February 27, 2012

Living Room Tango

Hello there! So, our living room is in constant motion. It's not so much a result of indecisiveness as much as patience, (at least that's how I try to play it to Husband). Seriously, though. When we moved to our home, we had to get very creative with our living room as we were pretty short on cash. A lot of early decorating was rather temporary until I either made or found exactly what I wanted. I can tell you this; every single thing in our living room with the exception of the slipcovers and throw pillows were either made by us, bought used, or passed down from other family members, (and between 7 Bed Bath and Beyond coupons and a gift card, I practically used pocket change to buy 7 new throw pillows).
In the beginning...

And now...

Opposite wall take 1...

Take 2...

Take 3...

A sideboard dressed for Spring....

And dressed for Winter.

That's our Living Room for now. I hope you enjoyed popping in!

February 26, 2012

So long, Fair Desk

Hello! I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. My weekend started bittersweet as I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite pieces. I'm learning that furniture refinishing is a tough business!! It's a daily practice to put a lot of myself into each piece - I pick the color, distress it where I want...each piece is a reflection of my personal taste and style, (unless someone drops a piece off with a specific color and finish in mind). Then, as if I'm not attached enough I bring each piece inside and stage it to make it look like part of our decor for a little photo shoot. I'll admit, sometimes I let pieces stay in our home for a little while if I really like it. This just makes it that much harder to sell! Luckilly, old furniture will ALWAYS be available for refinishing. There are few guarantees in life, but this thing I know to be true.

For the most part I really, REALLY enjoy distressing and bringing some age out of a piece. This desk and chair, however, I just couldn't bring myself within 10 feet of with sandpaper! I couldn't do it. As soon as I finished the final coat of thick, creamy, almond colored paint, I coulnd't do another thing to them! They looked so pretty. I find a lot of beauty out of distressing most pieces, but once in a blue moon there will be one that just looks so perfect with clean, smooth lines; so polished and pristine. This matching desk and chair were among those rare pieces.

Knobs from Anthropologie

Seat cushion refinished in a soft burlap. When people ask if I reuhpolster, I tell them I'm quite handy with my staple gun...but that's about it. There are some jobs that require little more than a good staple gun and pretty fabric.

It was a sad farewell as I really enjoyed working on this pair and quite love how they turned out. But, they are going in a sweet little 8yr old girls room. I couldn't think of a better place. :)

Ongoing job this week: finishing the farm table I started last week. I have painted 2 coats of chalk paint, 1 coat clear wax, distressed, second coat of clear wax, and tomorrow I will apply dark wax. This transformation is above and beyond my favorite thus far so I can't wait to show you very soon!!

February 23, 2012

Recycling Baby's Breath

Hello! It's been 9 days since Valentine's Day and if you happened to get flowers they might be on their last leg soon. Don't fret, you can still use your Baby's Breath in a few pretty ways around your home!

1. Cut a bunch short and fill up a plain mug. This would be cute in a guest bedroom, bathroom, end table or the kitchen! I like mine in the kitchen - I don't have much space for flowers, but a small mug of Baby's Breath is still nice to look at :)

2. Fill a tiny vase nice and full and add it to a group of other decorative items, or on top of a stack of books, (I use old baby food jars with a hold punctured through the lid).

3. Fill a bunch of tiny vases with just one branch or so of Baby's Breath and group them together. In this example I have them surrounding a large hurricane candle vase as our dining table centerpiece.

An old picture of my girl, Shire, checking out Momma's handiwork.

I hope this helps you enjoy your flowers a bit longer! Do you have any cool ideas of how to 'stretch' a bouquet?

I finished painting the farm table today! My first go with chalk paint :) Tomorrow I'll be adding a couple layers of wax and distressing. I can't wait to show you! Thank you for stopping by!

February 22, 2012

Heavy Hauler

Much to the dismay of Husband, I will move pretty much anything with my own two hands. If I can so much as inch a piece along, I will do so as far as necessary! Today was about getting a big ol' farm table from my van to the Garage, (TWO very LARGE men loaded it into the van for me). For a little visual, I'm 5'2" and this table is about as heavy as I am. It took every ounce of strength, but I finally got it in a good spot to get working. It needed a little construction just in attaching the legs and getting them nice and tight. The leaf was a little tricky but Husband helped me right it and set the whole thing upright this evening. Tomorrow I'll be painting!

Turned over without legs. I pulled 19 staples from the underside of the tabletop that were unnecessary and added a few more screws to help keep the legs on.

This thing felt like an extension of my arm today!

Legs on and ready to be flipped back over.

Enjoying some nice weather and good beats from the Bose before stepping inside....because I know when I do there will be 3 little ones awake from their naps and ready to play! :)

February 21, 2012

Featured Piece - Cream and White Coffee Table

Hello! Well I am floating on a cloud today after having a very positive meeting with a lovely woman who is interested in my work! She is an interior designer who co-owns an antique shop and has several connections with other antique shops in our area. She is very interested in getting my finished pieces into some of these shops as well as giving me raw pieces to refinish for the shops and various design jobs she has. She was just the sweetest woman and a connection I am very grateful to have!

She practically melted over this beautiful coffee table which happens to be one of my favorite transformations. Shame on me for not having a before picture, but it was all just natural wood and untouched brown wicker. I removed the inset glass and spray painted the wicker white and then brush painted the rest in cream. It was a lot of fun to distress as it is such a multi-dimensional piece!

38x38, 17.5H
(still available, email if interested!)

When I finished and stepped back it looked like something I might see in Pottery Barn. This one is a gem as it is a classic piece that you'll never again see anywhere else!

Tomorrow afternoon we'll be picking up a large farm table which I think might just be the perfect piece to try my new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on! I will be sure to take before, during, and after photos of the transformation!

Thank you for stopping by and especially thank you to those who sent me some encouraging words before this morning's meeting! They meant so much to me :)

February 20, 2012

Bridal Showers, Lamps and Puzzles

What a fantastic weekend! On Saturday my sis in-law, her 18mo old daughter, and my girl, Shire, (2yrs), headed up to PA for a beautiful bridal shower in honor of one of Husband's gorgeous cousins. It was wonderful being surrounded by so many generations of women and having some much needed girly time with my sweet daughter. When you're normally outnumbered by boys it's amazing how refreshing it can be to get away with your own kind :) I stayed up until 3am on Saturday just chatting away! I don't know about the other girls but I devoured every minute. Here are some pictures from the memorable occasion:

On to some business. I wanted to share a couple very small, easy and cheap, (if not free), DIY decor projects to add a little jazz to your home. This time of year many of us are just aching for Spring to come and if you're anything like me, a few little fun projects in the home are necessary to make the last couple months of winter a bit brighter. Aside from constantly moving my furniture around, bringing new refinished pieces in and photo shooting them, and baking up a storm like I'm Betty Crocker, I also really like the little things I can do to add a small, but interesting, statement to a room or centerpiece.

Let's start with lamps. About a year ago I was walking around Lucketts Antique Store in Leesburg and saw a very small little white lamp tucked back into a corner. It was completely ordinary except for that the lamp shade was wearing what looked like a fun headband, but for a lamp! I almost bought this sweet little thing but decided to leave it there and take home some inspiration instead. At Joann's the next day I bought supplies to make my own version of what I saw: burlap, (you can use fabric or ribbon), white linen, and nylon, (any color- I bought silver and peach). Check the sale shelves. Everything I needed was there for just a couple dollars, and I still have plenty left to make more! I cut about 3" wide strips of burlap, long enough to tie in a big knot around the middle of my lamp shade. Then I cut a strip of linen, (unmeasured and uneven), and a strip of nylon, (unmeasured and uneven) and tied those into the knot of burlap. Now it adds a bit of interest and texture against  the all white bedding and shelves!

At my sale 2 weeks ago I had numerous inquiries about my lamps which I had out just for some mood lighting, but they were not for sale. I will definitely be selling this at my next sale since they sparked a lot of interest!

Next order of business is filling vases with faux flowers. If you go to Michaels or A.C. Moore, they have entire walls of rocks, glass beads and sand in every color, not to mention moss in various shades of green; there is no shortage of ways to fill a vase around faux flowers. However, these items can be somewhat costly sometimes, or you might just have 3 young children whom you don't feel like spending 30 minutes loading up into the car and trying to keep relatively quiet as you navigate the impossibly narrow aisles of the craft store. ;o) Both of these reasons made me scratch my head and think about what I had here at home that I could use to fill a vase with faux flowers. Then it came to me: PUZZLES! Husband and I have a fantastic puzzle collection as we used to enjoy putting jigsaw puzzles together each winter BC, (Before Children). We haven't put a single puzzle together since having our babes, so what to do with our puzzles now? Pour one in a vase and show it off!

This was one of my favorite little decor ideas. We had only lived in our house for a few months and I had no budget $ left for various decor items I still wanted, (but really didn't NEED), for our home. It's free, it's interesting, it gets people talking and it 'goes' with any decor. Next time your puzzled about a centerpiece, crack open a puzzle!

More DIYs to come in the future but those might give you a little inspiration to get you through the week at least! :) Be sure to let me know if you try them out or have any other ideas regarding lamp decor or faux flower displays!

February 17, 2012

Dresser turned Quaint Entertainment Center

If you are here to see a dresser transformed into an entertainment center, please see this post with a much better transformation!!! The one below is the first one I ever tried and not the quality I expect from myself and my business these days. On that note, please enjoy my first ever try  at using a dresser as an entertainment center. Boy, have I come a long way since this post! :)

Here's the deal: I promised the big reveal today, and it is HERE, but after I promised you I would show you today, Husband informed me that we are getting a brand spankin' new tv which will arrive this weekend. So, I am still showing you our dresser turned entertainment center today, but I might snap a few pics once the new tv is on and the whole thing looks nice and sleek all together. This might be the last 27" box tv to leave someone's home. Anyone else have a box tv out there? Anyone? Anyone?

Well anyway, here is what I picked up a few weeks ago at my trusty Goodwill:

We immediately removed the top drawer and 'defaced' it so we could still use the inside of the drawer to keep the media boxes. We also had to replace the hardware on the two lower drawers because one handle was broken. *Tip* - if you want to replace hardware for a quick makeover on any piece and you need to fill in old holes, use this:
Hardening Plastic Wood, (I like the brand Dap)

NOT this: Non-hardening Wood Puddy

The wood puddy leaves a little 'bubble' where the hole used to be, no matter how much you sand. Since it's non hardening it's very difficult to seal the hole. You want to apply a liberal amount of hardening plastic wood, wait for it to harden and then sand it down really smooth. You don't just want to sand over your filled in holes, but the entire drawer/door so you really get an even finish.
(photo before sanding)

After the sanding, painting several coats of 'Bayou', (a beautiful, neutral muddy-green), sealing with water-based Polycrylic clear gloss spray on sealer, and adding on the new hardware, this piece was ready to come inside!

The hardware was free! We will be redoing our kitchen soon, (which I will track on here), and I have already removed some of our cabinet doors. We just took the knobs from four cabinets and added them onto the drawers of the dresser.
Previously on the cabinets:

Rotated, now on the dresser:

And here are some pictures of the basement, in case you were curious:

I'm very excited to have the room looking a bit more complete with this 'new' set up for media stuff. I am always looking for dressers about this size as they are so versatile! I'm sure I'll have more posts about dresser transformations coming soon :)

Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for visiting!