Sunday, August 25, 2013

Buffet Styling


I don't know about you but I often find it tricky to style table tops, like credenzas, buffets,  and entryway tables.  Emily Henderson makes it look so easy.  She creates the perfect mix of textures, shapes, and sizes, and it always looks put together and effortless at the same time.  I'm jealous I tell ya.

I find myself looking closely at magazines, blogs and Pinterest to see how other people style their table tops, so I thought I'd share what my dining room buffet looks like right now.  There are definitely some tweaks that need to be made, but it's working for right now.


On the left side sits our wine holder and B.J.'s whiskey decanter.  As you can see, he has yet to put whiskey in it.  Apparently he doesn't want to pretend to be on the set of Mad Men as much as I thought he did.


Leaning against the back wall are two picture frames.  The large frame is one of the tweaks I was talking about.  I'm not crazy about the color of the wood, at least for this particular spot, and I'd like to frame something different.  Both of those photographs are hanging in our hallway already, so they are definitely temporary.  I'm thinking I'd like to frame a couple handwritten recipes that are special to us and paint the large frame. 


On the right side is a faux plant, a geometric lamp and a told giraffe statue (thrift shop find!).  The plant holder is from Crate and Barrel for-evah ago and I found the lamp on serious clearance at Target.  Thank you, Nate Berkus. 


Finally, I displayed a couple pieces from our wedding china in the front with some fun striped napkins.  You know, just in case we spill some of our invisible whiskey.


So there you have it, our dining room buffet.  Anyone have any tricks for getting the perfect, yet effortless looking table top?  I don't have any tricks, I just play around with it for hours and hours. Pin It

Sanding Isn't So Bad When...

...you have an electric sander!  In fact, sanding furniture might be considered fun now.  Here's proof.  My sister was going shopping, she wanted to know if I wanted to come along, I said no thanks because I wanted to try out my new sander.  That's right.  I passed up shopping for sanding. 


You're looking at my early birthday present from my mother and father-in-law.  I've come a long way from only wanting shoes and handbags.  I still want those things, too (ahem B.J.),  I'm just broadening my horizons a little. 

So this past weekend I took my new sander for a test run on the perfect piece of furniture.  For seventeen months I've had this child-size table and chairs in the basement.  In fact, I purchased it from a thrift shop on the same day I went to the hospital to deliver Charley. 


I'm sad to say that this wasn't it's original "before" state.  The table was actually the same wood color as the chairs, only it had a painted stencil detail on the top.  A few weeks after Charley was born I was going a little stir crazy and whipped out the paint.  I planned on painting it all white, but after a coat of primer and two coats of paint, the stencil detail was still visible.  This must be when the sleep deprivation kicked in and I started painting stripes with random colors I had on hand.  But I didn't stop there.  I glued a piece of scrapbook paper to the center of the table.  Why, you ask?  Lack of sleep I suppose. 



In the end, the table and chairs were left in the basement unfinished.  I decided I'd deal with my DIY disaster when Charley was big enough to actually use the furniture.  Fast forward 17 months and I'm dealing with this mess. 

I started out with coarse sandpaper and after 45 minutes or so the table top was down to bare wood.  Then I quickly went over it with finishing sandpaper to make it nice and smooth.


I didn't even have the sander plugged in for five minutes before B.J. swipped it out of my hands.  Throw an electric tool into the mix and all of a sudden he's interested in the project!


I was happy when I finally got past all of the coats of paint and the stencil detail was showing through. 


Here it is when the sanding was complete.  You can totally see where the stenciling was but the whole top is smooth.  It's definitely ready for a fresh coat of primer and paint.



Hopefully I'll start painting it sooner than later.  Probably when the beginning of the school year craziness wears off.  Pin It

Monday, August 19, 2013

Revisiting the Summer To-Do List


Summer is officially over, at least by a teacher's standards (insert sad face here), so I thought now was as good a time as any to revisit the ol' summer to-do list I created before summer had officially begun.  I'm a big list person and I love love love to cross things off.  I'll even add something to the list that I've already done just so I can cross it off.  There's nothin' better than a completely crossed off to-do list, am I right list-people?  I'm sad to say that this is not, I repeat, NOT one of those lists.  I had some lofty goals set for my self.  There was one small problem with that, the part where SUMMER FLIES BY!  One day you're leisurely sipping coffee on the deck at all hours of the morning and then bam, Target's back-to-school section is where the party's at.

Without further ado, my list.

1.  Discover new thrift shops

2.  Finish painting the wood trim and doors in our house

3.  Paint the dining room a moody gray/green/navy color

4.  Take weekly family trips to the farmer's market

5.  Go on a picnic with B.J., like the one he planned for (what he calls) our official first date

6.  Go to the City Flea in Cincy

7.  Build a headboard for our bed that mimics this one from West Elm

8.  Go on a  Pedal Wagon bike tour in downtown Cincy like the one we did for my 30th birthday

9.  Take time to read a good book-it's been too long

10.  Of course, soak up every.single.second with Charley

Six out of ten, not terrible I suppose.  Let's chat about those unfinished things though, shall we? #2:  I finished the downstairs and called it quits.  I'm so over painting trim.  We got a quote from a painter for the upstairs.  Perhaps we'll chip away at it over time. #4:  We went to the farmer's market once this summer, a far cry from weekly trips.  #5:  Does dining al fresco on our deck count?  I didn't think so.  #7:  I feel like I could cross this off halfway because it's in the works.  Sort of.  I'm not building a headboard but we are having a bed built by a family friend.  So it's in progress, just not cross-off-the-list worthy just yet.

Anyone else trying to tackle their list before the school bell rings?  It's too late for me because school is back in full swing.  I'm sure the sporadic posts, or lack there of, might have given that away.



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Friday, August 16, 2013

One Man's Trash...

...is another person's MY treasure!  All thanks to my sweet husband who went dumpster diving on trash night a couple weeks ago.  Okay, not really dumpster diving.  But he did pick up this set of tables from the side of the road in our neighborhood.   


The first time I passed them I did a double take and thought they might be fun tables.  The second time I passed them, I could tell they were super fun and I really really wanted them but was too nervous to get them myself.  I didn't want to have that awkward conversation with the homeowners about digging through their garbage.  So instead, I drove home and asked my husband ever so sweetly to get them for me, and it worked! 


And wouldn't you know it, the guy from the house came out and chatted it up with B.J.  Better him than me.  He said his wife fixes up furniture but didn't get around to these tables so they put them on the side of the road in hopes someone would want them.  Mission accomplished!  I love the shape but mostly I love the legs.  Oh the legs. 


They are currently taking up real estate in our garage, stacked on top of some wood pallets.  The same wood pallets that will hopefully be turned into our bed sooner than later.  Fingers crossed, my friends. 


I actually like the thought of keeping the tables in a wood finish.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  I might not paint them.  Crazy, I know.  But as you can see in the pics, the tables are a little beat up.  Hopefully I can sand them down and stain them in a walnut finish, or something like that. 


All of this will be much more exciting when our master bedroom isn't piled in our garage.  Don't you agree?  Pin It

Monday, August 12, 2013

DIY Texture Book


Charley still loves books and lately she's been interested in the "touch and feel" variety.  She knows right where to touch on each page to feel the soft fur or the scratchy straw.  That brings me to the title of this post:  a DIY texture book. 

I started by browsing around Hobby Lobby's fabric section in search of anything with an interesting texture.  I piled my fabrics and ribbons on the table to get measured and it was quite the mixture.  I had to ask the lady at the counter if this was the weirdest combo anyone's ever bought at once.  She just looked at me.  I'll take that as a yes.


I left Hobby Lobby with everything from sequins to silk to suede.  I cut each fabric/ribbon to fit on the pages of a cardboard book (also from Hobby lobby) and used liquid stitch to attach each fabric.  Once it dried I added the book rings to the top and it was time to play!




Charley was definitely intrigued by all the different textures.  But of all the pages, the fringe is by far her favorite.  Which reminds me...she took a major liking to fringe boots at Nordstrom not too long ago.  Interesting. Pin It

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Goodwill Hunting: Outdoor Music Station

Let me be a little more clear.  I didn't find an outdoor music station whilst thrifting.  I did, however, pick up four baking pans to create my own.  Combined, these pans were only $1.75.  Yes, please.


I chose four different types of pans-a cooling rack, a cake pan, a bunt pan and a sheet pan.  I totally swiped this idea from my brilliant momma.  She threw a little music station together outside of her house when Charley was visiting and I loved it. 

To set up the station, I tied string to the pans and attached them to our deck.  I had to use a hammer and nail to add holes to the cake and sheet pans first so there was a way to attach the string.


Normally our deck looks like this...



But when we play out there I use the storage bin to block the stairs.  So it looks more like this...



And it creates the perfect nook for this...



The second Charley spotted it, she grabbed a drumstick and the banging began.  She loved it.


What toddler doesn't love pots and pans and making lots of noise, right?!


I think the $1.75 thrift shop purchase was a success. Pin It

Monday, August 5, 2013

De-Chevroning the Family Room Part Two

Last week I left off with a post about changing up a few accessories in the family room.  There was a bit of chevron overload going on in there.  First, I switched the fabric on the coffee table, which made a big difference to me but probably not to anyone else that walks into the room.  It was driving me bonkers.  As was the fabric-wrapped canvas hanging above the couch. 


I wasn't sure what I would replace it with until I was shopping at a boutique called Francesca's.  Their walls are always filled with fun decor that you can also purchase.  I was cashing out when I spotted a metal piece painted in a minty color.  It was only 20 bucks but at first I said no.  But then I said yes.  And now it's on our wall.


I like the worn look and the quote written in scrabble letters is kind of cute...work hard and be nice to people.  Maybe a little cheesy but I like it.  And mint green?  How could I pass it up.



A little less chevron means our eyes can rest easy now.  I think the rug is as much zigzag as anyone can handle.  There's still a chevron frame (not pictured here) that must go, I just need to find a replacement.

I have a couple kid activities to share soon so stay tuned! Pin It