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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heart of The Home



Today I am linking to Shelia @ Note Songs for her wonderful Heart Of The Home Party.  This is where we all get to show off our kitchen.  I can't wait to see all of your wonderful kitchens and kitchen decor. Be sure to join in the party, Sheila is such a sweetie, and you don't want to miss her kitchen or anyone else's either.  I just know there will be inspiration galore.


I know most of you have seen all these pics, so just excuse me for showing them again.  Our previous home sold so fast that we only had 3 weeks to find a new house and move.  We found a builder basic spec house that had a floor plan that I could work with, but definitely no character or distinguishing factors.  The challenge has been to make it fit us since it is about half the size of the one we were selling. (Downsizing is sooooooooooo hard to do.)  The kitchen was almost invisible with it's really light maple cabinets, beige formica and white appliances against white walls.   All that white was not a pretty kitchen and not one that I wanted to be in. The best feature of the kitchen was the amount of storage and the beautiful Travertine floors.  I wasn't blogging at the time, so the first picture I have is after I painted the walls Ralph Lauren Soul Chocolate so the cabinets would maybe show up and look better.


Then I heard about Dark Paste Wax and how it is often used to finish furniture. The brand I bought is Brie, but there are several in a lot of colors. I bought some in a very dark walnut color and immediately polished all the cabinets. Huge difference. They look so much darker and so much more alive. Not bland and dull. I also found some hardware on line at about half the price of the big box stores and put them on all the cabinets. These two things made a big improvement.


Then I received the most wonderful present, GRANITE!! My daughter had all of her counters done and the place she used had some remnant pieces that they were selling at about 1/3 the normal price. We picked out a piece that would go with my floor and she had it done for me for Mother's Day and my Birthday. Fantastic present don't you think!!! This is a picture just as they finished installing it.


I bought a really heavy stainless steel sink and new faucet to go with my new counter. Love them and I love the movement in the granite.


Really deep sinks. Love the sleek design of the faucet.  It has a pull out spray that is wonderful too.


We enlarged the overhang on the island, so we had to install corbels before they put the top on. I painted them to match the wall and then glazed them to show off the carving.


My vignettes on the counters and especially the island are constantly changing.


Different vignette again.


Current vignettes.










I know we don't always wind up with the kitchen of our dreams, but I do think that any kitchen can be improved and on a very tiny budget with just a few changes. Even if you can't afford granite for all your counters, doing just the island makes a big difference.

Thanks so much for stopping by and be sure to go visit Shelia @ Note Songs to see all the wonderful kitchens everyone has to share.  I know you will find some fabulous eye candy and inspiration.

72 comments:

  1. Marty, that paste wax sure did make a nice change. I love all your vignettes. You do such a nice job of creating them.

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  2. Hi Marty,
    I never tire of seeing pics of your lovely home and especially your kitchen. You make it warm and inviting and it says "you" all over it!

    hugs
    Sissie

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  3. Marty, I never relized you had used a paste wax on your cabinets! If you don't mind me asking, what was the name and where did you find it? My cabinets are so lifeless and drab, maybe the wax would perk them up a little! Well all the changes you made did make a huge difference and ever vignette was more beautiful than the one before.
    Sandy

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  4. Your granite island is beautiful. How lucky you were to get just the right piece as gifts. I also love the color of your cabinets. They look new!

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  5. Looks fantastic Marty. That sure was a nice present your daughter gave you...it is beautiful Granite too. The wax sure made a difference, I never heard of it.

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  6. The wax did make a big difference. Your daughter gave you a wonderful granite gift and it looks fabulous. hugs♥olive

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  7. Marty,
    I love all of your changes. The paste wax was a great tip! I love the color chocolate on the walls, and the granite is gorgeous. Such pretty vignettes to top it all off.
    Sherry

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  8. Marty I couldn't agree with you more about just doing the island, as you know that's all we could do too! I would love to do the rest now, but I'm okay if we don't. I also think it's those little changes that really make a kitchen the heart of the home over time. Your kitchen is always such a pleasure to look at. It is just so warm and inviting, and I always enjoy your changes. Thanks for sharing it again!

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  9. Marty, I've got to earmark this one! You & I share the same cabinet finish. But, I would love to try my hand at the wax. Need to darken that light wood. What a nice kitchen! Thanks for sharing.
    Karen

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  10. Love it, Marty! Your island is gorgeous and love the addition.

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  11. I love all the granite counter tops I'm seeing at this party. Beautiful! La

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  12. I'm all over this paste wax thing. I don't like our cabinets but can't afford new ones right now. I also just can't decide if I want to bite the bullet and paint them. This might be a solution.

    I'm googling!!

    LOVE your kitchen, Marty. You have such an eye.

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  13. I am amazed at the cabinet color after the wax. Very pretty.
    I love you kitchen, Marty..
    xo bj

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  14. Goodness Marty! Your kitchen is just lovely and the paste wax really made an impact didn't it?

    Hugs XX
    Barbara

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  15. I love all of your arrangements! You have a great eye for putting things together! What a great space you have!

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  16. Marty I don't remember you talking about the paste wax before-hmmm may be a solution to a few pieces of furniture I have that are a bit off in stain color!!!

    The darker walls where such a great thought to bring out the natural beauty of the cabinets! Of course your vignettes are always the bee's knees!

    Just came home from our busy Aguilar day- it is terribly cold and Bill is getting ready to make the first fire of the season in the wood stove! Yippee!

    bee blessed
    mary

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  17. Do tell more about the paste wax. I see others have asked too. DD2 could maybe do that instead of paint! Your granite is lovely! What a nice present. I hope you'll drop by Atticmag and see our kitchens - it's a three for one!

    Allison
    Atticmag

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  18. Oh Marty,
    I am so in love with your wonderful kitchen!
    I love the granite, what you did to the cupboards and your always changing, always fabulous vignettes!
    You truly are an inspiration!
    Hugs,
    Cindy

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  19. The changes you've made to customize your kitchen are beautiful! What a difference!

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  20. I am going to get some of the dark paste wax and try it on my cabinets in the kitchen. Your kitchen looks so much better.

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  21. Hi Marty,

    I love your kitchen, especially those paste waxed cabinets! But then, I've always loved the way your place looks.

    Check out my book giveaways.

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  22. I love what you did with your kitchen. The paste wax and new hardware on the cabinets really added pizazz. The new counter top is stunning.
    Judith

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  23. Your sure made your kitchen look custom built for you :-) Lovely decorations

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  24. Hi Marty! Oh, how I love your kitchen and you've given it so much personality! I love that you used that dark paste on your cabinets. I still intend to that to a couple of chairs! Your granite on the island is so beautiful, your hardware - lovely!! I never tire of seeing your kitchen and you are the vignette Queen! Every corner of your kitchen is so lovely!
    Thank you again, Marty, for coming to my party.
    You are a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

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  25. I love that color of brown on your walls. I bet it goes with everything. As usual, your vignettes are wonderful. Sally

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  26. Marty,
    I enjoyed that fact that you took what you had and personalized it to accommodate your design! What an amazing solution to change your cabinets with wax! I have always admired your changing decor with the seasons. . . now I know the background of how it all came to be!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  27. Very pretty!
    *´¨)
    ¸.*´¸.**´¨) ¸.**´¨)
    (¸.*´ (¸.*´* LORI LYNN *

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  28. Wow I love that kitchen island and how you fix it up that is lovely and I really like that white rooster. I need some of that paste wax. sillshill.blogspot.com. kim

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  29. Marty, your kitchen is so warm and I love the island with the granite top! Love all your vignettes too! Someone said you are the Queen of Vignettes and I have to agree.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  30. Hi Marty,

    I love love your kitchen....it is so warm and inviting!! I love the granite island and your vignettes! Could never tire of seeing your kitchen! :D

    Hugs, Carolyn ~ Cottage Sunshine

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  31. Hi Marty,
    Your kitchen is lovely! All your vignettes are so well put together. You have such a creative flair! ~ Susie

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  32. your kitchen is wonderful...I love all of your vignettes but the White Pear is my favourite...and what a sweet present! granite!

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  33. Marty! You went from "builder basic" to "Showhome Perfect"! WOW, it's really beautiful! The paste wax gave the cabinets quite the makeover, and all your vignettes are just wonderful!

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  34. Marty,
    Your kitchen looks terrific! What wonderful character you added. That must feel wonderful.
    And the paint is lovely as are the other changes you made.

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  35. I love the upgrades that you did! That was such a smart idea to put the granite and corbels on just the island. It made your whole kitchen look VERY custom and expensive with out spending all the big bucks. Good call!

    ~Liz

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  36. Marty, I have always loved your kitchen and I also love the way you decorate it. You have really made some gorgeous changes and the granite is absolutely beautiful. I loved seeing the before and after pics too!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

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  37. Your kitchen looks wonderfully welcoming -- just like you! What a sweet daughter - Love your island.

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  38. Marty,

    Love your kitchen so much! You do such a nice job with your decor! Great inspiration. I hope someday to have granite countertops and stainless appliances.

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  39. Love the granite island!!! And also your beautiful decor!

    Hugs
    Charo

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  40. Your island is my favorite! I just love the vignettes you always have displayed out. Just lovely!
    Lacy

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  41. Marty,
    There are always so many pretty things to look at in your kitchen. I love your island!

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  42. Wow Marty I am so glad you showed your old kitchen as well, since I've never seen it. The changes you have made look amazing. What a difference. And how nice of your daughter getting you that granite! You have a very lovely kitchen. :)

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  43. WOW! What a great transformation!! I've never heard of that wax....it made such a beautiful difference in your cabinets!

    {{{HUGS}}}

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  44. Beautiful space Marty. I love your island all of your little vignettes are truly wonderful. Granite is wonderful. enjoy! Linda

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  45. Love your island countertop. What a sweet daughter!
    Your kitchen is lovely!

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  46. I've always liked your cozy kitchen! Very pretty! The granite was a wonderful gift! I like the corbels you added as well!

    Katherine

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  47. Marty, I loved the tour of your kitchen. I think I will try your tip about the dark wax. I loved your constantly changing vignettes. Ginger

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  48. Marty... *sigh* that is so so beautiful..

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  49. Marty, your kitchen is beautiful and simply SPARKLES! I love it...I always do!! But..then you KNOW I am a Fan!! :)

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  50. Hi Marty! Happy Heart of the Home Party Day to you. I LOVE your kitchen. It came out very beautifully. I love the colors you chose and the gift of granite from your daughter, how nice! It really makes the room all tie in together and look lovely.

    I enjoyed all your vignettes, but love the current one you have right now. I'm a big fan of fall.

    I hope you and your husband will be able to adjust to downsizing. We had to do that here, too. :-( It's tough... especially when there is furniture that will not fit into a room. Oh, my favorite desk! It's in the hallway. Yikes. Oh well. :-)

    I hope you have yourself a very lovely day today,
    Susan
    http://clucklebees.blogspot.com/2010/10/heart-of-home-blog-party-tour-of-our.html

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  51. Marty, everything you do is golden! I love the chocolate paint color!! And the wax on the cabinets gives such a rich color. Of course, all the beautiful vignettes which you are famous for are stunning, as always! Coming over from Note Song! Three Pixie Lane

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  52. Beautiful! All the changes made such a difference! and what a sweet present from your daughter.:)

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  53. Hi Marty,
    Very nice how you have made this kitchen your own. Down sizing is a very difficult thing to do! Wonderful chocolate walls. Your granite was a very thoughtful gift from your daughter and is just lovely.
    Valerie

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  54. What a pretty kitchen you have. It's lovely. The island is something I wish I could have. Everything is just beautiful.

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  55. Marty, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the "before" picture of your kitchen, the upgrades you have made and reading the stories behind them. Simple changes with HUGE impact!

    Without a doubt, you are the "Queen of Vignettes." You have a wonderful talent for grouping things together in beautiful ways and the vignettes in your kitchen are no exception. Vignettes are not definitely not my strong point so wouldn't you like to come to Florida and help me create lovely vignettes in my kitchen??? ;)

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  56. Very pretty, Marty. You have decorated your kitchen beautifully. Why am I not surprised to see a beautiful cloche as part of your decor?! You do indeed "do cloche" beautifully!!

    You have two things in your kitchen that I long for in a kitchen one day...a smooth top range and an island.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  57. Love your kitchen Marty. I won't be able to join the party because, believe me there would be screams and gnawing of teeth, since it is still a work in progress with the small remodel. I will probably finish sometime in 2015 based on my current progress schedule.

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  58. Hello Marty, your kitchen is lovely. the dark brown paint is genius. I would never have been that bold and it looks awesome. The cabinets do stand out now. Your beautiful many vignettes add the decorator look. LOVE the granite. Good job. A very awesome gift.

    Have a fun day.
    Hugs, Jeanne

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  59. Marty, your kitchen is wonderful. It's so warm & inviting. Don't you just love that space above the cabinets -- all those extra spaces to decorate?

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  60. I designed and had the kitchen of my dreams installed at our last house...then we got transferred, so maybe it isn't such a great idea anyway:)

    I feel as if I've been to your house to visit, your kitchen is familiar to me after all the blog posts. It was fun to hear how it all came together. I have granite envy...we are looking at countertop now and I don't think I can have it:(

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  61. Hello,
    your kitchen is so real and welcoming. I loved the beautiful Fall decorations. You did an excellent job with the cupboards. Enjoy life!

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  62. Hey Miss Marty!!! I'm always a fan of your sweet kitchen!!!

    Take care!
    ~Jennifer

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  63. Oh Marty every time I see your kitchen I fall in love with it all over again! You have a wonderful touch with creating a beautiful home!

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  64. You did an absolutely wonderful job in making your kitchen the way it is, Marty. It's gorgeous! Love the effect of the wax on the cabinet. I will have to try that....Christine

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  65. I love your kitchen, Marty...it truly IS the heart of your home & you've decorated & improved it beautifully.

    I didn't get to participate in Shelia's party...too miserable with an attack of diverticulitis plus my PC picked up a virus & was out of commission for awhile. I'm still not sure its fixed totally. :*-(
    What a week!

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  66. Marty, you know how much I love your kitchen. But I don't remember seeing pictures of the cabinets and island before the paste wax, hardware and granite. Such an amazing transformation. It looks so warm and inviting, you really did pick the perfect granite. Hope you are having a wonderful week. Hugs, Kat

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  67. Lovely kitchen with amazing vignettes. you are so good at this.

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  68. So cute! :) Love it. The granite looks great, and i love the dark walls, too! :)

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  69. Marty, I've always so admired that granite on your island, and I really enjoyed learning about how you got it. What a wonderful gift, and what a difference it made in that kitchen. That paste wax also made a huge difference in the kitchen. Your pretty vignettes make a difference wherever you create them. This sure doesn't look like a spec house kitchen any more. laurie

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  70. I never tire of your kitchen. It's so warm and friendly.

    - The Tablescaper

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  71. Hi Marty! Although I didn't make it to the party in time, I still wanted to drop in and visit as many entries as I could! I have always loved your kitchen. The colors are warm and inviting. It was fun reading the story of how it all came together! I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful vignettes! I also plan to use some of the photos I did managed to take of my kitchen and use them in a future Table Top Tuesday! Hugs!

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