Four for Friday: December 22, 2018

Four things I’m loving this week, all with a nod toward rustic, effortless, French-ness. C’est chic, indeed.

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  1. I found this vintage, hand-painted French Country sign in North Georgia, of all places, but it reminds me of something you’d see in a perfect French restaurant, whilst eating the best roast chicken of your life.
  2. I’ve been looking for a perfectly worn-in vintage ladder for some time. And while this one isn’t old, it has exactly the look (and price) I’m going for — just the thing to set near the TV and display blankets and throws.
  3. The cover of this cookbook obviously drew me in but the recipes (which include soufflés, sauces, and everything impossibly French) are excellent, too.
  4. It just doesn’t get more chic than Diptyque.

Estate Sale Finds

I went estate sale-ing last week and came away with some pretty magical pieces! I also finally moved my burl wood and mirrored liquor cabinet into the dining room and styled it up a bit with some recent finds. The hand-carved cheetah is from Mexico (thrifted!) and the gorgeous pink painting is from an estate sale.

estate sale burled wood liquor cabinet

burl wood liquor cabinet estate sale art

Other pieces I picked last week:

Mid-Century Arlene Sherman litho. This piece was a steal at $45. Sherman’s work goes for $1,600-plus on auction sites and sites like 1st Dibs. This piece is gorgeous in person, such a great blend of modern and bohemian.

vintage arlene sherman midcentury signed lithograph

Vintage red and black snake painting: This just screams Gucci, which is entirely why I bought it. It’s stunning (and pictured here with my thrifted carved cheetah).

gucci style snake painting

I found this piece in a pile of trash by the road! It’s by an artist I love, too (I’ve bought four of her works so far but never thought I’d score one for free!).

estate sale art midcentury mountain scene

 

 

Four for Friday

Four things I’m loving this week, from Jenna Lyons’ chic AF digs to a bright and cherry mid-century painting.

Four for Friday December 15

  1. Jenna Lyons opened the doors to her Soho loft to the New York Times this month and it is drop. Dead. Gorgeous. The deep green hallway, the marble tub, the shoe closet…
  2. I picked up this mid-century mixed media painting in Atlanta a few weeks ago. The vivid hues are great and I love a still life. This would be spectacular in a kitchen.
  3. Turmeric has been the “it” spice for the past year or so, and with good reason: it has a slew of health benefits, from reducing inflammation to providing skin with that whole “lit from within” thing for which we’re all endlessly striving. You can add it to smoothies, put a teaspoon in tea… and with packaging this cute, you can leave it on your counter for all to see.
  4. Yes, it’s expensive. But this French toothpaste is pretty enough to be wrapped under a Christmas tree — and it’s just begging to go into a guest bathroom.

Goodwill Hunting: Art Finds

I recently took a couple of short trips — one to the Atlanta area and one to Orlando — to eat, shop, and of course do some thrifting. I got A LOT of amazing goodies, but figured I’d update first with my most recent art finds. I simply love all of these pieces. I don’t know anything about the artists (all of the pieces are signed), but find each piece fascinating in its own way.

I got the first two pieces from an estate sale. They are both massive (honestly it was hard to fit them in the car) and I felt like I had to rescue them. They were stuffed in a corner of a garage, priced at $10. The woman working the sale even asked me why I wanted them. Why not?! They’re so interesting. I am calling the guy “The Gym Stud” and the woman is Susan.

estate sale art vintage portrait

Vintage portraits estate sale

This little piece was just $1 at an antique fair. I love the colors and shapes.

one dollar vintage art

These prints are pretty major. I knew what they were as soon as I scooped them off a shelf at a Goodwill, and a glance at the back confirmed it (they still had their original tags). Fornasetti Faces, for $2 each.

Fornasetti Goodwill

This piece was more expensive at $50. I’ve been #blessed by the thrift gods to get art for literally pennies, but as an art-lover, I fully realize the value (I also collect new art, by contemporary artists, so I have certainly forked over more than $2 before.) For this piece, $50 was still a great buy. It’s from the 70s but in great condition. Beautiful colors.

antique fair art

And this is my favorite piece of the bunch. I scored her at a thrift store in the greater Daytona area. According to the volunteer at the shop, the painting had just been dropped off, so I really lucked out. It’s signed ’83, but looks so ’70s. Excellent condition, really a museum-quality piece. Oh, and the best part? The tag said $10 and it was 50% off day, so I got her for $5.

80s doing 70s art

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One Room Challenge, Week Seven: The Full Monty

before and after one room challenge

Has it been seven weeks of the One Room Challenge already? This has been great fun, to be honest, though the past couple of months has not been easy in the least — first, we discovered that none of the windows in half of the house had been sealed. Ever. Which meant that we had a massive amount of water, mold, and bugs in the walls — all of which had to be torn out.

giphy-downsized

The corner of the house (in the living room and master bedroom) had to be jacked up on a stilt and re-built so that it wouldn’t crumble. And as hard as it was (my uncle did all that work), it was a blessing in disguise that it was finished when it was: Hurricane Irma hit just a week later. Jacksonville was hit pretty hard. Even two streets down people were canoeing down the road the morning after. We suffered a roof leak and some major damage to the garage, but were otherwise okay. (Though I chose to batten down the hatches as a new homeowner so I was pretty terrified during the storm).

If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably pretty familiar with this journey — but for those who aren’t: Let’s reminisce, shall we? This is where we started. Look at that poor kitchen. Sad, sagging cabinets, the weirdest ceiling (that, let’s be honest, looks like a floor), and very dated hardware and lighting. The crazy part about the before and after? We actually have the same cabinets and the same floor — that’s the beauty of a can of paint.

one room challenge ugly kitchen

One room challenge kitchen before

one room challenge kitchen before and after

And today…..

One Room Challenge Kitchen After

Kitchen renovation before after painted tile

 

one room challenge striped floors

One room challenge reveal

One room challenge milo Baughman kitchen stools

one room challenge kitchen counters

giphy-downsized-2

Ohhhh, baby! I’m so proud of this, mostly because my boyfriend, my uncle, and I pretty much did it all ourselves. The only professional we used was the tile installer for the backslash (I selected my own tile and grout and design) and someone to install the Quartz countertops. Otherwise, the electrical work, painting, updated hardware, the ceiling, the floors, and the design was all my uncle, my boyfriend, and I.

Here’s the breakdown of all that we did:

  • First, we painted the walls white. Easy and simple. Next, we removed all the laminate tiles from the ceiling, installed can lights and new electrical, and created a new ceiling (my uncle covered the original wood beam). This added several inches to the height of the room and made for a much cleaner, brighter look.mediterranean kitchen before and afterkitchen can lights one room challenge

 

  • Next, we moved the stove from the island to the opposite wall, and swapped out the cabinets. It was the perfect fit, fortunately, though it left a hole in the countertops where the stove once was. We also removed all the existing cabinetry, re-painted it (using a pretty hardcore spray machine in the garage), took out the hardware, filled the holes, and drilled new holes for new hardware (new hardware via Amazon, by the way).  The top cabinets are white, the bottom are green — by Behr.Then, we installed fresh lighting: two sconces over the windows (one was thrifted, the other I bought online) and three pendant lights over the island.
    one room challenge lighting
    Tom Dixon pendnat lights kitchen remodel
  • Next came the new counters: Quartz Carrara, to mimic the look of marble, but be more durable. While the counters were installed, I also had them install new, more modern (and much deeper) sink. Then came the backsplash. I selected my own tile and grout and hired someone to install it. Note: This is literally the only part of the journey (the installation of the counters and installation of the backsplash) that required professionals. I’ve had a lot of people message me asking “who did my kitchen” or “who did I hire” and, to be 100% honest, we really didn’t rely on much hired help at all.
    one room challenge countertopsone room challenge backsplash
  • We also hung some art: A gorgeous Brian Calvin via Exhibition A by the island and a beautiful Caroline Sands on the larger wall. For those asking, the stools on the island are vintage Milo Baughman and I got them for $35 at a thrift store a couple of years ago.
  • Next came the hood. I went with something simple, that would go with the stainless appliances. There were other things I wanted (white wood would have been great, and I had heart set on copper until I saw how pricey that would be) but, in the end, practicality and price won me over.
  • Last, but not least, came the floors. This was undoubtedly a challenge, and one that I took on myself. I first had the idea to use a stencil to paint a design on the tile (so that it looked like patterned tile), but that quickly turned out to be a disaster. Case in point:
    stencil floor disaster one room challenge
    So I had to make a last-minute decision: Keep the floors white, or try something different that would still make an impact. Painter’s tape to the rescue! I quickly took out a ruler, a pencil, and the tape, and got to work measuring, covering the horrible stencil disaster with a large black stripe, and alternating the stripes throughout the room.Word to the wise: This is so not easy. Seriously. If you are thinking of doing this, it requires a lot of work and patience. The paint will stick to the tape. You will have to do a ton of touchups. It still won’t be perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. But, for the cost of four gallons of paint (a primer, a sealer, a black and a white), you can have all new floors — pretty dramatic ones, at that.Here’s the finished product:one room challenge striped painted tileone room challenge kitchen renovation art

 

Thanks to all who have been following along on this journey! As a first-time homeowner, I have several new rooms to decorate, so be on the lookout for more content about top-to-bottom overhauls. The best place to follow me is on Instagram, as I continually provide updates on home renovations and thrift finds.

 

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One Room Challenge: Week 6

Week six of the One Room Challenge is all about the floors. I was not a fan of the floors in the original kitchen. They were tile, which I loved, but the color clashed with the newly-painted cabinets and they had gotten so scuffed from all the work we’ve been doing.

one room challenge kitchen reno week three

But new tile? Ugh, no way — that would have meant ripping the tile out, moving the cabinets around… after all this, that wasn’t even an option. So we kept the floors, but painted over them. A couple gallons of paint and a whole lot of patience…et voila!

one room challenge painted tile floor

one room challenge kitchen floors

They still aren’t quite done yet and there’s a lot more to come — for one thing, the hood still needs to be delivered and installed above the oven. But hopefully that’s coming soon (we only have a week left, after all!)

Stay tuned for the full reveal next week.

One Room Challenge: Week 5

Art for one room challenge

Welcome to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge!

The progress was so major last week that this week is a little slower-going. The biggest news? I purchased a hood to go above the stove. It’s stainless steel, pyramid-shaped, with a chimney. It will likely be installed next week. The tile floors are set to be worked on this weekend so, currently, there’s not too much to share (last week included some pretty drastic changes, after all).

So this week I want to discuss art and accessories. I am debating adding floating wooden shelves in between the windows.  Here’s the inspiration for the idea:

one room challenge floating wood shelvesone room challenge inspirationone room challenge kitchen shelves

Alternately, I could just add a piece of art between the windows. I also have a large wall in the kitchen that needs some art. Fortunately, I have a rather large collection of art (both vintage and new) so I have plenty to pull from. Would love to hear your favorites in the comments along with your thoughts on shelves versus no shelves.

Art for one room challengeone room challenge kitchen artone room challenge vintage art

Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll be unveiling the floors and (hopefully) the hood.

 

 

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One Room Challenge: Week 4

Oh baby do I have news for you. It’s week four of the One Room Challenge and the kitchen has received a major upgrade and is now the proud owner of  BRAND. NEW. COUNTERTOPSSSS!!!!! And, bonus: a backlash!

one room challenge before after

The new countertops are Carrara Quartz — i.e. not real Carrara, but they’ll withstand scratches much better and were just a fraction of the price of the real thing.

one room challenge countertops

We also have a new, much deeper sink with more modern appeal than the previous sink.

one room challenge kitchen backsplash reno

one room challenge backsplash

The adjacent living room has also received an upgrade, in the form of new floors, which is a big deal for the kitchen because this means we can actually use the bar. The floors are actually laminate, installed by Home Depot, but they turned out really well and unless you’re touching them, no one is really the wiser.

This weekend, we plan to tackle the floor, The tile is fine, but the color clashes big-time with the green cabinets and newly white walls, backsplash, and counters. So stay tuned for next week! Lots more to come.

 

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One Room Challenge: Week 3

It’s week three of the One Room Challenge and I have four words for you: Let. There. Be. Light!!! (*Oprah voice*).

Kitchen sconce vintage thrift store find

Lighting can really make or break a space and, unfortunately, great lighting tends to be really pricey. Fortunately, I sourced the lights for the kitchen in some pretty unlikely places. One of the sconces I found at a local thrift store. It was buried under a mountain of lightbulbs and cords (and insulation, some of which wound up under my skin but who cares if it means I get a cheap sconce), and cost $12. Black with gold accents — the perfect thing. Now I needed to find its mate. That took me a full month of diligently searching Google (the sconce had no brand name) until I finally found the mate, and purchased it for full price.

one room challenge lighting

The sconces don’t entirely light the space, so my uncle installed can lights to fill the center of the room.

kitchen can lights one room challenge

They are super subtle, which I love, and don’t compete with the pendant lights which are one of my favorite parts of the room so far. These are Tom Dixon, smoked glass pendants and I found them on….eBay! I got three for the price of one, basically, and they add so much sophistication to the space.

Tom Dixon pendnat lights kitchen remodel

There’s still lots of work to be done. The floors hurt my eyes, for one thing, and we need a backsplash for added texture (that comes next week). Stay tuned.

one room challenge kitchen reno week three