DIY Breakfast Nook Project

Last year I had the idea of putting in a breakfast nook. At this time, our kitchen remodeling was only a dream and we were skill managing with a mini-stove, about 4 feet of counter space, and no dishwasher. Fast-forward 1 year and we have a whole new kitchen! The idea of a breakfast nook was forgotten until more recently. We moved the table to where it would be with a bench and left it that way for a few weeks to see if we liked it. The positioning really opened up the kitchen, so we decided to go with it. The week after boards, I got started on the bench. J was a huge help when I needed and was great at stepping back and letting me build on my own when I wanted.

kitchen - window update 3

Kitchen Before the Bench

I debated about white vs. wood and open vs. closed for a the weeks when we had the table moved. Ultimately, we decided to do open since there is a vent and an outlet on the walls (and I didn’t want to have to build a duct or extend the outlet through the bench). We also decided on stained wood instead of white since the entire room is already basically white and white would show shoe prints.

We made the bench out of plywood, 1x2s, and decorative molding (it has a nice vine pattern). There were a few kinks along the way, but for the most part, it turned out how I wanted.  I stained it to match the cabinets, so now the only thing that is out-of-place is the table, which is a totally different color.

bench and quote 6bench and quote








The next step was to make the cushion. Given the custom size of the bench, I couldn’t buy a pre-made cushion for a decent price. I did find one at pottery barn for $89/each that would work, but I didn’t want to spend $180 on cushions. I looked at Jo-Ann fabrics and was surprised to see how much foam costs – $20/yd ?!? Then I looked at home decor fabric, so we had something a little stronger – another $20/yd?! These were with sale prices! Our bench is basically 5′ on one side and 5′ on the other side, so this was going to add up fast ($80 in foam…$160 in fabric, since the cushions need fabric on each side). Even with other sales/discounts I could find, it was easily going to cost over $100.

Then I found some individual chair foam cushions. While it wouldn’t be one uniform piece, I figured I could make it tight enough that you wouldn’t really notice. The $80 foam purchase became $22…much better. I cut the foam to size and laid it out on the bench.bench cushion prep

I made sure to number the pieces so that I wouldn’t mix anything up. I didn’t use a pattern for the bench cushions, but got ideas from here and here. I measured the pieces by laying the foam out on the fabric and folding it how I wanted. Not the official way to sew, but I’m OK with that. I opted to make 2 cushions instead of 1 L-shape, because it would be easier to remove the cushions to wash the fabric, if needed. I also decided to put velcro on the underside, so that the cushions could be easily removed (I really didn’t want to have to stuff them in from one end). While, I still wish I would have done piping, the pattern gives the bench enough character that is OK for now. While it worked ore-cushion, we are not keeping the table cloth on, since it clashes horribly (sorry for the hideous picture, haha).

bench cushion (2)

breakfast nook


DIY Pot Rack and Organization Center

I am not going to lie…I am pretty proud of this post. I have been wanting a pot rack and organization area for quite a long time. The pots were nested in each other in the cabinets on the long wall. The “organization center” was basically on 1/4 of the counter on the long wall. The pots were annoying to dig out of the cabinet and I had to move the organization center stuff around to get to the counter space. Add a big blank wall to the picture, and I basically saw that entire area in need of a major makeover. I had been looking at some ideas for a pot rack for some time and the week after boards I decided to make it happen. I am super excited to show you all something that I built on my own. J was quite impressed with my handiness.

First, I built a floating shelf for over the dog dish. The leftover boards were a tad too short, so I left a space to the right. I told J that I would make it work, but he wasn’t a believer (the engineer in him likes balance and completeness). After a few days it came to me and I made the gap an area to hang keys and the dog leash. I picked up the dry-erase calendar/magnet/cork board for 90% off at Micheal’s Craft Store…Originally $45, now only $5 (can I even get a printed calendar for $5?!). The picture is fuzzy, but the wood basically matches perfectly and the cork board and magnet are exactly what I wanted. The wooden stand is something I picked up at Hobby Lobby for 75% off. Basically this entire organization center cost $30.  organization areaAnd now for the glorious pot rack. This was also a cheap project. It is a pine 1x10x6′ board stained with the walnut stain we used for all the cabinets and trim in the house. Since pine is so porous, it only took 1 coat.  The brackets are 1x2s, mostly leftovers. I used 1″ conduit for the pipe (J cut it to size and smoothed the ends) and some pipe brackets to hold it in place. I put S-hooks for all the pots and pans.  The total cost was about $15, with S-hooks being the most expensive part.

pot rack3Ahhh look at that counter space! So much better 🙂

One pan was a little short and we wanted to balance things out, so I found some hardware (I’m sure it has a name but I don’t know it) that has an S-hook on one end and an eye on the other end. The S-hook attaches to the eye and voila, it is the right length. The end is adjustable, so we can change how low it hangs down. It works perfect. For the decor, I (again) wetn crazy at the clearance racks. The plates and bowls are part of our party dishes for when people over (which I got on 60% off at hobby lobby last winter). The flowers were all 80% off at Micheal’s for the end-of-the-season (because white and cream flowers have seasons?).  The glass jar and tipped flower-pot were 75% off as well. If I had to guess, the decor was $25 total (including the plates and bowls).

pot rack complete

Kitchen Window Update

kitchen - window update

We’ve updated most of the trim in the house and the end result is looking awesome! Here is an updated view of the small window over the sink.

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The bay window in our kitchen was going to be a little more challenging since it is more than just staining, cutting, and swapping out some new trim. We removed the floor trim they used around the edges and had to putty about 50 holes. I sanded off the icky stain coating around the rest of the window (when I should have been studying for step one…whoops) and used exterior paint and primer to paint over the wood. After two coats, the end product looks great! We are working on a special seating area to replace the table/chairs, so there will be a better picture of the bay window once that is finished.

In case you wanted a blast from the past I included what the old kitchen looked like.

Listing PicturesListing Pictures


New Refrigerator and Shelves!


refrigerator 2

We had our new refrigerator delivered yesterday, so I thought it would be a good time to share some updated pictures.  Jason installed the floating shelves next to the microwave about a month ago. I think they add a great touch!



Around the same time he also installed some shelves for our coffee supplies. Last weekend I hosted a girls’ weekend our house, so it gave me an excuse to get those cute white canisters. I also got some great serving platters and bowls that had a bright pop of red to the room – I will show those soon! We are thinking of putting hooks on the bottom to hang the mugs, but this will do for now.