Archive of ‘Before and After’ category
The master bedroom slash office has been my pet project for the past month. It’s still far from done, but I’ve changed more in the last month than I have in the past year. It’s gratifying to get something done, right?
I’ve had plain white IKEA curtains up since we moved in. When we moved into this house (which has LOTS of windows), I just went with white curtains everywhere because 1) They’re cheap at IKEA, 2) I didn’t have to think about it too much, and 3) White goes with everything. White does get a little bland though, especially in this room where I don’t have anything up on the walls yet. So I decided to glam up the curtains a little bit with Greek key trim, inspired by this image from Pinterest.
Did you know that Greek key trim is expensive? Especially the 3″ wide trim I was looking at, especially enough to do 4 curtain panels? Then, I found this awesome post by Bethany at Dwellings by Devore and I found my solution! She simply ordered a few yards of Premier Prints’ Towers fabric, which has a Greek key-inspired pattern on it. She cut the fabric into strips, folded over the raw edges, and sewed them to the edges of her curtains. Genius!
I ordered 3 yards of navy Premier Prints fabric from Fabric.com (at just $8 a yard) and did just that. Tadaa!
The office area, which previously looked like this (with my newly refinished desk):
Now looks like this:
(I still need to put the closet door back on the wall to the right; please disregard that for now!)
The bland wall on this side of the room is livened up a little by the graphic trim, though much still remains to be done…
A headboard, for example, would be nice. (Psst, instructions for building the DIY king-size bed frame are here).
There’s a lot of projects coming up here. I’m switching out the small lamps for larger scale ones (another DIY), and I’m bringing in more navy accents to pick up on the curtain trim and that blue pillow. I’ve also ordered the fabric for the headboard…just need some time to make it now…
And some art or other decorative element above the bed. But definitely something simple. I like the spare, serene feeling in here and don’t want to lose it.
What do you think of my little budget Greek key trim update? An easy way to bring a graphic element into a room, right?
P.S. My love affair with navy blue shows no signs of abating…
Sharing at VintageRevivals, TheBlissfulBee, TinySidekick!
I love January. If only because I feel like I’ve gotten more done in the past 3 weeks than I have in the past 3 MONTHS! We’ve really been on a roll in terms of getting on projects that have been dragging on and finally finishing them up.
For example, this midcentury modern desk was given to us by Chris’ parents several months ago. I immediately loved the clean lines, but I wasn’t so keen on the scuffed and stained desktop.
I actually didn’t mind the blond wood finish but all these marks needed to go:
This desk is NOT solid wood, sadly. The desktop is a thin wood veneer. I thought that I could still sand the finish down so that I could re-stain it. It was a very delicate process. In retrospect I should have applied a stripping product to it first, but in my impatience I just started sanding away. I sanded down most of the stains and then applied Minwax Jacobean, a dark espresso stain. It hid most of the remaining stains.
Here’s the final product.
As you can see, on the drawers I ended up sanding through the veneer at certain points (the darker spots on the drawer fronts). The wood beneath took the stain darker. So it’s not perfect but I really don’t mind the dark spots. They just look more weathered.
I sanded the main body of the desk and I painted it with an oil-based primer (Zinsser Cover Stain) which in my opinion helps to cover bleed-through better than water based. Its superior sticking power also provides greater durability on an already-finished surface. Then I used Behr Alkyd paint (I can’t remember the color but it is very close to white) for a final two coats. And yes, you can put water-based paint over oil-based primer.
I love Alkyd paint for furniture applications. It’s the same paint I used on the kitchen table:
Water-based alkyd paint dries to a super hard finish just like oil paint but it’s less toxic and cleans up with water. It has better self-leveling properties than regular latex and goes on super smooth with a brush. It also doesn’t dry tacky like regular latex paints can. These paints are fairly new, but I think they will become more and more popular.
I finished the stained portions with oil-based polyurethane (applied with a brush). I love that stuff, even though it is super stinky (be sure to wear a ventilator rated to filter VOCs). It dries so smooth and glossy and is super durable.
So now the little office nook in the master bedroom is starting to take shape. The only problem is that this desk is quite small, and the AWESOME vintage office chair I picked up doesn’t fit under it very well:
I seriously love this chair and consider it one of my greatest estate sale finds. The faux leather is in PRISTINE condition, and the frame is made of a beautiful wood that looks like teak. The previous owner had it in the den and must not have sat there much. It doesn’t even need to be reupholstered. I wish it worked with the desk but the desk is just too small to accommodate those lovely curved arms. So either I sell the chair…or I change out the desk. And after all the work I just put into the desk, I’m a bit loath to get rid of it!
Oh first world problems…
Sharing at TwelveOEight, TheBlissfulBee, SavvySouthernStyle, TinySidekick, MissMustardSeed, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello!
The foyer in our house hardly merits the name — it’s just a little box between the hallway and the living room, but I’m grateful to have it! It’s really handy to have a little landing pad area for shoes, keys, and mail before you enter the house proper.
We did this little update a few weeks ago:
We painted a navy blue accent wall that you see right as you come in.
The foyer area used to look like this:
It was kind of a milky mocha color. The paint really wasn’t in the best shape (you can see the weird blotches) and just wasn’t really me. Also, I definitely prefer cooler blues, greens, and grays, rather than browns. Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, haha!
The paint color is Behr’s China Pattern, which isn’t strictly a navy, since it definitely reads blue ALWAYS, never black. But I tried a darker navy and it was too dark, so this one ended up winning out.
We’ve had the console table for a few months. It’s the Tao Foyer Table from World Market, which is unfortunately being discontinued. We snapped it up on clearance. It’s a very small and slim console table, so it is perfect for our tight foyer space.
The antique mirror is something we picked up over a year ago. I pumped up the gold finish with some gold leaf paint.
I didn’t style the table to make it look perfect so you can see the tray that catches my mail, sunglasses, chapstick, and keys! Also, I guess I didn’t close the drawer all the way =p. Just keepin’ it real, peeps.
We got this flush mount light from IKEA for the foyer. I removed the white plastic base and spray painted it gold. I think it gives the area a little more glamour.
I love dark blue and gold together, don’t you?
Sharing at SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee, DomesticallySpeaking, StartatHome
On Tuesday I went to Target…one of my favorite activities. Our local outdoor mall has a Target attached and I go there probably 2x a week with Baby Brownie because it’s a great place to walk with the stroller as well as get milk, cereal, necessities, etc… There’s a little outdoor playground right outside Target which makes for a nice break with the toddler.
Anyway, I ALWAYS look in the dollar bins at Target to see what goodies they have. This week I wasn’t disappointed as I found these cute little metal candleholders.
I grabbed the owls but they also had turkeys and jack-0-lanterns. I thought the owls were the cutest though, and they’re more all-season. I don’t like buying a lot of seasonal decorations because our 1970s home just doesn’t have that much storage! And I feel like seasonal stuff can cross over the line into tackiness pretty easily. So I just try to get stuff that’s appropriate around the year.
I just sprayed these $1 candle holders with Valspar gold spray paint. I still had most of a can left over from another project, so for 2 candle holders this little project just cost me $2!
They were all right before, but now they’re really cute!
I actually kind of messed these up because it started raining while I was spraying them and a few raindrops got on the paint before I was able to bring them inside. It hasn’t rained in 9 months but of course, there’s a downpour on the day I’m spraypainting outside (Southern California, boo hoo, haha). But I was glad that the plants got some watering though, and with the brush fires recently we really need rain.
Anyway the raindrops weren’t really noticeable on the gold paint. I thought the owls were cute before but they look much more expensive now and the gold acts as a neutral, so they go with anything! I have them on my dining table along with my pumpkin centerpiece and my mercury glass candle holders. These would be super cute little gifts too.
WARNING: I was reading about the flammability of spray paint. The wet paint is VERY flammable but when it is dry, it is just like any other painted surface. So wait until the paint is dry and cured (48 hours) before using the candle holder, and as always, NEVER leave a candle burning unattended.
Linking up at Place of my Taste, Remodelaholic and Savvy Southern Style
Over the weekend, while Chris was working like a busy bee on insulating our house, moving electrical, and figuring out how to put up new siding, I worked on a little pet project.
I decided to take an old bench that had been sitting in the master bedroom, where it had been covered in a giant pile of clothes for the past 3 months, and turn it into a little activity table for Baby Brownie.
(The giant pile of clothes is now happily sitting on the floor.)
We bought this bench for $10 at a thrift store and had sanded down the top in anticipation of refinishing it. It has been in the above state for over a year.
I decided it would be easier to paint it than to refinish it, especially since the legs were all chipped, dented and dog-chewed. So I primed it with 2 coats of Zinsser Cover Stain, and then painted it with 2 coats of Martha Stewart’s Duck Egg (Glidden). Then, I painted on 3 coats of Polycrylic to seal and protect the top. Because I know this piece is going to get a lot of
It turned out really nice! And it’s just the perfect height for Baby Brownie to stand at and play with the new wooden tea set I got her.
I kind of like how you can still see the metal bolts.
Baby Brownie noticed it right away and went over to it and stared at it for a long time. I asked her if she liked it and she nodded yes. That’s a big deal since she’s in her “no” phase right now!
I just ordered a couple of little chairs on Amazon and I’ll share with you when they arrive.
Another cool thing is that if we ever want to get all the kids’ stuff out of sight…
The table/bench works really well as extra seating! The teal/aqua color isn’t so bright that it can’t be used as adult furniture.
In the interest of full disclosure, this is what the bench REALLY looks like after it has been played with:
Just a note of warning for single/as-yet-childless folks out there…this is what you have to live with when you have a kid. Enjoy.
UPDATE: The chairs have arrived and they are adorable!
Sharing at MissMustardSeed