Thursday, May 31, 2012

Double Duty

My aunt passed along a wooden chest to me a couple of years ago when she didn't have a place for it anymore.  It was once my grandma's so I was excited to have it be a part of our home.  I didn't want it to be just a chest pushed up against a wall somewhere, so instead it became a table in our "library" where it lived between two sitting chairs.  I loved the look of the old, worn, wooden chest next to modern, white chairs.  It made the room so cozy and inviting.  We even topped it off with a Scrabble board to make it extra inviting.  People always asked us if we really sat down to play Scrabble there...well of course we did!  Okay, maybe once.

So what once was our library is now our dining room and needless to say some furniture got moved around.  The chairs now live in the playroom and the chest has made a new life for itself as a bench at the dining room table.  Our table is black/brown in color and it's very modern from West Elm-the styles are complete opposites.  But once again, I love mixing old with new and I adore the coziness the bench brings to the dining room.

I just topped the chest off with some simple, white cushions and called it a bench!  Don't you just love items that can serve double duty?! Pin It

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Labeled Pots

I picked up a few ceramic flower pots at Ikea with no real purpose in mind solely because they were 49 cents a piece.  49 cents! 

I love the look of these spice jars from Anthropologie with the pop of color and the chalkboard label, but I'm not sure I need them (except to stare at how cute they are), so I just used them as inspiration for my new pots.

I had some leftover chalkboard paint in my garage so I painted different shaped labels on each pot.  I did two coats of paint and waited 24 hours to write on them.  I left them neutral so I can add the pop of color with what I put inside, but you could always paint the rim of the pot or add a ribbon for color.

I think they would be so cute holding napkins and utensils at a cookout or a picnic.  Even more I would love to use these as place markers for a dinner party.  You could put each person's napkin and utensils inside and write their name on the label.  And for 49 cents a piece you could even send your guests home with these as a fun party favor!

For now I am using one of my labeled pots as a vase to hold flowers in our family room.  Next week it could hold fresh herbs in the kitchen or pencils on our desk, so many options!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Styled and Organized

I always feel energized after rearranging or organizing something in a new way, so I was happy to start styling and organizing my new vanity.  Every vanity needs a mirror and I love the look of these two that are simple with straight lines.  Pairing the modern mirrors with the vintage vanity helps it make sense in a room full of modern furniture.  I chose a lamp base made up of clear balls because it compliments the clear knobs on the drawer (and adds a touch of glamor), and I topped it off with a white textured shade.

Opposite the lamp sits a make up mirror, make up brushes and the jewelry I wear almost daily.  A recycled glass jelly jar holds my brushes and the jewelry is placed on a small pedastal tray I picked up from a thrift shop a while ago.

I placed a metal tray in the center of the vanity to catch the dust from my make up (I use mineral make up and it flies everywhere).  I love that the neutral tan color of the tray tones down the bright yellow of the vanity. 

Now that you've seen how I styled the top, let's take a peek inside.  Before I could start filling all of those drawers, they needed a little TLC.  This used to be a child's desk so as you can imagine the inside of the drawers were beautifully decorated with crayon.  To clean them up a bit I covered them with a few pieces of scrapbook paper with simple patterns that I bought at Michael's.

I placed a drawer organizer that I bought months ago at T.J. Maxx inside the middle drawer to organize some jewelry.  It holds bracelets, statement necklaces, and earrings.

The drawer to the left holds my delicate necklaces and rings.  I organized them in small ceramic bowls.  I found them in the dining aisle at Target and I couldn't resist the sweet polka dot texture.

The drawer to the right holds all of my make up.  Nothing fancy, just laid out flat so I can see it all at a quick glance.

The other drawers hold things like hair accessories and the jewelry I don't wear often.  And I probably should mention that I gave B.J. a drawer to store all of his watches.  He is a bit of a drawer hoarder in our bedroom so I should feel lucky that he is satisfied with occupying only one of my vanity drawers!

I love that my new space feels uncluttered and yet my make up and jewelry are easily accessible.  I am so happy I didnt walk past that $20 rainbow colored children's desk at the thrift store a couple weeks ago! 

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Rainbow to Sunshine

I have been looking for a vanity for our bedroom for a while now and I finally found the perfect one.  I went to a thrift store with a friend last week and right away this piece caught my eye.

Luckily I was able to look past the rainbow paint and chunky wood hardware to see it's beautiful shape.  This child's desk held so much potential with it's curved detail and abundance of storage that I couldn't pass it up.  Okay, let's get down to business...first, I took off all of the hardware and sanded down the vanity.

(Can you see Libby under there giving it a little inspection?)

Once the sanding was complete I wiped it down and made sure it was all clean and dry and ready to be primed.  I used one coat of Kilz spray primer.

Then it was time for the fun part...paint!  I knew I wanted to do yellow to balance out the yellow chair on the opposite wall in our room.  I have painted yellow walls before and it can be tricky to find the perfect shade, especailly when you are trying to match an existing piece.  I bought three different yellow spray paints in hopes of one being the perfect shade.  Neither of them matched the chair exactly so I started with the lightest shade called Warm Yellow by Rustoleum.  I knew after the first coat that it was going to be too light and creamy for what I was going for but I continued onto the second coat just to make sure.  And then B.J. carried it all the way to our room so I could be SURE sure that it wasn't the right color, and it wasn't, so back to the garage it went. 

Warm Yellow by Rustoleum
I ultimately went with Sun Yellow by Krylon and although it's brighter than the yellow chair, it goes well in the room and is just the pop of color I was looking for.

Sun Yellow by Krylon
The vanity hung out in the garage for a couple days to be sure it was good and dry.  It was hard to wait because I was anxious to fancy it up with some new hardware.  I chose bronze finished pulls for the side drawers and clear knobs for the middle drawer.  I thought the clear knobs added the right amount of girliness that every vanity needs.


The seat that came with the vanity was a wooden stool and I only painted the legs of it yellow because I had different plans for the top.  I used some left over fabric from previous bedroom projects and some quilt batting to make a seat cushion.  I simply wrapped the wooden top with a couple layers of batting and used a staple gun to attach  it to the bottom of the seat.  Once that was secure I cut the fabric to size and stapled it over top of the batting.



I am so happy with the finished product and it's just what our bedroom was missing.  Besides the yellow upholstered chair, our bedroom is made up of modern furniture from West Elm and Ikea.  I love that the curved detail on this vanity off sets all of the straight lines on our bed and dressers.  Adding vintage pieces gives a room character and that's one reason why I love mixing the old with the new.

Check back soon for my next post on how I styled the vanity and organized my make up and jewelry!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretty AND Smart

The title for this post was inspired by something my husband and I have said a lot lately.  Our baby girl Charley is 7 weeks old and every time someone says how pretty she is we like to add, "and smart!".  It's just a little joke between us and I thought it lead great into today's post...

I love finding house hold items, especially kitchen items, that are both functional and beautiful.  Over the weekend I picked up this ceramic egg crate from Anthropologie.  I have been eyeing it for some time now but didn't know if I NEEDED it (since I don't host a cooking show out of my house or anything), until now.  Ever since Easter I have been making hard-boiled eggs (actually hard-cooked eggs and I follow this recipe).  I have been putting the hard-cooked eggs in a bowl as opposed to the carton so they don't get mixed up with the regular eggs.  Now we have a reason for a ceramic egg crate!  I have also been stocking up on fresh berries lately. When I was browsing T.J. Maxx I spotted a mini colander and I thought it would be perfect to make the berries easily accessible as a quick, healthy snack.

Both of these kitchen items are functional, but they are also beautiful enough to put on display.  I can picture them sitting on the brunch table making the food they hold look just as good as it tastes. 

So until the next brunch I host, you can find my colander and egg crate in my fridge being pretty AND smart.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Neutral Palette

I usually have a pop of color somewhere in my outfit, but today I stuck with a neutral palette.  I love black and brown separately but even more I love to mix them both in one outfit. 

I have found the easiest way to wear the two neutrals so they make sense together is through accessories.  I wore brown stone earrings, a wooden bracelet, a brown leather belt and brown leather sandals.  There are bits of brown from top to bottom in an otherwise black and white outfit.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Black's the New Brown

The door in our kitchen that leads to the garage is faux wood and a big, brown eye sore.  Something needed to be done to bring it new life, just look at it...
I believe that everything in a kitchen needs to be functional so naturally the door became a chalkboard.  I painted a few coats of chalkboard paint and framed it using white trim.  Luckily my father-in-law owns a saw that will cut 45 degree angles so cutting the frame was fairly simple.  I attached the frame to the door using 3M double sided tape.  I think the white trim really makes the chalkboard pop.

The black chalkboard is a lot more fun to look at than the ugly brown door.  We have used it for many things but mostly it's used to jot down things we need from the grocery or as a canvas for our nieces' and nephew's artwork.  Either way it's fun and functional!
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Before & After

I love a good before and after shot so I thought I would start out with one of my favorites.  I'm going to back track a bit to a project I completed last summer.  I was on a walk with my puppy, Libby, and we stopped at a couple yard sales.  I came across this end table. Beautiful, right?  Wrong.
There was no mate for it (and it was hideous) but it was marked down to a whopping $2.50 so it came home with me.  I decided it would live in front of our couch as an off-centered coffee table.  My inspiration came from this image in Domino  Magazine I saw years ago.

Our family room needed a big pop of color so I chose a really deep, saturated turquiose by Benjamin Moore.  I wasn't a fan of the glass top so I bought a cheap yard of fabric and covered it using spray adhesive.  I love the finished product, and for $2.50, I love it even more!
Let's take a look at the before and after side by side, shall we?



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