Tag Archives: makeover

Are Your Holiday Decorations MIA, Why?

Are Your Holiday Decorations MIA, Why?

By now, I’m sure all your holiday decor is all neatly tucked away in storage boxes in a closet, attic or garage. Except for a vintage ornament wreath I want to enjoy just a little longer, I have put everything away as well. But if our holiday decor brings us joy, why not find ways to keep some of that goodness sprinkled around as a reminder of the peace, love and joy in our hearts not only during the holidays but 365 days a year.

With that said, these felt poinsettia flowers

felt poinsetta


can be used to embellish a heart shape wreath for Valentines Day.

poinsettia poinsettia wreath


Lose the pine needle and this holiday trim morphs into window jewelry.

hanging ornments with curtains


The message of Joy shouldn’t be restricted to the holiday season. Blending so beautifully with the surrounding Transferware plates, it’s worthy of an extended stay.

joy hanging plates


Now if this magnificent goodness was in my home, it would always be on display for two reasons; one, it is beyond gorgeous and two, I wouldn’t have a space big enough to store it. LOL The ornamental texture is breathtaking.

ornament tree


And these vintage ornaments are more about fun and whimsy, like those found at Patience Brewster, so deserving of extra time and enjoyment. In fact, it would be pretty darn cute and partner well with an Easter egg assortment in a similar color pallet directly underneath.

ornaments and branches


So why not reconsider tucking away the holiday decor for another year and think of creative ways to enjoy their presence each and everyday. Upcoming holidays, like Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter etc.or sprinkling a few items into your everyday decor  might be the perfect reminder to rock that holiday spirit all year long.

What do you think? Do you have holiday items that you use in other ways?


Kitchen Makeover-Part 1

Kitchen Makeover-Part 1

Before i begin,  I would just like to acknowledge everyone who was affected and/or lost a loved one on 9/11. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Last November, two weeks before Thanksgiving, I had a grandiose plan to revamp my tiny kitchen in time for the holidays. LOL LOL LOL I laid out a detailed plan on paper and convinced myself that it can be done in a two week time frame. Although my mental clarity was not compromised, looking back on it, I don’t know what I was thinking. Through it all, I learned a lot about myself and what I really love, and what I don’t really love which is always a good thing. I realized that I enjoy DIY with limits. I now know, if it involves plumbing, electricity and gas, I’m out.

Let me start from the beginning. I moved into my home 13 years ago. During that time,  I did 4 kitchen facelifts, mostly with paint,  replacing kitchen counter tops and trimming the cabinets. Unfortunately, I have very few pics of the original kitchen and the previous facelifts as I wasn’t blogging back then. Our home was built in 1947 and the cabinets were a dark brown laminate with  light grey/beige Formica counter tops and back splash and a white linoleum floor that was impossible to  keep clean and all white appliances. And  there was no dishwasher!

original kitchen montage 2a

When we moved in, immediately,  we replaced the old refrigerator with another white standard fridge and pulled out one of the nine cabinets to make room for an apartment size dishwasher. I was more than willing to sacrifice a cabinet for less dish washing. And then there were eight, cabinets that is.

Quickly, I painted the cabinets in desperation. At the time, I was pregnant with my second son. I have to say this disposable camera shot did not do this first attempt justice.

kitchen reno 2 pic 6

It was a step in the right direction and, I assure you, it get’s way better with facelift #2. I finally got up enough courage to rip the Formica backsplash off the walls. And after some patching, I was glad I did.


Kitchen reno backsplash removal

I added trim to the cabinets and painted them white, replaced the counter tops and painted the walls Benjamin Moore Bradstreet Beige  This began a love affair with all the shades on that paint strip. Various shades, including Jackson Tan started popping up in every room of our home. I did a faux tile paint treatment behind the stove atop vinyl sheeting that I didn’t want to mess with. I like how this makeover turned out, however, after a few years, I got tired of having to scrub the cabinets all the time so I opted to go dark again.

2nd kitchen facelift

The next attempt was a disaster! I’m amazed that I even took a picture. I was going for a faux wood look but instead it looked like someone smeared you know what all over these cabinets. Yuck!

Picture 095

I was rather distraught over this botched paint job and decided to rekindle my love affair with Jackson Tan since Bradstreet Beige was already on the walls..

Benjamin Moore jackson tan bradstreet beige paint chipsSo I painted the cabinets Jackson Tan.

kitchen reno 3 before

I just wanted to give you the back story before showing you my latest update.  As I write this, the new stove is sitting in the middle of the kitchen waiting patiently for the plumbers to hopefully shorten that gas line enough so that the stove can fit flush against the wall instead of sitting out as the previous one did. Wish me luck, as it has been the bumpiest of rides this time around.

How about you, do you have any DIY limitations?

Fine Dining Takes Time

Fine Dining Takes Time

I am so happy to be back in the garage stripping furniture again. It’s been a while, a long while. Now that the clutter has been eradicated, I have room to work again. I’m working on a dining room table  that I purchased some time ago. It’s been waiting patiently for it’s transformation.

dining table IMG_9985 cropped


When I saw it in the thrift store, I immediately thought about it’s Pottery Barn cousin, selling for a whole lot more.

pottery barn Tivoli dining table



Of course I saw beyond the dated parquet top.



dining table closeup IMG_9987

I wanted a light finish table this time around since my previous dining room tables have had a dark finish. My dining room is really small and I think a light table might help give the illusion of more space.  I saw a bleached wood table I saw in a magazine years ago and always wanted to give it a try. However, After sanding and bleaching it, however,  I didn’t quite get the results I anticipated. Yes, it is a blotchy mess.


dining table sanded bleached  IMG_9989


So I have to decide, do I give in go with a dark stain or do I paint it ?  I’m a light color. I’m actually on the fence about it. I also was thinking about a two tone finish, with the pedestal base in a different color. I can always try a dark stain and if I don’t like it, paint over it. Decisions, decisions; sometimes, I just can’t make up my mind and get paralyzed by all the options playing out in my head. What can I say, fine dining take time :)

Are you ever unsure how to proceed with any of your projects? What do you do to get off the fence?

I’m sharing this post with:

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

Funky Junk Interior: Party Junk

My Home is Almost Cured!

My Home is Almost Cured!

I haven’t been online too much because I am trying to keep up with my assignments for the Apartment Therapy January Cure; I started it at the same time I vowed to explore minimalism; actually both work hand in hand beautifully and shoving things in a drawer or closet is no longer an option.

So this past weekend, the assignment was to deep clean the living room. It wasn’t too difficult because my living room was already in a good place. To be true to the assignment,however, I did move all the furniture and vacuumed thoroughly including the baseboards. I’m still in the process of doing a family photo collage wall (Assignment 6 Making Your Home Your Own: Prep Artwork for Framing & Display). Haven’t located all the photos just yet and have to paint some of the frames but I’m just glad that I am on my way.
photo collage IMG_0230

I recently did a collage on the other wall after painting, but I’m altering that as well. I guess I have a thing for collage walls; perhaps because they can be rearranged and edited pretty easily.

Assignment #12 was bedroom  and wardrobe cleaning which I blogged about here and almost completed with the exception of my closet. Oh my closet, as tiny as it is, was a disaster. I’ll spare you the before pic. I took everything out and dove in.


bedroom closet IMG_0099

As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to try Project 333, limiting your wardrobe to 33 pieces of clothing for 3 months. You can read more about it here. It’s suppose to include shoes, but I didn’t take it that far, although I did downsize my shoes collection and donated 10 pairs and plan to list a couple I never wore on Ebay. The beauty of the Project 333 challenge is you can adjust it to your comfort level. There are no hard and fast rules. You decide what works or doesn’t work for you. So here’s my tiny closet that makes me smile each and every time I open it!

bedroom closet IMG_0138

I now have empty hangers!  And the top shelf  is devoted to most of my out of season clothing stored in those two grey totes.

bedroom closet IMG_0130


Assignment # 15, Declutter and Organize Bathroom Cabinets Cleanout,  which includes the linen closet, since there’s just no storage space in our pint size bathroom. Let.s just say it was another disaster that happened over time.


bedroom closet IMG_0162

You can see why it took me the better part of the day to get the job done and restore order.

linen closet  IMG_0278

And yes, my heart sings once again. I’m in love with the order of it all.

linen closet IMG_0259

For those of you who may not know, square footage is a premium when it comes to New York real estate. I just went to an estate sale this past weekend. The home looked fine from the outside, but the entire inside needs to be gutted and the unfinished basement has some serious water and foundation issues; it was over-the-top moldy. The asking price is $869K. Realistically speaking, it would take at least $250K to fix it up. I know I digressed but I just wanted to explain why the majority of us live in tight spaces, real estate is very expensive. Even the million dollar homes are small and can still need work.

Back to the linen closet , would you believe I found a pair of my earrings stuffed in a bag of toiletries, left over from one of our family travels? They almost got thrown away!

linen closet IMG_0209

Here’s my outbox, a designated spot to put things to be donated tossed or waiting for a new home, looked like after a few of my assignments and decluttering sessions.

out box IMG_0243

I dropped off most of it off over the weekend. And a local animal hospital was as happy to take my old sheets and towels as I was keeping it out of the landfill. Yeah!

Flowers area a part of the weekend assignments so I picked up some from  Trader Joe’s. Their flowers are reasonably priced and I usually separate them and make two arrangements. One for the dining room table

flowers IMG_0296

and one for the bedroom.

flowers IMG_0288

Although this is the last week for the cure, I have a ways to go. The room by room project list I created at the start of the cure will take a while to complete. But in the meantime, everything is looking up! My home is almost cured and I am steps closer to my goal, keeping only what truly matters:)



Making Progress

Making Progress

Well I am making progress following Apartment Therapy January Cure and my quest to embrace minimalism. Although I am not completing all the assignments as scheduled, I am making a world of difference in my home and retaining only those items that serve me and donating the rest. Speaking of donating, I found a couple of new places like Project Linus, which takes quilting fabric donations and the New York Public Housing Authority which takes furniture and household items for  residents in need. It takes a little effort and a few phone calls to locate the right places; however, it is well worth it. Not only does it  spear the landfill, it also is helpful to people who need help.

Back to the Apartment Therapy January cure, I decided t spend a day restoring my bedroom to it’s former glory. It never got back to normal after painting it.

bedroom IMG_9955

This says it all. Aside from the messy desk, notice the headboard behind the chair. It never got attached to the bed after the bed was moved to the front of the window. How sad. Never rehanged the curtains, mostly because I didn’t want to use the same ones that I had taken down.

bedroom IMG_9966

And the shelves have become overloaded with too much stuff.

bedroom IMG_9968

I belong to a book club and  I donated most of the ones stacked back there.

So, I tidied up the desk and vowed to stop  using it as a dumping ground anymore. Those horizontal surfaces are so inviting and become magnets for anything and everything, don’t they?

bedroom IMG_9978

Attached the headboard to the frame.

bedroom IMG_9986


By the way, this headboard used to look like this.

headboard-before_2503 copy

You can see the transformation here

Next, I tackled the shelving and got rid of the excess clutter.

bedroom IMG_9967

So much better now.  Changed the lower fabric containers since they were getting a little too floppy with these sturdy replacements.

bedroom IMG_9999

I didn’t bother to style the shelves in my effort to keep it real. The books, binders and paperwork hidden away in the magazine holders are used regularly.

As  for the drapes, I have amassed a large collection of drapes over the years but,I just wanted something different and my color and design aesthetic is changing AGAIN. I was  a  brown, cream, blue fanatic, however, these days I gravitate more toward all shades of blue, various shades of white and cream for a  more airy and soothing pallet.  And, I am only interested in furniture and  furnishings that are versatile and will work in almost any room. I like to have the ability to mix it up when the creativity juices start flowing..

So I  hung these Ikea sheer curtains I haven’t used for a while.

bedroom IMG_9979

I love them! In the daytime especially because they let all the light in.

bedroom IMG_0003

And now, I have a blank canvas to work with. The board you see leaning on the desk, actually there are two,  will serve as my inspiration boards.  I need to hang them and decide what else to hang on the other walls as well.


bedroom IMG_9984


Also want to purchase some adjustable arm lighting fixtures for each side of the bed. Just haven’t found any that I like just yet.

bedroom IMG_9986

Oh and yes, those temporary vinyl shades need to be replaced; yet another thing that i have procrastinated about all because I keep changing my mind about what type of shade to get. Lastly, although I changed the dust ruffle, I didn’t get around to changing the rest of the linens. I have a collection of shams, blankets, quilts and throws to choose from. As you may have guessed, I have a thing for linens and I have to get in check because they take up way too much space and conflict with my new minimalist mindset. A lot has already been donated. Future purchases will be scrutinized or maybe I will just stay out of the home stores because, quite honestly, I’m a linen addict.

For now, I’m just glad the bedroom is decluttered and ready for the final touches.

bedroom IMG_9979


How about you? Any decluttering or changes going on in your home?

It Takes Two Baby!

It Takes Two Baby!

It takes two, baby, it takes two, baby
Me and you, just take two
It takes two, baby, it takes two, baby
To make a dream come true, just take two

The “me” and you” is me and my sister and the dream, is two gallery walls. This song from very long ago popped into my head while we were styling living room gallery walls first at my mother’s apartment and, then, at my home. Care to have a listen?


Her pictures hadn’t made their way back on the walls since she moved into her new apartment and my living room was waiting to be redressed after painting. Speaking of painting, still not done! I just completed painting the trim in the office. Mr. DIY and I decided to go on a brief hiatus. Hoping to get to the dining room and kitchen done before the end of the summer, fingers crossed.

Anyway, I think a partner is a must when styling a gallery wall. It’s so much easier when you have someone to bounce ideas off of and provide a second set of eyes and hands.
For my mother’s wall, we just laid everything out on the floor first and then took a pic with my my phone for reference. We tweaked it as we went along so it ended up a little different then our initial layout.

gallery wall mom IMG_8822

For my wall, I got inspiration from Pinterest and Houzz, to identify gallery walls I liked. Next, I pulled out all the frames I had, even taking them down from my dining room wall to come up with various options. We arranged and rearranged,again, on the floor, until I was pleased with the arrangement. In order to not get distracted by the busy rug pattern I covered it with an old shower curtain similar to wall color to get a better idea of how it would actually look.

gallery wall layout floor_8807

This time, however, I made a paper template to make the hanging process a little easier.

gallery wall template IMG_8846

And here is my wall that will always be a work in progress.

gallery wall completed IMG_8948

The beauty of a gallery walls are that they can be easily changed.

gallery wall completed ver 2 IMG_8956

And stagnant decor is no fun.

gallery wall completed ver 3 IMG_8984

Next, I have to decide what, if anything, to fill some or all of the empty frames, starting with the lower black frame that came with it’s own print that I have yet to remove.

gallery wall close up IMG_8950

Quite honestly, I have a thing for empty frames, so I will take my time filling them as I continue to tweak, edit and change this arrangement. But, for now, I’m happy with how it turned out.

gallery wall ver 1 IMG_8948

How do you feel about gallery walls? Do you prefer matching frames lined up and evenly spaced or an eclectic mix of frames that looks like it was arranged over time?

Diary of a Paint Job – Days 3-5

Diary of a Paint Job – Days 3-5

Finally, I’m done with the living room. Yeah!!!

Living room after  IMG_8759

Unfortunately, I have three more rooms to go. The plan was to finish before No. 2 Son is done with school. Not sure if that’s going to happen as his last day is six days away.

Exactly, why does it take so long to paint? Or is it just me? Perhaps I’m paint challenged:) I mean the prep work alone takes as long as the actual painting. And the indecisiveness about the color surely contributed to significant time delays and then having to repaint. And the ceiling (ouch!!!) took forever and was my least favorite thing to sand and paint. But the living room is done, lighter and brighter than before and I am happy.

Living room after IMG_8764

Oh yes and let us not forget a crusty radiator that remains unconnected and waiting for a new coat of paint.
radiator wall patch IMG_8703

Boy, do I wish we had central air. Radiators are way to heavy and take up too much physical space. I was told I could use any paint so I might just use the same paint as the walls so it will blend in and not be so obtrusive.

And the vintage AC, front and center, is the bane of my existence. I’m not sure if the home was originally built with that in place or the previous owners put it there but it is a focal point I rather not have.

Living room after  IMG_8759

Funny thing, it actually works really well considering it’s age but we’re looking for an energy efficient model to take it’s place. Mr DIY had made a cabinet to cover it when not in use; however, I have another camouflage idea stirring in my head I want to try.


If, it doesn’t pan out, I will paint the cabinet and put it up again and wish for central air in my next life. Just kidding, I’m totally fine with what I have.

What’s next my bedroom and our office. One of them has the same ceiling issues same as the living room, ughhh, and the other does not, yeah!!! Hopefully, they will go a lot faster.

Are you a quick painter? Or are you paint challenged too.

A Desk Molded into Shape – Part 2

A Desk Molded into Shape – Part 2

Here’s where I left off with this desk a few weeks back.

desk front  IMG_8148

Anytime I’m unsure of how to proceed or I second guess myself, procrastination sets in, and there you have it, an unfinished piece waiting for closure far too long. Taking note of it’s unfinished state when passing by, I get so annoyed with my indecisiveness. Can you relate to this experience?

But the other day, I decided to embrace the uncertainty of it all and take a creative stand once again. I stained the molding I added to drawers. At first, I stained everything in varying shades of brown as you see in the second drawer. However, I liked the mix of the natural and stained wood tones and went with that.

MCM desk stained drawers IMG_8196

Mistakenly, second guessing my original creative decision, I sanded off the previously painted top and tried a dark painted/stain finish instead. It looked hideous!  I didn’t  take any pictures, but trust me, it wasn’t pretty. I repainted  the top white again, afterward, uttering a huge sigh of relief.

And after all that procrastination and second guessing, here it is:

MCM desk angle view IMG_8398
I used the original hardware.

MCM hardware IMG_8351

However, the finish was really bad, so I decided to spray paint them white.


As for the legs, I sanded off the original finish and couldn’t decide, dark or light.

MCM desk angle view IMG_8399

So I left them natural.


All it needs is a couple coats of wax and it will be ready to begin it’s second life.

MCM desk front view IMG_8390

Not sure of it’s final destination, but it has lots of storage, two drawers on one side and a cubby on the other.

MCM desk open drawers IMG_8404

So here’s the before, tired and leaning to one side.

desk before front  IMG_7464

and here’s the after, strong and confident.

MCM desk front view IMG_8390

All in all, I’m pleased. Mid Century Modern Desk completed. Check. So many more pieces waiting in the wings but I’m making progress and have kicked procrastination to the curb once again. Hands on hips, I almost feel like a creative super hero. Yeah!!!

Sharing this post with:

Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday
The Shabby Creek Cottage:Transformation Thursday
Miss Mustard Seed:Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special

What I Learned From My First Craft Fair

What I Learned From My First Craft Fair

Thank goodness, the craft fair experience is behind me. Early December, I decided to give craft vending a try. It was a lot of work and very overwhelming. Not just the actual day, but preparing for the day. I learned a lot and it’s good to know that I haven’t lost my ability to persevere. I felt like giving up many times but I didn’t, no matter how sleep deprived I was. My hats off to all who do this regularly.

Here is some of what I learned:

1. Hauling furniture from my home to the fair and then back again which included a flight of stairs is just not for me. If I were to ever do it again, I would stick to small home furnishings and accessories.

So instead of these

I’ll stick to this cutie

She wasn’t so cute when I found her though. ASCP took care of that.

2. Perfectionism has no place when producing hand crafted tems for resale. I found myself doing and redoing trying to meet my self-imposed high standards which greatly hampered my productiviy. Somehow, in the frenzy of the preparation, I forgot that handmade is all about the beauty of imperfection. Each item is suppose to be uniquely it’s own, distinguishing it from mass produced items.

Although I was going for the distressed finish, the nightstands didn’t turn out like I had envisioned. I thought I would give it that Miss Mustard Seed touch as you see here by decoupaging the damaged sides with sheet music. Works with french country, not so much with mid century modern. Another lesson learned.

However, they did come a long way from when we first met. The laminate was buckling and falling off in some places yet in tact in others.

And two of the drawers were in serious distress.

3. Knowing the craft fair before making the commitment is a must. I knew this but I was wooed by the reuse, recycle theme and thought it would be the perfect place to be. With that said, this was a first time event with no track record.

Sadly, after all that work, I didn’t sell a thing. None of the vendors sold much of anything. This event was not advertised. Vendors were required to use their Facebook contacts to publicize the event. The Build It Green customers had little or no interest in our wares.

I wanted to have the experience and I did. Don’t get me wrong, I would have much preferred to have made some sales, however, what I learned during the process made it worth my while.

A couple of accessories, I will probably keep for myself. This one for sure.

I think it would be a cute way to store rubber bands, paper clips etc. As for the rest, there’s always Etsy or Craigslist. Right?

Have any craft sale stories, advice or tidbits to share?

I’m sharing this post with:

Beyond the Picket Fence: Under $100 Linky Party
DIY by Design: Fall into Fall

Domestically Speaking: Power of Paint Party

Handy Man Crafty Woman: Wicked Awesome Wednesday

Primitive and Proper:Piece of Work Wednesday

Primp:Primp Your Stuff Wednesday Link Party

Savvy Southern Style: Wow Us Wednesday

No Mininalist Here: Open House Party

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

Between Naps on the Porch:Metamorphosis Monday

Little Grey Chair

Little Grey Chair

Have you recovered from your holiday festivities? I love the holidays but I love the day after even more. Wondering why? Because I spend it in my PJ’s, lounging with no plans and eating way too many leftovers. With that said, I sure hope your holiday was everything you wanted it to be and more.

Lately, I’ve been having a blast experimenting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP). I truly wish I could find the before picture but it was deleted or misfiled. Sorry about that. I assure you, it wasn’t anything to write home about.

After two coats of Paris Grey followed by some wax, VOILA.

The paint is so easy to work with.

The distressed finish looks rather authentic, don’t you agree?

ASCP is my new BFF:)

Sharing this post with:

Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special

Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday

Domestically Speaking: Power of Paint Party