Etsy is Your Friend, #1

Etsy is hands down my favorite source for all things handmade. I have found so many amazing and perfect things on Etsy, and I love being able to support artists and small businesses. If you haven’t explored Etsy, I urge you to check it out. Etsy is also a great source for vintage items. Etsy is Your Friend will be a recurring feature in which  I share my favorite Etsy Design Finds.

I love when something old is given new life instead of being thrown away. These fantastic knobs are made from old water valves. Our closet doors are very boring, and these make them so much more interesting and fun. The kids both have them in their rooms – one room has turquoise and the other one has pink. The silver ones are on the linen closet. I think they would also look fantastic on a dresser or in a row as coat hooks.

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Available from:

The Kitchen – Almost There

Here it is with countertops, backsplash, lighting and appliances installed!


The cabinets are by Executive Cabinetry, and are maple with a painted black finish. The appliances are all GE Profile, except for the range hood, which is by Best. The hood is 36″ wide over the 30″ stove, and really makes a statement. We chose a counter depth fridge, which provides more of a built-in look than a standard depth fridge. It’s a good thing we gave up carbs a few years ago, because a pizza box would never fit in it. The reduced depth does mean that everything is easy to see – no more food pushed to the back of a shelf and forgotten. As our house is all electric, I wasn’t able to get the La Cornue range of my dreams, but I’m very happy with the double oven smooth top slide-in range we ended up with. I haven’t actually experimented with using both ovens yet, but isn’t that why they invented Thanksgiving?


The countertops in the kitchen area are honed Cararra marble. I know a lot of people are terrified of marble because it stains. We were comfortable using it because we’re pretty tidy (although some of our friends would probably describe us more as ridiculously Type A neat freaks). In any case, we tend to clean things up pretty quickly, and we’re also comfortable with the countertop developing a patina that reflects its age and use.


The dining room sideboard countertop is honed Absolute Black granite. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out, especially because it’s one loooong (over ten feet) single piece of granite. The granite template guy and I spent a long time figuring out where the seam would go, but then on install day, the guys carried one giant slab into the house. I was beyond thrilled. In fact, there is only one seam in the entire kitchen, and most of it is hidden in the appliance garage near the peninsula area.


In my next kitchen post we’ll look at the details up close.

Lucketts Love – Then and Now


In May, my favorite Partner In Finds (PIF) and I headed out for a day of shopping fun at the Old Lucketts Store in Lucketts, VA. To our extreme delight, we stumbled into their Spring Market. There were 200 dealers outside the store, and the store’s Design House (house full of fantastic room vignettes, everything for sale) was also open. We could not believe our luck!

At the time, I was in the planning stages of the great big kitchen/dining room/whole first floor remodel/update extravaganza. I was on the lookout for a new dining table, counter stools and items to decorate the new space. As we hadn’t even started construction yet, I unfortunately wasn’t quite ready to fill the car with finds.

I did snap a few inspiration photos:






And I did buy a few things:


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This Union Jack mirror was intended for the living room when I bought it. Once it got home, I ended up hanging it in a tiny hallway between the kids’ bedrooms and their bathroom. It’s an unexpected fun note when you turn the corner and see it, and the mirror aspect really opens up the small space.

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I also bought this little cast iron baby duck as a joke for my husband. Until he adds product every morning, his hair exactly resembles duck fuzz on a baby duck. The joke was on me though – I bought it early in the day, and carrying a cast iron duck around all day (even a little one), is not so funny. But I survived and now the duck resides next to the fireplace. He’s so small he’s hardly noticed, but when he catches my eye, it always makes me smile.

PIF did not leave empty handed either. She bought this lovely table for her upstairs hall:

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This weekend (Nov 8-10), The Old Lucketts Store is holding their Holiday Open House, complete with an open Design House and 60 additional vendors. PIF and I are VERY excited to return to Lucketts and see what we find this time around!

The Kitchen During

Our kitchen remodel was not just about having a prettier kitchen. We wanted to solve some real problems. The main thing that drove me crazy was having the sink across the room from the stove – with a doorway/line of traffic between them. It seemed that every time I took a pot of boiling pasta across the room from the stove to the sink, my youngest would come cartwheeling through the doorway at that exact moment. Or I would have to carry dripping wet vegetables across the wood floor from the sink to prep and cook them by the stove. And then the trash was in another corner of the room – more dripping across the floor to throw out food prep trash. I wiped up the floor a lot. The traffic pattern through the room also meant that everyone was always in my way as I cooked. That may have made me a little bit grouchy sometimes.

We removed most of the wall between the kitchen and dining room.  The prep area and the peninsula were relocated against the inside wall of the house. These changes redirected traffic to the outside wall of the house, away from the prep area. Now the fridge, sink, stove, dishwasher, and trash/recycling are on the same side of the room. Much easier! This switch allowed us to add 15″ deep tall pantry cabinets for storage on the outside wall, and also add another patio door out to the deck. More light! More storage! And everyone out of my way! Win-win-win!


Removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room.


Wall removed, new patio door installed where small kitchen window used to be. The large picture window on the right replaced the cantilevered garden window. The new window allows much better views of the yard!


New cabinets installed. Coming soon – the (almost completely) finished product!

Field Trip!

For this week’s Field Trip, I visited the HGTV pop-up showroom at Tyson’s Corner in McLean, VA. I promise I was not wearing the Halloween deelyboppers  I now have on as I simultaneously write this post and answer the door for trick-or-treaters. I did have on my Halloween skull and crossbones scarf, however. The person who greeted me at the door of the showroom complimented me on it before he even said hello. Obviously they have good taste at HGTV!


If you love the fresh colorful vibe of HGTV’s home makeovers, this temporary showroom (at Tyson’s until November 8, then off to Santa Monica, CA)  is a great resource. There are lots of fun vignettes with take-home price cards, listing everything from the lighting to the flooring and even the paint.



The lamps and light fixtures really caught my attention the most.  Especially the mercury glass – I really have a thing for mercury glass right now. I love how it combines shine, texture, and a feeling of age:

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There were also some fun colorful lights:

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And fabric and upholstery:

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And paint:


But this was the best part – I’m not exactly sure what it is – a giant set of bookends, maybe? Whatever it is, I love it!


This blog is all about sharing sources: for all items seen at HGTV showroom.


Deelyboppers: Claire’s.