DIY IN THE WORKS…

Do you ever have those projects that just seem to take forever? Or rather, those projects that you seem to take forever to get to? I have a handful of projects that I have been working on bit by little bit, sometimes over a period of months. And these projects are not huge, overwhelming, or time-consuming by any means. Quite the contrary, in fact! They are the so-simple-I’ll-get-to-them-later kind of projects.

Let me give you a few examples:

Piano Bench Unfinished

I sanded down this piano bench and painted the base in ASCP Old White almost a year ago. The top opens, which I have painted in a lovely pop of orange. I simply need to paint a final layer of orange, lightly sand it, wax the base, stain the top, and viola! Done in 30 minutes. Yet there it remains – still unfinished.

Large Window Mirror unfinished

Or how about this large weathered window? I have every intention of transforming this sucker into a mirror, which simply requires cut mirror panes, glazier points, a little bit of caulk, and an hour of my time. Yet there it still hangs – as a window frame.

Chalkboard Unfinished

And this soon-to-be chalkboard was cut and fashioned into a frame a few weeks ago. It simply needs a few layers of chalkboard paint on the board and a weathered stain on the frame. What am I waiting for?!

And finally….

Curtains Unfinished

The dreaded curtains! I plan to transform this adorable material into stagecoach curtains, which required very little sewing, a little stapling (to a board that will attach the curtains to the top of the window), and the drilling of two little holes to hang the whole piece. This project has been a over year in the making. Oh my.

Needless to say, I can be a bit of a procrastinator! But I have challenged myself to complete these projects (and a handful of others that I didn’t share) over the next month. You can expect to see them pop up in future DIY posts!

How about you – are you a procrastinator like me? What projects do you have in the works?

DIY THURSDAY: ANTIQUED EMERALD SIDE TABLE…

Well, I’m obviously a little late in the game today. After my post on the 2013 color of the year, I felt inspired to add a little emerald to my own life and had the perfect piece to begin my experiment. Unfortunately, that piece took a bit more sanding, filling, and gluing than initially expected! I’ve spent the last day and a half refurbishing a piece that should have taken no more than a few hours. But it was fun, nevertheless, and kept me entertained far into the night last night.

Side Table Unfinished

You can see how beat up the table was!

A large chunk of the laminate was peeling off, so I tore the whole thing off and power sanded the top:

Side Table Sanded

I then used a quarter of a bottle of wood glue and almost an entire bottle of wood filler fixing and filling miscellaneous cracks and holes! Once the glue and filler were fully dry, I wiped down the entire piece and finally began painting the base layer in Annie Sloan’s Graphite

Side Table Graphite

(It was getting dark and cold outside so I had to lug the table into the warmth of my home for the paint to dry!)

With the base coat on and without any sanding between coats, I began applying Valspar’s Green Suede…

Side Table Green Suede

Emerald loveliness!

A single coat of the Green Suede over the Graphite actually looked fabulous – something I’ll keep in mind for the next project! – but I had a different vision with this piece so I applied a second coat, allowed it to fully dry, lightly distressed with 180-grit sandpaper, and then started applying the wax.

First, I used a small amount of Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax (just my preference these days, but any clear wax will do!), allowed it to sit for about 3 minutes, and then applied Annie Sloan’s dark wax. As usual, I always work in small sections using the dark wax, brushing on, and then buffing off with another coat of clear wax.

After the table was fully waxed and buffed, I decided to add in a little gold (you can’t go wrong with emerald and gold!) so I spray painted the drawer pull and also added a bit of gold paint detail…

Side Table Macro

And voila!

Side Table Complete

Side Table Macro 2

I love its style and the pop of color it brings. And as much as I’d love to keep it for myself…I have no more space in my house for miscellaneous furniture pieces! So come January, this little gem (get it??) will be in my space out in Greenwood.

LINKED TO:

HookingupwithHoHKatie's Nesting Spotshabby creek cottageMade in a DayFurniture Feature FridaysFrench Country CottageCast Party Wednesday

DIY THURSDAY: ENTERTAINMENT UNIT REDO.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have gotten a peek of my entertainment unit redo last night. I think I let my excitement get ahead of me!

It’s quite amazing how easily a quick paint job can change the dynamic of an entire room. Initially, the entertainment unit was the monstrosity in the room – The Big Black Box was the focal point indeed:Living Room TV

I’ve been wanting to paint this sucker the moment we brought it into this house, and after finally convincing the husband that it was a go, I also had to convince him to unplug all the cables and go without TV for a couple of days, and it just so happened that it was during the SEC and NFL games. Oops…

But the weather was cooperating – almost 70 degrees! – and I could wait no longer. So we lugged it outside and I immediately went to work.

First, I removed the backing, shelving, and doors, and then sanded the entire piece down just to rough it up a bit in order to give the paint something to hold on to. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the majority of the piece, which typically requires little to no sanding, but I wanted avoid applying a half dozen layers!

Entertainment Unit Sanded

I then applied a thick layer of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen to avoid any seepage of black when applying the Old White.

Entertainment Unit French Linen

Once this base layer was dry, I gave it an allover light sand with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth it down, and then began applying the Old White.

Entertainment Unit White

I applied two layers of Old White on the exterior and just a quick layer of the white on the interior and again, used 220-grit to smooth things out. *Typically, you do not need to sand between layers. Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint is meant to give that hand-painted and matted affect for that distressed and aged look that everyone loves so much. I wanted to go for only a very light distress, however. Sanding with high grit paper allows for a smoother surface and offers a very light sheen rather than a matted finish.

Once the Old White was fully dry, I painted the interior in a custom blue using Louis Blue and Old White.

Unfortunately, at this point, I noticed the weather becoming a little less cooperative – a large and dark rain cloud was blowing in – so I quickly finished up with the blue, allowed the paint to fully dry, lightly distressed the edges using 150-grit paper, and then lugged the piece inside. (And in my hurry, I forgot to take the remaining pictures!)

In between bouts of rain, I painted the backing in my custom blue, the doors in yet another custom and slightly lighter blue, and the shelves in Old White. And finally, once everything was dry, I lugged the unit back outside to spray the top and interior in a crystal clear enamel to give it a tough, protective finish (I knew the top and interior would get a bit of a beating over the years, so I wanted to avoid the waxed finish).

Finally, I left the putting back together of the unit to the hubby while I basked in my accomplishment. Once things were in working order, I added some ribbon detail to the doors, and here it is today…

Entertainment Unit Styled

Entertainment Unit Macro

Entertainment Unit Styled 2

Better, don’t you think? It really blends into the room and brightens things up! I’ve added a few more touches of blue throughout the room to tie it all together and now feel much more at home. It’s amazing what a little paint can do!

Linked to:

Furniture Feature FridaysCherished Bliss

AND THE HOLIDAY DÉCOR CONTINUES…

This weekend will be the main holiday decorating event, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you a few vignettes I’ve thrown together…

Dining Mantle

Joy to the World Wreath

Dining Centerpiece

Boxwood Doubled

Dining Buffet

Rosemary Tree

Living Room Window

Noel

I love Christmas and readily partake of the Christmas spirit, but I also like to keep things sweet and simple. I’m lucky enough to have a fir tree and a holly tree in my backyard, so I take advantage of these during the holidays by keeping things fairly natural. A few garlands, wreaths, bulbs, holly and fir stems, ribbon, and a couple of handmade pieces thrown in for good measure, and I’m golden!

How about you? Do you like splurging on the holiday decoration, or do you like to keep things simple?

ps….can’t wait to share the entertainment unit redo with you tomorrow!

LINKED TO:

Cherished Bliss

 

A VERY MERRY GIFT GUIDE: FOR HIM (& SOME HOLIDAY BLING!)

Well, it’s that time again! Panic is settling in and I am wracking my brain on what to get everyone for Christmas. Aside from my vow not to procrastinate on the gift buying…my husband and I will be travelling to NYC a little early this year to spend Christmas with his family, so really – I don’t even have the opportunity to procrastinate much more than I already have!

I have the hardest time shopping for the boys of the family. Not children, mind you, but grown men that can have a bit of a boy mentality (don’t they all??). But somehow, I need to find gifts for 6 grown men that already have everything they could possibly want.

In my desperate search, this is what I’ve come up with:

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Gift Guide For Him

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Aside from shopping, I’m also working on my Christmas décor…slowly but surely! We’ll finally be getting the tree this weekend and I have every intention of making a big day of it. We’ll be chopping our own tree this year, and much celebration and eggnog will follow – I’m so looking forward too sharing pictures of the aftermath!

I also plan on creating a garland for our mantles this weekend, but I already started on the details…

Glitter Fruit

I’ll have a little sparkle woven into my garland this year! All you need is adhesive spray, glitter of your choice, a few plastic fruit pieces, and voila!

Glitter Fruit Unfinished

You’ve got yourself some bling. Just be sure to place newspaper down before the glittering begins – it can get messy!

So tell me, how is your decorating coming along? Are you ahead of the game or are you only just beginning?

THE BIG BLACK BOX–REVISED…

If you refer all the way back to this post, you’ll recall just how much I hate my entertainment unit. My husband bought it when we were in our previous and much more modern apartment in DC, but now that we are in our 1918 farmhouse style home, it simply clashes…with everything.

Living Room TV

The Big Black Box

While I couldn’t throw the piece out the door as was my initial instinct, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands with paintbrush and a few cans of paint.

I still have a few finishing touches, but here is a sneak peak:

Entertainment Unit Peek

Pictures and tutorial coming Thursday (oh, the suspense…)!

It still boggles my mind that it is next to impossible to actually find pictures of a television styled in a home. Although, I suppose it does make perfect sense – who really wants to see a towering and overbearing TV in the glossy pages of a magazine? But the reality of it is, we all have one. And if you happen to have a husband that enjoys football, you probably have a very large one! Truly, it’s impossible to hide so one must make do…

I think Miss Mustard Seed was the first to post a full frontal photo of an enormous TV setup that I actually liked:

She’s simply amazing, isn’t she?

I’ve come across a few interesting options since, so for those of you like me that have to live with the dreaded Big Black Box, this is for you!

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Offset your TV on a large console with oversized art.

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Frame your TV within a mantle piece. Or, if the TV is too large for a mantle (like mine) find or build a large, gilded frame to contain it.

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Just put it all out there on an oversized easel!

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Built-ins are your friend.

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Or just stick it in a corner.

What do you think? How do you integrate and style your own “Big Black Box?” Pictures and ideas would be appreciated!

KITCHEN UPDATE + THIS CHICK’S HAD IT!

I  hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I had quite the productive one, but I still only finished a quarter of what I wanted to accomplish! With my entire family coming into town in just a couple of days, and only a small house to contain them all, I am doing my darndest to get things organized, finish up last minute projects, clean, and get as much food prepped as possible. Whew (and I’m sure many of ya’ll are in the same boat and feeling my pain!)!

My husband and I also decided to take on a new project over the weekend. Remember this kitchen…

Kitchen 2012

Well, we finally decided to repaint it per the upper right hand corner sample color – Benjamin Moore in Silver Sage. I was hemming and hawing over the color for a while, but I’m actually thrilled with the outcome – it really brightens up the kitchen, brings the outdoors in, and makes certain pieces pop:

Kitchen Repainted 2012

Kitchen Updated 2012

I also added a little character that expresses my sentiment exactly…

Amen!

Amen!

What do you think? Do you like the new color (Team Kristen) or do you prefer the original brick-ish red like my husband (Team Tom)?

ps….I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just 2.5 days away! Are you as stressed as I am?

A SNEAK PEEK, AND MORE SHARING OF THE LOVE…

First, I want to give you an itty bitty sneak peak into a living room update that is currently in the works…

Pier 1 Basket

I’m actually not a huge fan of Pier 1 these days, but while browsing for a new throw blanket, I stumbled across this adorable basket and just had to snatch it up as a replacement to my decade old Ikea magazine holder. Seriously, it was about time…and I love it!

I also snagged a furniture piece at Charlottesville’s premier vintage/antique store, Circa, that I am refinishing. If you’re ever out and about here in good ole C-Ville, this is a highly recommended stop. It’s almost impossible to leave without a handful of goodies!

And finally….remember this guy?

Living Room TV

The dreaded Big Black Box!

While I haven’t yet managed to convince my husband to toss the entertainment unit out the window, I have convinced him to let me refinish it – one must pick their battles, I suppose, and this was the compromise.

I hope to have the living room updated by the end of this weekend. And starting this evening, I will also be repainting my kitchen so I have a busy few days ahead of me! I can’t wait to share the updates with you next week.

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Now on to sharing of the love because really, I have so much to share!

1. I’ve been a fan of City Farmhouse for quite some time. Jennifer’s style is impeccable and her home is full of vintage charm and classic style. It’s refreshing, comfortable, and livable, which is what I find to be most important.

I also happen to be in love with these refinished chairs. You can find the tutorial here!

(Thanks Jennifer, for the sweet comment and friendly advice!)

2. Ever hear “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Well, you’ll find that Jessica over at Dear Emmeline is a trash pickin’ machine! And indeed, she turns trash into treasures. Her most recent transformation is absolutely lovely – I love the gold gild she applied to the details:

Here are a few other examples of her work:

Painted with her very own chalk paint recipe!

(Thanks Jessica, for all of the amazing comments and encouragement you’ve left for me!).

3. Susan over at Uniquely Yours or Mine is another fellow trash picker and has quite a few amazing furniture for sale as we speak (and at exceptional prices)!

$225

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$185

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Want to see more? Go to her “for sale” page here or find her at the Ashland Vintage Holiday Market!

(Good luck Susan!)

Have a great weekend ya’ll!

DIY THURSDAY: GIVING THANKS.

With the holidays very quickly approaching, I thought it an excellent idea to offer an inspirational tutorial for a gift any “hostess with the mostest” would adore.

I strongly believe that one can never have too many bread boards. Seriously. Not only do they offer a multitude of serving opportunities, they are fabulous as home décor: to be hung, piled, filed, and everything in between. You can paint them in chalk board paint to serve as a menu board, you can convert them into trays, you can use them in floral and fruit arrangements – truly, the possibilities are endless!

pretty!French inspired

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So whenever I come across vintage breadboards on my picking adventures, I immediately snatch them up (and always on such a dime!). Of course, “vintage” tends to come with a bit of wear and tear so needless to say, a little TLC is necessary with these purchases…

First and foremost, you need to sand the suckers down! I started with my electrical sander on the flat surfaces and then hand sanded with 150-grit sandpaper along the edges and corners.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take “before” pictures prior to the sanding, but here are the boards post sanding:

Bread Boards Sanded

Once the boards were sanded to their original grain, I washed them with soap and hot water and let them fully dry before sanding again with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth down any raised grain. I then wiped each board down with a damp cloth to remove the dust and then began staining.

*Now, with bread boards it is important to use food-safe oils such as teak oil, danish oil, mineral oils, or designated butcher block oils that cure IN the wood rather than ON the wood. I chose a butcher block oil for the larger board and a danish oil in a medium walnut stain for the smaller board.

And when applying these oils, I like to use a small a small chip brush – you can purchase an entire pack for only a few dollars at your local hardware store – but this is merely a preference and a clean, soft cloth will work just as well.

Here are the boards with one coat of oil:

Bread Boards Stained

It is also important to note the drying time for any oil that you use as the boards ARE NOT food safe until the distillates are FULLY cured. This can take days or even weeks so please be sure to read the instructions fully and carefully!

Once the boards have cured, you’re done!

Bread Boards Complete

Simply wrap them as you see fit, slip in a card, and voila! The perfect hostess gift.

Bread Boards Bundled

For an additional challenge, or if you’re flea market search doesn’t pan out, you can also consider making your own!

Want to add a few cheeses to go along with the bread boards (because who doesn’t love cheese?!)? Be sure to refer to Joanna’s handy, dandy cheese guide and you can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

BRAINSTORMING: KITCHEN RENOVATION…

I’m sure I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions the love/hate relationship I have with my kitchen. It’s cute, but in an adorably dirty little kid kind of way. Yeah, it’s small, it’s in need of a new paint job and a good scrub, it desperately needs more cabinet and counter space, and frankly, it’s just a bit embarrassing.

I’m not kidding! Take a peek for yourself…

Kitchen 2012

Eek!

Obviously, per the upper right corner, we will be repainting very soon – as soon as my husband and I can actually agree on a color….(he actually loves the color the kitchen currently is, but considering that I spend far more time in it than he does, I put  my foot down and demanded something a little more mellow!).

Kitchen Window

This window is one of the rare things I love about the kitchen. It brings in so much natural light and manages to keep me fairly entertained while I cook.

Kitchen Pantry

But this is where things truly begin to go downhill – oh, the horror! I love open cabinets otherwise, and our kitchen has many of them, but this pantry needs to be behind closed doors, period.

Needless to say, a renovation is necessary, so over the last few months, I’ve been collecting ideas that we could incorporate into this less than ideal kitchen. Here are a few things that I found:

Kitchen Changes

Images via here and here.

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Images via here and here.

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Image via here.

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Image via here.

With this in mind, let’s go back to the current state of my kitchen with a few plans written in…

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With a roof to replace and a studio shed to build, we are probably going to renovate a little at a time, starting with the painting and the bead board, but I’m certain even that tiny bit will go a long way!

What do you think – good start? Any suggestions?