Before + After

Reinventing What You Have

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

When you read shelter mags and design blogs and browse Pinterest, it’s easy to want to replace everything and redecorate your home with new things, but a fresh look is often just a matter of reinventing what you already have. A good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint time and again has come to my rescue as one of the most budget friendly makeover tools. There’s a satisfaction that comes looking at a piece with new eyes and reinventing it rather than tossing it out.

I was asked by Annie Sloan to share their current #MadeItMyOwn contest and giveaway now through September 30th. I’ve worked with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan for years and have a stash of several quarts in my paint cupboard, it’s one of my favorite paints for furniture.

annie sloan chalk paint


I call it the lazy gal (or guy’s) paint since it’s so easy to grab and start painting in place, just lay down a tarp, pop open the can and go to work. No priming (yay!) and no odor so it’s easy to work with indoors.

paint in place 2

I spent last Saturday painting a few pieces, two for myself one for my MIL. I’ve had a plain dresser in my entry for years, I found it at a thrift store, stripped and stained it many moons ago. I like it because it fills the narrow space and stores office and school supplies. The dark wood works for our traditional entry but it was feeling very blah to me all one shade of brown and with very plain knobs.

I gave the drawers two coats of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in Old White then substituted the old knobs with inexpensive geode knobs at World Market. I also changed the silver finish on the mirror to gold with the help of paint and gold leaf found at a craft store.

painted drawers on dresser gold leaf mirror

This old end table was given to me by a friend, it sat in his garage and he was getting rid of it, but I loved the classic lines, the leg detail, and the fact it was finished on all four sides. Sadly the top was in very bad shape.

end table before

I needed a new end table for our family room when our new sectional sofa arrives in two weeks, this one is the perfect shape and with a drawer it will hold remotes. I sanded it and gave it two coats of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan again in Old White then painted its toes with gold leaf paint.

painted end table gold knobs

You can’t go wrong with a white + gold combination, it’s always chic! I also found these faceted gold knobs at World Market for $4 each.

gold faceted knobs


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Furnished Shelter Family Room

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Today I’m very excited to share the furnished family room at the emergency Family Shelter in my hometown. The room install was all day Saturday, we brought in the furniture, hung the curtains and art, and turned it over to the families who were moving in on Sunday. Whew, finished just in time!

My local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) is a non-profit that provides services to prevent and break the cycle of homelessness for children, families, and single adults. This shelter is known as the COTS Family Center, it has 11 rooms and serves homeless families with children. The length of stay at the shelter ranges from three to six months, depending on the difficulty families have finding housing. The purpose of this room is a relaxing space for the parents since the children have a separate play area. Children are allowed of course but the room is mainly to serve the adults.

Three months ago it looked like this, barren and empty. The COTS renovation crew came in last month and painted the walls and trim, they also installed industrial strength vinyl flooring for the whole facility, then I took over.

cots family room before

I asked World Market if they would be so kind to donate furnishings and accessories and they agreed because they rock so everything that you see in the space came from their store! I added the plants and a few tweaks and DIY touches, read about them below along with links to all the products. It’s so warm and inviting now!

shelter family room gray yellow

This is a narrow space so I broke it up into two zones, the sectional and media stand allows for movie viewing and at the back are two wingback chairs for reading, talking, or playing games. I also wanted this space to be neutral and slightly more masculine than spaces I’ve done before. Here’s the tour around the space from right to left.

This Harrow Media Stand is a beast meaning it weighs a ton because it’s solid wood, it had to be delivered by truck and required two big burly dudes to bring it inside. The good news is it so sturdy so it will take a lot of abuse and provides great storage, the DVD player arrives this week (missing in the pictures). There is no cable TV at the shelter only DVDs to watch but the organization has more to bring over this week.

framed pictures around tv on media stand

I’m not the first to say this but wall calendars make the best cheap art! I bought the USA Glitz calendar in the store and framed six of the retro pictures around the TV in the black Mango wood frames. Also pictured is the round cement terrarium.

framed calendar prints


framed calendar art


media stand framed pictures around tv

As accents on the right side of the TV I added an Ivory planter and the gray Thai ceramic vases.

calendar 1


I live by the no matchy matchy furniture sets rule, I think the accent chairs should always be different than the sofa so I chose two Triton High Back chairs. The color is "wheat" but really it’s less beige more of a mustard yellow and it’s wonderful.

Also pictured is the Glynn Accent Table. Originally I had a thrift store table I planned to refinish and use in its place but the second hand find ended up being in need of more repair than I thought, also too big; this simple tulip base black table is the perfect alternative.

pair of high back chairs


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