Around the Home

Furniture Refinishing: A Dresser for Baby

With hubby having some vacation time off between Christmas and the New Year, we were able to get a start on our baby nursery. Hooray! The walls got a fresh coat of paint (white walls with one gray/neutral accent wall), and I was able to refinish the dresser/changing table I found at an antique/thrift store ($82, not bad). We also got everything cleaned out of the room so we could put down the new zebra stripe area rug I found on Amazon…love!

Here’s what I started with…


before3before1Here are the materials I used to refinish the dresser:
1. An electric, hand-held sander
2. Dark Walnut Wood Stain and Sealer (Varathane at Home Depot)
3. Polar Bear White Paint on the drawers
4. Foam roller to smoothly apply the paint
5. CLR (hubby cleaned the hardware to bring out that copper shine!)

And here’s what it looks like now…





Now it’s on to the next phase of nursery for baby! Stay tuned for more.


Around the Home, Mood Boards

A Nursery for Baby

  1. Love this illustration by David Fleck
  2. This Bookshelf is from Urban Outfitters
  3. Red floor lamp by Bukowskis Market
  4. Simple white crib from Ikea
  5. Cozy glider/rocker from Target
  6. A large, plush, zebra printed area rug by Sculpture
  7. Snake Plant found on Country Living
  8. Beautiful tree ring wall art, by Heather Montgomry Art 
  9. Picked out some bold, colorful fabrics at Chameleon Style in Arroyo Grande
  10. Mini Iron Dog Lamp by Style Craft, found on Hayneedle
  11. Dresser by Oeuf, found on 100 Layer Cake-let
  12. Artwork from Etsy, by Pool Pony Design

If you haven’t heard yet, we’re expecting a baby in March! After two back-to-back weekends of art shows in October, I took a little time off from painting in the studio, “worked on” resting and recovering from a cold, and then we had our first ultrasound! After we found out we’ll be having a BOY, I naturally couldn’t stop thinking about anything else besides my next “art project”…the nursery. I’ve had so much fun, sketching, pinning, dreaming, looking at fabric swatches, and so forth. I just wanted to share with you some of the plans in progress. Although there’s a lot of work to be done (cleaning and painting walls first!), I’m so excited to see this room unfold.

And here’s one more picture for you, it’s the gem of a dresser I found at Brooks Woodcraft in SLO. Of course it needs some paint and stain, but this thing is solid! And those pulls…

Looking forward to refinishing this for a dresser/changing table

Looking forward to refinishing this for a dresser/changing table


Around the Home

DIY Entertainment Center Project

You know how it goes, you buy that beautiful flat screen TV and are so excited about it! But then it sits on the floor for couple of weeks while you figure how/where to mount it and how/where to hide all those crazy looking electronics and wires that no one really wants to look at. This was where we found ourselves not too long ago. Routing wires behind the wall wasn’t really an option because (as you may notice) there’s a gas fireplace beneath the flat screen. Given that it’s a gas fireplace, which doesn’t give off a ton of heat and there’s a bit of a gap below the TV screen, we’re thinking (and hoping!) it won’t get fried.

This is what our wall looked like before our project began:


Husband & wife pondered this wall for quite some. First, the wall was painted in Potter’s Clay, for a slight tonal difference.

While trying to determine the best solution for what would inevitably be the focal point of our home, I did what I do whenever I need a plan. I sketched a picture…


My Aunt Leslie is an interior designer and suggested we have some shelves running up either side of the wall, so I went with it.

Once we decided to try and build shelves and cupboards, we went where many might go for a project like this…Home Depot. We bought a bunch of unstained wood, nails, screws, sandpaper and hinges. Then hubby began to build. Hooray for being married to an engineer who likes to figure out “puzzles”! I might also mention that  David covered those orange looking tiles along the bottom with a white washed/grayish wood laminate (also from Home Depot).


Shelves and cupboards in progress. All this wood was cut with a hand saw!

So once the building was complete, it was time for me to take over with the staining. I used two coats of Weathered Gray by Varathane. It’s a stain and sealant in one, so it gives the wood such a nice finish.


Next it was my job to stain.

We chose some door pulls from World Market, aren’t they fun? This is what the stained wood looks like up close. There’s a bit of shine to the finish.


Close up of the cupboard doors (where we’re hiding all those unsightly cords and electronics).

Once we stained everything, David bolted the whole unit to the wall and screwed in the long shelf running along the top. The whole thing is solid! It’s not going anywhere. And then of course we made a little trip to Home Goods for a few finishing touches (the bonsai tree, yellow lantern and tulips). The painting above the flat screen is something I found a while ago at Bed Bath & Beyond. I just loved the colors in it and touches of gold. Helps bring it all together, don’t you think?


Is that little bonsai tree in the corner not the coolest?


I was blown away by how well David constructed this whole thing. Thank you, My Love!

So there you have it folks. If you’re ever feeling as crazy as us and want to attempt something like this, don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. We’d be glad to share from our DIY experience!


Around the Home, Art & Creativity

Sticks & Strings

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but sticks and strings…now that’s a different story. Our guest bedroom was needing a bit of decoration on the dresser and I wasn’t getting excited about another fake flower arrangement. So I pulled out some colorful embroidery floss and made my own “bouquet” of sticks. What do you think? I realize I’m not the first person to do this, but it was a lot of fun.


A bouquet of sticks add a little bit of earthy charm and color to the room

I pretty much just tied a knot to begin each new section of color, then wrapped the floss around the tail. I also found that a little clear-drying craft glue (I like Sobo) helps to hold strands in place when you want to tuck away those last bits at the end of the row.


Tying a knot to begin another section of colored embroidery floss


The finished product is on the guest room dresser now

My sweet Dad helped us repaint the guest bedroom a couple weekends ago when my parents and sister came to visit. It was really nice to have them here and Dad was so helpful too! The walls were kind of a yellow and were looking a bit beat up, so the fresh coat of white, with gray doors looks really nice.


Here’s Dad, after the prepping was finished, ready to paint!


A fresh new guest room

Doesn’t the bouquet of sticks and strings look cute there in the corner? I added a few paper cranes for fun. You should try it sometime. Maybe even with much larger sticks and yarn or something, could be really fantastic. And if you do, tell me about it, I’d love to see a picture!

Around the Home, Art & Creativity

Furniture Refinishing Project

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the process of taking an old piece of furniture, or one that isn’t quite right but has potential and turning it in to something new…something YOU. Having just moved into a new house a couple weeks ago, we’ve been working hard when we have moments of free time to make it feel like home.

I had been looking for a piece of furniture to go in our main living area. You know, something that would be stylish and functional all at once with the perfect amount of storage for mail, papers that need sorting and stuff like that. I had such a hard time finding something that was the right size and shape for the right price. But then, there it was a Target, the perfect piece (minus the faux finish that I wasn’t a big fan of). I also felt this item needed to have some color and pizazz in order to stand out against the white walls, something modern and fun.

So here’s what I did:


I started with this cabinet ($150 at Target).

1. Removed all doors and drawers, as well as hardware and lightly sanded.
2. Applied several light coats of satin gray spray paint to cabinet, door and drawers.


Drop cloths always come in handy!


I wrapped a drop cloth around the base so as not to get spray paint on it.process3Rust-Oleum is fabulous and I only needed two cans for this, plus a clear protective coat.

3. Applied a couple thin layers of clear protective sealer within 30 minutes of applying color (can be found with the rest of the spray paint at Home Depot).

4. Added lovely hardware/pulls from World Market.


A little bit of silver and a little bit of color (World Market)

5. Applied some silver coated Contact Paper to the top of the cabinet for a little extra bling (Home Depot).


Just cut your contact paper to size, peel of the backing and stick into place.

All finished! And now those unsightly stacks of papers, mail and coupons have a place to live.


Perfect storage space


Isn’t she pretty?

Around the Home, Uncategorized

Sprucing Up for This Weekend

It’s finally here! This weekend we’ll be opening up our home for Open Studio Tours, 2013 and there has been plenty to do in preparation. It has also been fun receiving extra copies of the Tribune Article from friends and family, now I can finally add a proper “press page” to my website. So very grateful for that opportunity!

Wednesday and Thursday were spent hanging paintings, shopping for some last minute items, yard beautification projects, etc. I had some help from my Aunt (who has a great eye for interior/exterior design and aesthetics!). Here are some photos of a few things I worked on around the house this week:

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I love these grasses and planters, we were really needing a little “extra” in the front.

We picked out these grasses at The Farm Supply, off Tankfarm Rd. I think they’re beautiful and add a lot of texture. We also found these wonderful angular planters at Tuesday Morning for 90% off! The original colors were quite hideous, so I spray painted them with some Rust-Oleum Metallic Carbon Mist spray from Home Depot. Pretty sharp, huh?

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These plants are on either side of the front of the house now.

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Aunt Leslie picked out these beautiful flowers in mixed reds for the planter

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A sneak peek at some of the artsy set up inside

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There are about 22 of my original paintings on our walls now for the show, very colorful!

DIY – The Chair Planter

This is a little project I’ve been wanting to finish up for a while now. I had painted our little picnic table with some wood stain in Kona, from Home Depot. I wanted to fix up a tired chair as well and use it as a planter, so here it is:

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Before it got a coat of stain

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Stain and some chicken wire were added

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The finished product. We’ll see how those flowers do in their new habitat.

OK, that’s about all for today. I hope you’ll come by for Open Studio this weekend if you’re in or near the area!