Thursday, October 16, 2014

Paint Color Makes A Big Impact


This is a quick post, but an important one!  It dawned on me today, as I was putting rooms back together after having them painted, what a huge difference a can of paint can make to the feeling of a room.  I've mentioned before just how much I don't like the color that every room in our house is painted.  It's not that it's a bad color, it's just the fact that EVERY room is the exact same camel color....even the garage!  For me, color is important in a room it sets the tone of the room.  If I don't like the color, then I'm not going to enjoy spending time in there.  

This fact was very evident this week when the painter finished the hubby's office. The hubby didn't really love the color in his office, but he said he could live with it....it didn't really bother him.  However, when the painter was finished and he walked into the room, he couldn't believe how the whole feeling in his office changed.  The room went from being a boring cardboard box to a warm and cozy room we both want to spend time in.  


Often times we think a color will be fine if we just leave it be.  Maybe we'll grow to like it?  However, a can of paint on the walls is an inexpensive way of changing the entire feel of a room.  The hubby's office looked fine with the camel walls, but with the new Kendall Charcoal walls, the room feels full of life and personality.  It's a bit moody as well.  This room went from bland and boring in seven hours.

The board and batten wall really POPS now against the darker walls.  Once the rest of the office is finished you'll be able to see there are two huge walls of windows in this room, so there's a lot of light flooding in all day long.  Before the camel color walls were washed out by all the light, but now during the day the room still feels warm and cozy.  It's a big room and it needed a dark color to give it some zip.


I love it when my vision for a room comes together.  Now that the walls are painted the darker Kendall Charcoal, it looks and feels exactly how I envisioned it when we bought the house.  It's a manly room the hubby can work in and feel at home in.  This color is a very versatile neutral so anytime we want to swap out the hits of red in the room, we can easily do that.

Is there a room in your home that you've put off painting because you think it's good enough for now?  I'm telling you, go out and buy a can of paint and spend a day putting it on the walls.  Then stand back and look at all your hard work and you'll say "WHY did I wait so long?"  

I want to hear from you!  What room in your house have you put off painting?  Is there a room in your home that's painted a color you're just 'tolerating'?  

Thanks for reading and have a great day!





Monday, October 13, 2014

The Finished Guest Bedroom, Vintage And On A Budget!

The guest bedroom has been a project I've been working on for months.  When we moved into our new house at the end of April, we knew we would need to get our guest bedroom done ASAP.  We had been on vacation with one of my longest and dearest friends, Tara and her family to Mexico and while we were there, had talked about the whole family coming to visit at the beginning of August.  I had a deadline and I knew I needed to get this room finished so they'd have a place to sleep.  I hurriedly started to get the room ready, but then got a reprieve when unfortunately Tara's family's plans changed and their trip was cancelled.  Once this happened, the guest bedroom was put on the back burner......for months. It became another dumping ground for things without a home. 

When I first started working on the room, I had an idea of what I wanted the bed to look like.  I wanted a reclaimed wood headboard for the king size bed. I did some research and found a place locally that sold reclaimed barn wood.  We went and checked their options out and found just what we needed to get the bed project underway.

Here's a pic of the fun place we bought the wood.

I didn't get a picture of all the wood they had...lets just say they have a wonderful selection!   I want those guys doors!  This place has so much selection they recently move to a larger building a few doors down. It's old wood and 'stuff' heaven! 

We ended up buying reclaimed cedar fencing boards that were once home at a farm.  The boards were cedar, which is great because, bugs don't like cedar and it doesn't smell old or musty at all.  We brought the wood home and it was a family affair getting it all cleaned for "project reclaimed wood headboard"!  Hunter scrubbed the wood with a wire brush and soapy water, while the hubby and I sorted through the pieces we wanted to use.  

I thought I had pictures of the in-process steps, but unfortunately I don't!  I can tell you one thing for sure....this project was very easy and simple.  All we did was attach two 1X2 boards to the studs in the wall.  We measured out where we wanted the headboard to go and then drilled the two boards into the studs.  For each fence board we cut off the ends with a mitre saw so all the ends would look similar.  Once we were done, we took them upstairs to the guest bedroom and attached them with screws to the 1X2's attached to the studs.  This headboard is sturdy and isn't going anywhere!

Here's how it looked when we were part of the way done. 


We got the head board done and then it sat and waited for a few months before I got to work on the rest of the room.  It was the project that ended up on the bottom of the 'to-do' list.  We knew we weren't having guests anytime soon, so why rush?  

You usually only see the pretty finished room pictures on the blog,  so here's a special treat for you!  Here you can see how the room looked for a very long time before it was finished.  It was a huge mess and that meant it sat with the door closed most days.  Which is sad, I love the light in this room.  




Don't you want to sleep in that cozy bed?!  HAHAHAHA


This last week, I made the guest bedroom my main priority.  Not because I'm expecting guests (I wish!), but I just really wanted to vacuum and dust this room and finally get it organized.  It was starting to bug me having this room not done and hanging over my head.  

 In the pics above you'll notice a difference from the next pictures, other then the fact the room is a bit more organized and the bedding is different, the headboard looks different.  After it was done, I kept looking at it thinking, "Hmmm this needs something."  I wanted the wood to have a bit more uniform look so I thought about white washing it with some paint I had on hand.  This week I went in and applied some watered down American Paint Company Paint in Home Base to the wood.  I just wiped it on with a wet rag, then pulled it off with the same rag....easy! I like it a lot better now.  

Here's the guest bedroom done and ready for some guests!  



Now before you think I went out and bought everything just for this room, think again!  I only bought a few things brand new like the dust ruffle and the two white shams on the bed.  The other items I either already had or bought vintage.  My goal for this room was for everything to be as inexpensive as possible.  

One thing the room will be getting in the VERY near future is new paint on the walls.  This is that same cardboard box color we have all over the house and are slowly removing one room at a time.  As I'm writing this, our painter is here painting our offices...thank you Edward!!!

One this side of the room, I wanted to give our guests a place to do their hair, makeup, or do some work.  I think it's important to have a space like that in a guest bedroom.  I found this adorable porcelain top table/desk with chrome legs at a local Goodwill for a whopping $6.99!!  Can you believe that?!  The table is in just about perfect condition too!  All it needed was a good cleaning.




This cute little chair, I also found at Goodwill for $2.99.  It was beat up and needed a paint job, some wood glue and filler and some new fabric on the seat.  I painted the chair with some Deco Art Chalky Finish Paint and some Annie Sloan soft wax.   The fabric on the seat  is another bargain. I bought the fabric, which is actually a drapery panel from Target for $5. I was lucky enough to get 2 panels in this grey color and one in the same fabric but cream.  


The reclaimed fence board with the hooks I purchased at a thrift store for $8 and hung a herringbone throw from Target on one of the hooks.  The art work is from an estate sale.


For inexpensive artwork above the table, I used embroidery hoops and framed some fabric I had leftover from other projects.  The embroidery hoops were about $.50 each from Goodwill.  This is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to add some interest to your walls.



I like to buy old tarnished silver tea pots to use as vases around the house.  I just love how they look full of fresh flowers.  This one I found for $1 at a thrift store.



The mirror was another Goodwill score for $3.  Every guest bedroom needs a mirror, right?  The Eiffel Tower, the books and the silver vessel are all estate sale finds.  



This cabinet I've had for a couple of years.  I bought this cute little secretary desk from an estate sale for $25 in Connecticut.  It was a terribly ugly high-gloss country blue before I painted it with some Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan in French Linen.  I upholstered the inside of the cabinet with some yellow and white fabric and added new handles.  I added a distressed number on the front for fun.  Hunter picked out the number.  Once the walls are painted a new color, the cabinet will pop off the walls a lot more.  

The cabinet works as a display place as well as a place for guests to store some clothes in the drawers.  When a guest comes, I will take put towels and toiletries inside the desk part that folds open.  Then they can use the drawers for their clothes or hang them in the closet.




This little folding side table I bought last year at an estate sale for $5.  All I did was clean it up a bit and I left it the cute green.   The owl lamp I bought a few years ago at Home Goods and the owl vase on the bottom shelf of the table is from Home Goods as well.  It's from Jonathan Adler.....He's an amazing potter!


The clock, the little plate and silver box are inexpensive vintage pieces from assorted estate sales.



The bench at the end of the bed has had a couple of different looks.  This is an old bench we've had in our master bedroom at the foot of our bed for years.  I reupholstered it using one of my drapery panels from Target.  I like how it's a place for guests to sit down and put on their shoes and I love how it ties the room together.


The pillow covers I made from the drapery panels I bought from Target and other fabrics I had leftover from other projects.  Their all the same fabrics I used in the embroidery hoops.


The mirror was a clearance score from Home Goods for $10.  I felt like the headboard needed a little bling in the middle.   It's like a little headboard crown, don't you think?


One of my favorite things to do in any room, is mix patterns.  I like to take several fabrics and make them work together.  I guarantee no one else has this same set of pillows on their bed!  

The duvet is from West Elm and was in our master bedroom for the spring before I moved it to the guest bedroom.






This side of the room is all vintage as well.  The painting of the girl I found at a thrift store for $2 and the other pieces of art were also found at flea markets or estate sales.

The cute little mid century modern yellow vinyl chair I bought at Goodwill for $6.  It was so dingy and gross, but after a very good scrubbing it now looks great!  The pillow cover is made from another $5 drapery panel from Target.  The little side table I bought for $2 at an estate sale.


I'm SO happy this room is done!!!  It feels like a huge load has been lifted from my shoulders now that one more project is off my 'need-to-finish' list.  I like how sunny and cozy this room feels. I love going in this room and lying on the bed to read a magazine.  The light is perfect during the day and it's a good sized room, but still feels warm and cozy.  The bed in here is a king size bed and there's still a lot of room to move around.

I hope this helps to show how easy it is to take lots of miscellaneous pieces, purchased at different times and places and put them all together to make a beautiful room on a budget.  Just because you're reworking or even designing a room for the first time, it doesn't mean you have to go out and buy everything brand new or spend a ton of money.  With a little bit of work and patience you can put a room together that is unique and looks collected for very little money.

I'd love to hear what you think.  Do you enjoy putting vintage pieces together?  Or do you like to buy everything brand new?  I want to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!






Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cabinet Makeover Using Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint By Annie Sloan



*Disclosure-I was compensated for this post with products.  However, I would never suggest a product unless I loved and used it myself. ~Melody



HELLO!  I'm so happy to be sharing this project with you today!  I have lots of favorite Chalk Paint™ projects and this one is right up near the top.   Let me start off, like I always do, with a long drawn out story about where I acquired this piece (insert me laughing here).  I just so happened to get this gorgeous cabinet from Kate of The Golden Button when she was moving her store from Southbury, CT to Woodbury, CT.  Kate's my amazing and patient sewing teacher, who is an incredibly talented artist.  If you live in the area you need to stop in and visit her store.

I was lucky enough to get this cabinet from Kate, not too long before our move to Illinois.  I had to have it, but really at the time I had no idea what I'd do with it.  It needed a lot of love and time, which I had very little of then, so it sat patiently waiting for it's turn on "Let's Get a Makeover!"  That really needs to be a show!  

Here are a few pictures or this piece before I got started. It had some major issues....the veneer was peeling in several places, the door wouldn't close all the way (it was about 1/2 inch to big for the opening) and the whole cabinet was off-kilter and crooked.  I was worried I wasn't going to have the skills to fix the cabinet.


Well, fast forward to July and The Haven Conference in Atlanta!  There, I found out about the Annie Sloan Unfolded blogger program.  Now,  I've been using this paint and wax for almost 3 years, but I had no idea such a program existed!  I just happened to have the PERFECT piece of furniture to makeover and they had the best paint for the job.  

Here's what I received from the amazing people at Annie Sloan Unfolded.  These are all things I love and have been using since I started blogging.  All except that super cute wax brush.....but that deserves a post all it's own, so you'll have to wait to hear all about that one!  I will tell you it's the BOMB!!  It is the perfect shape for getting into nooks and crannies, like this piece has.



For this project I used Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Cream, Aubusson Blue and then sealed it all with Soft Wax in clear.  Annie Sloan has so many beautiful colors, it's hard to decide  which to use.  They are easy to mix to make custom colors, which is a huge bonus.  You can check out all the beautiful color choices here.


I talked about the damage this piece had earlier and here are a few pictures of some trouble spots.  The veneer was peeling and it looked like it had been pulled off completely on the sides.   The sides were all uneven where it was painted turquoise.  Also, part of the crown moulding on the sides was missing.  



All of the damage was in my 'wheel-house' so to speak, but the door....the door scared me!  It was 1/2 inch too big for the opening because somehow the whole cabinet was off...it was crooked and a mess.     I had to re-nail the sides and the top using my nail gun.  It was just what this little cabinet needed to get it sturdy again.  For the door, I did the only thing I could think of which was,  take the door off and pull it apart.  This REALLY made me nervous.  

Once I got the door off, I could see it had been poorly fixed with LOTS of wood glue.  I did my best to pry the pieces apart, but some of them just wouldn't budge.  


After the door was taken apart, I put it back together using wood glue and clamped it until it was dry. Unfortunately, even after all this work, the door was still off.  I had to cut the door down the 1/2 inch. I was a bit defeated, but hey that's how it goes in the makeover game! Right?! Plus once it was all painted, it wasn't noticeable at all.

The next step was fixing all the peeling veneer, scratches, gouges and missing parts with a lot of wood filler.  Lots of wood glue and filler were used in this rescue along with my trusty clamps.


I couldn't have saved this cabinet without the help of my favorite wood filler and wood glue!


Once all the wood filler and glue were dry, it was time to get sanding.  I sanded for what seemed like days to get everything even, but really no amount of sanding and filling was going to make this piece perfect.  That's what I started to really love about this piece...its imperfections.  I fell in love with this perfectly imperfect cabinet one flaw at a time.

My plan for the cabinet's paint job was to paint the entire piece in one of my favorite Chalk Paint™ colors Aubusson Blue.  Now, if you refer back to the picture of all the Annie Sloan products I used on this piece, you'll see that small sample pot which holds 4 ounces of Chalk Paint™.  This little sample post covered the whole cabinet!  When people say this paint is too expensive and they'd rather make their own, I'm the first one to say that's not true at all!  This paint covers like no other paint AND a little goes a long way.  I could have waxed the piece and called it a day, the coverage was that great.


After the coat of Aubusson Blue, I coated the entire piece with clear soft wax.  Normally, I wouldn't do this until I was completely done.  However, this time because I was using the lighter Cream color on top, I wanted to make sure I sealed the blue underneath to make removing the top coat a bit easier.  In some areas, I really coated on the wax to give it a bit of a resist so the Cream paint wouldn't stick.

Now, for some reason I don't have any pictures of this part!  I gave the cabinet 2 coats of Cream Chalk Paint™ letting it dry in between coats. Once it was totally dry, which with Chalk Paint™ takes no time at all, I got a wet rag and got to work.  Instead of using sand paper to distress the cabinet, I used a wet rag and wiped away the Cream paint in the areas I wanted the Aubusson to show through. This gave me a lot more control, and allowed the Aubusson to shine through and not the wood.  This is how I like to distress furniture pieces where I want the underneath color to show through.  

The last thing I needed to do, was clean the original brass hardware.  I liked the hardware, but they were so dirty and covered in grime from years of use, they needed help.  I used some brass cleaner I had on hand and soaked the hardware in the cleaner for about 30 minutes, wiped off the cleaner and they looked brand new!

NOW....here's my beautiful new and improved, but flawed cabinet in it's new home....my kitchen!


I love how it looks against my newly painted dark walls and my light-up EAT sign!  Isn't she pretty?!



Here's an up-close look at the new and improved door, that actually closes!  Now it has a pretty, shiny brass handle too.





Really, the prettiest part of this cabinet is the carving on the drawer and door.  I really do love how the Aubusson against the Cream really brings those details out.  Before when it was all dark stained wood, these details didn't POP  like they do now!



I took this picture outside and in this light you can really see the carving.  The Cream looks almost off white in this light, but it's actually a very pretty light buttery yellow.



More of that beautiful carving, but this time on the door.



I can't forget to mention those legs....I adore a carved leg!




More beautiful details










There you have it!!  One of my favorite labors of love.  The inside of the cabinet.....I'm not quite done with.  I still need to get some shelves cut for the inside.  I cleaned and shellacked the inside of the cabinet, but that's as far as I've gotten.  In the next few weeks, I might line the inside with fabric or just stain the shelves to match the inside...I still haven't decided.

NOW for the fun part!!!  I'm having a giveaway!!  I'm giving away a copy of Annie Sloan's book , Quick and Easy Paint Transformations.   When I started using Chalk Paint™,  I bought this book and studied it...it was my Chalk Paint™ Bible.  Now one of my lucky readers will get a nice, brand new copy of their own!!


I know you're asking yourself, "How do I win?" well,  its easy!  All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me, your favorite Chalk Paint™ color and what you would like to paint in your home.  Easy peasy!!  I will randomly pick a winner on Friday October 17.  

I can't wait to hear about your projects and what Chalk Paint™ colors you love!!

Thanks so much for reading,