Getting a Handle on It

* Have you entered my giveaway yet? It ends June 18th!

I haven’t shown my kitchen too much on my blog. The reasons for that are two-fold. It’s quite a small room (7’x7.5′) and with most of the wall space covered with cabinets there isn’t much room for pretty things. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I’d LOVE to change about my kitchen, but I’d need much deeper pockets.

My Kitchen

A previous owner put in the current cabinets (Ikea Abstrakt) which I rather like. A couple of things I don’t like are the tiles. The floor tiles are dark blue, and for some reason they tiled the back wall from floor to ceiling with white square tiles. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad except for the two bands of decorative tiles in Tuscan Yellow. I’d love to change the floor tile, and remove the wall tile, but with quotes for the work at close to $5,000 it’s not going to happen (at least any time soon).

One of the smaller things in the kitchen that I could change are handles. When the kitchen was installed they used the Tag handles from Ikea.

Ikea Tag Handles Image source: Ikea

While the handles are okay, they aren’t especially exciting. For a while I thought it was just the handles themselves I wasn’t fond of, but I soon realised it was the size. The full-height upper cabinets are quite tall, and the 128mm (7”) handles looked a little puny in comparison.

My existing Tag handles – see how small they seem?

The problem was I couldn’t figure out how to install large handles given there were already holes drilled into the cabinet doors to install the small handles.

A few weeks ago when my mom was visiting from out-of-town we made our routine pilgrimage to the big blue mecca of home décor (There isn’t an Ikea close to where my mom lives) and I spotted these Spann handles.

Ikea Spann Handles Image source: Amazon

They solved my problems – they’re much larger than the handles I had, and with the metal bar at the interior of the handle they would very nicely cover the hole that was already drilled for the smaller handles. Another bonus? They were being discontinued so were half off ($6 a pair instead of $13)! My mom and I stood it the kitchen section at Ikea for a while mentally counting the number of handles I’d need, and then headed home with 9 packages.

The difference in size between the two handle styles

I have a little problem with buying things for projects and then not actually working on the project for weeks or months (cough, cough – my chairs). These handles only waited around for about 2 weeks until one evening when I was feeling adventuresome and I broke out my drill. I have to say that I was more than a little nervous to put additional holes in my cabinets, but I figured that if things went badly I could always just buy a new door as they’re still available at Ikea. Luckily for me everything went relatively smoothly.

The installation partway done

Et voilà! My new handles in place.

The cabinet handle makeover is complete

I think the new handles are a much better scale for the cabinets. What do you think?

Linked to: Chic on a Shoestring, The Shabby Nest, Addicted 2 Decorating, Coastal Charm


EBlurb Books: A Giveaway (Yippee!)

You may recall that last month I had the opportunity to attend BlogPodium. One of the sponsors was Blurb books – they donated all of the lovely notebooks that the attendees were given to make all our copious notes in.

Left picture by Mango Studios. Right pictures are my Blogpodium notebook that was created by Blurb Books.

Books with lovely pictures have always been a favorite of mine, but I like them even more if I know the story behind the pictures. In the back of my mind I’ve always wanted to put together a picture book of my youthful travels to South East Asia, but have always been quite intimidated by what I thought was an arduous process. It turns out I was wrong – it’s really rather simple.

If you had pictures like these wouldn’t you want to make your very own picture book too? L: Me at the Taj Mahal with some gentlemen who were more interested in getting my picture than looking at the beautiful building (2003), R: Riding in a Vietnamese wooden boat (2004)

Blurb books actually have a few ways you can design your own books – you can either use their online tool called ‘Bookify‘ which allows you to use popular layouts to make your book, or you can download their ‘Booksmart‘ software that allows you to customize the layouts and text.

One of the great things about personal picture books is there is no limit to what you can make. While at Blogpodium I stopped by Blurb’s booth, and they had copies of books that some customers had created and they were all wonderful, yet completely different. There were books of Instagram pictures, and books of family vacation photos, and even a book made with a newlywed couple’s wedding photos, but the one that caught my eye was one that was a collection of old family photos and recipes. It was made to celebrate their grandmothers birthday, and it was put together by her children and grandchildren.

Image courtesy of Blurb books – I wish I had taken a picture of the inside – it was gorgeous

Anyways, I received an email from the lovely folks at Blurb books, and they would like to give one of you $35 towards your very own personalized Blurb book! You can use it to create any type of book you like. How neat is that?

Okay, now for the important details – how you can win – you can enter up to three times!

  • Visit the website for ideas, and then leave a comment here telling me what type of book you might like to create.
  • For up to two bonus entries share this contest on Twitter, and then leave a comment letting me know that you did.(Please add @sweetsuite10 and @Blurbbooks to your tweet)
  • This contest will open on June 12th, and will close on June 18th at midnight EST.
  • The winner will be drawn from eligible entries using
  • This contest is open to Canadian readers only.

So, what type of book will you make if you win?

*I was not perked in any way by Blurb for hosting this giveaway.