Our first project

I had to reach back into the archives for this one! Before we bought all the fancy tools and built an extra shed for our woodworking ventures, we were just a couple with a handy wife and a husband who was willing to learn. Man, have we come FULL CIRCLE!

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you our first project – our dining room table.

Never did I think that we would become talented enough to make a farmhouse table, and not just one but several. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my hubby and all the skills he’s learned since this first project 3 years ago. He has by far surpassed my skills by leaps and bounds.

With all that said, this is still a really cool refurbish and I got the “farmhouse” look that I was wanting – not to mention it was cheap, quick and easy!

First we started with this table that I got on Craigslist for $25:

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We headed to Home Depot (our second home) and picked up some wood for about $75, a nail gun and went to work. We measured the wood, cut it and nailed it down by puzzle-piecing the wood together.

Pretty simple! I’ve been thinking that maybe it’s time for a new dining room table, now that we have brushed up on our skills and actually know what we are doing. But, I’m just not sure I can ever part with this table!DSC_0031 - Copy (1024x681).jpg

 

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Don’t sit too close to the television 

Growing up, I’m sure we can all recall the highlight of our weekend…Saturday morning cartoons!!! The TV becomes such a focal point as we grow up, so why not repurpose it?

This is the exact television that my husband grew up with. Thanks to my mother-in-law’s reluctance to get rid of anything, we snatched this up, took out the guts of the TV, installed some shelves and painted the shell. Wow, this piece just got a total facelift AND a new purpose!

So, who’s ready to binge watch some TV?

 

Goodwill = Good finds

Let me tell ya….Thrift stores are WHERE IT’S AT!!  When I have friends who are moving into new homes or redecorating I tell them…LET ME TAKE YOU THRIFTING!

You find the most unique pieces that make your home and decor one of a kind. Sometimes you have a to have a little imagination and sometimes you have to have a lot, but the outcome is TOTALLY worth it!

I found this little beauty at Goodwill for $60!!!  Can you believe that?! It was originally $75, but I talked them down. Yes, you can do that!

At first glance it looks like something that should be in your great-grandma’s house (no offense to all the great-grandma’s out there).

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With a coat of gray paint and a white accent…We now have a new home for all of my husband’s books! It is such a eye catcher and I have people ask me all the time where I got it. Now I have this impressive story of how I made this piece my own!

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Go ahead, try it! Step out of your comfort zone and create something beautiful from something ordinary.

One man’s trash

Wow! It is been quite some time since we have posted on here! Thanks for sticking with us!

Today I wanted to share something that we’ve made for our own home. When we moved into our first house, we were looking for inexpensive ways to furnish and design our space. I frequented local furniture stores and just “pined” (no pun intended -haha!) over the beautiful pieces.  I wanted a new television console and one in particular caught my eye, but it was priced close to $600. We did not have it in our budget at the time to splurge on that, so with some creativity and ingenuity we made it happen – on our own terms!

First, this was my inspiration at the furniture store. Sorry for the bad picture, but I had to snap a quick picture: IMG_2428.JPG

After 2 weeks of moping around about not getting my new console table, my husband came home with a treasure in the back of his truck. Someone had left this little beauty on the side of the road. He had high hopes for it, but to be honest I was skeptical!

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With a fresh coat of paint, new hardware and some wood fastened to the base to replicate the inspiration picture…..

Voila! The finished product. And I even like it better than the one at the store! 🙂 DSC_0008 (2)

This just goes to show you that truly one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If you’re looking to redecorate, don’t ignore the goodies someone has left at the curb! You’ll never know what you can find and then RECREATE!!  Happy hunting!

Herringbone Table

This was our first project that wasn’t for a particular customer, but one that we brainstormed and created. This piece was made using reclaimed wood and has a beautiful rustic feel. I love the look of the natural wood and this herringbone pattern has me swooning! If only Matt would have let me keep it! Haha! But, I know that the proud new owner of this table is going to fall in love with this table!!

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Potting Table

Although, we might be a couple that is handy and crafty we certainly do NOT have a green thumb! (As of right now, I’ve kept 12 plants alive for a month – I’m proud to report, that’s a new record!)

Our client, a gardening enthusiast, requested a potting bench, and THAT is right up our alley. We’ll stick to the woodworking and leave the planting to her!

Each new project presents new obstacles for us. We typically create custom pieces that are unique and one of a kind – which means we are creating that piece for the first time. This piece proved to be no different. Our client wanted a metal top so that clean up after potting would be easy peezy! We accepted the challenge and added a fun new piece to our portfolio! This was the client’s inspiration:We started out by using pressure treated pine to create the base of the table. We then glued and nailed galvanized steel to the table top. After thorough clamping and gluing the metal table top was secure and we then attached a cedar hutch to the top. 

We stained the wood with outdoor water-resistant deck stain and then used Thompson’s Wood Sealer to ensure the piece would be weather resistant.

With the addition of some hardware and trim to create a clean finished look, the potting table was ready for action! It’s an almost exact replica of the $1,900 Pottery Barn inspiration the client wanted! 

Industrial Coffee Table

We have close friends who recently bought their very first house, and let me tell ya it is SUPER cute! (We are so happy for them!) In the process of making their new house a home, they are purging their old, outdated items for a fresh new look. So, they asked if we would help them recreate their space by making them a coffee table. We were stoked to start this project and give our friends a piece that they would love.

Our friends had a specific vision for their living room: rustic, antique, industrial. They gave us this picture, measurements and instructions that they wanted darker stain. So, I went to work!
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I was determined to make this my first solo woodworking project! Matt was working his tail-end off on a beautiful armoire (more on that in a later post), so I wanted to try to do this one all on my own!

I started off strong! I drew up the plans, figured out all the measurements and how much lumber I would need. After fetching the materials from our local lumberyard, Intercity Lumber, I cut all the pieces and began to construct the frame of the table.

Well, wouldn’t you know – I hit a road block, the X’s. After hours of measuring angles, cutting, googling how to make x’s, cursing, whining, crying, throwing the x’s across the yard and wasting 16 ft of 2×4’s I broke down and enlisted the help from the hubby! Voila! He is my life saver! 10

After the mini catastrophe, I finished assembling the frame of the table. As I was assembling, I spark23ed an idea to add a little extra industrial pizzazz. So, without consulting our friends, I went on a hunch that they would appreciate the extra touch and added a metal detail to the bottom shelf. I LOVE it and I think they do too!

Here are a few pictures of the table during the building process: 12321

After some planing, sanding and staining – ta’da! We have a finished product:

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Ignore the saw dust on the shelf! Whoops!

 

We are so happy to share our love of woodworking with the people around us!

Creating Your Dream Space

Recently, my best friend (who insists on being referred to as Penny Lane for the purpose of this blog – yes, she’s a weirdo) moved into a super awesome condo in Arlington, VA with her new husband. These newlyweds love their condo, but hadn’t really made it “theirs”. So, since we lived together for 2 years and she knows how obsessed I am about decorating, she naturally asked me for help in transforming her condo into a trendy space that represented their style.

When I started asking “Penny Lane” how she envisioned her new space she h41m9dkw4mzl-_sy300_ad no idea of the direction she wanted to take. The only input she gave me was that: 1.) She was planning on shopping at Ikea 2.) She wanted pops of color 3.) She was planning on buying an ottoman and 4.) She wanted to incorporate their leather couch and Ikea Poang chair and footstool, which they already own.

This is what sparked this blog post: “Penny Lane” had no idea where to start – no vision, no colors (except for saying “maybe blue”), no inspiration. Designing comes natural to me and it was really surprising to find that she was having such a hard time with this.

Below is a picture of the ottoman she originally sent me  – which is nice, however I know her style and this wasn’t screaming “Penny Lane” to me. She only chose it because she said it had a pattern and she wanted something to break up all the black in the room.IMG_1515

 As soon as I saw this picture I realized, maybe not everyone sees a room and automatically has a vision for how to transform it. So, I thought I would share with you the process I use to design a room….that’s right folks – I’m sharing my secrets!

Step 1: Find an Inspiration

First stop, Pinterest! Pinterest is your friend! Now, let me preface this with “YOU WILL NOT GET AN EXACT REPLICA OF A PINTEREST ROOM”. The inspiration is not meant to be literal, but something to base your design off of. This was hard for “Penny Lane” at first – I had to reiterate that we were not looking to replicate the room to a tee, but just mirror some of the basic ideas. Search for 1 main theme that you want to incorporate into your design (i.e.: Farmhouse table, sectional couch, industrial shelving, etc). Since I knew Penny Lane wanted to keep her leather couch I simply searched “Black leather couch” on Pinterest and picked 3 designs that I thought might represent the couple well. This helped narrow down their vision – See below:

Step 2: Go shopping – but, don’t buy anything!

Since Penny Lane and her husband planned to purchase their items at Ikea I started my hunt on the Ikea website for some pieces that would help create these looks. First, the rugs:

Then, the ottoman – which incorporates her pop of color:

 

A throw blanket – which I feel you can never have too many of! Throw blankets help to create different textures, levels and patterns in a room:blanket

And finally, I did some searching for pillow covers on Amazon to complete the look and put them in a folder for her to choose from. In my opinion, you can never have too many pillows! At one time I had 46 throw pillows in my house – haha, not kidding – I’m crazy about pillows! ***HINT – Pillow covers are SUPER cheap on Amazon (We are talking some as low as $2). If you are looking to makeover a room on a dime and already have throw pillows you should TOTALLY consider shopping on Amazon. I will add though, they might take a while to be shipped – so be aware of shipment time. But in my experience, as long as you read the reviews you will get a pillow cover of GREAT quality for less than half the price you would pay at a department store. You didn’t even have to leave your couch AND you’re re-purposing your old design items – WIN, WIN!

 

Step 3: Download Pic Collage

This is my ALL time favorite app. I use it for everything!!! Whenever I want to see how different design elements will look together I go immediately to this app. Seriously, if you don’t have it – GET IT! Best part, it’s free!! I use this app to cut and paste to create a personalized vision whether it be for a room, an outfit or even for my wedding. I play around with all the options until I find something that I think really works. This was the vision I came up with for Penny Lane and her husband’s living room:

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Step 4: Buy and Design!

Now that you have your personalized vision – get out there and shop away! Don’t be afraid to buy a few items and mix and match until you come up with the right combo – You can ALWAYS return items that you don’t need/use.

Try to stick to the picture you created in Pic Collage. Whip the photo out as a reference for your design as you shop. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shopping and found an item I  “had to have” which is usually WAY over my budget and then refer back to my vision and realize – that’s not really what I want. I am always drawn to “eastern” looks like Moroccan and Indian – but I don’t want my whole house to look like that. So, I use my design to keep me in check with the vision for that particular room.

Go to thrift stores and less expensive stores such as Ikea, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory & Tuesday Morning (those are my go-to’s). Decorating a room does NOT have to be pricey – so, think thrifty!

Well, are you ready to see the finished product of Penny Lane and her husband’s living room, that I helped design from 909 miles away? Here it is:DSC00343

DSC00348Before this design, they had only a couch, chair and footstool and one under utilized coffee table – no pillows, blankets, ottoman or rug. Now, they have a beautiful room that is modern,  purposeful and has that pop of color they were looking for! I love this look for them and I’m eager to start working with them on their next room – the master bedroom! Oh, la la!

Have questions or want some advice on your own design? Don’t be shy – contact me! I’d LOVE to help!

A Chair of Generations

This latest project landed in my lap one Sunday afternoon while on a furniture hunt. This is my favorite part of what we do, you never know when you’ll find your next project.

Here I was, barrelling into this women’s driveway with furniture practically spilling out of the back of my truck (if you know me and my driving, you know that this is a very accurate statement). Of course, she had to ask what in the heck I was doing and when I explained what we do, she immediately said, “Well, I have this chair”. I love when this happens!

This chair has been sitting in her garage for months and is the last remaining chair from her grandmother’s Broyhill dining room set. The customer had desperately wanted her pre-teen daughter to use it as her desk chair since it holds such sentimental value, but the daughter refused to even consider the chair in its original condition. That’s where I come in. They gave me a quick tour of the daughter’s bedroom, which was in the process of being redecorated in a beach theme. I suggested adding some rope and the pre-teen was sold, and I was super excited to work on this very special project!

This was the first time I’d ever incorporated rope into a refinish and I am SOOO happy with the outcome! The customer and her daughter are planning on reupholstering the seat together, so the chair isn’t done, done – but my part of the chair is complete! I can’t wait to see it completely finished with the new seat!


 

 

I hope the customer’s daughter loves this chair as much as I do! And I think I’m going to look around my own house and see where I can incorporate a rope re-do!!

Wooden Headboard

It took a lot of procrastinating and pondering, but I finally got up the gumption to ditch my 56986ab9c732ebdb4f05d659f95d4d39extra tall, black, iron headboard. I’ve held onto this monstrous statement piece since my bachelorette pad, however it really isn’t my style anymore. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and I got a ton of compliments on it but it was its time to go!

So, after Pinterest-ing my little heart out I found inspiration and decided to make one myself!

I headed to good ole’ Home Depot and picked up 4, 1″x8″x8′ spruce boards and 2, 1″x2″x8′ and cut them down to 1x8x7to fit our King sized bed.

As I mentioned before, I am pretty impatient. If there is one thing that I have learned through all of my trial and error projects, wood preparation is KEY!! I have become a pro at sanding down a piece of wood til it’s as smooth as a baby’s bottom! Do not skip this step! I seem to have this conversation over and over again with clients. They want us to refinish a piece of furniture and think that just by slapping a coat of paint on it, the piece will look good as new. Not true! Any imperfection that you can see or feel on the wood WILL show up, even after a fresh coat of paint!  I repeat, SANDING IS IMPORTANT!! Ok, rant over.

After sanding all the boards down I applied a wood conditioner to eliminate blotchiness. I then stained the wood using a whitewash stain. I wanted the wood to have a light color but I still wanted to highlight the grain of the wood, so a whitewash stain was perfect. This is what I used:

I then laid the boards face down and used a spacer board between each slat to ensure everything was symmetrical. I attached all boards to 2, 1″x2″x4ft boards that serve as the legs. Once all the boards were attached, I flipped the headboard over and drilled holes in the front to insert the wooden plugs. I used a rubber mallet to pound in the wooden plugs and used the white wash wood stain to match the wooden plugs to the rest of the headboard. Voila! My headboard was complete!

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