My Table Scares Me

So, throughout most of my life, I have taken the “safe” route. Not taking many chances, doing things the way they “should” be done, and especially not taking any chances in decorating my house.

I have always gone the safe route, not wanting to do anything too risky or out of my comfort zone.  Then I saw this quote……..

Do-One-Thing-in-Every-Space-That-Scares-You

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It immediately inspired me.  Since I graduated college, I have lived with another person.  All of my decorating choices were a compromise.  For almost the past two years, I have lived by myself for the first time in my life.  It took about a year to realize, this was MY space, and my space only.  This may be the only time in my life I will be on my own, able to decorate for ME and no one else.  While sitting in my living room, looking at this…….

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I realized this was the space I wanted to scare me. All of that dark furniture (all brought from my old house, bought for that space specifically) didn’t make this space feel like mine.  THIS was where I was going to take my decorating chances.

I have always been a fan of light colors, turquoise, tan, white, yellows, but lately I have been drawn to navy, gold, yellow, etc.  Then I saw this living room on Pinterest…..

Navy Living Room

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After seeing this, I knew navy and gold/yellow was where I wanted to go.

With all of that heavy furniture, one piece had to go. My TV stand was staying and I loved the tall bookshelf in the corner, so it was the small shelf on the left that got the boot.

I fell in love with this table…..

Gold Table

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But with a $699 price tag, I knew something else had to be done.

I have never, in my life been drawn to the color gold, until recently.  This was definitely going to be a risk, outside of my comfort zone, and something that scared me.

I scoured thrift shoppes, HomeGoods and other discount stores and wasn’t finding anything I liked. Then I remembered various gold items floating over blog land, all done with the magic of Rub’nBuff.  You may remember I gave my first go with Rub’nBuff on this silver vase.  This vase was to practice before I took my skills out on a bigger, more substantial piece.

I found the perfect table on Joss & Main.  Clean lines, simple, and only $99. BUT they were sold out. Womp.  The perfect table was eluding me.  I took a chance and looked on Amazon and found the exact same table that Joss & Main was sold out of.  For $93!!

Original Table

I had $65 in cash back bonus to use + free shipping with Amazon Prime, so the final cost of the table was only $33.58.  That made me feel better about totally altering the look of the table.

After building the table, I got to work adding the Rub’nBuff

Table Progress 2

It took two coats to fully cover the table.  This time, the best way to “buff” off the excess was to just wipe. No circular buffing, no scrubbing. Just wiping off the excess.  This helped limit the number of streaks and prevent the original finish from poking through.

Table Progress 1

It didn’t take long at all. And when done, the finish was solid, and wasn’t rubbing off.

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I swapped out the bookshelf for the new table and absolutely love it!!!

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I think it totally helps lighten up the space, taking away the heaviness of all of the dark furniture.

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I did a little bit of styling of the space (seriously always the most fun part of any new project!!!)

Table Styling 1

I got all of this from Target. Total Target addict! The lamp was on clearance for $18 and the shade was only $14.  This picture doesn’t do the lamp any justice. It is HUGE.  And totally a bargain at $18.  I got this Jonathan Adler desk organizer to hold some necessary living room clutter and also to use as a charging station for my iPad and phone.  I always charge them at this spot and this helps corral the mess!

Table Styling 2

I absolutely love pictures and wanted to find the perfect place for these pictures from my trip to Napa last year. Boy do I wish this table was in a house I owned out in Napa!! I got this geometric shape from Target for $3.  I gave it two coats of Navy spray paint and it was perfect for the space.

So, was I scared to have a gold table in my house? Yessir! But am I thrilled to have taken a chance and go outside of my comfort zone?? ABSOLUTELY!!!

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What decorating risks have you taken lately?!?!?!

Adding a Little Spice in the Bathroom

I’m back!! Technical difficulties (= no batteries for my computer mouse and me forgetting for 2 days to get some) have led to an unintentional hiatus!!

As I mentioned before, I love helping other people fix up their houses. Spending their money and having additional spaces to let my design juices run free = AWESOME!!

My fella has finally gotten on board allowing me to “help” spruce up his house!  I am usually at his house 3 days a week. Being a female, I come with a LOT of stuff. Especially bathroom items.  Currently at his house, his daughter’s bathroom is under renovation so she is sharing his bathroom, the same I use. Three people in this bathroom means a LOT of stuff.

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(Now, I will confess that in the picture above, 75% of that stuff is mine…..but still). His builder-grade bathroom has a large mirror and no medicine cabinet. The only option is to leave essentials out on the counter or put them below the sink. And seriously, who wants to have to bend over daily to get essentials for getting ready?!?! NOT ME!!!!

I had seen these Bekvam spice racks in the kitchen storage section of IKEA……

Bekvam Spice Rack

and knew they would be PERFECT to help corral some of this bathroom chaos!  And at $3.99 a piece…..game on!

I built these two puppies in less than 10 minutes, gave them a coat of primer and spray painted them satin white.  A day or two to cure, and they were ready to hang!

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Probably one of the quickest, easiest organization projects of all time!!!

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SO much better!! See that organization? (And all that room for my stuff on the counter???)

You may remember I bought 2 racks. Well, we placed them up and realized only one was needed, so there is one left to use to “spice-“up somewhere else around the house!

Hey, its a win win for everyone!!! I also hung up that $4 mirror from IKEA too!  A girl’s gotta pluck her eyebrows and be able to see to apply her makeup even when she’s away from home am I right?!?!

So for $12, there is some definite “spice” and organization going on in this space! Next up, I think he needs some paint, some crisp white outlet and light switch covers, and an updated light fixture…….all in the name of helping those I care about!!

A Little Bit Old School

This little update couldn’t have been any faster, easier or cheaper (well I guess anything can always be cheaper, but this one definitely didn’t break the bank!)

Since moving in last July, I have been living with this in my upstairs hallway……..

BareBulb

Yup!  A bare light bulb.  (And leftover curtain hardware on the windows from the previous owners – but that’s another story for another day!)

As soon as I moved in, I took down this ravishing beauty……

Old Light

I just couldn’t do it. The “boob” light shape, the decorative finial type thing and the crackled glass. I didn’t know what I would put up at the time, it just had to come down.

I had some ideas, just like I do for every room in the house, including these……..(all images from Shades of Light)

FM10005PN-01

$149

FM12031BZ-01

$259

PE13065BZ-01

$159

I love each and every one of these……even dream about that pentagon light at the bottom…..but I am not going to be in this house forever, and I would rather spend the majority of my money on bigger impact updates, and ones more people will see!

My house was built in the 1940’s and you saw the vintage hexagon bathroom tiles here (which can’t be salvaged).  I would love to make a ton of updates to the whole house, but want to keep a little bit of the fun, vintage aspect to it.

I have seen vintage schoolhouse lights around places including Lowes, Home Depot and even at the ultra spendy, but gorgeous, Shades of Light.

I went to Home Depot and picked up this school house lamp cover for $5.95. No changing of the light fixture, no wiring, no spray painting the existing fixture another color. Just a simple, screw-in-three-screws-and-done, update.

Schoolhouse Light 1

I love it!! Such a fun, quick update!

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Why, yes, that’s my unmade bed in the background.  I didn’t realize it until well after I was done taking pictures and then I lost my natural light. Just keeping it real! And seriously, I know I’m not the only person out there who doesn’t make their bed everyday!!!!  At least I don’t have clothes all over the floor…..that you can see!!

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What do you think? Helping to keep some of the vintage feel of the house? Well worth the $5.95 and 10% effort?!?!  I think so!

Silver & Gold – A little Rub’n Buff action

So, I have decided to do a complete makeover of my living room decor.  Everything I have in that room is from my old house, bought specifically for that house.  I used what I had to make it work when I came here, but it just isn’t giving me the warm fuzzies in this “new” house.  So I set out to make some changes for as little cash money as possible!

While I am putting the finishing touches on one of the bigger changes, I’ll share a small change I made that was literally an “under $10, only took 5 minutes” project!!

I was doing a little accessory browsing at TJ Maxx recently and I came across this awesome silver vase for $3.

Silver Vase

I loved its curvy pear shape and the detail of the bottom, but it was the wrong finish for my new living room scheme.

I remembered the amazing invention of this stuff……..

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I have been wanting to try this stuff out for the longest time, but gold wasn’t an option in my house until my new design scheme was born.  So with $6 of Rub’n Buff and my $3 vase, I got to work.

I had read the best method was to apply the paint with your finger tip.  The instructions say to use a brush, finger tip or rag.

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I put a pea-sized glob on my finger and rubbed it on the vase.  A little really goes a long way with this stuff.  Once I covered an area, I let it sit for a few seconds.  Then I took a clean rag and “buffed”, in a circular motion, over the area I just “rubbed” on with my finger.

RubnBuff 2

Some tips I learned quickly that I figured I would share……….

1.  Make sure each area of the item you are rubbing & buffing is fully covered with the paint. If there are any thin areas, the buffing will easily take some of the color off.

2.  Work sections at a time.  Allowing it to fully dry on each area makes the buffing a little tougher and doesn’t allow for a finish with some variation. So buff as you go rather than rubbing color on the whole thing first then buffing.

3.  The instructions say to use this in a well ventilated area…………follow the directions.  This stuff is pretty strong. I had the windows open in the dining room and the smell was around for a few hours after.

4.  When working with a vase like this, DON’T stick your finger in the top while working on the bottom portion if you don’t want it to get stuck.  I was stuck in this thing like a Chinese finger trap.  After a few minutes of mild panic where I contemplated smashing the vase to get it off (or driving to the ER with a vase stuck on my finger to save the $3 vase), I relaxed and wiggled my finger out!

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5.  The instructions say to use soap and water or mineral spirits to clean your skin when finished.  I just used dish soap and water, and with a little scrubbing, the paint came off pretty easily.

This stuff dries very quickly and after about 5 minutes of rubbing & buffing, the vase was finished. It wasn’t tacky to the touch or anything.

Rub N Buff After 1

I left the finish on the bottom of the vase a little splotchy to give it a little more visual interest with just a SMIDGE of the silver poking through.

I love it!! And Rub’n Buff couldn’t be any easier to use!! I’m a fan! I have been thinking what else I can transform throughout the house! Silverware? Cups? Lamps? The whole house may be gold soon!!!

Rub N Buff After

Staining Ikea Veneer Furniture

We all love Ikea.  Why? Because it’s cheap.  But the downfall of Ikea? It’s cheap!! You won’t find high quality, solid-wood furniture in rich, dark tones that will last until your grandkids move out of their parents house and you can pass down the heirloom furniture. But for a young person furnishing their first apartment…….Ikea is perfect!

When I got my first apartment out of college, I needed some furniture. Cheap.  I bought this Ikea birch veneer tv stand.  It served me well and was even used in my first house in the bonus family room.

tv stand before

Two months before I bought my house last year, my fella also bought a house for him and his daughter but he was short on furniture.  I was moving into a house that was half the size of my old house and I had furniture I didn’t need.  I volunteered to let him have my tv stand.   He wasn’t a fan of the color (neither was I really but when you’re a poor college graduate anything will work!) So I said my favorite words “I can paint/stain that!!!”  He decided he wanted it stained a darker wood tone so I got to work.

I did some research and read lots of different techniques for painting/staining Ikea veneer furniture.  Most reviews I read said it wouldn’t work, but I decided to give it a whirl anyway and see what happens.

1.  I sanded the entire piece with an electric sander and 100 grit sandpaper.  Because it is cheap veneer, you will never really get the “wood” roughed up enough to absorb the stain.  I sanded to get as much shine off of the wood as possible.

2.  I used a foam brush for even coverage and brushed the stain on relatively thick, but also as smooth as possible.

with foam brush

3.  I let the stain sit for 30 seconds just to give it some time to HOPEFULLY soak into the veneer a little.  I wiped off the excess with a paper towel.  The key is to wipe lightly, removing excess stain but leaving as much color on as possible.

wiping stain

I used Minwax Red Mahogany stain.

Minwax Red Mahogany

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4.   I gave each coat at least a day to dry in between.  If it is still tacky when the next coat is applied, the color will just get pushed around.  Because it is veneer, the stain is not absorbed into the wood.  It is actually just being painted on.  Adequate dry time is key to getting an even, long-lasting finish.

5.  After the last coat was fully dry, I applied a LIGHT coat of Minwax Clear Semi-Gloss Polycrylic.  This coat needs to be applied as lightly and evenly as possible to not cause the paint to smear.

Minwax Polycrylic

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The stand was left in the garage for 4-5 days for the poly to dry and cure.  Since it was having a tv and other electronics put on it, I wanted it as hard and cured as possible.

Once we brought it in, I thought it looked amazing. And my fella loved it!! $10 for stain and poly and my fella had a “new” tv stand!!

I think it looks amazing!!!  So much better than its former life as a birch colored, new college graduate tv stand!  And its super easy to do!

finished stand 1

finished stand 2_edited-1

And since his house needs a bit of a woman’s touch, I cut these hydrangeas from his garden to spice up his tv stand and make it a little more homey!

Aren’t they gorgeous?!?!

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Bathroom Progress….Cabinet Update

I have big but feasible plans for my bathroom overhaul (mood board here).  And as much as I would love to just have it all done now, the “Bank of Me” doesn’t allow for it all to be done in one shot.  I am tackling this puppy piece by piece as I can save the pennies I need!

The first major update I did was to tackle those FABULOUS orange-y wood cabinets with gold hardware.  Remember these?

bathroom 1

I knew this would be a super easy project and super cheap!  One quart of Zinser Primer (already had), one quart of Olympic Moonlit Snow paint & primer in one (for bathrooms & kitchens) at $15, 5 new bushed nickel cabinet pulls for $10, and new brushed nickel hinges for $10, I was ready to get started.

Over two days I primed the cabinet and doors………….

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Then I gave it all two coats of paint and I ended up with this…….

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(Ignore me in the pic…..this room is so small I didn’t have much of a choice…..well I guess I could have stood in the shower now that I think of it. Oh well!)

I love it so much and it makes the bathroom already feel bigger and updated.  Once I loaded the cabinets back up with all of my hair and makeup products, I noticed a bit of a problem……

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Most of my hair products come in metal cans. They were scratching up the shelves when I took them out and put them back each day. I searched for cute shelf liners but couldn’t find anything I liked enough. I took a trip to HomeGoods for some baskets and ended up with this wonderful piece of organization!!!

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I have an addiction to baskets and any way I can use them to organize and make a space feel prettier I’m all over it!!!

The bottom basket came with two smaller baskets that I used on the other side of the cabinet to help corral my stuff!!!

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I’m not sure how anyone else could ever live here with me!!! There is no room left for anyone else other than that top right shelf!! And now you don’t have to come over to my house and secretly peek into my medicine cabinet while you are using the bathroom…..I put it out here on the internet for everyone to see!!! And yes, that is a cupcake covered box holding all of my nail polish.  I love when my niece picks out gifts for me!!

Total cost for the cabinet update?  $47.00. I also had to buy a new, white GFI outlet to replace the beige one from before (which I totally installed myself)!

Having this one piece of the bathroom done is totally making me antsy to get the rest of the bigger projects (new floor tile and redoing the wall tile) underway!!!

White & Bright!

Hey Hey!! I am back from Vegas and with the 3 hour time change, jet lag, and little-to-no sleep the entire trip, my entire week has been pretty much a waste!

I wanted to share one of the early projects I completed when I moved into the house.

You can catch a glimpse of it here…..

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My house was blessed with lots of built-in storage options in several of the rooms. One of my favorites is this built-in dresser and storage cubby area in my bedroom next to my bed.  HOWEVER, I was not in-love with it in all of its original glory……

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Orange wood and gold knobs….it stuck out like a sore thumb.  I knew immediately I wanted to paint it white to help it blend into the closet more and look like a seamless wall of storage.

I took the drawers down to my dining room (my official indoor painting area) and spread them out on a tarp.  I lightly sanded them to remove the glossy top coat.  Each drawer got two coats of Kilz primer, with a light sanding in-between each coat.

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I did the same with the actual built-in dresser, just a little lighter sanding (I was just too lazy to deal with dust in the bedroom!!!)

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I sadly didn’t take any during shots……but for the actual paint I used Valspar’s Swiss Coffee color matched to Olympic Premium No VOC paint.  I just hate the smell of Valspar paint. Olympic doesn’t smell and the no VOC thing is a plus.  I tried using a cabinet roller but didn’t like the finish so I used a small handled brush to get a smooth finish.

I knew I wanted fabulous knobs for this space to flow into my feminine bedroom plan.  I know of no better place to get cute, original knobs than Hobby Lobby!  I mean look at that huge aisle of knobs!!!

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Look at these awesome options! I wish I had other places in my house for these knobs!

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This white rose option fit my “girly” theme perfectly but I wanted something a little more dramatic against the white paint. I settled on these…….

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Cute, classic, mercury glass knobs.  I knew they were the right mix of feminine yet chic for the space.  And at $2.99 a piece, I was sold!!!

Once everything was put back together, I was in love!!!!

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So much better than before right?? It’s amazing what a few coats of paint can do to change a space!!!