Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Kitchen planning and my top 10 counter top worthy toaster round up high/low

When we moved here to White Wood we had always planned to make some design changes to the kitchen...first let me say that our kitchen is a nice kitchen it is good quality and features a lot of good design, we have a quartz counter and good solid cabinets with nice drawers and pull outs, it is easily the best kitchen from a starting point that I have started with, it's not builder basic at all....but that being said it still isn't my vision of how I would like my kitchen to look, kitchens are so personal...
We do not have funds to make major changes and that isn't necessary...I just want to tweak things and my plans will likey just cost me some sweat equity...as low budget as they get.
We have currently updated the island base with shiplap base trim and paint as well we re-finished the wood reclaimed top...these changes made a huge difference to the look of the kitchen.


Making these changes seems to have toned down the orange that was so very dominant. Our next plans are to remove the modern range hood, it is a good range hood but it is much more modern than my personal style...so I will build a new wood hood cover with some shiplap and reclaimed wood and fan insert with the funds from selling this current range hood. I will also remove the cabinets flanking the range and relocate and use them into the laundry room. I will then replace them with the other closed cabinets that used to flank the sink and add more open shelving to the left of the window. 
The other cabinets are more narrow than the current cabinets so this will allow me more room to add in a wider more prominent range hood to create more of the feature look I am after, especially since out kitchen is so prominent in our great room I want it to be a really beautiful kitchen, a farmhouse style kitchen. 

I have been looking for inspiration for my new hood design, I love these two photos I found on Pinterest, there is almost too much inspiration on pinterest. 


LINK to Pinterest 

Link to pinterest 



There has been a lot of talk around the blogger/instagram world about pretty toasters... and since we keep our toaster out all the time I was feeling we needed an upgrade...I was really loving the Smeg toaster in white or cream but it was out of my price range...I went on the search for the perfect toaster for us...it was difficult to choose honestly...I wanted a four slice toaster as we had only had a 2 slice toaster before and with a family of four it takes forever to toast enough for all of us...


 I am going to rate this toaster 5 stars , it is not only pretty but works very well...I love the bagel setting. 

In my quest to find the perfect toaster for our open concept kitchen I found these ones and they were strong contenders as far as design... here is my round up of my top 10 favourites I found on Amazon... they range in price from $39.00-$500.00 









                                                 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 




                                            7 | 8 | 9 | 10



This Back to Basics toaster was my go to toaster for years and years, I have bought these for family  one Christmas because I loved them so much... I love breakfast food in general, it is my weakness, and this has been an amazing toaster, it boils eggs in three ways, makes poached eggs also, it's great... but its not the prettiest toaster and I have no space or time to be putting away a toaster, for me toasters get some counter real estate, this has always been a function over form thing but now that our kitchen is on display every day I wanted a good looking toaster that will obviously function well for our needs... so it got retired and replaced with the classic white and chrome cuisinart and a new egg cooker...but I would still highly recommend this toaster.

I purchased the elite egg poacher Back to Basics toaster margin: 0px !important;" width="1" /> poacher to replace the egg feature of our old toaster, because these little cookers are amazing at perfectly cooking a medium boiled egg...this little guy can cook up to 7 boiled eggs, two poached eggs and one 3 egg omlete...

Back to the kitchen changes....these will take place in the spring, I am feeling very much in hibernation mode although I will likely tackle a small closet  re-do over the winter if I can find time.


* this post contains affiliate links , purchasing items using these links will not cost you anything extra, but simply helps me to cover cost associated with running this blog, for years I have been purchasing items from Amazon for my personal use and have always has great experiences.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

White Wood Workshops...in the GTA



I haven't shared much about a big part of my life...my White Wood Workshops...
since I started this blog in 2007 I have been asked to share or to teach building and DIY, I think it is in my nature to share...share new finds, new skills and my passion for DIY...that is why I started a blog way back when... it was to share my projects with others to inspire others to try diy projects and just for community...I guess not a lot has changed...

After being literally asked for years I had the opportunity to start planning workshops for a local shop, that didn't work out but I did co-found a workshop brand with another local builder but we decided to go our separate ways and do our own thing, it was for the best...we just had different visions for the workshops moving forward...I think I was certainly meant to be doing my own White Wood Workshops as a secondary aspect of my White Wood Studio business...I always wanted to keep an open mind to how white wood would evolve...I just want to create and now creating with others just fills me up in the best way.


 I was searching for a one of a kind project...that is hard to come up with these days with Pinterest and all... it seems like everything has been dreamt up already...but when I look for inspiration I am hoping seeing others projects will inspire something new....I want to create useful beautiful things....
I have had a metal breadbox and I love it but it never held enough bread...so I decided it was a perfect workshop project...and it was.
 Ryobi power tools has supplied White Wood workshops with more tools than I could have dreamt of and it makes the workshop experience a dream...I want to keep the workshops quite small under 10 to give that real hands on experience, I want everyone to have access to all the tools to make the process fun and educational.

Some people wonder why they would want to pay to attend a workshop instead of just doing it on their own, it will obviously cost less....yes that is true....what I provide is the instruction, the tools, the space and the materials...and I take the work out of DIY....I give you everything to make each project a success and you can leave the mess with me...I do the shopping, I do all the prep and all you need to do is show up and and have fun...




So bring your friends, come alone and even bring your spouse...everyone is welcome...

                     Custom farmhouse clocks are the most popular, they are so fun to customize...



How lucky am I to meet great passionate people right here at my home...lucky

I feel so blessed to be able to open my home to new people eager to learn and flex their creative and DIY muscles...


Thank you Ryobi Canada for helping us bring DIY to the masses...

This is a sponsored post, Ryobi provided me with the tools but I have been a fan for years and years..Ryobi is and will remain my go to brand for cordless power tools


Monday, December 11, 2017

My DIY kitchen island round up

 I have completed the kitchen island makeover...it feels so good to check this off my list...I love this blue grey that tends towards teal sometimes throughout the day...it is huronia by Para...in melamine.



I seem to need an island in my kitchen..it just feels right, I am highly partial to a counter height island...it is most practical...but this one just wasn't my style. I knew I wanted to remove the extra cabinet door details and add ship lap and most importantly I wanted to add a furniture foot detail. 

the top of the island was built from the pews that were in the church...it was a very strong tone of orange...I am not at all partial to orange tones so I tried to re stain it but it didn't take well...it happens...so I flipped it over to the rustic side and I was able to stain it this grey brown stain...it is a mix of four stains and I am sorry I don't recall the particular mix. 

I love all the changes to the island and it really seems to update the whole look of the kitchen


it was simple enough to add v-groove ship lap style wood to this one side of the island.

I added easy to make furniture foot details to the base to give it a nice designer look



 it is a different kitchen isn't it? we really made very few changes but you can see just how much small changes can make a big difference



this is the island from our third house, the standard island consisted of two base cabinets and that seemed really tiny to me and I needed somewhere for the microwave so I expanded the island to house the microwave...

I made the functional and decorative modifications then I had an electrician come in and wire the island with power...I wanted an outlet so that I could bake at the island and plug in my stand and hand mixers.

I added bead board and stair posts to the island to add a large butcher block top

                                    this simple box cabinet was easy to create from plywood
paint always brings it all together
 this photo was taken on our walk through just prior to closing...this kitchen was nice and big but lacked any style and had no flooring...the flooring came after we moved in....that was fun... life of a diyer


this island is the first island I built, well the only one I ever built from scratch...it was one of my biggest and my first diy projects, I'm sorry I have no build deails on this
 this is how it looked when we sold the house, a soft blue, clad in bead board and with a solid oak butcher block top

so whether you want an island or want to update a current island, it is a pretty doable project even for the most novice diy builder...

do you need an island in your kitchen too...?