paint

guest room before after

I’m mostly German, but my husband has Scandinavian in his blood, and as I began looking around at ideas for our guest room, I kept coming back to the simple, clean lines and white, with touches of red that I found online. Here’s the board I started.

It was such an antidote to the conglomeration of leftovers that had been put in there.guest room from hallway

You know how it is. You have a room. It needs stuff. So you grab what you have and throw it together. There’s no shame in that – that’s life!

But after several years of beige walls and mismatched furniture, it was time for a change.

Here’s the BEFORE tour.

IMG_7497 IMG_7498 IMG_7503 IMG_7502 IMG_7501 IMG_7500 IMG_7499

Doesn’t exactly scream, “welcome to our house! relax!”

So I went to work.

First, time to lose the beige walls. I went for Nano White from the Home Decorators paint collection at the Home Depot.

IMG_7507

Since I was doing this room on a budget, I found a headboard on Craigslist. It was bad 60’s brown, fake wood, and the perfect candidate to paint a nice semi-gloss black.

IMG_7521

I knew the room needed help in the lighting department. I love the look of wall sconces, so I chose almost-black, swing-arm, plug-in sconcesIMG_7544 IMG_7547 IMG_7576

For the remaining furniture, besides the bed, I shopped from around the house, or bought second-hand. I used an old pair of end tables that used to be in my living room two houses ago, as the nightstands. As luck would have it, they were already black.IMG_7594 IMG_7597

The antique dresser was handed down from my husband’s aunt and uncle. The mirror used to be in our dining room, in our last house.

I picked up the vintage wood luggage rack at a flea market for about $20, and found a small bench at the World’s Longest Yard Sale for $6. Both needed a makeover to fit into the black, white, and red color scheme.guest room bench in progress

I picked up the great suzani fabric from Online Fabric Store a while back, and had enough to make the two curtain panels as well as cover the small bench seat.

curtain panel fixed

IMG_7570 IMG_7571

I gave the mismatched picture frames a cohesive coat of black paint. and got some black curtain tiebacks.

IMG_7536 IMG_7543

For the bedding, I reused a plain white quilt I had. I found some red striped sheets at HomeGoods, as well as the map throw pillow. I used a needle and thread to add a small heart over our hometown. IMG_7580 IMG_7585The grain sack pillows were a find from the Country Living fair in Columbus, OH, last year. (Highly recommend going sometime – great stuff!) I also found a red throw blanket on clearance at Pottery Barn.

IMG_7553

The bed skirt I found at Target on clearance, and it was about an inch or so too long, so it was bunching up on the floor. I put it on the bed, and pinned to where it needed to be hemmed, then did a simple straight stitch all the way around with my sewing machine. IMG_7569 IMG_7581

Now for the finishing touches.  I had a piece of reclaimed lumber that someone had given me. IMG_7542I painted a little message for our guests on it, added a sawtooth hanger to the back and hung it up. I also grabbed a set of wall hooks from the home improvement store, so people have somewhere to hang their purse, hat, keys, whatever. I hung both over the painted luggage rack. guest room wall hooks

guest room corner

Also from the Country Living fair, came this adorable little tin with a chalkboard inside. I put our wi-fi info on it and hung it up.IMG_7549

The walls still needed a little something so I pulled out a great, neutral boat pic that I’ve had forever, and hung it opposite the bed.IMG_7583

OK…Are you ready for the AFTER tour? Let’s do it!guest room tour1

guest room tour2

guest room tour3

guest room tour4

guest room tour5

guest room tour6

guest room tour7

guest room tour8

One last word on pulling this room together. Picking out lighting, bedding, decorative touches, and fabric took me over a year, easily. Did I get frustrated that making this room over was taking SO LONG? Sometimes. But I live in the real world. I do what I can, when I can, with as much DIY and fiscal sense as I can. That’s how we roll. It’s easy to go online and see a reveal post, and think the process is faster or easier for other people. Making things better, making them beautiful takes time, money, and energy. What combination of those things it takes will be a little different for everyone.  I’ve learned to be OK with that.

guest room before collage

guest room after collage

We’ve had several friends and family members stay here since the makeover, and all have slept well. So I’m calling the room a success.   :-) Thanks so much for stopping by!

guest room before after

Anne

 

 

 

 

Read more

cabinetdoorsDIY

I’ve corrupted my Dad.
A while back, he was at my house helping me on a project. We finished up and he left. About 10 seconds later, he called.
“Anne, there’s a bunch of kitchen cabinet door samples out on the curb. Do you want ’em?” he asked.
“Heck yeah I want ’em!”
(He has not been doing this his whole life… What can I say? 😉
The samples were sitting outside a small kitchen design shop right around the corner from my house. They were discontinued so the owner was throwing them out.
Dad asked if it would be ok if we took them. The owner kind of gave him that look (you know the look, right? I bet you’ve gotten it yourself before) and said he didn’t mind.
20140514-144437.jpgThere were about 15 or so and they were heavier than I thought but Dad took every last one.

I knew right away – they’d be perfect for a project I had in mind.

Our fridge is stainless steel and I don’t like the mess of taping stuff on it so that leaves me with no good place to hang the kids’ school papers and art work.

20140514-144742.jpgI got out my HomeRight Finish Max paint sprayer and took a couple cabinet doors outside. This was my first time using the sprayer, and I found it easy.

IMG_8493I used the viscosity cup and realized very quickly that the primer and paint I was using was WAY too thick. (You fill the cup with your paint. If it takes longer than X number of seconds to empty, it’s too thick. The little chart is right on the directions. )

No biggie. I thinned both with water and was ready to rock and roll.

IMG_2725

IMG_2726

IMG_2727

IMG_2728

I used water based primer and regular old white semi-gloss latex.

(I also did a little bench at the same time.  That’s probably one of my best tips.  Gather up a group of stuff you want to paint, and spray them all at the same time. It’s NO more work than spraying one thing, and you’re already going to be cleaning up, so get as much bang for your painting buck as you can!)

IMG_2729 IMG_2730

Easy peasy. The sprayer was easy to use and I didn’t even mind the cleanup – everything washed up easily.

IMG_2731 IMG_2732 IMG_2733

You can also see that I had a large piece of cardboard under my things. If you’re doing small pieces, definitely try this. You can grab the cardboard and turn everything easily so you can be sure to spray from all angles. If you have enough extension cord to walk around, that’s fine, but I didn’t so this was a big help.

IMG_2736

I picked up these metal bulldog clips from the office supply store, and with my drill, added a pilot hole to each sample where I wanted my papers to hang.

I decided to spray my clips to match my boards.IMG_2738

Then I screwed one clip right into the door on each sample so it was nice and secure.  Once the paint was dry, I flipped the samples over, secured the doors shut, and added picture wire for hanging. I used a little black craft paint to put my children’s names on them.cabinetdoorsDIY

I am thrilled with how these turned out!

They are part of a kitchen wall re-do, that also includes my Pottery Barn office organizer, a little DIY embroidery hoop art, some sticker charts, and up high, a yard sale wall shelf with rotating display space.

If you don’t have access to kitchen cabinet door samples (although I have to believe if you contact a retailer, they might hook you up), you could easily recreate the look with some plywood and a little decorative trim.

cabinetdoordisplay2

This was a very inexpensive project that solved a problem for us while maintaining the aesthetic I want in a space we use ALL the time – isn’t that just the best?

discardeddoorscollageNow the kids love to have their special piece of art or good school paper hung in a place of honor.
I’m so glad I taught my Dad not to pass up the potential you can find on the side of the road! Thanks, Dad!

(And thanks HomeRight! They provided me with the sprayer. All opinions and comments are mine.)

XO,

Anne

20140514-145004.jpg

20140514-145040.jpg

 

Read more

00D0D_jve66OVsrgg_600x450

Hi friends!

Once upon a time I asked some of my Facebook peeps if they’d like to have a post on what I’d buy on Craigslist done in their cities. To my utter shock, people jumped at the offer!

So better late than never, per the request of Heather from Queen of Everything, we are off to the Dallas/Fort Worth area!

1. If you’re in the market for a piece to reupholster, but you kind of, well, don’t really know what you’re doing yet, you need a guinea pig piece. I nominate this one.

Adorable, right? And ten bucks! Get a good staple gun, some cute fabric, and get ready to YouTube your brains out.

You can SO do this. And, as a bonus, I also nominate this cute ottoman/footstool to become your new chair’s partner in crime.

And since you asked so nicely, here’s my pick for a fabric to upholster them both:

If that doesn’t scream “Spring!” I don’t know what does. Happy dance!

2. I’ve never picked a quilt rack before, but this has a few things going for it.

It’s got very pretty legs, known as “barley twist” which is something I’d never heard of before Heather said she liked that style of furniture. You’ve got expensive taste, girl, because everything I found that was called “barley twist” had several zeros behind the list price!  This little gal is only $45, and would make a charming addition to a guest room or family room. It’s been painted a bright white, and looks like it’s lightly distressed. Hope you like it, Heather!

3. What a great deal on a bright chair! It could be the fact that I’m plotting a redo of my guest room in red and white, and this chair would be perfect, but I just think this is so cute!

It’s currently on the Pier1 website for $80, so this, my friends, is a true steal!
Put it in your entry (like this one) for an instant pick-me-up.

4.  Maybe you have an old light fixture you want to switch out.  I think this wicker pendant is adorable, and they are everywhere right now.

Remodelista compared some higher and lower end lights, but even the “steals” out there are no match for the $20 price tag on the Craigslist find! I love the idea of hanging it over the living area like this.

5. I don’t yet own any campaign-style furniture, but I sure would love to, one day. And if you would, too, then I suggest scooping up this coffee table for $20.

You can clean it up, and use it as-is. It comes with a glass top, too, which is super nice and prevents you from worrying about spills, etc.
And, you’ll get the look of this coffee table, which retails for almost $3000. Yes, there are three zeros in that price tag.

Or you could paint it a bright color, in a lacquer finish, and have a showstopper.


Painted campaign furniture can be such a stunner. 

I love the pops of brass against the colors.

So there you have it. My picks for you crafty, thrifty, awesome Texans out there.  And here’s the disclaimer I always feel the need to include in my Craigslist posts.  I’ve been buying and selling from Craigslist for years. I have yet to have a problem. I always use my common sense. Take a friend or relative with you (especially the large, male type if you have one.) If a piece is small enough, you can ask to meet in a public spot, like a well-lit grocery store parking lot.  Be careful. Be safe.  And have fun.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this!
If you would like to see more of these kinds of posts, you can catch me at these spots:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram

XO,
Anne

Read more

IMG_0887

Hi friends!

I recently had a classmate from high school contact me. She was expecting her first baby, and had a rocking chair she wanted refinished.  This is what it looked like when I got it.  It looked like someone had previously stripped it. So it needed a good sanding before I could get started.

 It has this beautiful carved detail on the back, but the carvings are not in wood.  It looked like plaster, or something similar, and had cracks throughout.  I didn’t worry too much about the cracks.  I think it added to the charm of this piece.

 I think there have been a lot of babies rocked in this chair.  It was passed down through my client’s husband’s family.

My client/classmate was not finding out the baby’s gender, and wanted a bright, bold color that would work for either a boy or a girl.
We decided to go for a color like Annie Sloan’s Emperor’s Silk. It’s been a long time since I painted anything red.  In fact, it had been long enough that I had somewhat forgotten (OK, really completely forgotten) how HARD red can be!  I wanted to give my local Sherwin Williams a shot. So I chose SW Positive Red in their All Surface Enamel (Acrylic Latex in Satin finish).
Here’s what it looked like at first. Uh Oh. Someone forgot to get a tinted primer.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to the paint counter I go.
One can of pink primer later (they tinted it as dark as they could – thank you to my trusty old Home Depot paint folks) things were looking better. You can see where I added the primer, on the right side. On the left, you can see how transparent the red went on.  Yikes.

In order to achieve the deep, rich red in this paint, the base has to be translucent. Which means the paint is not opaque.  Which means you have to keep adding coats, and adding coats, and adding coats.

Which is exactly what I did.
So… 17 coats of red paint later…..

Positive Red was actually looking positively great.
I wish I could tell you there was some other way.  I can’t speak to other kinds of paint (AS Chalk Paint, etc.) but for regular old latex, that is what you can expect.
LOTS of coats.

I added a coat of wax when I felt the color was even enough.  And here we are.
Now, for the glamour shots.
:-)

 I foresee many, many snuggles happening in this chair.

There is something special about the things passed down.
Thank you to my client Jessica for trusting me with this piece.
And best wishes for that little one!

XO,
Anne

Read more

00L0L_9py7b8j3zg0_600x450

Hi Friends!

Are you in the Polar Vortex, too?

This is ridiculous.  It’s been so cold for so long, I think I’ve actually given up hope that Spring will ever come.  So, let’s think about things that are more fun.  Like furniture.  And paint.  And painting furniture. :-)

Off we go.

1. Lingerie dresser.  $75

Love what Tami from Curb Alert did for a super girly, French look.

Oui, oui! So cute.
But what if you need it for a boy’s room?  Swap out the hardware for something less frilly and go dark and numbered like this one.

2. Midcentury stuff isn’t for everyone.  But in small doses, it can really wake up a room and make it look contemporary…the stuff is wildly popular right now.  (Because of things like Exhibit A, this gorgeously staged black number from Natty by Design)

For those not sure they love it, here’s about the smallest furniture investment you can make and still get the look…a $20 desk.

I love a $20 desk, people.
This one is small enough that it will never overwhelm a space and its clean lines make it great for kids or grown ups, boys or girls.
As it turns out, Natty by Design has a knack for making awesome midcentury desks over.
Exhibit B.

Nuff said.

3. This is a great set of furniture for $150! Classic lines, and “good construction.”  can’t ask for much more than that.  (And it must be the week of the lingerie dressers)

I love a hutch. It makes great use of vertical space without the need to install shelves.  If this set looks as good in person as it does here, I’d go for it in a second.  Don’t just think you have to leave it in the bedroom, either.  I LOVE the woman who put a set, almost identical to this, in her craft room. Here’s a peek.

Ack!! Look at how awesome that is!
And check out the rest of the board for more pics of the room, including a black and white settee.  Be still, my heart…

4. It’s not often I can show you a virtual before and after with two identical items (found separately – the internet is an amazing thing sometimes.)

You know I love gossip benches, phone stands, whatever you want to call them.

I especially love the curved wood on the phone stand part and the wavy slats on the chair back. This one is $60.
If someone is interested in trying their hand at a furniture project, I think this is a great place to start. You can easily recover the seat and wa-la… have something like this!

How cool is that?!

5. Find artists and people who love furniture as much as I do. I’m seeing more and more pieces that have already been transformed, listed on CL.
Since I do very few pieces that don’t already have an owner or buyer, I think you should check them out.
People are getting out there, getting their hands dirty and saving pieces of furniture and they should be supported!  Just my two cents. :-)
Here are a few pretty finds I love.

http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/fuo/4294520646.html

http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/fuo/4291170973.html

http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/fuo/4264313106.html

If you’re interested in finding a piece already done, search for things like, “painted” “upcycled” “restored” “vintage” “distressed” “waxed” or “refinished”.  And remember, if you have a smartphone, use it to set up a search for those words, both in the Furniture and Antique categories, on a Craigslist app.
It will alert you when there’s a match.  I find the app to be a great tool to help navigate a sometimes not-so-user-friendly, or organized, website.

That’s all for this week. I hope you are staying warm and safe.

Have a great week!

XO,
Anne

PS – I’d love it if you shared this post wherever you are active online. Thanks!

Read more

Tween White Desk

Hi friends!

I was supposed to deliver some long overdue furniture this week. 

 (it’s not photographing very well but the hardware is purple)

 So, the cute desk with the purple hardware is still in my basement much to my – and my husband’s – chagrin because Mother Nature and my schedule are conspiring against me. (snow outside as I write this) Sigh.


I’ve run 27 miles on the treadmill at the gym in the last two weeks because running and painting furniture are my two quickest paths to sanity. 
Especially in January.  
(Napping is a close third)
So, here’s my picks to help keep you sane this week! :-)

1. I’ll start off with the biggest ticket item. It’s $350. But before you pass, take a look at what you get for the money. A LOT.






The rugs are not included (fine with me) but check out this lot. Tall dresser, short dresser with mirror, headboard, footboard, and two matching end tables.  This is like the holy grail of Craigslist furniture.
Amazing! If you need bedroom furniture for a girl, this is it buddy. RUN.

Think you’re not a fan of French Provinicial?  Think again.

Forget all the white sets (I’m not even putting a picture in here because you know what they look like anyway).  And take a step or four out of your comfort zone with fantastic options like these:













Must. Stop. But you get the idea.


2. I love this. I just can’t help myself. He’s baaaack! Remember our good friend, Mr. Chester Drawer
Every once in a while Mr. Drawer pops up here on Craigslist.  No, you can’t make this stuff up. :-)

But besides his name, this guy boasts some cool hardware.  

Think it looks too dated to be awesome? Like this guy?

Nope.

Our Chester doesn’t come with the hardware on the edges, but that’s no biggie because you can easily buy some and wa-la. 
(The seller is asking $75 for the dresser.)

And you can have an awesome campaign dresser for under $100.
I vote yes!

3. You know how I feel about benches. There’s almost no space that can’t benefit from a cute one. 

This fits the bill perfectly. For $30 you can’t beat it! Enough said.

4. Another thing you know I love – settees (and I think love seats are close enough so we’re just going to go with it.) The lines on this are great!


How about a wide stripe on it?
(I can’t find a source for this pic)



Just do it!

5. Last but not least, something I don’t see a lot of  – a pair of matching nightstands for a super reasonable price… $30.

They aren’t sexy, but man, if you buy them new, they’d cost you an arm and a leg. Using smaller pieces like these to get a dose of color into a room is very low commitment.

I love this yellow.

This green one.

And these in aqua.

Now go forth and get something fabulous! 
As always, if you buy from someone you don’t know, be smart. Take a friend. All that good stuff… 

How are you surviving January?

XO,
Anne
Read more

WIBOC-010714


Happy New Year!!

I hope you have been savoring winter break as we have – with lots of family, friends, food, church, naps, football, and presents. Not necessarily in that order. :-)

There are some cool finds this week…here we go! (If you are visiting for the first time, I live near Cincinnati, Ohio, so these items are all local to me.)

1. Vintage white cabinet listed for $250.


I know that’s more than I usually spend on Craigslist items, but I like this one for its size, its condition, and its flexibility. Here’s why.
First, its size – dimensions are 70 ” tall, 30 ” wide, 12″ deep. You can fit a lot of stuff in that.
Second, its condition looks good – not perfect – but not like it would need a complete overhaul before you could put it in your house.
And third its flexibility. I love this for a kitchen or bath, as the listing suggests, but I think you could also store extra linens, books, or household supplies in it.
Here are a few pics to get your juices flowing.

source



I’m not sure, but this may be an old medical cabinet, and my Uncle Dan & Aunt Pat (who are walking encyclopedias of furniture knowledge and have a booth here in Lexington, KY) just told me that medical items are hot right now. 
(READ: I think this could easily sell for more than it’s listed.) 
I can’t tell whether it’s metal or wood, but if I had room for it, I’d buy it.

2. “Old school” desk chairs or office chairs. I love ’em. Metal, wood, doesn’t matter… they are just SO superior to those newfangled things they make now. (wink) So, that said, go scoop these up. 

Cosco Propeller Chair $35


Vintage wood chair



Think about how cool they’d look in a boy’s room!



3. How cute is this old toy piano


It looks beautiful and would make an adorable addition to a nursery or playroom. 

The two like it on Etsy are more expensive than this one. They are asking $45. Go for it!

4. OK this item has been on Craigslist for a while now. In my mind’s eye there is a boy (what is it with boys rooms in this post?) who has an awesome vintage-y train room. 
Maybe like… this one.  
(Because HELLO it has a train track running around the top of the room. Please don’t tell my son. Thank you.)


And in this mythical train room, folded over the back of a cozy chair, you’d find this cool blanket.

It’s from a Pullman sleeping car!


I totally have a movie-like image of men dressed in suits and women in pearls taking a trip, eating and sleeping aboard a train in the heyday of rail travel. 


That’s the era these blankets belong to! 
It’s stuff like this that takes a room from catalog-designed to uniquely personal. They are conversation pieces, and they are a way to pass on some history to the next generation. 
So someone please buy this cool blanket and do up an awesome vintage train room.  Again, thank you.

5. Last, here’s a gal after my own heart. Cute side table, all painted and ready to go. Would make a great addition to a living room near you! $80



This winter weather and ridiculously cold temperatures have me dreaming of yard sale weather….

Just saying.

:-)
Anne







Read more

00D0D_4JCa9ZpMEM_600x450

It’s almost the end of the year.  Hard to believe.  And there seems to be a lot of people who have things they want to get rid of, because Craigslist has been smokin’ hot this week!

I’ll get right to it.

1. This settee.  $60


I know I’ve included settees before on the blog, and explained why, so I won’t do that again, but I included this piece for a different reason (besides the fact that I just plain like it – excellent lines and very pretty wood carvings on the back.)
If you look carefully at the post, you might notice that the seller spelled settee wrong.  I’m not trying to harp on anyone’s grammar or spelling, because that’s not why I’m here, but I point it out to you to because it may hurt the seller’s chances of finding a buyer. If someone is indeed searching for a settee, they very well may not find this listing. That may mean you have an advantage as a buyer.  And likewise, if you’re selling, use spell check! (This goes for eBay, too.)

2. This vanity… is awesome. It is so so so pretty. And $50!!



You’d need to reconstruct the seat, but it would be equally as lovely in a grown woman’s room as it would in a little girl’s.  I love how petite looking it is and just classic with beautiful hardware and those vintage casters.
And here’s a little secret –  I did actually buy it on Craigslist this week this for someone special! (I’ll share more later on that)

My Dad and I are going to refinish it for my sister for her birthday in March! I’m already looking at finish options.
White with a dark stained top?


Or red? I’m getting ready to buy a quart of Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk which would be gorgeous…and my sister is the “red” girl so she would love this.


Lots of fun. My parents and I sort of raced over to the seller’s house because he said he had someone else coming to look at it. No way was I letting this one get away. Can’t wait to get started on it.

3. This is something I haven’t seen before. It looks like an old table that would have been in a hospital, perhaps?



I’m assuming it also lays flat. That opens up possibilities for this piece. What about making it the bedside table in your guest room?  This woman found one and put it to work as an end table in the living room.


So cool! Or you could give your child who is studying an instrument a place to put his or her sheet music. It’s just a great conversation piece. They’re asking $100.

4. Here’s a piece that has an issue.


It’s an awesome old dresser but it’s missing a drawer. What to do?
For $75 here’s what you do. Buy it. And then you get creative.
Like this piece from Sweet Pickins


Or this piece

Or this piece from Shabby Story.


5. When I saw this piece, pinned to someone’s board, I fell in love.


Of course, it’s Pottery Barn Teen and a gazillion dollars. *eye roll*  Nonetheless, this is sort of a dream project for me. I would love to put this in my daughter’s room, which is the smallest bedroom in our house, where floor space is at a premium.
So when I saw these on Craigslist, you can imagine…the wheels started turning.



For $100 you could do so much with these!! They would work equally as well for either a boy or a girl.
And they are solid wood. Amazing. You just don’t run across stuff like this every day. I just don’t know if I can take on a project of this size right now……hmm….

That’s it for 2013!
Thank you for sharing part of your lives with me here, even if it is just a little bit.
I feel blessed and lucky to do what I love.

May health and happiness be yours in the New Year.

XO,
Anne
PS – As always, if you buy from Craigslist be careful and take a friend with you. I can’t vouch for these sellers or their items.  If you end up buying any of these, please let me know!

Read more

df83deecf7e25c8dab2f29e908bc2aba

Hi friends and Merry Christmas!

What an awesome time of year. I’ve taken several weeks off from doing this post, but I missed it, so here we go!

1. Beautiful King size caned bed

You cannot go wrong with a classic like this. Ballard Designs has a gorgeous option that will run you $1000.
So the seller’s asking price of about $200 seems like a good deal to me!

2. The gift of a dollhouse is timeless and what little girl wouldn’t love a house like this one?

It does say it needs some work, but isn’t that what January is for? A good project to pass the time… For $80, I just love this.

3. I’ve shown you chairs like these before, but as I have also mentioned in the past, finding things in pairs can be especially difficult if you are buying secondhand.  And things in pairs can be especially helpful when it comes to decorating and staging your living spaces.  Symmetry is your friend.
So GRAB these for $35 and run.

And you are already imagining them with new upholstery, aren’t you?
This Etsy seller did a fantastic job.

Never gets old, does it? :-)

4. I love a simple wooden bench like this, called a deacon’s bench, I believe.

It is beautiful in its spare design… so unfussy.  Great in a foyer or bedroom or hallway if you have room.

What about using this at your kitchen table for a change? Just a thought.
For the life of me I cannot find a good photo of a room where someone has done this, but I think it would be really great looking.

5. What fun is this table?


We put our crack team of investigators here on the case to find out what this is, and in case you didn’t already guess, it is a sewing machine table.  According to this woman, who also found one

it dates back to the 1890’s.  Very cool. And so striking with the cast iron bottom.
No sewing machine included in the one for sale now, and as you can see the pedal at the bottom is missing, as is the original cabinet on top, but the stand alone I think is worth the $65 the seller is asking.
I found old ads for these machines… here

How cool is that? 
Even if you are not a sewing type person, this would make a fabulous addition to your home.  Instant history.
And I cannot read one word of this, but I don’t need to.  This is gorgeous in any language.


So there you have it. 
As always, if you choose to buy from these sellers or anyone on Craigslist, please be smart, be safe, take a friend with you, and as the song says, “don’t outsmart your common sense.”
To anyone whose eyes are on this page, I just want to say thank you for taking a few minutes to spend with me here. This is more fun for me than you’ll ever know!
And Merry Christmas.
May all the blessings of the season be yours.
XO,
Anne
 



Read more

Bathcollagepic1


It took 6 weeks, a couple hundred man or woman hours of labor, and about $2,000 in materials to get this job done.  And I am SO proud to finally be able to show you this!! Step right in!
(Here is the complete background on this room. In short, a family friend’s house caught fire last year. Insurance paid for everything except her only bathroom, which dated to the prehistoric era. She desperately needed a complete gut job and reno, so my Dad, his good friend, and I set out to give it to her, pro bono.)

 The light, you might recall, came from National Builder Supply. It is a Seagull Lighting fixture from their Sussex line and Dad chose to hang it with the bulbs facing up.  The light gets bounced around on the ceiling and diffused nicely in the space. Bathrooms must have enough light! This fixture is like the crown in this room.



 The vanity came from Lowe’s and included the granite countertop.

 The faucets are Moen, the Caldwell line.



 We really wanted to be able to get rid of a storage tower over the toilet.  Really.



It was taking up way too much space in this tiny bath.  Here was the inspiration photo we worked from.





And here’s the design I sketched out once we found out that we wouldn’t be able to do one wide set of shelves because there is a pipe that runs vertically right behind the toilet.  

The thick white arrow represents where the pipe runs.


I had to either abandon the built-in idea, which I did not want to do, or work around it.  So I worked around it. I’m very pleased with how this turned out!  It adds architecture and storage and I think makes the room feel much more well thought-out.


We went with a mirrored medicine cabinet with storage behind it, to maximize the amount of storage Ms. H gets overall.  This is a small bathroom, and the only one in her house.  Storage is important!

Moving on… The shower curtain, I will confess, I chose myself and surprised Ms. H.  When I saw it on the JCPenney website, I knew it would be perfect for this space. It lends a great pattern and color to the room and the brown in it ties in with the oil rubbed bronze fixtures beautifully. A HUGE thank you to JCPenney for supplying this curtain to Ms. H.  It totally makes the room, if you ask me!  I’m impressed with the newer offerings in JCPenney’s home department.  This ain’t your grandma’s JCP!





Dad also added a privacy film to the window – you can get them at the home improvement store.  It was a necessity as this bathroom is on the first floor. 


When we began, Ms. H needed a space that was brought into the current decade.  But it also needed to withstand the test of time.  We wanted this room to look current and lovely 30 years from now, and if all goes as planned, this space should last at least that long!  It was built to last!
That guided our design choices – white subway tile, beadboard wainscoting, neutral floors and counter.  Timeless and versatile, clean and classic.  




Last, I wanted to give you my best accounting of time and money that was spent on this room. 
Labor was free for this project – but please remember if you are hiring someone to do this kind of job for you, that labor costs are at least half the total budget.  This is hard work and if you want it done right, expect to pay someone for their time.  We had the ability to volunteer our time for this project, and we wanted to… even then, the cost for materials was about $2000.


That includes everything – new subfloor and waterproof backer board around the shower. Tile, mortar, grout, and sealer for the floor and shower walls. Beadboard sheets, chair rail, baseboard, lumber for the built-ins, and trim around them. Mirrored medicine cabinet. Vanity, countertop, shower and tub fixtures, and some new copper pipe, as well as some plumbing supplies to install the vanity faucet. Primer, ceiling paint, and trim paint. Safety handles for the shower. Caulk and spackle. Privacy film for the window. Shower curtain rod and towel bars.


The light fixture and shower curtain were generously donated, as was the incredible RIDGID tile saw from the great folks at The Home Depot, which all would have increased our costs.  Not that you have to buy a tile saw to do a project like this – you can certainly rent one, but that too has a cost.


As for time, my Dad was at Ms. H’s house 5 days a week, almost without exception.  I was there an average of 3-4 days as was Keith.  I worked about 5 hours per day when I was there.  Dad and Keith probably worked closer to 7 hours per day.  And from demo to completion, it took us the better part of 6 weeks to complete this project.  We did everything ourselves – demo, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tiling, and painting. 

I won’t lie.  It was a TON of work. 

 

 That said, I think there is enormous value in choosing to do this kind of work…
 

 
 learning new skills…

 

 

 becoming more self-sufficient… 


 and going beyond your comfort zone when it comes to getting your hands dirty and getting to know how a home functions, from the inside out.


 I encourage you to educate yourself…

 do your homework..

 look around at the other phenomenal projects that people are taking on… 

 roll up your sleeves…


 and take a risk.

 


Try something new. 

Learn. 

 Work.


 Ask for help.

And reach out and give help to someone if you see that they need it.

 (that’s my cute mom, with Ms. H.  Decades-long friends.)

 I especially encourage you to find those around you who know how to do things that you do not.  If you are fortunate enough to find them, take full advantage of it.  People like my Dad and our friend Keith, pictured in many of the photos above, are wealths of information – and kindness.  They are do-ers.  Take a page from their playbook.  Use your own two hands, your intelligence, and the unprecedented amount of information that exists in the world, and do something good.  
This has been such a valuable experience for me personally.  Spending this time with my Dad is an experience for which I’ll always be grateful. 
It’s my hope that this room will give Ms. H much joy in the years to come. It has given us much joy to see it through to completion.

Thank you so much for coming along with me on this journey.  I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts.  I’d love to read about your projects.  Why? Simple.  Because Home Should Be GREAT.

XO,

Anne

Read more