I should have spent my weekend going through all my pictures and writing up my post from when I went to Meet The Blogger London but I was basically too excited redesigning my blog to do it.  So that’s going to have to wait.  I know, I’m a crappy blogger.  Brain = mush lately!

But I’m not the only one with a new look!  The AO at Home blog has gotten a proper facelift as well following a complete re-branding of the whole company.  It’s much brighter and much happier (look at the smiley face!!) and I am really excited.  The categories have all changed up so things are a lot easier to find.  I hope you take a moment (after you read this of course) to pop on by and say hello.

I’m working with the design, IT and infrastructure teams to give the blog a TOTAL redesign however.  We’re moving from a blog format to a magazine format and oh it’s gonna be SO SO good.  But that’s all in progress at the moment so you’ll have to wait for that one.

So let’s get back to my house, eh?  I added a couple more pops of cherry red to the kitchen that I thought I’d share with you!  I also wanted to implore you for some advice because you guys are a knowledgeable (and opinionated) bunch.  Love it.

First off, I was getting a little tired of my ‘shopping list’ art that I created a few years ago now so it was time to switch it up.  I had these in the guest bedroom but since the guest bedroom has turned into a bit of a storage nightmare (there’s a redesign coming in it’s future but not quite yet), I decided to steal them for in here where I can actually enjoy them.

I bought them from Etsy long ago but I thought they suited the colour scheme in the kitchen.  They are a bit ‘cutesy’ but they’ll do for now.

I also repotted my succulents in bright red pots to add a little colour to the window sills…. and a twinkle of gold to the shelves.  Well, it wouldn’t be my kitchen without that, right?

I also moved this wooden sign that used to be on the gallery wall in the dining room to next to the fridge.  I liked it but it wasn’t working on the wall anymore.

Here’s a closer look at that.  Cute, no?  Reuse and repurpose.  Why not.

We still need to do the counter tops in here though and one of the big reasons I’ve not done it is because I’m torn.  From the beginning, I really wanted stained butcher block but I’m scared of all the horror stories I’m reading about how difficult they are to maintain and how many people say the wood around the sink goes BLACK after a while with all the splashes of water.  Now Wayne does the dishes around here about 90% of the time (I know, I know, he’s a good’n) but he’s not the most conscientious washer – he often leaves big puddles of water everywhere that I go back and wipe up after he’s done his thing.  But am I going to live my life paranoid of getting stained counter tops?  Should I consider another material?  The main reason I wanted the stained butcher block is so that it would warm up the space.  But but… I just don’t know.

I have to say, long ago I read the horror stories about how difficult it is to maintain natural slate flooring and I ignored it because I wanted it so bad.  And now, I admit, I am regretting it.  It stains so easily and never really looks properly clean.  It’s a bit of a nightmare if I’m honest.  Will I be making the same mistake twice?

Does anyone have experience of butcher block that can shed any light either way?  Should I consider (gasp horror) wood-look laminate?  I have to admit I’m considering it.  We are so hard on our current laminate counter tops that I fear we don’t have it in us to care for the butcher block properly.  We both enjoy cooking and to feel paranoid about the counters just doesn’t seem practical for the way we live.

So I’m a little stuck.  As an aside, I adore the look of marble but it’s expensive and I’m afraid the practicalities of marble are just as bad as butcher block.

I also have played with the idea of gold hardware on the cupboard doors like this…


And swapping the pendants for something like this…


Sigh.  Pipe dream for now.  Let’s hold on to that one, shall we?  Back to my dilemma…

If I could do it all again, I would have done wood floors to match the rest of the house and I wouldn’t now be so stuck!  Ack.  Hindsight is a cruel mistress.

What would you do if you were me?

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