Little Cottage Interiors

Anthropology Inspired Dresser

Hooray! I am finally done with this project! I bought two dressers, I’m not even kidding you, back in October and I have been slowly completing them. That means for a whole six months we’ve been shuffling them around our house. Need I remind you that there’s barely enough room for the stuff that belongs much less anything extra. I would work on them in my kitchen, then push them into the living room and we’d shove them in the office if we had company. I enjoy what I do but, man would it be nice to have an official work space.

This first dresser I’m sharing is a great find. Its very solid and the drawers are nice and big which made them perfect for a little Anthropology inspiration. Of course the original finish had grown very orange. So I stripped the drawers and stained them with a medium walnut. The base got a coat of ASCP in Old White and heavily distressed it.

123 Dresser Front II

I really love how the painted numbers turned out. Its super easy to do so I snapped some pictures as I went along to share in case you would like to try it too! Here’s how I got ‘er done.

Step one: Look on your computer and find a font that you like. I used a basic word processing program. Type each number as large as you can and print it out. Measure all drawers to determine each number’s size. Then, I went to Staples and they were able to enlarge the font to each drawer’s specifications. It was under $1.50 for all three! Easy peasy. Then just cut out each number and you’re ready to trace! I know that’s more like ten steps but they’re all pretty basic.

123 Dresser How To 5

Step two: Tape a piece of string to the top of the dresser where you want the center of each number to be, level it then tape it to the bottom. This gives you a nice guide for each number.

123 Dresser How To

Step three: Center each number behind the string and tape it in place.

123 Dresser How To II

Step four: Trace around the cut out lightly with a pencil.

123 Dresser How To III

Step five: Now its time to paint! I prefer a light coat because I wanted a very distressed look in the end and less paint makes that easier. Try to keep your brushstrokes going in the same direction.

123 Dresser How To IIII

Step six: After each number was painted I very carefully sanded only on the painted areas. I didn’t want to spread too much dust to the stained wood. I found it very helpful to wet distress with a damp paper towel around the edges. This removed the paint without damaging the wood.

123 Dresser 123 Close Up

Then, my mom waxed the whole dresser and it was done! These pictures don’t do the distressing justice. It looks so great in person!

123 Dresser Side

There’s a small section along the edge of the top that naturally crackled, to keep it I avoided sanding those areas. It looks so cool and helps to age the fresh paint.

123 Dresser Top

What do you think? Are you a fan of mixing things up a bit and trying out a new trend? I have to admit that I was hesitant to give it a try but I’m so happy I did! It was fun and I really like how it turned out.

123 Dresser Front

Thanks so much for stopping in!


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Domestic Superhero


Dining In Progress

My Momma is here! Yay! She got here last week and we are enjoying her visit very much. Of course she’s a southern momma so she’s been cookin! Homemade pretzels, bread, and gumbo ya’ll! It was delicious!


Don’t you wish you had some? Today I wanted to share the progress I’ve made in my little dining room. The first time I showed it to you it looked like this.


There was a dark traditional rug and the dining set was also very dark. That’s when I broke out some paint and lightened things up.


It was refreshing to see it looking more like a cottage but it still needed some style and a personality that was more ‘us’. So I added some.

Here are the little changes.

The most dramatic change is turning my table in a different direction! Something so simple has opened the area around the chairs and makes the whole room so much bigger! Before there was a slim sofa table with a wine rack under it and even though it was small it still felt crowded. You always had trouble getting in and out of the chair against the wall and the over all traffic pattern around the table was very congested. That small change alone makes me love this room even more. I feel like its a brand new space. Can you feel all of the extra room?!


I moved the green sofa table to the living room, shoved the wine rack in the attic and there was pa-lenty of room for my french server. Whoa! It. Looks. Awesome. Not to mention it has functional storage. Which my life needs in a bad way.


The second tweak is the curtains. The original blue ones were okay but they weren’t rockin my world. Yes, curtains can indeed rock my world. I love the chevron fabric I put on my chairs but to have it on my windows too felt like an overload. I have been in love with all things Ikat (who hasn’t?) but it was difficult to find a good bit of fabric at a reasonable price. These gorgeous curtains are…hold on to your socks…$500 for a pair of panels.

So I was in a holding pattern while looking everywhere. On black Friday I went into JCPenney’s and (finally) they had some cute stuff. I found these panels and paid a whopping $16 a piece for them! What?! I know! They have an Ikat feel and while I wish they went all the way to the floor, I really do like them.


Don’t be afraid of pattern! This I am slowly learning. Its really fun and adds a lot of character!


If you missed my post on this burlap wreath be sure and check it out. I use it everywhere, not just my front door! Something must be right when chevron, Ikat and burlap are in one room. Its enough for me to implode with giddiness.

The art has also seen a change. Even though Long Island is my home I want to incorporate some things that remind me of Louisiana, this 73 year old map is a perfect little detail that makes me smile. Could the colors be more perfect?!


Oh, this map makes me so happy. If you’re good you can find my hometown, its at E6 or is it 6E?

Then, there’s this adorable print I purchased from this Etsy shop. I blurred my address for obvious reasons. It is so fitting for our little cottage. Both the map and this print cost me under $40, so affordable for personalized art!


So with the room feeling bigger, adding the french server, new personalized art, and Ikat inspired curtains I have to say we are very close to it being complete! I can’t wait to show you a few changes to the living room as well.

These few simple and affordable changes are saving me thousands of dollars in investing in new furniture that would ‘work’ in my little cottage. And that makes for one very happy hubby. Which is a great side benefit!

So what do you think? It turned out well? Any turning furniture for a whole new roomy world? Have you spruced something lately to give it new life?

Thanks for stopping in!


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Snowing and Painting

Happy Wednesday! Whew, life is getting back to normal around here finally after getting blasted with a huge snow storm over the weekend dumping more than two feet of the wintery white stuff in our area.

Even though I was born and raised in Louisiana, loving and thriving in the hottest of hots I have learned to appreciate and dare I say enjoy the snow? It only took about seven years for my blood to thicken enough that I wouldn’t freeze solid from December to February. This month is my 12th year in the northeast and I’m officially used to it and fully appreciate ALL four seasons.

This particular storm was something else, like my life, it was a meeting of north and south. Northern arctic air colliding with warm gulf air and for the first time ever (for us) there was thunder and lightning during a blizzard. It was very cool and a winter treat waking up Saturday morning and seeing this.

Lizzy chair snow

My poor husband Danny had the enormous task of shoveling our walkways and digging out our cars. But I fed him good. What does a southern girl do when she’s snowed in? She makes grits of course!

So to keep myself busy, I painted. Finally finishing two dressers I’ve been hoarding since October. The only task left is painting the hardware on one and deciding if I like the ombré effect on the other. Does that mean I’m really not finished?! Ugh!

Guess not, which means instead I’m sharing this sweet little chair that I helped Lizzy with. She has quite the collection of mismatched chairs. It so happens that this one is the first to get a makeover.

Check out the seat, it’s embossed leather and held on with studs. It’s quite perty. Lizzy’s from Virginia and when were together we like to break out our southern belle-ness.

Lizzy chair before I

She really loved it the way it was but her style is changing and she wants to lighten things up a bit. So she picked Duck Egg blue with Antoinette pink peeking through. It’s so feminine and pretty together.

Lizzy chair after I

How gorgeous is this seat now? It has some of the black coming through too and in person it looks amazing. The cool thing about ASCP in duck egg is sometimes it looks blue and other times it looks green.

Lizzy chair after II

She has lots of red already and wants to incorporate some light aqua and pink and this fabric she found is really perfect! Now this chair is perfect too!

Lizzy chair after IIII

Lizzy did a great job painting and distressing it and I think she’s caught the bug along with some confidence. I foresee many more painting projects in her future. Which is good because I think more snow is expected. Ah, winter.

Lizzy chair collage


My mom is coming on Monday and I can’t wait! You have to check out Southscape Designs and see the beautiful stuff she’s painting, she’s amazing!

Anybody else getting snowed in? What do you enjoy doing? Thanks for stopping in, you’re the best!

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Little Cottage Interiors

French Server in Old White

With hurricane Sandy passing Long Island this week we are very fortunate that our little cottage held up like a champ.  Because high winds, coastal flooding and torrential downpours were anticipated we braced ourselves for every worst case scenario.  However, our part of the island did not get much rain so our basement was safe from flooding.  High winds did take some trees down in our neighborhood but thankfully no one was hurt.  We even managed to keep our electricity!  Our town is always awesomely quick on the clean up.  Debris and trees have already been safely removed.   As happy as we are to have no lasting scars from Sandy a lot in our area especially those closer to the city and the north and south shores have lost everything so we are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.

A very sweet friend of my friend Lizzy, ya’ll should know her by now :), recently moved and couldn’t take some of her cherished antique furniture to her new house.  She was sad to leave them behind but after learning I enjoy painting and refinishing furniture she graciously said I could have them.  So I hope she enjoys reading about this little piece because it probably looks really familiar, hi Bree!

Isn’t it pretty?  I think its such a great size.  Not too big but still big enough.  The condition was really great except for a small area of damage on the top.  As with any piece that has a long relationship with the past, it can’t be perfect.  The mark was difficult to remove and after I sanded and sanded its mostly gone.  I don’t think you even notice it now because it turned out so gorgeous!

A dark walnut stained top, the rest beautifully painted in Old White and distressed, then finished with several coats of clear wax.

Lizzy cleaned the hardware with water, salt and baking soda to remove just a hint of the oil build up from years of use which was a little too black.  Now,  through the aged patina you can see the lovely detail of the original brass pulls.

Lizzy’s got some really beautiful things in her collections and she lets me borrow them!  Thanks Lizzy!

Check out the legs.

Bree used it as an entryway table which I think is a great idea.  I also picture it in a bathroom or a guest bedroom.  I really wish I could keep it for my kitchen!  Its the perfect size for my little nook, sigh, but I think its a little too gorgeous for my humble kitchen.

Has anybody seen a piece similar to this and would you have an idea of the age?  I did show it to a local antique guy and he thinks its from the 1940’s but it looks a tad older than that in my opinion.

Thanks for stopping in today!


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Little Cottage Interiors

 French Sofa Table in Duckegg

Here is a nice little French-y sofa table painted in Duck Egg.  Its got sweet lines and is unusually large for this sort of piece if you ask me which makes it unique.

I purchased it from a garage sale.  It was in ‘ok’ condition but the finish was very dark.  My first thought was to strip the top and refinish it but that was a big giant AIN’T GONNA.  After two thick layers of Citristrip (one that I left on overnight) the stain was so deeply red and dark that it wasn’t budging.

Dark and stripper resistant!

It needed a fresh start in a much lighter color.  So with a little primer first to prevent the former life from bleeding through, two very thin coats of chalk paint in Duck Egg, a little distressing, some wax and its finished.

Its going on Craig’s List today, hopefully someone will love it!

I’m very excited about two dressers that I’m picking up this week.  They are both mid-century inspired and I can’t wait to get started on them!

Also, I’ve been working on some more burlap wreaths.  Remember the $50 Amazon gift card I won from Restore Interiors?  Well, I purchased ten 14 inch wire wreath forms and it was very nice getting them for FREE!  I got adorable winter embellishments to go on them.  They remind me of a ski lodge, cozy winter sweaters and hot chocolate.  Selling all ten would be awesome!

Thanks for visiting!

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I heard it through the grapevine motif.

My kitchen is great…well almost great.  Let’s start with the good bones shall we?  I am so thankful  that my kitchen has already been updated with light, bright and new cabinets, counters and appliances.  A partial wall was removed to make it feel more open.  French doors provide gorgeous morning sunlight that beams off of my faucet makin it look all sparkly as well as giving us a view out to our really pretty backyard.  And now, for the absolute best part…there is a dishwasher, THANK GOODNESS there is a dishwasher!!

But you can imagine with three bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, and dining room all sharing 850 square feet that the kitchen is a little small.  To add to the storage difficulties one whole side of cabinets is interrupted by the stairs leading to the basement.  So, while every little nook and cranny has been made available I still need LOTS more storage.

Do you see that little area below the microwave nook?  I think that would be the perfect spot to add some interesting storage.

I definitely have something specific in mind.  Maybe an old beat up non-bedroom-y looking dresser with plenty of drawers.  A unique piece that is really different so it makes you wonder, “What is that doing in the kitchen?”  Yet, it fits so perfectly you then wonder, “Why wouldn’t it be in the kitchen?”  And then your next thought would naturally be, “What does she keep in there?”  And then, “I gotta stop talking to myself.”

Don’t get too excited…I haven’t found anything close to that!

In the meantime though, I have found a little cabinet that can give me the much needed storage and will “hold” the spot until I can find exactly what I’m looking for.

I got it at a thrift store for $15, it was pretty beat up and it had a stenciled grapevine motif…yikes.

And a couple of really poor paint jobs.

A little ASCP in Duck Egg and it was good to go.  The color photographs a little differently outside in the sunlight than it did inside, but the true color is a very mellow yet rich aqua blue.

While this cabinet is certainly sweet and the transformation is nice, I don’t quite think anyone who walks into my kitchen is prompted to have a weird internal conversation about my eclectic choice of storage.  But for only $15 I’ll take it for now!  Check it out in its little nook.

Considering the “good bones” I’d say the cabinet is working great as storage. I keep everything from paper towels and garbage bags to oven mitts and extra bottled water in it.  I’m certainly glad those odds and ends have a home now.  I really like the shutter detail on the front and the brass tips on the legs.  But I’m a little underwhelmed with the height of it and the decorations around it, which means I could use some ideas and feedback from you guys!

So what do you think?  Do you have any ideas for making this area work a little better?  Got any quirky spaces in your house like stairs running through your kitchen cabinets?  I’d love to hear all about it!

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Miss Mustard Seed FFF

Mid-Century Dresser

Before I share this dresser I want to introduce you to Tricia from The Purple Painted Lady! Tricia has been so helpful and kind assisting me with my Annie Sloan chalk paint purchase. She is a ASCP stockist all the way in northern New York. I ordered the Advanced Starter Kit and she included a surprise complimentary 4 oz. paint sample in Louis Blue! I can’t wait to try this pretty color, thanks Tricia! I really appreciate all that you’ve done for me (despite a Paypal snafoo!) I look forward to working you again.

Ok, so on to the eye candy. Oh my. I can’t believe how much I love this dresser.

I have seen a few really great mid-century inspired redo’s in blogland recently and I am officially hooked. A little late to the party? Probably, but better late than never right?

I got this dresser at a yard sale on a whim. On a day that I was late for an afternoon with friends, I had no business screeching the tires at every yard sale sign on my way. But my daughter was asleep and needed to nap a little longer so I popped out at a few to see what they had and I immediately spotted this dresser.

I wanted it…bad. A two toned mid-century makeover needed to be in my immediate future. Stat.

The dresser is definitely on the “older” side because the man selling it said it was his dresser when he was a child. So, judging by his age (didn’t ask…guessed) I would say its about 40-50 years old. Not sure if its true “mid” century but its close enough for me. It was made by a reputable furniture company who’s been around a while.

So no worries, its by no means a true designer teak collectible. I’m glad because I wanted to (gasp!) paint it!

Despite a few minor scratches and finish problems the dresser as a whole was in great condition. The veneer was thick enough to refinish and since the drawers were near perfect I decided I would strip and stain them.

I totally forgot to take a before pic before I started stripping the drawers!

Needed some sanding and check out the awful color of the finish.

A little wood filler will fix the scratches too deep to sand smooth.

So, after all the wood filler fillin’, stripping, sanding, staining, priming, painting, more sanding, waxing and buffing its just gorgeous.

Ahh, ain’t it perty?!

Even if you’re not a fan of this style you gotta love it’s updated look. I even turned my husband. When he saw it being unloaded he was optimistic but said he wasn’t a fan and was glad I got it on the cheap. Now, he says, “I think we should keep it, it would look great as our t.v. console.” Ha.

I love the warm tone of the wood against the white frame.

I wish so badly I could keep it. We did put our t.v. on it to see how it looked and its a wee too short because our t.v. has to be ginormous. But I love the look of it, so now if I find a similar dresser that is bigger you know exactly what I’m gonna do!

Its ok that I’m not keeping it because this will be Little Cottage Interiors’ initiation piece. That means its officially for SALE! Update: It has been sold.

Anybody else out there lovin on some mid-century styles?

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My entry into Restored It Wednesday

East Coast Creative

Curbside Freebie…I need three more like it.

We have realized after spending a year in our little cottage that today’s style of over-sized over-stuffed furniture absolutely does not fit in our small rooms.  Since we have gotten rid of quite a bit of our bigger pieces we’ve needed to replace them with smaller functional pieces.  Our bedroom is a prime example.  Our room basically fits our king bed and my dresser with some room to inch around the bed.  Here’s a picture right before we moved in.

Pretty small huh?  We’ve never had to invest in furniture for our bedroom (except for mattresses) because when we got married we were given some very nice hand-me-down dressers that have worked just fine and we’ve been very appreciative.  I’m really excited actually of redoing my dresser very soon.  But back to the point…we have NO room for bedside tables.  Danny would really like a place for his cell phone/alarm clock to stay at night, so we’ve been on the hunt for some slim narrow tables that will fit.

One day we were visiting with our friend Lizzy (I’ve mentioned her here before) who has very cool taste in antiques, Danny noticed our neighbor across the street had thrown out a very old little cabinet that he thought would be the perfect fit for a bedside table.  While I was a little hesitant (per my usual first instinct…gotta learn to ignore this) Lizzy ran out the front door and scooped it up.

It was tall and narrow and the bonus was it had two drawers.  Yay storage!  Here’s what it looked like.

It was really pretty with original hardware and cool wooden casters.  But it was in pretty bad shape.


We decided to refinish the top and paint the bottom.  The hardware had to be carefully removed and then good ol’ soap and water to clean it inside and out.  Next up was the stripper (not as fun as it sounds).  Its pretty toxic stuff and since this was the first time I’ve used it, I wasn’t properly prepared with the right tools.  So unfortunately, a spatula and cookie sheet were sacrificed in the remaking of this piece.

The plan was to stain the top a warm walnut but after removing all of the gunk,  its natural color was very pretty so it only needed an antique matte poly in a couple of coats.

For the body I used some left over ASCP in Old White.  Since its pretty small two coats went on fast.  Distressing it to bring out the pretty details is the funnest part but it didn’t need too much.  It still needs some wax to seal it, but we can’t be happier with how it turned out!

You probably wanna see it in its new home right?  Well, we are still looking for a nice lamp and some more manly accessories because while these make me very happy, Danny is only tolerating them for this picture.

So what do you think??  Its perfect right?!  Well, there is room on my side for something similar and we need ones in our living room too.  For me the BEST part of this whole story is I got it for free.  I have to thank Danny for his keen curbside awareness and Lizzy for her quick-go-getter-ness!!

Have you found any great free pieces that seem to be made for a spot in your home?  Let’s see it!

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Miss Mustard Seed FFF

traditional circa 2002

Here is my dining room as it has been for the passed several years.  Dark furniture that was very popular circa 2002 and a traditional rug.  Now, the blue curtains were not a part of this original look but an update knowing my future plans for this room.

As my style is evolving and I’m honing in on what I want things to look like around here, I’ve decided that my current furniture is way too dark.  We bought this furniture over eight years ago and I have enjoyed it, but its time to go.  Of course, I would love to go to Lucille’s Beach Barn in Westhampton Beach and order a custom farmhouse old but new dining room table or collect an assortment of mismatched chairs like my friend Lizzy.  But, that is definitely NOT in the money or time budget.  Maybe some day…

So,  I perused Craig’s List and garage sales trying to find something that I  liked and that was affordable, but all I found was others trying to get rid of their dark stained furniture too.  So…that left me the option of keeping what I had and trying a way to make it work and that’s when I decided to paint it.  This was not the choice Danny was comfortable with.  Paint nice furniture?  You must be crazy!  That didn’t deter me…this was happening.

Well, if you know me at all, then you understand I made it my full time business researching how to paint furniture and the funny thing is, I discovered lots of gals my age repainting their dark  furniture.  I guess every couple that got married around ten years ago and bought furniture all got the same stuff and now we’re sick of it and ready for a sprucing.

So what color can I paint my table and chairs?  I also needed new fabric to recover the cushions, so this helped me narrow it down to a few colors.  I read a ton of reviews and became addicted to some awesome websites that helped me decide to try some new fangled paint.  Annie Sloan chalk paint and I have to say if this was ice cream I’d be in big trouble.  I LOVE THIS PAINT!  I will talk more about it in a separate post because well…it needs its own post.

As this picture reveals I decided on Old White, a creamy white that is clean but not too bright.  After two coats and some distressing I had a brand new table.  I covered my chair cushions in an aqua blue and cream chevron patterned canvas that I bought on Etsy.  My mom helped me painstakingly ironed on a really thin matte vinyl to keep the toddler messes at bay.  I didn’t want to add a second coat to the chairs because they were a huge pain to paint.  So I distressed them really well and they look beautifully worn and weathered.

Now, I’m NOT a professional picture taker but it gives you an idea of the transformation.  I replaced the dark heavy rug with a jute one from Ikea and we hung some bamboo shades to help finish the look.  While the blue curtains are ok for now, I’m on the hunt for something with an Ikat pattern.  But overall so far I’m very happy with how it turned out!  Light, bright and just right for this little cottage.