“Wide Open Acres”

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Wondering where the name came from?  The paint color! The paint I used for this piece was called “Cheyenne Green” by Benjamin Moore paints.  This was a custom order, and they had picked the color, and it is one I will definitely be using going forward!

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The piece needed a tremendous amount of love, but it had solid bones and beautiful character.  The couple delivered it, I sanded it down a bit to rough up the old finish.

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Sanding, prepping, and cleaning left me with a beautiful exposed wood piece.  It was ready to be painted.

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The piece was so dry that it took three heavy coats, but once it dried in the last coat covered it real well.

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I asked the couple if they wanted the piece distressed, and it wasn’t something that had crossed their mind.  I said there was some incredible detailing on the piece that should be highlighted with some very light distressing.  By distressing the piece, the character was pulled right out!  Signed, sealed, delivered, here is the finished product:

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Put It On a Silver Platter

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I picked up this really unique table/cabinet, and wanted to experiment with the silver leafing products I purchased a while back.  The cabinet was in good shape, and had unique hardware:

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The silver leaf turned out to be quite the challenge, as it is soon delicate, and sheds.  I had t use special gloves!

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The flat surfaces were not as hard…….

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After a stressful, graceful, and finessed process…. here is the final product:

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Check Mate!

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I have been holding on this really cool mid-century piece for quite some time, and I knew I wanted to make it unique.  The actual wood had some unique lines.

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The hardware was also unique, so I didn’t want to spray them.  All I did was shine them up!  I decided to use two Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors Coco & Versailles, pictured below.  However, the colors depicted on the website look NOTHING like in real life.

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I liked the grain of the wood on the drawers that looked like a checkerboard pattern.  I taped it off, and alternated the colors.

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The top also had some unique outlining.  I painted the outside Versailles, and the inside Coco, I hand painted over the black outline that was originally there so it could be seen better.

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After I painted all of it, I sealed it with poly acrylic.  I have to say it is so much easier and has a much better sheen that putting on the wax and buffing it.  I slapped on the hardware again, and here was the finished product!

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Geography Rocks!

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This post, is a bit out of scope, as it does not have to do with my business Renewed Reloved, but I thought it was worth sharing nonetheless.  It’s my first year teaching, and I am so thrilled to have FINALLY landed a teaching job.  I am teaching 6th grade Geography, and in my hometown of Framingham, MA.  Born and raised in Framingham, I was so happy to be a part of the community.  Well, I was hired very close to the start of the school year, and the teacher who was originally in my room hadn’t moved his things out.  Sorry Jason, but your room was a mess.  He had been in the same room for 8 years and never moved a thing.  This is what the room looked like before:

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All I was really about to do before school started was de-clutter and clean.  Most of the books were in Spanish because the teacher taught class in Spanish and English, so I was able to eliminate almost ALL the clutter.  The yellow cabinet was covered in posters, and there was an abundance of tape residue.  Thank god for Goo-Gone!

Well school started, and I only had about a month before open house with absolutely NO decorations.  I love to think outside the box.  You know the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go?” Well I thought I would put a little twist on it.  Since I am teaching Geography, and will be covering the world’s landscapes and cultures I thought it would be cute if I changed it to “Oh, the Places We’re Going!”  I thought it was adorable!  My original plan was to make a poster for my front door, but I ended up making it huge and displayed it in the class.  I created a transparency, and used an old overhead projector to trace the design.

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I free handed the bottom, pretty good huh?  Then like a lunatic I decided to paint it.

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Don’t mind my cat Binx’s tail in the picture….  Well five days later, hand cramping…. I was like wow this came out awesome.  I realized I was going to keep this in my classroom forever, and wanted it laminated.  Here is the finished product:

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I have three other bulletin boards in the room.  One is a chalkboard, but I covered it in paper because I won’t use the chalk board, ever.  I bought the cutest little “poof” balls in blue and green.  I thought it would exemplify water and land. If no one else gets it, that’s what’s its supposed to represent.  The students recently completed a landform assignment, and I posted them all around the board.

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I wanted the main board in the back of the room to really be a showcase.  Framingham is such a diverse community, and I wanted to reflect that.  I had the students provide me with their heritage, and I used pushpins and yarn to connect it to their names.

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It really looked good, but I wanted a quote to tie it all together.  I came across the an unbelievably appropriate quote by Martin Luther King Jr.  I used the projector to trace all the words, and then hand painted them.  I had it laminated and placed it above the board. BOOM!

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The last big poster I made for the room connected to our team name.  We are 6x, and I came up with my own little rhyme “6x=Success.”  I wrote that in the middle of a poster, and had all the students trace their hands.  I outlined them in sharpie to really make them POP, and a few of the students stayed after school to help me color.

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Alright let’s warp this up.  Here the other “decorations” I put up around the room!

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Thanks for keeping a peak! I’ll keep at it!

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Chew on this!

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One night on my way home from grabbing some drinks with friends, I come across this gorgeous piece of furniture on the side of the road.  I immediately brake, and get out of the car to see it.  The drawers looked to have been gnawed on by a dog or something, and were pretty rough.  I thought free is free, and I could fix it. So what did I do? I called my friend Angelina who was a few minutes behind me, and asked her to help me load it up.  By load it up I mean heavy lifting into her car, god bless her, she went along with it.  I honestly don’t know how we managed to get it in, because it was the tightest fit EVER.  The next day, in natural light I asked myself “what have I gotten myself into?”  I would have to reshape the drawers where it had been previously chewed, and so began the process.

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Overall, the piece was really cool, and I love how the doors in the front opened to gorgeous drawers for clothes.

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I felt the piece really could be jazzed up, and I went with a color I don’t see often.  It is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint “Scandinavian Pink,” and then highlighted the drawer fronts, elevated pieces on the doors and the interior drawers in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint “Old White.”

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I’m looking at these colors, and they look nothing like that in real life.  Anyway.  The piece is finished, and I put on new hardware.  All in all, I think it came out great, and it’s totally different than the plain old painted neutral piece.  Let me know what you think!

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“Be Our Guest” Dining Room Makeover

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My dining room has been done for a while, but I haven’t had time to take photos, upload them, and all that jazz.  Anyway, now I am ready!  So when I first bought the house, the dining room was a very very olive green color.  I may have liked a shade of this color had it been a nice one, but after seeing this color I knew instantly I was going to cover it!  Here is what the dining room looked like before:

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Not to mention that there were a hundred holes in the wall from things that were hanging on the wall.  It took some time to patch and sand, but it got done…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the room was patched and ready to go, I start painting.  I picked a nice taupe/beige color.  It’s Benjamin Moore’s Shenendoah Taupe:

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I liked that it was a nice neutral color, and knew it would look nice against my dark espresso colored furniture.  I re-used the curtains from my old house, because I loved them.  They are a damask pattern with earth-tones running through it.  I purchased the coolest chandelier from an Etsy dealer.  It is so rustic, it looks like it spent the last 100 years in the ground.

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I picked up a truly adorable sign at Vintage Thymes in Norwood, and I hung it above the dining room doorway.

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Since I don’t have a ton of kitchen cabinet space, and I packed my side server pretty well… I had no place to put my wine glasses, martini shaker, ice bucket, wine etc….  I had been on the hunt for a while for a nice cabinet to use for this, but I didn’t want anything huge or bulky.  On a whim, I found a cabinet at some warehouse! Randomly… but it worked out in my favor!!!

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I may paint it at a later date, but it serves its purpose for now.  I was able to put all my wine glasses away, and put my martini shaker and ice bucket on top.  It needed a little something, and I had just the thing!  I had gone to paint night with my mother a while back, and painted my own version of “Chat Noir.”  I knew I would use it in the house eventually, but didn’t know where.  Instead of using the colors red, yellow, and black in the traditional print, I chose to use blues, creams, black, and white.  The colors work well with my color scheme.  I put it on top of the wine bar as a finishing touch.

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All that’s left to do? Have a feast fit for a king and fill my wine cabinet with lots of yummy wine!

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“A Bright Idea!”

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Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with a catchy/clever name for my blog post, but this time around it came to me pretty quickly.  I completed a custom order desk for a young girl in high school.  She reminded me a lot of myself- organized, school oriented, diligent, and above all she knew what she wanted.  I met with her and her mother to see and consult over the desk.  It was the young girls great great great grandfather’s (I’m pretty sure that is correct), and it had been sitting in the basement for 17 years.  The young girls parents had planned on doing it, but life happens, and it never got done!  The desk was in rough shape to say the least.  It has been painted years ago, but the paint had semi peeled off, and the bottom legs were missing chunks of wood:

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The daughter and her mother asked if I could try to fix the missing wood pieces, and I was obviously up for the challenge.  I probably went through two containers of wood filler.  I had to build up the filler, sand it down, shape it, and repeat.  I did the best I could.  These pictures don’t look so hot because its wood filler, but with the finished product you can’t even see the difference!

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Once the piece was sanded and prepped, it was finally ready to be painted.  The girl picked two colors, a nice cream white for the base and a nice bright yellow for the top (hence my “bright idea” blog title…. I know I know, I’m good!).

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The desk was completely transformed, it was nice and smooth and freshly painted.  I ever so slightly distressed the detailing of the desk so that it would highlight the intricate work.  The craftsmanship on this desk is incredible, and the creamy white wasn’t doing those details any justice.  The light distressing truly completed it.

We hit a speed bump when it came to the hardware though.  So strange, usually antique pieces don’t have hardware that is standard hole to hole, it’s usually all weird sizes.  Well we ordered some beautiful hardware, but when I went to put them on, they didn’t fit.  We ordered 2.5″ because that is what I measured, but I was off by .5″… how could that be? I didn’t think to measure other drawers because why would they be different? So the mother and daughter went on hunt and found enough 3″ handles to finish he piece right? Wrong. When I delivered the desk, and I was putting on the hardware some of the 3″ handles were too big, and I was right back a the 2.5″ hole to hole spread.  What the???  Yeah, well it turns out that the bottom drawers are a 3″ spread, and the top drawers are 2.5″  so very strange.  Anyway, the pictures below are of the finished piece, but hardware is missing on the top drawers.  The mother and daughter were going to take the time to find a matching set.

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