Hello, It’s Me.

Hello…..it’s me. I realize it has been awhile…I must have thought a thousand times…that I needed to write something. But it has been a crazy few weeks and time has just slipped by while life has taken over. Today I stop and exhale…for just a brief respite before I dive back into reality. Its funny how the things that you believe are so necessary for creating a happy and fulfilling life can, in an instant, take a back seat to the truly important things…love, friends, family, life. Today I proudly announce the arrival of our precious grandson, Declan, who made his way into the world 1 month ahead of schedule. He is a wee lad, but is absolutely perfect in every way.
Declan and Mom Original LogoCoach and I, along with his mommy and daddy and our collectively amazing extended families, are over-the-moon in love and are so excited to see the changes in him every single day as he grows bigger and stronger. He is surrounded by so much love and caring from both near and afar ( Bartlet the Frenchie is still not quite sure what’s happening, but he’s getting there too : ).

Bartlet Living Room CloseupSo please bear with me for the time being…my posts may be sporatic, but I promise there are many good things to come.  Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! xoxo Susan

Kitschy Coral Coastal Cupboard

Kitchy Coral Coastal Cupboard Logo ViewHello everyone! A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my participation in the “Fab Furniture Flippin Contest”, where each month, contestants are provided with paints and products to create a unique project and win prizes! For April, we were provided with 2 quarts of Pure & Original Classico Paint in our choice of colors…well, today is the big reveal! This project was not without much angst and frustration, as I stumbled along the way quite frequently, but I am so happy it is finished and sooo kitschy cute! The inspiration for the furniture flip was this vintage wallpaper Coach picked up awhile age that I had been hanging onto for just the right piece to transform.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Vintage Wallpaper InspirationJudging from the colors and the cartoon-like illustrations, I am thinking it was from the 60’s or 70’s, but I am not quite sure. What I am sure about is that 50 year old wallpaper is quite brittle and tears super easily, which wreaked havoc with my overall design plan! But here is the flippin’ how-to:

This old simple cupboard was hand-made of plywood with a rough finish.

Coral Coastal Cupboard BeforeIt had been painted multiple times, with the final coat being a dark hunter green with some (I think they were supposed to be) celtic designs painted on the doors and side panels. First  I , OK, Coach sanded it to remove the white designs as they were thick and raised. Then I pulled off the chair rail molding they had put on the base front and added some baseboard trim to the front and sides, followed with painting the cupboard body in White. The nice thing about this particular paint brand is that although it has a matte, chalk-like finish, it requires no waxing or final coat of poly for protection.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Base MoldingThe paints colors I originally chose did not quite match my vision, so I ended up ordering a couple more colors for contrast and accents.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Pure and Original PaintsI know, you’re thinking “yikes- that’s a lotta color”- but just wait and see : ) The doors and interior were painted in Nautique, (no primer needed, BTW, but I will disclose that covering the celtic designs with the White required an extra coat or 2…)

Coral Coastal Cupboard Pure and Original Paint Nautiquea yummy green- blue, and the body was painted in White. I had originally planned to wallpaper the back panels with the vintage paper, but I didn’t have much and it just kept tearing. So I saved two pieces and used them for the door panels. So then I had planned to use bead board for the back panels, but the piece, being constructed of plywood, was already super heavy. So I chose my favorite faux beadboard wallpaper and used that instead.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Interior Backing Beadboard WallpaperI wanted to match the coral color in the wallpaper, so that’s where the other two paints, Lipstick and Clear Amber came into play.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Salmon Pink MixtureMixed with the White, I matched the color perfectly

Coastal Coral Cubboard Pink Paint Mixtureand painted the wallpapered back panels with that, along with some trim I used to frame out the wallpaper panels that I had glued with some Wunda Size onto the doors panels.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Glazing Mixture for TrimOnce the coral dried, I mixed the White with a small amount of satin glaze, painted it over the pink, then wiped it off quickly with a damp rag,

Coral Cupboard Glazing Beadboardleaving the white glazing in the grooves and detailed areas, softening the overall color and giving it a more vintage appearance.  

Wallpaper Panel with TrimThe original top was just a low arc which was not really visible. To amp that up, I cut out a piece of old pine

Coral Coastal Cupboard Decorative Top Pedimentand painted it the Nautique, then glued and screwed it onto the original arc.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Completed Beadboard and Painted Top(In this pic you can see how the glazing softened the coral paint color on the beadboard) But the new top looked just a bit too plain, so I added a glazed coral starfish as the crowning touch!  

Kitschy Coral Cupboard StarfishAnd finally, I spray painted the hardware copper so it would go with the coral, 

Copper Painted Hingesand added some vintage white porcelain knobs to the doors.

Coral Cupboard Door DetailSo there you have it, from dark green drab to whimsical coral and aqua fab. I know that these 70’s colors aren’t for everyone, but for me, I feel that they honor the vintage wallpaper and bring this dingy old cupboard back to life. 

Kitchy Coral Coastal Cupboard Side ViewThanks to #Pure&Original Paints who provided the gorgeous paints and colors…if you’re interested in trying out this amazing paint, click on the link to the right on this blog. And a huge thanks to the hosts of the  #FabFurnitureFlippinContest

FFFC main graphic updated (4.9.2016)


for giving me the opportunity to enter this challenge!  To check out the transformation magic that they did with their paint choices click here:

http://www.thirtyeighthstreet.com/2016/04/fab-furniture-flippin-contest-pure.html or

here: http://www.sweettearefinishing.com/2016/04/pure-colors-original-elegance-april.html

Have a flippin’ fab Thursday, everyone! Susan

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Flippin’ Fab Pure & Original Paint USA

Fab Furniture Flippin ContestThis month, I am participating in the #Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest, an event featuring some of the best furniture flippers in blog-land. This contest is the brainchild of the bloggers from Evey’s Creations and Anastasia Vintage, both of whom love design, DIY and bringing new life to old pieces. Evey was even on one of my favorite DIY shows- Flea Market Flip! I had read about the contest a few months back, and since I am a devoted furniture flipper, I was eager to get started, so I submitted my application.  Of course, that was before the broken foot incident, which temporarily put me on the sidelines, but I am finally primed and ready to participate in this month’s contest. Which is this: each month, a theme is chosen, and different companies sponsor the contest, providing either supplies or prizes to the flippers (that’s me!). We are allowed to choose any item to work on using the products supplied, and we have approximately 3 weeks from start to finish to paint, stain, decoupage, sand, wax and finish our chosen pieces before photographing them for submissions for judging. Once the judging is completed, a winner is announced, and its on to next month’s flippin’ contest! It was my good fortune to be selected as a contestant this month, because I have now had the opportunity to sample an extraordinary paint from Pure & Original Paint USA,

Pure & Original Paint Boxeswhich was created in the Netherlands and is now distributed in the US through Luxury Dutch Importers, LLC. This paint...well, the only word to describe it is luscious…the colors are simply soft and natural.

Pure & Original Paint Spring PaletteIt has a creamy and smooth texture, brushes on like a dream (even with a not-very-new-brush)

Pure & Original Paint USAand get this, does not need any finish. Even though it has a matte appearance, there is no waxing or varnishing or polyurethaning needed, because, unlike other chalk paints, it does not leave a chalky residue mark when you touch or scratch it. It actually dries to a rock hard finish that can be used both indoors and out…amazing. And the brush cleaned up easily with just water. So, before I started working on my contest piece, I decided to give the paint a test run on a simple brown console table. I cleaned it, did not sand or prime it, just painted with two coats of Nautique Pure & Original Paint

Pure & Original Paint Nautiquethis beautiful green/blue color that caught my eye when I was choosing my 2 cans of free paint provided by Pure & Original for the contest- there are 140 to choose from!  The finish is a lovely smooth matte, but I decided to sand it just to see what would happen. Instead of just sanding off entirely, the paint had already cured and adhered to the wood finish, so the sanding exposed the now “stained” wood grain for a stunning effect.

Pure & Original Wood Grain Closeup BlueThe more I sanded, the prettier it looked and the smoother it was to the touch. And still no final coat needed. Wow. So now I am off to prepare my actual contest piece, with the addition of a few more colors. I will keep you posted as the work progresses. In the meantime, if you are interested in reading more about Pure & Natural Paint USA, click the pic below:

Inspired By ColorAnd, if you are interested in sampling this fabulous paint, you can do so by using this link- : https://www.pureoriginalpaint.com/usa/?ref=118  (I love this paint so much, I’m now an affiliate for Pure and Original Paint USA) A special thanks to the FFFC Team at the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest for allowing me to participate- this is going to be so much fun! Have a great weekend everyone! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the painting workshop : ) Susan 

Vintage American Heart Sign

Awhile back, I received this large wooden wall-hanging of an elephant painted on some slats.

Vintage Americana Heart BeforeIt was free, and free is good, but the graphic was just a bit too brown and black for me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE elephants, but it just seemed a little colorless and blah to me. I have had it hanging around in the workshop for quite some time, literally painting over it a dozen times with all sorts of blues and grays, awaiting some inspiration to hit me.

Vintage Americana Heart Dry Brushed BackgroundGenerally, I find that when all else fails, go with the American Flag with its bold colors and simple but striking graphics. So, stars and stripes it is! But, it was essentially a square, and of course, our flag is a rectangle, so I had to come up with a shape…a star? the map of the US? a rectangle? a heart : ) So I left the background as it was…dry-brushed with multiple shades of grays and blues and added the heart shaped design.

Vintage Americana Heart Red White and BlueThe easiest way to create a symmetrical heart of any size? Take a piece of paper (in this case, a newspaper because of the size I needed), fold it in 1/2, then draw out your shape on one side. Cut along the edge of the folded paper, and then when you open it up, voila!  A perfectly proportioned heart!

Vintage Americana Heart Newspaper PatternOnce I traced the heart shape onto the wood with some chalk, it was simply a matter of taping off the 13 red and white stripes…

Vintage Americana Heart Patternwhich was not as easy as you would have imagined…while leaving one block for the dark blue star field.

Vintage Americana Heart TemplateOnce the stars and stripes were completed, I stenciled in the stars…quite badly as it turns out.

Vintage Americana Heart Stripes and Star FieldBecause of the curves of the heart shape and the spaces between the slats, it was impossible to fit all 50 stars into the field in rows, as they are on the real flag. So I painted over the first go and tried it again.  I taped off the edges and winged it…just stamping them wherever there was an open space…not symmetrical, not perfect by any means.

Vintage Americana Heart StarsThere are a few states hanging off the edge…hello, Alaska and Hawaii! And there are a few states missing representation…then again, aren’t there a few states that are threatening to secede from the union if a certain candidate wins this year’s presidential election? But you get the general idea, right? Then I added the graphics above and below via my reverse chalking method.

Vintage Americana Heart Chalking PatternThat was the easiest part of the entire piece! Once I was reasonably happy with that, I sanded the whole thing down to give it a distressed look,

Vintage Americana Heart Sanding Stars Distressingthen finished with a coating of Krylon spray matte varnish

Krylon Matte Finish

(of course, that was a few days ago, when it was 60 outside, so I could spray it, as opposed to this morning’s temps, which are hovering in the 20’s). This graphic could easily be applied to a wood palette- another great project idea! Vintage Americana Heart LogoHave a totally terrific Tuesday, everyone (even if you’re buried in snow…) Susan

Things I Learned From Hosting Easter Dinner

With another Easter now done and gone, I am reflecting back on a few things that I could have done a little differently so that everyone would have had a safe and happy holiday! Such as:

1.  Use cheese in the garlic smashed potatoes-lots of cheese. This year I attempted to make things that were a little healthier and not so creamy and cheesy, so I omitted the cream and cheddar cheeses in the smashed red potatoes recipe…MY BAD. So instead of being yummy and gooey, they were kind of dry and chunky…even with the added melted butter. Use cheese, people!

Easter Dinner Roasted Potatoes2. On that same note, DO NOT USE FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE WHEN YOU ARE MAKING CREAM CHEESE FROSTING for the carrot cake. Did you read that? Well, remember it. Because otherwise, your carrot cake will have a oozy, bulgy middle and weird consistency and everyone will be saying “yeah, what happened to that cake- you usually make such good cakes!”

Easter Dinner Cream Cheese Disaster3. Secure the paintings to the wall with heavy duty screws, or else it may fall off and hit your mother and brother in the back of the head on its way to the floor. Heavy, framed pictures and little nail hangers from the dollar store do not go well together.

Easter Dinner Brackets PictureMake sure you use bolts to secure it to the wall or your dog will take a fall…fortunately it hit the chair rail before it hit them…

Easter Dinner Disasters Dog Pictre4. When you are done dusting the wine bottles on the cupboard shelves in the dining room while making the room pretty, make sure you push them all the way back into the rack so they don’t fall out during dinner and nearly take out your niece and your future daughter-in-law!

Easter Dinner Wine Bottles5. Make the damn green bean casserole. It has been a family tradition over the years to have green bean casserole on Easter, but I had been noticing that I was throwing more away than people were consuming. So I sent out a group text asking for a show of hands on who actually LIKED green bean casserole. The only yays were from my two kids. The remaining conversation looked like this:

Easter Dinner TextsClearly my family has a sense of humor…so I made lemon- roasted green beans with garlic, mushrooms and onions. I am throwing away most of that dish too.

Easter Dinner Roasted Green BeansI am thinking we need a new vegetable.

6. Ham has always been the go-to meat for this particular holiday, and as usual, I had Coach purchase one that was the “size of a basketball”.  This year, I also made some roasted turkey tenderloins for the guests who do not particularly care for ham. What I have noted is that, while the turkey is long gone, we still have a large platter of ham left over that Coach and I now have to eat.

Easter Dinner Leftover hamSo, for future Easters, we will be serving turkey or some other meat that is not pink and basketball-shaped.

Other than that, it was a wonderful holiday filled with fun and laughter…and thankfully, no fatalities. I hope yours was as well! Now, I need to find some recipes to use up the rest of that ham…any suggestions?? (Please do not say pea soup. I do not make, or eat, pea soup…) Susan

 

Perfect Country-Style Mud Rooms

With the melting of the final snow…and spring in the air…its time for mud. Yes, yucky mud. When the sun shines down and warms up the earth and the snow melts and the rains come pouring down…there is mud. Which is why mud rooms were created..that catchall entry space for boots and coats and muddy paws and dripping umbrellas.  Now as for me, I am not fortunate enough to have a mudroom in our home, but if I did (or when I finally do build that dream home) these are the essential elements needed for a perfect blend of country style and modern convenience. Today, I am sharing a blog post about the Perfect Country-Style Mudroom written by Becca Grady from Zillow.com, “a leading home and real estate marketplace with quality data and design insight for homeowners, buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals. She has some great tips and tricks for creating the perfect country-style mudroom…

6 Features of the Perfect Country-Style Mudroom

By Becca Grady

Entry by Tim Hebert from Zillow Digs

Source:  Tim Hebert on Zillow Digs®

April showers bring May flowers. But it also brings mud, dirt and mess into your otherwise clean home. With the arrival of spring, now is the perfect time to prepare your home, making sure you’re equipped to stop the seasonal mess at the door. As a designated space to slough off wet-weather gear, mudrooms are one of the most hardworking spaces in any New England home, and it’s imperative that the area is properly equipped to do so. Design the perfect country-style mudroom using these helpful tips.

Creative Seating As a designated area to shed coats and shoes, it’s best to have seating options available for guests and family. Benches work great for mudrooms because they are simple and often include storage space underneath. Extra storage is always handy for storing shoes and boots. Opting for a reclaimed wooden bench adds a rustic touch, or try white washing it for an airy, cottage feel.

Modular Shelves and Cubbies

Zillow Entry Way Source: SiemaskoVerbridge on Zillow Digs®

Open shelves and cubbies are useful features of a well-designed mudroom. Cubbies allow each member of the family to have personal space for their belongings as they walk in the door. Whether it’s used for backpacks or sports gear, designated spaces for personal belongings helps keep the family organized.

Hanging Space Another important feature of a country-style mudroom is ample hanging space for jackets, coats and hats. Space can be created by purchasing a mounted coat rack, or try making your own by attaching hooks to a slab of wood. Mounting single hooks in the wall can be damaging, so attaching it to a plank, wainscoting or even an old door can add a rustic element, while saving your walls.

 

Easy-to-Clean Surfaces

Terracotta Design Builds ZillowSource:  Terracotta Design Build on Zillow Digs®

Mudrooms see a lot of mess – from muddy shoes to dirty paws – so it’s important that the space has surfaces that can be wiped easily. For flooring, consider choosing a moisture-proof surface like tile or stone. Linoleum is also a great option for a more affordable alternative. Look for a non-slip, easy-to-wash carpet runner to help collect any dirt and water from shoes upon entry. Paneling and wainscoting can also be a great choice for easy-to-clean walls. In addition to being more functional, white paneling also adds country charm.

Organizing Accessories

Terracotta Design Builds BenchesSource:  Terracotta Design Build on Zillow Digs®

Baskets and bins are useful for organizing smaller items. Consider using a decorative bucket or bin as a place to store umbrellas. Create a designated area for mail, keys, notes and reminders. You can buy a wall mount that includes all of these organizing features in one – incorporating hooks, organizing baskets and a memo board.

 Upcycled Finds

Put the finishing touches on your mudroom by adding décor elements that tie the home together. Look for flea market finds such as bins, wall signs or vases. Also, keep an eye out for salvaged materials that can be used for benches or turned into mounted hooks, adding the perfect rustic appeal. Get ahead of the weather and ensure that your home is ready to manage the mud and dirt of spring. Whether you choose to add organizational elements to your entryway or create a complete mudroom, try using these tips to achieve the perfect country-style space.

Thanks to Becca for sharing some inspired ideas-definitely some great tips when you are searching for your new home…or rehabbing your present one! Have a great hump day everyone…more sunny days to come! Susan 

 

Drinking ‘O The Green

Can you believe its already March 15?! Where did this month go…and more importantly, where did our winter go?? The mountains of snow from last year are becoming just a distant memory nightmare as we are about to turn the corner and head into spring. Time to celebrate, and what better way than to raise a glass of cheer on St. Patrick’s Day!? With this variety of Sparkling Ice Flavored Waters & Teas, the combinations are endless.

Sparkling Ice Flavor LineupI buy these tall bottles all the time at the grocery store-typically for less than $1.00 each-they have a great, bold flavors , zero calories and are delicious served with, or without alcohol. Rather then your standard tonic water or club soda for mixers, these colorful sparkling waters add a punch to any beverage…or punch!

Here are a few green recipes to try…just in time for the Wearing ‘O The Green!

Sparkling Irish Appletini

Drinking 'O The Green Apple MartiniIngredients

1 oz vodka

1 1/2 oz Sour Apple Pucker

1 1/2 oz Sparkling Ice Crisp Apple

2 cups ice

Apple wedges for garnish

Instructions

Fill a martini shaker with ice. Pour in the vodka, sour apple pucker and juice into shaker. Stir ingredients, then pour into martini glass. Garnish with an apple wedge. Enjoy!

 

Shamrock  Lime Sherbet Punch (Non-Alcoholic)

Lime Sherbert CocktailIngredients

Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime

Lime Sherbet

Pineapple Juice

Instructions

Fill mason jar 1/3 way with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime. Fill to 2/3 with Pineapple Juice. Top with two scoops Lime Sherbet. YUM.

Sparkling Ice Whiskey Sour

Sparkling Ice Tea Whiskey SourIngredients

1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 3/4 0z. Sparkling Ice Lemon Tea

1 1/4 oz. Bourbon Whiskey

1/4 oz. simple syrup or 1 packet Splenda

Place all ingredients in mixing cup or shaker. Stir and strain over ice. Pour into glass. Garnish with lemon slice and cherry.

Shamrock Cupcakes! 

Shamrock CupcakesYou can even bake cupcakes with these- no eggs, no oil, just sparkling ice and cake mix!

(I was skeptical too, thinking how does a cupcake rise without eggs? So I made them. They are light and fluffy and very delish : )

Ingredients

1 box any brand white cake mix

12 oz. room temperature Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, stir cake mix and soda with wire whisk until blended and most of the lumps are gone.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until cupcakes are springy and toothpicks come out clean. Allow to cool completely and frost with your favorite vanilla frosting. Decorate with some shamrocks and you’re ready to party! For more party recipes, click here: Recipes-Sparkling Ice.  Have a fun-filled St. Patty’s Day everyone.  And don’t partake in too much of the Drinking ‘O The Green if you have to work on Friday! Susan

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The Nana-Nursery Diaries…The Rug

When designing a room, I find it essential to create a “mood board” containing all of the elements: styles, colors, fabrics, etc. This helps to create some cohesiveness in the overall design (at least, in my scattered mind…). And, I always need a “jumping off” point, some piece of furniture, architectural detail or fabric design that inspires the design for the space. In this case, it is this beautiful iron changing table I mentioned in last week’s post.

Nana Nursery Changing TableThe color is a dark pewter/bronze, so I’m working my color scheme around it. With changing table in place, what I needed next was an accent rug, something soft underfoot for baby to play on. But, since this is a guest bedroom as well, I needed to find something that wasn’t too “baby-ish”. After quite a bit of online shopping and a few trips to actual stores (that happens less and less these days it seeems…) I discovered this Sorel Rug “old world style” beauty online from Jerome’s Furniture in California.

Nana Nursery Changing Table and Sorel Rug FurThe colors are spot-on…a perfect blend of creams, grays and beiges, and the style of the rug is that “worn down, well-loved” look that is so popular today (without the scratchy exposed backing of rugs that actually do have worn-out spots). Now, a lot of the neutral nurseries I looked at online had pastel rugs, which were quite pretty (but we all know that pastel really isn’t my calling card…), and since I knew I was going to have darker furniture elements in the room, I wanted something with “weight” to anchor those pieces. What absolutely drew me to this gorgeous rug was the circular pattern with the floral and scroll inlays…

Nana Nursery Diaries Rug Detailwhich has now inspired the overall design of the room: vintage, old-world travel (I have maps, I have globes, mommy & daddy-to-be love to travel…perfect!) Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of a pattern to hide spills and stains…after all, this is a baby (and I’m sure…Bartlet the Frenchie’s)#Bartletthefrenchie room! This rug certainly fits the bill and more, thanks to Jerome’s Furniture , a family-run business based in southern California.

The Nana Nursery Diaries Sorel Rug Jeromes FurnitureThey have loads of furnishings and rugs and decorative accents to choose from online…very reasonably priced…believe me…I had a tough time deciding! So, with rug and changing table now in place (I know, amazing, right?!)…

Nana Nursery Diaries Sorel Rug and Changing Table…I need some help from you! Time to choose a paint color for the walls above the wainscoting-which will remain a soft, creamy white. Can you take a look at these Benjamin Moore paint samples and tell me what you think? The top three are Harbor Gray, (more true gray) London Fog (more beige) or Revere Pewter (slightly darker taupe undertones). I love them all and they are all in the rug!

Nana Nursery Paint ChipsSo many colors, so little time…I will update again next Friday…and every Friday until we are done! Have fun Friday everyone! Susan

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The Nana-Nursery Diaries

It all started with a changing table. Well, it actually started when our daughter and son-in-law announced that they’re expecting their first child in May! Which means that Coach and I are going to be grandparents for the first time. Beyond excited! So, since Bartlet the Frenchie

Bartlet the Frenchiealready knows us as Nana and Coach, we’ve decided to stick with those nicknames for the new baby, (no, we don’t know the gender, they decided to be surprised : ) With our kids grown and gone, Coach and I are empty-nesters, which means we have two spare bedrooms to use for other purposes. One, our son’s old room, is a guestroom/office (which is where I do most of my writing),

Nana Nursery Diaries Office Study Logothe other (our daughter’s childhood room)

Pink Girl's Bedroomis simply the ironing board/spare closet room for me. Initially, my intention was to just keep a pack ‘n play handy for baby visits, never intending to transform her old room into a full-on nursery, until I found the changing table…THIS gorgeous changing table…

Nana Nursery Changing Tableon a Facebook yard sale page…for next to nothing. It is a heavy pewter/bronze tone wrought iron beauty that happens to be the same shape and style as the wrought iron daybed she slept in as a child…so I guess it was just meant to be. When our children were babies, I didn’t have the time, or the means, to decorate a space from top to bottom…but here we go! So, what was once going to be a spare crib tucked in the corner has now become a “nana-nursery-to-be”… presently in the planning stages. And, since gray is the new pink and blue for nurseries this year and the changing table is pewter gray, I am going with a soft, gender-neutral palette of grays, taupes and creamy whites…

Nana Nursery Diaries Paint Chips…once the baby boy or girl has arrived, we can add in some color. I happened upon these neutral nurseries while doing some online searching/shopping- each one-although soft in palette…has such an impact that it is difficult to choose the design focus for the space…country, whimsical, nautical, old world charm…but one thing for sure, it all starts with the changing table.

This one from Pottery Barn Kids is whimsical…

The Nana Nursery Diaries Pottery Barn Kids NurseryThis one from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child is so elegant

Nana Nursery Restoration Hardware NurseryThis one from the Blog Sharps Farm is simply lovely

Nana Nursery Diaries Sharps Farm NurseryAny and all of these would be perfect for the nana-nursery, but this one is going to be special, created just for our newest family member! To see what I have pinned so far…check out my Pinterest page. There are only a hundred or so…It will remain a guest bedroom as well, so the decor needs to remain somewhat neutral. And, it goes without saying that I will be doing this on a budget, using craigslist finds and re-loved pieces from other sources.  I will be updating as I go along, painting and shopping and sewing…essentially transforming the entire space, hopefully in time for our new love’s arrival in May! And, I will be asking your for help as well…so many decisions to make, so little time, so much work to do….time to clear out the room! Have a super Sunday everyone…Susan

 

Nautical Map Trunk Makeover

Nautical Trunk Makeover Finished Country Design HomeCoach picked up an old (sort of) trunk from a friend who is selling their home and moving away to warmer climates (so lucky!!) The trunk was in very good shape, it just needed some sprucing up. The inside was near perfect, so I left that alone.

Nautical Trunk InteriorThis piece is solid pine, with these medallion cutouts on the front panel that were just screaming for some pretty decorations.

Nautical Trunk Makeover BeforeEnter, the maps. You know, they seem to keep multiplying (can maps actually produce offspring? its appears so…) so I just have to keep finding ways to use them!  The soft honey pine color was still quite nice but a wee bit too light, so a quick sanding and a coat of General Finishes Antique Oak was all it took to bring it back to life.

Nautical Trunk Makeover General Finishes Antique OakFor the three medallions, I pulled a map from Coach’s stash with some gorgeous nautical colors in greens and blues,

Nautical Trunk Makeover mapso I grabbed some paint cans and started mixing until I got just the right colors to match the map.

General Finishes PaintsSince the wood was so nice, I just couldn’t bring myself to paint the entire thing. So I just did the front panels to complement the maps, keeping the edges clean so they would create a wood “frame” that matched the remainder of the stained wood.

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wiping edgesRealizing the that medallions were hand-routed, so they would not be identical, I made patterns for each one and labeled them,

Nautical Trunk Makeover Paper Patterns for Mapsthen used them to cut the medallions out of the maps. Perfect fit! I have had difficulty in the past getting a nice, smooth surface with paper adhesion using modge-podge type products. They always seemed to buckle and pucker, no matter how much I smoothed them during the process. A tip I garnered from Hometalk.com worked perfectly! Prior to attaching with the glue, I sprayed the map pieces, both front and back, with a couple of coats of this Krylon matte finish, then allowed to dry.

Krylon Low Odor Matte Finish SprayNow on the can it said “low odor- safe for indoors”, and since it is still winter here (even though it was 60 degrees yesterday-amazing…) I gave it a try, using my dining room table, windows slightly open for ventilation. Well, I am here to tell you that, even though there was some odor, it was significantly less than anything else I had previously used. And it dissipated super quickly! And, now, you ask, did it work for its intended purpose? Did it eliminate the wrinkles??? Yes, indeed!! When I painted the glue on the panels and placed them on the surface, they laid super flat and smooth!!!

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wrinkle Free Maps(hmm, do you think it could eliminate my wrinkles??)  Once in place, I added a final coat of the Krylon Spray just to secure them into place and protect them. I kept the shiny brass hinges and added these nautical arrow handles

Nautical Trunk Makeover Arrow Handle Detail PMthat I picked up at Hobby Lobby-love! So here is the final project top- the colorful maps and the brass hardware are a nice contrast to the glowing wood finish. This trunk is the perfect “coffee-table” size, and provides quite a bit of neat storage. 

Nautical Trunk Top ViewNow I am off to find another “map-it-out” project! Have a great first day of March everyone. Let’s hope it stays like a lamb...Susan

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