DIY Modern Deco Bar Make-over on Found Vintage Cabinet

Happy Fall All! The heater kicked on for the first time this morning, so it is officially Fall at our house. The leaves are starting to fall off the trees, and short sleeves have turned to long almost overnight. I managed to get this little project finished before the chill set in and painting outside became challenging.

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Modern Deco Bar Makeover.

I found this neat little vintage cabinet a couple months ago in an alley nearby. She had definitely seen better days to be sure. Someone had made her into an audio cabinet and had cut out a hole in the bottom and the back and added a speaker holder inside. The top mount for the right-hand cabinet was broken, with the wood broken off where the bracket screws in. I knew this would be a fair amount of work to fix, but the ol’ girl had “good bones”. The instant I saw her I knew she’d make a great bar.

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First thing I did was fix the broken wood with wood glue and tiny nails, then screwed the bracket back where it should be. Then I patched and repaired the wood with wood fill, let it dry, and sanded the area smooth. I then removed the old vintage hardware and patched the old holes. Then it was sanding time, just a light sanding to get it ready to paint. I also removed the wood piece inside that had been added for a speaker. I cut a new wood piece to fit over the hole in the bottom, and covered that and the ugly back pieces with a pretty Asian brocade fabric I had lying around (I think I found it at the thrift store long ago).

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In Progress…

I painted the feet first with a chrome metallic spray paint, which I also used to paint the metal plate that is on the front of the bar now (This was an old door plate left over from work on the house. It covers the old hardware holes perfectly and adds some nice bling to the front of the bar). I used black gloss spray paint on the rest of the piece, 2 cans worth. The finish wasn’t quite to my liking so I added a couple more coats of gloss polyurethane on top of that.

I love this little bar! It looks great in the dining room and adds much needed bar and wine space. We have room inside to fully stock it and will add wine to the lower right-hand space inside soon.

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The reckoning: I bought the pair of acrylic and chrome pulls on ebay for $17. I spent about $15 on paint, and bought the vintage Lucite tray on ebay for $22. I already had the fabric on hand and don’t recall what I paid for it, probably about $5. Not bad for a new bar! By the way, those two big awesome brass candlesticks were also found in the alley. I still can’t quite believe someone would throw them away, but I’m so glad they did! The brass candlesticks on top of the bar were found at the thrift store for a few bucks each and the decanter is one I painted about 15 years ago but still love. The Halloween “snow” globe came from the Target after-Halloween sale (50% off) about 7-8 years ago.

When in Doubt, Paint it! A Quickie Paint Pick-Me-Up and Rearrange for the Front Porch.

The front porch has been bugging me for awhile now, so I got off my lazy duff and did something about it this weekend. I’d been meaning to paint the tables on the porch white since finding them (yes, they are both Freebee Alley Finds!) to blend them in with the other porch furniture and trim. TIP: How do you make a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t go together work? Paint them all the same color!

Here are the BEFORE Pics:

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I transformed the tables with less than 2 cans of spray paint, well under $10. I used Rustolium 2X gloss white. (I actually like the aged, worn and rusted look of the 4 folding chairs, so I didn’t paint them. They are real French antiques, not reproductions, and I love them. A fabulous yard sale find I’ve had for over a decade.)

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After the paint dried, I spent some time moving all the furniture around for a new arrangement, and settled on the table and chairs being centered under the chandelier and the tall table in the corner. It feels much more welcoming now, and suits our grand old Victorian house. I also added an old (cheap) rug that was gathering dust in the garage. I do plan on fixing and painting the concrete floor of the porch eventually, but this helps for now.

AFTER:

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At the last minute I added a little side table from the house to the right side, and now it feels complete. Ready for Summer!

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What house projects did you tackle this weekend? Tell me about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments Section.

Artist House Tour: Marie M. Vlasic and Jiva Armetta Create Design Harmony at Home

Our home has been featured in Westword!

Artist House Tour: Marie M. Vlasic and Jiva Armetta Create Design Harmony at Home

Here is the link to the article: http://www.westword.com/arts/artist-house-tour-marie-m-vlasic-and-jiva-armetta-create-design-harmony-at-home-6631496

Lots of pictures of the house and artsy Q & A with yours truly. Here are some teaser images:

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Me and my Man Our Living Room.

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The Glam Rock Star Bedroom, with Pugs.

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My Art Studio.

There are lots more pics at the link above. Thanks to Jeanne Connolly for the article, and Anthony Camera for the great photos.

Actually, a lot has changed in the house since these photos were taken. (for instance, we are almost done with a total revamp of the living room), and I’ll be posting all the changes and details here soon. Be sure and subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss a thing!

Quickie Cute Stool Redo: A Faux Fur DIY Make-over for $3

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I did a super-quick little make-over on this stool today. It took less than 30 minutes! We’ve had this vintage stool in the dressing room for years (it was my boyfriends before I can along so who knows how long he had it) and I’ve been wanting to give it a redo. I found this heavy-duty piece of sheepskin-esque faux fur at the thrift store for $2.99 last year and it worked great for this. Faux fur is very forgiving for this sort of thing. I also had a piece of thick foam leftover from another project that was perfect. I grabbed my supplies (pen, knife, scissors and staple gun) and went at it.

Here’s what it looked like before:

stoolbefore

I started measuring the foam by turning the seat upside-down on top of the foam and traced it with a sharpie pen. I started the cut with a utility knife as it gave me more control, then finished it with a sharp knife, slicing with a steady up and down motion.

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Then it was time to get stapling. I placed the foam on the stool, then turned it upside-down in the center of the fur. Start by stapling opposite sides, pulling firmly but not tight. Once each of the 4 sides are tacked down, go to the middle of each tack and staple, again going to opposite sides.

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Because of the way the legs sit on this stool, I had to cut in and staple around them. I found the center point, cut a semi-circle where the leg would go and stapled on either side of the leg, again pulling firmly but not tight. Be sure and stop periodically to check that the fabric is fairly evenly pulled all the way around so it’s not lop-sided when you’re done.

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Then finish it off, going around the outside and tacking down the remaining open bits. Done!

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Now we have a fun and comfortable stool in the dressing room, and all it cost was $2.99 for the fabric from the thrift store 🙂

Fun DIY Fornasetti Decoupage Ceiling Design for the Rock Star Glam Bedroom

I adore Fornasetti. I’d love to paper a wall with Fornasetti wallpaper, but since $300+ a roll is a bit out of my price range (and it seems to be discontinued at that) I wanted to create my own look with the Fornasetti “Julia” images. I’ve been looking for the right project to use the imagery on for awhile now, and came up with this fun design that I decoupaged onto my bedroom ceiling around the medallion. It was easy and cost almost nothing.

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Ceiling Before:

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I started out by finding the images I wanted through a Google image search. In addition to the Fornasetti, I wanted to add a touch of color to the design, so I printed out these Damian Hurst butterfly images as well. I then sized the Julia faces all to 8″ and the butterflies about 2″ and printed them all on plain white paper and cut them out carefully. Then I played around on the rug with various layouts and finally decided on this one:

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Now it’s time to decoupage! Just mix 3 parts Elmer’s glue (any basic white glue should work), to 1 part water, brush it lightly but thoroughly on the back of the image and on the surface to be covered and carefully lay on the image. This can be a little tricky as you want to avoid air bubbles. I start at one corner and smooth it gently to the other corner. If you get a bubble gently work it out with the damp brush.

And here it is finished! The whole process took about an hour and cost only the cash to cover the ink, paper and glue, so pennies!

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…I also had a little fun on the back of the bedroom door with some Fornasetti arms and a couple more butterflies…

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A Note on Copyrighted Images: It’s ok to do things like this for your own personal use, but you cannot use copyrighted images on anything you are going to sell, or you can be sued for copyright infringement.

You can see some of the Rock Star Glam bedroom DIY’s here:

Ceiling Light Redo

Found Hipster Art Make-Over

And the rest HERE.

4 Cast-off Wood Chairs DIY’d Into Black & White Awesomeness, a Before & After Make-Over Story…

I’m such a sucker for black and white. I knew that’s exactly what I was going to do to these the minute I saw them hanging out next to a dumpster in the alley. They were solid and in decent shape, good enough for a quick make-over to grace my dining room table. I’ll admit, they are not my dream dining room chairs (those would be the fabulous Louis & Victoria Ghost chairs by Philip Starke & Kartell), but until the beautiful day when I own those ghostly wonders, these will do just fine, thank you very much.

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This is how they looked when I found them. Dirty and forlorn, with no less than 5 layers of upholstery on the seats. It was like a decade-by-decade fabric trip back to the 1950’s…

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After I removed the seats and all those crazy fabrics, I sanded the chairs with a fine sandpaper to get them ready to paint. I then coated them with a gray primer, which I ran out of in the middle of the job. I got lazy and stopped there (I’d coated most of the chairs anyway ;-). They turned out just fine.

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I did the center parts in a white gloss first, 3 coats. After that dried overnight, I covered the white bits with newspaper and painters tape to protect them from the black paint.

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I ran into some weird issues with the black paint (you can see the all the strangeness on the backs of the chairs) so I had to let it dry and sand some more, then re-coat the chairs. I wound up doing 4 coats of the black gloss spray paint.

I covered the seats in an awesome white reptile-pattern vinyl I picked up at last January’s 30% off sale at Denver Fabrics. I love it! Here they are in the dining room. Now I can actually have a proper dinner party. The best part is that all it cost me was about $45 in spray paint and fabric.

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PS: Want to more about those other chairs at the ends of the table? They were found chairs, too! Mackenzie-Childs Style Chair Makeover.

I found and made over these cool Vintage Folding Chairs too.

The Biggest Mistake People Make in Decorating for Halloween…How to Pull it All Together: Helpful Hints & Tips

What sets a well-decorated home apart from the rest? You know it when you see a well-done house, it just looks good. But what is it that sets it apart? There are a few things that tie together a good Halloween house, but the Biggest Mistake is…

Mistake #1: Throwing up the Halloween decorations on top of the everyday decor. (This goes for every holiday, not just Halloween!)

It’s messy. It’s cluttered. It’s hodge-podge. It looks thrown together, like you didn’t care. It looks like “Why did they bother”? The best way to get a good look for your Halloween decor is to put away the everyday stuff (at least some of it) and create holiday vignettes where you want the decorations to shine. (Usually the best places to go all-out are where people will be gathering: The porch or patio, the front entry, the dining room. I have a huge antique trunk in the dining room. This is where all the “every-day” decor and tchotchkes are carefully stored away for the holiday season (Halloween-New Years) so I can get crazy and look good for the holidays.

Mistake #2: No theme.

All kinds of stuff, from different eras, tossed randomly around the house. It doesn’t really work. Organize your spooky goodies into themes, by area. I have all sorts of different goodies that I’ve collected over the years from thrift stores and yard sales, but I make it work by grouping by color, era, or subject matter. Do you have an awesome collection of vintage pumpkins? Group them on a table for a delightful vignette. Have a bunch of cool skulls? Display them together on the mantle. Collections have a much greater impact than objects placed individually. Have a bunch of miscellaneous Halloween stuff that’s just all orange? That works, too. And lastly, if you are into the scary stuff, keep that together as well. Cute and scary don’t get along so well in the same space. Try creating a theme in each room, or at least in different areas of the same room. In my main room, I have several different vignettes: The white and black stuff is together on the tall cabinet; the Devilish stuff is on, in or near the short cabinet, and a skull collection resides by the window. All my Dia De Los Muertos decor is grouped on the front porch.

Mistake #3: No unifying factor.

The unifying factor is what pulls it all together. It’s what makes the eye flow easily from one space to another. My unifying factor is sheer black fabric. It goes with every vignette in the house, and even though the displays may be different in the room, the use of the black flowing from one to the other pulls it all together.

Here are a couple examples:

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BEFORE: the Tall Cabinet

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AFTER: the Tall Cabinet

I removed the purple glass collection and grouped all the what and black items here, with some of the “unifying” sheer black fabric.

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BEFORE: the Mantle

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AFTER: the Mantle

Again, all the regular every day decor has been packed away for the glory of Halloween.

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BEFORE: the Small Cabinet

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AFTER: the Small Cabinet

All the “devilish” things are in this corner. I cleared out the cabinet and put my devil head in there with some red lights. Instead of packing away the candles, I decided to just use them differently. You can never have too many candles, they create a great atmosphere. You’ll notice the sheer black fabric repeated here as well.

See all the Halloween decor here: The Front Room, The Entry & Stairwell, and Outside.