Archive | November, 2010

New life for old stuff. Conclusion.

30 Nov

I know I’ve been babbling a lot about projects I PLAN to accomplish.  With all my projects approaching in the coming months, I thought I would share with you a past DIY project.


As I mentioned in an earlier post, our current dining table is a rescued piece from my aunt’s basement.  Around the time I was moving to my first apartment, my aunt was redoing her kitchen.  Her old dining table (most likely about the age of me) became banished to the basement along with the matching chairs.  I took the table, but abandoned the windsor chairs(not my style whatsoever).  With the finish of the table-top so degraded and damaged, its no wonder that my aunt felt it was time to replace it.  I purchased relatively inexpensive chairs from Target and had lofty plans to refinish the table to match their reddish mocha finish.

It took me almost 4 years, but just about a year ago, I found the time to take my first adventure into furniture stripping.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the result!


Hopefully the new house will allow me the opportunity to show you some even greater transformations!


New life for old stuff. pt 2

29 Nov

Ok, so to talk about what I planned to talk about yesterday before I got distracted and went on a separate rant…

We don’t plan on buying much furniture right when we move to the new house, but a new TV stand is a necessity.  After scouring the furniture store website I found a fantastic, vintage-inspired stand at Pottery Barn picture below).

Pottery Barn TV StandNow for a back-story before I can continue:

Our current apartment is the first floor of a house built around 1900.  It’s been totally and completely gutted and updated with the exception of the basement.  When we moved in, we were given half the basement (divided from the other tenant’s half by a wall).  In our half the basement was a pile of old furniture which our landlord told us came with the house when he purchased it.  Knowing I was an interior designer, he told us we could take whatever of it we wanted.  I gave the pile a quick once-over and saw only a few bland chairs from the 70s and headboard.

Flash to 2 years later:

My parents were up the other weekend for the home inspection and my mom, remembering my landlords offer of furniture, dragged me down to peruse the pile.  Lo and behold, tucked in the corner was a buffet covered in cobwebs and enough dust to write a novel in.  Giving it a quick wipe-down, we brought it upstairs.

found furniture

It bears a surprising resemblance to the Pottery Barn TV stand I was drooling over.  It needs a bit of love and refinishing, but has potential to be our new TV stand.  I’ll make the final determination once we get it to the new house, but its definitely coming with us!  If it is chosen to be our new TV stand, in addition to a gleaming new finish, it will receive shelves inside to house the X-Box, DVR, and audio receiver.  Fantastic vintage find that’s been literally right under my nose for the past 2 years!

I have far too much swirling in my head right now!   A new house provides me too many opportunities for creativity.  In order to first organize my thoughts before organizing all my  worldly possessions, I created a list of all the projects I’m planning for the house.  I will cross-off items as I complete them and post all the fun pictures on here!

I also planned to include more in this post, but I’m sure I’m losing your attention by now, so stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow!

*image from

New life for old stuff. pt 1

28 Nov

You’d think with all my spewing about antiques that I surround myself with them.  I grew up sleeping in an antique iron bed with an antique dresser in a house full of antiques or craftsman-inspired pieces.  My parents loved refinishing furniture and finding neat pieces at tag sales (or garage sales, or yard sales, or whatever you want to call them).  When I moved out on my own, I needed a change from the sea of beige and antiques that I grew up in- I bought mostly new things and refused to take mismatching hand-me-down furniture just to save a few bucks.  I ended up with a lot of nice things with no sense of history or true character.

After moving into our current apartment, I did the same thing, but wanted to infuse the apartment with more character.  Some of the new pieces we bought were vintage-inspired, but still lacked the aura of true antiques.  Hubby and I created a music room out of the unused living room (we used the larger ‘dining room’ as a living room instead), but left it unfinished.  It housed our piano, Hubby’s guitars and other random musical equipment.  I had a strategic plan for the room and painted the walls a turquoisey-blue with a satin stripe faux finish.  Hubby was skeptical about the paint, but I made him a believer!  The room was missing something.  It needed seating and we had a red chair in mind (to pull colors out of the funky area rug in the room), but refused to settle for just anything.  When a friend’s aunt passed away, we were given the opportunity to pick from the unclaimed items before the sale of her house.  Sitting inconspicuously in a dark room were an antique red chair and setee the perfect scale for our space.  Our friend was thrilled that we took the pieces which were originally his grandfathers and he was happy to see them ‘staying in the family’- we(Hubby) compensated our friend for giving us these pieces by making a sushi dinner for him and his family (yum).  Those pieces completed the room more than I expected.  They were the perfect vintage flare for an eclectic space.  Modern electric guitars on the wall, upright piano from the 40s, funky carpet and antique red seating.

It is through this room that Hubby and I discovered the style of design we both could agree on and enjoy.  We hope to carry the eclectic feel of the music room to the new house.

Vision in the form of red furniture

When I started writing this post, I intended to talk about a different piece of furniture, but got stuck on this tangent- oops.  So consider this part one of this post.  Part 2 to follow tomorrow.

I see DIY in my future

18 Nov

I profusely apologize for not posting in over a week.  This post-break, however, is going to lead to much more posts, and more exciting posts (if I do say so myself).  Why, you ask?

We’re buying a house!  And I don’t mean we’re looking at houses, or we’re planning to buy a house- I mean, we have the inspection Saturday and if all goes well we’re closing a MONTH from Saturday!!  HOLY CRAP, how did this happen?  Not quite sure, but I guess the planets aligned for us to find the right house now.

I have so many ideas swirling in my head and my list of desired power tools grows by the minute.  I was more excited for the drill I received as a wedding gift than I was for any kitchen gadgets (ok, so maybe the drill ties with my KitchenAid mixer)…  I have longed for a house so I had a reason to play with power tools.  I’m my father’s daughter I guess ;-).  First tool I want?  A router.  Looking back through past DIY projects on Design*Sponge I was inspired.  One particular caught my eye.  Hubby has stated that he likes having coat hooks by the door.  Functional? yes; aesthetically appealing? not usually.  Which is why I found these so intriguing: create mock drawer fronts with vintage knobs to use as coat hooks.  Functional and easy on the eyes!  I could totally see this by the back door in our new house (made of course with my own personal twist).

I also see some simple reupholstering in my future- for both me and a friend who is soon moving into her new house.  Tool for that? Staple gun!!  🙂  I think my fascination with tools is that with a little elbow grease and just a few simple steps, they help you transform items from ordinary to extraordinary, or from scraps to something cherished.  Stay tuned for some stellar DIY how-to’s in the coming months.  I hope you’re as excited as I am!

*image and inspiration from Design*Sponge


10 Nov


1. not patient; not accepting delay, opposition, pain, etc., with calm or patience.

2. indicating lack of patience: an impatient answer.

3. restless in desire or expectation; eagerly desirous.

Yup. That sums it up pretty well. After my rant about my house-commitment-a-fobia, we are waiting to hear back on our counteroffer. Its been 22 hours, don’t they know we want to know NOW!?! I’ve naturally started planning what projects I want to do.

What I find surprising is that the house we choose to put an offer on actually NEEDs no work.   I wanted a project, but I’m certainly not going to complain when it’s move-in-ready.   I’ll create my own projects.   For example.  The house is over 100 years old but has been totally updated… a little too updated for my ideal taste.   I would love to find vintage spindles to refinish to add character back into the stairs.

One project I’m excited to get started (whether or not our offer gets accepted): coordinating but mismatching dining chairs.  I’ve been wanting to do this for years:  scavenge antique chairs that have similar back and seat heights but different backs and refinish them to match.   I have a table that I rescued from my aunt’s basement and refinished a little over a year ago that I think would work perfectly with my envisioned chairs.   If I can pull this off properly, I think it will look so chic. My eyes are open for chairs- let the hunt begin!

Don’t fret, I’ll keep you posted on the status of houses (if i don’t burst from anticipation first).  Keep your fingers crossed for us!!

*image from

Halloween: an excuse to dress rediculous, eat junk, and mutilate pumpkins

2 Nov

I’ll spare you the verbosities today and just show you some pictures my sister took at our Halloween party.  Enjoy!

Halloween meal, complete with murdered gingerbread men sugar cookies (made by my sister), meringue ghosts and “rotten” eggs made by yours truly.

My first try at meringues ever!  Although some looked ‘scarier’ than others they all tasted fantastic.

Devilled eggs seem to be a staple at any picnic or holiday.  Black food coloring just makes them look rotten.  eewww

My plans for pumpkin carving was surprisingly well-received…. by all except the pumpkins ;o)

And what would Halloween be without cheesy pictures of home-made costumes!


*Photos courtesy of Lisa martin