Repurpose an Old TV Armoire 

It’s so easy to look at a piece of furniture that was designed for one thing and not be able to see another purpose for it. Take the TV armoire for example. Back when we all had big box TV’s, this piece of furniture was incredibly popular because you could load your TV and VCR combo player, and stack all the boxy movies on the shelves or drawers, and close the doors to hide it all! So now that technology has given us the ever expanding flat screen TV, entertainment centers have become buffet-type cabinets meant to go under the flat screen. 

And now there’s a surprising surplus of old TV armoires! I’m not kidding! Run to your local thrift store and see for yourself!

There’s actually quite a lot you can do with an old TV armoire! At their core, they are pieces of furniture designed to be a storage solution. And with a little creativity, they still can be! 

I have two old TV armoires! We purchased one for the TV in our bedroom years ago, and I use it now for blankets, sheets and table linens! It sits here as a decorative piece in my living room! 


My 2nd armoire was given to me by a dear friend who needed it gone! I was thrilled! I’m using it for my office station to store all of the binders, books, bills and school paperwork that tends to clutter my counters. I also keep our laptop and charging dock there. In fact the holes in the back of the armoire create an excellent place to hide the charging cables! 

Before:


The piece was originally black, and it has a fun story:

When my friend’s home flooded a few years ago, this piece sat in 4” of water. It’s MDF legs swelled up and the paint cracked off. The insurance appraiser said it couldn’t be fixed, and he’s right. There is no good way to repair MDF. Since the legs are still structurally sound, I painted and distressed the area. It’s unoticeable with it’s coat of new white paint. 


To create more organized storage, I found crates at IKEA and used them to create some shelving. 

The paper organizer is from Target and there is one for each child’s school papers. When I have more time I may build legitimate shelves for this spot, but this is working great for now. I cut a board to go on top of the crates to create another shelf! All of this new shelving hides the cardboard backing piece that has a large hole in it. Eventually, I’ll attach a new piece of thin plywood there and cover it with wallpaper. 

Here’s another brilliant idea: my friend installed a rod at the top of this armoire so she could use this piece to hang all of her table cloths. Just think, with a curtain rod in an old TV armoire, the piece could be used as a true closet for clothes! 


My favorite part about armoires is that they provide a beautiful way to hide the mass quantities of stuff we have! We have a lot of people in our home, and there’s just a lot of stuff that goes along with it ! I absolutely love being able to close these doors and hide the clutter. 

Your turn to share! What ideas have you seen for old armoires? 

Barstools

I’m thrifty when it comes to furniture, you all should know that by now… I have such a hard time paying full price for something that I know could be found at a flea market, yard-sale or the buy/sale feeds. So when we moved into this house and decided we needed barstools I began hunting for the perfect stool!
I wanted quality and style and something that would last our family a long time. And I fell in love with the unique nickel finish on these stools from Ballard Designs that a gal was selling on FB. I searched for different styles, but kept coming back to these. So I decided to get the two from her and purchase two more directly from Ballard, that way I’d still be saving a little money.

But after buying them I realized they had backs that were not removable and Ballard no longer sold them in this finish with backs! I even called and asked where I could get more with backs. They sell them with the backs in different colors just not the nickel finish! I begged them to backorder, start selling them again, or somehow point me in a direction where I could get them. They were quite rude about it actually… “google it” were her exact words… I will definitely think twice before ordering from them again.

Still, I purchased the two stools without backs and thought we could get away with mismatched stools. Unfortunately, the mixed stools drove me crazy. Furthermore, the kids would spin and the backs would bang against the counter. I hated that.
So I decided the backs had to go! My bestie’s hubby was a total saint and cut the backs of the two old stools off for me.

The parts that needed cutting.

I removed the wooden seat and he cut and grinded them smooth like this:

I made him some cookies in exchange, which was totally not enough. My boys screwed the wooden seats back on and loved using the power  screwdriver.

I am so happy with 4 matching stools!

I saved about $400 by thrifting the two stools, and am so grateful for good friends with saws!!

Changes

Just when I thought we were going to be moving to another state, my husband’s company switched gears on us, and offered him a position where he’ll be working from home! Since he’ll be in this position for 5 to 10 years, we decided to put our roots down here in Texas and buy a home! 

We fell in love with a cute little craftsman, put an offer on it and then learned that school in that district started two days later! We thought we had 3 weeks of summer left, but not wanting our kids to move during a school year, we frantically enrolled them and they started with everyone! (You should have seen us at the mall the night before school started! We had one hour to do our back-to-school clothes shopping!) 

Here are some pics of the new house from the listing agent! 




We fell in love with the green space and view in the back yard, the extra details, the white kitchen (I can’t even! Aaahhh!!), and the media room! That’s what sold the kids! (If you know us well, you’ll know what movie bums we are!!) 

Since we still have the rental home for another month, we left it staged and brought half of our things over. We are now living a very temporary lifestyle, with only half of us in our beds!  I travel back and forth every day to do laundry and move our things over! We don’t have any dressers moved yet, and I never knew how much I’d miss dressers to keep clothes in! 

Stay tuned for more projects and pictures as we get settled! 

Home Office Redo

I’ve been so excited to create a home office space for my hubby! We found some furniture at a consignment store, and painted the walls Benjamin Moore’s Evening Dove!

Take a look:

Before:


After:

DIY – Chalk Paint – Part 1

I’m starting a 3 part series on chalk paint! The do’s and don’ts and the how to’s! I’ll be dispelling the myths, and offering some handy tips to make your projects go smoother! Chalk paint sticks to slick surfaces well and distresses beautifully. It’s also easy to obtain fabulous layers with different colored paints and waxes. It’s not the perfect paint for every project, but it comes in handy at times. 

 Did you know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for chalk paint? In fact it’s incredibly simple to make it yourself when you use Calcium Carbonate powder. (I’ve tried the Plaster of Paris method, but feel like it never gets mixed well, and stays grainy.)
Here are the steps:


1. Mix 2tbs hot water with 4tbs calcium carbonate powder. 

2. Mix for a “pancake batter” type consistency. 

3. Add 1 cup of latex paint. “Flat” sheen works the best, but “eggshell” is fine too. 

4. Mix well! 

Store paint for up to a week in an airtight container. 

If paint is too thick, add water. If paint is too runny, let it sit open for a few hours. 

Paint your favorite project and seal with polycrilic or wax!

Easy! 

You’ll be surprised at how much it covers! This desk required less than 1/2 of a quart of paint! Try buying sample sizes! At $8 or less, you’ve just saved almost $35 from the big (unnamed) manufacturer’s fancy paint! 

Do you have a favorite color that only the big chalk paint manufacturer makes? Check out Pinterest for a list of those colors in Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore colors. 

Now it’s your turn: What are some chalk paint fails you’ve experienced? Has every project been amazing? Do you love chalk paint? Or do you kind of hate it?! 

The Tornado Couch

This month, instead of taking my usual trip to the Canton Trade Days, we made the drive out to Canton with Mormon Helping Hands to help the tornado victims.

Knowing how much I love furniture, my son found me a couch! And I’m sharing it here because it really changed my perspective!


I couldn’t believe the damage that the tornadoes caused.

It was just shocking! There was a total of 7 tornadoes on the ground and they killed 8 people. Hundreds of homes were destroyed, and lives were changed in an instant.

This family’s home was lifted 6″ off the ground and set back down again, destroyed. We found an entire wall, luggage, clothing, pictures, and the refrigerator all smashed and ruined underneath gigantic felled trees!

It made me realize how fragile life can be!

Helping clear the land and working so hard felt good, and I left wishing we could do more.

I was also reminded how giving service to others often lightens your own load!  It was nice to take a break from my own problems and help someone else!

I have to admit, there was a small crazy part of me that thought about refinishing the couch…  But it was just too damaged. So I’m calling it the tornado couch. It taught me about service, it taught me about gratitude and it helped me be a little bit more aware of the needs of others.

Tutorial: Turn an old door into a shelf

Here are the steps we took to turn an old door into a wall shelf:

✔️Begin with an old door.

✔️Measure and cut a plank of wood plank to desired length for shelf. We used a piece of old barnwood measuring 1″ thick by 10″ wide.

✔️Attach shelf to the door using grabber screws. Screw goes through the back of the door into the wood. (Don’t forget to pre-drill holes or your wood will split!)  ✔️Measure and cut wood for corbels to desired lengths. We used 4″x9″x1″ for the “L” section!of the corbel.

✔️Miter one end of the corbels to 45 degree angle.

✔️Attach corbel “L” section using screws or brad nails.

✔️Cut 3″x6″ lengths for corbel brace. Miter both ends to a 45 degree angle. 
=”
/
echair.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/img_6292-2.jpg”>✔️Attach brace to corbel “L” section using Brad nails or screws.

✔️If your old wood plank is not square, push or pull while secure the corbel brace to level using a square tool to straighten the wood.

✔️Prep for paint. Sand as desired.

✔️If desired, fill the screw holes or brad nails with wood putty.

✔️Paint or stain as desired. For an extra chippy look, try putting a layer of wax or Vaseline in certain spots before you paint. The paint won’t stick to those areas and will scrape or sand right off for an old chippy look!

For hanging the shelf: ✔️Locate the studs in the wall. This can be tricky. Be sure to take your time measuring twice  and use a stud finder if possible.

✔️Measure, mark and Pre-drill holes on the door.

✔️Use long grabber screws and drill through door and into the studs. We used 4 long grabber screws.

Decorate and enjoy! 
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Mo’s Kitchen – Part 4 – The Shelf

I’ve been especially excited to share the story behind the old door to shelf project as part of Mo’s kitchen transformation! 
First off, I have to introduce these two: 


I wouldn’t be anywhere without them! 

I inherited the love of projects and working with my hands from my dad; and I got the love of thrifting, passion for decor, and DIY prowess from my mom. I also hope I inherited a teeny tiny portion of her incredible style! Their encouragement and support has always strengthened me throughout all my adventures, and I’m so grateful I get to be their daughter!! 

And now for the story! 

13 years ago, my sis-in-law gave me this old, wooden door that she found in her garage! 

I dreamed about converting it to a shelf or headboard for a while, but I have to admit, it lost it’s thrill as time passed. And then about 10 years ago, we moved, and in a giant purge I decided not to take the old door with me. Instead, I gave it to Mo, along with all of my dreams of ways it could be transformed.

Well the years went on, and through no fault of anyone’s, nothing ever happened with the door. And it was almost forgotten. 

And then last February, Mo and I started talking about her kitchen. She expressed her desire for a great kitchen that was painted and redecorated, and I began to get a vision of what she wanted! The very first thing I thought about, was to finally take that door and turn it into a shelf to place over her table.

During this past summer trip, I went to her house, took the door and rummaged through her old wood pile. I found some great barn wood planks that would work perfectly as the shelf. That night my dad and I stayed up way past midnight and put together this beauty!


I absolutely love how it turned out! It fits Mo’s fun style perfectly and looks incredible! The fact that I got to work on this project with my dad makes me love it even more! He taught me so many valuable skills during the project, and I loved watching his precision as he took time to measure twice and cut once to create the shelf!  


Ultimately, it is the love of my parents that put this shelf together. My mom encouraging us to never ignore the old, and to try new things; and my dad’s patience, know-how and excitement about projects! Even on late nights! 

I’m so glad it now has a place on my sister’s wall, watching over her and her family. I also hope that it will stand as a little a reminder of the love of our parents! 

Mo’s Kitchen – Part 3 – Decor

Mo had been using her alcoves to store decorations that she didn’t know what to do with. We found a treasure trove of goodies up there! I found this antique mercury thermometer: 

And this chicken wire frame:


As well as several old signs she had made! I stole one for myself! 

I also found some incredible platters, a blue pitcher, some spindles, and this chicken:


One of my favorite things to do with decor is to use or transform items that clients already own. I love giving new life to old things, and it saves lots of money if we can use what is already there!

So the platter, a sign, the spindles and thermometer went on the shelf (along with a strict mercury health-risk warning in case it were to ever break.) 

Since it’s July, I thought Mo’s old handmade sign was the perfect patriotic addition! 
The chicken wire frame got a fresh coat of paint and was hung here: 

Our mom gave Mo the boxwood wreath! I was a little jealous, but love seeing it there!Mo’s knife block was cute, but the green didn’t match. We used spray paint to give it a facelift. 


My son named the chicken Fred. And since we all agreed that chicken Fred didn’t look good in red, I painted him too! 

If they ever get tired of Fred’s watchful protection over the kitchen, they can try the freshly painted pitcher on the table instead! 

We also hung this wire platter on the wall! 

A few more fun facts:

-Mo’s incredible husband built the farmhouse table for her last year. 
-Mo found the high chair at a yard sale and painted it in all its chippy glory! She’s got some serious skills! 

-All of the decor you see here (except for the IKEA plants) was either a gift, thrifted or found at a yard sale! 

-The cost of the entire transformation was only the price of the paint! Everything else was already there just waiting for new life! 

Mo jokes that she has no style, but I disagree! She had it all under her fingertips and just needed someone to come in and put it in the right spots! I’m seriously so lucky that I got to be that someone! 

Mo’s Kitchen – Part 1

Every year the kids and I take a few weeks and drive to Utah to play with family. We send the boys to baseball camp at BYU, play at my parents’ cabin, shop, camp and enjoy the cool nights! 
This year I had the special treat of getting to paint and decorate my sister’s kitchen! (We call her “Mo” after Mohanna in the old Johnnie Lingo movie. She seriously is a 10-cow woman!! If you haven’t seen Johnnie Lingo, check it out!)
Anyway, Mo’s kitchen hadn’t been painted since 1999! It was a creamy yellow and she wanted a farmhouse update! 
Before:

She wanted gray walls, and had painted her basement in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, but was worried that with all of her dark woods, Revere Pewter would look too beige. I agreed. 

So we tried some samples of Sherwin Williams’ Repose Gray, and Agreeable Gray. 

Design Tip: ALWAYS paint a few test samples to try in the room before you paint. Don’t just look at pics online to decide your color, and don’t try to evaluate how your entire room will look using the teeny tiny chip at the paint store. Lighting, woodworking, and built-ins all factor into how the color will look on your walls! 

I buy the sample sizes and either paint a board to move around the room, or paint sample colors directly on the wall so I can evaluate what the color looks like in corners and next to permanent features. 

Our test samples in Mo’s kitchen were a lot darker than she wanted. She has a beautiful dark wood ceiling so dark paint would make the room feel smaller. We needed a warm light gray to keep a bright fresh feeling in the room.  
So we chose Agreeable Gray, and had the folks at Sherwin Williams lighten it by 75%. (Meaning, they only add 25% of the color to the can.)

That test proved to be too white, so we took the paint back and had them change it to 50%. 


This pic is Agreeable Gray, and the paint around it shows it lightened by 50%. (Meaning, they added 50% of the color to the can, making it 50% lighter.)

Armed with our Sure Line edging tools and paint brushes, we cranked up the music and began! 

The color was a perfect soft, calming and very subtle gray that brightened the room and made it feel fresh! We were thrilled! 

While we painted, we danced, giggled and even cried a little! We solved the world’s problems while we worked, and I just loved spending so much time with that incredible girl! 

I’m so excited to share the results!!