Done being gone.

Well hello there blog.

I’ve missed you.

Its been way too long.

Within days of my last post I learned I was pregnant with my second baby.  Very exciting news for us and as you can imagine my attention has thus been diverted.  I’m not quite sure how to pick back up where I left off so there may be a shift in what I find myself writing about.  I just know that I enjoy this little place where I can express my thoughts and share a few pictures.

So, welcome back!

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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!

Kelli

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Domestic Superhero

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!

Linking up at:

Miss Mustard Seed’s FFF

YHL’s Unofficial Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge

Last Friday the Petersik’s over at Young House Love threw out a little challenge of the thrift shop variety.  Oh and by the way it was based on Macklemore’s new hit song Thrift Shop.  Haven’t heard of him?  Yeah, me either but he’ll be on your playlist soon enough.  You can check out the full story here.

Now, I can’t say that I necessarily share Sherry’s adoration for white rappers.  If you follow the Petersiks even occasionally you know that she down right loves em.  But this video had me rollin (the PG version of course) and how can I say no to this picture?  So I was more than excited to accept this challenge.

So to participate you simply had to follow four easy steps.

Step 1.  Go to a thrift shop with “$20 in your pocket” and take a picture.

Thrift Shop Challenge I

Gangsta eh?

Step 2.  Spend that $20 anyway you’d like and photograph your spoils.

Toys are my favorite thing to buy at thrift stores because so many of them are barely used and once cleaned up they are practically new.  Plus there’s a huge opportunity for savings, I spent less than $15!  No need to “pop tags” here.

Thrift Shop Challenge III

Step 3.  Find one or more items referenced in the song and snap a pic.

Which brings me to the lovely opportunity of introducing you to this very special (and by special I mean smelly and gross) fring-y suede coat the color of…well, you will just have to listen to the song. 

Thrift Shop Challenge II

So there you have it!  Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge completed!  I’ll be linking up over at YHL here to share my spoils and see what kinda craziness everyone else came up with!  Have you been thrifting lately?  Definitely share the link in your comment, I would love to see it!

Kelli

Saying Thanks!

I want to say THANK YOU!  Thank you for subscribing to Little Cottage of Mine and maybe taking a peek or two at my ramblings.  I really appreciate everybody’s encouraging comments and support! KEEP IT COMING PLEASE!bird thankyou

Ok, enough of me screaming my happiness…well maybe just a little more?

I WAS FEATURED ON MISS MUSTARD SEED AND COZY LITTLE HOUSE!  That’s CRAZYTOWN!

Ok ok, I’m done now.

I want to also give a huge thank you to those ladies because it just made my day to be featured.  I jumped up and down and called my Momma and then we jumped up and down together and just couldn’t believe it.

Marion (MMS) chose my little French Server (I know its because of Lizzy’s pretty things!) on her Furniture Feature Friday and Brenda (CLH) welcomed me in her very sweet Welcome Wagon Friday.  Check out her motivation:

“I love doing this. It can be a lonely and scary place for a new blogger. Putting themselves out there into the virtual world. Not knowing if anyone is reading their words, or if anyone cares. I do this because I want them to know someone cares. And they are not alone anymore.”-Brenda

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!  THANK YOU!

I know I’ve taken a little bit of a break.  The end of the year is always a crazy time for everybody and my poor baby and I have been sharing the same cold for weeks and weeks.  However, we are feeling better and even though its currently 12 degrees outside and its barely one in the afternoon I do feel Spring around the corner and that makes me smile!

I will be back very soon to share my new rug, curtains and artwork in my living room and dining room.  I feel the common spaces in my little cottage are starting to come together!  If you follow me on Facebook then you saw this little sneak peak of the rug and the mess that is my constant companion.

lr fb

I can’t wait to get some feedback and ideas from you all!  My Mom from Southscape Designs is coming to visit us for a whole month and I’m hoping to put her to work helping me with some projects around the house.

Thank you so much for checking in today, I sure appreciate it!

xo,

Kelli

Caving under the Clutter

Cozy Cottage or Clutter Capital?

Does one have to equal the other?  I love my little wee of a house but sometimes I find myself wading through clutter up to my eyeballs.

via

A scene I’m sure most would definitely understand (cue the dreadful music and panic stricken faces)…the little things start to take over.  Toys, mail, stuff brought in from the car, clothes, laundry OH the endless laundry…you get the idea.

If not nipped day in and day out in the proverbial  bud these little things become the most insurmountable, hugest, highly annoying chore EVER.   Maybe a little clutter here and there is no big deal if you live in a standard size house.  Ah, the good ol’ junk drawer with random paper clips and old keys or a guest closet full of winter coats and extra picture frames.  But when you share 850 square feet with three people even a teeny amount of clutter wanted or unwanted can drive a normal person cray cray.  Junk drawers and the luxurious “extra” closet do not exist in my world!  So where does everything random end up?

The answer is ALL OVER.

Someone please tell me that its possible to live a clutter free existence in a small house!  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t want to win any awards for having an inspection worthy home.  Apparently I couldn’t even if I wanted to…haha

via

But a proper place for things isn’t too much to ask is it?

When we first moved in we had a lot of stuff.  Some went into the attic, some into the basement, some sold in a yard sale and some hit the curb.  We did good.  But hey, I’m a woman who just got a new house…

I seriously have to resist the urge.  Every.  Day.

Now that we’ve been in our little cottage for a year and a half its high time we figure this whole thing out and that my friends means its time for A LIST!

A clutter busting get in control kind of list.

  • Paper Piles: If its important it has a home…in a folder…in a cabinet.  Designate mail, coupon, menu spot.
  • Product Piles: Organize medicine, seasonal products, cleaning products.
  • Closets:  Reevaluate current wardrobes and designate a coat rack for winter coats.
  • Office: Organize laundry, book shelf, closet, office stuff.

To make sure that I stay committed to completing this list I will share my projects with you as I go, that’s right I feel a series coming on.  I will tackle closets, nooks and crannies and actually create a solution to this problem not just de-clutter.

So I need some help!  Do you know of any great storage solutions for tight spaces?  Any ideas for keeping office supplies in order and actually having some style too?  Please share if you’ve gone through this process before, I’m a girl who loves inspiration!

Also, what should I call this series?  Any clever titles?  Danny suggested Cookie Clutter.  I thought it would be fun to tackle a project and then reward ourselves when its completed.  Which in our house a reward means cookies. #EATALLTHECOOKIES!

Of course I’ll have to share a recipe in each Cookie Clutter post.  Cheesy?  Yes, but that’s never stopped me!

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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Blogosphere Superstars

Young House Love was my official introduction into blogs.  Meet the Petersiks.

via Young House Love

When I decided to start decorating my house I literally Googled “cottage decorating” and Young House Love was the first link I clicked on.  OH BOY, was I in trouble.  I read almost everything.  Get ready to hear the word love a lot…

I loved their wedding, so many great ideas.  I loved their first house and I love their second house.  I am blown away that they take time to save and budget everything they buy, and have zero debt…love it!  I was totally ‘photog’ inspired by the monthly picture project of their daughter Clara and the list can go on and on.

Its no wonder though that I got sucked in since I’m right up their demographic alley.  According to the 5 year Blogoversary stats of their recently surveyed viewers (yeah, I totally participated) 97% are women…check, 38% are in their 30’s…check, 69% own their house and finally 77% have a ring on it…CHECK and CHECK!

via Young House Love

We have a few things in common too…young couple, old house, a toddler.  However, our similarities pretty much end there.  They DIY entire kitchen redo’s and can single- handedly build a deck and sadly I’ve basically only hung a few pictures.

via Young House Love

via Young House Love

They’ve helped me though to see that if you dislike a particular detail about your house its not that big of a deal to change it.  For instance, its just a regular Petersik day…laundry, cleaning up, remove and install new border tile in your master bathroom, cook dinner, watch a little t.v., spray paint something ceramic.  No problem.

via Young House Love

I mean only replace the border?  Who does that?  In one afternoon?

You see, my non-diy-seasoned rationale says if you’re going to remove tile, its all gotta come off and you start from scratch…but that’s a mighty project right?  Don’t you need a big wet saw?  And you’ll probably have to rent a dumpster for all of that debris.  Sorry, can’t really do that now?  I guess I’ll continue to live with current tile forever.

But they figured since its not wholly bad, why not replace only the ugly bits?  It can’t be too difficult, the saw is really little.  We’ll probably only need an hour or two tops.

Whoa, that’s huge.

This is a new concept for me because you know those few pictures I’ve finally hung?  Well, talk about tremendous anxiety because those holes I put in the wall are TOTALLY PERMANANT right?!  I can’t just willy nilly hang them without a minimum of five years of heavy contemplation and tacky paper templates taped on the wall…just to make sure.  I mean what if you hate them once they’re up there?  Or what if you find something you like better?  Now you’ve got random unused NAIL HOLES!

Well, thankfully I’ve put on my big girl pants and realized that its okay to make now nice.  Sure its not Pottery Barn perfect but while you’re working up to your ideal you can change the little things along the way (most likely without a wet saw or a dumpster).

Superstars.

They’re funny, creative and great writers, have I even mentioned that beyond their diy goodness they are hard workin’ real life full-time bloggers (soon to be published authors) who are gettin paid?!!

Superstars.

So, when their much anticipated book was up for grabs I knew I wanted it.

via Young House Love

So here is the best part of this post.  I’ll be meeting them in NYC during their book tour and trying really hard not make a complete fool of myself since I’m pretty sure the BFF thing is not mutual.

It will be a swanky affair at FLOR where they will be unveiling and raffling an exclusive FLOR rug of their own design and serving wine and snacks.

I think I’m going to have to buy a new outfit.

Since it will be a nice little outing for me and the hubs I will be snapping pictures for a full post with all of the deets.  (I know you’ll be waiting at the edge of your seats!)

Now, I know I’m not the only YHL groupie out there, anyone else planning on making one of their tour stops?  What about any irrational DIY/decorating commitment issues?  Wanna share?

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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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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