Sunday, July 1, 2012

use whatcha got to get whatcha want!

Sorry for the lapse in posts, been chaos 'round these parts!  
Switching the office, adding new items, life, you know...

So the office/workspace is going to take a little time until it's really "done" but I had to make some immediate changes to make it more usable.  Finding some of the pieces I have in mind, are clearly up to the universe, lest I want to pay big money, which I don't!

We swapped our kitchen table and dining room table.  I need a surface to work on in the office, but my dining room table is just too big!  Fits great in the kitchen though, thankfully!

The 'now' workspace table was a really neat find.  I found a cute little shabby chic - beach cottage shop local about a year ago.  (sadly, now closed)  She finds great old pieces and refinishes them.  Usually in pastels or neutrals.  I just fell in love with the baluster legs on this table.  It's walnut and likely from the 40's.  The finishes she used weren't really my style, but the pieces were fantastic, since finish is something you can change I didn't mind it.  (Although not at this price point kids... yikes!)

A real problem was that I wasn't happy with the quality of the finishes.  (we'd bought more than just this table from her, and we've had to redo every single one of them) When we'd wipe the table down, the top layer of latex paint would roll up and off!  Sooo not good!  I feel we really overpaid for these items.  But sometimes it's just part and parcel for getting unique or hard to come by items.  I am typically wary to spend a lot on these type of items as I feel I can find and redo it on my own.  
There is something to be said for all the work being done for you, and at the time, we needed a table so we took the plunge.  
Since there were issues, we stripped the table top, stained and poly'd the top only.  I have grown to like the 2 tone detail, but I'm thinking those legs are going to change once I get the office better arranged.  gold or silver leaf? glossy white?  a bright orange or pink?  the options just don't quit!  
this is why my house will never, ever be "done"!

As a sidenote, about 4 weeks ago, a table almost identical but in it's original state was up for grabs at a yard sale across the street for $45.  Dammit!  A kick in the you know better!

So you know I already had the metal-wrapped parson's desk from West Elm, LOVE.  I have a set of creamy velvet Martine chairs from Restoration Hardware, love using one as a desk chair.  I was super lucky enough to stumble upon a brass trunk ala end table.  Has 2 drawers and 4 wheels!  Copper nail detailing, I really think it's by Sarreid.  (omg look it up! awesome doesn't describe these babies) Which works fantastico to hold the printer, and hiding paperwork inside!  The copper nail details are also on the desk, although more subtle.  Seeing them side by side makes me feel all warm and happy!

Of course I didn't zsush it all up yet, or style it properly for posting, but I was anxious 
to show my progress.  
The giganto circular gold mirror was already in my dining room, and I felt it looked great above the desk so it can continue to live there for now.

HUGE Ikea cubbies are still here, but should be out by the end of the month.  And I still need to find another shelf for storage anyway.

I found this diamond in the rough on Craigslist...

It has the right shape of what I was looking for right?!  Faux bamboo? check!  Chinoiserie styling? check? Ample storage? checkity check!  And because it was evidently made to house a tv, the giant square opening in the center works perfectly for my larger pieces.  
But man oh man, that was some ugly in the finish, no?  Looks like someone took a rattle can of black and decided to "accent" it!  Umm, don't do that.  Ever.

So after a serious scrub down with Murphy's Oil Soap, a light sanding, and some Krylon White Primer we were in business!  

After sanding though, it became super porous!  I used 2 cans of primer and multiple cans of glossy white, and only stopped spraying because I ran out of paint! 

I love when things have 25% MORE free kind of crap, total sucker for that marketing tool! too bad they only had ONE can left with the bonus, the cashier was nice enough to tell me "some lady just left with all of them,"  Why? Why tell me that?!  ok, I'll stop here before I ramble on in another direction.

Wow! Seriously, what a difference a coat of white can do!!  Now I officially love it!  
Thankfully, I got this the first sunny day we had in a 
week, so picked it up in the morning and it was in the office by late afternoon!
There's 2 glass shelves, and 2 woven shelves.  The woven ones show a bit of wear, but first of all I never mind that sort of thing, and secondly, it's covered with all my Etsy goodies anyway.  win!

Most of the items currently for sale fit on this etagere, clearly I need another, but I knew that going into it.  So I'm still on the hunt for another.  They won't have to be exactly the same, so that will make the hunt a lot easier.  If the other(s) are faux bamboo as well, the glossy white will unify them.

I have a thing for these little dishes/coasters.  They're double stacked too. You should know as I look down onto the desk at this very moment, there are about 4 more on the desk than when I snapped this pic.  It's a problem.  But what a pretty problem, right?
Perhaps I will eventually break down and get a proper mousepad?  I doubt it.  The magazines are bigger and seem to work just as well.  We'll see.  Maybe I'll support a fellow Etsy shop and see what creative options are floating around there.  It really is a fantastic source for some lovely totally unique items.  (commercial not intended.)

I was going to do a post last week on making a lightbox, but I think there are enough tutorials on the net, and it's really not tricky at all.  Well worth the 30 min or less it takes!  
UNLESS you are making a giant one... and you live with a house full of engineer minds.  
Then it's going to take a while. 
I had made 2 with both a standard sized box, and a slightly taller one.  But they just weren't sufficient for lamps (which I seem to be gathering a lot of lately) and I found I was moving them around a lot and resetting the lights etc. it was just too messy of a process.  And it can't be.  I need it to be simple and swift.   I just need ONE that would work for everything.

Hence this 5 foot beast.

It's not pretty, and it literally took 2 entire days to finish.  For some reason, I just had too many stumbling blocks on the first day.  There is no greater feeling of defeat than spending an ENTIRE Sunday on a project that should have only taken a few hours, and knowing it's going to be your next day as well.  To be clear, it's not like I was revamping a beauty of a piece of furniture here.  This was just a tool, and kind of sucks all the fun out of it for me.    
But he's done, works great, and takes up entirely too much space in my office!
The quality of the photos are so drastically different, it really was worth all the cash and time for sure.

The hanging light fixture existing in here was brass, so I painted it to match the walls, just kind of blend it a bit.  I mean I love me some brass, but this just looked to builder generic for me.  It actually looks pretty good in here now being painted, even with all the shuffling.  But I'm thinking I really want something a bit more dramatic,  more chic and definitely more fun!  
I have a pretty capiz shell chandelier, but I think the scale is a bit small for this room, well that and I really love where it's living at the moment anyway.

I was looking around for some chic office inspiration and stumbled upon these.


I want to photoshop my face onto hers... but we've been there and know that's not gonna work!
Seriously, how gorge is all that brass, white and orange?! And the peeks of pink?  I want it!  And you KNOW I want that brass etagere!  I'm still on the hunt, it will be mine, you just wait and see!
This office is a little too streamlined and neat for me, as I'm more of an explosion messy-ish type of person, so I'll definitely have more schtuff floating around in mine, but I really love the styling, color, use of new and vintage!  It's just about perfection for me for sure.

And this one?  I love all the shiny sparkly details across her desk!  Not to mention 
the mirrored finish OF the desk!  Fresh flowers?  
Yes please...ALWAYS! it makes such an impact, for such a little bitty effort!

Yes, I would absolutely buy white pencils with gold detailing.  I clearly have lost my loyalty to my longstanding love for black ticonderogas... how quickly we turn!

And I'd just like to say it's been officially one month of my Etsy debut!  
This first month totally surpassed my expectations!  It's been a fabulous beginning, 
and I'm excited to continue!

Pop over, as I've got about 60 items now!  I've begun adding new items to the shop every other day or so, to keep it fresh! Plenty of shine and sparkle for you to peruse!

Thanks for sticking it out, this one was a long one!

Enjoy your 4th! with your ice cold beers, sunshine, barbeques, sparklers and 
be sure to take in some glorious fireworks!

Sparkle & Shine,


  1. Everything is looking awesome my love!! Much success to come I'm sure!