Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Mega Mini Office Makeover

Do you remember the island of misfit toys from the Christmas classic Rudolph? Well, welcome to my island of misfit furniture. Without a real purpose, this room has drifted into my own personal Goodwill Store [all of this is stuff is either going to or coming from there]. And I even cleaned the room up for you [well, I actually just piled-up a bunch of frames, vases and other crap behind me then threw them back in the room after the photo]. Not a good thing. BUT… not for long!
This sad little room is going to become my new office. And, [as the eternal optimist] I am determined that even though it’s very much smaller than my current office, it will be more organized and more efficient. Currently my home office looks as if it’s been ransacked, so I’m dreaming big here [if I succeed in this one I'll become an official design ninja].
Anyway, so far I’ve [the collective “I” that includes my super hero hubby] cleared out the room [so much better already] and I [the non-collective "I" because I did it all by myself] painted. Here’s a sneak-peak. Yes, it’s a bit dark for such a small room. Yes, I have a plan. Yes, you’ll have to check in frequently to see how it all works out!
And of course I'm doing all this on a small budget, which means I’ve got sooooo many DIY projects for this room lined-up [hint, you've already seen one, the Vera Wang inspired pillow is going in here] and ready to blog about! So stay-tuned for my Mega Mini Office Makeover [oooo, I like the sound of that…. I think I have officially found my title for this project. I’m totally going to make that today’s post title]!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Free Advice Friday #5- Dining Room Chair Delimma

Thank you, Nichol for submitting today’s Free Advice Friday question!
Nichol is considering re-doing her dining room chairs. They are currently painted black, and while she and her husband really do love them, they are getting pretty banged up from daily use. Nichol is debating whether or not to paint them slate blue and/ or distress them. She is also considering monogramming the chairs at the top with her last name initial (like this chair from The Lettered Cottage).

Alright, first of all, I have to begin by saying that your dining room is BEAUTIFUL! So, so [so] pretty, Nichol. [Ok, now I can move on.] Here’s the thing. I like the black chairs too. I think it’s a classic look and having the beautiful upholstered damask chairs keeps your dining set from being too cold or “matchy-matchy.” If you paint them slate blue it will be very pretty and a nice change, but what you have now is a timeless look that can be taken in any design direction in the future. Soooo... I guess my official answer is the boring one- stick with black.

If they are really getting beat-up then I’d repaint them black. I suggest using oil-based paint for durability. Just sand them lightly, and then thin your oil-based black paint with mineral spirits for the primer coat (about 2 parts paint to 1 part mineral spirits). Once it dries, then paint at least 2 coats of regular paint to finish (I usually put a few teaspoons of paint thinner in my paint even for the final coats, it goes on a little better when it’s slightly thinned). Make sure to let each coat dry completely before adding another (which takes awhile). Oil-based paint is a total pain to use, but it really is the most durable.
As for your second question, yes- I think that initialing each chair would be beautiful and add a nice, personal touch (I’m thinking maybe a brushed-silver [not too shiny], or a high-gloss ivory?). You obviously have amazing style, so I know whatever you choose will be gorgeous!! Thank you for your question, and I hope my [super boring] answer helps!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pillow Talk [DIY style]

I went shopping the other day to purchase a throw pillow. Since I have a really long to-do list of DIY projects, I really was just gonna "pay-the-man" and buy one. Until I saw the grey pillow shown below [I know, it's tiny... but it's the best picture I could find, sorry]: It's from Vera Wang's new collection @ Kohls, and it's just lovely... and the wrong color... and I had a solid green dupioni silk pillow that was exactly the right color. So just like that... another project fell out of heaven and onto my DIY list [plop.].
Here's what you need:
Pillow cover, pen, fabric (I chose one that was shiny on the front and dull on the back so I could get 2 tones), a spool of thread & needle, sissors, and a quarter [oh, and a good movie- you'll see why].

Here's what you do:

Trace quarter onto the fabric for a circle pattern, then fold the fabric back and forth like a fan, this allows you to get several circles from one cut.

Next, cut out your circle(s) (I got about five circles @ a time). Repeat this many, many times [thus the good movie... ].

Next, do the same thing using your spool of thread [I wanted 2 different sizes of circles]. Now you have a pile of circles.

Arrange them on your pillow cover to get an idea of how/where you want them [and to make sure you have enough].

Get your thread and start sewing them into place. I just tacked each circle down once or twice because I wanted them to be loose and flow-ey [and I don't like sewing all that much!]. I went from circle to circle until my thread ran out [then I'd knot it and start a new one] to save time- which means the back of my pillow looks like a spider's web [but no one will see that... unless you take a photo of it and post it on your blog].

And that's it! Once the front looked like I wanted I put my pillow back in and I was a happy gal! A brand new look for $0 dollars! I have so many more pillow ideas now... so just expect more of these in the future!!

Visit thecsiproject.com I just linked-up this project!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I've been featured [twice!]!

A couple blogs have featured my Hand-Antiqued mirror, and I wanted to let everyone know so you can check them out [and I'm excited and wanted to toot my own horn]!!!

Check out Rachel at Holy Craft, who featured me today [thanks Rachel]!

And C.R.A.F.T. who featured me yesterday [thanks!]!

So exciting!!!

I've been featured!

A couple blogs have featured my Hand-Antiqued mirror, so I wanted to say thank you!
Check out Rachel at Holy Craft, who featured me today [thanks Rachel]!

And C.R.A.F.T. who featured me yesterday [thanks!]!

Monday, May 23, 2011

In search of inspiration: Home Offices

I love flipping through magazines for inspiration. I'm getting ready to move our home office into a different room and thought I'd share some of the beautiful offices that I've found! I'm getting all kinds of good ideas...

These first three are from House Beautiful Magazine.

I love the table being used as a desk in this room, and the colors are great, so calm and soothing. [I also like that it's kind of messy but still looks great... how come my messes never look that good?!]

This one kind of annoyed me because I am TOTALLY planning on doing something similar and now it looks like I'm copying!! Oh-well, I still love, love, love it!

This office is great because it's comfortable- not too "office-ey." My kids follow me around [everywhere}, so I'd like to create a comfy environment like this if possible.

These two photos are from Ballard Design.

I like the colors used in this office... and chandelier... and the framed cork boards.

This room is just so pretty! Who couldn't work all day in this office?! More specifically, though, I like the desk and chair arrangement [the desk isn't pushed into a corner like it's in a time-out!].

Well, I hope you were inspired too... I'm off to start painting my office[so excited!].

Friday, May 20, 2011

Free Advice Friday #4- Painting [over] Faux Wood

My question today is from Kele, who asked “Is there any way to salvage an old, ugly and cheap faux wood kitchen table?”

Well, Kele, I haven’t seen your table so my answer is… maybe. There are some faux woods that are basically plywood or MDF with a very thin faux wood veneer- you can usually paint them successfully. The other type [common for tabletops] is essentially plastic that has wood printed into it. It’s really shiny and hard, and if you attempt to paint it, it will just laugh your paint right off! Now, I know that there is spray paint made specifically for plastic… and let me add that it works beautifully [for approximately 2 days-, then it starts peeling off].
Ok, so if your table has a veneer, then you have a chance: just prime your surface by lightly sanding, then use a product from Porter Paints called Prepare-It which further ensures that the paint will bond to your surface. Next, select a good primer and paint. I suggest using either oil-based paint [which is a pain to work with] or a really good-quality exterior latex paint with a gloss finish for the best durability. Just be consistent- use either latex or oil for both your paint and primer. Finally, for added durability [which you're going to want since it's a table] finish with a coate of polyurethane.
Now, if your table is the plastic stuff… well, I have only one suggestion [but please don’t try it until you are able to buy a new one if the whole project goes south and you end-up with a mess!]. Usually that plastic is only used for the table top & the legs are a veneer [just guessing]. If that’s the case and you just HATE the table, then you could paint the legs and keep a cute table cloth on it at all times. Totally cheating, I know, but it could get you through for now!!
Oh, and if it’s all shiny plastic wood from top to bottom… sorry my friend there is no way [that I am aware of] to successfully salvage it!
Hope that helps, and if you have additional questions please ask away!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DIY Painted Glass Vases

A few months ago I was watching The Nate Berkus Show [one of my faves’] and his guest was using a product called Looking Glass Mirror Like Paint [by Krylon]. It’s a spray paint that makes plain-old-regular glass look like cool-old-hazy mirrors. I thought, “Hey, I’d like to try it, I wonder where I could buy it.” Well, his guest asked the same thing and he assured us all that it could be purchased at any home improvement store. Guess what. I went to several in my area and none of them had it. Then, one day, after I all hope was lost [actually, I'd just forgotten about it], I stumbled upon it by accident… thank you Hobby Lobby!
So, I went home, rolled up my sleeves, and started experimenting with the spray paint [determined to find an awesome way to use it in which Nate's adorable little guest did NOT think of... I know, I know... so pitiful, that's just how I am!] Anyway, I came up with this project- and I think it turned out pretty good [if I do say so myself!].

Here’s what you need:
Cheap little glass vases

Looking Glass spray paint
High gloss spray paint

Here’s what you do:
Put your vase upside down on the drop cloth.

Spray several VERY light layers of Looking Glass onto the vase [make sure each layer dries in between, don’t worry, it dries fast] until you cannot see through it anymore.

Let it dry completely.

Now, do the same thing again, spraying right over the Looking Glass paint with your colored high gloss paint [I used white, but any color would look great!].

Due to the shape of my vases, once the bottoms were dry I turned them over, put my spray paint lid in the vase opening [so as to not get any paint inside the vase] and sprayed the top edges that I couldn’t reach while it was upside-down.

And that’s it! You have adorable little mirrored vases! Since all of the paint was applied to the outside, you can still put water in them and use them for flowers. I haven’t tried to wash them… but if I ever have to I will be super delicate and I suggest the same for you!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shabby Chic Cottage's awesome invite!

Dear Gina,

May I please come to your house and play with you [and your friends]?! Seriously... it sounds like a total blast!
Here's what I can contribute:
I love to paint [as in artwork... you know, like Monet, except not quite that well].

I'm pretty good at painting stuff [as in furniture, vases, lamps, kitchen cabinets, etc.].

And I am an excellent painter [as in walls, trim, faux finishes, etc.].

I can sew [but I'm not great].

I am a bit handy [but mostly resourceful!].

Finally, I've been an interior consultant for the past five years [and my specialty is being creative on a dime] so this is perfect for me!!

Here's why I really, really [really] want to join you and your buddies in July:

It sounds like so much fun... and I like fun!
I am totally new at this whole blogging thing [didn't even know what a link party was as of 3 weeks ago- yes, I'm such a newbie!] so the opportunity to hang with you all is like... BIG!
And finally, I am a mom in need of a girls weekend. I haven't been away from the fam' since 2007 [and that was to run a half marathon so I don't think it even counts!].
Thanks for the invite... hope to see you soon! [P.S.- I live in Indiana]

Green Art

No, not as in color- as in, “Yay Earth… and yay wallet.” Beautiful art is pricey, and gorgeous frames are super expensive. Therefore, most attempts to combine the two are like, well… yikes. That’s why I about flipped my lid when I stumbled upon this gorgeous framed artwork [only picture it less gorgeous]. You see, the original painting was a country scene with a [very groovy] 70’s looking barn, etc. I loved the frame, though and thought I’d just put my own painting in it.

Now, this story is already nice and green [yay Earth, yay wallet], but [due to pure laziness on my part], it just gets better! When I looked at the back of the frame I was like, “Oh maaaaaan, it’s totally gonna suck getting that canvas out.” And then it dawned on me- I won’t even have to pull it out [or buy a new canvas] if I just paint over this one. And that’s just what I did. Please don’t worry- the art wasn’t some lost Van Gough [unless he went through a “crappy art” phase]. Anyway, I just primed and painted the canvas, then did a simple vine silhouette. Finally, I glazed over the whole thing with burnt umber [‘cuz I’m a glaze addict]. Please Note: You might not be comfortable painting your own artwork, [so right now you're thinking, "whatever, I can't do that."] But I promise that if you find a simple silhouette it’s really not hard! And glaze is like liquid love- it covers over a multitude of sins. Just give it a try and if you don't like the painting that you create, then you’re just stuck with an ugly canvas… which is what you had to begin with anyway! So, go- be brave and have fun! You may end up with your own green art [or whatever color you choose]!


I want to give a quick shout-out to Allison @ House of Hepworths. Thank you so much for featuring me last week! Go check it out!!

I'm linking this one up:




Friday, May 13, 2011

Free Advice Friday #3

First, I want to say "Grrrrr" to Google Blogger. Yesterday afternoon and today Google blogs were down due to technical difficulties, and now I see that Google erased all posts and comments from yesterday. So Google, this is me being irritated at you- "Grrrrrr." [I know, I can be pretty intimidating, can't I?!]

Now, onto the business of the day: Free Advice!
Today's question came from Susan. She is considering painting stripes on this wall directly behind her couch, but isn’t sure if it will look right- especially considering the fact that the formal dining room is adjacent to this room.
This is the accent fabric which will be used for pillows [which I LOVE!].

Susan, I like the idea of stripes on this wall because the crisp, clean look that they offer certainly compliments your home’s current decor. However, I’d like to offer a few alternatives to that plan for one simple reason: you have beautiful wainscoting with architectual moulding, and it’s hard to pull-off just one striped accent wall when it's cut in half with wainscoting.

Here is an alternative that still allows you to go bold behind the couch, but in a way that is completely self-contained [thus not competeing with your great architectural details]. For example [while this photo has the completely wrong color scheme for your room], I like this concept. I found this room on a blog that I love, [Beach house in the City] and she found it from Tobi Fairley's website. You could hunt down various sizes of beautiful frames and paint them all in your gorgeous bold blue accent color, then arrange them behind the sofa. It is a bold, striking look that will be noticed without taking over the room.

Another suggestion is to frame-out three large panels of wallpaper as shown in this photo on the far dining room wall [from House Beautiful].

Choosing a crisp and bold wallpaper like this one from Anthropologie [it's called Salix] will provide pattern and color that is contained beautifully within your wall.

Finally, a third option is to do a series of framed photographs like these shown on “The Nate Berkus Show.” I think this is a brilliant idea! You could choose wallpaper [he actually used wrapping paper for these!] and wrap your mats [I would suggest choosing only one pattern rather than mixing]. Make sure to have very large mats and small photos, because you want the pattern to fill your wall. In addition, because your wall is so large, I suggest using six frames to fill out the space most effectively. You could even choose a striped paper for the matting to incorporate your stripes [have fun lining them all up, though!].

I hope these ideas help- your home is so beautiful, I know that whatever you choose will look great. I’d love to see what you end-up doing, so feel free to send in an “after” photo if you’d like!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Useless Things

In honor of my current situation, I have decided to share a few excerpts from a collection of poems entitled "Useless Things," written by Mrs. Andrews' 3rd grade students (my daughter's class!).

The world without air
Justin Bieber without hair

Glasses without a lens
A fish without fins

A wasp without a stinger
A phone without a ringer

A quilt without stitches
A baseball game without pitches

People without a Lord
A knight without a sword

A gun without a bullet
A hillbilly without a mullet [lol!!]

Now I'm going to add my own lines:

A child at Chuckie Cheese with no token
A blogger gal who's camera is BROKEN

Yes, my faithful camera of seven years kicked the bucket on Saturday. Yes, it waited until I started a blog to die. Yes, it waited until the day before Mother's Day [my youngest daughter's first one] to die. Yes, Mother's Day was also the day that my youngest daughter was dedicated at church. No, I do not have any photos of the above stated day. Yes, I am bitter about it. Yes, I have to learn how to operate a new camera and I'm terrible at learning that kind of stuff [this blog is not called techonology savvy for a very good reason]. So, the good news is- my pictures should be even more beautiful now. The bad news is- this week's blogging isn't lookn' good.

And the moral of this story is... please stand by for technical difficulties!! Thanks

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ummm, are you following me?

Under most circumstances I would hope that your answer to that question would be a firm, "no." However, here on my little bloggity-blog, I'm lookn' for something more along the lines of, "Of course I am!" or I'd even take a, "Not yet, but I'm gonna start today!"

You see, I have just added a "Followers" section to Salvage Savvy, and it'll just be pitiful if I don't have anyone following me, right?! So, if you have enjoyed any of my projects or posts the past couple weeks I'd just LOVE it if you would become a follower [seriously, I'm a mom so I need to be needed ;)]

I also have an area called "Stay in the savvy with email updates." That takes our relationship to the next level [are you ready for this kind of commitment? LOL]. If you would like to receive a link to Salvage Savvy via email whenever I write a new post then just enter your email address into that section and consider it done [I am explaining this because my dear, sweet sister asked me the other day, "Is there a way to get updates on the blog through email?" So now I'm wondering how many readers haven't noticed that option!].

I am having so much fun doing this blog. Please let me tell you that every time you read Salvage Savvy [yes, I get to see how often people view it by torturing myself with the Stats!], every time you comment on a post or give me encouragement via facebook, every time I get a new follower or an email request I am soooo happpy and appreciative and smiling ear to ear. Thanks!!!

And speaking of smiling ear to ear, I just saw that my zebra print entry table was featured on a blog over the weekend!! Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage gave it a little love, so please go check it out [obviously she has exquisite taste!].

Friday, May 6, 2011

Free Advice Friday #2

First of all, I have to give a shout-out to Someday Crafts for featuring my Zebra Striped Console Table!! Woo-hoo! Check it out if you get a chance :) Thanks!

Now, onto the business of the day. I am pleased to report that there were multiple questions submitted this week [yipeee!]. I need to get a little more information from a couple people before I can answer them all, but we'll start with this one for now!

“Dear Connie, Here is my dilemma. We just redecorated my daughter's room, and over all, we love it. However, there is one problem area. The wall space above her vanity looks bare, and I'm not sure what to do with it. The opposite wall is floor to ceiling drapes, which cover most of the wall width as well. The wall with the vanity needs some height to balance the drapes, without being "too much", as the room is not terribly big. Thanks, Connie! Georgia”

Thanks for the question! I agree that this wall needs something. However, the vanity is beautiful and you don’t want to distract from it or make the wall feel “cluttered” by adding too much bulk. These sculptural wall flowers from Urban Outfitters would allow you to give the area movement and interest without being bulky or feeling stuffy.
Although white is their only option, I think it’s a little too contemporary for this room. I suggest you paint them. One of my favorite products is called Rub n’ Buff- it’s super easy to use and the silver finish isn’t shiny like most metallic paints. You will get a soft, pretty look. You'll need to make it look as if the flowers have “blown-in” from the left side of the wall [which means start heavier on the left and let them trail off as you head toward the right side of the wall]. Keep them scattered and whimsical.
In addition to the wall art, think about adding a pretty plant stand (about waist high or taller since the object is to fill wall space, not floor space) to the right side of the vanity. A nice, full fern in the room will add texture, color and a life to the area [And tell your daughter to keep a water bottle in her vanity- as a teen every morning after I sprayed my hair I’d spray my fern. It really worked, the fern was beautiful and lasted for years with that method!!]. I hope this helps, feel free to follow-up if you have additional questions :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today is the Day...

Hello fellow Salvage Savvy-iers!! Well, today is Thursday [yes, already- can you believe it?], which means that if you have a question for tomorrow's Free Advice Friday post, then please submit it today!! Last week [as you may recall] I didn't have any submissions. However, multiple people have informed me that they do, in fact, have a question in mind for me[hmmmm]. Well, today is the day to get that little-old question out of your mind and into my email or comment section! Many, many thanks!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Overscale Hand-Antiqued Mirror

Guess. What. I am super excited about this project. Ok, here’s the story: I redid my bedroom last summer [another blog, another day… pins & needles until then] and I needed something to fill space on a big, blank wall. As I flipped through my magazines for inspiration I fell in love with these mirrors from the Oct. 2010 House Beautiful Magazine.

Ok, so anytime I fall in love with an item from House Beautiful [which is every time I read House Beautiful], I know that it will never be mine due to a severe lack of funds [those people are loaded and I am... well, not loaded]. However, once in a while I stumble onto pictures like these and know that if I roll up my sleeves, bust out my craft kit and get all Martha Stewart on it, then I might just be able to do it myself. When that happens, there’s no stopping me [unless the project fails and I end up putting it in a corner of my garage, pretending as if it never happened]. But that didn't happen this time, because here's what I created for my room.

These detail photos show the antiqued mirrors upclose- each mirror will be different.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure I will note that while this project was not difficult, I did have a couple of set-backs. Anyway, I had to change my “ingredients” and tweek this project a couple times. Nevertheless, I pressed on and now I am so pleased with the end product- an overscale 3’x 6’ mirror that cost about $70 to make [I know, not terribly cheap- but mirrors this size cost at least three times that]. Here’s how I did it:

What you’ll need:
3 boxes of plain edge 12”x12” mirrors
Paint stripper
Chemical-grade gloves
Muriatic acid (in spray bottle)
Black spray paint (2 cans)
Glass Adhesive (& caulk gun)
4'x8' MDF board cut down to 36 ½“ x 72 ½” (most Hardware stores can do this for you)

Here’s what to do:
Place all mirrors (reflection side down) on a drop cloth out side (near a water hose).

  • Put on your gloves and spread paint stripper* all over the backs of the mirrors (just spread with your hand so you don’t have to mess with a paint brush).

  • Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. Then, using the scraper, remove the paint from backs of the mirror [I’ve heard rumors that the paint can bubble up & simply be wiped away, but this NEVER happened for me. . . perhaps your luck will be better than mine].

  • Next, wash off your gloves w/ a hose [don’t take them off, though] and wash off the backs of your mirrors.

  • Spray the Muriatic Acid* [this stuff is serious, so be careful] onto the backs of the mirrors. You will see it working. Wash it off after 10-20 sec. and take a look at the reflective side of the mirror- if you want more texture then spray the back again and let sit for another 20- 60 seconds. Every mirror will be different- examine each one!

  • Wash all mirrors thoroughly and then dry them.

  • [Now go get a snack or something because you need a break!]

  • Lay mirrors out on a [dry] drop cloth face down again & paint the backs with black spray paint.

  • Sand the sides of your MDF** and spray paint them and the front black [I only painted about a 3" strip around the front edges of the MDF since the middle would be covered with mirrors].

  • Once all paint has dried, it’s time to apply the mirrors. You will have a ¼” boarder of black MDF around the entire piece, so center the first row of mirrors and apply them using the glass adhesive.* Repeat with all the other rows until completed [I placed all mirrors on the MDF without adhesive first to make sure the fit properly , then went back and glued them down.].

  • I have to mention this: I chose not to get those little thing-ies to place in the corners where each mirror meets another [I just thought they were decorative so I didn’t bother]. Then, when we moved the huge mirror I realized that those little thing-ies probably serve a purpose because I could hear the mirrors rubbing against one another [it wasn’t a great sound]. So, you may want to purchase those…
    *Follow all directions and ESPECIALLY safety precautions on product label
    **safety note** even though the mirror is intended to lean against a wall, you should still use a wall anchor system to ensure that it won’t fall (install it onto the back of the MDF before you glue on the mirrors).

  • Time to link-up!

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    As Requested…

    Alright, after reading Friday’s post on how to select a paint color, one of my sisters requested a specific example for clarification; therefore, today’s post is dedicated to you sis’!
    For today’s purposes we will be using this lovely pillow from West Elm.

    Ok, you’ve selected a gorgeous pillow for the room- so now you must decide if you want to make it “stand-out” or “blend-into” your room.

    If you choose “stand-out,” then look at the accent colors that are used in the pillow and choose one for your wall color. For this pillow, you would choose either white or one of the two shades of green on the dandelion stem. Choosing a paint color for your walls that is an accent color from the pillow really makes it [the pillow] “pop” in the room [while still matching perfectly].

    On the other hand, if you choose a paint color that will cause your pillow to "blend-in," then you’ll go with the golden yellow background color as your paint selection. This means that you love this pillow and want your entire room to "feel" like it. WARNING: [this is where sooo many people have trouble] if you love that shade of yellow on the pillow and select it as a paint color, then DO NOT use it as an accent color as well [unless you want an all-yellow-mush-of-a-room]. If your walls are yellow, then go with white or green accents, because you need something to "pop."

    Did that make sense [clear as mud!]?? If not, then please feel free to leave me a comment with your questions!

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