Thursday, September 12, 2013

Steppin' up to a ReDesign Challenge

There are so many great fall festivals and events around St. Louis this year. Sadly, we've had to limit RDFCo. to two. Trust me, it wasn't easy not applying to some of our faves. Somehow I managed to sit on my hands until the application periods were over.

We're currently gearing up for an Etsy Pop-Up in early October (we'll be sharing more info soon). A few days after that, we're taking on a whole new challenge. We were tapped to participate in a local fundraiser called Lost + (F)ound to benefit Perennial (a community workshop and store in St. Louis offering educational programming in creative reuse and sells creatively repurposed home furnishings and eco-friendly supplies for reuse projects.)

Besides the promise of wine, beer, pie and paper pinwheels, the event also features a ReDesign Challenge. Local artists, architects and designers are given three windows and have to transform them into a usable and functional piece for the home. The items are auctioned off at the event, with all proceeds benefiting Perennial. Since I love a good competition, I said hell yes!

Last week we picked up our windows. We aren't allowed to purchase anything new for them. We can take them apart and use fasteners to create a unique piece. They also provided us with green paint strippers and paint. We've already been kicking around some ideas & I can't wait to get started. Stay tuned for an update!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pottery Barn Tivoli Table Knock-Off

As you may have noticed, RDFCo. has taken a little break these last few months, as we are in the process of building a new home. Typically, we do all of our work out of our house and garage and our two-room,  second-floor apartment doesn't lend itself to building. {insert frown here}

Last month, out of the blue, we got an email from the person who purchased one of our tables from our very first show, almost a year ago. She was wanted a table similar to Pottery Barn's Tivoli Console table. Of course, we wanted to make it happen!

The Tivoli table is long and skinny and measures 84.5" long x 17" deep x 30.5" high. She wanted similar legs and no drawers. Here's a pic of the inspiration:

Pottery Barn Tivoli Knockoff
Pottery Barn Tivoli Table

Jeff wanted to find one piece of wood that could be used for the top. Because the table would be so narrow and long, a door wasn't going to be possible. We found a large (and very heavy) piece of white oak at a local hardwoods store. It was harvested about 50 years ago in Ohio. It's supposed to be close to 100 years old!

Once we dug all of his tools out of storage, Jeff got to work!

Here's shot before it was stained.


And here's the finished product. Nearly perfect match!

Pottery Barn Tivoli Knockoff
Tivoli Table

Pottery Barn Tivoli Knockoff

The board came with a couple of cracks on one end. We opted to leave them in. Cutting it would have made the table too short, and, since we wanted a more worn, rustic look, it fits the table well.

Pottery Barn Tivoli Knockoff
Tivoli Table
Jennifer is coming tomorrow to pick it up -- we can't wait for her to see it!

Friday, August 9, 2013

5 on Friday: Best Interior Design Reads of the Week

I tell you what...TGIF! It's been one of those weeks. That's turned into one of those months! If you don't follow me on Instagram, here's a peek at our shenanigans last weekend. (Which, evidently involved lots of beer, waffles and a goat). On a side note, I'm going thru fried chicken withdrawals.

So, I'm back for another 5 on Friday. I'll be working on a new project to share soon (involving liming wax. yay!) Until then, I've got interior design on the brain. Not just for the new place, but I'm taking a couple classes this fall that I'm excited about.

Despite everyone being on vaca and taking a blogging break, I found a ton of great posts out there this week. Here's my top 5. I hope they inspire you as much as they have me!

1/ Because I'm Addicted: How to Mix & Match Art Wall

Mr. VB really wants a gallery wall going up our staircase and I'm all for it. Most of our artwork is in  classic black frames...but, I'm loving the mix of black, silver, gold, wood, black & white, color, mixed media, etc. that I've been seeing lately. I'm hoping to pull something like this off for our wall.

2/ La Dolce Vita: Defining Design: Eclectic Interiors

Eclectic Interiors

Paloma does a great job of helping you dive into creating an eclectic room in this article. It's a look I'm hoping to achieve in our house. The number one tip: it's all about layers! This look works good for couples who have different doesn't matter! Mix it up -- it's more personal that way and truly "yours."

3/ Joy the Baker: Into Color

What an awesome workspace! Joy give step-by-step instructions on how she painted her walls (actually, it's a video) and I loooove how she uses her own artwork as the focal point. Mr. VB and I are pretty much against buying anything "cookie cutter" to hang. We try to stick to our own photographs, artwork we pick up on vacation, or something we've created. Our rule of thumb, it has to mean something to us. And, because it was on clearance at Target isn't a reason.

4/ Apartment Therapy: Let's Learn About Color

Let's Learn About Color
This is a biggie for me right now! My Pinterest board for the new place has lots of color...when we tend to lean towards light blues. It's going to be a huge step -- but I really want to brighten things up! This post broke down the feelings different colors have and explains the 80/20 rule.

5/ The Mustard Ceiling: Bam or Slam: Colorful Sofas

Colorful Sofas
What color is your sofa? Ours is khaki. Sand. Light tan. Blah. Our walls will be white. Ivory Lace, actually. We've already reached our budget, and while I enjoy painting furniture, I don't enjoy painting walls. The cutting in. The tape that doesn't work. The splatters and spills. My solution: a colorful sofa! BTW: The Mustard Ceiling also has a great recap of last week's Haven conference. I would love to go next year!
Do you have any good design reads for the past week? Let me know!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From a First-Timer: Three Tips for Using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

This post first appeared on my other blog, Vanilla Bean

As promised, here are my lessons learned, or three tips, for getting started with using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. I'm not going into a ton of how-to detail below...MMS and others out there do a great job of giving milk paint tutorials. The tips below highlight the biggest "pains" (for lack of a better word) I had. I'm just the average furniture painter...with some projects under her belt. Looking to branch out. So, here we go...

1. Watch Miss Mustard Seed's video tutorial. Alot.

I watched the first tutorial three times. Okay...maybe four. But, that last time was solely just to hear that catchy little intro music she has. The videos are helpful and reassuring...mixing your own paint can be scary. And, the texture is unlike any other paint. It's best to be prepared... 

2. Use a mason jar to mix your paint.

At first, I tried the "mix in a plastic cup" method. There's a couple possible reasons why this wasn't working for me. I put in waaaay too much water. Like a 3 (water)-1 (milk paint powder) ratio. Due to the lack of a nice wooden stick like MMS uses, I used a knife to stir the paint. Then the end of my favorite wooden spoon (may it RIP). I'm also a very impatient person. After mixing for what seemed like 5 agonizing hours, I still had this:

So, I put the proper amounts (1:1 ratio of milk paint powder and warm water) in a mason jar and shook away. I added a tad bit more water (technically, the suggested ratio is 1 part powder to 1 1/2 parts water). MUCH better. While the texture of milk paint is alot different than other paints (it's grainy), it was smooth, mixed and much easier to paint on.

Super cute jar you won't see a trifle in later this week.

 3. Throw caution to the wind.

For the most part, once you put milk paint on, you don't know what's going to happen. While MMS does have a bonding agent that prevents the chippiness; for me, the purpose of buying this paint WAS the chippiness. The paint on your piece might chip and flake off easily. There might not by any chipping at all. Or, there might be a little. With a some effort. But, that's what makes it so fun.

The dresser below was stained and looked like it had a layer of poly on it. I didn't sand it. I barely cleaned the dust off it. In some areas (mostly the sides), the chippiness took alot of work with a putty knife (and even then, I barely had any). There were areas on the top and on the dresser drawers where the paint cracked and were easier to chip off with the putty knife. It wasn't an easy took some work. But, I know that was just this piece. Other people have different results. Which is the cool part about this paint.

Also, once the milk paint was dry and adequately flaked off, I was freaking out a bit. I used the color Tricycle. It was a dull red. I was a little mad. Look at the drawers below. Dull!

I finished the piece with Annie Sloan's dark wax...simply because I had some on hand. MMS  has a whole line of finishing products that I look forward to using soon. I should have known from my experience with chalk paint, that once the wax is applied, the real transformation begins.

The colors popped. The chippiness stood out. And, the entire piece is sooo smooth.

I was in love.

{Please standby for an obscene amount of photos of the same dresser. It's mandatory}.

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Tricycle

So, that's it! Here's the before and after. Technically, this piece is slated to be in our closet (Mr. VB thinks it's a shame). I'm starting to think so too.

If you haven't jumped onto the milk paint bandwagon yet, I hope these tips help you! I would love to hear your thoughts on your first time with milk paint!

City Farmhouse
The 36th Avenue

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Side Table Makeover

I knew that despite living in a cramped apartment for 3 months, there was going to be no way I could not paint. Something. Heck, the very last thing I packed in my Jeep was my stash of Annie Sloan paints & waxes. I even strategically arranged our storage area...the things I intend to paint are all accessible.

First (and easiest to reach) was a little side table I picked up at Goodwill a few years ago on the cheap. It was either $6 or $12. I painted it cottage white and distressed it. It spent several happy years in our living room.

I decided to go with Aubusson Blue and Antibes Green, because: 1)  I have like a gallon of Aubusson. And, 2) while I've always been a little scared of Antibes, I've been seeing it alot lately and it's growing on me.

I'll admit, my first attempt wasn't great. I didn't quite achieve the look I was going for. (What that look was, I still don't know).

My sister hated it. Mr. VB gave it the ol' stink eye every time he walked past it. Even Allie and Marley wouldn't look at it.

I knew I had to try again.

I stuck with the Aubusson on the outside, with a surprise of Antibes inside. A coat of dark wax gave it the old and antique look (and tones down the green).

I distressed it a bit so a little Antibes peeks thru in different spots. That's what I love about painting furniture and's pretty hard to mess up. And, if you do, just start over.

Next up is a dresser similar to Miss Mustard Seed's below. I have one almost identical. I haven't tried her milk paint yet, but can't wait. I love the chippy look it gives to furniture. Stay tuned!

Linking to: Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Green with Indie Preview

Paint. Sew. Strip. Stain. Sleep. Wine. Whine. Repeat.

That's been life around our house lately. We're not only getting ready for our first show of 2013, Green with Indie, but we're also working on a very unique custom order. Once we get it all finished up, we'll be sharing all of the details. Until then, here's a sneak peek:

door table

Our inventory in our Etsy store has been pretty low as we're stock piling stuff for GWI. We've been working on alot of really cool, upcycled and repurposed home goodies (it's what GWI is all about). I thought I would share some of the stuff we'll be bringing. There's still a couple of cool pieces made from old boat wood that we'll be bringing, but here's a couple other things:

Chalkboard made from antique cabinet door and handmade pillows made from vintage grain sacks.

Corkboard made from an old mirror. Distressed with ASCP

Handpainted, distressed and waxed Union Jack on canvas

Large pillow made from coffee grain sack and vintage grain sack scraps
Chalkboard upcycled from antique mirror. Handpainted and distressed.

Antique letterpress side table with hairpin legs

Side table with antique sewing machine legs

Side table with antique sewing machine legs

Stool recovered in coffee grain sack
Coffee table made from old door on hairpin legs

Paris cabinet door side table