Posts Tagged ‘home decorating’

Little Projects

Thanksgiving is looming. I’ve been feeling compelled to get the house a little more presentable. We’ve been more or less living like animals for the last three years though, so there are a lot of bad habits to break. Things like wiping our feet and rinsing our dishes were a moot point when there were no floors and the bathtub was the sink. We’ve had floors and three sinks for a while now but I haven’t really had the will to push us back into the land of the civilized. I think the family feels like the rules have changed but in reality, we are just getting back to a normal way of life. You know, the way average people live. People who have never had a sheep in their livingroom. I have never been those people but Dave and the kids grew up normal.

While the family adjusts to the reality of life with walls, I have been sprucing up the joint on a limited budget. Crafting projects on the cheap, if you would.

Last night’s project was to build a “new” coffee table. Ingredients: an old, out of date and kind of ugly, though well-made, coffee table, which I took from a friend who got new furniture; an original door to the house cut down to size; two colors of chalk paint (ASCP in duck egg and old white); clear and dark wax. I painted it first, screwed the top to the base then waxed it. I spent two hours last night, including painting  and waxing and one hour the day before, washing the cobwebs off the door and building the jig/cutting the door to size. Total cost to me was $14, since I already had all of the paint except the old white

I’m pretty happy with the results, though the are places I’m less than thrilled with the dark wax. The dark wax is pretty new to me so the first part I waxed went a little overboard but by the end of the piece, I felt like I had the technique down. I may add some more dark wax to even out a few places, since I’m to late to use clear wax to remove the overly dark spots.


Painting on the couch. Do not try this without adult a supervision. If anyone else in the house had done this, I would have had a meltdown. Double standard? Yes. Let’s not talk about it. Let’s see the finished project!



One if these days, I’m going to get inspired to finish the room divider we will no longer need after husband finishes the bedroom doors. Then maybe I’ll sell it. Or maybe I’ll just hoard it with all of the other furniture in the attic.


Happy holiday nesting!


Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Inspiration Here

We went to Napa this weekend to visit my “sister’ Sarah and pick up her dog. Sarah has moved to a less expensive house in the country and the new landlord won’t let her have a dog. We agreed to keep the dog for a year. Dave hates the dog so we will be doing our best to retrain her to be less of a terrier. It’s not her fault she’s a heathen, she was drawn that way.

To help ease the pain of taking on another dog, we ate. Napa is good for that. we had cheese at the Oxbow Market. We had tapas at ZuZu for Sarah’s birthday. We had Champagne at Bounty Hunter (I know, technically not eating but it does fall under the pain killing category.) In the middle of our foodfest, I found home decorating inspiration at Norman Rose Tavern. Dave was diving into his lamb burger when he looked up and said, “we should do our kitchen island in reclaimed wood.” I was so shocked, I nearly choked on the deep-fried sunchoke I had just shoved in my mouth. Not only was it a brilliant idea, which I had never considered but it cam from Dave who:

1)has a lot of ideas. Most are not that good and almost all of them involve puns.

2) did something similar the day before and came up with an idea for a cute table made out of a wine barrel.

3) usually doesn’t make the leap from using a product one way, to something completely different. His inspiration came from this:

That’s an entire wall paneled in reclaimed wood. He said he thought the wood would look nice with the modern appliances on the island. Well, hell yeah it would! And we have enough wood from the barn that fell down behind the house. I might have a kitchen sooner than I thought!

We then spent some time scanning the room looking for other things we could use.

Where do I start? I love almost everything and all of these elements would work in our “modern farmhouse.” Several of these things are things I was already thinking of doing, I had just never seen them put together. I like the completed picture.

The tin ceiling- I have always loved and wanted a tin ceiling. I don’t think the ceilings are high enough in most of the house for this but the master bedroom will have a vaulted ceiling. I could see using this treatment in that room only. That would also not cost as much as doing the whole house in tin, which might be gaudy and would definitely be expensive (for our little budget, maybe not expensive for everyone.)

The reclaimed wood look- I didn’t ask if the wood was truly reclaimed but the look is nice. I love that they used it as baseboards and molding. I’m not sure if we can afford to use reclaimed wood as baseboards but we have lots of ideas to use it as accent pieces and maybe cover small walls with it.

Gray walls- I’ve been eying up gray walls for a while but I’ve been really a little intimidated by the possibility of getting a soul sucking color.¬† The color they have in NRT is a gorgeous, rich shade that made be feel cozy and warm. It had none of the elements of that awful industrial gray that has become the cornerstone of the non-colors used in modern design.

Sliding barn doors- I decided on sliding doors a long time ago and every time I see them, it just reinforces my plan. The hardware they used is not my favorite hardware  but it looks nice in context.

Chalkboard paint- So functional. In our house, we will use this on the wall that surrounds the fridge. At NRT, it covers the sliding partition that hides the computer and credit card machine.

Angled farm lights- Cheap, nice, easy to find. These kinds of lights can be used to softly light a wall or art. They are like overhead lights without the harsh angles.

I could go on. I like the old photos grouped in modern frames. That’s not any sort of earth shattering creative decorating but it looks nice in context and adds some clean lines to all the texture. I didn’t get a photo but the bar is done in stainless steel. Talk about cheap and easy decor.

My favorite thing, the only thing I didn’t get a picture of was the door room. The banquet room, which has a huge, insanely long farmhouse table, has walls that are paneled entirely in old doors. The doors are all painted that fabulous shade of gray and they all have their hardware. I love it. When Jules and Moo are of a moving out age, I may redo their room using doors.

I guess we should get the house built and painted before I start thinking about redoing it.