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Monday, April 2, 2012

The Armoire!

After the beautiful new (to us) dining room table, the armoire is the next in line for star of the dining room.  I had thought for awhile about doing something with this old, but full of possibilities piece.

It was pretty rickety.  Tom used it in his old office and it had mostly been in our basement ever since.  (My brother and sister in law borrowed it for awhile, but returned it to us.)   Because we had gotten rid of our old glass side tables as part of the dining room redo, we still needed something to store our stemware and other items.  I wanted to turn this into a hutch!

After researching the best ways to remove the mirror from the front panel, Tom actually determined that scraping it off was the easiest solution.

We drove WAY out of our way to find a store in the Denver area that carried Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.   I had only heard of this product from other blogs and had never used it before.  The Denver store that carried it is The Little Black Chair.  They were so nice to us with all of our questions.  It was clear that we were clueless and had no idea what we were doing.

This is where we started...

First round of paint - pretty flat looking.

Then I added the wax like the nice lady at Little Black Chair showed me...

First round of waxing.  A bit uneven, but I can see the potential.

Tom was very proud of his handywork on the shelves.  He inlayed glass in each wooden shelves so that the interior lighting he would add would shine from the top to the bottom.  Although I thought this part of the project was a bit of overkill, I'm glad he did it in the end.

Look at the three pretty shelves!  (Avert your eyes from the crack in the wood in the back of the piece!) 

I found some great map themed wallpaper on ebay.  It was a remnant so the roll was around $12.

A little visual interest, but not overpowering.

After adding the wallpaper to the back and a few more rounds of buffing, it was looking fantastic!  I also repainted the hardware black.  It was really coming together!


Fabulous!  I love how there are still hints of the mirror at the bottom.  

Ain't she a beaut?!?   Now...for the final reveal (with Tom's lights on) I give you:

The Before......(to remind you of how far we have come)

The After!!!

We love how our armoire turned hutch turned out and she is a real show-stopper in the new dining room! 

This was my first time using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint -- or any sort of paint on furniture for that matter.
I understand why everyone raves about it.  Yes, a bit pricy, but a great product for someone like me who is new to this and needs something to be forgiving!  We used French Linen and coats of both clear and dark wax.   Looks pretty good, eh?

Thanks for stopping by to see our transformation!

New to this and can't figure out how to add the linky thing, but linking to and and and


Monday, March 26, 2012

On to the dining room.

As we worked on the kitchen, we discussed other projects we should do next.  I will confess, the dining room was not going to be high on the list.  Then - this happened.

I went to an estate sale with my fabulous Mother in Law while she was visiting.  On the occasions when I go to estate sales, I usually come home with small trinkets - holiday decorations, plates, candles etc.

At this particular sale they had a beautiful dining room table.  Wasn't looking for one, didn't need one, shouldn't have spent the money on it.  But - it was too good to pass up.  Our current dining room table was a glasstop from our newlywed days.  Perfectly adequate - nothing special.  Affordable when we were starting out.  We weren't particularly attached to it, nor were we attached to our dining room.  Like most people (I would suspect) we hardly ever use it.

As our family grew and the opportunities to host larger dinners grew along with it, the table was a bit too small and uncomfortable.  We had some matching end tables that we acquired over the years.

Ready for their close up on Craigs list.
The whole set up was not very comfortable and our dining room was dubbed "the room of glass" and obviously not child-friendly.  We didn't worry about it too much though, because we hardly spend any time in there.

But with this beautiful table staring at me from the estate sale and with my Mother-in-Law's approval, I invested in this new piece for our family.  (I thought I would be able to sell our current glass table and make up some of the difference - I was wrong.  Lesson learned.)

With the unexpected new table, the dining room re-do jumped to the top of the list.  With limited budget, we focused on items we already had.

We had kept this armoire and chest in the basement from Tom's earlier days.  They would be refinished and updated for the new room.  (The armoire re-do will have its own post!)

I found some new Pottery Barn chair covers on a neighborhood Mom's list for $10 each!  I purchased inexpense burlap and linen fabric from ebay and found an inexpensive seamstress to sew the other four.  I didn't care that they all matched - in fact, I prefer not matchy-matchy.

One plain burlap, one white with cool ties in back and one with stripes.

We restained the chest to make it darker.

But the real star is the armoire.  A full post on this will be coming soon, but here is the finished project.

We painted the walls a dark grey.  (Now we have two whole rooms in our house that aren't the same builder's green!)  To contrast and add lightness we added a chair rail with beadboard wallpaper around the room.  People can't believe it is wallpaper when they see it.

We changed and added some other items around the room, mostly using what we already had.

A painting from a local artist that was a wedding present.  We restained the frame to match the chest.

The stars from the kitchen with a bit of distressing added.

The original light fixture, spray painted black.  

The bakers rack from the kitchen also found a new home.  A few new items from craigs list include the $5 wicker basket, the $2 tin basket and the $10 scale.  Everything else was already in our home.

And now....for the final reveal...drumroll...

Tah Dah!

There is a bit more to do - some paint touch up and I'd like to add some simple window treatments, but we are thrilled with how it turned out.  The longer table has more room and we plan to actually EAT in here more often.  Hopefully the slipcovers are as "washable" as advertised! 

First Project


Because I wasn't taking "before" shots, this is the best I can do.  Plus - love Meg in the high heels....

Anyway, you can see - same builder's paint in the nook as rest of the house.  A nice table (turned the long way) and a backers rack on the right side to hold dishes.  (I always like open shelving.)  A nice mirror and  some star candle holders.  Also some temporary wicker stands to hold our outside summer dishes.

All fine....

Then I stumbled by accident upon the blog -  I am pretty sure I was looking for a recipe or something and somehow landed on this blog.  I was hooked!  From this blog I found links to hundreds of other home DIY blogs and it got my creative juices going!   We aren't typically do-it-yourselfers, so this is a new adventure for us.  Luckily, Tom was into it.  I decided to start with the breakfast nook - a small space that we (hopefully) couldn't mess up too badly.

Little helpers.

I think Tom secretly enjoyed the math.

Turned the table the other way.  Duh!  Why didn't I think of that before.

Coming together....but not quite finished.  That builder's light DOES NOT work.

This chunky shelf is my favorite part of the room.   Do you know what it is?

An old headboard from a 1980's waterbed!  I got it for 8 bucks at an estate sale.  I don't even think they were meaning to sell it.  It was in a random pile of wood.  Tom took off the back and re-stained it and we love it!  I was inspired by the chunky shelves from

Here is the finished room.  I can't believe we did this ourselves.  People who come to visit don't necessarily believe us when we say we didn't hire someone!

 The great part is that it was done (for the most part) with things we already had.  The only things purchased were the shelf ($8) and the light fixture - at $120 it was the most expensive item in the whole room.  We also purchased paint and supplies that added up, but now we have them on hand for our next project.  Oh yes...there is a next project!

The finished room.

Sharing this with My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia