Thursday, September 27, 2012

Autumn Table Decor and a Vintage Industrial Table

Hello!  We've been so busy lately so I'm a little late to the table decor party but I finally had a chance to put everything together yesterday and wanted to share it here on the blog today.  I also built a new table that we are planning to give away at our shop grand opening during a drawing which I'll show you below.  First up, our fall table.....

I really like to keep things simple and natural, whenever possible.  I also tried to use everything I already had.  The only thing I bought for this table were the pumpkin colored napkins for a steal on ebay ($11 for a set of 8) and the faux wheat and candles.

To keep things natural I used wooden salad bowls and my bread boards as well as the little rosewood dipping bowls.  I love the small pop of color the pumpkin colored napkins provide. 

To add a metal element to the table, I used vintage silver flatware, candle holders and salt and pepper shakers.

To continue with a farmhouse feel, I picked up some faux wheat at the craft store and placed it in one of my ironstone white pitchers.  Then I simply wrapped a piece of scrap burlap around it.

For the hutch, I added more faux wheat in a smaller milk pitcher and picked up some apples in the grocery store to put in my vintage dough trencher.  And of course, a couple of extra bread boards.  :)

My absolute favorite thing is the new rug my hubby bought for us for under the dining table.  I've had my eye on this rug at West Elm now forever and they finally went on sale for only $129.99.  That is our kind of bargain.  :)

The vintage industrial table under the subway art is the table I put together yesterday.  I was thrilled when my hubby told me he found a couple more scrap pieces of bowling alley floor remnants in our storage building so I went to Lowes and bought a bunch of iron piping and got to work.

I wanted to create something to give away during a drawing that we are having during the grand opening of our shop so this is what I came up with.  I happen to love it and I'm really looking forward to giving it away.

I can't wait to sit around that table at Thanksgiving with my family.  I love the holidays!  What are you thinking of serving this year?  Any traditions?

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Series - Reader Redos

I think one of the things I find the most rewarding about designing and decorating is visiting the thrift store and finding a sad, inexpensive piece of furniture with good bones that just needs a little love.  I've always been able to instantly look at a piece and envision what it could be.  I truly enjoy that.  I also enjoy gaining inspiration from others and their finds and redos so I thought it would be a lot of fun to start a monthly series featuring thrift store before and afters from our readers.

Beginning in October, I will choose a reader redo to feature a couple of times a month, maybe more, depending on time.  I want you to send me your before and after photos of thrift store or garage sale finds that you've reinvented or repurposed and I will choose a couple (or more) to feature here on the blog a month.  You don't have to have a blog to do this, anyone can send them in.  Just provide me with a couple of photos of your piece and a detailed description of what you did to redo it, including whatever products (paint, sandpaper, etc) you used, as well as, your name.

Photos and info can be sent to
Please put Reader Redo in the subject line. 

You can check out my thrift store redos by clicking here.

I think this will be a lot of fun!  It's my version of a linky party (which I have no idea how to do) but a little more personal.  I'm looking forward to featuring your project! 
Hope to see lots of redos in our inbox!

Did anyone work on a redo this past weekend?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments section!

Enjoy your day,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Porch Preview

I happen to love Autumn and Halloween.  Some of my most favorite memories with my dad are during Halloween when my children were younger.  He truly enjoyed that day, just like a kid himself.  Hubby and I always spent Halloween at my parents house along with my sister and it was so much fun.  We would take our kiddos trick or treating around the neighborhood with Mom while Dad cooked up a big pot of chili for all of us to enjoy.  Then when the kids were worn out, or maybe we were, we'd walk back to their house to enjoy a warm bowl of chili and it always smelled so good inside.  Warm, welcoming and home, you know?

While my youngest never got to meet his Papa, I'm glad his older siblings have those memories and share them with him often.  It's important to me that he know what a kind and fun man his grandpa was.  These days, I make my dad's chili for my family and we create new memories.

And while most of our kids are now too old for trick or treating, hubby and I still take our youngest and love to visit my parents' old neighborhood just so we can remember all the fun we used to have.  It's one of those special memories I will always cherish.  And I'm so thankful I can still go back there and remember....

Because of those memories, decorating for that season is always special for me and special for my family so that's what I spent this past weekend doing.   I want to make it fun for them because it's our tradition. It's not quite ready yet but I wanted to give you a little preview just to peak your interest a little.....

This year, I'm going all out on the decor.  :)  And I'm looking forward to finishing it up and blogging about the rest of the porch soon!

Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kitchen Floors

I'm almost embarrassed to show you these photos.
White grout.  It's the bane of my existence.
I've spent many many hours on my knees scrubbing the grout between the tiles on our kitchen floor with a toothbrush.
Evidently, someone thought it was a great idea to put WHITE grout in a kitchen.  
That may or may not have been me.
And after 6 years of living here, and 6 years of scrubbing it with bleach, grout pens, sealer, you name it, this is how it looks.

Remember, it's supposed to be WHITE.

Pretty, huh?
No matter how much I cleaned our kitchen, it still felt dirty because of this nasty grout and I really thought our only hope was to rip it all up and put down something new.  But, we just don't have the time for that right now with the grand opening of our shop coming up.  So, what's a girl to do?

I've seen several blogs lately mention a product called grout refresher and while I was pretty skeptical, I decided to make a trip to Lowe's to try it out cause I just couldn't stand looking at our dirty stained grout any longer.  With holiday decorating right around the corner, I wanted our kitchen floor to be pretty again.

So, I grabbed a bottle of this stuff in white and settled in for another night of crawling around on my knees on the kitchen floor.

And boy, was it ever worth it.  This stuff is amazing.....take a look at the afters.

How's that for clean WHITE grout!  I was absolutely amazed!  
And I love our kitchen floor again!

 I did the kitchen, laundry and 1/2 bath off the laundry and even the counter tops and I feel like our floors are brand new again.
We still have the two cracked tiles in the doorway to the laundry and in a perfect world, of course I would love to have installed rustic wood floors in here but who am I kidding.  That's not something I want to dig into right now, nor have the time for.  And who cares!  With the floors looking new and CLEAN again, I'm totally happy.

If you decide to try this product out for yourself, here are a few things I learned while using it.

*A little goes a long way.  I applied small drops directly to an old toothbrush and applied that way instead of applying directly to grout.  Somehow less was used that way which is a lot easier when it's time to wipe off the excess. 

* Try to keep as much excess off the tile as possible because it is a bit difficult to remove once the wait period is over.

Other than those two things, I followed the directions on the bottle.

Have a great day!

P.S.  I'm NOT being compensated for this post by the Mapei company and they don't know me.  I just happen to have seen this used in blogland and wanted to try it out for myself and am totally happy with the results and wanted to share in case any one else suffers with grout issues.  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pottery Barn Inspired Numbered Cubby

I've been trying to come up with another piece of furniture for the display window of our shop and while looking for inspiration online, I came across this cubby organizer from PB.

I wanted to make a much larger version and also try to keep cost down and then I remembered that we had this pile of old pine lumber in storage that we had come across in the pile with the large walnut slabs.

Since it was going to be rather large, I asked my hubby to help me with this one.  And after several redos, here's what we came up with .

We made a 4 foot x 4 foot box and then cut each center divider and attached with a nail gun.  After than, I attached a piece of bead board to the back.  I wanted to put some kind of number plates on the front of each cubby.  I would have liked metal but since I didn't have that and wanted to keep cost down, we ripped 1/4 thick pieces of wood off the extra scraps of wood and I cut them down to 1 1/2 inch pieces and sanded them down to look like this.

I attached them to the front of each cubby with wood glue.

Then I took some caulk and filled in all the gaps and holes to prepare for painting.

I painted the entire cabinet ultra white by Valspar then took my sander to it to distress it quite a bit.  I wanted it to look pretty rough.  Then I stenciled the numbers on the front of each wood label with black paint.  
Total cost for this project was $15 for the bead board.  Everything else, we already had.  Yay!
Here's how it looks.....

It was hard to actually put this piece in the shop.  I loved it so much I wanted to keep it for our home.  But I can't wait to fill it with items from our store.  
And it does look great in the window.

Speaking of windows.....the sign is finished and here's how it looks....

I really appreciated everyone's suggestions and since symmetry is something I sometimes have to have, we decided to put it all on one window while the other window will be used for display, but I'm not revealing that side just yet.  :)

Have a great day!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Beautiful Vintage Coffee Grinder and More

Happy Friday!  I don't know about you but I'm so ready for the weekend.  
Today I wanted to blog about a few cool pieces my hubby 
picked up at an auction last weekend. 
The first is this amazing 100 year old Hobart industrial coffee grinder.

This thing weighs around 90 pounds!  And the best thing is that it works perfectly.  
I had asked my hubby to keep an eye out for a cool vintage coffee grinder for our shop because we are wanting to have coffee available to our customers and I thought it would be really fun to freshly grind the beans in a vintage mill.  
Then he came home with this beauty and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to give it up.  :)

I love the lines.....

Another piece he brought home is this steamer trunk.

We've always wanted one and he loved this one.  It needs a few minor repairs 
but I can't wait to find a special place for it.

And he also found these vintage wool Navy blankets.  They are so soft, believe it or not.  I'm not usually a fan of wool but I love these.  

I also wanted to share with you a new member of our family.

I'm the first to admit, I'm not a cat person, never have been.  But a couple of weeks ago, when I went to open the blinds in the kitchen one morning, 
this was what I saw on the table outside.

He seemed to be a stray and without a family and had made himself quite at home in my little toolbox.  He was so sweet and we all immediately fell in love with him.  I don't know much about cats but he is so lovable and really loves attention.  
He crawls up in our laps whenever we sit down.

And whenever I'm outside working on a project, I look down 
and this is what I see every time....

Those sweet green eyes looking up at me. 
He lays at my feet no matter what I'm doing.
He has stolen our hearts, already.
And he loves to play for the camera.

Silly cat....  :)
We've never had pets (except an outdoor rabbit)
because our kids always had allergies when they were younger. 
Now that they've grown out of them, we've decided to adopt this little guy 
and they are so happy.
How can you not fall in love with that face?

Have a great weekend!


Monday, September 3, 2012

New Side Table

I hope you had a nice weekend!
I am in the process of giving our den a facelift (again), as it's the room the stairs are in.  
I've said this before but our den is usually a mess, where all my boys hang out and so I try not to put anything too nice in there or be very picky about the way it looks.......for a while.  If you remember, I redecorated this room for my hubby a year or so ago but after awhile, we moved certain pieces of furniture out of the room, changed things around, and it kinda became a little bare again.  
So, time for a change. 

The first thing it definitely needed was a couple of side tables.  We had some scraps of reclaimed bowling alley flooring left and an old Pottery Barn iron table frame in storage so I decided to make a side table using that.  I've already made a couple of nesting tables from our other slab of flooring and we are so happy with those but they are in the living room.  The den definitely needed one, too.  Here's what I started with.

I measured and then cut the pieces to fit inside the lip of the table and then sanded the two pieces of flooring down using 180 grit sandpaper followed by 320 grit to make it really smooth.  Then placed them in the table.  There was about an inch gap in between the two slabs so I decided to add a piece of the reclaimed walnut that we had planed and ripped down.  It fit perfectly and I loved the dark contrast between the two lighter slabs.  I attached the piece to one side with our nail gun and then attached the other side with wood glue and let it sit overnight.

The next day, I attached beams to the back to make it extra stable.  
Then sanded again with 320 grit sandpaper.

Next I coated with dark raw tung oil and finished with paste wax and 
then attached it to the iron frame with screws underneath.

Here's a little sneak peek of it in the room. 
We are crazy about this table!  
I love the walnut strip down the middle, such a fun touch.
And once again, the table cost me nothing to make.  Yay!

I picked up the faux milk glass lamp with the burlap shade at Lowe's this weekend for a steal on clearance for 12 bucks.  I love deals like that!

So that's it!
My hubby went to an auction this past weekend and picked up a bunch of goodies, some for our shop, some for the kids and me and I can't wait to share.  
I hope they will give you a little preview of what's going to be in our shop.

Have a great day!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cottage Of The Month

Hey there!  Hope you are all having a very relaxing weekend.

I wanted to share with you that our home was selected as Cottage Of The Month over at Jennifer's amazing blog The Old Painted Cottage.  It is truly an honor.  

 If you'd like to check it out and see a few never before seen photos and parts of our home, 
And be sure to check out the rest of the beautiful cottages featured there, as well as, Jennifer's blog!
Have a great weekend everyone!