Console Table Makeover – Tall, Dark, and Handsome

I’m decorating our foyer and wanted to featured a beautiful console table. While I found some already-finished options I liked, I needed something very specific to help disguise a radiator – but not block it off – so I decided to dive in and customize my own!

I knew I wanted the feel of a lacquered Chinese table, but I couldn’t find one in the right size and shape. I looked for something else with simple lines and hoped that with a few tweaks, some paint, and new hardware, I could pull off a transformation!

I started by assembling the sideboard except for the lower shelf. I wanted to leave the bottom open for baskets or stools. I had to fill in a few holes with wood filler. I also filled in the holes for the hardware and drilled new ones to match handles I bought on Etsy.

After sanding for a smooth finish, I started painting. I really debated the color choice, because the hall is already quite dark. In the end, I just knew I had to go with the color I loved and (with credit to Tim Gunn on Project Runway) make it work!

The navy paint is Nocturne by Behr, which I also used to repaint our master bath vanity. After painting, I added several coats of a glossy varnish, both to create shine as well as protect the finish.

My plan is to use some light-colored and neutral accessories to balance out the darker table.

Finn, the rug model, and the new console.

Can’t wait to see the whole space put together!

“Jewels”

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It’s in the Bag – Stenciled Totes

Most years, I try to make something creative as holiday gifts for our teachers and coworkers. There’s so much joy in giving, but we’re also living in a time and place where it feels like everything is at your fingertips, so something handmade feels like a good way to express how much we appreciate those around us. When I can manage it, I make a few extra to last through the year as hostess and grown-up birthday gifts. I’ve linked to previous years’ handmade gifts at the bottom of the post, if you’re looking for more ideas.

This year, I decided to make stenciled canvas tote bags as our holiday treat. They’re so pretty and unique, yet also practical, as we’re trying to minimize our use of disposable shopping bags. I had so much fun trying different combinations of colors and patterns.

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

  • Prewash the bags
  • Choose a stencil and use blue painters tape to hold it in place
  • Put an eye md magazine inside the bag, so the paint won’t go through to the other side
  • Mix paint with textile medium according to the instructions
  • Use the spouncer to apply light coats of paint
  • Once thoroughly dry, iron the pattern using a press cloth to set the paint
  • That’s all! Unless you’re me and repeat it many, many times!

Here are just some of the combinations I made!

Tile stencil in navy and in ombré blues:

Arrows, with a contrasting accent color and (bottom left) ombré blues:

Feathers,with a contrasting accent color or (bottom) ombré blues and greys.

I really liked the feathers!

I loved the tile in this mix of copper and gold paint. The metallic paints were very thick and made very crisp designs.

A close up of the feathers:

The birds were fun to arrange in different patterns and colors.

My mother-in-law likes gingko leaves, so I made this one for her:

And I got to keep this one for myself!

No matter how I plan, the holidays are hectic. I definitely all felt worthwhile when I went to give out the bags. Our teachers and friends were so excited – it definitely put me in the spirit of the season!

it made me happy to make the people I care about happy. My friend Liane took this great photo of her bag:

Looking for more handmade gift ideas? Here are some from past years:

“Jewels”

Tin Can Luminaries

I’ve had my eye on these tin can luminaries for a while. I love an upcycling project that doesn’t look like it would have been better off left in the recycling bin 🙂

I started off by collecting some cans, washing them, and filling them with water to freeze. This helps the can keep its shape while you punch the design. I found a lot of patterns online and printed my favorites. I then used rubber bands to hold the pattern in place while I made the pattern with hammer and nail.

I finished them off with some spray paint and put some LED candles inside. I made mine for Christmas, but the designs are neutral enough for any occasion (well, maybe not the snowflake…)

I love creating things from stuff around the house. I can’t look at my pantry the same way anymore.

“Jewels”

Master Bath Makeover!

I’m not really sure what got me started on this project. I wasn’t actually unhappy with our master bath. I think I was just spending too much time on Pinterest and got the seven year itch…

The main change I made to our bathroom was painting the vanity. The color is Nocturne by Behr from Home Depot.

The smaller changes I made were a new bathmat and rearranging the accessories. My inspiration was a stunning master bath by Amber Interiors. If you are as in love as I am with her style, check out my post on finding the ingredients for her beautiful spaces.
Some of the elements I wanted to use included:

  • Wooden and metal trays
  • Ceramic containers in white and neutrals
  • Greenery
  • Ladder towel rack
  • Dark vanity with marble top
  • Geometric flooring

With just a few changes, I am excited to see the transformation in our master bathroom!


I wonder which room is next to be the beneficiary (victim) of my makeover fever!

“Jewels”

From Curb to Chic: Side Table Makeover

You may know that doing the Avon 39 Walk for Breast Cancer is an annual tradition for me. The two-day walk gives lots of time for long talks with my friends. Last year, an old friend asked our group to think about what our “dream job” would be. I already have my dream job, but I took the opportunity to reflect on what an alternate or next career could be… something I love doing, but which is not so practical… the easy answer was that I’d love to refinish old furniture with fresh looks.

It makes me so happy when I can take a piece of furniture with great classic style but a little (or a lot of) wear and turn it into something beautiful and full of personality. I’ll list some of my favorite past projects at the bottom of this post.


Now on to today’s post… It has been a while since I picked this little end table up off the side of the road. My oldest was with me and remarked, “There’s mom being mom” in the affectionate way you talk about a lovable, quirky relative.

While I loved the Chinese/ Chinoiserie style of this little table, I was a bit intimidated by its poor condition. You can’t really appreciate in the picture how water-damaged, chipped, and uneven the wood was. Still, it was sturdy enough, and with my newfound love of gardening and greenery, I thought it would make a great plant stand.

I sanded the table aggressively, used wood glue on one of the legs that was cracked, and then painted it with three coats of white latex enamel (leftover from the interior trim of our house). I didn’t even try to fully even out and fix the surface, letting a lot of the dents and scratches show and add character.

The white paint did a good job brightening up the table and made it look more finished, but it was kind of plain… time for a touch of gold spray paint to cap the legs, and I love the finished product!

Here is my new old table in our living room. I think I’ll probably move it up to my bedroom later, but I’m still experimenting with how to use this handsome accent piece!

If you like this project, check out some of past “fabulous furniture makeovers”:

Wow, that was a longer list than I expected. I guess I have a good start on that next career, when I’m ready!

Happy furniture hunting and painting!

“Jewels”

Hanging Out & Hanging Up Plants

Hello, Crazy Plant Lady here today!

My good friend, Nicola, asked me to share more about how I’m installing my macrame plant hangers (see this post and this post for the details on the hangers).


There are lots of creative ideas for creating hanging plant displays. I’ve started with some easy methods, including hanging my plants from

  • Wooden beams
  • Curtain rods
  • Wall brackets

I’ll give you those details and also include some more ambitious ideas that I still fantasize about!

One general tip is that I chose lighter weight planters. Some of my plants are hanging in my made-over yogurt containers, and others are in glass jars or vases, some painted with metallic spray paint.

Wooden Beams

I lucked out to have these beams running in our family room, so I screwed in coat hooks for my plants. Obviously, not every house has wooden beams, but if you do, this is easy, and to display more, you can screw in two hooks and run a rod between them.


Curtain Rods

Plants need light, so it makes sense to hang them in front of a window! It wouldn’t be the most convenient idea for curtains that you open and close often, but it’s great for windows where the curtains can stay open most of the time. I used shower curtain hooks to hang several plants this way. The rollers on the curtain hooks make it easy to move the plants, if you want to close the curtains.


Wall Brackets

I was honestly too nervous to hang plants from our ceilings. The house is about 90 years old, and the walls and ceilings are plaster and lathe. I had visions of the giant patches of plaster crumbling down on me, so I decided to use wall brackets. This method also gives you more flexibility about hanging heights.


These are the brackets I used. (The link is to Amazon, but they’re cheaper at IKEA, if you can get to a store).
If you’re feeling more courageous, here are some more ideas I’d like to try!

Hanging a ladder from the ceiling. This is just so peaceful and gorgeous!


Photo: Jennifer Chong of See and Savour

A large branch displaying multiple hangers. I love all the colors and designs!


Photo: Emily Katz of Modern Macrame 

How about a cool metal pipe or rod to display your plants?! A sleek look, and you could do it from a wall, if your ceilings are unreliable, like mine.

Photo: Cote Maison

Thanks for coming with me into the world of macrame and plants. I am clearly a little obsessed. I’ve got more new ideas coming up to share with you soon(ish)!

“Jewels”

West Elm Manzanita Candelabra Look-alike

“Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose.” Rosie Perez as Gloria in White Men Can’t Jump.

Does this happen to you? Sometimes I see something I really like from one of my favorite stores, and I think to myself, “I’ll wait for it to go on sale,” only to find that it’s sold out when I go look for it. Such a bummer! If it’s something I really love, I can often manage to find it on eBay or craigslist (win!)… but sometimes, I don’t (lose!).

Today’s post is kind of a “tie.” I immediately fell in love when I saw the Manzanita candelabra from West Elm a couple of years ago. But since I didn’t really have a use in mind, I procrastinated. Now, I’d really love to have this for our winter decor, and it’s all sold out. No luck on eBay either.

West Elm Manzanita Candelabra

So off I went on a copycat chic, high/low adventure!

I did find this one which looks very close but costs a bit more than I want to pay.


Finally, I was happy to find a candelabra at Target:

I used silver spray paint on mine, and I actually love how it turned out! The silver color makes the chunky metal look sleeker, and it’s going to be perfect!


Which is your favorite?

No longer desperately seeking candelabra,

“Jewels”

DIY Gold Feather Table Runner for Fall

Thanksgiving at our house has been pretty small the last few years. Most of our family is not in town, so we enjoy a quiet long weekend with just me, Steve, and the kids. Sometimes, however, I crave the hustle bustle madness of a big Thanksgiving celebration. I’m excited this year because we get to host one of my new coworkers!

To help make our Thanksgiving dinner this year extra festive, I have some new decorations planned. One of them is this simple linen table runner.

I sewed the runner and used gold craft paint to add this feather design inspired by a rubber stamp Creatiate on Etsy.

Up next, a “stenciled” runner for our dining table. Red wine included 🙂

Happy Turkey Day! May your hearts be full of thanks!

“Jewels”

Recipe for a Mod Metallic Christmas 

You know decorating for Christmas is a serious thing in our house, and to keep my sanity, I usually try to start planning early. This fall, though, every spare moment outside of work and basic survival has been consumed with stuff for the boys’ school and birthdays! Now, I’m starting to feel a bit of breathing room – or I’m forcing myself to maintain some sanity.

I honestly had so much fun with last year’s retro Christmas that I thought about recreating it. I’ve decided, however, to try a new variation I’m going to call a “Mod Metallic Christmas.”

Here is an inspiration photo (source):

Three years ago, I did simple white and grey Christmas theme, and I’m excited to add some glitter and glam this time around!

Taking inspiration from The Design Cookbook, I created a “recipe” to help me focus my vision for this project and keep it on track:

  • Color scheme: white, grey, black, gold, silver
  • Natural elements like branches
  • Glam/ mod touches, such as clean lines, geometric shapes, and faux fur

Some projects I’d like to work on include:

Metallic garland (source):

diy-gold-triangle-garland

Tin can luminaries (source):

Dip-painted wooden ornaments (source):

Painted pine cones (source):

Felt garland (source):

And here are some more inspiration photos (source):

img_5929

What do you have in mind for holiday decorating?

Cheers,

“Jewels”