Monday, January 11, 2016

Jute Rugs

We are doing a rug swap in our house. I've wanted chunky loop jute rugs for quite some time.

They grace the floors of all my favorite interior designers. The frayed ends are my favorite in this one that Liz has in her home. She wrote a wonderful review of jute rugs in her home if you are curious about how they hold up and how they feel.

Oh and she has one downstairs too...

Jen from City Farmhouse has the same rug, but in the bleached look, and she shared her journey of finally finding the perfect jute (sometimes referred to as sisal) rug. It's pretty much the exact same story I have, particularly how much her husband was not on board initially. Mine too. Boo.

As I started to scour blog land, Pinterest, Instagram and home d├ęcor magazines, I found that folks kept referring to the SAME exact rug: this Maui Chunky Loop rug. The reviews are fabulous, the feel on your tootsies is excellent and the durability is on par with our family life.

So why reinvent the wheel on this one? Done. Maui Chunky Loop rug it is.

Our current living room rug will be picked up by it's new owner tomorrow afternoon, and then one big gigantic jute rug will be enoute to our living room. Finally. #happymama

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stripes + Rope Handles

I posted this piece to our Facebook page and Instagram but it never made it's way over here on the blog! Blogger fail. :(

It sold in less than a day at the shop - so apparently out of sight out of mind! Ha. 

A quick before. It needed a lot of TLC. 

Nothing a little sanding, wood filler, primer and paint couldn't solve!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Two-tone Roll Top Desk

 Makeover weeks continues...

I finished this Two-tone Roll-top desk recently for a local couple. 

 Here's the before:

Check out that faux marble writing surface!

They had a specific idea in mind for refinishing it. Crisp white body, stained interior shelf. 

 The color is a Pantone Premium color in "Cloud Dancer".

 I took one look at that roll top and knew I would need to spray this piece. 
After spraying two coats of primer, it got three coats of the Cloud Dancer. Sanded smooth, then two coats of wax all over.

The inside was a bit of a different story. 
The writing area had that faux marble top. So I did three coats of OIL based primer, three coats of the paint and then three coats of wax. Whew! That was a lot of work for a tiny area!

I sanded the inside shelving area, then applied a coat of wood conditioner, then two coats of stain. It soaked up the stain perfectly! I'm convinced the wood conditioner did the trick! It really helped the stain not to get too streaky. The stain color is "Kona" by Varathane.

 It's the deepest, darkest stain I've worked with and I absolutely loved the look of it. Sidenote: don't be fooled by the crisp line between the stain and the writing surface. That was some SERIOUS trial and error trying to get that just right - SO tricky. At one point, I sat down on our front stoop, a tad frustrated, and Kyle brought me a butterfinger ice cream treat cause I was a little befuddled. Ice cream always provides painting breakthroughs for me. :)

I painted the writing surface first, then stained the back area. Wrong method. :( 
So I back tracked after getting a little stain on the writing surface. Resanded it all down after I stained it, taped the shelving area off and covered it all up with wax paper, and then resprayed it. Yep - sometimes we learn the hard way. But I stuck it out and it came out wonderfully.

The owner of the desk picked out all the new hardware. I realllly liked the industrial vibe of the hardware. Changed the whole look of the piece.

It's now in it's new home.

Working on cleaning out this garage of mine before a few more custom pieces get dropped off! 
Good grief - you wouldn't believe the stock of furniture I have.

I see a break in the rain, so I better run outside and get some painting in!

Monday, May 5, 2014

$1 Thrift Store Antique Side Table

A week of makeovers in store here on the blog! I've been busy. 

Found this little antique side table for a $1 at my local thrift store. #luckyfind

Here's the before.

Great little dove-tailed drawer.

 Fun little legs.

Refinished in Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. 
Lightly distressed and sealed with paste wax.

 For sale at Roots of Gratitude in Snohomish.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Fun Stairs Banister Makeover

A local friend reached out to me a few weeks ago wanting some direction with how to tackle refinishing his split-level stairs banister.

Here are some before shots of the stairs.

Clearly there was nothing wrong with the condition of the banister - in fact the spindles and railing appeared in great shape! But wanting to bring it up to date, as well as brighten and lighten up the space, a paint makeover was just what it needed.

Through a series of texts and photo exchanges, I walked him through the process. {Gotta love technology for efficiency sake.} He was kind enough to snap photos for me along the way so I could share this process with you all as well.

It's always good to start with an inspiration photo, to get those creative juices flowing - and just as luck would have it, I came across this image earlier that week from Layla at The Lettered Cottage, so I sent it his way. I wanted him to experience, even if only via an image, the POWER OF PAINT! Isn't this awesome?

I then walked him through the process to PREP the banister, which included a good stripping to remove the previous varnish or glossy finish that was applied years prior to protect the wood. Sorry folks, you really can't skip this step. It's gotta be done if you want to ensure a really good seal from the new paint.

There are a lot of good stripping options out there - but they all basically do the same. Read the manufacturer's instructions on the back for your specific project, but in a nut shell, you'll want to rub or brush on the stripping agent, let sit for a specified amount of time (usually 15-30 minutes), then scrape or rub off with a cloth, scratch pad, or steel brush. Then wipe clean. It's often stinky and laborious, but worth it in the end. I like Klean Strip or Citri-strip (if I'm working with kiddos nearby).

Next, PRIME your wood. I love Kilz products. You could certainly use a water-based primer by Kilz, but for some of those delicate, high traffic areas, I still recommend oil-based - it's durability is just hard to match. Even though he was doing a lot of intricate spindles, I still recommended using a roller as much as he could as it eliminates a large majority of drip marks along the way. Finish off those hard to reach areas with a paint brush or sponge brush.

Next, using a good interior paint in an egg shell or stain finish, ADD a paint conditioner like Floetrol, and mix well. The Floetrol aids in the leveling out process and helps to eliminate roller marks. (Tip: I always add Floetrol to my latex paint when painting furniture. ALWAYS!)

Then ROLL ON THE PAINT in really thin even coats. Finish off with a paint brush for the areas your roller can't reach.

Finish the project off with a good SEALER. In this case WAX was the product of choice. I have been using Minwax paste finishing wax or Johnson's wax as of late. I really like both - especially the price tag. Apply with a good wax brush, by dipping the tips of the bristles into the wax and rubbing on in a circular motion. Let sit 15 minutes, then buff off with cheesecloth or a lint free rag.

It was quite the transformation around the Condotta home - a job WELL DONE!

Friday, March 14, 2014

On Going Black :: Interior Doors

Ever since I can remember, I have loved the look of white trim and black interior doors. That high contrast look is right up my alley.

And I am beginning to see it more and more in the design world.

It's definitely more on the modern side, but would fit nicely within the color pallet of our farmhouse-inspired home.

We are currently renovating our gigantic utility room into a guest bath and mudroom space, and we have to update our first door in the house.

These are the actual 3-panel doors we have chosen for our house.

They are awesome! We wanted something a little off the beaten path, and four, five and six-panel doors just weren't doing it for me. Three-panel? Yes!

Here is where I am a little stuck. Do we go with traditional white doors, or take a risk and paint them black? I asked my interior design friend {who has helped me with all my big decisions around the house} and she said one thing to consider is if our doors are in a cluster, or are more spread out within the house. 

Our doors = MAJORLY clustered. Bummer.

Here is what I mean.

Our interior doors are all located in a cluster at the top of our stairs on our upper floor and then another cluster at the bottom of the stairs on the lower level. I'm not sure I like the look as much when they are all close together.

So I have two days to decide. White or black? White or black? White or black? 

What would you do? 

Maybe I'll start with our front door...

Dreamy, huh?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

DIY Rope Chandelier

If you follow me on Instagram you saw a sneak peak of this 
DIY Rope Chandelier I tackled last week. 

Inspired by this rope chandelier from Pottery Barn, incorporating rope and a black iron frame, I decided to make a much more affordable version for my own home.

There really wasn't anything wrong with the traditional chandelier we inherited with our house, it just really wasn't our style. The before...frosted shades and all...

 Replacing the chandelier was not in our remodel budget and I needed a quick fix to make it a bit more rustic and earthy. Enter in manila rope. I purchased this 1/4" manila rope from Home Depot. I was looking for a really rich, darker shade of rope and this was just the ticket. I purchased three packages for my five shades.

All I did was wrap my frosted glass shades in the rope, starting from the top and working my way to the bottom, adhering the rope to the shade with hot glue. Seriously, that's it.

It turned out wonderful!


A few closeups so you can see the richness of the rope color. 

I especially love the contrast of the earthy rope against the industrial black iron. It's a design-happy combo.

I'm searching for a burlap chain cover for the chain, 
since we won't be able to eliminate it until we relocate the electrical in our dining room. 

I've found lots of other uses for this rope in our house - my office nook organizational containers and kitchen storage items are all getting rope-ified (check Instagram for upcoming photos of those items)! 

Wrapping everyday items in rope is such an easy way to add a rustic feel to your home - it's really transforming our space!  

If you don't believe me, check out 25 DIY Ways of Using Rope for a Vintage Look. Lamp bases, candles, frames, stools, chairs, laundry baskets, ottomans - it's endless! You'll be running to your home improvement store to pick some up of your own! I AM HOOKED!

Happy rope-ing!

P.S. Check us out on IG and follow along for home remodel updates, design selections, furniture makeovers, farmhouse modern inspiration and MORE!

Hi, I'm Amber!

Hi, I'm Amber!
I feel most "at home" sipping a cup of coffee, a paint brush in my hand, a kid on my hip, barefoot in the kitchen, knee deep in dirt on a farm, my toes in the sand, or buried in treasures at a thrift store. Thanks for stopping by my blog - I hope you leave inspired.

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