Friday, January 31, 2014

After Photos Of My Painted Ikea Cabinets

I finally got around to taking some photos of my kitchen yesterday. We are really loving it! 

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Incase you weren't following along, this is what the cabinets used to look like:

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They are the "Sofielund" cabinets from Ikea. The kitchen was brand new to our house, but I didn't love the faux wood look, so I painted them in Sherwin William's "Snowbound". I used Zinnser's shellac based primer, which works magically on that weird Ikea laminate. From there, I could use latex enamel paint.

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It's so much brighter, and way more our style. I just love a white kitchen. It's one thing that I'm consistent about with interior design!

Many people have asked if I picked out the sofielund ikea cabinets, and the answer is no. They were already purchased for the house before we signed the contract, so it was something I couldn't switch out.

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these photos are making the walls look really brown... they're actually gray. Collonade Gray by SW.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Natuzzi Lounge Chairs For Sale

Hey guys, I'm posting these for a friend. They're for sale, locally here in Atlanta. If anyone's interested, please email my friend Buzz at 

2 comfortable, modern, black leather Natuzzi lounge chairs (with ottoman) for sale that are in excellent condition. They are part of the 2005 "Urban Feel Collection" of the Natuzzi Group -- Italy's largest furniture manufacturer and world leader in leather upholstery. 

Asking $950 for the set (2 armchairs & ottoman) that originally retailed at $1,300 per chair.

Snow Day!

Atlanta was hit with a snowstorm on Tuesday, and we had a beautiful dusting of a couple inches of snow all over. It was so nice! It's starting to melt a little now, (still mostly there though!) but it sure was beautiful. Yesterday, everyone was kind of stuck indoors and not able to drive. From what I hear, roads are getting better, but still not back to normal completely. 

anyway, I thought I'd share some snow photos!

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max in the snow! I mean, you know I had to take 1000 photos of Max enjoying his first snow. 

He was hesitant at first, but then jumped in like a champ.

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here's our house enjoying its first snow, too. :)

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my friend came over, and jordans brother was here, so it was a big dog party too. Here's all the dogs piled on my friend.

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snow mustache. Couldn't get the kid out of the snow once he got in.

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watching the snowfall out the window! I did this for hours. It's just so pretty and rare.

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out our upstairs window!

It was a fun couple of days! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Hey all,

Just thought I'd share some miscellanea from my world. It's supposed to snow today in Georgia, so everyones gearing up for a snow day, but I still have work to be done! I'm working on three canvas works this week - phew! It might not seem like a lot, but those things take time. I'm also doing some gilding on some trim work. It's all fun stuff, and I love working at the studio/home.

Anyway.. here are some photos from my life lately.

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this is one of the paintings I'm working on Jackson Pollack inspired. So many layers! It's really fun, though, experimenting with splatter paint techniques and adding water to and taking water away from my paint to create different types of splatter. 

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this painting is actually for the office that the other music artwork is going in. I love it with the tight contrast of the more precise artwork. This canvas is 48"x48". BIG.

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it's not done, but this is where I was at late yesterday afternoon. I know everyone always makes fun of artwork like this, but I will say that it is always a challenge to do abstracts. To me, it's much harder than the other types of drawings and paintings that are very precise. There's something about getting the right balance with abstracts that is the hardest. To make it pleasing to the eye without being an exact rendering of something in nature that is already there. You are creating something (an image) that is completely new - not copying. 

and taking things in a completely different turn, I did this little plaque for a client last week. I painted her childhood dresser and mirror, which is now going to go into her grand daughter's bedroom. She asked me to do that exact text , and create something that could hang from one of the drawers. I cut the heart out with my saw out of a piece of thinnish wood, then painted it with the dresser colors.
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Here's the dresser:

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I replaced the hardware with little hand painted knobs. Lilly, the grand daughter, said her favorite colors are orange and purple, so I created the little lilac/plum/orange polka dot pattern on the knobs for her.

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fun stuff!

and speaking of dressers, this is another dresser that I painted last week.. just a detail shot, I don't have a good one of the whole thing yet:

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It's a gray wash technique.

I guess that's about it for now. Hope all are staying warm! BRR.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Did it!

I painted the cabinets yesterday and I am VERY happy with the outcome. Yes, I still want to add some trim and moulding work to make them a little more interesting, but for now, this is how they'll stay. 

I didn't take proper photos with my good camera yet, so this is just a peek! I finished at like 9:30 last night, so it was still dark, and it was a happy surprise to wake up this morning and love the color and love the paint. I'm staring at them now. Ahhhh.

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This was when I started priming. I could tell that I was making the right decision!

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all primed. I used the Zinsser SHELLAC primer, made for all surfaces. It is perfect with that weird Ikea material. The shellac is kind of cool - it is really drippy and super thin, but it doesn't drip that much on the surface you're painting or onto the floor, because it dries SO fast. It's crazy. I'm a big fan, incase you can't tell. 

it probably only took me an hour or so for each coat.  I always take the cabinet doors and drawers off the stalls to paint when I paint for clients, but since this was my house, and I could tell that it would be faster and possible to NOT take them off, I didn't. I have no stalls that need paint (hidden stalls, as you can see), and the planes on the cabinets are flat, so I just rolled on. It was so fast and easy.

After I was finished, I decided to go grab some color samples. I used Sherwin Williams because there is a SW near my house, and I knew that I wanted to do samples and didn't want to drive fifteen minutes each way to Ben Moore twice in an hours! Plus, I have used their ProClassic line a few times now for cabinets, and I am a fan. It's what I used in our bathroom, and it's held up really well - zero chips or dings. Sometimes clients will select SW colors, and I always use the line of paint that the chip is from - other wise you risk it not being an exact match, and that is dangerous! Live and learn.

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Anyway, I got two samples: Extra White and Snowbound

Extra White is what our white trim and walls are in the rest of the house. I had the entire row of whites out, but Extra White was the prettiest stark, clear white, yet again. However, once I saw the stark white next to our countertops, I realized how creamy the countertops are, so I knew I needed something a little creamier to go with the countertops AND the white subway tile backsplash. So I got a sample of Snowbound, which is a slightly creamier white with a hint of gray. 

Snowbound is the sample on the left in the photo above. I always suggest doing your sample in several places, not just one. I did it next to the window where you see natural light, and then also to the side, where it's mostly artificial light shining. I also did some right under the countertop and right next to the subway tile, so I could see the color with those finishes, too. Snowbound it is! It was the perfect shade. I actually intended to get it lightened 25%, but forgot to tell the guy. I'm really happy with the outcome though - I don't think it  needed to be lightened.

and finally, some final result photos for you guys!

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I love it. So fresh and so bright. MUCH better. Now I just need that trimwork added :)

I'm thinking trim at the top, too.

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I really like it with the countertop - I think it makes the countertops seem grayer, which is good since I wanted them to be Cararra marble-ish from the beginning, anyway. I think if I had've gone with Extra White, it would've made them seem cream. 

A home run - I am happy. 

Have a great weekend, y'all.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm Doing It

I'm painting the kitchen cabinets. Why am I such a hesitant freak about painting them?! Who knows. 

I definitely want it done. After hesitation, I have decided to paint them, then add trim later, if I still want it. I found a handyman to help with the trim, so that's a great option if I want it. 

I think I can paint them fairly quickly, since it's basically all flat planes. 

This kitchen was the final kick I needed to do it. Why? because these cabinets feel almost flat, and this kitchen also has all the same other finishes we have: white subway tile with dark grout, dark hardwoods, and white countertops, and adore all the white in this photo.

Bam. Done. I think it'll be splendid. 

I'm gonna squeeze in priming today, in between painting five hundred other things for clients. i'm crazy. Be on the lookout on my instagram for preview shots (kristenfountaindavis).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Moving Things Around... Again

I have been getting the itch to change things in my space... all while trying to actually finish decorating it. Hah! We have been here over 6 months now, so I think it's ok. :) 

Last night, I moved some accessories around in our living room and kitchen. I did this at the old condo a lot (If you've been reading a while, you remember). I think I'll always do it. Even as a little girl, I rearranged my bedroom furniture a lot. Anyway, I moved some art that was in the kitchen, into the living room, and some accessories that were on the bookshelves, onto the little console in our entry way. Things like this make me happy, and they're completely free, so why not. 

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It's asymmetrical compared to how it used to be, but I wanted a little change. It probably won't stay like this forever, but it was a good change for now. 

I know there are still screws and holes in the top over the painting -- unfortunately the two panel paintings that go together wouldn't hang on the existing hardware, so I'm going to have to re-do that, if I decide to keep the art here. I'm feeling it out with propping it for now. 

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I moved those big seaglass-ish jugs from the kitchen table to the living room. So, the other one got propped next to a side table, and I'm loving the way the greenish glass looks with the gold table.

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(it looks super dirty inside here... but not in real life? weird)

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That lamp is one of my favorite things in my house. I got it at Highland Row Antiques a while back, when I was decorating the studio. A couple years ago. This is what it looked like:

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(it's depressing how cute the studio used to be. It's so utilitarian now, it's not even funny. I need to repaint the floors white, if I can ever get all the furniture out at once :/ )

I painted the orange part a light gray a few months ago and added that giant shade from Scott's. I love it so much now!

Anyway, just thought I'd share a little mid-week decorating fun. Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ikea Curtains

Yesterday, I got a wild hair and hung curtains in our living room. Crazy, I know. I actually only say that because I had been contemplating and planning for months, which curtains/fabric I wanted to use, but then yesterday out of the blue I just decided simple Ikea curtains were gonna be it. I don't know what it is about this house that makes me so indecisive? I guess because everything's bigger, therefore more expensive, and I don't want to make the "wrong" decision. Something I never worried about in the past. Getting old is hard.

Anyway, I had been planning to do a pattern on the curtains. I had several saved in my cart on Spoonflower and, but for some reason decided that the tan/oatmeal colored cotton ones from Ikea might be really nice, along with a cool trim to offset the simple color. So, I went over to Ikea and got them. They came in packs of two, and I bought two packs, so that I could make an impact by hanging 4 panels. I think if I ever get tired of that dramatic look, I can always double them up on either side of the window by just pushing the middle panels over on either side. 

Anyway, I bought these curtains:

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Good ol' Lendas. They were $34 for a 2-pack and they're 100% cotton. I actually used the exact same ones in white at our old condo. That's where I discovered this trick, which kind of makes them look like a Goblet pleated curtain. A very loose and casual pinch pleat style. I am very much not a fan of the way that they look in the photo on the outside of this package, but I found doing this little trick makes them look SO much better. 

I take the curtain and fold it down, then hot glue the panels back onto the curtain like this (from the inside):

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and then when I hang it, I put the rod through the panels that have been glued down, which results in that sort of pleated look at the top. If you want them to look a lot more crisp, you could iron them in place. I was in a hurry to get them all hung and just up on the wall last night, so I haven't done that yet. These curtains were some of the only ones that would fit our giant windows. They needed curtains that were around 108" long - not easy to find. I wish more companies made ready-to-buy curtains that were long lengths! 

I bought a rod from Ikea too, which was also one of the only sources I could find for long curtain rods. This one extends to 130" if you need it to! Pretty great. 

Here they are!

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And yes - I hung them slightly too high, like an inch. Argh. Too much of a pain to move the rods down. I'm hoping once they settle into place they'll be better. And also, once I add trim, it won't show. 

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Close up. I need to go back in and straighten them up a little with my fingers, but I think the look pretty good for cheap curtains! And, I'm happy with the light-flow in the daytime. I didn't want sun-blocker ones.

Now, to find some awesome trim! Can't decide if I'm going to do it all up and down both sides of the panels and the bottom, or just the bottoms... Hmm... Maybe it just depends on what trim I get! For now, I'm digging them sans-trim.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Band Cover Art Drawings

If you follow me on Instagram (@kristenfountaindavis) you will know that last week, I worked non-stop on 9 different renderings of various bands' cover art for albums. My client in Florida asked me to do these all in Black and white, except for the one that has gold on it. I took out the bands names and most text, so that they could frame them and hang them in a doctors office. It was just what I needed -- a break from the regular old painting life that I have come to know.  I had a lot of fun doing these...

Here are all of them together, taped up in my office. 

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Daft Punk
Pink Floyd
Led Zepplin
A Tribe Called Quest
Jay Z
LCD Soundsystem
Beastie Boys

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This one ended up being my favorite -- Daft Punk. It was the one that included metallic accents. I used a Golden paint for the gold, and I love that paint. Its perfect. I did this one with sumi ink and the Golden paint, and some acrylic white paint. I had no idea, going in, how I was going to do this one. The original Daft Punk artwork is clearly a photo that has been enhanced a bit, so I was thinking... how the heck am I going to pull it off with paint or pencil?  But, I'm glad I figured it out and it worked out well, I think. It's large too - something like 30 by 38 or so? I think it'll make such an impact in the space. I can't wait to see all of these framed!

classic Led Zepplin

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I would take photos of the drawings, then email them to my clients and they'd get back to me. It was fun, but intense!  Our entire kitchen peninsula was covered in my art and supplies - Jordan's a trooper.

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the firs three I did - Pink Floyd, Tribe, and LCD sound system. I also really liked the Tribe one, (all the way to the right here) which I did in charcoal. It was really textural, and huge. 

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pink floyd, in the works. Lots of lines, baby.

Anyway, I took "good" photos of these with my nice camera, so you might be seeing more posts about them in the future. Just thought I'd give you guys a little iPhone tour of what I did last week, since it was fun, different, and a break from my norm.


happy MLK day - what a wonderful man. I'm really enjoying all the quotes from him I'm seeing pop up on various social media. What an inspiration.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kitchen Rug

I recently found a really cool, long rug for our kitchen. It was just a surprise purchase--I was working in Marietta (A suburb of Atlanta), and happened to stop in a huge antique mall after work. The place was giant, and was mostly very antiquey-antiques. Read: not my style. But, in the back, I came across this long (11 feet by 4 feet or so) rug, for only $175. It's vintage, and has some wear, but that's how I like my rugs. I had a hunch it would fit perfectly in our kitchen, and bought it even though I hadn't measured yet. 

I'd been wanting a longer rug to put in the kitchen, and I'm so glad I found this gem. I've been on a lucky rug kick! 

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I love the colors and shapes in it, and it's good quality, too, which is always nice. 

(ignore the dust bunnies!)

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perfect length and width! 

I like how it peeks out a little and I can see it from the dining area. 

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Now don't you think it'll look even better with white cabinets? ;)