Sunday, August 31, 2008

Making Bathroom Cabinets Look Completely Different

I Just Couldn't Stand the White Bathroom Cabinets any More!

All my cabinets are white......all of them. That includes the kitchen and all the bathrooms. I've done over the kitchen and now it was time to do the bathrooms. I started with the master bathroom.

There are so many techniques these days for faux finishing furniture and walls. I've tried many of them with much success. For these cabinets I decided to use sponging, except I never really use a sponge. A lambswool pad works much better for me. I purchased a few of them at Home Depot. Blending the colors is much smoother using the lambswool.

I always sand lightly first. This makes the wood grab the paint much better. These cabinets were high gloss anyway, so they definitely needed a sanding. I painted the base coat a rusty orange-a scary color if you ask me. While the cabinet is still somewhat wet, I come along and blend a dark brown color over the orange, always moving my wrists and blending, blending, blending.

Above you can see more clearly the blended colors. Just for some additional detail to these cabinets, I ran some gold Rub & Buff on the edges of the panels. I always have this stuff on hand for adding decorative touches. I purchased mine at Michael's Craft store. It also comes in many different colors.
Above is a photograph of the entire vanity after completion. I re-used the original cabinet hardware, spraying it over with Rustoleum Hand Hammered paint. I love how this spray paint looks on metal. It makes your hardware look brand new, stops rust, hides flaws, is easy to use and saves you money (you don't have to buy new stuff). I used the antique brass color but it now comes in 11 great shades. I taped off the white part of the handle and just sprayed them all together outside. After they dried they get two coats of clear to protect them.

Above are the rest of the cabinets under the garden tub. Actually you don't see the rest of the bathroom here because currently I am still working on it. The walls are painted a beautiful beige color with accents of red and green.

You can actually change the look and feel of those stark white cabinets for the price of a can of paint and some time.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Few More Things

Thanks to my friend Kathy I found the perfect stool for my thrift store vanity. My vanity (in perfect condition) was purchased for $8.00 but needed a small stool to place underneath. I found this at TJMaxx for $29.00. Certainly not cheep, but since I only paid 8 bucks for the vanity, I could justify the expense. It turns out to be an exact match for the vanity. I really got lucky with this one. Looks cute, right?

The other day I stopped at the local Goodwill and found these four little espresso cups. In perfect condition and made in Italy, they cost me $1.00. What a deal!

I bought this lamp about 5 years ago for my daughters room. The lamp itself was wrought iron with a fabric insert that was a light purple. At the time, the lamp matched her room perfectly. Since then the room has been changed into a guest room done in earth tones. I use Mod Podge and some more rustic looking tissue paper and changed the entire look of the lamp. So, before you get rid of existing furniture, think about how you could change it to match your new decor.

Old lamp, new look.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

It's hard to resist collecting shells when you're at the beach. Seashells vary so much in color and shape depending on what part of the coast you are visiting. While vacationing in Florida two years ago, we picked up some real beauties- perfectly shaped and in wonderful pastel colors. This year the coast of North Carolina offered crushed up, tiny pieces of shells. So I had a couple of bags of shells collected from two separate vacations and needed to come up with a creative way to display them.

I love seashells, but they don't exactly match my decor. That didn't stop me from wanting to create something. Now that it's done (and yes, it took a long time to do), I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with it or where it's final resting place will be. I'm thinking it would make a great table or a lazy susan perched on the kitchen table. Whatever I decide, it will land up always reminding me of the two vacations we took. Ah, the memories..........

The seashells that surround the perimeter are from the Florida beaches-perfect in size and color. The center shells are all from the North Carolina beach, tiny pieces of shell all crushed up. They lay flat enough that you can actually place a cup on it. I started this project by purchasing a "pine round" from Lowe's (around $10.00). I used clear drying glue to fasten the perimeter shells to the round board. Here is a closer look at all the little shells that were glued onto the board. I added the tiny shells with a teaspoon and moved them around with tweezers. In case you think I've lost my mind-you would be correct. I have to admit that I did all this at night while watching television. It actually was very therapeutic.
The edges where painted a salmon color and the whole thing was coated with glossy, triple thick clear spray.
Hey, it's a real memory keeper!

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quickly Organizing Ideas

Organize all those great ideas!

I love sifting through magazines for creative ideas. I admit there have been times that I found some great ideas, ripped them out and lost them. I came up with an idea to keep all those great ideas together.

Eventually, when I get a chance, I go back and find the ideas and actually make them. All it takes is a large binder and a box of clear protective page covers. Rip out your directions, ideas and photos and stuff them inside those protective covers for the future. I've actually kept all my wallpaper and paint samples in here in case, at some point I need them. Here is what it looks like:

Great for keeping wallpaper samples, paint chips and fabric pieces.

Cut out great ideas from magazines. More ideas..................

Look carefully at the photo below. I found this idea years ago in a home decorating magazine. I decided to give it a try and make some for myself. I thought they were so cute.

These are folk-art skull vessels-great for licorice and candy. These are on my counter top around Halloween. They are actually clay pots painted with white and black acrylic paint.I got the idea from a magazine, held on to it for a few months and then decided to make them. So, if you are like me you'll need a place to store all your collected ideas. 01 02 12

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Ways to Decorate Your Tiles and Windows

This idea is not entirely new, but more ideas come out everyday and this is worth taking a look at.

So you are stuck with those 4" X 4" white, contractor tiles. You hate them, they are boring and it would be costly to replace them. Lets face it, you don't have many choices when it comes to tile other than taking a hammer to them.

Wallies Inc. has teamed up with a British company to distribute "Tile Tattoos" and also decorative vinyl window covering to provide privacy where you need it. They come in a variety of designs and sizes.
Here is the item that I actually could use. I have a shower in the Master Bath that's open to the world!! I don't know about anyone else, but I like some privacy in the shower.

These come in rolls, so I'm assuming you can cut them up to fit a window, sidelights around your door or in my case, the two glass shower walls. I love this!

I've seen these vinyl covering before, but I'm so impressed with such elegant designs. Check it out for yourself.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Decorating the College Apartment

Back To School

It's that time again! Here in Georgia most of the kids are back in school so it's time for my home to become "normal" again. My oldest left for her last year of college and moved back into last years apartment. This year she has, yet again, a new roommate which means a new decorating scheme. I happened to have a very large painting of an Italian village at home that I was willing to part with for the girls to have in their living area. The colors in the painting are shades of green, white, brown and blue, so we used this to create the central color scheme.

The kitchen and the den are open to one another so we made sure the colors blended through both rooms. There is a little bar in the kitchen that needed two bar stools so we shopped around in the thrift stores. We were very lucky to find two stools for $10.00. They looked brand new to me and in perfect condition.

I offered to paint the plain wood seats with the exact colors that are in the painting. I thought using random designs that "did not match" with colors that did match would look nice in the room.

Here is a photo of the tops of the stools. I used acrylic paint and a durable, strong clear finish on the top to seal them. The stool on the left looks very yellow in the photograph but more closely matches the green in the stool to the right.

Below are both stools completely finished and ready to pack away in the car for the trip to college.

The random circles were penciled out using a kitchen ramekin and the squares I just did without a pattern, as you can see. They look great in the room, match the painting and the girls seem happy with the final results. Total cost $10 bucks. Thrift stores are great places to hunt around when you are on a budget.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Hard Wood Floors and How To Take Care of Them

Hard Wood Flooring

Part of any home decorating includes the decision of flooring. Interior designers and decorating magazines are now suggesting hard wood flooring because it's easy to maintain, take care of, practical and aesthetically pleasing. This is the reason that I replaced my old vinyl floor with oak in both the kitchen and den. Since I live in the south I certainly could have put in tile, but standing for long periods of time on tile can be very hard on your back. Hardwood floors, on the other hand have "give" and are much easier on your back.

Years ago you had to leave the house for days while the wood was cut, installed, sanded, stained and finished. Now the wood comes all ready (sanded, stained and sealed) and is installed in one day. You can walk on it immediately without ruining your floor.

There are factors to consider when you decide on hard wood floors. Lots of water and wood do not mix! So if you have a leak and the water sits on the floor for any length of time-you have big problems. Hardwood floors do scratch and big dogs can do some serious damage to them. I have one of those dogs, so I invested in vinyl tips for his nails. Especially made for dogs, these rubber nails stick onto your dog's feet and eventually grow off only to be replaced by a new one. Changes in humidity can affect your floors. The heat in the winter makes them contract and get dry. In the summer, the air conditioning makes your floors expand. If your floors are installed properly and by a professional, the gaps in between the planks will be sufficiently spaced to allow this movement.

All solid woods are forgiving and can be refinished when necessary. Wood flooring is classic, able to stand the test of time with a look that will endure any and all trends.

How do you take care of it? There are so many products on the market for cleaning your hard woods. When I lived in New Jersey my neighbor had his own business installing hard wood floors. He always told me to use ONLY vinegar and water on my floors. Don't use a lot of water and ALWAYS dry them. Never walk away from your floor if it is very wet. So that's what I've done all these years and my floors still look shiny and new.
  • sweep or vacuum frequently. Grit is your floors worse enemy!
  • Wipe all stains and spills immediately
  • Place small rugs in areas where water can spill (like near the sink)
  • Use dirt trapping rugs at all outside entrances
  • Use felt or fabric-faced glides on furniture legs and clean them frequently to remove grit
  • Keep the high heels off the floor
  • touch up scratches immediately with a touch-up product provided by the manufacturer

Types of floors available:

Most oak floors are either red or white oak. Oak is hard, durable, and readily available, which makes it a good buy. Other popular woods include maple, pecan, ash, beech, and birch. More expensive woods include cherry, walnut and even bamboo.


Most hard wood floors come in thicknesses of 3/4 inch or 1/2 inch. If you can afford it, go for the thicker wood. It can be sanded down and refinished more often.

These floors are long lasting and beautiful. Certainly not "thrifty" because they are expensive but consider how long they actually last. In this case, you really get what you pay for.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More Vanity Stuff

After I posted my newest thrift store find, a vanity, Reagan sent me some information on a vanity that she found and recently refinished. What a great job!! It looks beautiful. The best part is that she "found" this little vanity next to a dumpster. I love free!! Check it out....

All the details are available on her website:

Thanks Reagan for sharing!

On another subject, have you noticed my new website layout? Thanks to Sashway's Studio I now have a site that more closely matches who I am and what I'm about. She was great to work with, did exactly what I wanted, answered all my questions and ultimately created just what I wanted. Her prices are very reasonable too. If you need any of her services, here is her site:

Thanks for coming!
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thrift Store Vanity

I haven't been able to blog for a couple of days due to some technical problems that occurred on my site. Don't ask me what happened because it's all too technical for me to explain. I'm just glad to be back.

As always, I've been lurking around a few thrift stores looking for little treasures to buy. Last week I found something very unique and useful. I purchased this piece for $8.00. It was in perfect condition and just needed a little polishing. I've decided to use this in my guest room as a vanity.

Placing a vanity in a guest room is a nice addition for any visitor. For the females, it's a spot to apply make up and brush hair and for the men it's just another place to keep the essentials.

This vanity is made of some kind of metal, has a glass tabletop and is very unusual. Now all I need is the perfect stool to go underneath. The room is painted green and parts of the vanity are highlighted in a matching color. Unfortunately you can't see the green that runs through the vanity in the photograph.

The back of the vanity has an elephant motif which looks very nice in the room that it's in.

I found this chair (very, very retro) with a bright orange pillow. I'm thinking this chair may have been around in the 70's, but I could be mistaken. I have recovered the pillow and polished up the chair with some lemon oil. This chair actually fits perfectly under the vanity, but just doesn't look right. The vanity needs a stool!

What I love about this chair is the size. It's very small and fits just about anywhere. Oh and did I mention the price? $5.00. The fabric I had hanging around so that didn't cost me anything at the time.

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