Tuesday, January 31, 2012



I am a self-proclaimed "penny-foolish and pound-wise" girl. What I mean is that while I can rationalize occasional GASP-induced purchases for things like oilcloth or dishes, I drive a car that has a casette player and my old cell phone is sans-apps. This brings us to my recent splurges from Cath Kidston and if this post reads like one long rationalization, it just might be. Blame the coffee.

Perhaps you recall my swooning over this image from overdue library book thriftychic?{Which I now own thanks to my crazywithglitterandseashells and extremely generous pal M of tales from an OC cottage. I kept thinking what is making me so bananas over this photo? It's the Cath Kidston (CK) fabric. So who did I call? My sister Betsy who is equal parts cheerleader and decor-wants-enabler (a value that I dutifully reciprocate). When I told her I was daydreaming about ordering some oilcloth from CK ($$$), she assured, "You will smile every time you look at it." Yes I will! {Click click click. Send!}

MEANWHILE Just a few weeks ago I had bought this sweet blue gingham oilcloth but once wrapped to the table, the checks seemed to pop-up like optical illusions. {Remember "Magic Eye" prints?} No good.

I now have the oilcloth I've really wanted all along (bottom right) -- since here actually -- and I am so happy with it. No remorse.

I'm truly delighted at how the CK oilcloth finally brings together the smoke blue chairs and pale green walls (an unplanned pairing).

While I awaited the shipment from London, I tinkered a bit in preparation for the Complete CathKitchenization to be.

Betsy had given me this wooden rack from her cabin. First I painted it blue, then red and finally white. Edges were gently sanded for a worn look, revealing both underlying colors as if the rack had "many lives." To complete the transformation, small circles of floral paper were decoupaged to the flats of each peg to add some charm.

Now I can display my favorite cups.

To complete the vision, the final item in my order of three (oilcloth + small dishes) was a meter of fabric, which is displayed/hung temporarily (Hello, my Shellie!) with a tension rod.

More playing ...

I rearranged some wall decor, like switching a China dish for a metal M to keep things from getting too sweet. (Think my guys will agree?)

Gathered some flowers both faux ...

and real ...

and placed scraps of the oilcloth here and there.

Some collected wisdom from my Complete CathKitchenization experience:
  • It is very true how personal home decor comes together best over time
  • It is worth splurging on a few items that you really, really love
  • When you're not sure if you should buy something or not, call Betsy
  • When you really like a style, just go for it, top to bottom and revel in it
Thanks for reading!


I have a bunch of things in print right now. Visit here to see what's on newsstands!


Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Elyse,
Just perfect! I love how your kitchen sparkles with happiness and soft color.
Very welcoming indeed.
Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

Deanna said...

Oh sigh...LOVE!!

Meryl Schoenbaum said...

Cath Kidston + Elyse Major = Decorating Dream Team!

SLR said...

well you know i just fell over reading this and looking at your swoony pictures! love that new oilcloth table cover...it's perfect. will you be making little "curtains" on your lower sink cabinets with the fabric hung there? sooo cute!
i could cath-orize my whole house...
oh and yep i drive an older car too, and recently only upgraded to a phone with apps ;)

SLR said...

forgot to say that i am in love with the rack for your mugs!!!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Your kitchen is absolutely charming!

Claudia said...

I would say you've been Cathified! So pretty, Elyse. I know how much you love Cath Kidston, and the neat thing is that you've got just the right amount. Sweet kitchen.


MelMel said...

I love what you have done!
I'm a huge CK fan...so really appreciate a lovely make over like this!


patchworkandlace said...

Gorgeous pictures and blog ,im now a follower x

Alison said...

Love it!
I recently bought a few CK things myself and I agree -- it was worth it! :)

Fishtail Cottage said...

so very cute! xoox

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Oh this lovely post makes me yearn for spring!

vivian said...

I love it! it is perfectly sweet and cheerful. I can pretty much rationalize spending on anything. my biggest and best reason.. I work hard for my money and deserve to splurge once in a while! yeah.. I use that excuse almost every weekend! lol!
have a happy day!

Laurel Leaf Cottage said...

It looks amazingly perfect!! I love it on top of the sideboard! Time to go shopping....~Deanna

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

elyse, all i can say is to follow your dream! and you are!! i am a huge penny pincher and have to really convince myself to splurge now and then. your home looks preciouis!!! awesome job!


Unknown said...

Oh Elyse,
That looks so lovely. I agree with you it is the best look. And so at home in your beautiful cottage.

Jessica Rodarte said...

Your kitchen must make you so happy every time you walk in. It's such a pretty space, and so you. I am starring this post in my Google reader. Love your tips!

Anonymous said...

So, so pretty Elise! Those are all of the colors I love. I'm glad you got what you really wanted ~ definitely worth it!!

Patty Marker said...

I love it. It says CK so perfectly. Your tinkering definitely paid off.

Anonymous said...

Elyse you are going to love this for a long time- so glad you splurged! Maybe you could doll up that old cell phone with a tiny piece of of that great oil cloth then everyone would want a cell phone like yours!!

I have always loved the look of fabric in front of the sink and hope to be able to do that someday- haven't quite figured out how to with my 50's metal cabinets.

Love you sweet kitchen!

bee blessed

ps congratulation on all your works being published! So fun to see your name when I pick up my magazines!

Blessed Serendipity said...

I am so happy you got the oilcloth you have been admiring for such a long while. Sign up with CK for email updates. They just had some of their oilcloth for $10/metre. I bought two patterns, one for a tablecloth and one to cover a counter in my laundry room. I just checked and sadly the sale is over.


Gabriela Delworth - Instructional Designer said...

Hello Elyse,

Love your place! Don't tell me that the oilcloth print matches your blog background! How awesome is that!


Cottage 1945 said...

Very, very cute. I love it!

Mecky said...

I am so glad you got what you wanted. It looks great.
I love the fabric. it reminds me of a vintage apron I have that has a light green background.
Cath Kidston has some beauiful prints.

Blondie's Journal said...

This is too cute! And you deserved it for all of your patience! Love your tea cup rack, too!


Anonymous said...


Loved reading the blog. You're right! I am your cheerleader.

You had real vision when you took the rack--looks adorable!

The oilcloth and other purchases are going to make you smile each time you peek into your dining room.

Love, Betsy

debbie @ happy little cottage said...

It is all so CK perfect!!! I love everything :)

Melinda said...

Great fabric!
Looks wonderful.


NanaDiana said...

I love, love, love it, Elyse. You just have such a way with words and pictures. I feel like I am right there with you. xo Diana

Unknown said...

I am also in love with CK, but liek you the prices keep me at bay, and the shipping. But know that they have a US site, I only paid 20.00 for a whole bunch of new spring items....I was amazed! I love your table, absolutely love it!!!!!
I have a re purposed dining room table in my craft room with white oilcloth with cherries and red painted legs...it is always a happy place!

Apple Blossom Barn said...

Hi Elyse,
You should have zero buyers remorse on this one, all Caths yummy things were made for you.
I think the oilcloth is the same as mine, see behind the peonies on my blog header. I love the sink skirt in that pretty fabric and now that I think about it I do not have any cute Ck plates brightening up my walls, oh no such an addiction!

Have a happy day


debi said...

Oh Elyse! I love the CK oilcloth more than all the other cute ones you've had. It's perfect!! And SO you! Your kitchen and dining room just look so pretty, it makes me want to redo something.

I really LOVE your sweet cottage home!

Anonymous said...

EEEEEEEEEE! Love everything about this post!!!
I am going to the library today, where they are holding the Thriftychic book for me! Yay!
And, in one corner of our tiny cottage are 8 cut & primed 1/4" sticks, waiting for a cottage-green coat of paint before I nail them together to make my inspiration board. Can you see me doing cartwheels? A funny site, but I am so happy! :)
Great photos of your little cottage and wonderful advice. Waaay back, when you asked our opinion on which oilcloth tablecloth to purchase, I voted for the CK. Trust your heart, girl, it knows the way.

Passionate for White said...

Ooooo such eye-candy. Glad that you splurged on the important things!! :)

birdie blue said...

love your new oilcloth, my friend. the colors perfectly pick up the rest of the fun you have going on in your lovely home. your sweet cottage is looking even sweeter, it that's possible.


koralee said...

So darling...I am in love with your sweet home...I need to order on-line more but the shipping always scares me away...hugs to you and happy February dear one. xoxoxo

thistlewoodfarm said...

I agree with the first commenter! This is a joyous kitchen! Thanks for linking up to our "impossibles" party!


Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

I LOVE the new oilcloth for your table Elyse and the green glass knob adds a sweet touch! I truly need to get some oilcloth! Miss you sweetie!


PS...you have been on my mind all day yesterday and today. Thanks for listening to my heart! xox

Teresa@magazineyourhome said...

I totally love what you have done in your kitchen.

Amy C said...

gorgeous Elyse. You are so super creative ti looks fabulous.

Jen Kershner said...

LOVE it my equally obsessed Cath friend! I bought some of her greyish polka dotty and have not regretted it for a moment. Sometimes you just have to go for it. I love how your room has come together.

Special 'K' said...

I adore your cup holder. Thanks for sharing. This is my first visit to your special space, I will follow on my way out as I am sure I will enjoy engaging and supporting your special place now I have found you,I hope you will find the some time to come visit me some time. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

Cheryl said...

A couple things.... you can place that fabric on your scanner and make some more "fabric" *wink* ALSO... and this is fabulous--- you can make your own oilcloth by simply covering some fabric with some clear contact paper. Seriously, it works like a charm... I've got some faux oilcloth on some wooden lids covering some baskets and its fabulous!
big hugs~

Unknown said...

YOu did a Fan-tab-ulous job I love your kitchen ;0) Dxx

Fat Dormouse said...

I’m sorry it took me so long to get to your « Impossibility Challenge » post – this thing called “work” got in the way! But I’m here now and it’s great to read about your Cath Kidson kitchen makeover. It's not a look that "sings" to me, but I can appreciate how much you love your new kitchen. It is certainly springlike and cheerful. I wish you many happy hours surrounded by your CK goodies!
Congratulations on making your impossibility possible!

Christine said...

Hi, Elyse, Just making my way round to all the Beutiful Blogs out here in Blogland (my new years resolution "D) I have always loved your decor style, and with these extra lovely additions, even Prettier!
I am adding your button to my blog, so that I won't miss a thing!:D And Congrats on your many publications this coming year!

Art and Sand said...

I love your little cottage and the color scheme. Cath Kidston is one of my favorites.

I too coveted something from Cath Kidston. There was an ironing board cover - blue with red cabbage roses - that I wanted for so long. I finally broke down and paid way too much for it, but I loved it. When it arrived, it did not fit my ironing board - UK ironing boards must be shorter. I had to take it apart and sew a strip on the end about 8 inches wide. It looks okay and I am still using it today about 4 years later.

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

Elyse, thanks for stopping by. So nice to see your comment AND it reminded me to say, Hi! I've been meaning to tell you....remember when you were torn between French decor and ohsocuteandwhimisicalCathKidston? Well, I don't think you're ready to give up CK decor....I hear the happiness in your CK posts and each time you purchase a floral oil cloth! Congrats on all the publications. You are one busy mom and blogger! March 6 is only 1 short month away! How do I order a quantity of "our" magazine feature? I'm a newbie as you know!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Yea, I'm so glad you went for it, sound like we are the same, I save on everything, but if there is something I really want, I get it!! And it looks so worth it! I am so excited, you are coming to the dress form ball!


Karah @ thespacebetweenblog said...

So many lovely details! It's just down right pretty all around!

Thanks so much for linking up to the challenge!

Rose Garden Romantic said...

I adore your kitchen! That is the prettiest oilcloth pattern and I love the skirt under the sink, too!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

I am so late peeking in (sorry). But I so love this transformation. It breaks the cheery meter! I'm so happy for you!

Katy Noelle said...

and, now....everything is as it should be!!! =] =] =]

I love it, too! and I keep visiting you but haven't been leaving comments because...you know those kind of blogs that inspire you but, before you know it, you're off looking for oilcloth on the internet or checking out books at Amazon or totally inspired to try something around your home...??? I mean, do you know what I mean...?

Thanks for sharing this in your own cheery way - with your wonderful words and, oh, so sage (and true) advice! It brings a spring in our step and a happy smile to our day!

So, toodleloo! Back to the kitchen I go with, yet, another idea gleaned. (ours are similar in some ways, for sure! =])

and, pssst! I finally got the Romantic Homes magazine into my hot little hands with a thrill - what a cute issue - but, best of all, it's just fun to see you in it!!!


Jessie Fincham said...

you are a bigger cath kidston addict than me!! :) I loooove her, I live in thr UK so luckily I can get a quick fix pretty easy, though it does hurt my bank balance! I just recently had a set of curtains made in a lovely 'country rose' print for my living room, love them! So glad I found your blog!
Jessie, xo

Into Vintage said...

After seeing all those cute oilcoth versions of your table, I think I like the latest one the best! :-)

I too have a sans-apps phone. It even has an antenna that pulls out. The horror!

Anonymous said...

Your kitchen is beautiful! I didn't actually know oil cloth was a thing until I read this post and now my imagination is brimming with the possibilities!