Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Hello!  I want to share my little IKEA hack. I was contacted by a local Hardware company asking me if I wanted to participate in a makeover contest. They would provide me with the dresser and the Hickory Hardware of my choice.  Because I have used and love the Hickory line and I am not one to turn down a challenge, I said "yes"!


Now, I KNOW that there are many great IKEA Rast hacks all over the internet and no matter what I did, it probably wasn't going to be crazy different from what the thousands of people before me had done, so I decided to NOT do any research and just stay true to the style I love and asked myself the question….what would I want to put in my house.  Because I LOVE a modern, Hollywood Glam look, that what I decided to shoot for.  I just didn't know how yet. 

My husband and son put the piece together for me.  It's SO NICE being done with our renovation projects and now Marc can help me out in my shop a bit more. I am sure he is super excited about that too (haha:)).

I really needed to see it put together before I could make plans and decide what I should do. 

You can see the top is not flush.  I personally think that made it look cheap so knew I wanted that trimmed to be flush with the top board. Because I was going for a very clean, modern look, I didn't want to add a top to this, but keep a symmetrical, almost "boxy" look, with inset drawers. 

Flipping the bottom skirt board 45 degrees so that from the front view, it would box in the drawers and look just like the top helped with this feel. 

You can see that the bottom board was turned and brought flush with the front.  I trimmed off the excess from the sides with the table saw (like I did the lip on the top). I also added a board in the back.  This not only gave me a place to add my feet/legs but also extra stability.

 Hopefully the below photos, seeing it more complete, will help with this explanation.  

Another thing I did to help make this hack look more professional and create a lot more overall stability to the piece was to remove the exposed metal screws and sink in my own wood screws so that I could fill in the holes for a nice, seamless, modern look.

At this point I still didn't really know what I was going to do for the feet, just that I wanted to do a "glam" sort of look.
While sitting around with the family Christmas day I was staring at a piece in my living room thinking to myself how much I love the hardware I had scored years ago and wish I could recreate that greek key pattern on a piece….then it hit me!  Why not figure out a way to do this to my IKEA hack!

I played around with scrap wood, just pin nailing it until I got the dimensions correct and the look I wanted. 

This was close, but not it...

Definitely not right….

Just right!  Now I had to cut new pieces, glue and screw!  I love this kind of tedious work.  Really, I do!

In this photo you can see that I added feet in the back.  I didn't get as fancy as I did in the front (ain't nobody got time for that) but they still look nice and make for a very solid base. 

She (it's a girl) sat like this for a week while I waited for my pretty hardware to arrive. 

 I have used this hardware from Hickory Hardware on a clients kitchen remodel before and fell in love with it.  I knew it was what I wanted for this piece and was worth the wait!

I had Vos glass cut me a piece of glass to fit the top and did a 'back painted' technique in the same color.  This definitely gives the piece more of the modern look I was going for!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Reconfiguring the toilet and putting in the pocket door was by far the best thing we did to this little bathroom.

All of the walls had to me moved a bit to accommodate for laundry on one side, pantry on the other, closet on back wall and a nice wide mudroom. Even though the square footage is just about the same as before, installing the pocket door, relocating the toilet to fit in the little 'nook' area that was created, as well as finding the narrow vanity I had repurposed, makes it feel much larger.

photo of when we purchased this beauty:)

The tile we used ran from the mudroom into the half bathroom.

Here is a nice shot of the toilet drain:)

Doing a wall mounted faucet was a last minute decision.  I am grateful that Marc expects nothing less from me than to completely change plumbing details last minute, so he as was able to make it happen.

It was your typical "No biggie, it will only take me an hour or so" to taking up most the day.  I stood by his side the hole time though, offering a cold beer when needed:)s

The herringbone tile came in sheets but still tricky with the 8 million little cuts that had to be made along the top and side.

Although I ran it all the way down to the baseboard on each side, about 8 inches in, I still used a starting board for my straight, level line.  I then filled in the bottom sides afterwards.


The vanity…can you believe I almost threw out this hutch top?!  Having a dumpster in your driveway for the summer makes you pitch crap you've had laying around FOREVER. It's really not a bad thing but I might have tossed a thing or two I wish I kept.

Neighbors really like dumpsters too.

I purchased this piece to use in my kids hang out room and converted it into their tv console, but never planned on using the top.

One day, while walking around my shop looking at my inventory for a potential piece, this caught my eye.  The depth and length were PERFECT….but at that point, that was about it.

I knew I could remove the dirty wicker inserts and replace with something else but still, it was ugly.

I wanted to do some sort of overlay for the inserts and sketched out a design on the wicker.  After perfecting the dimensions, I took a picture and emailed this (very professional:)) sketch below, on a piece of baseboard, to Advanced Laser Cutting.
They are a local company here in Grand Rapids and very nice people to work with. They had the fretwork design done for me in a few short days.

I also started playing around with different feet options.   I have used these many times before and they were a great fit for this guy bringing it up to the right height if I used a top mount sink.

The countertop was made from the marble window sills that were throughout the house. I had held onto them for years and used in my master bath reno project a few years ago.  They would work perfect for this budget DIY project too!

They were all the same thickness but varied a little in width, so I cut them all down evenly and then cut to length.

I always use this honing stone to soften up the CUT edges of natural stone.  

I found this stone at the Tile Shop but have purchased them them from Lowes and Homey D as well.  
It does a nice job of cleaning up the edges.

Instead of mortar I decided to use construction adhesive to glue the marble to the top, leaving very thin spaces for grout lines. 

I typically would never used such a light grout on a countertop (or floor) because my motto is "go as dark as you can stand with grout and carpet" but the gray lines contrasted too much, so I used the same antique white as I did on the wall, but sealed it well. 

My feet:)

Because this was the TOP of a piece, the 'hidden hardware" which is the place where you would normally grab to open is now at the bottom, so had to add some cute little hardware. 

Love my little Cedar and Moss sconce.

Because I had a hard time drilling a hole in this tile, I waited a few weeks to find the mirror I really wanted, which I found at World Market.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Even though I am blessed to be busy with custom pieces, I had really been wanting to do a piece just for "fun" for a few weeks now. 

I seem to always pick the "ugly duckling" piece that has been sitting in my inventory and has been overlooked for a long time.  

To be honest, I can't believe this beauty was still here.  Despite the missing trim and fact that it needed some love, it was really a cool looking piece.

After I prepping and spraying the piece in BM-Chelsey Gray, I used Antique Gold Rub N Buff on the areas that I wanted to highlight.  

Afterwards, I glazed the entire piece but the gold wasn't popping as much as I had wanted it too just a bit too dull.  

I added Martha Stewart Gold Metallic paint over top of the glazed Rub N Buff.  Because this product is fairly translucent (meaning it would take many coats to get a nice, full coverage) one coat gave me exactly the look I wanted.

This photo below is BEFORE I used the MS Metallic gold.

In this photo below you can see the gold is a bit brighter.  This is AFTER I did a coat of the MS gold.

I then added a few clear coats of lacquer to seal it all.

This piece is for sale and you can get the details HERE:)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I love how this buffet turned out for my client.  The top was refinished in General Finishes Burnt Umber.  She wanted a red tone but I was afraid to go TOO red with a mahogany stain and new that Burnt Umber would provide a rich, warm red color.

The base was done in General Finishes Enduro line.  I will NEVER use any other products when doing black.  The black undercoat, topped with the black poly is gorgeous!  I also added a clear of Enduro-Var in satin.  You could get away with not doing a clear on top of the black poly but I am a bit obsessive about my finishes:)

The "before".  I know, not bad but I knew we could make it better!

Not sure why I didn't notice, until I went to clean and then reattach the original hardware that the finish was in rough shape.  Typically the hardware on these older pieces are in decent condition and just need to be cleaned but with this set, the original finish had chipped off.  Even though the chipping was on the dangle part of the hardware, I needed to treat all the bits and pieces to keep a consistent finish.

Although I like many shades of gold for hardware, I knew my client would not.  My next choice would have been an Oil Rubbed Bronze but it would have blended into the black too much.

I really wanted to try and get as close as I could to the original finish so decided to spray (after sanding, cleaning and priming) the hardware in Rustoleum Antique brass, which to me, really has more of a copper-like look.

After a few coats of the Antique brass had completely dried, I "dusted" them with the Oil Rubbed Bronze lightly, still letting a bit of the brass peak though. 

I also did a clear coat over top and here are the products I used. 

They turned out even better than I was hoping and honestly, this is going to be my new "go to" finish for antique pieces…I love it!

Perfect against the black!