Hello! My name is Kara. I’m a blogger living in a quaint town in Wisconsin. I write about my hobby as an interior designer, various trips I take as inspiration, and other thoughts on my mind. I hope my creative side brings people closer to experiencing harmony within their heart, home, and life.

Countertops on a Budget

So, you don’t have enough money for granite or quartz countertops. And maybe you do, but your house wouldn’t support it (you wouldn’t get your money back once it’s sold). Do you have to go with a cheap looking laminate?

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Seafood

Before heading to Charleston, I did a lot of research on where to sleep at night, what attractions to see, and what weather to expect. I did not look into restaurants. That was my one downfall of the whole trip. The one thing that didn’t go so well.

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Installation

When I started on my kitchen project, I tried to get estimates from builders and home improvement companies. Many people either quoted me an extremely high price or didn’t have time to fit me into their schedule. I was told by a friend that Lowe’s installs countertops and tile, so I decided to get estimates from them. 

I had installers come to my house and measure. They then sent measurements to Lowe’s, who estimated the cost of the materials with the installation and called me to go through numbers. After learning the estimates, I decided to go with Lowe’s, because, well, I didn’t have many options at that point. However, my experience with Lowe’s was pretty poor. So, I decided to write a blog about what they did well and what you might want to look out for if you decide to have Lowe’s do your installation.

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Changing Hardware

Several years ago I had beautiful wood cabinetry that was worn in spots. I thought about painting them, but had a hard time losing the beautiful wood grain. They were maple and many of them had the rare Birdseye pattern in them. But I really wanted to try gray cabinets. I searched on Pinterest for gray stained cabinets. I thought this would give me the gray look while also keeping the wood grain pattern visible. I loved the pictures I found and decided on a gray stain. The next challenge is finding someone who will do the job. Refinishing a decent amount of gray cabinets is a JOB. I finally found someone to do it and quickly realized it would be disruptive (the kitchen would be torn apart for about three weeks) AND expensive (much more than painting them would be). At the time, my husband was not thrilled with the idea.

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White countertops

Whenever I visited a person’s home and see what they chose for their countertops, they typically choose some sort of color and/or pattern. If it’s laminate, the color could be green, beige, or a rust color. If it’s granite, there is some sort of stone look, but typically in a color with brown or reddish tones. However, if you watch HGTV, a countertop with color is NEVER chosen.

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Charleston Architecture

The main reason why I wanted to visit Charleston is to see the history and architecture. I thought I could use it as inspiration for my own house back home. I had visited New Orleans and the French Quarter and had fallen in love with the wrought iron gates, the shutters, the old churches and the green spaces. I knew Charleston had a similar feel to it. That’s why I decided to visit.

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Kitchen Cabinets...Old or New?

In a kitchen or even a bathroom renovation, you may have to decide what you can keep and what you should replace. If you’re trying to save money, you may have to salvage as much as you can. Cabinets are one thing that can be salvaged in order to save money. Also, many old houses may have original cabinets that you might want to keep to maintain the charm of the home. However, they may still need some freshening up.

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Road Trips with Kids

Not only did I travel with kids, but I traveled with kids on my own. No husband to help entertain them or keep them safe. It was all up to me. Looking back, it was empowering, though, to travel that far with the kids all by myself. And I created so many wonderful memories with them that I’ll treasure in my heart forever. So, it was all worth it.

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Beating the Heat in the South

So, if you’re from Texas or Alabama or Florida, you’ll probably be laughing at this blog post. If you’re from Tennessee, you’ll probably laugh at this blog post. Cripes. If you’re from Northern Illinois, you’re laughing at this blog post. You have to understand. I live in Wisconsin.  And not just anywhere in Wisconsin, along Lake Michigan. In central Wisconsin. It’s cold here. And we do actually have a summer for about six weeks, but it’s what the south would say is a cool summer. It takes some getting used to. But once you adjust, the heat of the south feels…like…unbearable. It’s so hot there. So hot. So how do you beat the heat of the south? And not just the heat, but the God awful humidity? Here’s how us northerners do it.

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Charleston Road Trip

I’m going to take a little break from blogging about my kitchen renovation and write a bit about my recent vacation to Charleston, South Carolina. My kitchen project will be done soon, so there will be more to report on, but my vacation was so inspiring that I wanted to have a few entries about it as well.

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