Knob Job & Lighting the Kitchen Shadows

(This post is prefaced by apologies for the shotty photography.  One of these days I’ll learn to remember to take pictures during daylight hours on a tripod….)

Continuing on our kitchen adventure, there is one thing that has been just NAGGING at me since we moved in.  Its presence has offended me since I walked in the door.  The culprit:

The great gold offender

The world’s ugliest gold-plated cabinet knob

So on one of our many trips to Home Depot over the last few weeks, I knew I had to find a replacement IMMEDIATELY.  Lucky for me, I found a new brushed silver version that was sold in a 10 piece multi-pack.  This value pack was a lifesaver as we had 18 knobs to replace!

Once I knew they were within budget, I knew the little gold ones’ days were numbered. Why wouldn’t I switch them out for $45 and about 10 minutes worth of work?!  Now some of you may say that’s a LOT of cash for something so insignificant.  But I’ve swapped out knobs on dressers, kitchens, etc and they ALWAYS make a difference.  I’ve never regretted it and provided you save the offending originals, you can take your pretty knobs with you when you leave.  95% of knobs like this are all installed with a single, universally-sized screw which makes replacement a snap.

The great gold offenders - Part 2

Before (insert sad trombone here)

Lovely silver knobs

After (and the heaven’s just opened up and harps are playing my favorite tune)

Now on this same trip to Home Depot and thanks to the moving coupon we signed up for, I knew that I still had some cash left so I decided to fix another simple, but glaring problem in our kitchen.

We are the proud renters of an apartment with boob lights (yes, that’s plural).  We have a horrendous monstrosity that matched those gold knobs currently hanging in our kitchen.  His (or should I say hers?!) days are also coming to a close.

Boobilicious

But while I prep that DIY (thinking a little John & Sherry action here like I did 2 apartments ago for the same problem), I figured I’d fix the sheer lack of light it puts out.

Exhibit A:

DSCN1698

SHADOWS.

DSCN1700

How is a girl to chop an onion without chopping her finger which I have been known to do from time to time….

DSCN1717

Or wash dishes in the dark?!

So thanks to a bit of searching and the eagle eyes of Jefe, we found these little self-sticking, battery operated puck lights.  We needed something that wasn’t permanent and I preferred to not have to worry about finagling a cord.  I also didn’t want something super expensive on the off chance the adhesive wasn’t so easy to remove later on and they become a permanent part of the kitchen.

Now check out the beauty:

Let there be light

DSCN1720

Now that I see this picture, I think I need 1 more for the sink…

Based on the “lip” on the underside of our cabinets, it hides the puck lights perfectly and the light they cast looks like the nicer, permanently installed version.  And the best part – they’re LED without casting that ugly blue light which was a serious prerequisite of mine.

Puck it

In all honesty, these only get 4 stars in my book.  They have an auto shut-off feature after 30 minutes which in theory is great since it saves the battery… until you find yourself hands deep in raw hamburger making dinner and these suckers all decide to go off at once.  Overall though, I’m really pleased with our $12 finds.

Since I ended up using all 3 puck lights we purchased under the sink side of the room, I need to make one more trip to find another option for over the stove that puts out a bit more light and can be left on for much longer periods of time.

Dark sad stove

There a couple of alternatives Home Depot offered, but we wanted to test out our little puck lights first to see if they were even an option with how much light they put out.  Ultimately, we may have to resort to a wired situation here, which I don’t love, but I just feel like this area needs a whole lot more light so I can see what I’m cooking.  No one wants burnt bacon, now do they?!

And since I know it has been awhile and I have yet to show you the rest of the place since we moved in, here are a few teasers of what we have going on in the other rooms:

IMG_4883

Living Room

IMG_4887

Dining Room

IMG_4888

Office / Second Bedroom

IMG_4891

Master Bedroom

So thats the latest around Casa Sledge & Jefe.  Happy Friday!

March To-Do’s

While I’m in the midst of renovating Jefe’s parents place, I’ve started to accumulate a list of future projects and a wish list of item’s for our place.  Busting out my paint clothes has really inspired me to tackle a few larger projects to really make this apartment feel like a home.  (Hopefully a nasty ear and sinus infection won’t plague me during any of these projects like it did during last weekend’s painting extravaganza…)

Although our current apartment is a vast improvement from our last place (excluding the loss of square footage), it still isn’t quite homey enough for me.  It still just feels like a cookie cutter apartment that we’re only temporarily biding our time in.  So Operation Home-ify has official begun.

First on the list was actually inspired by our recent trip to Rejuvenation.  I’ve been hiding a purchase from you all; I finally convinced Jefe to get a little chalkboard to hang above our island/bar in our dining area.

DSCN0837

But our island is really starting to stand out– it’s the ever popular Forhoja from Ikea and is made of a light-colored wood.  It’s been sort of a catch-all for our spill-over kitchen stuff, such as serving utensils, our “bar” area, grilling paraphernalia, cloth napkins, tablecloths, etc.  I’ve been meaning to upgrade the baskets for some time too, but hadn’t really been inspired/found just the right thing.  I think it was partially due to the lighter wood; there was just nothing I found that would coordinate with it.

DSCN0846

(Please excuse the boxes that we still haven’t found a place to unpack….)

But thanks to our new little chalkboard, I’ve been inspired to take the raw wood of the island and stain it to match.  It’s a darker stain with almost a hint of gray– very rustic, and much more traditional in style.  I think it will also tie in better to the rest of the black-brown furniture we have and the silver curtains of the dining room.  Not to mention that I’m just stoked to try my hand at staining again; the last time I actually stained anything was as a freshmen in college when I helped construct and stain a circular staircase for a booth in CMU’s annual spring Carnival.

And after the staining inspiration struck, on a recent trip to Target, I picked up this beauty that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time that I thought would tie the chalkboard and soon to be stained island together with the dining table and dresser.

DSCN0849

Next up on the list is the de-modernization of a few other pieces we own.  A few weeks ago when Jefe and I took his parents to Ikea to look at my furniture choices for their new office, we discovered that a new line of drawer and door fronts for the BESTA line have been added.  They’re much more traditional and definitely more up my alley than our current drawers.  Thanks to the mix and match nature of the Besta furniture, we’ll easily be able to swap out our old drawers for these new ones.  We’re hoping to accomplish that task this weekend when we venture back to finally purchase everything for his parents’ place.

DSCN0829

(our current Besta drawers)

besta-vassbo-drawer-front__0122849_PE279100_S4

(hopefully our replacement drawer fronts)

In addition to the drawer fronts, another easy fix I’m planning is to add new drawer pulls for Jefe’s dresser.  Due to the lack of space in our bedroom, it’s currently being used in our dining room as “credenza” of sorts.  But it’s lacking in style, particularly with the current black and dreary hardware.

DSCN0835

What I’m really hoping to find are some of these cup pulls that only require one screw to secure them instead of requiring me to drill a second hole in each drawer.  I have yet to find them, but I have not given up hope.  They will be mine.

Deco Cabinet Cup Pull

Last on the list is to find a replacement for our other DVD storage/catch-all dresser.  We picked this up when I spruced up Jefe’s studio when we started dating.  But thanks to Operation Homify, he’s graciously agreed to get rid of it if I can find an acceptable replacement.  I’ve been trolling Craigslist, World Market and the like for something cheap, solid wood, and will add a little more character to our place (and clearly isn’t off of Ikea’s best-seller list…)

DSCN0826

(Out with the old, in with the *somewhat* new… and any suggestions for what to fill these vases with while I’m at it?!  Once I took the Christmas balls out back in early January, I haven’t found anything I think works.  I’ve got the equivalent of writer’s block when it comes to these vases…. is decorator’s block a thing?!)

That’s about it for the current to-do list at chez Sledge.  Later this week I’ll have an update on the office and bedroom paint job that Jefe and I tackled last weekend.  Let me just say that the painted paneled walls makes a WORLD of difference.  I can’t wait to finish it up, accessorize and show you the final results!