Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 HGTV Home Tour

Want to win a beautiful home near Nashville, TN?   The contest opens on April 15th for entries to win!  More information at  To see the whole house in a quick 90-second video, go to 2014 HGTV Smart Home Tour.

Now, on with the picture tour....
This high-tech home, inspired by the design of English country homes, features 2,400 square feet of living space. Photo (c) 2014 Scripps Networks, LLC.
The home is traditional from the outside, but has some beautiful appointments on the inside!
Even the bedrooms are smart. The comfort foam mattresses are adjustable, and the bed's dedicated remotes adjust by app. Photo (c) 2014 Scripps Networks, LLC.
Master Bedroom

The vaulted ceiling in the great room and bank of windows offers views of protected wetlands beyond. Photo (c) 2014 Scripps Networks, LLC.
Great Room
Rough timber elements accent the open kitchen area, where a free floating table stands in for both dining table and kitchen island. Photo (c) 2014 Scripps Networks, LLC.
HGTV Smart Home 2014 Dining Room
Dining room that doubles as a home office
HGTV Smart Home 2014 Guest Bedroom
Guest Room
HGTV Smart Home 2014 Butler's Pantry
Butler's Pantry
HGTV Smart Home 2014 Master Bathroom
Master Bath
HGTV Smart Home 2014 Covered Porch
Covered Porch in back
HGTV Smart Home 2014 Covered Porch
Back porch
Go ahead... sign up to win!  What do you have to lose?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

$25 Goodwill Dresser

Have you ever got a "good deal" .... one that you just keep thinking how lucky you were.. being at the right place and the right time?   Well, that is how I feel about a dresser that I picked up at our local Goodwill back in October of 2012.  It was marked $50, but I had a limited time coupon for 50% off any item... so why not use it on an "expensive" item?!  Yup, got this beauty for $25!  (by the way, the mirror was purchased from a garage sale several years ago, the lamp at an estate sale almost two years ago and the knobs were also from Goodwill)

Well, it didn't quite look this way when I got it.  However, it did have good bones including  dovetailed drawers. 

It had some knobs missing... and some scratches/dents, but she had potential.

After sitting in my "project area" for 17 months, it was time to tackle her!  Up she went on the painting table.

A few little wood splits were in the body.. but nothing that some wood glue couldn't put back together. 

I was ready to start painting!  The color chosen was "Decorator White" by Benjamin Moore and was mixed with my Plaster of Paris recipe to make our own 'chalk paint'. 

The first coat of paint is on!

After 3 coats of chalk paint were dried on this dark dresser, I put a clear (Fiddes) wax on it.  The next step was a mixing together some of the clear Fiddes wax and gray chalk paint (Benjamin Moore "Gun Metal" gray).  This process turned the clear wax into a grayish mess... but boy did it work!  Basically I brushed it on over top of the waxed white paint and then wiped it off within 5-10 seconds, doing only small sections of the dresser at a time.  This is a COOL process!  It gives the subject you're working on a deep rich look that isn't totally uniform everywhere (I've always wondered how to achieve this look).  You could use a rag or a paint brush (I used a brush).  It made the white paint a little more subtle.  After this wax dried, it was then buffed out.  This is a really neat process and could be done with any color of chalk paint mixed in your wax.  My ratio was only about 5% - 7% paint and the rest was wax. 

Close up of the painted & waxed finish

The old dresser looks great in our farmhouse bedroom.  Ahhh.... now what to do with the rest of the bedroom furniture!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Piggy Project

My old step stool that I got from an estate sale, almost two years ago, got a facelift!  With some help from The Graphics Fairy, I found a cute vintage image of a pig with text from a butcher shop.  I thought it was unique and decided to get out the Mod Podge again and apply the image to the old step stool (after it was painted with homemade chalk paint).

The painted stool.. waiting for the graphics.

Remember when there is text, the image must be "mirrored" or "in reverse" so it will be readable once applied to the object (stool in this case).

 Mod Podge is a pretty neat medium!  You simply apply the Mod Podge right over the graphic that will be adhered to the object.  The idea is that you're transferring the ink (not the paper) from the graphic onto the object.  Once the graphic is positioned on the object, you then smooth out the paper to remove any air bubbles from underneath (old credit card works well) to ensure the paper is smoothly stuck to the object.  And then you have to wait.  Wait until the next day when it's good and dry!  At that point, you take a wet paper towel and dampen the entire graphic paper... then you gently rub your finger (up and down motion) across the paper until it starts to "roll off" of the object.  It's a time-consuming step to the whole process, but is very important (yes, your finger will start to feel a little numb after a while... but you can always do this process over a couple days).  You must be careful as you do this so that the ink doesn't come off of the object too much (a little is fine as it makes it look more "vintage"... no one needs to know it was really an "oops"!) 

If you look at the photo below, just above the "G" in George, you'll notice part of the outline of the pig is missing... well, that was an "oops"!  The other "oops" is the pig's back right hoof/leg.  Hey, it just adds to the "old French look"!

When all the paper is removed from the object and your graphic looks good, then I applied a light clear wax over top to protect it.  I decided not to "distress" this stool.. just to save a little time!

Viola!  A step stool that is unique and matches our kitchen!