Kitchen Window Treatment Options

Staring out the kitchen window in the morning is one of my more practiced rituals.

I’ve stared out this same kitchen window at one time or another for practically my entire life.

Well, the same view at least.

When Dave the Builder and I tackled the kitchen renovation we replaced the 40+ year old existing single pane windows with ThermaStar by Pella®  replacement windows.

The next move was to consider kitchen window treatment options.

pella windows

A  window treatment does not always consist of fabric, sheers, shutters, slats or shades.

Yes, you read that right.

A window treatment placing the focal spotlight on the window(s) above the kitchen sink can be the window and frame itself.

arched windowsBetter Homes and Gardens

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the statement, “we paid a fortune for these windows and I just hate to cover them up.”  

If privacy is not an issue, resist traditional temptation to cover them up and let the sunshine in!  

rustic kitchen


Dave the Builder and I have had many fights conversations about this exact topic of design.  

Design, fit, form and function always factor in ahead of decorative consideration.   

Take a look at exhibit A in the image below (one taken before the repaint project and one after).  

In the windows of the world of existing construction, a decision to work with what you have is not out of the norm.  

No way was I on board for enlarging the width or height for a new window unit.  Too much sugar for a decorative dime!  

We removed six(6) small side shelves from the existing wall cabinets on either side of the window.  

Dave suggested we install new panels matching the cabinet doors to cover up demo blemishes and follow through with the look.

 He also suggested the window was in need of a window treatment.  I suggested he needed to rethink his suggestion.  

A decorative compromise was reached and up went the blind.

Fast forward to the ugly leftover shown above.

Dave redeemed himself  with his suggestion to use the corbels I had ordered for another install as decorative framing.

window trim

Kitchen window treatment options o’plenty to consider that cover the pane area without covering decorative frames range from inside mount shades and blinds,

Better Homes and Gardens

a window within a window treatment such as hanging a framed piece of leaded or stained glass within the window, or

Better Homes and Gardens

  side mounted shutters that open and close.


Options are a beautiful thing.

The Shoes Of The House: Engineered Hardwood And Parquet Flooring

As I perused social media sites this morning,  a blog post link from Rashon Caraway, a.k.a.  Mr. Goodwill Hunting  inspired me.

Inspiration is everywhere, and today it came from Mr. Goodwill Hunting’s words and not from one of his trademark thrift finds or a vintage ensembles.

To quote Rashon, “so always remember ladies and gentleman, it’s not how much something costs, it’s how you wear it.”

Yes it is, and that fact remains the same through both fashion and interiors.

Mr. Goodwill Hunting

Flooring is the literal and figurative foundation of a house.

It can easily be considered the shoes of the interior design and decor ensemble.

If you channel your inner Sex and the City recollection, Carrie taught us the shoe is as essential to to the look as the couture or vintage piece of clothing.

In terms of interior design and decorative selections, flooring ties it all together in a stylish, comfortable and functioning package.

As it is with shoes, style comes before comfort.

See what I mean?

Hardwood FloorsArmstrong

Stylish and comfortable flooring choices exist without the shocking price tag.

Engineered hardwood and parquet flooring are wonderful alternatives to traditional plank hardwood floors.

Parquet flooring is composed of similar or contrasting woods such as oak, walnut and cherry in grades of laminates, veneer  and solids.

shaw floors1

Laminate flooring is the least expensive option.

Laminate is faux-wood pieces married to a base such as particle board and contains no actual wood.

The easiest way to explain laminate floors is in layered terms.


The top layer consists of clear resin protecting the second layer- a photograph of real wood.

Flooring photoshop, if you will.

How’s that for an explanation?

The next two layers are comprised of wood composites, fiber board and melamine for absorption and stability.

Veneer parquet is solid wood attached to a material such as plywood.  Solid parquet is exactly that, solid wood.

The designs are created by placing the wood(s) in both angular and geometric formations.

parquet flooring1, 2

Engineered flooring is produced by adhering three to five layers of plastic laminate veneer with real wood.

Engineered wood flooring is not a laminate.

Engineered flooring is both moisture resistant and a green product.

hardwood flooring

Flipping, building, and remodeling houses over the years, Dave the Builder has installed and refinished his fair share of solid hardwood floors.


We’ve had solid hardwoods in two of our personal homes, and currently have engineered hardwood floors in our dining room.

Which do I prefer?

Based on price, quality, appearance, and ease of upkeep, I’m going with engineered hardwood floors.

engineered hardwood flooringMohawk Flooring

engineered flooring

These cost efficient and sustainable flooring choices come in a wide range of design and finish options, quality grades and price points.  

Engineered hardwood and the grade choices of parquet flooring offers consumers excellent options in the flooring selection process. 



It’s Formica Laminate And It’s Spectacular!

Change is a wonderful thing when it is all about improvement, and Formica laminate is changing and improving with the times.

vintage kitchen Formica laminate countertopPinterest

Formica laminate introduces the 2020 Living Impressions™ Collection featuring 180fx® Laminate patterns covering the modern to the traditional to the sophisticated kitchen in artisan style.

2020 Living Impressions™ Collection

2020 Living Impressions™ Collection
White Painted Marble – Black Painted Marble
Watercolor Porcelain – Watercolor Steel

Gone is the basic get the job done approach to kitchen design of past decades and designs.

water-color-steel-brushed-bronze-toned-aluminum2020 Living Impressions™ Collection
Watercolor Steel

Stylish function and performance is paramount to today’s kitchen design. Into consideration  place high on the list of kitchen design and detail priority.

black-painted-marble-hotel2020 Living Impressions™ Collection
Black Painted Marble

Sourcing, showing, and telling you all about the latest product designs and news regarding kitchen design, home furnishings, and decor products is an exciting and enlightening process.

When a product grabs and holds my attention I label it share worthy. Formica laminate has done just that.

Formica light countertops

Calacatta Marble – Neapolitan Stone
Calacatta Cava – Antique Mascarello

Calacatta-Cava-Formica1Calacatta Cava

Brand leaders often become the verb of the product line.

Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory hilariously demonstrates my point as he explains not all hot tubs are a Jacuzzi® in the video clip below.

Dave the Builder and I are both guilty of “verbing” one product line in particular.

We refer to all laminate countertops as Formica.


With both of us coming from construction, remodeling and design backgrounds, I guess you could say we were raised on the Formica brand.

Dave the Builder and I cut our kitchen flipping-remodeling teeth on the Formica brand of laminate countertops.

The majority of the houses we bought in our flipping days were built circa 1940-1960, which meant the kitchens were lacking in suitable features and style details.

metal trim edge

Retro was not throwback chic at the time, and although Dave is a master at reworking and re-imagining existing features to update and visually please, the outdated metal edge trim was the first thing to go.

Design trends ebb and flow and personal style choices evolve, but one thing remains a home improvement constant.

Wide Planked Walnut

Black Walnut

Construction, design, remodeling and renovation budgets favorably respond to quality products that deliver on all design points, offer impressive decorative results, and accomplish the project with an affordable result.

Formica granite laminate

Formica 180fx® Laminate offers the luxurious look of a full granite slab.

Petrified Wood with Etchings Finish

Taking today’s kitchen decorative details into consideration, Formica has perfected the look of granite, offering chic pattern choices in colors, textures, and patterns reflecting preferences popular in today’s kitchen design market.

Yes, decoristas, it’s Formica laminate and it’s spectacular.

Formica=patternsI asked Dave the Builder if I could get his feedback on this post.

Very impressed.

How could you not be?

The striking pattern choices meet with the design guidelines and tastes of today’s homeowner.

Formica laminate remains a quality, time tested, affordable, durable, sustainable and decoratively impressive product choice.


Just so you know disclaimer:
This is not an official product review or paid advertisement post.  Safe to say Formica® Brand does not even know I exist.  I’m just following the original intent of this blog;  Places In The Home- A Design Show and Tell. 

Curb Appeal Ideas

It’s time to consider curb appeal ideas to update, refresh and spring spruce up the look of your home’s exterior for the upcoming season.

Curb appeal goes a long way in making the right first impression- style lives here!

Feast your eyes upon these curb appeal ideas.

curb appeal ideas

Inexpensive exterior updates range from outdoor lighting-to decorative brass and copper accents-to simply painting the front door in a spring spectacular color.

Infuse new life into drab and winter beat flower beds with colored mulch, tired patios and walkways with stones and pavers.

Afternoons and rocking chairs go together so very well.

Dave the Builder refers to our front porch as his office.

The man makes his best plans out there.

Our front porch rocking chairs tend to be full most afternoons with the neighbor men of our street aka the neighborhood patrol.

Spring is for cleaning up and summer is for sprucing up!

painting rocking chairs

Refreshing existing paint colors or going with an entirely new palette guarantees instant update wow factor.

Freshening up  for the summer season begins with a Lowe’s run and a fresh coat of paint.

My late father (pictured in the above image) utilized every opportunity to rock the hours of a spring and fall day away.

Valspar paint colors

We’re rockin’ the Valspar Maple Taffy.

It complements the colors in the brick and pops up against the shutters that shall forever remain painted in Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black.

Updated Refresh:


It seems when we undertake one project it encourages the wheels of home improvement to turn and the ideas to flow.


Freshly painted rockers begets freshly painted shutters, and freshly painted shutters means we might as well paint the trim.

Sherwin Williams paint colors

Trim color choices in the running are Sherwin-Williams Rice Grain and Sherwin-Williams Nacre.

Neutral with a splash of gray, brown, or green keeps the look just this side of vanilla.

Notice the lantern in the above image- it’s on the move to our kitchen, replacing the one in the image below.

Update:  It ended up better serving our decor needs as the dining room chandelier.

lantern-fixture-bronze-gold The hunt is now on for a new exterior light fixture.

Update: A new recessed LED retrofit downlight keeps the exterior porch light on.


One home improvement project does tend to lead to another, but the new and improved look makes it all worth it.

Now that’s better!

Cup Pulls & Camellias

Like most everyone at the first of a new year,  I’m recharged and ready to embrace new projects like updating cabinet hardware.  January starts things fresh, new, and in this case, blooming with color.  With major rain and the potential for flooding forecasted for the rest of the week, it was time to trek to the backyard to retrieve a bouquet of color.

A spring color tease beautifully overshadows this week’s dreary, rainy, and wintery color palette.


Listening to the all Beatles, all Rolling Stones station on iHeart radio reminds me time is on my side for only a few weeks until taxman time rolls around. I will be knee deep in paperwork which means the office, kitchen, man cave and possibly the dining room will temporarily be out of photo/staging commission.  In the meantime, I’m going to see how many small projects team Places In The Home can meet and master.

Dave the Builder handles the installation of things like handles, pulls, and decorative hardware on cabinetry.  He penciled this installation in on his schedule and here we are.  Small edits, updates, and accent additions breathe new life into the look of a space.  Updating cabinet hardware gives instant and decorative gratification.  The idea was to add cup drawer pulls to this high use, high traffic section of drawers, complementing the existing cabinet knobs and keeping the integrity of the finish and the look.

With juxtaposition being the goal, the small drawer and liquor cabinet door hardware were purposely not changed.  Dave measured the center for the pull placement and new holes, drilled two new holes in each drawer front, and from the backside of the drawer screwed the cup pulls into place with a Phillips head screwdriver.  The pewter hammered cup pull handles were purchased from ebay for $1.25 each.  Arts and Crafts~Mission accomplished! It’s on to the next project- the lantern light fixture redo.

Love your style!