Little Changes to Revive Your Space - a story of light


Every time I am in my kitchen (which seems like a lot) I imagine how I could improve things - both aesthetically and functionally. Essentially, I am dreaming about what I can do when we finally remodel! And although the possibilities are endless, my budget is not. (Considering the fact that the oldest two of our four children are in college, affording a major kitchen remodel is looking a ways out into the future for us) So...

...Following my intention to "seize the day" more often, I have begun to compile a list of things I can do now, that will revive (read update) our space. This reviving process helps to create a sense of contentment for me, in my home, until the day arrives that I can really dive into a full remodel.


kitchen nook - AFTER adding new lighting

This is the new and improved lighting - a fun seeded glass 3-globe pendant fixture that I found on sale (even better!!). In celebration of the new look, I pulled out the table-runner and had a little tea party with my daughter.

1. BEFORE - kitchen nook with light fixture original to house; 2. installation; 3. AFTER - new and improved

As you can see from the BEFORE photo above, I really didn't have to invest much except for the new light fixture, a table-runner I already owned, and flowers from my yard. I think we can all agree that the old light (I call it a sort of Art Deco barn light with patina) that was original to the house had to go. I didn't like it in the first place, but even less seventeen years later!

Additionally, bringing flowers inside the house weekly gives the space a fresh and special feel. I either pick up a six dollar bunch of flowers from Trader Joe's or I cut some greenery and flowers from my garden - when they are in bloom. It takes only about an extra 10 minutes to do this, but it makes such a positive difference! Besides, you're worth ensuring that you have something fresh and beautiful in your life on an ongoing basis!!


close up of seeded glass globes and chrome-coated bulbs

What first attracted me to this pendant light was the seeded glass coupled with the contemporary style. Those little bubbles in the glass were so charming in their perfectly imperfect way. I also prefer circular shapes and spherical forms. This was the winning combination. Also, I wanted to add some modernized elements to my generally traditional home.


a bit of hot tea, served in the afternoon, with a snack of chocolates and fruit

When choosing serveware and dining accessories, I try to keep things somewhat multi-functional. For instance, the clear vase holding the flowers is actually a recycled glass bottle from a chocolate milk purchase. I use it to serve water or sometimes as a vase. Likewise, the cream pitcher came to me as the vessel bearing a Starbucks frappuccino beverage. Today it is a cream pitcher, but next time it might hold flowers, or glass beads - or who knows what else?! If something has an interesting form and is reusable, I think it is a perfect thing to throw into your serveware mix!


setting a pretty, but simple table - fresh cut tulips and rhododendrons, a bowl of green apples, yaki bowls

I like to mix and match my patterns on dishes. I do tend to stick with blues and whites that can coordinate with one another. As for larger serving pieces, I often choose white. What I have shown in the photo above is a combination of medium to low cost items. The blue-flowers-on-white bowls are a set I invested in about 15 years ago. I still love them today. The little bowls in the background were quite inexpensive from a Japanese import store. The white serveware is from Target - also relatively inexpensive. I also have an antique saucer that I usually use as a spoon rest but in this case, a plate for the chocolates. The teacup has long since been broken, but the saucer has such a sweet pattern, I have never wanted to part with it.

I like to think of this as making the mundane in our lives to be a little less so. With intentionally choosing to place things in our path that bring a bit of brightness or joy to us, we enrich our lives.

So what little things are you putting off for later? Whether it be changing out a light fixture or picking a flower out of your yard, I would encourage you to think about one simple thing you can do for yourself, get it done, and then enjoy it!

It is almost the weekend...I hope you have something fun planned in it for yourself. As always, I love it when you email me your questions, comments and thoughts: valerie@hillandvalleydesign.com


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Hill and Valley Design | Seattle, WA | valerie@hillandvalleydesign.com

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