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A Guest from "Always In A Southern State of Mind"

Nancy's voice on her blog
Always In A Southern State of Mind
rings with honesty, humor, 
good ideas and friendship.
I got to know her better working with her by e-design.
She has great taste.
But, sometimes it is good to get advice 
from a second opinion.
Here is the story of how Nancy updated her 
beautiful kitchen in Houston...

So the major part
of our kitchen rejuvenation
is finished!
Out went the black granite
{the roosters flew the coop too}
during construction
and in came
the new countertops -
Caesarstone in London Gray...
almost finished...

It took the contractors
double the time
they originally projected.
I'm now on first name basis
with all the construction guys...
If they had stayed any longer
I would have started making them breakfast.
Surely THAT would have made them
hurry up and leave :)
The last thing they did was paint the walls.
In the end I just couldn't
make a final decision on the island
and I just couldn't let them stay
in my house any longer...ha!

I knew I wanted to paint the island
a different color
but of course
being a Libra
I just couldn't decide.
Major anxiety attacks...
over paint.
Give me a break right?
So I decided to wait until
we figured out the roman shade.
Confusing right?
When I first started
sending my hubby subliminal messages
thinking about a reno
I created a pinterest board
called, duh, "kitchen reno"
It was easy to see a trend among the pics I pinned.
I was obviously drawn to marble countertops,
subway tile,
Rowe and Perrin faucets,
and farmhouse sinks.

I had a plan in my head.
But I was afraid of making
domino decisions
like I've done before
which I define as
one bad decision that leads to another.

So I started an idea notebook.
I'm a listmaker at heart.
Here's a page from one of my many notebooks...

Kitchen renos are not cheap you know.
I wanted to avoid creating a big hot mess.
This is where asking for help is highly advisable.
I've had friends who've asked me why?
Why would I hire somebody to help me.
Because they know that
I am addicted to LOVE
design and DIY.
Did I mention that
I wanted to avoid
domino decisions?

From my blog surfing and pinterest
I knew what I wanted.
{You can read my ramblings on it here.}
There were some things that
I just couldn't decide on myself...
things like paint and fabric...
because I'm a Libra and
have trouble making a final decision.
I'm pretty sure you already knew that about me.

I pinned many pictures that inspired me.
Some were designed by the same person...
Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home.
If you read her blog then you know
how gorgeous her taste is.
If you don't read her blog
well, you are definitely missing out.
Go now.

So I wrote her a novel emailed her
and asked for her guidance.
Even though I had ideas
and I knew a lot of what I wanted
I still wanted somebody to
help me avoid disaster
push me to go outside of my comfort zone.
I love her taste.
Did I say that already?
Well, it bares repeating.

You can go to this page on her website
to see how an e-design works
or I can tell you how mine worked...

I emailed Mary Ann with a list
of what I knew I wanted
along with
a list of things I was unsure of.
Oh and loads of pictures.
She looked it over and agreed to help :)
We set up a time for a telephone consult.
I had my notebook above
and I took more notes
hanging on to
frantically trying to write down
every word she said.

I spoke to Mary Ann after the contractors left
 to give her an update on how things were rolling
and where we stand now...

the 1980's called
and got their electric light box back.
in its place went these two
large Hicks pendant lights...

the new roman shade
{by Lynn Chalk}
in Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon
is finally installed

We added trim to the island
and two ends of the other cabinets
for a nice finishing touch.
Its amazing what a little bit of trim can do.
A lot of sizzle
for a little bacon $ :)

Let's not forget about the
 beautiful Kohler farmhouse sink
that started it all...
and the Rowe and Perrin bridge faucet

The little herringbone rug
{from Target}
may or may not stay...
you know nothing is static
in this house.

and the last thing on my list...

the great debate with what to do about the island.
Mary Ann suggested a great idea
for the kitchen island color...
something I would not have picked myself
{another reason to ask for help}
More on that soon...I'm excited to do this one last thing.
Just three little things standing in front of that.
They're back in school now
after a long holiday break
and I'm ready to get my paint on!
Thanks, Nancy!
My advice is to have fun with trends 
but make sure the investment pieces
like the gorgeous pendant lights, backsplash
and classic fabric shade
(nice how it covers the demi-lune window top)
will last.   
PS.  Love your new rug, the clock and the trim you added to your island! 

Looking forward to more inspiration from

Always In A Southern State of Mind!