Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Big Reveal

Katie @ Bower Power & Sherry @ Young House Love
When these two silly (and uber talented) ladies posted the second Pinterest Challenge of the year, I was all in. Challenge accepted, I got to looking through my ever growing list of pins and narrowed it down to two options. (You can see more on that here.)

After grabbing a new oscillating multifunction power tool (sander, scrapers, cutter, etc.) on a deep discount and a 20% off on top of that at our local Harbor Freight Tools store, I was eager to put it to use. So, the hope chest that we use for a media console was calling my name for an update.

I love our cedar lined hope chest, it has great lines and the storage is a huge help for a small space. The only problem was that after years of wear and tear, it needed some TLC. Here are the pins from Pinterest that served as inspiration for the project:

I knew I wanted to keep the top a dark wood but needed to bring some light into the space by brightening up the rest of the piece. With some paint and stain that I had on hand, I got to work! I am really happy with the outcome and although painting wood furniture isn’t for everyone, it was the right decision for this piece and our space! (Plus, with a little paint stripper and some elbow grease, I can always take the chest right back to all wood.) 

Drum roll please…

ready for some light distressing
back in it's home
detail with the original hand pulls all polished
another view

The only thing I may change is the pulls, I am thinking of going with some glass options. I will have to check with good 'ol Hobby Lobby to see what's available. For now, the originals will have to do. I'll be sure to let you know of any changes!

Did you take the Fall Pinterest Challenge?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Round Two: Challenge Accepted!

For anyone who missed the challenge the first time around, you are in luck! Sherry and Katie have once again challenged everyone to get off their butts and go tackle some projects! The inspiration? 

The addiction that is Pinterest, of course. 

For the first challenge, I tackled this project merging coffee filters and a Chinese lantern via a hot glue gun! I loved how this moody lamp turned out so much that I can’t wait to get started on a new Pinterest inspired project this time around.

While searching through my ever growing "Must DIY" board, I was overwhelmed at all the things I would love to tackle but more than likely will stay on the board and not in my house! I finally narrowed it down to two ideas: 

A. Create a personalized engagement gift for a dear friend 


B. Repair and update our cedar chest turned media consol

Which would you pick? 

To see what I chose and how the final product turns out, check back on Wednesday, November (what! Nov, already? Sick.) 2nd for the big reveal. I sure hope you take on the challenge; it is a great kick in the pants and so much fun besides.

I mean seriously, can you really resist these two?

I can't...Challenge Accepted!
*PS. If you need an invite to Pinterest, leave me a comment with your email address and I will happily be your dealer, just don’t blame me when you start loosing sleep due to the addiction. I have warned you.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The REAL Movie Stars: Eat, Pray, Love

This week I have to showcase a movie based on one of my most favorite current books, “Eat, Pray, Love.”

If you have ever had a book (or movie for that matter) speak to straight to your soul, then you can understand my connection to this story. Without getting too philosophical on ya’ll, I will just say Liz Gilbert is a courageous woman who has a way with words that melts my heart and clears my head all at once.

The book, and therefore the movie, follows a woman on a journey through Italy, India, and Bali on a year long quest to find herself after a harrowing divorce and failed rebound relationship. If you have ever needed the courage to eat that plate of pasta or to open the search to find a closer relationship with God, Eat, Pray, Love is your ticket. Not to mention, if there are three places in the world to bring more beautiful scenes in a movie, I challenge you to show us! 

Without further ado, I give you the beauties that are the Eat, Pray, Love set designs…

*Disclaimer: I can't seem to find a picture but you must check out the amazing chevron patterned hard wood floors on Liz's New York City Suburb home in the beginning of the movie.  She goes into her bathroom in a midnight moment of desperation praying that God show her the way back to happiness. As emotional and wonderful the scene is, I can never focus on anything except that floor!

Then we move on to David's (the yogi from Yonkers) NYC studio apt, which I find is a nice preview and segway into what is to come esthetically on the journey.

Then comes Rome and in particular the apartment that Liz calls home for the next four months. Although the place is kind of a slum with scaffolding holding up the ceilings and having to boil bath water, it has this amazing charm and authenticity. A simple beauty.

"Il dolce far niente" The sweetness of doing nothing.
The journey continues onto an ashram in India. The actual ashram didn't bring much excitement to me in the terms of decor and design, but outside the walls are where the true beauty really lays.

I have a weird love for Indian weddings. If anyone would like to invite me to one, I will be happy to attend!
Liz then finishes her year in Indonesia, visiting a Balinese medicine man named Ketut Leyer and finds true balance in life when she meets her soul mate, Felipe.

I know this story has inspired a lot of men and women to take an internal evaluation of their lives and to even embark of journeys of their own. With the beauty of these countries showcased, I can't blame them...

Bon Voyage!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The office/guest room quickly became a home of all the furniture we had that didn’t quite fit anywhere else. Not to mention, we had two fulfill two functions in the small space, my full time office and a functional guest room for out of town guests. After making a few changes to the room seen here, things were looking up. I no longer felt trapped in a claustrophobic box for 8+ hours a day during the week and was a little less embarrassed to have guests.

Office Nook

Last weekend, I finally tackled a few more projects to bring more cohesion to the room. After coming to the conclusion of a house color palette, I was ready to turn the black hole of furniture into something that made sense. 

The first project was a tall six drawer dresser that was actually from my childhood bedroom. I originally danced with the idea of painting the dresser a mustard yellow color to match an accent pillow, but decided a crisp white would be best for the long run. I grabbed the gallon of Valspar Honeymilk that I had on hand from my dining room chairs and got to work.

The puppykids wanted to help
Stop judging me for those pink snowmen sheets. Jeez.

After a few passes with sand paper (100 grit,) two coats of primer (Kilz is the very best,) and three coats of Honeymilk the dresser was finished. However, after putting the original handles back on, I knew I needed to find this baby some new accessories.

Enter my first experience with Hobby Lobby and its knobs and polls aisle. HEAVEN. Honestly, it took me a good 30 minutes to pick six pulls, and even then I couldn’t decide, so I came home with 10 mismatched knobs and tried a bunch of different combinations before settling with these 3 beauts.

Obsessed with this royal blue ceramic flower knob

These give off the best disco ball-esque shimmer.

I am so glad I was able to upgrade a piece of my childhood into a great piece. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner, it was so simple and way over-do for a change! At the same time of this makeover, I did upgrade my eye sore of a metal filing cabinet as well. I can’t wait to share it with you soon!

After Close-Up

Do you have a piece of furniture from your childhood bedroom or family house in your current home? Did you leave it as is or give it a face-lift? Even better, what are your favorite memories of your childhood bedroom?

* Any thoughts on my new picture effects? I want to keep all the photos consistent with colors & a watermark and currently I am loving this 60's effect! Let me know what you think!