About this time last summer, I was neck-deep in our kitchen renovation.  The demo portion of the job started in April and lasted much longer than I anticipated, mostly because I was often working alone (picture me pulling upper cabinets off the wall in the direction of my face!).  When I wasn't worried about knocking my teeth out (again) or dying alone under a pile of 100 lb vintage cabinets, I was really excited to uncover some clues about our home's history.

My first discovery was under the oven cabinet.

A Wally Walrus coloring book with marbles and bouncy balls out the wazoo.  Clearly, children lived here!

The next discovery came while my sister Amy was up helping me get ready to paint and tile.  We spotted two small pictures stuck to the wall behind the counter.

How about those jackets!  We think these are school pictures of the two adorable boys who grew up here.

Circa 2010, but with many original features.

Our house was built sometime in the mid-sixties (we think 1964) by the Jones family.  We are the third owners, but little was changed in the home by the family we purchased it from.

From what I've heard, Mrs. Jones was very instrumental in the design of this house.  For example, she was insistent that the house be situated so that the basement could have a large sliding glass door -- a feature which I love for the light it brings in.  She had an affinity for bright paint colors, which I've discovered in little leftover spots around trim and behind outlet covers. She also seemed to have generally bold, fashion-forward style all the way around.  This picture of our kitchen with its bright turquoise counters (which is not totally representative of what it looked like when we bought it) is a pretty good indication.

I love that she and I share some favorite colors.

Another fun discovery, though not related to our house or the Jones family, came later last summer in a Goodwill purchase for our patio.

My older sister, Jennifer, came up to help me wrap up a couple kitchen projects and update our patio.  She spotted this mid-century piece at Goodwill and suggested I use it for outside storage.  It was the perfect size and in such bad shape that I didn't feel guilty about putting it out in the weather.

While I was prepping it be repainted in black exterior paint, I found this sweet Father's Day note for its previous owner.

I think the signatures read "Dan, Sheree, Damian & Harmony."

I know that the sixties were not all that long ago, but it's still been fun to discover these little reminders of a time gone by.

All of my best wishes to the Jones children and their families, wherever they are these days.

Saturday Afternoon Doodles

My mind has been preoccupied with silly design ideas ever since we made an offer on this house.  Today I doodled a few of my ideas for our kitchen.  This is what it looks like now:

Photo courtesy of MLS Listing

The cabinets are original to the house, as are most of the fixtures.  Opposite this photo is an eat-in area.  The kitchen is accessible to the living and dining rooms through small pass through openings.

This is what I'm thinking:

Expand the pass through from the kitchen and create a bar area.  This would open up the kitchen a little more without the expense and structural difficulties of opening it up all the way.  I'm pretty sure that wall is a bearing wall so we'd have to hire a contractor to help us extend the header a bit farther.  Doing this would still provide an opportunity for us to put a pantry cabinet in the current eat-in area of the seen below.

Then, we would probably keep a similar layout on the other two walls to save funds (less gas/plumbing, etc. to move around) but change all of the cabinets and/or faces.

The wall adjacent to the dining room would be painted with magnetic primer and chalkboard paint, like this:

So that I could do this on one side of the opening:

Photo courtesy of

Right now, I'm thinking white shaker style cabinet faces to keep it light with dark quartz counters (maybe butcher block on the peninsula?).

Photo courtesy of ebay

I would also love a white carrera style mosaic tile backsplash if we can manage it, like this one:

Photo courtesy of

So, is it August yet?