Goodbye 1987

The time has finally come to say goodbye to 1987.

Current kitchen – installed in 1987


It has served us well over the past 3 years that we’ve lived at our house, and I’m sure it served the previous owners for the 29 before that. It’s a quality kitchen with all the mod-cons for a glamorous 80’s lifestyle, complete with warming drawer and even a wall mounted toaster! Which I can honestly say I’ve never seen before, and will probably never see again. It has certainly stood the test of time, being in immaculate condition, and as good as the day it was installed.

But as most things in life, all good things come to an end, and in 2019 this house makes way for a new type of luxury – a modern kitchen.

Grey Family Kitchen traditional-kitchen

This kitchen by Tom Howley is probably as close to a perfect kitchen as they come. It’s fresh, contemporary yet traditional, and just oozes quality. I love the color of the cabinets and the light flooring, and the warmth added by the wood. With a little bit of glam added by the sparkling polished nickel hardware. It’s everything I love – it’s a little rustic with the wood, it’s definitely country with the traditional inset door cabinets, and it’s very chic. There’s just one problem, Tom Howley kitchens are based in Manchester, UK, and our house is in Minnesota, USA, just a few 1000 miles away. So I began the hunt for a similar style…

White Painted Inset Cabinets kitchen-cabinetry

That’s when I found Cliqstudios. I actually happened upon them via a Facebook ad in my feed, and when I had a look at their site I found that they did in fact have the inset door style that I liked. After searching quite a few online kitchen retailers and big box stores, I found that Cliqstudios had a niche in their offering of the inset door style. So I ordered a sample and was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the door. They’re 3/4″ solid wood with 2 1/4″ mortise & tenon joints, and the paint is thick and lustrous. Funnily enough they’re actually based in Edina, MN but are purely an online retailer with the cabinets being made in Indiana and because they’re sold factory direct and online they’re 40% cheaper than most similar cabinets you can buy on the high street. And the best bit? We ordered ours today!

I have to say I was a little nervous about ordering cabinets online. But we had a great designer who we called and emailed frequently to get us to our final layout. He also had the patience of a saint, having started the original enquiry about 2 years prior to actually ordering the cabinets, and going through many, many revisions. But we’ve arrived at the best layout for our needs now and we’re really excited about seeing them in situ in a few weeks time.

Kitchen Moodboard
Mock-up of the new kitchen

If you can ignore the terrible PowerPoint skills to make this mock-up, you can get a feel for what the end result is going to look like. We’ve chosen light grey inset cabinet doors with exposed hinges to get that old English handmade cabinet feel. We’ve added touches of warmth with a French Oak engineered hardwood floor, and a light oak distressed beam. And the glam is provided by the polished nickel hardware, faucet and show stopping crystal halo chandelier.

Kitchen Moodboard 3
Mock-up of new kitchen

Here’s the moodboard:

Kitchen Moodboard 2

And a close up of the samples:


We’re using Eternal Calacatta Gold quartz by Silestone, and Austin Urban Stone painted doors in the kitchen, Carbon in the bar area, with polished nickel solid brass hardware by Emtek and Baldwin. The floor is Vintage French Oak by Lumber Liquidators.

Stay tuned for the gradual reveal as we go through 6 weeks of chaos to get to the end result.

Thanks for reading, until next time,



Buffalo Check Bedroom Make-Over – Using Mostly IKEA

As you’ve probably come to realize by now, I love all things cozy and country for the home, and Buffalo check is no exception. I also love it when you don’t have to spend a fortune creating the look. In this blog I’ll show you how you can create a warm and cozy country look for your bedroom on a shoe-string budget.

Buffalo check originates from Woolrich a clothing company in the USA in 1850. Legend has it that the designer of the fabric used to own a herd of buffalo and that’s how the popular fabric got its name. Although tartans are more commonly used in British country style interior design, I’ve embraced my new surroundings and created an American version using the popular American Buffalo check.

Buffalo check is also pretty synonymous with Minnesota, where we now live. Often lovingly referred to as a lumber jack shirt, one of the state’s national monuments Paul Bunyan rocks this plaid variety in his various statues throughout the state. And you can find Minnesota inspired Buffalo check home goods everywhere. So what better way to honor the place which we now call home.


I started by seeing a post by An Inspired Nest on how on how Shannon beautifully redecorated her master bedroom with mostly IKEA items to create a fresh and relaxing space. I absolutely adore this room, it’s so cozy and inviting. And I couldn’t believe that most of the items came from IKEA!

Photo courtesy of An Inspired Nest

I love the whites and greys together and the use of natural fabrics to create warmth and texture. I love that she’s also mixed in warm woods and wickers to give the room some contrast and added warmth. If everything had been all white I think the room would’ve looked too cold.

I love the bright and fresh look that she created with her design. However I couldn’t really afford to replace all the furniture in our room, so I’ve created a darker, cozier version for our spare bedroom – the winter version!

I kept the original dark brown leather sleigh bed and dark brown bedside tables (also from IKEA) and worked them into the design. I already had some plain-dye grey bedding, so I used this instead of buying more new white bedding as it worked well with the buffalo check bedding from IKEA.


One tip I picked up from Shannon’s design was to use more than just a lamp on the bedside tables. This isn’t something I’d tried before, and I think it turned out really well. It adds more interest to the design and adds to the rustic country look I was trying to achieve. I got all the items from either Hobby Lobby or IKEA.


The room before (when we bought the house) was bland, out-dated and very blue. We had replaced all the doors throughout the house with six-panel oak doors painted grey to update all the rooms. This made a huge difference, especially in these bedrooms where there is a whole wall of closet doors.

There were no ceiling lights in the whole of the upstairs either. Apparently this is quite common in the age of house we have in Minnesota. So we also installed dimmable ceiling spotlights to every room upstairs.

We painted the walls a light taupe color, and luckily the carpet was already new and neutral in color. The rest was just furniture. So all in all this room make-over was a pretty affordable one. The only big cost in the room being new ceiling spotlights and new doors.


I hope you feel inspired to head down to your local IKEA and see what amazing bargains they have to give your room an instant update for low cost. It shows that you don’t need to spend a fortune to create a great look.

Shopping List:


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Thanks for reading. Until next time.


TV Room Make-Over: The Grand Reveal!

It’s been a long awaited reveal, but it’s finally here! As you may remember from TV Room Make-Over: Part 2, we encountered a few problems with stock availability of the TV cabinet and we had issues with the orientation of the sofa. Now we have all that sorted, I can reveal the finished look!

The old room was used a study (below). It was a nice room, but was stuck in the past.


The new room is much lighter and brighter and more modern.


The old built-ins are gone…


And instead a beautiful new mural wall is in its place.

After – Collection of French Country style cushions and chunky knit throw
After – Collection of blue cushions and cozy knit throw
After – Vignette of blue / grey objects
After – Vignette of blue / grey objects
After – Vignette of blue / grey objects

If you haven’t read the journey of how the room got here, take a look back at my other blogs: TV Room Make-Over: Part 1, TV Room Make-Over: Part 2, TV Room Make-Over: Part 3. Once again, thanks to Tammy Brice from Tammy Brice Creative for the wall mural photo that really is the star of the show.

I’ve also been busy making over the home gym, so stay tuned for my next blog post on that!

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,