Monday, March 10, 2014

Vanity Affiar

So I have a slight obsession with vanity tops…although not
all were DIY projects, you can really transform a bathroom with focusing your
accents around your vanity top.

Luckily, with my four trips to Afghanistan I was able to pay
for all four of our home’s bathroom vanities. I also had free plumber in-house
so that saved a lot on labor costs for hooking up the new fixtures J

Key lessons:

Look for remnant pieces at your local granite
store. These change daily, so if you don’t like something the first time you
look, go another day. Don’t rush!

2.      If you have a friend or family member who can
reattach your faucet and plumbing ties after installation, you will save a
TON!! The granite place wanted $100 for each plumbing hookup because they have
to subcontract a plumber to come in.

Look for sale accent items.

The first vanity change was the “man cave” bathroom (Willie
is very lucky, I always put his needs first J).
This amazing green granite was a remnant so we got a great deal on it! Adding
the sage green paint, new fixtures, and some accents, this bathroom is a
perfect addition to Wilie’s man cave. Willie just recently added a speaker to
the ceiling and some crown molding, which I have to admit turned out A LOT
better than I thought it would for his first time.

Second project we tackled ourselves with a standard size
granite top from Lowe’s. We then transformed the bathroom with a clearance rug and
shower curtain from Lowe’s, new fixtures, and a beautiful storage cabinet. The
finishing touch was the amazing gold mirror we found at Marshalls for only


Third project was our master bedroom. This was probably my favorite
transformation. We got another amazing deal on this remnant exotic granite. The
uniquely shaped squared sinks gave this master bathroom the little kick into
the 21st century. We finished the bathroom off with antique fashioned
faucets and mirrors from Kohls.

Looks like space, doesn’t it? So cool!

Last project, for our main floor…a rustic inspired bathroom.
First thing, getting rid of wallpaper and painting! We also added crown molding to match the rest of the main floor. I really lucked out finding this stunning remnant of this grey exotic marble.
Again, new faucet (we choose a water trough spout to go with the rustic theme),
new rustic mirror from Marshalls. AND finally our DIY projects. Willie
transformed the light fixture using mason jars we found at the thrift store and
created a toilet paper and towel holder using pipes! I will take credit for
that idea, but he always knows how to make it J

Before…like the wallpaper? 🙂


I say we’ve done pretty good…now what to do next?
Friday, February 21, 2014

Pallet Wine Rack

Another amazing DIY project using free pallet wood. Who knew
a pallet wine rack would be so elegant!

Here are some simple DIY steps to make one of your own:

To start:

Cut the pallet in half (leaving the center support of the
pallet). So you will have 2 big halves and 1 center strip. Using the center
strip pry off the long board and nail it to the bottom of the half cut in the
first part (so u have a basket to hold the wine.) DONE! Willie also drilled 3 holes
with a center drill bit so we could put the 3 bottles upside down.

To create the wine glass holder:

Need to buy from Lowes (or local hardware store)
a.       1
½ nails or so. (or whatever you have around the house)
b.      1”
(thick) x 2 wide X 8ft (length) craft board 
c.       ¾(thick)
x 4”(wide) x 4ft (length) ($4)

Cut one 4ft long of (a.) then screw it to the
back (making a stopper)
Cut strips of (a.) to create a pathways for the
wine glass to slide into (this will require measuring between so they are
straight and even)
Cut (b.) to the width of the pallet and screw b
onto a) to create a holder on the pathway so the wine glass don’t fall out.
(center each one so they look straight and even)


Happy woodworking J
*PS- to make the piece extra special, fill your wine rack
with custom labeled wine bottles. Ours were created by my maid of honor for our
engagement party and rehearsal dinner. I absolutely LOVE them!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wedding Bliss

The past 7 months as a newly married couple has been a whirlwind!

I finally had a moment today to go through all of our wedding
photos again and I couldn’t believe that I never shared our astonishing DIY/antique accented dessert
table display.

When we decided we were going to be married at a winery I immediately
knew I wanted a dessert table display using wine barrels. How I was going to do
this exactly I wasn’t sure, but I made it work!

My florist (also a family friend) found antique doors at The
Old Lucketts Store in Leesburg, VA.  We
used these as the table top for our cake displays. The winery we were married
at supplied the 3 barrels we used as our base.

Then we solicited the help of a family friend to cut a large
piece of wood and assembled the pieces into a tiered stand using PVC pipe. Once
completed, a finishing touch of polyurethane really made the stands shine
(literally J).
Willie and I covered the PVC by wrapping thick twine around the pipe and hot
gluing the ends. And voila! Beautiful, unique, rustic cake stands!

They definitely were the centerpiece of our wedding
reception room! Our guests absolutely loved it!

Many thanks to Cakes by Cathy Stewart and The Apple House
for the yummy treats to use on our display!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Shabby Chic Dining Room

So the Craigslist ad worked and I had to say goodbye my inherited
70’s black lacquer table that I reupholstered and brought back to life three
years ago. I get a little emotional about furniture and it was hard to give up,
but I knew I wanted something different, something glam, something that oozed
shabby chic and I think I achieved that with my new crisp chalk painted antique

The story behind the new table…

I’m lucky enough to have a great group of friends from my
years of competing horses. We have such a strong bond that was fostered by our
love and devotion to our horses. Even though most of us are out of the sport,
we still get together for parties, wine nights, and do practically everything
together. I cherish the moments with these wonderful women because I know they
will always be there to support and love me. Thanks ladies!

Anyways, one of those wine nights, Mrs. VP (AKA- my barn mother)
mentioned she was trying to sell her dining table on Craigslist. I immediately popped
up from the couch and exclaimed “I want it”. I ran over an inspected the table. With all
the joyful experiences the table witnessed over the years it had minor dents
and scratches, which made it a perfect candidate for the Annie Sloan Chalk

Thanks to a friend, the table was safely delivered to our
townhouse and I was ready to paint.

DIY time…

Chalk Paint is not sold everywhere. Use this link to find a
location close to you. I pick Old White with the clear wax.
I found mine at a great store in Falls Church, VA called Stylish Patina. Chalk
Paint is a little pricy, but it goes A VERY LONG WAY! I did the whole dining
set with just 1 can!!! It’s also so worth it not having to sand or prime! Follow
labeled directions for painting and waxing your piece. I didn’t use the Annie
Sloan paint brush (way too expensive). If you have a Harbor Freight near you or
something similar just buy their medium grade brushes. They work perfectly and
for half the price. We bought 10 brushes for $15.

Before painting, remove your seat cushions and wipe down the entire furniture surface.

For the chairs I had a really hard time finding a budget
friendly fabric I liked. Willie thought of a great idea to go to HomeGoods and use
curtain fabric. We bought two 40” x 84” curtain panels for $19.99 compared to
the $80 I would have spent at a fabric store was such a great budget saving
option! Getting the old fabric off is the hard part, but then very easy process
to measure, cut, and staple the new fabric on.

Last touch to my new dining room was getting rid of the
hideous ceiling fan and replacing it with a chandelier and ceiling medallion.
Props to my amazing husband who surprises me every day with his handyman

And voilà…my beautiful new dining room. I hope you all love
it as much as I do!! I’m so ecstatic to share new family memories at this
table. I can only hope it brings as much togetherness as it did for the VP

My awesome table at Christmas with a stunning floral display from a very talented friend.