Saturday, February 1, 2014

Update your Furniture on a Budget!

The look of granite and natural stone is what a homeowner desires when they think of "new" or "updated". When looking at homes the expectation is that the kitchen and/ or bathrooms will have granite, marble or some unique countertop. The perceived value is higher walking into a room that sports a huge island with a shiny counter, it screams gourmet! The same goes with bedroom furniture, or an occasional table in a foyer. Many manufacturers are adding a touch of stone to their collections, as an accent piece. Granite is available in so many styles and colors! One of my favorite things to do is take friends and clients through the stone yard at my favorite place to buy countertops; Stone Tech
Walking through their lot you cannot image how many colors and exquisite natural stone exists. They carry the standard Uba Tuba, that became so popular, to Labrador in all colors and marble. The collection is unlimited with so many one of a kind looking specimens it is like walking through an art gallery! When my mom wanted to update her bedroom, she considered new furniture, but the cost was high, and her feeling was that nothing was wrong with what she had, so why spend excess money. Knowing how much she loved the new granite countertop we had installed in her kitchen ( from Stone Tech, of course!), I thought, "why not renovate the furniture?" As painting is my thing, and I love to re-purpose old furniture, we got started. Here you can see the original set; a six drawer dresser, platform bed and two nightstands. This set is teak, and was my original bedroom set when my husband and I first moved to New Jersey to start our life together. It was the most beautiful set; very sleek and modern but we felt classic in the natural teak wood. Over time, we bought a new set as our tastes changed and developed. My parents were moving to NJ from NY to be closer to our family; so we gave them our set so they had less to bring when they made the move.
Amazing what you can do with a little paint!
Mom wanted to lighter the look of the bed and make the furniture look richer! In order to paint this furniture, we needed to give it a soft sand and primer. We chose a chocolate color for the base. Adding ceramic hardware to the drawers changed the look entirely. We found a design that coordinated with the new bedding perfectly!
This hardware would change this Scandanavian teak set to give it a more French Provincial look. Next I chose a granite that I knew mom liked and painted the top of all pieces to look like natural stone! A few coats of glossy polyurethane and vwahlah!!! A new bedroom set! I was sure to paint the entire top, including the sides, as if this was real stone it would have this thickness and depth.
You can re-purpose anything! No need to spend a lot of money; go to a flea market, look on Craig's List for moving sales and put your imagination to work! This is the perfect solution when on a tight budget, updating a young child's room to a more teenage look, and especially for college dorm rooms and first apartments. A great way to add some of your personality to your room!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Inspiration is the key to new projects!

Funny how quickly time flies, and now I look at my blog and think, wow, I was going to write every week, or month, and now it has been way too long! So here is my new year hope… that I can get my thoughts on paper and express creative thoughts to whoever will read them.
Inspiration comes from all around us!
When my daughters were young they knew they could always count on me to be up for a "room change". They know it is my favorite thing to do, and as their taste level expanded, we would always be willing to change their room colors and genre. We went from soft pretty colors, to painting the sky full of clouds and bright yellow stars to deep golds, acid greens and woodland tones. When they moved into college their dorm rooms were a blank canvas to paint on, and then into apartments where they were able to better express their own sense of style. I wanted to show you a few pieces I painted, with a little inspiration, that re-purposed tired worn out pieces into fun and new items that they now will have forever! I have always re-painted, and re-used furniture, in fact my old bedroom set is still upstairs in one of their bedrooms, after being painted and painted again. Re-purposing furniture is the easiest thing to do! With some time and inspiration, you can do it too!
I used a primer, so that my colors would be clean and pure, and then acrylic paint in this case, as the item were small. All of these items were then coated with 3 coats of satin polyurethane to properly protect them. The satin finish helped the colors pop as well!
Here you can see, pillows I found with all the colors I knew she would love, with a Bohemian type motif. This little wicker and bamboo table was one my mom has had in her basement forever! Who doesn't love the stuff from Grandma's house! You can see what a transformation this made!
I then took this idea and moved on to the chairs we bought at a garage sale for her sister's apartment! Riding my bike to the farmer's market, I passed a driveway full of useful furniture that all I could think of the rest of the day was how I could paint! I rode back and bought these great old kitchen chairs, brought them home, and as you can see, added the same look to update them. My daughter did not want them fully painted so I carefully designed how to incorporate the look of the chair and the new motif I wanted to add… needless to say, she loves them!
Take time to let your inspiration be the source of a new project!