Kitchen Renovation

I've dreamed about creating a space from start to finish. It's one thing to style a space and it's an entirely different thing to choose the materials that will go in to creating a room. I had the opportunity to put my skills to the test by doing a full kitchen remodel on a budget. It is crazy how much a space can transform with hard work and a vision. 

I knew right away that I wanted to open things up, bring in light and some warmth. 

Below are a few before and after pictures of our project. You should know the before pictures are gross! The pictures don't really do it justice. It really was nastier than it looks. Trust me!!

Here is what we did:

  • Created space by knocking out the upper cabinets on the right side. I then expanded the counter top so that it could become a place where you could add some bar stools, eat, and hang out.  
  • Kept the original 1960's cabinets, sanded them down to bare wood and stained them a rich dark color (Ebony) which created warmth. 
  • Kept the original hardware which I deep cleaned and spray painted a dark chocolate brown. 
  • Removed the mini-blinds and gave the window a good clean both inside and out. 
  • New granite counter tops gave the space an instant upgrade. 
  • New travertine back splash really took everything to the next level. It brought in some sophistication and made things look clean and crisp. 
  • Removed the wall paper and painted Worldly Gray by Sherwin Williams. This shade is a good neutral that looks beige/grey. It also helped open up the space. I feel like it tied the kitchen together. 
  • Added new appliances - patched the hole you see on the far left wall which was where the microwave was (weird), removed the dishwasher to create space for a trash can or a wine fridge, purchased a range with an oven, and put in a new deep sink with a new faucet. 
  • Lastly, we added a new light fixture which gives off much more light.

Anyone working on cool projects this summer? Tell me about them!

IMG_2198.JPG
IMG_2214.JPG
IMG_2213.JPG

For the moms

We celebrated Mexican mother's day yesterday with my mother in-law who is going out of town this weekend. I love giving floral arrangements for any occasion, but since I knew she wouldn't be home to enjoy it, I decided to do something a little different. 

I made mini bouquets for her and her mom which were super simple to make and super cute. Check out my step by step tutorial down below from left to right. 

For this project you will need:

  • Flowers - any kind will do. I like using mini carnations or mini roses. I just used what I had on hand. 
  • Floral wire - the thinest size you can find at your nearest craft store
  • Scissors 
  • Ribbon - I used some left over ribbon I had from another project. Anything that will hide the floral wire would work
  • Butterflies - I got these at my local craft store

Happy crafting!

Nudestix

Ever since I discovered Nudestix  last holiday season I have been obsessed! Their Magnetic eye color  has literally changed my weekly morning routine. They are so easy to use, they blend out nicely with your fingers and they last all day without budging. I can create a look in under 10 minutes that looks beautiful and natural. 

I also purchased a lip set which I talked about in a previous post earlier in the year. It came with three shades in various formulas. My favorite is still Pulse which comes in their gel formula. The premise of the brand is you but better. I love how easy their products are to work with and the fact that I can take them on the go. You can learn more about the brand here

Below are my favorite shades and a mini guide for creating my go to look:

  • Putty for all over the lid - works as a primer
  • Twilight for the center of my lid - to add a pop and a little sparkle
  • Lilith for my inner corner highlight - to  brighten and open the eyes
  • Pulse for my cheek and lips

By the way, all stix mentioned below fit in one of the black tins that comes with your purchase.  I can put them all in one tin and throw it in my bag for later. It works perfectly for going from work to after hour events.

Disregard my one painted nail. I was testing a nail polish color earlier :). 

Disregard my one painted nail. I was testing a nail polish color earlier :). 

Shout out to Nudestix for sending me two of their new Magnetic Matte Lip Colors. I received Rose which is a pinky nude and Blossom which is a true nude on my skin. My favorite of the two is Rose. It is perfect for every day. Blossom is a great shade to pair with a dark smokey eye. 

Nudestix and BKR.JPG

These stix glide on your lips like butter and last all day long. Think liquid lip but in a crayon form. The color is very pigmented which is nice but I did find them to be a bit drying. Make sure to apply a lip balm prior to applying them on the lips. I really love Blossom but for some reason it swatches different on my arm when compared to what it looks like on my lips. 

What makeup brands do you love? 

xoxo

Rose with a balm under paired with one of my simple go-to Nudestix eye looks.

Rose with a balm under paired with one of my simple go-to Nudestix eye looks.

Blossom which was my second swatch. I didn't reapply the balm - explains why my lips  looks so dry.

Blossom which was my second swatch. I didn't reapply the balm - explains why my lips  looks so dry.

Mixing Metals

What I love so much about creating a space is being the designer. Each piece I incorporate is an extension of me in some way.  There are no rules to follow. Gold and silver can be friends. 

While we were in the process of updating our guest restroom I knew that I wanted to mix metals. Interweaving the colors throughout the space helps make it a cohesive look. The restroom is a good place to start experimenting with mixing things up. 

We removed the basic builders grade light fixture that comes with every house. I was so tired of looking at it. You know which one I am talking about. It's straight and has about ten lightbulbs (I believe it is called the Hollywood strip)...not something I consider beautiful. 

Below is a before and after:

One of my favorite stores to shop at is Pottery Barn. I found this light fixture that I loved and purchased but I ended up returning it.  I found something very similar to it on Craigslist for a fraction of the price and it is also a Pottery Barn piece. Nothing wrong with recycling something that someone else is getting rid of, especially when it is new! Can you guess which one is "used" and which one is new?

If you guessed the one on the left is new, you are correct! I saved about $130 by returning the new light fixture  and going with the "slightly used". Honestly, you can't tell the difference. 

Around the time I was working on the restroom I read about Remington Avenue's One Room Challenge. She spray painted her faucets instead of buying new ones. She posted a step by step tutorial that inspired me to do the same. If you haven't seen her work you should check her out. She has some awesome interior decorating ideas. Painting the faucet was pretty easy and it gave me the look I wanted.The light fixture is a antique bronze finish. I really wanted to try adding touches of brass that would pop against the black and look chic. I liked the way it turned out. I will say, the brass color looked better outside when I was spray painting under the sun. The natural light really makes it sparkle. There is not much natural light in our restroom so the color doesn't look the same. Overall, I am happy with the look...for now 😊. 

IMG_2147.JPG

Below are some great examples of restrooms with mixed metals. Aren't they adorable?

 

Mixed Metals - A.png
Mixed Metals - B.png
Mixed Metals C.png

Guest Restroom Update

I finally convinced the huz that it was time to update our guest restroom. We live in a relatively new home so there is no reason to be ripping out and putting in new countertops, painting the cabinets, etc., I just can't justify it, so for now I am focusing on updates. When Miguel moved in our house a few years ago the first thing we did was paint some of the rooms that we just could not live with. The guest restroom was one of them. It was this horrible avocado green and at the time I wanted drama so we went with a deep plum purple. I liked it for awhile and then I decided I was tired of the darkness.

I knew I wanted something spa like. Since I have been on a white kick I knew that I wanted to go that route. I happened to read an article on Veranda.com that talked about rethinking white for those that just don't love the idea of going with a white shade. It can be really difficult to get the right white shade that doesn't look too grey, too yellow, too pink, etc. If you are interested in reading the article you can find it here. We actually painted our guest bedroom Greek Villa first. Since I knew that I loved it, I decided to use it again for our guest restroom. Can we just stop to reflect on the name of this paint? Don't you think of this when you hear greek villa...yaaaass!!! 

How can you not draw inspiration from this!?

How can you not draw inspiration from this!?

We went with Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex paint which has the paint and primer all in one. It also is easy to clean.  

My top two places when it comes to purchasing paint are Sherwin Williams and Home Depot. You can usually get a good sale at Sherwin Williams (there is one actually happening now through Feb. 4th). We have one near our home so it is easy to drop in and get what I need quickly.

Below is an outline of the changes I made:

  • Paint - This gives any room an instant pick me up. It really is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to change a space. I usually like my walls to be matte. 
  • Floating shelves - We purchased a old barn beam and cut it in half to create two shelves. I think it adds character to the space. The floating aspect gives a very clean look and it allows for your decor pieces to be the center of attention. 
  • Mirrors - When we painted our restroom originally we cut the builders grade mirror we had smaller. My dad created a custom frame made of wood to go around it. I highly recommend doing this. It gives your mirror and your space a more lux look. There really is no reason to go out and purchase a new mirror if you have one that you can reinvent. I am in love with gilded sunburst mirrors.The gilded aspect reminds me a lot of the decor you might find in any european cathedral. This design actually dates back to King Louis XIV. I love the drama it adds. 
  • Fixtures - We finally got rid of our builders grade Hollywood strip light and replaced it with a antique bronze finish fixture from Pottery Barn. I also added a towel hook for guests to use. I have found some good Pottery Barn dupes at Hobby Lobby. I love them in a rustic antique bronze finish. I am all about mixing and matching while still keeping a cohesive look so I wanted to give mixing metals a shot. I was tired of looking at our polished nickel fixture so I decided to spray paint it and our toilet paper holder antique brass. I love the pop it gives when compared to the black granite. 
  • Decor - I don't like my spaces to feel cluttered. I stuck with the usual items: soap dispenser, hand towels, an oyster shell from one of our past father's day brunches (it doubles as decor and a unique jewelry dish) all neatly placed on a large tray. In order to keep with the spa feel, I rolled up towels and displayed them, I have soaps in the container on the floating shelf, I added a mini candle and pops of greenery. 

Below are some before and after shots. Keep in mind, Miguel and I are newlyweds so we are taking our time making our house a home. My main focus has been the rooms that everyone can see - such as the living room, kitchen, and dining room. We are slowly making our way to the other rooms, so many projects so little time! 

Collaboration

As the idea for Collection of Beauty ("CoB") came together in my mind, I shared a few thoughts with a few friends, one of which is Seleni Hernandez. Seleni is a photographer and after weeks of swapping photography stories and decor stories, we thought, why aren't we working together? I had this idea of her coming to our home and photographing me for the blog. She graciously agreed and the outcome was beautiful! If you are in the Houston area and you are looking for a good photographer to capture your special moments you should check her out at selenihernandezphotography.com. Below is a short film of what a Collection of Beauty means to me as well as a few of my favorite shots from our photoshoot. Some of her work is sprinkled throughout this blog. 

I've had the pleasure of working along side Seleni for awhile now. I can't tell you what a difference it makes when you know you are working with someone that is professional, dependable and a all around good person. In addition to checking out her website you should follow her on Instagram - @selenihernandez. 

What I loved the most about this shoot was that it took place in our home. We have worked so hard to create a space that we love (it is still a work in progress) but to see it on camera as if we rented out the space just for the shoot is awesome. 

Never underestimate the power of beauty, whether it be a beautiful friendship or a beautiful ambiance. 

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 8.25.27 PM.png
Photo credit: Seleni Hernandez Photography

Photo credit: Seleni Hernandez Photography