Before and After

"New" Dining Room Buffet
I've been searching Craig's List for a few months looking for a large dresser that could be used as a buffet in our dining room.  The thing about buying furniture on Craig's list is everything has to be just right...the timing (you snooze you lose), location (I won't drive more than 40 minutes) and of course the price.

Here is what I started out with...

For the step-by-step and the rest of the story, click here.

Tree Stump:From Backyard to Living Room Table
Shortly after moving in, our new neighbors took down some trees in their backyard. I mean a LOT of trees. The sounds of trucks and saws were heard day after day. After a while it looked like this:

So, I knocked on their door and asked if I could take one of the logs. The first step was to remove all the bark. This was not as hard as I thought it would be. Some of it was already coming off, and the rest I “chiseled” off with a hammer and gardening tool. 

The next step was to sand the heck out of it. The surface was pretty rough so this was a job for my trusty electric sander. I started out with course sandpaper and moved on to finer paper after I achieved a nice somewhat smooth finish. 

 After many days of sanding I was left with this.

Because it was going in a room with light floors and light painted furniture, I wanted it darker for more contrast. So, I picked up a can of Miniwax and gave it a quick coat of dark walnut stain.
 I love how the finished table contrasts with my more formal chairs for an eclectic look.

Occasional Chairs: From Hotel Room to Sitting Room
One of my favorite places to buy furniture is our local Hotel Liquidators. When hotels remodel or close, they send their furniture to these stores for the public to purchase. Not only can you find terrific bargains but the furniture is very sturdy. Here is the "before" of two chairs I snagged a while back.

After a fresh coat of white paint and new upholstery...

Buffet: From Dusty Garage to Dining Room
My daughter, Ariel, needed a buffet for her dining area. I found this one on Craig's List. The size fit perfectly on the wall she planned on putting it on. 

Here's the Before...

After a few coats of paint and some glaze to "antique" it, I added some wicker caning on the doors to give it a bit more interest. The ring pulls are a favorite of mine and I've used them in other projects as well.

Here's the After...

Console Table: From Grandmother's Apartment to Loft Space
This console table was a hand-me-down…most likely from the 60’s.  
You'll notice the "before" picture has two large openings on top where I removed two marble slabs. They were chipped and yellowed and did nothing to enhance the piece.
After a quick trip to the local lumberyard, I had a new top cut out of Masonite and a strip of molding to replace the metal work on front.  Next it was time to sand and prime. The paint from Lowe’s is Valspar La Fonda Teal which they made up in the No-VOC version.
My favorite part of the makeover are the stones that I glued onto small knobs for a more organic look.

Nightstand: From Thrift Shop to Bedroom 
I found this antique child’s desk for $10.00 a while back at a local shop. It was the perfect size and height for a nightstand, and very sturdy--made of sold oak. It even has the indentations for pencils so they don’t roll off the desk!
After a coat of primer I rolled on two coats of Benjamin Moore’s Paris Gray. I find a sponge roller gives the smoothest finish, and then I brush the areas that the roller can’t get into.

I love how the cubbie is the perfect place to stash away books and tissues without taking up space on the top.

Thrift Shop Lamps
When I saw these Ginger Jar lamps for $6.37 I grabbed them! They needed a new color, the brassy colored base needed toning down and they didn't come with shades but you can't go wrong for six bucks!
After a quick coat of primer, then the orange color which works with the curtain panels I chose for the room.
For the lamp shades I picked up shades from Walmart along with three colors of yarn. I was inspired by this Ombre lamp shade that I found on Pinterest (from Mandi at Vintage Revivals).  It's so easy--just keep wrapping the yarn around the shade using a bit of glue from a hot glue gun to keep the yarn in place. (I found that this works better using as little glue as possible).
 Quite a transformation, right?

Color Block Nightstand
Although I finished decorating  my granddaughter Moussia's room a year ago when she went from a crib to a bed, there was still tweaking to be done. Her nightstand for the past year had been a pretty little side table that had belonged to my mother-in-law. It had been a dark mahogany color but when painted white looked great in her room. Now that she's a big girl (4 1/2!) she needed more storage. Where's a girl supposed to keep all those headbands?!

I've had this small nightstand for years. I bought it when I lived in New York back in the 70's at The Conran Shop when it was located in the Citicorp building. (For those of you who are under the age of 40, Conran's was sort of like Ikea before Ikea was in the States.) Since it's small, it was perfect for a child's room.

This is what the nightstand looked like pre-paint job:
After priming, I simply painted the base and each drawer the chosen color. Her Marimekko duvet cover from West Elm is so graphic and bold, I decided to try a color block look. It made such a difference!

 I used gift wrap to paper the inside of the drawers with a fun coordinating print.

Stenciled Desk

Although stenciling has been around for years it seems that in the last few it has become very hot because of the choice of beautiful stencils now available.  So, I've been anxious to try a stenciling project and when a drop-leaf desk came up on Craig's List for forty dollars I knew it was the perfect opportunity. Here is how it looked before...
After a light sanding, I taped the areas I did not want painted and sprayed the inside with blue spray paint. This was much faster than using a brush or roller and the spray paint provided a nice hard finish which will wear well.
 The rest of the desk was primed with a white primer, followed by Benjamin Moore's Barren Plain, which is a soft grey.
 Now for the fun part--stenciling! I ordered mine from Cutting Edge Stencils.
 I love how the inside of the desk is a little surprise when it's opened and the blue color appears.
An Ombre Dresser
Although my sister lives in Missouri and I live in Connecticut she never hesitates to ask me for decorating advice. Through the magic of the Internet and digital cameras, helping her is easy.

She had a great dresser in her master bedroom with lots of drawers providing tons of storage, but she was tired of the "country feel" and wanted a new look. When she called and asked for my advice on how to update it I told her an
Ombre paint technique would instantly update it while adding visual interest to the room.
Here is what she started with...

  Can you believe the difference?
For the full story click here.

An Updated Coffee Table
I found this table at an estate sale in my neighborhood over a year ago—I think I paid $35 for it! The style is post modern, probably from the 1950's and it works perfectly in our ranch house.

Now that the weather is warm I'm able to work outdoors (sanding is messy!) It's finally done and I loved how it turned out.
Let's take a look last winter when I bought it home...
For the full post click here

A Painted Bureau 
The front entrance to Ariel's new/old house is a large space but there was really no storage. You knowa much needed spot to drop your car keys, charge cell phones and drop the mail. This bureau I found on Craig's list turned out to be the perfect solution—not only is there plenty of storage in seven drawers but the bright yellow color adds so much to brighten up the dark paneled space! 

Click here to see it was transformed.
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