Archives for posts with tag: for the home

My latest before and after project was salvaging this old, dilapidated Victrola.  It was really in rough shape – deep cracks, missing a door, broken hinges. But, the label on the bottom said it was made in 1924, so I could not resist trying to salvage it!

victrola before


Step one was cleaning the entire piece (it had many, many years of “I’ve been sitting in a garage” grime).

My good carpenter friend helped make a new right door and found a vintage hinge online that would fit.  Once the new door was in place, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to just sand a restain it – the cracks on the body of the piece were too deep, and I wouldn’t be able to easily color match a new door.  So, I opted for paint and moved forward with priming the piece. I chose a gorgeous gray paint and accented with bronze metallic paint (from Martha Stewart’s line at Home Depot). Added new hardware, reconnected the crank, and voila! A gorgeous record cabinet!  Plus, as a bonus, the turntable actually still works. I imagine some industrious person could find a new needle and actually make it play.  Currently, I am selling this piece for $375. More information at

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I recently acquired an antique brass lamp, and it is in great condition and a beautiful shape. But, I wasn’t really feeling the brass finish. A little too brassy, pun intented (feel free to roll your eyes). But, in only an hour, I was able to give the lamp a great, oil-rubbed bronze look that I LOVE.  Here’s how:


Step 1: Gather your supplies. For this project I used Minwax Color Express in Walnut. This is a great, easy-to-use stain that adheres to all kinds of surfaces. I used a small plate as a palette and applied the stain using a small paintbrush.  I then used a stencil brush to get the faux-antiqued look.


Step 2: Messily apply one coat of the stain with a brush. It doesn’t have to be perfect because we are going to use the stencil brush to get the finish we want.  I did this step and the next step one section at a time so that the stain wouldn’t dry before I had a chance to use the stencil brush.


Step 3:  Using the stiff stencil brush, pat the stain to remove brush strokes and get that antiqued look. This step felt to me like I was a pointillist artist going to town on a canvas. The nice thing about this step is that you can’t really mess it up – if you accidentally rub off some stain or get a thumb print, just dot over that section again with the stencil brush.


Step 4: Let it dry and you’re done! Super easy project. This lamp took less than an hour to complete. You can use the same process for antiquing cabinet hardware or even an old mirror.

I’m selling this lamp on Etsy – Go check it out!


Before…plain side table – gorgeous shape.

Found this great little side table on Craigslist in truly perfect condition…solid wood, sturdy. I love the shape of the piece, but I was not a huge fan of the faux leather top and honey oak color.




But, I had some Annie Sloan chalk paint left over from an older project – a can of French Linen and a can of Graphite…


Ta-da! Two tone table.

side table

I kept the two-tone top, used graphite for the center section. Please ignore the pug.

side table1

I also used the Graphite to fill in the grooves and highlight the details.

This piece, along with some of my other work is available via my Facebook page:

The front porch is one of those Southern institutions that transcends time and era and age. If you were to put one hundred southerners in a room together and ask them to find one thing to agree upon, that thing would be the glory and beauty of sitting on a front porch at dusk.

This weekend was one of those perfect-weather weekends for sitting on the porch. Saturday was sunny, but not too hot with a light, gentle wind. This morning was rainy in that perfect-for-coffee-on-the-porch-watching-the-storm kind of way. These two days have really made me appreciate my front porch. It’s a wrap-around, victorian porch. Not too big, but just right for me and the pugs. I recently did a bit of work on the porch – replaced the rotting floorboard with composite planks and added a railing and gates.


View from the corner of the porch….Target table and loveseat, vintage flower side table.



The front of the porch.


The pals standing guard.


Side of the porch…complete with two old chairs I updated with some bright yellow paint and a vintage singer sewing machine table.


My beautiful sweet friend Jessica sitting with Nora.


My roommate Jack and sweet Jessica. Totes in love.


Nora, saying “Adios!”

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were walking down the street to go to a party. We hadn’t even made it a full block when we came across a coffee table on the sidewalk wearing a ‘Take me, I’m free!’ sign. It was in pretty good shape, and my boyfriend was already in position to lift the table when I looked at him to ask if he would mind if we took it home.  Needless to say, we arrived about 15 minutes later to the party than we intended that night.

Here is the table as we got it: solid wood, subtle filigree along the edges. Sort of boring.


I decided the table needed a slight lift, so I opted for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Old White.”  I painted the filigree by hand and then painted the entire top of the table and sides. After it was painted, I sanded the edges and spots on the top to give it a rustic look before finishing the table with clear wax. I am very pleased with the results!


Well, a very nice man bought the record console via Craigslist yesterday. Goodbye, beautiful.Image

That means I am now ready for my next project: the total stripping and re-staining of this mid century desk. It’s in great shape, but the varnish is peeling and the stain needs to be evened out. Project post to follow.


Apparently I have a thing for vintage record player cabinets. This is my second record cabinet makeover in recent days (see the first), and I am as much in love with this one as the last. I found this Mid Century style record console that had been gutted on Craigslist and picked it up immediately.


It is solid wood, and was in fairly good condition. Except it was FILTHY. Truly one of the more disgusting pieces I have found. Exhibit A:


So, I busted out the DL hand cleaner (aka the best furniture cleaner in existence) and spent a solid two hours scrubbing and sanding. I have found that when I am planning to paint a piece, I will typically use the DL and then spend as much time sanding, first with 120-grit to really get the finish off, then with 320 to smooth the edges.

I removed the hardware, pulled the doors out and primed the piece with Gripper primer in grey, then I began to paint.  I wanted to minimize brush strokes for a smooth finish, so I used a small, dense foam roller brush and satin finish paint in Martha Stewart’s “Wrought Iron” (which is the same color I used on the last record cabinet. I am clearly obsessed with this deep grey-blue).  Then, after I had painted three coats in the Wrought Iron, I taped the legs and painted just the feet in a metallic gold paint (Martha Stewart specialty finishes – Vintage Gold). I was inspired by several Mid Century pieces that have metal sheathings on the feet:



Back to the console…I finished the feet and then used the gold with a tiny brush to highlight the vertical lines in the front of the piece. And, I’m pretty happy with it! I put this baby up for sale on Etsy, as there is sadly no room for it in my house. Check it out:

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My favorite interior design blog Apartment Therapy is currently having a “My Bedroom Retreat” contest where folks can upload pictures of their bedrooms and compete for some prizes. Well, this was great motivation for me to get my curtains hung and take some decent pictures of my room.  I love how the room has turned out – I realize it’s extremely girly, but I’m fairly certain that this early-2o’s unmarried time is the only time I will ever be able to get away with such a feminine space. So I just went for it.  I was aiming for feminine without being childishly girly. How’d I do?

Source list @ the bottom.

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Source list:

Paint color: Behr Spring Stream

Curtains: Pottery Barn

Curtain rod: Country Curtains

Chandelier: Pottery Barn

Carriage lanterns: Wayfair

Bed: family heirloom

Quilt: Lands End

Pillows: Hand made by me (with much help from my mother)

Queen Anne chair: Junk store find that I painted.

Vanity, Dresser and Desk: Antique store

Vanity stool: Amazon

Desk chair: Antique store

Mirror: TJ Maxx Home Goods

Bench: Antique store

Glass lamps: TJ Maxx Home Goods

Glass bedside lamp: family heirloom

Bedside table: Antique, painted it myself

musicroom_beforeandafter copyMy pal Dan just bought a gorgeous upright piano and decided to transform an unused dining room in his house into a music room. He didn’t have too much money to spend on the transformation (he did just buy a piano, after all), so he asked what we could do with the 8×8 room for only $100.

And, (partially because Dan is a dead-ringer for Neil Patrick Harris), my only response was:


It was certainly a challenge. Dan’s only worthy decor included the piano itself and a framed Hatch Show Print of Duke Ellington (which wasn’t even hung up!). To give you an idea…


Good looking piano (though a bit messy…)


Gear everywhere. AH.

Dan’s only requirement is that we have enough room for a couple guitar players to sit and jam. So, my priority was to increase seating (armless chairs for guitarists), and to add just a few pieces of character in order to make things interesting without crowding the small room.

At an antique store, I found two great mismatched cane chairs on sale for $25 each – They were actually in great shape and didn’t have any holes in the cane- what a steal! And, then I also found a small cork checkerboard ($6) and an old washboard ($12). Dan’s a good Virginia boy, so I loved these Southern touches. I rounded it out with a small black side table ($15, Wal-Mart) that could act as another stool during a jam session, a few candles ($3 each, Wal-Mart) and a hilarious book full of black and white cat photos ($3), including a cat playing a piano (oh, Goodwill).


Staging everything in my backyard.

I excitedly brought all the goodies over to Dan’s place and began to set everything up! I hung up Duke Ellington and the washboard on the wall, and I used his guitar amp and acoustic guitar to fill some corners. I love having instruments showcased in a music room; to me, they make the room look like someone actually uses it!

Here’s the finished product:




Note the cat at the piano. On the piano.


I told you he looks like NPH! Happy in his new music room!

I love the simplicity of this room, and I told Dan he had to invite me over for the first jam sesh! Would love to know what you think!

I found an amazing Mid-century desk for a friend of mine on Craigslist recently:


Adorable, right? And, it reminded me that while I tend to shy away from Mid-Century pieces in my own home in favor of more traditional, French provincial and southern fare, there are certain pieces and shapes that I absolutely adore from Mid-Century collections. I love the clean lines of this desk, and I love how masculine it is (I mean, if this desk asked me out, I would say yes).  Here are a few of my other favorites from this design era:

I find the right angles and simplicity to be very refreshing in this credenza (Source).


This chair provides a fun, retro accent to a room without being over-the-top. I think subtlety is key when going retro, let your house transform into a carbon copy of a funky vintage store (Source).


I saw this great chair in an antique mall here in Nashville, and I fell in love with the plaid! And, again, the right angles are so appealing to me!


I think when I pictured my dream house when I was a little girl, the entire kitchen was this pale yellow (Source).


And, yet again, Anthropologie inspires lust within my heart (Source).