Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Before and After Living Room, adding built-ins

My client came to me looking for new paint colors for their living and dining room.  They wanted to get rid of some the 'stuff' collected over the years, replace the furniture with smaller scale furniture and keep it a comfortable place for hanging out with family and friends.

The room felt dark to me, whether during the day or night.  I recommended adding some ceiling lights. The 2 downlights in the before picture didn't align with anything in the room, My client removed them and added 4 new slightly smaller recessed downlights. One pair centered above the fireplace and the other is more centered over the bookshelf (even though is looks a little off in the picture).

I recommended adding built-ins to display their photos and items they have through out the space. Changing them seasonally is a way to keep it interesting and not have to get rid of everything.  My client is a carpenter/handy man so he was able to do all the work himself and got it done quickly!

I chose a soft warm white for the millwork, not too bright so it worked with the warm colors in the house. 


Glad to see my clients are enjoying their fireplace, even though there's no where to sit yet! 

Furniture will be in the next few weeks.

The green tape to mark where artwork will be.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Lotions & Hand Salves

I now have a new Etsy shop to purchase my hand made lotions & hand salve!
I only use Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and/or Cocoa Butter, as well as local beeswax combined with Essential Oils.

After many winters of dry, cracked and sometimes bleeding hands, I started investigating on what will heal my hands. I have tried many lotions on the market and nothing helped, they were just a temporary fix.

I discovered that these natural raw ingredients were best for my skin with many nutrients to keep skin healthy and strong. It is important to use organic & unrefined as most ingredients in the products at your local stores are not. The shea butter or coconut oil used in those products is extracted using chemicals because its faster, easier and cheaper, which takes away much of the nutrients as well as adds chemicals to them, such as hexane.

I'm sure you will love these lotions & salves as much as I do.  Its safe for kids too! 
Save your tins & containers!

Please Recycle 
 You can send your tin/container back to me for a discount on your next order or hold on to it for your next lotion bar, which will be less without the tin.  See my etsy items for details.

 All the local raw honey & beeswax I use is purchased from Buzz 10 Honey. Owner, Susan Robinson, practices organic/natural treatments for her hives.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thrift Store Find a Vintage Gem

I have been looking for a desk for myself for sometime. Perferably made of a good quality wood, open to refinishing if the size was right. Because this would be going in the family room I really wanted it to look nice & not feel like a place of work. I was dropping off donations at a local thrift store (just outside of Boston) and saw this desk sitting out front, right away I noticed it and knew it had potential. At just $12, I didn't even think twice and bought it. It was an old sewing machine desk.

Not sure if I had to completely refinish this, but I got some advise from an antique dealer: before refinishing see if this works (and it did!). Clean with Gojo hand cleaner and the finest Steel Wool 0000, it cleans and brings out the natural beauty of the wood. These won't scratch or damage the piece so I thought it was worth a try. The 2 items were just $5 at the hardware store.

I took this photo on a sunny day, so it appears much lighter than it actually is. I was relieved I didn't have to refinish it, just put some elbow grease into it and it came out perfect.


Dovetail construction
Gojo, a cream hand cleaner, comes in many varieties. Its important for this to get the non- gritty kind, it contains NO pumice. The Super Fine Steel Wool 0000 will remove spills & most stains without scratching. You don't have to wear gloves, since you are using a hand cleaner, but they will get messy.

After removing the hardware, add just a small amount of Gojo on the steel wool and rub on in a circular motion. I would recommend first doing in an inconspicuous area to make sure it takes it fine.  Using some muscle, cover the whole piece.  Then with a clean soft cloth (lint free cloth) wipe off, this does take some time.

I wasn't sure the material of the hardware but once I started cleaning with steel wool ( I didn't use the Gojo for this) I discovered they were solid brass.  I researched some natural cleaners and found that squeezing a lemon, then rubbing with the steel wool worked great.
After cleaning I realized I forgot to take off this smaller hardware, this button you push to open the top and a sewing machine use to be stored underneath. No sewing machine there but I like that it adds character to the piece. After cleaning these I discovered they were made of copper and had a serial number on it.

I was happy to see made in the U.S.A. by SIMANCO, which stands for Singer Manufacturing Company. After some research, I learned that this contained the Singer Model 640 Sewing machine from 1969.

Before & after, discovering copper

Thanks for looking! I couldn't be happier with my new desk!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Before and After, Living Room and Dining Room, Makeover

My clients, Chris & Natalie, moved into their home, and did a lot of hands on work, such as stripping all the wallpaper. They now had a clean palette. Working with the existing furniture pieces and learning about their style, I was able to assist them in wall colors, window treatments and lighting. As well as the best use of the fireplace. I don't always recommend painting over brick (or stone). It really depends on the condition, the home owner's style, what's going to look best in the space.
Here are some Before and Afters:

To create an accent wall, I choose Alfresco, Benjamin Moore. This blue works well with their existing furniture and is complemented with the now all over color, Hazy Skies, also Benjamin Moore. Similar color window panels from Crate & Barrel are installed close to the ceiling, and reach the floor, to give the illusion of more height. The length was too long so Natalie purchased them and had them hemmed, they came out great.
To create a contemporary space I recommended to paint the brick the same color as the trim, a soft white. The brick was too dark for whitewashing so Chris painted the fireplace then lightly brushed the accent color (on an adjacent wall) on the bricks, which adds warmth. Bronze accents on the fireplace and lighting.

The owners kept their existing wood dining room table, to add some fun & color I picked out this stain glass pendant with bronze finish from Lowes.

I recommended making this wall a feature wall of their own personal photos and/or art work that they loved and represented them.  It personalizes the space and creates a focal point. They picked up this great sideboard on Craig's List, which I love. Natalie did a great job putting it together.

Dark bronze hardware was replaced on all the doors. It helps to make the whole house feel more uniform.  A simple mounted light from Lowes gives a diffused glow (as opposed to the exposed light bulb from the before picture).

Benjamin Moore Paint
Main color throughout: Hazy Skies
Dining room accent wall: Ashley Gray
Living room accent wall: Alfresco
Trim color: Swiss Coffee