Thrifty Kitchen Transformation-Granite Day!

Yesterday was such an exciting day in the thrifty kitchen transformation process-granite installation day! Thanks to Alpha-Granite in Wakefield, Ma, we secured this gorgeous hunk of granite called Steel Gray at a great price, with great service.

Alpha Granite Wakefield, MA

Ten days from choosing the granite to the install, they arrived on time, worked quickly and efficiently and cleaned up before they left.  As promised, the truck rolled up at 8am and the process of removing the old formica countertops commenced.

Granite Kitchen 8am ArrivalNow, as an avid DIY’er, I  like to think that I can pretty much do most everything myself. That is, after all, what DIY means: Do It Yourself. However, I do know my limits, and fabricating and hauling around giant slabs of very heavy granite just was not in my job description for this particular project.

Granite Slabs in TruckSo, here is the before: yucky yellow 1970′s Formica with the over-counter-installed stainless sink which they quickly removed and junked.

Granite Kitchen Stove Countertop Before

 

Granite Kitchen Sink BeforeAnd here is the after: shiny black with flecks of grays and browns, which really complements the painted white cabinets and the awesome hardware!

Granite Stove Side Counter AfterAs we’ve continued the work on the kitchen, the one thing mom and I keep noticing is how much lighter and brighter it appears now.

Granite New Undermount SinkOf course, painting out the dark oak cabinets really helped, but the new, shiny dark gray granite reflects the light as well. LOVE. More importantly, mom is so happy to have gorgeous granite countertops in her kitchen! Next up, the backsplash. You’re not gonna want to miss this one! But that won’t be for another week or so, because I am taking a quick blogging hiatus to upgrade my computer server (this ought to go well) and prepare for our newest junking adventure! So, until August 1, I’ll be seeing you on Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram-so come on over and say hi! Hope you are all having a great summer!  Susan

Hey, I Made That! Artistic License with Aaron Foster

Right around the 4th of July, I posted a pic of this amazing USA license plate map that I spotted at HomeGoods.

USA Map HomeGoods

It received thousands of hits and shares on Facebook and Pinterest, and so many folks commented on its colorful beauty and unique construction-every state is represented with its own license plate! Then, I spotted this note on my Facebook page:

Aaron Foster USA License Plate Map

Naturally, I had to follow up and find out who the mystery artist was who created this patriotic masterpiece because I always strive to give proper credit to artists and makers. His name is Aaron Foster, he is an artist, an entrepenuer, former standup comic and an aspiring actor as well!

Aaron FosterCheck out this quite hilarious Who is Aaron Foster? video. Turns out, he was on HGTV in its early days, as the host of a show named Freestyle-where rooms were re-decorated using only furniture and decorative accessories already on hand. He created his first USA license plate map back in 2001 to impress a female artist friend. Not sure how that worked out, but the license plate art biz took off. So now, he sells his artwork online via his website, Aaron Foster Designs, at shows and by commission-he has created his artwork for CNN

Aaron Foster CNN logoHost of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert

Aaron Foster Art Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert with Aaron Foster USA Map Art

& network television. This super large Liberty Flag was for ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition for the NYC Firefighter’s edition.

Aaron Foster Liberty FlagHe also sells on Etsy, where he is presently offering some of his artwork at discounted prices, so you should definitely check that out here:

Aaron Foster EtsyHere is my recent Q & A with Aaron

Me: Hi, Aaron! I was surprised to see your comment on my Facebook page and am wondering if you could share how that all came about? I have a few questions:

1. Is the photo of the one I shared on my page a picture of the actual one that you created? I took that photo at HomeGoods in Danvers, MA
    Aaron: Yes, that is a photo of one of many USA License Plate Maps I have created since 2001 when I made my first one to impress a woman who was an artist and inadvertently
   began a career as an artist.
2. Did you create it specifically for HomeGoods?
    The piece pictured was created specifically for Home Goods in the sense that they decided the style for the background, rough cedar planks aged and distressed, but I have been
    making the USA Map out of license plates since 2001.
3. Have you made any others?
    While there are well over 100 designs in my collection, everything from American Flags, Classic Cars, Cowboy scenes and iconic American Highway signs such as Route 66 and the 
    Hollywood sign, the USA map has always been my most popular piece.  I have created 1200+ of them. (blogger’s note: 1200+!!!!)
4. How did you obtain all of the license plates?
     I have been doing this a long time and have many suppliers of the vintage plates throughout the country.  At any given time I probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of    
    20,000 license plates in my workshop. (blogger’s note: 20,000!!!)
5. Do you have a website/Etsy page where you sell handmade items such as this online?
     The Etsy Page:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/AaronFoster  
     The Aaron Foster website where you can purchase and/or commission works of license plate art is http://www.aaronfoster.com/
6. Are you interested in sharing the actual construction details?
    While it’s certainly not rocket science, this is how I make my living, pay my mortgage, feed my family, etc., so for those reasons, I’d rather keep my methods to myself. Sorry!
No apologies necessary. Everyone needs to make a living, and Aaron certainly does that with this amazing and unique license plate artwork. A few of my personal favorites:
USA Heart Map (every state represented)
USA Heart Map Aaron Foster License Plate Art
Aaron Foster USA Flag
Vintage Pickup Truck (from any state)
Aaron Foster Pickup Truck
CU-Boulder Logo (my daughter’s alma mater-GO BUFFS!!) Hmmm, I wonder if he makes a Sparky the Sun Devil too??
CU Boulder License Plate Art Aaron Foster
To contact Aaron (whether to purchase a piece or offer him an acting gig) you can reach him at Email: info@aaronfoster.com or Phone: 323-302-3908. And if you do happen to contact him, please tell him that Sue from Country Design Home sent you : ) Now I’m giving you license to have a terrific Thursday, everyone! Susan

 

 

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard DIY Makeover

Blogger’s note: NO REAL WOOD WAS HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS CUPBOARD**

This past weekend, I completed a few more projects while awaiting the granite guy’s countertop installation at mom’s house. I have been working on this piece in my kitchen for quite awhile, and am happy to finally have it done! This is the before:

Coastal Kitchen Cabinet Beforea red cupboard (made of MDF) we purchased a few years back at Jordan’s Furniture Colossal Clearance Center in Avon, Mass (if you haven’t been there, it is so definitely worth the trip! Lots of great furniture at significantly discounted prices!) This piece fits nicely in the narrow passageway between our kitchen and dining room and holds a ton of stuff like paper towels, napkins and several pieces of kitchen equipment that just won’t fit anywhere else. The problem is, since it’s in the highest traffic point of our home, it had been scratched and worn-the finish was like a plastic veneer and scratched off quite easily (and I was tired of the dark red anyway…). Time for a fix, so this is the after: a pretty, light coastal cabinet with a top created from reclaimed window shutters!

Coastal Kitchen CupboardHere is the how-I-did-it: Sanded everything down to rough up the shiny veneer plasticy surface, and sanded the edges to round them off a bit.

Sanding the edges Nothing says “mass-produced” more than sharp, clean edges on furniture. Primed with my go-to primer: Glidden Gripper (you can find this at Home Depot in the paint dept)

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Glidden Gripper Primer

The Americana Chalky paint I planned on using says it doesn’t need a primer, but the before color was so dark, and the new color was so light, I figured I had better just to be safe.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Chalky Paint Palette DecoArt

Before I painted the entire piece, I accented the frames around the door panel inserts with the Americana Chalky Paint Called Vintage. It is a soft blue/green color that ties in beautifully with the shutter slats on the top.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Framed Cabinet Doors with Chalky Paint

Then I applied some wallpaper wainscoting (LOVE this stuff too!) to the inside of the panels to give a more country feel to the piece. (For the DIY  how-to on using the wallpaper, click here.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard with Wainscoting Wallpaper Panel Inserts

I then painted the entire cupboard, including the inside panels, with two coats of Americana Chalky paint in the color Everlasting-so soft and pretty white.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Chalky Paint for Knob Americana

The more I used this paint, the more I love it. No brush strokes, so easy to apply and clean up. I then sanded the edges to give it a bit of character and contrast.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Wainscoting Wallpaper Doors

The final coat was the Americana Ultra Matte Varnish from DecoArt. No shine, protects the white paint from fingerprints.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Ultra Matte Varnish Americana

For the star of this show, the top, I used some old shutter slats that Coach and I had picked up off the side of the road on a drive to Cape Cod. That was one of my very first blog posts, and also one of the first times we trash picked on the side of the road. What a score! The colors are all the original ones-so coastal pretty!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Arranging Shutter Slats

I have been using parts of them for several projects, including some little hanging chalkboards which I decided to reclaim for this project. As I was arranging the slats on the top, my original plan was to flip the chalkboard ones over and use the reverse side. But then I thought, why not just leave them so I could write cute little sayings on the surface? Fun!

Coastal Cupboard Makeover Chalkboard

Once I had placed all of the slats, there were a few that hung over the edges, which I quickly remedied with a few jigsaw cuts.

Cutting Shutter slats with jigsawThen sanded the edge smooth with my Black & Decker Mouse sander, which I also picked up at my local Home Depot.  Honestly, I spend more time at Home Depot and Home Goods than I do at home!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Cut Shutter Slat Edges

While I was sanding, I made sure that I sanded the top edge just a bit so that the cut pieces had the same worn edge as the rest. (this is the area that fits into the frame of the shutters when they are whole).

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Mouse Sander Edges

Once they were cut and sanded, I glued them into place with this strong sticky stuff-didn’t even require any nailing!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Wood Glue

The original knobs were a nice heavy iron, but I wanted something lighter so there wasn’t as much of a contrast. These mercury glass knobs I found at (where else) HomeGoods, but I couldn’t find handles for the doors that I really liked.

Home Goods Mercury KnobsSo, I grabbed a pair of stainless ones I kept from my old kitchen and painted them with the chalk paint. What, you say?! Painted knobs? But, of course! This week’s Tuesday DIY Tip: you can paint any hardware quickly and easily, especially with this chalk paint! You just paint it on, Painting knobs with chalk paintmaking sure you get in all the tiny holes and crevices, then wipe it off,

Wiping off Chalk Paintallow to dry and done. Wipe away as much or as little depending on the look you are going for.

Painted knobs with chalky paintThe finished cupboard now stands in the space under my incredible driftwood mirror I purchased at (where else) HomeGoods a few months back, along with some other coastal-inspired decor.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard After Shutter Slat Top PM

Which will all go so nicely in my coastal dream home (if I ever get a coast dream home…) In the meantime, have a dreamy Tuesday, everyone!! Susan

**PS: That disclaimer at the top of this article is for all the wood enthusiasts who think that no wood furniture should ever be painted…

 

Fixer Upper Marathon

While I’ve been doing my fair share of fixing-upping around here, sometimes I need to just take a break and get some fresh inspiration and ideas from magazines and TV.

Fixer Upper HGTV LogoYesterday I had a four-hour HGTV marathon watching a new show called Fixer Upper, featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines from Waco,Texas.

chip_and_joanna_gaines

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

I am in love with this young couple and their adorable family,

Joanna Gaines and Kids

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

who live in a renovated Texas farmhouse surrounded by chickens and goats (and now cute, fluffy puppies!).

Fixer Upper Family Farm Goats

Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Homes

The show, Fixer Upper, features recent amazing makeovers by their company, Magnolia Homes, in their own inspired Texas style, but also showcases rooms in their family farmhouse. This is their kitchen, where Joanna sometimes brings clients to show them different types of finishes of poured concrete and stainless steel countertops.

Magnolia Homes Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Homes.net

You will not believe the transformations they achieve while taking the most broken, run-down, dumpster-dive houses and remaking them into stunning family homes worthy of any glossy magazine cover. A couple of examples: This young couple, the owners of Harp Design Co. (he makes many of Joanna’s wood designs)

Fixer Upper Harp Design Co.

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

purchased this “fixer-upper” for $10,000!! (Yup, you read that right. The prices down there in Texas are nothing like I have seen since the 50′s up here in the Northeast.)

Fixer Upper Before

Photo Courtesty of HGTV

The house was absolutely falling down and had to be gutted, essentially to the studs, and rebuilt. This is the after…I know, right?!?

Fixer Upper After

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Here is the kitchen before (if you could even call it that-I think Joanna referred to it as a crime scene-lol)

Fixer Upper Kitchen Before

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

The new kitchen-what’s to say? Beautiful.

Fixer Upper Kitchen After

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

In another episode, this home was purchased by the local veterinarian, Dr. Marla Hendricks, who was surprising her new husband who was relocating from California. Chip and Joanna had one month to transform a falling-down bungalow from this:

Fixer Upper Veterinarian's Home Exterior Before

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

to this:

Fixer_Upper_Vet's Home Exterior After

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

The living room before:

Fixer Upper Vet's Home Living Room Before

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

The living room after:

Fixer_Upper_Vet's Home Living Room After

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

A few things about this show make it so unique and fun to watch. The makeovers, of course, are so special, because they do it right, both in the construction, but also, in the inspired decor. Joanna combines rustic country style with touches of glam and pops of color to create beautiful vignettes that are so meaningful to the new homeowners. Unexpected? A vintage bike hanging on the wall of an avid bike enthusiasts new study (episode 12)

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Loving this little boy’s room with baskets of balls and alphabet letters on the walls.

Magnolia Blog Boys Room Vignette

Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Homes.net

But it is the Gaines family that makes this show. They are so funny and endearing and clearly have a great sense of pride in their work, their homes and their family, which makes this show worth watching over and over. If you had gotten away from watching HGTV because you were tired of House Hunter reruns, then this is the show to watch to get great “simple. fresh. inspiring. unexpected.” decorating ideas! And, they have a shop in Waco called  Magnolia Market, that sells some of the very items you will see on the show available both in shop

Magnolia Market Store front

Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Homes

and online.

Fixer Upper Magnolia Market

Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Homes

The new episodes air on Thursdays at 9pm, but HGTV is showing lots of reruns right now (they know a hit when they see one!) So, if you will excuse me, I am off to watch a few more episodes I’ve saved on my DVR while I have my morning coffee and then “get after it” as they say down there in Texas. Have a sunny Sunday, everyone!Susan

Vintage Reclaimed Rules!

While all of the kitchen reno and vintage shopping has been going on, I’ve been working on quite a few projects at home in the few stolen moments I have available. This week’s project: Vintage Reclaimed Ruler Side Table-my new favorite piece!!         Vintage Rules Reclaimed Side Table PMGotta give Coach credit where credit is due. Once I mention that I have something in mind to try to create, he goes all out to find me the proper materials at his yard and estate sales. Little old side table? $3.

Vintage Rules Old TableVintage rulers? Not free, but he’s been collecting them for awhile and stands at about 50 & counting!

Vintage Rules Table and Rulers UncutWhat I love about these rulers are that they originated from old and defunct local businesses, many of them with original phone numbers-no area codes! Brings a little nostalgia to the piece. How sweet is “Make It Your Rule To Graduate From School??”

Vintage Yardsticks and RulersSo, with Lisa from RitaJosVintage’s assistance, we created this cute little reclaimed side table using nothing more than some paint and varnish, wood glue, a brad nailer, painter’s tape and of course, rulers-some for actually measuring and the remainder for decoration (some Coach wouldn’t even allow us to cut because they were too vintage!) Here is the how-we-did-it: Cleaned the table and of course, noted the large crack in the top.

Vintage Rules Old TabletopThat was repaired with some wood glue and a couple of nails. It wasn’t going to be visible so no need for fanciness, just security. I painted the table with two coats of this awesome new chalky paint from DecoArt called Americana Chalky Finish that I bought at Michaels (with a coupon, of course : )

Americana Chalky Paint RelicThis deep graphite gray color is called Relic, which fits in nicely with the piece, don’t you agree? After the paint dried, I sanded it with a damp sponge sander.

Vintage Rules Sanding with damp brickI have discovered with this paint that since it is quite chalky, dry sanding results in a very fine dusting of the adjacent surfaces, but the wet sander smoothes the surface and removes the edges cleanly.

Vintage Rules Wetting the Sanding BrickI attempted to remove the drawer pull to clean and polish it, but it was fastened in a way that it just kept twirling around but would not budge. So, I did the next best thing: painted it, then sanded it. Gives it an antique, finished look.

Vintage Rules Drawer Pull CloseupFor the top, we decided on a design based on an old  “Log Cabin Quilt” pattern, one of my favorites. We measured the first length, then cut it and taped it into place. Then repeatedly cut and taped until the entire top was covered.

Vintage Rules Taped Cut Ruler PiecesYou know, I gotta say, its a lot easier when someone else is doing the cutting and I am photographing them-thanks Lisa! (So, what’s wrong with this picture?? Lisa is not wearing goggles or glasses-my bad! That is a big no-no when using power tools. After all, if you damage your eyes while using power tools, then you won’t be able to see to use power tools any more. Don’t do this at home!!)

Vintage Rules Lisa from RitoJosVintageOnce the top was completed, we lifted each piece as we went along, added the wood glue and then resecured the piece,

Vintage Rules Glueing the Slats into placethen waited until the glue was dry (which was pretty quick because it was about 95 degrees that day!). After that, the tape was removed

Vintage Rules Tabletop Detailand the edges were sanded to smooth out any imperfections or uneven edges.

Vintage Rules Sanding the EdgesThen we secured all of the pieces using a brad nailer. This is the mini version of a nail gun, shoots both staples and tiny little finish nails that you can barely see.

Vintage Rules Brad Nailer GunAt this point we stopped for the day, as the sun was setting, as evidenced by the blue hue of daylight. Not safe to work in the darkness!

Vintage Rules Sanded TableThe next day, I added two coats of this Americana Decor Ultra-Matte Varnish from DecoArt

Vintage Rules Americana Matte Finishto finish the entire piece, including the top (which I had initially glazed to enhance the colors of the different woods of the yardsticks, but then decided I wanted it to have a matte finish as well). This stuff is simple to use, brush it on, allow to dry, no buffing needed. It leaves a slightly textured, very matte finish that works perfectly on pieces where you want to accent the color but not add any shine. After all, this is a relic, right?

Vintage Rules Matte Finish DetailsIt stands now in my dining room with some simple staging.

Vintage Rules Completed Tabletop Closeup PMA sweet salvaged side table that works as both a decorative piece and a handy tool (how many times do you go looking for a ruler to measure something and can’t find one?! Now it will be at your fingertips-as long as you only need to measure 12 inches or less : ) I hope your Friday rules, everyone-TGIF!! Susan

A Whale Of A Good Time @ The Vintage Bazaar

Is it possible that two weeks have already flown by since the latest (& greatest, IMHO) Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm?!

Vintage Bazaar BannerEvery time I attend this ever-growing event, the sheer breadth and talent of the artists who sell their wares is so inspiring, and slightly overwhelming! Honestly, spending a day there just doesn’t allow enough time to savor every inch of this beautiful working flower farm decked out in its vintage finery.

Pettengill Farm Flower GardensIn September I may just curl up inside one of these adorable vintage trailers and stay overnight…

Sweet Spot Styleto get the best shot at the early morning and late evening goings-on before the shopping masses arrive.

Vintage Bazaar Crowd ShotTo name just a few favorite highlights seems so unfair to the 130+ vintage vendors who make the trek from near and far to join the cast of characters that make up the Vintage Bazaar. But, I can’t name them all, so I’ll do my best to show you my memorable moments. These stunningly hand-crafted whales

Whale of a Displaywere striking, not only because of the colors, but the detail as well

Vintage Bazaar WhaleI kept thinking about buying one but we already have so many. Do you think that you can NEVER have enough whales?! (BTW, if anyone happens to know who created these beauties, could you let me know?! I want to give credit to the artist.)

These hand-painted floorcloths were some of the nicest I have ever seen.

American Colonial FloorclothsCreated by artist Michelle Julian of Newburyport-based American Colonial, the floorcloths were expertly crafted and vividly illustrated works of art. Almost too pretty to use on the floor!!

American Colonial Floorcloths But with 7+ coats of varnish on each one, rest assured, they are created to last a generation or two. A few of my favorites vendors, like Nancy the Linens Lady, were hard at work in the bright sunshine, chatting about and selling their vintage finery.

Nancy the Linens LadyHere is the lovely Lisa-my vintage shopping buddy-from RitaJosVintage proudly wearing her “new” apron!

Lisa from Rita Jos VintageAnd I can’t mention the Bazaar without showcasing the artistry of Creative Glass Works , who always bring along their oversized flower pot filled with unique, fanciful glass flowers. I recently featured them on a post, which you can read here.

Creative Glass Works BostonLoving these adorable dinosaur bookends from R & S Living

Dino Bookends from R & S Living(Robin & Stuart traveled all the way from the Cape to be at the Bazaar!), but this little pooch was a scene-stealer when he just hopped up onto one of their recently salvaged and re-loved side chairs. Cute!!

R & S Living Yorkie PerchedWith loads of vintage and collectible stuff, the Swampscott River Antique & Salvage AKA “The Wooden Box Guy”  featured crates and wooden boxes filled with assorted everyday objects, like baseballs and rulers.

Swampscott RIver Antique & Salvage PMSingularly, they don’t make a huge impact, but grouped together, they catch the eye and become an artistic vignette. But the eye-catcher of the day: this huge tent staged by Howard’s Entertainment of Essex, MA. (I know what you’re thinking, didn’t you see the sign that says “no pictures?!” I did, but I asked, and was granted permission to take pics for my blog. The power of the press : )

Howards EntertainmentChanning Howard is the proprietor, and a wholesale supplier of vintage and nostalgic props.

http://www.howardsvm.com/These are available to rent for parties or functions for both private and retail events. If you are finding yourself in need of some Steampunk props,

Howards Entertainmentor perhaps some vintage cowboy paraphernalia, or any other imaginable vintage props for your special event,

Vintage Hats and Suitcases Howards EntertainmentHoward’s is your go-to! Since we had our VIP tickets in hand (thanks Devon : ) we were invited to a meet and greet featuring the weekend’s presenters,

Joanne, Desha & Devon at Vintage Bazaar Tentincluding Cari Cucksey from RePurpose Shop, Desha Peacock from Sweet Spot Style and Joanne Palmisano from Salvage Secrets whose DIY demo we attended later on in the day. She was a great presenter, funny and full of anecdotes and very helpful DIY tips! Like how to create an instant “old” wooden Lobster sign with paint and a screwdriver (without getting stitches : )

Joanne Palmisano Salvage SecretsHow to re-imagine old lamps using paint and jute rope

Joanne Palmisano Lamp DIYand creating a twig vase out of some sticks and an old glass jar (well, in this case, she used a plastic one-but who knew?)

DIY Vase Joanne PalmisanoOn this day, she was selling her latest book, Salvage Secrets Design & Decor and donating the proceeds to Juvenile Diabetes Foundation-SOLD. And autographed to me : )

Salvage Secrets Joanne Palmisano AutographedThis book is so chock full of all kinds of DIY’s using salvage materials in newly inspired ways. I had literally just opened the book when I got to page 16 and yelped-old coil bedsprings! re-purposed into decorative candle holders! It just so happened that Coach and I recently sprung for two of those old-timey bedsprings-a twin and a full size-and were contemplating where to begin re-purposing them…once we got them off the roof of my CRV. (OK, full disclosure. Coach got one a few weeks ago and then we saw another one at an estate sale last week and I refused to buy it because our back yard is already full and did we really need a second one?!? Until I opened up the book and saw the candleholders so we went back to the estate sale and bought the second one…)

Bedsprings on Car RoofWell, page 16 is a very good place to start : ). So, there you have it. Another amazing Vintage Bazaar come and gone with September waiting in the wings. Have an inspired Thursday, everyone! Susan

 

 

 

 

Thrifty Kitchen Transformation-The Hardware Install

Hello, everyone! Back with another episode of “As the Kitchen Transforms”. Today’s DIY Tuesday Tip is about making templates for your drawers and door hardware installation. Now, if you have cabinets that already have hardware and you are just replacing or refinishing it, yay for you! In mom’s case, however, there was no hardware, so we had to start from scratch. You know, finding the right hardware isn’t always that simple, especially when you are going for a specific “look”. We did quite a bit of browsing, both online and in the big box stores, searching through all those little bins for just the perfect style and color.

Home Depot Hardware BinOne day, I mentioned to my mom that we had previously purchased some hardware for my daughter’s kitchen from a local Grossman’s Bargain Outlet. They are a smaller version of the big box stores but with awesome discounted prices, so off we went to check it out. We looked around at the typical hardware display bins and were just preparing to leave empty-handed, when I spotted a display of specialty hardware items-you know, the kind you have to order-but these were in stock. And gorgeous! I called mom over to take a look and she just said “SOLD”, without even checking the price! Which, BTW, was incredibly cheap for such beautiful hardware. Reminiscent of the stalks of lavender found in the south of France,

Hardware Lavender Fieldsthis hardware from Jeffrey Alexander is the perfect style for our French Country Kitchen makeover.

Jeffrey Alexander HardwareBut, and this is a big but, they did not have the matching hinges. Now, the hinges that were already in place were a nice c.1970′s brass, tarnished but in good shape. We decided to spray paint them, rather than purchase all new ones, since they aren’t all that visible anyway. But, since the new hardware was black and silver, the hinges needed to match. I dug out the spray paint I had handy to decide which one would be the closest match. Can you choose which one we chose?

Hardware Paint Choices

OK, so the hinges were painted

Glazed Tinted White Cabinetsand the doors re-hung, in their original drilled holes, with a couple of corrections. Apparently, when the cabinets were dark brown with no hardware, slightly off-kilter edges were not an issue. However, the hardware, now a very visible dark gray against a white background, must be level!! To make that happen, templates and a level are super important Tuesday’s DIY Tip! For the drawer pulls, I measured the width of the Center to Center Distance (that is the distance between the two mounting holes), in this case 3 inches.

Distance to Center Measure(For a complete chart on all things cabinet hardware related, click here to visit this greatly informative site:

Designer Knobs and PullsFrom there, I created a template of the entire drawer face with exact measurements.

Creating Template for Hardware InstallThen I taped the template to the drawer and marked the drill holes.

Hardware Install Template on DrawerThis is important-one millimeter off can mean the difference between a straight line and a tilted mess! Once the holes were marked, I used the level to make sure they were, indeed, level. The same holds true for the door knobs. I created a template (very high-tech stuff. I used a post-it note folded in half and a marker…),

Cabinet Door Template for Knobthen placed the template on the door at the proper position and marked the spot. Before I drilled the holes, I used the level to ensure that the knobs would be level. I guess that’s why they call it a level. In this case, the adjacent doors were slightly off,

Uneven Door Bottomswhich meant that the knobs, even though they were in the correct position on their respective doors, would appear to be crooked. Disclaimer: I did not install the cabinets originally, so if the doors were slightly off, I’m not taking the hit on that one!! I did actually correct a couple of them, which meant patching and redrilling the holes, then re-installing the hinges. I decided to let the rest go, as long as they weren’t creating a “tilted fun-house” effect and appeared to be pretty even.

Hardware Checking LevelAnd then finally, I drilled all the holes. Make sure you choose a drill bit that is the same size as the bolts you will be using! Too big of a drill bit means a screw loose (so that’s where that saying came from…)

Drilling the holes for the knobs

Which was a little scary at first. On a shiny surface, the drill bit sometimes “wanders” when you first start it, so after a couple of near misses, I decided to start with a pilot hole to give the bit something to dig in to.

Hammering Pilot Hole for DrillAnd sometimes, despite my best efforts in ensuring their straightness, they appeared just a wee bit off…

Hardware Install on Cabinet DrawersSo I just adjusted it by making the hole a bit bigger and tightening the screw into place. No one will ever know!!  Until they go to replace the hardware. Which hopefully they won’t because they are gorgeous! Here are the cabinet doors before:

Cabinet Door Beforeand here they are now, all painted and glazed and waxed with the pretty awesome new hardware.

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Installed

Hardware Door PullGotta say, that was a lot of tedious work, but well worth it in the end! Next up, the granite and backsplash! Have a Hopefully Not Torrential Downpour or Tornado Warning Tuesday, everyone! Susan

 

From Sea to Rustic Sea

I recently spotted this amazing rustic wood and license plate USA map in my local HomeGoods store (lucky me, I actually have three local Home Goods stores!!)

USA Map HomeGoodsI took a pic and posted it to my Facebook page, where it has had 3800+ views!!

HomeGoods pic on Facebook

Clearly, this is a popular piece. What is it about this particular USA map that folks love so much?? There are all kinds of rustic USA map renditions out there, like this one available at Pottery Barn,

Pottery Barn USA Mapor this one from World Market (when are they coming to Boston, BTW?!?)

World market USA Plank Mapor in the Pinterest world-including this one I created myself.

Map and Sign on Wall SignedBut, the HomeGoods map is so colorful and unique and has so much detail-if you look closely you can see that every state is created from its own license plate!! Can you imagine the work and time that went into this project? Now, you ask, if you love it so much, why didn’t you just buy the damn thing? Truth be told, I don’t have a wall big enough to hang it on : (  But, I keep thinking about it and wondering if there is a way that I can reproduce it on a smaller scale. Which means I would need a miniature license plate from every state in the union. I guess I’d better start searching…ideas, anyone??

Cape Cod HydrangeasIn the meantime, have an inspired (and hopefully not too soggy, Independence Day!! Susan

Thrifty Kitchen Transformation-DIY Series-Wax On!

The final step of the kitchen cabinet transformation was the finish coat on the doors, drawers and boxes. To this point, we have painted 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint + I coat of tinted glaze to give the cabinets a slightly aged look.

Glazed Tinted White CabinetsBut they still required one last coat of protection-this is a kitchen, and kitchens get messy right? Don’t want some splashing spaghetti sauce messing up my hard work! First, I tried a satin polyurethane, but it was too shiny. I also have a can of absolute matte finish, but I knew that would be too flat. So I decided on a wax finish that would provide protection while adding just a touch of shine. In the past I have used paste waxes that you wipe or stipple brush on, then buff off. They do give a nice finish, but I don’t like the odor and the elbow grease necessary to get the job done. Having recently discovered a new Crème Wax from Americana, I knew this was the perfect solution!

http://decoart.com/chalkyfinish/finishesYou literally brush this odorless opaque, white creamy liquid on with a foam brush,

Foam brushing wax onto cabinets allow to dry (about 1/2 hour), then buff it. The more you buff, the brighter the shine. I purchased this product at Michaels Crafts (with a coupon, of course : ), but it is available online at HomeDepot.com as well. Now, this is Tuesday’s DIY Tip: I use my little mouse sander to buff my finishes (if auto detailers can do it, why can’t I??)

Using mouse sander to buff waxSimply remove the velcroed sandpaper, stick on a soft cloth or rag in its place and buff away!

Buffing Waxed Cabinets with Mouse SanderUse a soft flannel or fleece, not terrycloth, as the loops in the cloth will make it a rougher finish. Unless, of course, that is the look you are trying to achieve. The buffed finish is perfect-smooth and with a low satiny shine-the look we had imagined when we first decided to make over mom’s kitchen. The wax finish is essentially colorless, so it doesn’t tint the finish, but it did enhance the glazing color I had already applied. So, this part of the transformation is complete and we’ve gone from this:

Kitchen Cabinets with Vinyl Panelsto this:

Waxed and glazed white kitchen cabinetsIf you are just joining us now, you can check out my Pinterest page with all of the links starting at the beginning here. But we still have a long way to go! Up next, the hardware. Have and buffed and shiny Tuesday everyone! Susan

Yard/Barn Saturday Sale? Finally, yes!

Last week, I read a great blog post from Kelly of Eclectically Vintage, who wrote the do’s and don’ts of having a killer yard sale. Lots of great tips and pointers, including “Enlist Friends-the more hoarders the better!” and “Purge-be ruthless”. You can read the blog post in its entirety here:

Ecelctically Vintage Killer Yard SaleThis past weekend, I made sure we followed all the pointers as we prepped for our barn sale. As you know, I’ve been bugging Coach to clean out the junk which has now spilled out of the barn, into the yard, onto the porch and into my dining room…which is starting to drive me just a little bonkers.

Dining Room EphemeraBut, I am giving him a pass for now because we are starting an exciting new venture very shortly-for which we need mucho stuff-more about that soon!!! So, over the past couple of months, Coach has been hosting barn sales on intermittent Fridays and Sundays, with some good success, but I kept asking him why he didn’t want to do Saturdays, like all the other thousands of people in our town. Misery loves company, right? Lots of our friends kept saying they wanted to come, but couldn’t because they were working. (Of course, Coach, being a teacher, has a little more spare time to hang out and sell stuff.) He kept saying that it was because he wanted to sell on a day when no one else was, so there was less competition. Hmmm. This past weekend, it finally dawned on me that the real reason he didn’t want to open up shop on Saturdays was so that he could go pickin’ at the thousands of other yard sales to replenish the stuff he sold on Fridays! This past week, when he said he wanted to do another Friday yard sale, I told him I wasn’t going to help because it was dumb. But of course, I did. And he did OK, but the traffic just wasn’t there like it normally is. So, he begrudgingly decided to forgo his Saturday pickin’ and keep selling stuff for another day. FINALLY, I figured that would show him that Saturdays were definitely the way to go when you want to do some serious selling!! Signs in place all over the neighborhood, postings on Craigslist and Facebook (just to let all our friends who said they always wanted to come but couldn’t because they were working…) Up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning, we dragged everything back out into the driveway and waited for the hoards of shoppers.

Wooden Crates at Yard SaleAnd waited. Typically, when you post an 8 am start for a yard sale, the serious shoppers start showing up around 6:45-7am (which is what Coach would have been doing if he wasn’t sitting in our driveway awaiting the rush of pickers). And waited. By 8:15, when only ONE person had stopped, I began to notice that not only was there no yard sale traffic, there was actually no street traffic! We live on kind of a busy street, where usually only Sunday mornings are quiet. And waited. Where was everybody?!? Ah…the Saturday of the week of the 4th of July would be a great time to take a family vacation, am I right? Which means that the folks who are normally browsing through junk on a Saturday morning were actually sitting on a beach on the Cape or Maine, enjoying the gorgeous sunny weather and having their first BBQ of the summer.

Beach

Woops, didn’t count on that. Well, the good news is that we still managed to sell quite a bit of stuff, and I managed to get in about three hours of gardening to clear the path to the barn that was almost jungle-like. The bad news is that Coach went out on Sunday and found some sales and came home with more stuff. Just can’t win. So, if you’re in the market for a cute kid’s Red Sox table and chairs,

Red Sox Tableor a vintage robin’s-egg-blue-chalk-painted cabinet with a tin paneled door (painted by me, of course : )

Tin Paneled Painted Cabinetlet me know-they’re still available. And, if you’re one of the lucky ones to be sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a margarita, have a great vacation week! And no worries, we will be back in August with yet another yard sale-but most likely on a Friday… Have a sunny Monday, everyone! Susan 

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