Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ashleigh's Buffet

Usually I have a at least somewhat of a before picture to show of a piece I am working on. However, I don't have a fancy-schmancy camera like so many other bloggers and I use my phone. I also have two children that are crazy about Angry Birds and taking pictures with the phone camera...this leads to bad things for me. Pictures that I wanted to keep forever somehow get deleted when my little girl plays with my phone. Three completely fantastic before pictures were deleted! In their place I have lovely video of my daughters nostrils and her favorite stuffed animals singing Taylor Swift's 'Mean'. Funny yes, but not so great for the blog about said furniture piece.

Moving on, I do have a few pictures of the color that the buffet was before  I began. This is the front of one door already partially sanded

This is the large drawer sitting on top of my husbands mobile wash trailer. The trailer is a GREAT work surface for me because I'm short, but my husband absolutely hates that I use it. It is a testament to how much he loves me that he puts up with that!

This is the piece mostly primed. The weather did not cooperate for me during this time! We had a dirt storm that made the news it was so bad. So, I had to sand and pretty much start over. 

This is the dirt storm heading toward my house the day I had the buffet fully primed.

It was massive, nasty, and so gross. I cleaned my house for a few weeks afterward and found more dirt every time! So after everything was redone I got back to the fun part. The paint is a soft gray from Benjamin Moore called Smoke Embers. It was the perfect color to use on a classic piece like this.

I also painted the inside with a Valspar color I love called Atlantic Gray. It's almost a robins egg color and I thought it would make for a fantastic pop of color when you opened up the piece.
When all was said and done I think it is so much more elegant than before. The knobs and pulls of any piece are it's jewelry and can absolutely make a piece shine. That is doubly true for this buffet! The knobs are gorgeous and were totally worth the wait of being back ordered.

This is the finished buffet in its place. Ashleigh has her beautiful home all decorated for the holidays and the buffet looks perfect!

She says she falls in love with the piece more and more every day and I love knowing that I have a happy client.

Now onto the next project. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Little Things

I've needed something for my entryway for a long time. I used to have an over-sized black frame hung on that wall with nothing in it long before such a thing was fashionable.  When our son started kindergarten we needed a "command center" of sorts. A place to hang the monthly school calendar and write notes to each other about important things to remember. Needless to say the giant black frame was filled with corkboard and dry erase board. I was left with a naked entry wall. My son is now in 2nd grade so it was way past time to take care of this area. You all know how it goes though, kids, husband, and other more important things like renovating a bathroom took priority and the sad little entryway got put on the back burner. Then I got on Pinterest one day and saw an old picture from Martha Stewart of pretty yellow frames over a decorative bench. It all just fell into place. I had a bunch of frames and my mother had a bunch of frames so I thought 'why not?' it would make something sentimental out of it. I ended up with a mix of very sentimental frames like the one that held my brothers baby picture from the hospital and the very first frame I bought for my first apartment. But then I needed to fill in with some others. I didn't want all mass produced frames available anywhere so I went to antique shops. I found these frames:

After I got these  frames I was just positive I had enough to fill in the gaps. I didn't and ended up getting some smaller frames at Hobby Lobby and using them as filler after all.

After  I  got them all hung in their final place, some in their raw state or some already painted from a different idea, I had to come up with a color scheme. This went through many phases but what I ended up with was great!

All primed

This is what I have ended up with. I sprayed them all front and back with flat white spray paint and then glazed them with Valspar's asphaltum. I'm so glad they all turned out just the way I wanted them. 


The frames I purchased now have some sentimentality to them as well. I just love looking up at the wall and seeing frames from my parents and frames from my first place and knowing that there is history there. It may seem corny to some, but it's those littlest of things that make a place feel like home to me. When I look around my home I'm finally starting to see the same type things that  I loved growing up.The small things that make you feel warm and cozy, the love poured into the home, kids drawings on the fridge. I hope I'm instilling these same things in my own children. That one day they will look back and be able to see and feel all the little things.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jade's Desk and Chair

Okay, so a while back I did a post on a little accent table that resulted from tearing the top off a table I adored. This is the 'sister post' to that post. The table that I adored the legs on needed a function in my house. I had originally seen it in my living room somewhere, but I just couldn't make it fit in. I HAD to use this piece! It was my favorite piece I had gotten from my mother-in-law this summer. I was about to sacrifice building my entry bench and just using the table there, when I had another bright idea. I had just put a small desk on hold at a local antique shop for my daughters room. I loved it but was going to have to pay it out in three payments. I suddenly thought to myself that this table would make such a cute desk in my daughter's room. So there it was, my idea completely gelled and the lovely ladies at the antique store were very kind about letting me out of my deal with them (I'm fairly certain it's because I buy a ton of stuff from them). So I got started! The original top was very worn and had a center seam. After I ripped that top off I made one half into a table for me and one half into a table for a friend. So now I had these awesome legs and no top...what to do?

I went to my father for brainstorming ideas and this is what we came up with to make a top on the cheap. Get two 1x10's and use biscuits to join them and make a seamless top. We honestly couldn't figure out the type of wood the table legs were. There were so many layers of finishes and even some stripper that had been allowed to dry on the piece. We ended up saying that it didn't really matter since I was painting it anyway and we went with a beautiful piece of poplar.

This is cut to size and glued with biscuits

All dry and now I am filling the seam with wood filler so the top will look completely seamless

Me trimming off the rough ends before tracing the pattern on the top. After the pattern was traced, I let my fathers very practiced hand take over...I was chicken and didn't want to ruin the piece and I haven't used a jigsaw all that much. So he cut out the shape and then I sanded the sucker down. It took a fair amount of sanding to make it look seamless and get it ready for the router. When it came time to make the decorative edge I went with something that looked similar to the edge of the original. This is the finished project reattached to the legs.

Next came painting and my daughter's joy when she came home from school and found she had a desk in her room. I had planned to stage the desk and make everything look fancy, but I just couldn't do it! This is how the desk looks daily. Jade is a sweetheart and uses her desk all the time and I thought it was so precious the things that she finds worthy of her desk.

Like mother like daughter right? I love that she has a Benjamin Moore stir stick in her pencil holder and paint chips from every store we enter that has them stacked in her bowl - it makes my heart happy!

I'm sneaking in this picture because I wanted everyone to see what her chair looked like the day I found it. I got this chair for $15 and then realized I paid too much! It was rickety and ended up requiring about 12 hours of work in order to tighten it up. But it was worth it in the end. I sprayed it dark purple and covered it in one of Jade's key fabrics from her room, then I repeated the same fabric on her pin board. I love it and Jade really loves it. All is well, and the baby girl now has a place to do her kindergarten homework.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Master Bedroom Lamps

After 'The Flood' this summer we had a lot of damage, and not just water damage. The workers did some damage while trying to help us out. They moved lamps while holding box cutters and sliced the shades, they ripped a bedskirt apart while moving the bed to pull up the ruined wood floor...I could go on but I won't. So here I was with all of this stuff to replace or fix. The bedskirt was pretty trashed so I just wrote it off completely. We were allotted money from insurance for the bedding and since there were box cutter slices and boot prints on the bedding as well I thought I better get to looking for something to replace it with. Well, life gets in the way of that sometimes. School supplies were bought, school clothes were bought, other projects needed to be finished and so on. Here we are almost 3 full months after the flood and we still had plain bedding and some cheap white lampshades that I bought at Target. So I went out and bought some gray cotton fabric and starting the crafting! These were the plain lampshades

These were the strips of fabric after they were hemmed and a thread was run for the hand ruffling. My mother's sewing machine has a ruffling attachment but it has never worked, so I sat and ruffled at night after the kids were in bed. I ruffled and ruffled...do NOT attempt this if you don't have a functioning ruffling attachment, it is torture!!!

Then came the gluing. I have a love/hate relationship with the hot glue gun. I love it because it is so wonderful for all of my crafts, but I burn myself pretty bad at least once every single time I use the silly thing!!!

This is what I ended up with:

Not too bad ;) I love them and it's just what I wanted. I can't wait to get the new bedding as well. On the day I had everything in place to take pictures for the blog, the old bedding officially bit the dust and I had to improvise with what I had on hand. One project down...about a million left to go!

Friday, October 7, 2011

April's Master Furniture

My friend April had seen pictures of the projects I had done, mostly for myself, and asked me if I could do her master bedroom furniture. She got it several years ago and it was still in great condition, but it was pretty dated. She was wanting to go a different direction. We talked about things and she had decided that sleek black was the way to go! So I got started. The theory here was to tackle the hardest piece first and then move on to the easier and smaller pieces. So I started with the armoire. Knotty pine had to be sanded, sealed the knots as best as could, then primed. This piece ended up being a learning process for me. I had done lots of furniture before, I had even painted black before, I had NOT tried to do flat black on knotty pine! Even primed it was crazy hard and showed brush marks. I had tried my sprayer first and learned quickly that I have a horrible sprayer and will hopefully be getting an awesome one soon! But all things aside the pieces turned out great!

The Armoire


The Nightstands



The Bed


The Dresser



Her space looks fabulous and she was very happy with her furniture makeover!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Desk

I had previously posted about this project on my personal blog, but since I feel it shows just how dramatic a makeover can be for a piece of furniture, I just had to post it here as well. I LOVE my projects, they make me happy. For the longest time (seriously it was 8.5 years), we had the ugliest desk known to man. It was a corner desk, which I hate anyway because of their total disregard for space, but it was also particle board laminated with a wood grain picture on top for the body of the desk and flat black for the tops and shelves. Can you say YUCK??? All the storage for the desk was open and because of my love of projects and the fact that I'm a busy mom and keep other people's children as well, the mess was very visible to everyone that walked into our bedroom. This is what it looked like almost contantly!

And sadly enough this was pretty clean since it was the day the desk was scheduled for death, I had already de-cluttered the top section! I don't like mess. I like clean! So I scoured the internet and looked in antique stores and searched until I thought I would lose my mind. No one had the perfect desk, or rather an affordable perfect desk. I found great desks for about $900 - $1500, but I just couldn't justify spending the money on that. I wanted a fantastic desk that I could store everything in and have great functionality out of. Finally, one day while I was on Craigslist looking for an entirely different project, I happened upon an ad for a desk. It was ridiculously ugly, but listed as a solid wood desk for $80. I thought, "okay then, I can work with that!" So I called the lady up and set up a time to go look at it. It was in a not so good part of town so I called in my father and his truck to go with me. We went, and the desk was NOT solid wood. It was mostly MDF with some wood, it had been altered, and a wood grain formica had been put on the top. I hummed and hawed and talked it over with my dad for a few minutes. I mean, how practical would this purchase be? But, I just couldn't pass up the storage or the price so I went for it! This is what it looked like.

I got the thing home and sanded the formica top to rough it up a bit for the paint. I used a great primer and sprayed the whole thing. I do not have a great sprayer so I decided after the primer I was going to go with a good old fashioned paint brush and some foam rollers. It went great! I changed out the hardware and gave the desk some nice jewelry with glass pulls and a gleaming custom glass top! The desk, paint, pulls, and top all together cost $257, most of which went to the custom glass top. I'd say that is money well spent ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ashleigh's Table

 After doing a few projects for friends and constantly posting about my own on facebook, I got a call from another friend about a project. Ashleigh had this computer armoire that didn't quite live up to what she wanted, so she asked me for some advice. We ended up meeting at her house to talk about it and one piece of furniture slowly escalated into several! Yay for me, but it would definitely keep me busy for quite some time! After we had discussed all the pieces up for makeovers, she decided she wanted her dining table done first. So, I picked colors and all decisions were made very quickly and very easily. We were clicking right along. The table is a big one 80"L x 39.5"W x 32H fixed...no leaves. After a much needed trip to Vegas with the hubby and some awesome friends (Yay again!), it was back home and time to get started on this project. My very awesome husband went with me to pick up the table and get it into our garage. This is the table the night I brought it home


This is what I call a gorgeous piece of furniture! The lines of this table are just about perfection to me. I love the chunky size and the turned legs. I love the farmhouse appeal and the nice solid top. But, it needed some love. The red paint is faded and not the direction Ashleigh was wanting to go. First things first though...repair! I filled gouges and cracks and glued the apron back in a couple of places and for a while I had a lovely polka dotted table

Fabulous huh ;) A necessary step to get to where I wanted to be though.There was a lot of sanding involved and then more sanding involved after I did a primer coat. But finally I got to the fun part. The table was painted it's final colors and ready for it's new decorative accents. It looked pretty terrific just like this

But, as you can see it has more plans ahead! This is when my heart started pounding like crazy and my stomach started churning. Could I do this? Would it look okay? How much bleeding would there be under the tape? It's so high contrast, this could go so wrong so extremely fast! So I dove in and just went for it, with a really steady hand by the way.

I was scared to death! But the paint had to dry for 6 hours before I could do the second coat and check my tapes. Argh!!!! So immediately after the second coat, I very painstakingly took off the tapes.

Would you look at that!!! Yes, three exclamation points on that because it is the best paint line EVER! I started breathing again finally, it had been a while! This is the finished product and it is so awesome. Ashleigh was thrilled. It's always good to have a happy customer! Now for the next piece :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So we've been in our house for 6 years now and slowly but surely I have gone through and really tried to make it our own. I've ripped out walls and put in new cabinetry, changed carpet to wood, and vinyl to ceramic or stone. Hopefully what I have now will appeal to a new buyer eventually, but it has certainly made things easier, more functional, and nicer looking for us! I'm just going to share a few pictures of what I have done so far. The first thing that had to be taken care of was the kitchen, it was too small and didn't function well for a family of four! But I'm now making changes to it again so I'll post pics of that later. The second thing I did was paint the hallway between the kids bedrooms. When I started all of the walls in my house were plain white (I needed color), but there was also this horrible arch. I like a good arch...a GOOD arch, mine was not. It wasn't executed all that well to begin with and the hallway is small so it blocked natural light and made the white hallway seem dark and even smaller. So the arch had to go!
(That's my awesome dad - he helps me execute all this)

This is all prepped for the sheetrock and texture

Base Coat - 
The paint was great but I still wanted something more. So after taping and painting, and taping and painting, and taping and painting some more I finally got what I wanted! Color, pattern, and LOTS of interest!
I love the way the light hits all the different finishes!