July 24, 2014

There are two sides to every nook {DIY home office reveal}

By Chelsea

Friends, the weekend is so close I can taste it. I think we're gonna make it!!! Today's post is almost like a Golden Corral buffet - packed with a little bit of everything, (but unlike Golden Corral, I hope it doesn't leave you feeling unsettled and making a dash for the closest restroom. If that's the case I'm not sure it's going to work out between us). Last week I shared the awkward/embarrassing/comical evolution of our front entrance, but I've never shared what's on the other side of the wall...

Our front entrance is all, "Cheers, ya'll! Come on in, stay a while!"

And the other side was like, "Welcome to the rest of your lives, you forgotten misfit toys, muahahahahaha!"

But after the brilliant idea to use this space, this is what's rockin' the other side now:

There's a good chance I'm a little bias, but this is way cuter than it was before. And guess what? Between finding things around our home, the thrift store, and making the desk ourselves, the whole thing cost about $15, (and was a piece of cake to create)!

For anyone out there who may be interested in making a little built in desk themselves, here's the quick and easy low-down on this project, (skip down to the bottom if these details don't interest you):

--> Measure and mark how high you want your desk to be. Keep in mind the thickness of the wood you're using for the desk and subtract that to place the brackets at the proper height, (we used scrap pieces of 1x3 wood for our brackets - if you don't have scraps, ask for some at your local hardware store). Then you need to figure out if you've got any studs in the walls that you could use to screw your brackets into. The photo below was the first bracket we attached because there happened to be studs at just the right spots.

--> Use a level to make sure each bracket is...level. (did I really just explain that?) Keep checking because each time you screw one end of a bracket in, you may need to adjust the other a slight bit. 

--> If you don't have studs, you're going to need to use anchors, (see third photo down). These will help keep your screws secure, and therefore your desk in place, (you can decide how important this is to you). SO, the first thing you need to do before you can tap in your anchors, is pre-drill your holes, To help make the anchors easier to find when you place the bracket over them is to just pre-drill your holes right through the bracket, that way you can line everything up when it's time to attach the screws.

Pre-drilled holes are ready for anchors!

(This is an anchor)

Tap the anchor in with a hammer until you get to the first ridge.

Then use a drill to screw it flush with the wall.

--> Then place your bracket over the anchors, lining up your pre-drilled holes with the anchors, and drill a screw right into each anchor. 

--> Once your brackets are in place you can just slide your desk, (we used a pre-cut sheet of birch), right onto the brackets. The sheet of birch was around $9 at Home Depot. We measured the space it would occupy and cut it to fit with a circular saw. We did not screw it onto the brackets or attach it in anyway. It's simply resting on top, but it's a tight fit so we feel confident it's not going anywhere. 

For a cleaner look I painted the brackets and the desk in the same white as our walls, (Ultra Bright White by Behr). Then I sealed the surface of the desk with water-based Polycrylic semi-gloss by Minwax, (always use a water based sealer when sealing anything painted a light color. This will prevent unwanted yellowing).

New built-in office!

I snagged a couple sheets of cork board at Walmart for just a few bucks and spray painted them gold for a touch of glam.

The wire basket was a planter I already had but wasn't using. Now it holds tapes and other crafting do-dads, (the clear plastic insert keeps everything from spilling out).

The tiny gold piece was part of a pack of baking tins, (found at Michaels), for baking Lord knows what, (something fancy I assume). They had various shapes and sizes which I've used for making stamped patterns on fabric, lamp shades, tea towels, and cards! I spray painted this one gold and it's perfect for gathering thumbtacks. 

The wishbone is for good luck; luck that I will ever get anything done here. :)

Let's talk about this lamp really quick! It's my favorite thing about this new tiny office. Since there's very little room on the desk for even a small lamp, I wanted to make use of the wall space and hang something. This cutie was waiting just for me at our local Goodwill thrift store. The fixture and shade didn't come together but are a perfect mix n' match - together they cost $5.

I love how it stretches to a centered position on the desk when needed! 

My Mom gave me this card over 5 years ago when I was pregnant with our twins. Just had to share. Isn't it sweet? (And so true?!)

So there you have it! The two sides of our very special nook!

This project belongs in the quickie category. Once the supplies were gathered, this thing was finished in about two and a half hours, (and it will go much quicker if you aren't stopping to take photos of each step). If you have questions about anything don't hesitate to ask in either a comment or email!

Thanks for stopping by!


July 23, 2014

Steve. {Thrift Store Find No. 3}

By Cate

Good news!  It's finally time to reveal the last mystery item from my fateful trip to the thrift store last Spring.  Ok, so if you've been following my guest posts here and here, you may recall that I went to the thrift store looking for bookends {which I still have not found for myself by the way} and ended up buying 3 completely not-on-my-shopping-list things: a cane-backed chair, a picture frame, and mystery item No. 3.  Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, may I introduce to you... Steve.

{His name is a nod to Chelsea's post on Ricky the metallic Rhino.}

Now when thrifting it is important to keep an open mind.  You never know what you will find to take home and transform so you can't just look at things for what they are.  Let's face it, everything looks a little gross in a thrift store - sitting on dusty shelves under florescent lights, inevitably sporting some form of sticker residue.  When you're thrifting, you need to look beyond the items for their potential.  

I noticed this brass deer amidst a shelf of knicknacks because it was shiny {my parents can attest to my crow-like sensibilities: always gravitating towards things that sparkle}.  Upon closer look I realized there were two holes in his noggin.  This was no Debby the Doe, this was a Steve the Stag - he was just missing his antlers.  Nothing a touch of whimsy and couple twigs couldn't fix.

Now he has a position of honor where he can nobly pose next to the chandelier terrarium on our credenza.

And I'm not the only one in love with Steve.  His metallic profile is trending everywhere:
Here he is on some illustrious Anthropologie wallpaper.

And with a lady friend on One Kings Lane.

And even making a cameo appearance on Etsy via this lovely gilded portrait.

So when you're sorting through the flotsam and jetsam at your local thrift store, remember to keep an open mind to what you see.  You might find something you could love if you put your own spin on it.

And there you have it!  A happy addition to my credenza's vignette and No. 3 installation to this thrift store mystery series.

Also, this is what's happening right now as I type.  {And yes, he's dead asleep in that position}.

Happy Wednesday,

~ Cate

July 22, 2014

Aqua chair, yellow table, and things on deck

By Chelsea

Hi All! I hope your week is rolling along well and you're soaking in some time outside! I can't recall a summer going by quite as quick as this one. Maybe it's because this is the first summer that will have a definitive end as our twins start school for the first time this fall! Whew. I can't let my mind go there...it's too sad!

For us here this is one of those weeks with so many good things to share and just not enough time to share them! Here's what's up: aside from a couple new custom orders on deck, we are in the process of making a built-in home office under our basement stairs, (which, in and of itself will have a handful of super fun DIY projects to share), re-configuring the entire layout of our basement, painting an accent wall, painting more randomness, settling into our home a handful of goodies found at a flea market last weekend, and editing my waxing video tutorial, (the sequel to this video tutorial which made the tiniest plop on YouTube yesterday. Not even a kerplunk. It was a plop). ALL of this will be shared here in whichever random order things are completed. But for today, here are a couple of before & afters for ya.

First up, the chair from yesterday's tutorial video! As I mentioned in the video, this piece came from my husband's grandparent's trunk of junk on it's way to the garbage. I rescued this and a small handful of other bits and bobs that were just too good.



{Chair painted in 1 part Duck Egg mixed with 3 parts Pure White, both by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint}

And this cutie pie - a table my Mom brought over to have woken up with a new coat of Arles, (also by ASCP), for one of her guest rooms.



Nothing like a poppy color to bring a little life into a room, eh?! 

Alright! I'm off to paint and staple and glue and cut and find a time to get to the grocery store. :) Cate's on deck for tomorrow, (aren't you LOVING her Wednesday posts?! I've already tackled one of her tutorials for something special going on in the boys' room), so I'll be back on Thursday!

Thank you for stopping by!


July 21, 2014

Video tutorial #1! {Chalk painting a chair}

By Chelsea

Hi guys! Last week I finally jumped on the video tutorial train and cooked up a couple how-to videos! I've had a lot of interest from the sweetest clients and friends to organize a chalk painting workshop. With summer schedules being so difficult to juggle I decided to put together a couple video tutorials instead to help get those visual learners started.

For my first tutorial I decided to paint a chair. Chairs are one of the most common pieces to refinish as they are found all over the place, often quite cheap, and are easy to throw in the back of the car. However, they are also one of the trickiest pieces, in my opinion! There are so many angles to cover on a chair; getting even coverage can be difficult and tedious. But through a couple simple techniques, painting chairs doesn't have to be so painstaking!

I hope this video, and the ones that follow, are helpful and easy to follow. Please, please, please send feedback!!! I'd love to know how I can improve my tutorials. And I also want to hear what you'd like to see! If there's a specific area of refinishing that you'd like to get some visual guidance with, (or even a specific type of piece you'd like to watch getting painted), let me know! Following this video I have one coming up for waxing a chair, (and it's much shorter).

Thank you for stopping by!


July 18, 2014

An old piece and a new opportunity

By Chelsea

Hi friends and happy Friday! I've got a couple of items I'm so excited to share with you today, but first things first...

My youngest, Mason. He's three, free and wild at heart. This view, when I ducked out to call my kids in for lunch yesterday, absolutely made - my - day. Afterall, why have kids if not for a few laughs now and then?! :)

Moving on, (to more appealing things - I hope). A few weeks ago I posted this photo from the thrift store on Instagram and Facebook, unsure whether to purchase or not. 

This mid-century era vanity was in fabulous condition, but it's matching mirror was no where to be found and the whole thing looked a little 'Jetsons' to me. But it was so intriguing I ended up sitting on it, literally, for about 10 minutes. Thanks to those who happened to be on Instagram and Facebook at that moment  and encouraging the purchase, I brought it home with no reservations!

The first step in this makeover was finding out what was underneath the stain. The stain on the drawers, especially, was showing a little wear, so I just took my sander and removed the stain in about 15 minutes using 100 grit sandpaper.

How awesome is that wood grain! And so much easier to see without the orange-y stain!!

Then I painted the entire body of the piece in Old White by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and sprayed the hardware gold. 

All spiffed up and new again!

The piece does happen to have a matching seat, which would be easy to recover.

Piece now available
$395, (bench included)
*if you would like me to recover the bench, 
I am happy to do so with fabric of your choice for a fee of $20.


The last order of business for today is a new opportunity here on Chelsea's Garage: 

If you are a small business owner of a creative business and have a website, blog, or Etsy shop, I want to help you be seen! I am now offering small creative businesses one month of advertising here for $20. Just click the 'Buy Now' Paypal button and you'll be taken to a secure site where you can choose your payment method. Then email your link and logo to chelseasgarage@gmail.com and I'll include you in the sidebar! Have any questions? Don't hesitate to contact me and I'll be happy to help! I'm so excited to start this venture together!

One month of Advertising on Chelsea's Garage - $20

Enjoy a wonderful weekend, friends. Thank you so much for stopping by!