April 22, 2013

Shabby Chic Hutch reveal & how to achieve a RUSTIC wood look



Hey there! I final got around to finishing up my shabby chic cabinet base that I scored at Fancy Flea here in Florida a few weeks back. Here's a before:

I loved the character and shabbiness of the piece. I'm not usually a huge fan of a lot of distressing and choppiness, etc because I'm not a total shabby chic freak but I adore this cabinet. I believe it was the base to a beautiful hutch at one time. But to me, it felt unfinished. It needed some type of contrast. Me, contrast? What. Yes. So, I knew what I wanted to do immediately. Something I've been putting off forever trying... Steel wool and vinegar along with a few methods of my own!

BEFORE

AFTER


I choose to do a planked wooden top. And I used a couple of methods to achieve the look and stain color on the top. It is a mix of steel wool & vinegar along with American Walnut from Rust-oleum. You can find it at most hardware stores. I got mine at Lowe's and love their stains! They are wonderful to work with, have loads of colors and stains to choose from and their products are fantastic all around! I also have "pinned" this recipe to try for sometime, steel wool and vinegar. From the reviews I've read and the research I've done, both mixed together in a mason jar will oxidize into a nasty looking liquid the longer it sits. After you brush onto wood, it gives you a perfect rustic, worn, aged look. Perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. I'll have to do another post with a HOW TO use the steel wool & vinegar and how to achieve the look with just that. 




I kept going back and forth between wanting a top that was just one piece hunk of wood or to plank the top. I wanted something that would be original and just improve the look of this old piece so I decided to buy a few 1x6's at my local Lowe's Home Improvement. I gave them all a nice sanding before I measured them out on my top. I cut them to size with under an inch hanging on either size and used old nails to secure the top. I choose nails instead of screws because I felt it would look be original this way. As you may have noticed from the before and after, I also updated the hardware. I didn't think that the hardware it had on it was true to its character so to Hobby Lobby I went. I found this amazing pulls that were rustic, elegant and vintage look for a steal of a deal with Hobby Lobby's sales they rotate!


Once I had the top secured, I first stained with an old cut up tee shirt. I let the first coat of stain dry for 24 hours and then came back to it the next day. It was pretty but I wanted more of a rustic, unplanned look so I got out my electric sander. I sanded different parts of the top but not all. I varied locations and hit the edges well. I think took my steel wool & vinegar mixture that had been sitting for about 4-5 days and wiped over the sanded parts of wood. After about 30 minutes, I got a mixture that was a very warm wood color with darker points that I LOVED. It was darker in all the places that I wanted it to be, on the edges and in all the imperfections. Everything else was a nice and warm American Walnut color. I then sealed with {2 or 3} coats of poly. 


I just adore this little cabinet. It has ample storage in it, having 6 total shelves that can hold plates, etc. And two VERY roomy drawers for napkins, silverware, whatever your heart desires. My heart desires that my dog leashes stay in there so I don't loose them ;-)


Someone had also asked a bit ago where I keep all of my appliances in my kitchen. The answer to that is that we were blessed with finding a rental where I could hide all of my appliances but I do have them! Just out of site ;) And another question I got following that one was where do I keep all of my utensil for cooking or is there a way to make that cute. Well, I happen to think my little vignette on my stove is cute AND functional which is the BEST. I purchased this utensil holder at TJMAXX for about $6.00 and it even has a gold plate on the front that says utensils. How adorable right? I primarily use wooden spoons so I like to have them already out and easily within reach. I also set the utensil holder a top of my bread board that I purchased from Target on clearance. I LOVE IT. I was going to purchase a few and hang them under the cabinets or prompt them up against the backsplash (or lack there of.) I actually like it on the stove though, complete with my dachshund statue from Hobby Lobby.


So, let's recap. Here's a...

BEFORE

AFTER

What do you think of this simple little makeover that I did for under $15 to my little shabby cabinet? Do you think it looks better than it did before? Have you ever tried steel wool & vinegar? I would love to hear from you! And if you would like to PIN this image to Pinterest, you can find the "PIN IT" button at the top of this post! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this post!


Linking up to Miss. Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Fridays here.




XOXO,
Ally


April 16, 2013

Announcement of $500 Visa Giftcard Giveaway Winners

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone, business and fans that participated in our huge giveaway! Although we had a few hiccups and some issues with folks liking and then "unliking" pages which by the way really isn't cool... I'm excited still! Be sure to check your emails if you see your name listed below! I've sent an email to everyone with what you have won! Congratulations to the winners and thank you again to everyone that participated!

Ashley Hayes
Sandra Midgett
Michelle Jones
Pam Durham Huggins
Catherine Frank Brewer
Heather Hollified Craft
Anne McMath
Christina Thomas
Rita Hilton

Winners must contact me within 48 hours to claim prize. If winners for some reason have not, I have selected backups who I will then email. Please check your emails!
Thanks again everyone and enjoy your prizes!


XOXO,
Ally

April 13, 2013

More updates... because they never end.





I feel like I haven't written a post on here in awhile and that's because I haven't. I've taken a "small" break from the blog and somewhat from furniture and decor to focus on things that really matter. Like being a better "me." I was getting too caught up in staying busy and doing this project and this DIY and this piece of furniture, for a minute, I kinda lost my "spark" of loving this stuff. Sometimes I would wonder... why would I let anything so small effect me and what I enjoy? Well that's a good question and I'm not sure I can pinpoint a direct answer to that but I will do my best. 

You see, we've moved 4 times in the last 5 years. That's a lot. Like really, a lot. But not uncommon either. I'm the girl that will be your best friend the first day you hang out with me. I'm the one that will have your back no matter what. The one that will laugh with you, cry with you and make fun of you too. But I am also the girl that is a doormat. And I tend to let others take advantage of me. Part of growing up is realizing who really matters in your life and who never did. Well let's just say since we have moved to Florida, that has really hit home for me. The only people you can ever really count on is family and I am so, so blessed to have my wonderful family! But sometimes you need a friend. Or two.


I usually make friends easy. I don't think I'm a "hey, look at me" person but I'm not shy either. A good mix I would say. But then you'll come across those "mean girls" who only want to spend time with you  for something that will benefit them. They won't appreciate the good person that you are and that's ok because they probably won't be the last. You should surround yourself with people who won't lie to you, who aren't afraid to tell you the truth either, who will have  your back even if you are wrong and people who listen to you and are just there. And some people won't ever like you. They will be DEAD set against giving you a chance and that's ok. Because it's their loss. 

Why worry about people who don't worry about you? Why expect an apology from someone who is never going to give you one? It's just not worth the time, tears, worry or stress. Something has that has been bothering me (like always) is our home. Don't get me wrong, we have a great looking home. Various nice updates and probably the nicest base housing we have seen and probably will ever see. There really is no reason to complain about anything considering that we have on site maintenance, a few upgrades, detached from other homes, basically a semi normal "home" away from the real "home." But then you see photos on Pinterest, on other blogs, in those awesome Country Living & BHG's magazines and you WANT THAT room. You want THAT look. You NEED YOUR house to look magazine worthy, am I right? Well... I hate to break it to you but that is a mold the most do not fit in. Your home is a direct reflection of you and doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. The sole reason someone's beautiful space is featured in the magazine is because that is just it, it's theirs. They put THEIR stamp on it, their originality, their taste, their touch. We're all capable of loving our homes if we just realize that if our homes are full of love, laughter and things and mementos that we love, it will be not a house but a home. Fill your home with things you love, things you've collected and things that are great reminders and I guarantee you're love your home a little more than you used to.

NOW that I have gone off on my psychological journey, here are some updates to our dining & living room. I still have a lot of plans for these joined rooms but for now I am enjoying it. I filled an old tool box that a dear friend got for me with faux Ikea greens. 




The mirrored faux windows with old hinges on them flanking either side of the windows are from HomeGoods. I've been searching for something the right scale for those walls for sometime now. I really like how much they reflect the light and fill up the space. I'm waiting on some pretty boxwood wreaths in the mail to hang on each one. I'm currently obsessed with boxwood wreaths and plants.



And here's the view from the corner of the room by our windows. It's starting to feel more like home around here and if you haven't noticed yet, yes, there is a new and gorgeous shabby cabinet in the room now... I'll tell you more about it and how I find it at the end of this post.


Here's the view from walking into the dining & kitchen area from our living room below. I hate the light fixture, I think I have mentioned that before. It is modern and doesn't fit in the space but what are ya going to do? I moved some things around as you can see and actually after taking these photos, I moved things around again. Yeah, I know. Totally predictable.



I moved my faux pears, lemons & apples back into my tiered basket from Hobby Lobby for spring. I love the pops of bright greens and yellows against the rustic wiring of the baskets.


Below you'll see I changed out my subway art sign that was kelly green to this smaller scale one from Old Time Pottery here in Florida. I just love the saying, the color and the scale. Perfect trade off.

And here's a few from the left side of the dining area. An old milk can sits by my crisp white Ikea barstools. I changed my table & bar linens again. They are regular bright white for now with silver napkin holders from Pier 1 Imports. Love that store, I get so much inspiration walking in there! The half moon window was hanging in the living room last time you probably took a peek here but I moved it over our garage door. It is originally from HomeGoods. I have an obsession with windows, I think.


And here's a detailed peek of the top of our fridge. I use the calendar daily, it keeps me organized. And I just added some personal touches up there, nothing too special or major.


I also moved some things around on my counters. The topiaries now flank either side of the stove and I moved my faux Ikea greens back in the living room on the TV stand. I like that they have height in here. A few other personal touches and mementoes along with my large glass jars that hold my sugar, flour and noodles. I bought a cutting board on clearance at Target that sits on the stove. After this picture, I took a white utensil holder that matches the containers on the top of the cabinets and I sat it in the cutting board with all of my wood utensils in it for cooking. I use it frequently and it's actually really nice to have it out. Of course, there sits my dachshund statues as well. 



Below you will see that I FINALLY found a rug for my kitchen. I knew that I wanted a 5x7 because of the size of the kitchen and the tile floors are so not comfortable to cook on for long periods of time. I've eyed this beautiful rug at Target for sometime now. It is from their Threshold line and is 100% hooked wool. I ADORED it but at almost $200, I continue to just "look" at it & wave goodbye. Pouty face. Well it just so happens that this past week, I got my weekly email from Target that they were having a 20% off home decor sale so I decided to go check it out.  So I got it cheaper because I used my Target card as well. It feels so nice on my little piggy feet and I just adore the colors. For all of you that think I can't do color, I can ;) I just don't want to break the bank because usually the things I LOVE with color, well, let's just say I might not have a husband if I bought all of them. I also bought the matching little rug to put in front of the garage door. I am really enjoying having both in the area and it's proof that a small change can make a world of difference. EEK! 



And now what I've been wanting to chat your ear off about...

I recently took a mini-road trip and used the whole day to attend Fancy Flea in Lakeland, Florida. It's almost 2 hours from us but it was SO worth it. I enjoyed spending time with a dear friend and we got to meet some lovely vendors, see some awesome crafts, painted furniture & vintage stuff! I scoured the crowd and only had bought a few little things when I spotted this old, rustic but yet so shabby bottom to an old hutch. Oh. Em. GEEEEEEE. Seriously, that is exactly what I thought when I saw her. I just adore this piece. We probably walked by it about FOUR different times. Each time, I spoke with the vendor, who's named was George and was just the sweetest old man. He came down on price every time I walked back up. At the end of the day if she was still there, she was meant to be mine. 

So, at the end of the day, I walked up to George and asked him what he wanted for me to take her home and we both walked away happy because I took this gorgeous baby home! And did I mention that this is all original? I love the inside, the deep drawers and the cute little doors with the original little locks on the front. Ryan swears I'm going to get sick of it and sell it and maybe I will because I don't put it past myself but right now, I am just enjoying this beauty. I plan on doing a planked wood top on top to give a more "finished" look. I also am planning on changing the hardware to something more vintage and rustic and something with age. I think adding a top will definitely give it some much needed contrast and will just MAKE this lovely piece of furniture. SWOON.





I just love everything about her. And I don't even think the photos do her justice. If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to click the "pin it" button at the very top of this post. I would appreciate any pins on Pinterest of my images. Do you have a favorite piece of furniture? And what updates have you done around your home lately? Did you enjoy ours? 

OH! And if you haven't entered our HUGE $500 in gift cards giveaway, you can find the POST HERE! It ends on April 15th at 12:00AM. ENTER before it's too late! FREE $$$$$$$$$$.

Linking up to Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday here.
Linking up to Liz Marie Blog's Inspire Me Please Linky party here.



XOXO,
Ally



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