Category Archives: the nest

HOME TOUR powder room redux

With the exception of a quick jaunt to Mexico, we have been up to our usual antics here in Kleeville: painting and tiling anything that stands still.  Our latest conquest has been the tiling of our kitchen backsplash, which is not quite worthy of photo documentation at this point.  In the mean time, I can offer you a peek at another little project that we finished prior to our trip.

Mad props go to our builder, Cory McCandliss, for incorporating several unique touches into what was originally built as a spec home.  One of my favorite rooms is this little powder room, located off the kitchen.  When we first toured the house, I immediately swooned over the basin sink and bamboo pedestal that Cory built into this bathroom.  The original wall color, Lenox Tan by Benjamin Moore, started to look dingy over time.  Having recently painted the living room in “Metal Shavings”, we decided to go with another dark gray.  We chose “Chelsea Gray” by Benjamin Moore, as it compliments the travertine tile so nicely.

Here’s the before picture.  Before you look at it, I just want to say a few things.  Firstly, this is the ONLY picture I could find of the previous color (believe me, I looked HARD).  Secondly, my husband is a really good person.  Thirdly, this was taken on the night of my surprise 35th birthday.  We maybe might have ended up at Jack’s that night.  Or maybe he had food poisoning.  Or something.  What I’m trying to say is:  please attempt to reserve your judgement.  (Actually, you should go ahead and judge our friend Rich, because it was ALL his fault.)  Anyhoo….here it is.  The BEFORE photo:



Sorry about getting my thumb in that lovely shot.  (Pretty sure I had a 7 layer burrito from Taco Bell in my other hand.)  And here…ta daaaaaa… is the AFTER photo:



We are thrilled with how the dark paint contrasts with the sink and artwork:


PAINT COLOR:  Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore
BASIN SINK:  Decolav

Coming soon:  kitchen tile backsplash.  So far I am elated with the results.  The tile is on the wall, next comes the grout.  Good times all up in here!



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Home Tour: living room redux

I love it when other blogs post home tour photos, so I thought I’d share a before and after photo of a recent project.

A few months ago, we installed these ANNO STRA Panel Curtains from IKEA.  They are super easy to install, sturdy, and offer a sophisticated look for the money.  We’ve been burned on curtain rods in the past, and love the sleek design of the suspension set mounting — you can stack up to three panels, on each side,  which allows for complete coverage of a 9′ window when pulled together.   When retracted, they nest behind one another, taking up little space.

While I love the look and versatility of them (you can easily cut them to any length), they blended in too much with our Lenox Tan (Benjamin Moore) walls.  A few Saturdays ago, I decided that I couldn’t handle any more tan-on-tan, and we’ve been on a painting binge ever since.  My husband is a good sport, and the master at cutting in the edges– he trusts me just enough to roll it out.  He also has a great eye for color, and picked out “Metal Shavings” (Miller Paint), which we had mixed using Benjamin Moore (their paint has far better coverage and is easier to work with).  We are thrilled with the results…

BEFORE: "tan-on-tan"

AFTER: "metal shavings"

pendant light, panel curtains, and book case:  IKEA
coffee table and rug: DANIA
original artwork:  “Eastern Gorge” by the lovely CATHLEEN REHFELD
ginormous dog bed:  RUFF WEAR

I love the contrast of the blonde wood and panel curtains against the dark gray.  It also makes Cathleen’s beautiful painting really stand out!  Our dog loves it too, apparently.

Coming up soon on the “Home Tour”:  the powder room, master bath, and new kitchen tile backsplash….we are on a tear, people!


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PANTRY LOVE tips for organizing

We have been in our sweet little home for four years now, and have finished most of the big projects that needed to be tackled upon moving in.  We currently find ourselves in a phase where we can conquer the “fun stuff'”.  The state of my pantry has been bothering me for a while, and I’m slightly annoyed with myself for not having any decent before photos to adequately illustrate its formerly pitiful state.  I’ve been chipping away at the reorg, and between Pinterest and great blog resources,  I now love my pantry so much that I want to take the door off the hinges.

Here’s the best that I can offer for a BEFORE photo…(sadly, I had already removed most items before I thought about taking a picture).


I should probably explain that the colors in our house are mostly neutral.  I’ve been itching for some bright colors, and thought it would be a fun little trick-or-treat to paint the inside of the pantry in an eye popping blue.  I loooooove how it turned out.


Step ONE
Purge.  I removed everything from the pantry and placed all the food items on our dining room table.  I put it where I could really see what I was dealing with.  I went through and tossed out unwanted items (WHY did I have a can of fruit cocktail in my pantry?  WHY?!  I can’t even remember buying it…or WHY) and anything that was past expiration.

Step TWO
Declutter.   We installed two hooks to get the mop/broom up off the floor, and removed anything else that had no business being in the pantry.

Beautify.  I scrubbed the shelves and wood floor.  Then I taped all the edges and painted the walls in Fairy Tale Blue by Benjamin Moore (our main home color is Lenox Tan, for reference).  It may sound crazy to take the time to paint what is essentially a closet….but it makes me so happy when I peek inside now.

Containers.  Get rid of awkward bags of  rice, flour, sugar, etc. and replace with containers that keep things neat and clean.  Label anything that could get mixed up (bread flour vs all-purpose flour, for example).   IKEA and Target are great resources for bigger containers.  I love using mason jars and repurposing old jam and spaghetti sauce jars for smaller storage.  After being inspired by this zero-waste kitchen, I am trying to buy more things in bulk  (added bonus: I save some moolah).

Divide.  Organize food into “zones”.  I kept all of my baking things on one shelf and put all my canned food, etc. on a different shelf.   I also kept my international ingredients grouped together.

Step SIX
Accessibility.  Keep the items that you use most frequently within easy reach.  My canning gadgets, for example, went to the very top shelf as I only access them during the summer.    Also, think about who uses your pantry–if you have little ones, you may want to store their snacks within their reach (or…not).

Reassess often.  I always laugh when magazines offer their tips for “must have pantry items”.  Your kitchen should reflect your cooking style.  If you use it a lot, keep it stocked.  I am not a big hoarder, so I only stock items that I burn through quickly.  I like to freeze things like chicken broth and tomato paste when I don’t use the entire package, so between my freezer and my pantry, things are fairly minimal.

Love your home.  If there is a space that is bothering you, honor it, and make changes.  You’ll wonder why you waited so long….


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