Friday, September 30, 2011

Pottery Barn Side Table Makeover

I had my first experience with my new shipment of the highly-anticipated, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and it was a success! 

I found the paint to be very workable and forgiving, and this is coming from someone with limited experience painting furniture.  I tried not to read too many reviews on the product (everyone raves about it), because I didn't want it to influence my opinions.  But I have to say, I will definitely continue to use the paint, despite the hefty $35-a-pint price tag. 

Here is a picture of the piece in progress.   This is what the piece looked like during the first application of Annie Sloan's Country Gray.

As you can see, one coat allows the color underneath to show through.  The paint was developed to provide a great deal of versatility.  According to Annie Sloan's website, the paint can be diluted with water to create a "wash" of color.  The paint can also be thickened by allowing it to set overnight with the paint can opened, which will provide a textured effect.

I will provide a more detailed product review in an upcoming post, but first, I wanted to share the finished product with you.  I just love how the Pottery Barn side tables turned out.  

Here is a picture of one side table before.

And the end result.

The color I chose was Country Gray.  It is almost a pale, pistachio green.  The paint dries in a soft matte finish shown above.  When you wax it (recommended), it turns slightly darker with a subtle sheen.  The proprietary wax also offers versatility when distressing the furniture, while providing some protection.  

I chose not to distress these side tables because I loved how pretty they were in one solid color.  I am just going to let the pieces distress naturally with normal wear and tear. 

I dressed these babies up with some gorgeous, vintage-inspired drawer pulls purchased at Anthropologie.  They have an incredibly unique selection of hardware.  It can get pretty pricey, but I was able to purchase these pulls for $8 each.  They are the jewelry, after all.  Since I only needed four, it was worth the extra splurge.

I also lined the drawers with some linen wrapping paper purchased from World Market for just $3 a roll.  This was a huge upgrade from the standard shelf liners, and it's cheaper too!  

I measured the sides and bottom of the drawer, and cut the paper to fit as shown here. 

I adhered the paper to the drawers using a spray adhesive.  I had Elmer's Spray Adhesive in my arsenal, but there are several different brands.  It is holding up OK so far, but I think next time I will use a stronger bonding agent such as Mod Podge.  If you go the spray adhesive route, make sure you lay a cloth on your surface prior to spraying. Then attach the wrapping paper to the inside of the drawers, making sure to apply enough pressure to eliminate any ripples.  

So there you have it.  These side tables will be right at home in my newly-painted guest room/office.  I love how the room is coming along.  I can't wait to have my own sanctuary to sip my morning coffee. 

Let me know what you think!  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mother Nature Strikes Again - Literally

What a crazy week it has been already.  Hubby is in Miami for business, and I am home with two sick kiddos.  I guess its Murphy’s Law—they seem to get sick every time I am home alone.
But I am not letting that keep me down – no ma’am. In fact, I realized how much more productive I can be when home alone.  I have to keep myself busy, otherwise it feels awfully lonely in this big ‘ole house.

Not to mention, we had a huge thunder and lighting storm that caused a power surge in the upstairs bathroom.  The kids and I were in the kitchen having dinner, when I heard a huge crash.  Immediately, the smoke alarms triggered.  I thought surely the painfully ear-piercing sound would send the children into frenzy.  They were surprisingly calm.

I was certain the house was hit by lightning (I was right), and immediately tried to gather my senses and stay calm for the kids.  I looked upstairs, and glanced outside for any signs of smoke, but I couldn’t see anything.  I noticed the upstairs smelled like something was burning.  I didn’t waste any more time, and immediately called 911 to send the fire department.

It appears the lightning struck somewhere on the roof.  We are so fortunate the house did not catch fire.  A nearby neighborhood was struck with a bolt of lightning that burned down the entire movie set of the Alamo, in addition to starting a fire that spread 200 acres.  It is devastating the destruction we have had from wildfires the last few weeks.  My heart goes out to the local families and businesses affected by the recent disasters.

Here is the picture of the bathroom, post-storm.  Sorry for the dark picture but, there were no lights after the blowout. There was some minor damage, but overall, nothing major.  Needless to say, it could have been much worse.
I see more painting in my near future. Any suggestions?  This bathroom is screaming for some color.  While I am at it, I will certainly change the hideous builder-globe.  Yuck!
On a lighter note, my shipment of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint arrived last week, and I have been dying to start experimenting.  I chose Country Grey, and the standby, Old White.

Here is a sneak peak of the piece of furniture that I will be repainting.
Stay tuned for the transformation.  I have a set of these Pottery Barn pieces that I (over) paid for a couple years ago.  And they have been darkening up my guest room ever since.  I can't wait to make them over, and share pictures of my new guest room/work space.

Monday, September 12, 2011

DIY: Sake Bottle Planter

Hi All! I thought I would share a simple project that I did for a friend over the weekend.  You can do this simple DIY project in less than 30 minutes. 

I went out to dinner with my in-laws and hubby at a fabulous Japanese fusion restaurant a couple months ago.  Of course, Japanese cuisine would not be complete with out sake.  When they delivered the frosted pink bottle to the table, my mother-in-law commented on how pretty it was - too pretty to leave at the table to ultimately end up in the trash.

I just love everything about this bottle - the cotton-candy-pink color, shape, and particularly, the artistic label. We just had to order a second bottle for each of us to take home.  I thought it would make the perfect flower vase on a bedside table.  I made one for my friend Lauren, and she liked it so much, she asked me to make another!  Check out the end result...

This planter couldn't be simpler.  I started with a fuchsia Phalaenopsis orchid stem which I purchased from Michael's for about $9.99.  Using heaving duty wire clippers from hubby's collection, I clipped a few inches from the orchid stem to achieve the desired height.  I attached the orchid stem to a bamboo reed using some floral wire.  You can trim the top of the bamboo reed so it extends a couple inches beyond the top of the orchid.  

One simple trick to adding some detail to a store-bought arrangement is to secure a touch of high-quality moss to the stem using some raffia.  You can tie it to make a simple loop, or leave the edges frayed for a casual look.  Secure the moss to the stem with a touch of hot glue.   

I completed to the look with a simple stem of curly willow, and voila! A simple Sake bottle planter. 

Hope you like!