keep those lights on when I'm in the sunroom at night because I think it looks so pretty.  I have to "style" all the shelves still, but already I know that I'll be using what I have in there more now that I can see and access everything easily.

My big splurge was my drawer cabinet with a granite top. The absolute black granite is what we have in the kitchen and I really felt like I had to do it in here to make it feel consistent and like a continuation of the kitchen. 

The cabinet is actually a stock bathroom cabinet from Home Depot. I really wanted drawers for my napkins and candles and runners etc. And, I needed a place to put things that I would be taking out of the cabinets. This cabinet was unpainted and was the right width. It was too deep though. So, I had it cut down in the back. The hardware is the Martha Stewart line for Home Depot. 

I think that I'll stay on top of laundry better now that this is a functional and accessible room to do it in. I'm still going to put up a curtain to hide the laundry area--don't know when I'll get to that.

For some reason this swing arm towel bar (also from Ikea) is getting a lot of oohs and aaahs from my friends and family. This is for air drying things. It tucks away when not in use.

So, let's compare the before and after

Before & Before with all the stuff in it 

Same view with stuff AFTER

Before and what it really looked like 


Enhanced by Zemanta

Same view AFTER

I'm so happy that I waited three years to do this project (did I really just say that?) because I think I got the best design by taking my time.

Now I've got to run, I just heard the dryer bell :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

They Really ARE Knockouts!

I had to stop and cut some roses on my way to the bus stop with Drew this afternoon.

These are called Knockout roses

I planted a bunch of Knockout roses last year.  If you don't have any in your garden, look for them next spring at Home Depot. They're inexpensive, and grow fast.

They have been so beautiful all spring and summer and here we are headed into winter and I'm getting the best bouquets yet.  The cut flowers last a really long time too.

This is just a painting I did of roses and since it was in the picture above I thought I'd show you a close up.  It's one of my favorite paintings I've done. 

Red roses are on my very short list of flowers I never want in my house.  These were supposed to be pink. My eye says they're red, but there is just enough pink in them that I welcome this bouquet in my house.

I'm hoping that I'll have more to cut around Christmas. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Feng is Shui Better Already!

The construction phase of the laundry room/butler's pantry is nearly completed. The cabinets will go up on Monday.  Last night the washer and dryer were stacked and connected, so after a two week laundry hiatus I'm back in the fluff and fold business (is that a good thing? Hmmmm)

The tiles are in. I thought I should just try to keep things simple so I did the same thing in there that I have in my entry.  I also just painted the walls the same color as the kitchen, BM Camouflage.

And, we took down the door between the kitchen and this room. No more doors slamming into each other. 

I've cleaned up my flea market chandelier (I'm going with this one instead of the one I showed you in my first post about this project.)

It's just an empty room right now, but I feel like the energy in the house has already changed.  I looked at a feng shui chart, and according to my calculations this room is the location of Joy.

With all the joy floating around during the upcoming holidays and my new room I should be the happiest woman on the planet. Joy, Joy, Joy!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big Cats

I'm an animal lover.

In the past I've talked a lot about my love of zebra prints and recently I shared my collection of those little vermin we hate to love, mink.  I'm also a huge fan of big cats, especially the spotted ones.

The leopard print has the colors I have throughout my house. I guess these are my favorite neutrals. Black, white, golden beige. My house and my closet house a lot of these colors.

 I got this dress last year and have worn it a lot from fall through winter. Comfy and cute!

Notice the tile on the floor, the mirror frame on the right there, the painting in the background. All leopard colors--I just noticed that.

I've been on a mission to find an old a lion head door knocker, and if I could work in some concrete lions at my driveway without looking too pretentious I would do it!

Brass Lion Head Door KnockerImage via Wikipedia

About a month ago I found a pair of huge lion head earrings at the flea market. They are BIG and I really didn't know what I could do with them--but I loved them!

This weekend the "cat forces" must have been with me, because the design for the earrings and an amazing big cat estate find both came to me. I realized the lion head earring would be fantastic on a gold cuff.   I might have to keep this one just for myself.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this purse was still around on day two of an estate sale. I was shocked when I saw the price tag read $10 and the cashier rang it up at the second day discount for $7.50.

I love the vintage style and it's in great condition.  It's absolutely beautiful and I have a pretty strong feeling it might be real leopard.

The leopard trend is hot now, but I don't think it ever really goes out of style. At least for me it doesn't. 
There's always room for the big cats in this dog house!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Dream Come True! (Hopefully)

I love that my laundry room is on my main floor. But I've never loved the layout and poor use of a tiny space. 

The door from the kitchen and the door to the sunroom knock each other when the doors are open (which is almost always).

It's a cut through from the kitchen to the sunroom 

Unfortunately it almost always looks like this. 

There is nowhere to put/sort the laundry. 
The washer and dryer doors are so close to the wall it's really a feat of flexibility to get the laundry done without injury. 

It was just one of those rooms where things that don't have a place or that need a place just get tossed.

 I tried several times to use the peg board and make different shelving configurations. Nothing worked. 

This week the remodel project began and I'm positively giddy about the final-final plan. I've been designing and redesigning this space in my head for three years. I've had multiple quotes to do the job and that's usually where the plan comes to a screeching halt. 

With this plan I'm going to create a butler's pantry in the front part where I can store all my china, flatware and extensive milk glass collection. The laundry area will be in the back which will be covered with a floor to ceiling curtain.  Of all the plans I've come up with I think this one is the best and can you believe it's going to be the least expensive. 

I'm keeping it really simple and trying to make it elegant.  Can you have an elegant laundry room?....  Would you think I was crazy if I put this chandelier in there? 

For now I'm just happy to say, 
goodbye peg board

I'll keep you posted!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's New & I'm So Confused

This week I've been really struggling with what to do.  I'm in full jewelry design mode and that's really where my head has been lately.  I'm gearing up for the holidays, which I hope will be successful this year.

Did you notice that I also started a jewelry blog?  That's because I couldn't get the website that I created (using a template) to do what I want it to do -- which is show multiple angles/photos of each piece of jewelry and include more text.  So, with each new piece of jewelry I make, I then need to photograph it, do a blog post about it and add it to my website.

And then there is Monkey Grass Hill and that chair that I want to redo in the kitchen.  That project will require a chunk of time and who even knows if I'll like it this time around.

Wouldn't it be great if I could combine all my creative efforts into just one site?

The great think about blogging is that I write my own rules--and combing my sites is what I'm doing this week. So, here is What's New in the Julie LoRusso Jewelry line.

Fist up is a beautiful and playful triple strand of pink cultured freshwater pearls.

The strands are adorned with three individual flower pins.  These pins were given to me by a friend, and while I don't think they qualify as vintage, I think they give this necklace the vintage feel.  You can remove the pins and rearrange them any way your heart desires.

It's finished with a nice size sterling silver toggle clasp. 

Next up is a fun yellow extra long necklace. I've laced it with some very light smokey quartz coins and silver colored beads.

I was going for fun and affordable with this one by not using sterling silver.

You can wear it long or wrap it twice around.

I think it looks high-end with a fun little edge!

Want a little more Luxe in your life?

You can never go wrong with layers of pearls!  This necklace has three strands of stunning silvery pearls and is turned into a one-of-a-kind design with the fantastic vintage rhinestone brooch.

I found the brooch in an antique shop in Vermont about a month ago.  You can just take it off it you're not in the mood for a a little sparkle. It's stunning either way!

 AND you can adjust the length.  You've got about 2 inches to play with thanks to the sterling silver chain and lobster claw finish.  Finally, I couldn't just leave a chain hanging, so I added the sweetest little teardrop crystal to the end.

Here we have another one of my "new vintage" designs.

 This one is two strands of rich brown pearls with a vintage goldtone faux pearl earring.  The earring findings have been removed it is permanently affixed to this necklace.

It's finished with a gold vermeil "s" hook clasp.

Another versatile pearl necklace is this double green beauty.

I've added just a little shine with the vintage brooch. It's not too big, it's not to sparkly. Just the perfect amount of glam to make you feel special on a dark dreary day.

The brooch is still a brooch, so you can remove it when you want to.

This classic beauty is finished with a 14K gold-filled toggle clasp. 

Need a little pick-me-up as the days start getting shorter?

 The peaceful water tones in this beautiful apatite and chalcedony necklace will take you back to those summer days at the beach. I think it's a year round accessory--can you just imagine how striking it is with a black top.
 Finished with a sterling silver toggle clasp.

I'm into the big chunky styles, but for you ladies who like something a little more subtle I've made this one-of-a-kind "new vintage" star.

I never get tired of the chartreuse green of this single strand of pearls.  And the pendant is a vintage crystal earring.

Perfect for the holidays!

 Finished with a small gold vermeil clasp.

Another blue Monday?.....

I flash of blue apatite can get you through it. How about two strands of little chips?

Finished with a sterling silver hook clasp. 

Finally,  when you just don't know what color to accessorize with.  The watery colorless sparkle of genuine crystal quartz will complete your look.

These stones are "top-drilled" so they flip and flop and do a little dance around your neck. I finished this one with a rhinestone magnetic clasp. (not shown because by camera battery died).

If you like anything you see here and would like to make it your own before I update my website just email me.

I'll be back to posting about house and home things very soon.