Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Even though I do a lot of clean line, mid century style pieces, I sure do love an antique piece with  ornate detail like this one. 

The feet are so unique as well as the ornate, detailed trim work.  A lot of the trim on the second drawer was missing and although I am pretty (dang) good at recreating new trim, I do have my limits.  Not to mention with all the other detail going on, I didn't think that it would be missed.   

And in the end, I feel it would have been a little overkill to have kept it and removing it altogether was a smart choice.

I stripped and re-stained the top in a combination of Java and Antique Walnut gel stain by General Finishes. I was trying to match it to another piece my client had purchased from me and worried that the Java was going to be to dark to start with.
After the first coat of the 50/50 mix, I did another coat of just Java to deepen it just a little and it turned out to be the perfect shade.

 The base is in the SW-Repose Gray, a soft, creamy gray with just little distressing as she requested.
So pretty!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


We had a dumpster here all summer during our renovation and my husband kept threatening to throw this dresser in because it was in such bad shape.  But he knows better than to mess with my furniture!

This is not the actual dresser but the "before" looked just like this, but was in MUCH worse condition.

I did not have the time or the will to fix the large, warped bottom drawers but the top drawers were ok. 

It hit me that this just might be a pretty good desk if I could remove the rails, trim and finish off the inside.  I personally liked the idea of a taller work station as I rarely sit down anyway, otherwise a stool would fit perfectly.  So I started tearing it apart!

After removing the inside stuff I made a few blocks in areas so that I could attach my finished ply to. 

Beginning stages of finishing out the inside

Here I have the top stripped and piece sanded down.  Now was just filling in nail holes and caulking for a nice, seamless look.

I got really busy and it sat this way for a few months:)

I knew General Finished was having a "mad scientist" contest where you mix a custom color.  I don't necessarily like contests but I love mixing colors!  So very last minute (like hours before it ended), I decided to enter.

This vintage photo was my inspiration.  I loved the bit of orangy red that was in it and wanted to match that color.

I used Brick Red, Persimmon and Coral Crush to create the exact match. Although I was adding as I went along to achieve the right color, the formula is something like this…

4 cups Brick Red
2 cups Persimmon
1/2 - 3/4 cup of Coral Crush

I also did a 50/50 mix of Java and Antique Walnut for the top.

I did a modern, high gloss clear coat on the base and a matte finish on the top.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I have a feeling the hardware on this piece was throwing people off, that is why it sat in my inventory for so long.

I thought about doing something with the door the entire time is sat there too.  I wish it was a candidate to simply pop out a panel and insert a piece of decorate metal screen but being a solid piece of wood, it wasn't and knew that I was taking my chances if I started cutting into it.

While talking with my client who was very interested in having this piece converted into an entertainment center, I brought up the fact that I could remove the wooden built in hardware, fill in the holes and add some regular hardware. I also went a step further and said I would attempt to change the door as well because she had her heart set on adding screen to it.  Her components where too large to fit in the little cubbies/shelves that I could have made behind the door but she really loved the look and still wanted it, if possible.

I carefully pried off the trim and thank goodness it was only nailed and not glued.

Pulled out the nails

Measured and used my table saw to cut as much as I could of the board.  I wanted nice, clean corners so stopped when the blade was close to the corners

And finished the corners with this handy tool. I don't use this tool often but always glad to have it around.

I cut the screen that my client wanted to size and tacked in on a few spots, just to hold before I added the trim.

I added the trim pieces by tacking them behind.

I filled in the corners and touched up by hand.

I LOVE how this turned out and kinda kicking myself for not doing this a long time ago.  Just opens up the door to other pieces and ideas for me.

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.