A Gray Striped Dresser

March 15th, 2012

My friend is redoing her little girl’s room and she really loves the coastal look in her  home, so when she mentioned she was redecorating, naturally I volunteered my help. 

One of her requests in her girl’s room design was to makeover the pine dresser that one of her in-laws painted for her daughter years ago.  It was a kind gesture with a *ahem* questionable result.  This is what the dresser looked like before I got my hands on it. 

fish dresser before 2

Clearly someone got a little carried away with the ‘Under the Sea’ theme and then threw in some black and white action just to keep us all mesmerized. It’s not that I have a thing against tropical fish. They’re cute on canvas or in a fish tank or floating in front of my snorkel mask while I’m vacationing in Hawaii. I’m just not a fan of them on a pine dresser.  (Which one’s your favorite by the way?)

We decided to keep with the coastal theme but I transformed the dresser from a nautical no no to a more subdued Nantucket nicety with thick gray stripes running down the front.

gray striped dresser after

Super cute for a little girl’s room! 

Here’s the step by step.

AS chalk paint is one of my three favorites to paint furniture with, especially when I’m going for a weathered or distressed look, so I mixed up some Old White, Paris Grey, and a little Duck Egg Blue to arrive at a bluish grayish shade for the stripes.

mix chalk paints

 

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Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing & Design – Review

March 15th, 2012

I’ve told you before that I hoard paint swatches, but did you also know I hoard fabric remnants as well?  Yes it’s true, I have baskets and bins filled with scraps and yardage of fabric I want to use somewhere, someday, whenever I get around to it. My idea of a perfect afternoon involves a good mocha and a warehouse full of fabulous fabric to admire and caress, and to add to my growing collection – I’m sure there are many of you that feel the same.

I don’t do many book reviews, but I was invited to be part of a blog tour for a book all about the process, or the art I should say, of designing and printing fabric.  Hello, sign me up – that’s one topic I find completely fascinating!  I was sent this lovely text Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design by textile designer Laurie Wisbrun, published by Chronicle Books.

mastering the art of fabric printing book review

 

The 200+ illustrative text begins with a primer on understanding patterns from floral to geometric to ethnic motifs.  Various textures are discussed and then we’re introduced to the concept of repeat patterns.  You’ll learn all about mirroring, composition, scale, and layout, etc.

understanding patterns

 

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Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

March 13th, 2012

It seems it’s “tips” week here at CG and today we’re talking about some general suggestions for selling your home.  When I say “we” I mean I’ve invited my mister to share some tips with you since he’s the guy with all the knowledge on this subject – he’s a real estate appraiser and broker (yep both!) with over 25 years experience.  I asked him to contribute some of his knowledge so he was kind enough to write up this article for you today.

And after three years, it’s time I stop referring to him as just “mister” so allow me to introduce my husband to you by his actual name – it’s Matthew, or Matt as most people call him.  There I feel much better now that you finally know his name too!  Matt’s taking the helm here to share his ten best suggestions for selling your home quickly and achieving top dollar at the same time.  Here he is:

“Kate asked me to share some of my suggestions for maximizing the value of your home when you decide to put it on the market (and she’s going to add some pictures to illustrate too.)  First know that these recommendations depend on a variety of factors such as price range, time of year, region, and location, and this list is by no means all inclusive.

For first timers, the process of selling a home can be stressful, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the anxiety of the sale and secure the best sales price too. Most people buy the home they feel the most emotionally connected with – the one they can envision living in. Your goal as the seller is to give that feeling to the best of your ability to any potential buyer that comes through your door.

Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

1. First Impressions Matter.  The exterior of your home gives potential buyers the first impression and you want it to be looking its very best.  Start by power washing your home to get rid of any cobwebs, dirt, or grime. Rid your driveway of any oil stains and move any old cars off the property. Focus attention on an attractive and inviting entry with a new welcome mat, potted plants, and flowers. If your front porch light is old and/or broken spend $30 and give it a facelift with a new fixture. Spruce up the landscaping, mow the grass, prune the trees and shrubs, and replace or replant where needed.

inviting front entry

2. Inspect the Exterior and Make Obvious Repairs.  Repair any peeling exterior paint or damaged siding, especially in the front of the home.  Make sure the front door hinges and hardware work perfectly, and the doorbell too since one of the worst first impressions is a non-working doorbell.  If for some reason you can’t get it to work, place a note over the doorbell that reads “Please Knock”.  Sliders and doors all need to be oiled and working smoothly including the sliding screen doors too.  You want that smooth transition from room to room and from indoor to outdoor living.

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