Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Office corner

It has been a little crazy around here. Don't really have an excuse, it's just been hard to sit on the computer at night to do anything. So sorry for the lack of blog posts...

I've realized that the core of many of my problems lie (or lay?) in paperwork over-flowage. There is this steady stream of mail and garbage that takes over our dining room table. This is actually a tame pile:

This is only about 1/4 of the table - but it is not unusual for the pile to overtake the entire table. It makes me crazy!

I determined that we need a paperwork station to corral all this stuff...

1. Parsons Mini Desk from West Elm
2. Chartreuse Chair from CB2 - but I'll try to re-purpose a thrift-store chair or something...
3. Mirror lamp from West Elm - but I will try to find something smaller from TJMaxx or Target...
4. Pencil cup from the Container Store
5. Lacquer tray from West Elm
6. Letter Tray from Container Store
7. Succulent plant, just because it looks cute in this image...

This little corner mini-office will go in the corner of our office, right where the trunk currently sits:

I'm ordering some of the pieces now... will share photos soon!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dresser Makeover

This dresser is from my mother's bedroom set she had growing up. It was in great condition, but the finish was looking a little drab. I tried to clean it, lightly sand it, etc, but this thing was basically begging for paint...


The paint is Benjamin Moore, Aura, satin finish, Stonington Gray. We used the same color on our office wall but it looks a lot lighter on the furniture than I expected! But it's all cool, the goal was to have a neutral-colored dresser we can throw in any room and use for decades to come, and I think this goal was accomplished!

The hardware was removed and sprayed lightly with a coat of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. Basically, the best stuff ever for dealing with brassy finishes.

We also have a large mirror that matches this piece. I gave that thing a makeover too, but it's sitting on the floor so it's a little anti-climactic to show you just yet!

Monday, January 9, 2012


before and after

One of our biggest furniture issues is our lack of nightstands. Basically. I have a tiny little nightstand and John has the edge of the radiator. It isn't really working for us.

We took our old nightstands out of storage: 

I inherited these from my grandmother. They are in excellent condition. They are solid wood, except for the tops which are laminate-made-to-look-like-wood, and the backs which are masonite board. I'm just throwing that out there to prove that these aren't prized antiques that need to be saved and restored. They have lasted for many decades, and they have sturdy, dove-tailed jointed drawers, but they are worthy of a makeover!

I knew I wanted two things: paint and ring hardware. After a little research I was thinking something like this:

I found these hardware rings from Lee Valley hardware...

Then, because I can't do anything the easy way, I picked up like 20 paint swatches, obsessed for a few days, narrowed it to my favorites, and eventually picked the one:

I had to drill one single hole in the center of each drawer and patch the old holes, since we switched the type of hardware used. 

Then I wiped some deglosser on all the surfaces, which is supposed to make the primer "stick". 

Then came the primer.

Then the paint, Benjamin Moore Aura in satin finish, Wrought Iron:

Ta da!

We have some more changes to make in the bedroom - some additions and rearranging and refurbishing, I'll show the progress here over the next few weeks...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I walk past this room like, constantly. It's been so frustrating looking at this mess for so long. We really needed to finish this so we could move on with other projects.

Taking a look back at this room three months ago...

After a little patching and sanding and a few days of painting the trim white, I applied a coat of Benjamin Moore Aura matte finish in the palest shade of aqua. Specifically, I had True Value color-match "Pianissimo 7005-20" from Valspar.

Since the Aura paint already has primer built in, I was able to cover the turquoise completely with 2 coats - no touch-ups needed. I seriously love this stuff.

If you are curious, I wrote more about Aura paint here...


We still have some more projects in this room - lighting, furniture, window coverings, etc. But at least we have a blank slate to work with. Since this was the last major project upstairs we are now able to move our hardware supplies to the basement and the old mess can be forgotten.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Probably the only helpful advice I can provide at the moment...

We took down our tree today. 
Once we decided - we just did it, kind of like peeling off a band-aid real fast.

Save all those clementine boxes and store your ornaments!

Bonus: Sorting by color gets out a lot of my pent-up organization aggression. I'm a dork.

Coming up this week: I finished a dramatic paint project this week that I can't wait to share! Stay tuned...