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Friday, February 28, 2014

Serena's Room: Update and ideas

I think Serena's room is my favorite spot in our house right now.  Likely because it's the closest one to being finished!

And since it's always fun to look way back at where it started, here's what the room looked like when we bought the house.


Almost liveable, right? From there we did some demo work.


We removed the plaster, rewired, insulated and added a new window.  At the time, we didn't own a camera, so the pictures of the original rooms are few.  But, it was a LOT of work and sometimes really stressful to get to the point that we're at now.

Anyways, on to better days!

Last summer we installed the flooring upstairs, including this room. Once it was stained (a learning experience all on it's own...), we added the registers and installed/painted the baseboards and trim.


Since we had used this room as our master for a few years while we worked on the downstairs, I had already painted it Sherwin William's Destiny. I loved the color then (a soft grey/lavender), and still love the color as much today, so I just did a final coat after painting the ceiling to freshen up the room.

The light fixture is from Ballard Designs, which I picked up when they were running a sale.  Cameron had to mess with the wiring a little since it wasn't design to be adjusted, but it would have hung too low otherwise.


The rug was a Joss and Main buy made by Safavieh, and might be my favorite thing in the room.  The cute little basket I got on our trip this past summer to Ocracoke, NC. It's from one of my favorite shops on the island and the last two times we've been there, I've wanted to bring everything home!






Call me sentimental, but I love having things from special trips that are both pretty and functional! And if it's something that keeps this little peanut entertained, I'd say it's definitely functional.


Last weekend, I picked up a Jenny Lind style crib on Craigslist for cheap. It's not in perfect condition and a few spots could use a paint touch up, but it seems like babies are in them for such a short time. I couldn't bring myself to spend much on a crib that'll only be used for a couple years.


We also just installed inexpensive bamboo shades (from Menards, I think they were less then $15 each). They don't block all the sunlight, but enough to help naptimes last longer.



I'd like sew drapes to layer over the blinds. This Pindler and Pindler fabric from onlinefabricstore.net is one of the patterns I have my eye on for this.


Maybe I'd edge the drapes with pom-pom trim or some of this pretty 2 inch wide tape I found on Etsy.


Or if I wanted more contrast and color, with this instead.



As for the walls, they're way too bare! Here's a few things I'd like to add to take care of that:

For one, this piece of art by Lisa Golightly sold on her Etsy shop Kiki and Polly. I've loved it for ages and something about it makes me smile. I have a gift card that was given to Serena when she was born and it might be going towards this!

Girl in the Yellow Suit
The other thing I want to do is use a shadow box to frame some of Serena's baby things.  Her Auntie Cynthia crocheted her adorable booties and a hat and they need to be on display now that she's outgrown them.  The idea would be similar to this, but smaller.

Via Pinterest

I also have some cute black and white picture's of both her Nanas when they were kids I want to enlarge, frame and then hang together. Color saturating them like THIS could be fun too.

The closet in this room has a good amount of storage with three rods Cam installed back when we used to use this room.  It's nice because I can keep clothes that she'll grow into there too.  We'll add a shelf too so I can keep socks and what not in baskets on it.  In the mean time she loves getting in there and making a mess!


Hopefully we'll get to pick up her dresser that's just been painted since we didn't get to last weekend as planned.  It'll be fun to have a spot to put some of the little books, toys, and nick-knacks I've collected for her. Yup, I get excited about those kinds of things!

That's what we have so far! I'll keep you posted as things progress!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How to (easily) remove paint from hardware


I posted a picture on Instagram (@jmmccalley) recently of  my vintage hardware all cleaned up. Someone asked for a before and after, so I thought I'd share.  Also, I found a great product that removes paint from hardware (and furniture too) without a ton of mess and no yucky odor!



This hardware is going back on a vintage Thomasville dresser that has just been professionally painted(meaning it wasn't done by me...). We'll likely pick it up this weekend so I can show it to you soon.

Dresser Before

 For now, I've given up on painting furniture myself, since I usually want a glossy finish and the best results for that are done by spraying. I have neither the time nor space for those project right now, so most of my furniture has made a trip to Cam's cousin in Des Moines. He has a body shop there and is really an artist when it comes to painting cars, so I know my furniture is in good hands!

At the painter's, sanded and ready for a new look

Anyways, here's the simple steps I took to get the caked on paint off these pulls and knobs. I did some research about removing paint and there were all kinds of ideas out there, including soaking them in hot water in a crock pot!

Hardware before!

I found this product at Menards made by Zinsser. I've used their paint before and loved it, so thought it was worth a try. Also loved that it was odorless and didn't have some of the nasty chemicals other strippers have.




I used a cheap disposable brush to apply a thick layer to the hardware, then laid them on a piece of cardboard and let it do it's thing. I didn't get a picture of this part as my hands were kind of messy!

About a half hour later, I used some paper towel and wiped them to remove the paint and stripper.  Almost everything slid right off.  For some of the stubborn spots, I repeated the process and then used an old toothbrush and toothpicks to get the grooves cleaned out.  That was it!




The brass was tarnished and dark once the paint was off, so I applied some Brasso (it's a little smelly, but not terrible) and buffed with a sponge and rag until it shined! As good as new!

Piece on the right after Brasso treatment, on the left is the before.
Hope that helps anyone needing to do such a thing. If you find an older piece of furniture, don't look past it if the hardware's been painted.  While you could just replace it, but often vintage hardware is unique/good quality and worth a little bit of work to restore.  If you have an older house, there's likely door/window hardware that's just been painted over and could be easily restored too!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

more craigslist goodies!

Little by little, we are starting to furnish our house! Last weekend we picked up a dining table and four chairs I found on craigslist. I really liked the lines of the chairs and the size of the table. Plus, the price was right! It's large enough to seat 10, so obviously 4 chairs won't be enough!


The chairs came with brown striped fabric that has got to go.


This past summer I was in Quebec for a day with my sister and mom when I came across this pretty velvet.  It was about 2 bucks a yards so I bought lots!


I popped out one of the seat cushions and wrapped it with a piece of the fabric. A trial run! We'll live with it for awhile and see how it holds up. If it works, I'll finish up the rest.  I might anyways, just so I don't have to look at all the brown.


We still need to get at least 2 more chairs (a few highchairs will be around for a few years yet taking up room too). Something upholstered for the end seats would be kind of fun and an easy way to add some much needed pattern and color.

via pinterest
The other thing is, the set is definitely in "used vintage condition", so there's talk of painting parts of it (chairs/table base?) or refinishing it. While I do like the stained wood, I don't love that there's little contrast between the furniture and the flooring. We'll likely wait until the trim, baseboards and French doors are all installed and painted before making that decision.

The walls in this room (well in the house, for that matter) are pretty bare, and the wall opposite the glass railing has a lot of blank space that needs to be dealt with.


A buffet would fit along the wall here, but there's a built in coffee bar in the corner at the end of the wall. Anything too solid/heavy along the wall would look awkward. But it does need something!

Last night I was browsing Pinterest for a lucite or glass console table($$$)to use in this spot. Something clear would fill the space but appear visually lightweight.  Then I came across a better idea!


Outdoor stone lions topped with glass makes for a pretty unique table! Even salvaged columns could look neat used this way.  It might be an option for filling up that wall if I can get Cam to approve.  Something like this along with large scale art might do the trick.

For now, I'm happy that we're not still eating at a folding table with metal folding chairs. Even better is that we actually get to use our dining room instead of trucking everything at meal times to the basement like we have been for weeks before the floors were done!

Thanks for putting up with my scattered thoughts and ideas.  I've had sick kids and the hubby was travelling so my brain isn't functioning like it should!