Category Archives: Before and After

Salvation Army Chandelier

Last fall I bought this chandelier for 7 bucks at my local salvation army. Currently we have an almost flush ceiling fixture in the dining room that is missing its glass cover so anything would be an improvement. I think this chandelier may have originally had big globes at the end but I will not be putting those back.

Here is a detail of the texture – I am usually a fan of simpler pieces but I am hoping I can make this chandelier a fun piece in the room. Like these theatrical pieces below:

image via diary of lovely

image via diary of lovely

First I was thinking that it should be painted a glossy solid color a la Martha Stewart’s chandelier below – but now I think that painting in a glossy finish will hide alot of the details.

So now I am thinking of a chalky white finish:

chandelier from ballard designs found via my design secrets

But I also love the color scheme of the chandelier below – so I was wondering if I painted the chandelier in a dusty chalk white – and I painted thin blue stripes along all the details – (like the vase in the last image) – whether that would add a playful and slightly bohemian edge to my 7 dollar purchase. Thoughts?

image from Lonny


Winter Project : pickled table top.


This table was at one of my favorite used furniture barns- it was 79 dollars which for upstate furniture barns was kind of pricey but I just find these tables so useful for small spaces. It was a vintage base (not however a knoll/Saarinen) but it was paired with this home-depot stock yellow pine tabletop that had an out of proportion large rounded edge.

So my first order of business was planing down the sides of the table to reduce the rounded edge to a thin lip with an angle. I left about 1/4″ of curve and it reads visually like a far thinner piece of wood (it is also far closer to what the actual vintage tabletop profile would be). The steps I used are illustrated below- I did the same thing on a smaller table that had a black base. Basically I drew two parallel lines- one line around the edge and one line on the underside of the table and using my hand-held planer I just removed the concave curve of wood in between.

At first I thought that the bare wood resembled a butcher-block and since I planned on using it in my kitchen I thought the effect would be charming. I sanded it and then used steel wool with wax until it was buttery soft. But no mater how much I tried to like it the yellowed knotty pine still bothered me. So after I trucked it down to the city I sanded off all the wax and I pickled the top with watered down white paint until it had that slightly grained almost marble-like look to it. Then I finished it off with 3 coats of polyurethane – and the result is far nicer than I started out with don’t you think?

*p.s- I forgot to say that in order to get the slight raised grain effect (not really visible in these photos) I saturated the wood table top with water and then rubbed the surface with a scrubby sponge – it kind of melts away the softer wood which makes the denser grain appear raised. It gives the new (flat) wood more of an old farmer’s table surface feel.

Country Farmhouse Renovation in The Northwest

I have been having a slight inspiration dry spell lately (have you noticed my lack of posts?)- but this glamorous simplicity of this house renovation really got me back in the mood for posting ideas again.

I am sure many of you are already familiar with A Country Farmhouse, but I wanted to feature the amazing renovation here. Trina’s farmhouse, built in 1926 and on the other side of the country is like ours in that it had multiple small additions that had been added on over time. By removing some of the smaller additions, redoing the dining room add-on, adding a dormer to the half story, leveling out the landscape around the house, and (my favorite part) adding a lovely wraparound porch they transformed their sweet but outdated house into a showstopping gem. Seriously – isn’t this just your dream country home?

The house is still cute here, but very busy – lots of additions – look at those during pictures – it must have been so exciting…

And the after – that is what a call a glamorous porch!

I just love how this facade went from perfectly fine to utterly fantastic!

Another beautiful transformation

and I had to include these two shots because they look like they are straight out of a magazine – I just love,love,love those counter tops! and how beautiful is that bath?

All these photos are from Trina’s blog; A Country Farmhouse.

Going Green

image (and idea) from no462

I love the color green – especially since I miss it in the winter – we are painting one of the back doors (the one we use most often right now) this pretty ‘palm frond’ green by valspar – I am so excited, the house is painted in a lot of cream white (not my favorite) – and because the door eventually will probably be replaced by a period window so its not a huge commitment. Below is the actual door (notice how dirty it is!!!) with me holding the color swatch against it.

update! see finished door here