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?

Advertisements

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!

Linked to:

Primitive & Proper POWW

Miss Mustard Seed FFF

Burlap Wreath

Its Fall y’all and I have to admit, I really enjoy this season. I love pumpkin EVERYTHING…beer, lattes, cupcakes, scones, candles, oh yeah and pie too.

Its so nice to warm things up in our homes as the temp cools. Like baking some cinnamon oatmeal cookies and breaking out the yummy candles, things are starting to smell really good around here.

A fun part of this time of year is planning our second annual Chilly Weather Chillin with Chili where lively discussions ensue about Beans vs. No Beans, figuring out what’s in mystery crockpot #3, and our favorite part…the end of night What Plagues You Poll: Gas or Heartburn. I try to plan a backyard scavenger hunt and a fall craft for the kids. We build a fire and make smores. There’s cornhole competitions and lots of other stuff. It was a hoot last year so we are excited about round two.

So with the maple tree in my front yard turning bright orange I figured its officially time to switch out my front door wreath.

I came across this lovely tutorial to make your own any season wreath using burlap and since I’m currently in love with burlap I wanted to try it.

It was from Laura at Top This Top That and it was so pretty. You can check out her great blog and see the tutorial yourself by clicking on her link or this picture.

I went to Michael’s and got a $2 green wire wreath (mine was smaller than hers), a $6.99 spool of 4″ burlap (used less than 10 yds), and some cinnamon mini pine cones that were on sale for $3.

Burlapwreathhowto

I followed her instructions exactly but I will say that you do need to twist as you loop so your loops won’t look perfectly uniform. Also, I didn’t go in a specific pattern like from inside to outside or vice versa I just kept it random. She was right, it was super easy and I love how it turned out!

BurlapWreathII

I just wedged the pine cones into the burlap so I could remove them when the season was over.

BurlapWreathI

The little hanging tag I got at a dollar store on the cheap.  Its just tied on as well.

BurlapWreathIII

The berry sprig adds really pretty color and I got it at Michael’s in the clearance area.

Well, what do you think?  Have you done anything to “fall” up your place yet? Any good ideas?

A little update: I wanted to share this picture with you to show how great this wreath is.  I use it everywhere, not just on my front door!

DiningTableCenterPiece

Linked to:

Young House Love Pinterest Challenge

From My Front Porch To Yours

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?

Linked to:

Primitive & Proper POWW

My entry into Restored It Wednesday

East Coast Creative

Thriftstore Lamp

We have for a while now been in desperate need of more light in our living room.  Unless we have the “high beams” from our overhead fan on, its darn right caveish in here and terrible for any kind of reading at night.  Our previous lamps were cute.  They had a dark brown base and a tan leather-ette shade…wow, I know it sounds terrible to me too.  However, back then they were great.  The pair went really well with my previous style and we had them for a long time.  But through various falls, a move or two and a rambunctious toddler they were half broken and I guess sadly/thankfully the days of stylish “leather-ette” were over.

So we sold them at our yard sale this past spring.

We have been shopping for the right lamp ever since.  That’s right I said lamp.  We only have room for uno lampara.  Our HUGE couch and HUGE chair leave us just enough room to squeeze a HUGE end table in between them.  All of this large furniture has bullied a second lamp out of the picture.  Bummer, I know.

Spotting nice lamps everywhere, I immediately noticed this one.  Cute right?  I love Jule’s house (and all of her necklaces).

I liked the shape of it and obviously that it was filled with shells.  Inspiration accomplished, Danny approved and the hunt was officially on.

The problem I ran into is they had a hefty price tag.  Like these lovely lamps (shade not included in the price).  They can even be monogrammed!  Love that!  And those green tables, but let’s not get side tracked.

Even at places like Amazon.com and Overstock.com they are a tad over our budget and just not ringing any bells, I’m not really digging that brown shade.

I know for most that a hundred and fifty bucks is NOT a lot for a lamp and under different circumstances it wouldn’t be.  Just don’t wanna spend that kinda dough right now.  We have come across cheaper ones, but the glass is so thin that we worried about it breaking.  Some were even pre-cracked at the store and ready to explode into a thousand shards once a certain lefty picked em up.  Not to mention this was definitely a deal breaker whilst the munchkin face owns things around here.  Soooo….

We weren’t committing but keeping our eye out,  hoping we’d catch one and that it would awesomely meet a few criteria:

  • Be shapely.  Not just tall or fat. Oh, and not too big.
  • Thick glass that won’t break very easily.
  •  Practically FREE or at a steep steep discount.
  • Criteria for a lamp?  This girl must be nuts.

Wellllllll, I’m certainly glad I didn’t splurge because I found the perfect one by chance at a local thrift shop and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

It certainly meets all of the criteria and it was only…$10!!!  I did find a matching shade from the Pottery Barn outlet that was marked down from $54.00 to $34.99 so the total for this gorgeous and “perfect for me” lamp is around $45!

The prettiest part is the patina, it has some years to it which I really like.  I picture it sitting by an open window at some beach house where the salt air did its thang.

Oh, and it was already filled with pretty shells=BONUS!  The glass is very thick, its shapely and just the right size.  And I saved myself well over a hundred bucks.

I love that its probably one of a kind.  I don’t think there are a lot of rusty old shell lamps roaming around.  The only down side is I hate it sitting on my current end table.  So I’m sure you can imagine what is next on my shortlist.  The same day I picked up this lamp I also scored a beautiful headboard for $40 to go in my daughter’s room.

I’m going to paint it and share it soon.  Have you come across anything while at a flea market/yard sale/thrift store that fit just perfectly?  Definitely share it, I’d love to see it!

Thanks for stopping by and understanding that yes, I can write an entire post about a lamp…I’m weird like that.

Linked to:

Miss Mustard Seed FFF

The Shabby Creek Cottage TT

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!

Linked to:

Primitive & Proper POWW

Miss Mustard Seed FFF

Sharing my Mom’s first reveal!

My mom decided to jump head first into a furniture refinishing business after visiting me and seeing a couple of my projects.  I must say that she has done a beautiful job so far!  She has gotten some awesome pieces and her vision has me eaten my doubting words!!

I hope she gets these first ones sold and Southscape Designs becomes a huge success!!  Please check out her start up blog and see her first reveal!

I’m very proud of her!

 

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.

My First…

Blog post that is.  Its a shocker really that its actually happening.  You see ideas like this usually float around in my head for a very long time while I worry about all that can go wrong and I usually talk myself out of doing it.  How long has it taken me to take this plunge?  A year and a couple of months.  I know, that’s a very long time to mull something over.  You see there’s another first.  The same year and a couple of months ago my husband and I bought our first house.  A very cute and very small (857 square feet to be exact) cottage.  It was built in 1957 and while the shag carpeting and pink tile are gone (thank you previous owners), we are still left with rooms that hardly fit modern sized furniture and closets that can’t contain the wardrobe of a three year old.

While I LOVE my little cottage and could be perfectly content with its present condition for the rest of my years, I do have a wish list a mile long.  I have a strong desire to turn this little cottage of mine into our home with our tastes and have I mentioned our very strict budget??  Even though my taste takes me to the swankiest boutiques in the Hampton’s its flea markets and garage sales that I’m dreaming about these days.

I hope you enjoy stopping by now and again and see the goings on of our little life.  We welcome you anytime!