Archive for the ‘the Journey of a Stylish Renovation’ Category

my 3 tiered blonde tableWhen I was emptying my storage unit this past April/May

and saw this 3 tiered table among my packed up belongings ~I’d genuinely forgotten about it.  Heck, I’d forgotten about several things…

which made all the work feel like a treasure hunt!

Thinking about some winter and holiday decorating in mom’s house, I decided to pull it out of the storage on this end for another look.

It looked a bit rough from being in storage so long?

The top looks so discolored too much harsh Arizona sun?

And I didn’t remember it being so blonde ??

Uh, yeah.  It definitely needs a makeover!

a makeover for the 3 tiered table--In the interest of time -and the fact that I was working on the mechanical room- I had my stripper-guys tackle this for me, I negotiated $25.  It would have cost me about that in product plus my time, & this way I could keep to my other project~very worthwhile!

At left you see it stripped clean, and I spent about an hour sanding it back to a smooth finish before staining.

Below, now stained—using both Golden Pecan and Aged Oak gel stains.

my 3-tiered table now stained

oxidizing the table with Behr's Pecan SandieThe piece was looking nice but, sort of FLAT. So I decided to grab some paint to ‘oxidize” it.

Not age it with a dark wax, or white or liming wax,

but with a favorite Behr-Pecan Sandie.

Like using an aging wax~you apply and wipe it away.

With paint, I apply it kind of sloppy into the grooves and crevices with a disposable chip brush and use a wet-damp rag to [loosely] wipe it away, then a dry rag to tidy it up.  ~Only wanting a subtle look of age, I was sparing with the paint.

This small alteration to the room should make a helpful change for winter.


the living room BEFORE

The Living room BEFORE with the ottoman

and AFTER with the 3-tiered table.

the living room AFTER

a change in the LR--

picture below on left While sorting through some of the boxes in the mechanical room—mom found a few snap shots from her parent’s wedding day in 1925!

picture below on right A whole area dedicated to family photos–really old ones, funny ones that are hard to put away and current!  It’s a fun way to display pictures in a HUGE family and they get looked over SO MUCH!

pictures just found of my grandparents wedding day in 1925

Family photos!

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working on the mechanical room--Every muscle in me aches–and I’m sure I must look like a very old woman moving around -BUT-

the floor is finished,

there’s one wall still in need of a little repair, otherwise, all has been freshly painted, and–

during all the work we discovered a few compromised areas around the windows and sill plate/foundation walls and made those repairs too…yep,

it’s a domino effect, right?

We added the 3rd wall of adjustable shelving -you can see above- so we’ll make better ORDER of all the chaos!


the mechanical room makeover--I also discovered a cheap deal on 12×12 press and stick tiles– the white were 49¢ and the blue-gray 29¢ each.

*Wish they had more of the blue-gray for the checkerboard effect…sigh

But since they really DON’T stick

-and I STILL had glue left from laying the Mannington floors in other parts of the house-

I decided to glue the tiles down so they would truly stick.  It’s all that crawling around and up&down to make cuts that’s got me aching so badly.  Seriously, oh my aching muscles & knees!

the mechanical room makeover---
*Commercial grade glue~ this was the smallest quantity I could buy, $150 for that bucket you see below.  It has laid more flooring than I can tell and there’s still 1/3 left.
So, I’m telling you this because– if I’d hired this job out, they would’ve charged me (probably $150) for “materials used,” like this glue.   How many times/jobs do you suppose they would’ve  -REcharged-  that same glue bucket before it was finally used up??  A little food for thought, huh?

DIY rocks!

laying a floor in the mechanical room--
-These were close out tiles so I bought all they had left of the “prettiest” pick. Choosing white gave me great pause but, next to the other selections

I discovered a few benefits in these cheapies–

Because they were “low end” and kind of thin I could cut them with a scissors and the cutting board!

The combination of white walls, white shelving, and the white tiles has seriously brightened up this dark, dungeon-y room!

This project took 158 tiles and only cost $69 + tax!  But no longer living directly on concrete—priceless!

We still have a little work to finish up as well as the dreaded

sorting~cleaning out~putting away,

but it’s truly BETTER, a 180° project!


You can forget about that call to “Burried Alive” now!

the mechanical room makeover--

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I’ve had the flu, something secondary, tried to jump into some projects a bit too soon apparently, relapsing back into the flu and the stupid secondary thing. . .

I’m just NOW feeling better.  Maaaaan.

Beyond THAT nonsense, I’m working on crappy projects that ~truth be told~   I’d almost rather still be sick than do.  Fall clean up, and cleaning up/out the storage unit and garage to put things away for winter.  Isn’t THAT so exciting?

REworking the mechanical roomWait–there’s more. . .

We need to have a gas line rerun from the house to the garage and the condition of the mechanical room was NOT going make that happen. So we’re in the process of tearing up and rebuilding yet another space to work -APPROPRIATELY-.

Even MORE exciting, HuH?

I forgot to take a picture before beginning–don’t think I would’ve shown it to you anyway–just too embarrassing.

The “Before” might have looked like a “Burried Alive” show—THIS picture is at end of day today.  It’s about a 90° change with another 90° change scheduled for tomorrow.

THEN, we start putting up the Green House.

No rest for the weary,



ps~ a LONG-ago picture of an Arizona Fall I actually really got to enjoy!

The Grand Canyon in Fall!  However, once the Park Ranger got over the shock of how I coaxed that buck to the car with Keebler crackers, he seriously reprimanded me for the dangers of doing that!    OH–yeah–uh…

…seemed like a fun idea at the moment–and HIS hips totally handled those yummy, buttery, calorie-fest crackers better that mine!  ; D

A LONG-ago Fall in The Grand Canyon!

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CL surprise find!It was raining,

I was restless,

and “stuck” in my current project.  What to do,

what to do.

Why, go check out CL for MORE projects~ d u h.

Oh, this is cool!    Would you take $15 ??  Yes?!  Would I come 1st thing tomorrow: )

♥ ♥ ♥

Mother nature has been making me reorganize projects.  Beginning with the fact that one of the [badly] damaged tree branches from last summer’s tornadoes finally gave up.  Ironically, the tree guy was coming THAT day—until a thunderstorm backed us up to -the next day- .  Yep, Murphy’s Law.

*Murphy's Law

♥ ♥ ♥

Since we had a sunny window and I had -I thought- a quick stripping job, I figured I’d stay outside for the moment to work on my surprise CL library table!

I was thinking I’d like a stripped top-natural look with a painted bottom.  And then I thought about what else I had and how it wouldn’t really go with anything—so I decided to lightly stain the top.  Now I’m on the fence about the painted bottom~maybe I should just strip the WHOLE THING-?  Any thoughts?

the stripper I like to use when it's just old varnish and stain--This is the stripper I like to use   when it’s just old varnish and stain.

Think of it like a good bath –again–when there’s no paint involved.  This is the same stripper I used on my Grandpa’s rockers, the China cabinet, and numerous other projects through the years.

It’s stinky-strong and will burn your skin so use it in a well ventilated area and wear appropriate gloves.  And I guess my gloves are due for replacement ’cause my pinky finger got sort of burned by the end of this job–yOWza!


the ibrary table from CL

♥ ♥ ♥

So, I’m back to bouncing around multiple projects.

Since the library table needs to be dealt with outside– . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . it’s on hold for better weather,

and I’m heading back to the LL and the China cabinet.

As for the tree–it too has to wait until the weather changes. . . .again.


Ps– if you’re trying to find Zinsser products here’s a link

I’m sharing this project with a few of my favorite linky parties!


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WoW! Does this look like MY cabinet!Someone brought this to my attention last week, and -yes- it really caught me by surprise!

…look familiar to you too?

She sent me this link to an online store called Belle Escape.  I literally blinked a whole bunch of times and just stared.

Uh–especially at their price!   $1895.oo   Yowza!

WoW! Does this look like MY cabinet!


My 1st place project in the OMTWI contest!-

Here’s the one I built once again (for my mom) in a competition 2+ yrs ago!

You can follow the progress of building and finishing it

by the links below.

Beginning HERE,

then HERE,

and HERE!

*My mom is thinking about selling if she can get THAT price too!  ; D








See you tomorrow

with a new project!



My 1st place project in the OMTWI contest!uh--WoW!

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a little privacy for the alcove--At last I have found time to return to the Alcove so I can wrap up the Hall project!

You can see the Hall projects throughout the months of February and June 2014.

I’ve begun hanging tongue and groove pine boards to the ceiling, but, just above the bed area.

I really wanted the space to have a more COZY and PRIVATE sense for anyone using it.  So I hung drapes to effect separation~ but made them lace for a lighter feel.

I had said in a previous post that I would face-trim the drapery mount so you wouldn’t see the dowels—and that’s where I jumped back in.

face-trimming the lace drapesI used molding that I already had, but didn’t have enough of any one profile~ so there are differing styles at the front side vs inside (but nothing dramatic).  It’s finished, but for some touch-ups.

hanging pine in the alcove--Now I’m working on the ceiling–

4″ painted pine, just at the sleeping area ceiling for a cocooning effect.

I was participating in a glue trial so I got to play with gluing the boards up vs shooting them in place with my compressor/nailer.

The nail gun means less “destruction” if it’s ever taken down, but it also means puttying lots of holes.

The glue was a new Gorilla Bond construction adhesive that I really liked.  It had great “grab” for an instant hold—but it didn’t give much room for wiggling things into place so you had to be pretty precise placing boards.  I used a rubber mallet to flatten the boards to the ceiling and squish out the glue.

applying the pine boards--

trimming the alcove ceilingYou can see I ripped wood to the ceiling angle (by tipping the table saw blade to the right angle)–to close in the pine at the peak and give a “flat” finish to re-hang the chandelier.  I also used some (upside down) chair rail cap to trim/finish the end runs.

The same chair rail cap will be used to finish the leading edges—I was initially going to rip the sliver of pine to close in the gap, but the chair-rail cap was a perfect fit!

trimming the leading edges--

Some boards got pre-painted, unfortunately not all of them so I’ll have to paint UPSIDE DOWN—fun, fun.  I didn’t have enough chair rail cap so I’ll quickly chase off for that, finish any caulking and get painting.

Can’t wait to be done!


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--changing things up!but believe me,

it has been so busy around here and I’ve been working on all kinds of miscellaneous things that would no doubt bore you to death

except for this project!


I’ve decided to change up the furniture in my mom’s LL to give things a fresh new look!

Beginning with a switch-a-roo of the rattan set I gave her as we renovated the house.

The sofa, settee, cocktail table, and side table just went to storage—until further notice, and they may be going up for sale.  The sofa table went there a while ago and the fern chest has gone to the antique mall for sale.

The LL--post Christmas '12

the Great Aunties' old table--

Here’s the new plan—

The table in the “corner” (with the lamp) came from our late Great Aunties.  Mom has these vivid childhood memories of it always being paired with a chair in a very large dressing closet—so she won’t part with it–no matter what!

*I think I may have given her an anxiety attack with this particular project because,

I decided to


to make it the new coffee table!

A simple project!  15-20 minutes et, voilà!

--a QUICK change!

I determined a height for the “new” table and found the most natural spot in the turned legs to make my cut!  What could be easier?!

I think it looks very natural and LUV IT!  And thankfully–so does mom!

You can also see Grandpa’s  rockers  never sold so we’re keeping them! (not upset about that at all!)  I brought the one rocker I was keeping all along and will do some additional work on it, plus, I pulled my caned sofa from storage and am changing out the lighting!

The cut-off legs will eventually be re-purposed into another project and many more changes to this space are afoot—stay tuned!


--the table cut down

Yes!  Everything is in CHA-A-A-OS!  (…sigh…)

--the new vignette is taking shape!

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