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Hanging up the Quilt

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Recently I shared the inspiration for the color scheme of the guest house was a fun quilt my great grandmother made. I just love those little houses. I always knew it would be hung on the north wall above the beds. I just didn’t have a plan for hanging it.

Thank goodness I have a problem solving hubby.

We laid out the quilt and decided to display 9 squares in a 3 x 3 pattern.

Mr. Math designed a quilt hanger using two sections of 1 x 6 painted boards and four bolts to basically hold the quilt in place by squeezing the folded quilt in place.

Slipping the folded quilt in was tricky but the idea worked!

Mr. Math cut off the bolts then we hung the quilt with some small brackets that held up the wood part without touching the quilt.

It looked good the first try but a little too low. I could just see it getting pulled down.

The second try was much better.

I am so glad to have a place for the quilt. The frames next to the quilt hold two framed prints of quilts that we bought in the early 90’s and a piece of tatting my grandmother made. Still working on getting something cohesive for the pillows on the beds when using them as daybeds.

It is so nice to have another project done.

Thanks for following along with us on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

Installing a Vintage Kitchen Cabinet

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Five years ago I bought a complete 1930’s upper kitchen cabinet set on Craigslist. It was solid, but filthy. The cabinet sat in storage at our house from the day we brought it home but I always knew where it would go when we finally got the guest house started.

It had all the original Bakelite hardware still on it but was in too bad of shape to save.

We literally figured out how big the front window could be, the location of the window, and the door based on this cabinet set. There was math involved and a little fussing at each other over getting everything just right.

When we started the building the cabinets were moved to the outdoor kitchen so I could work on it.

I took all the cabinet doors, hardware, and all the nails from when it was removed from the wall off then sanded everything down. It took several days.

Apparently at some point the cabinets were in a shop or garage and some knucklehead stored oil in there. It too a bit of sanding and strong primer to get the oil stains covered.

The cabinet doors had to be stripped and all the holes filled. The outdoor kitchen is only partially under cover and we have had the rainiest summer I can remember. Most days it was under a tarp.

The cabinets were painted with Behr cabinet paint in bright white. I picked chrome hardware to play on the vintage feel. Hardware is expensive people. For four knobs, two handles, hinges, and fasteners it was over $50.00 but it is so pretty!

That hardware! The Fiesta plate is a gift from my friend The Social Planner. Her father in law made it for them years ago.

The cabinets sat so long outside that when the were installed they needed another cleaning and a coat of paint. The biggest challenge was to get cabinets that were taken out of an old house, then put in a storage unit, then moved, then again in storage, then outside then moved again installed so that they were level and square on the wall.

The first try didn’t go so well.

Look at the cabinets compared to the wall and the horizontal planks. I literally laughed out loud.

The wall isn’t square, the floor isn’t level, but with some adjustments and more fussing, it looks better. Adding vintage kitchen ware on top helped too.

A folding table is standing in for the kitchenette until we get it built. That vintage sink under the window will be so beautiful.

We have a beautiful butcher block counter, vintage sink, refrigerator, microwave, and storage going in after the exterior gets painted. I am making myself wait but it is hard.

Aren’t you glad you don’t have to work off my drawings?

We love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Why We Hired a Pro for the Tub

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If you know us, you know that we do as much work as we can on our projects unless we don’t have the strength or skills to do the work. We definitely did not not have the skill or experience to refinish our tub and sink so we hired it out. This post is not knocking someone who refinished their own tub or sink. If you were able to successfully do it I applaud you. I just know our limits. Together Mr. Math and I can do basic construction, plumbing, electrical, tile, and paint but haven’t had experience with bathtub refinishing.

We have hung on to the old farm sink since March of 2015. I paid a whole $2.00 for the sink and moved it with us here to Providence Acres. I loved it at first sight and would have been so disappointed if I messed it up trying to DIY refinish it.

It looked rough when we got it but the dark stain was just a moldy hard water spot.

The sink looked much better once I used CLR and toilet bowl cleaner to clear it up but it still wasn’t good enough to use as a kitchen sink.

Once it was cleaned there were rust stains and chips I hadn’t seen before.

The 5 1/2 foot long claw foot tub that we bought on Facebook marketplace for $200.00 was painted lime green on the base when we picked it up. I thought the porcelain looked to be in good shape but once the professional got started on it, I could see the pits and dings all over it.

A pro has access to the chemicals I don’t have and knows how to use them safely. Jesus came with exhaust fans, respirator mask, and a truck load of chemicals. I think his vehicle should have a hazmat warning sticker on it.

Muriatic acid, epoxy bonding agents, super thick oil based primer, and two part epoxy all smelled bad and took gloves and a mask along with a special fine mist sprayer, sander and porcelain bondo meant I would have never been able to have done this job as well as someone who does this for a living.

Jesus showed up at 11:00 with a helper and worked non stop until after 5:00 and then returned the following week to buff out some rough spots after the enamel had cured. We are just thrilled with how both turned out. So clean and shiny!

The finished project is beautiful.

I can’t wait to get the bathroom tiled, septic in and everything installed. We are getting closer.

Thank you for following along on our journey.

We love to hear from you.

Karen

1940’s Chest of Drawers

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Waaay back on December 30th Mr. Math and I headed off to collect a chest of drawers, vanity, and mirror. Somehow along the way I also picked up a lime green claw foot tub but that is a story for another day.

The furniture belonged to my friend’s grandparents and had been in a garage for 20 years and was showing what humidity can do to furniture over time. The veneer was coming off and the drawers were warped. The mirror is going to really need some attention down the road but it is a beauty. I had no idea when I picked up these pieces that shortly I would temporarily go back to work. As a principal. Then there was a pandemic. Then online learning, zoom meetings, virtual everything. The bedroom furniture got put on the back burner. I have been busy people. I promise. So the furniture moved from one garage to another.

I honestly thought that the chest of drawers would be too much work to save but that original folk art factory stenciling kept staring at me. I knew I would have to give saving at least some of it a try. I got busy stripping the veneer off. I had to get a steamer after parts of it but it came off and got sanded. I bought water based polyurethane hoping I could seal the drawers after cleaning them. The first coat was a disaster. The old varnish under the poly started bubbling up. I stopped after one coat thinking that this was all getting primed and painted. I went to bed thinking about that darn chest of drawers. The next morning I decided to try going over the bubbly varnish with steel wool and to my surprise it wasn’t horrible. It took four coats to get them looking decent. They still aren’t perfect but I am glad they were preserved. The top was totally stripped and sanded by my husband including all those wiggly grooves around the top drawer. I stained it all dark walnut

I am keeping this set for my guest room. The base of the chest of drawers was painted a warm white called cinnamon bun. I liked the original hardware patina so I kept the as is but will be spraying them with a sealer soon. I convinced my husband to stop moving it inside to take some pictures, but I still have some touch ups. I love how it turned out and look forward to having it in my home.

Using the Restoration Hardware Finish to Fix a Problem

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A pile of tables were given to me.  I know.  I am so very lucky.

tables

The table I worked on this weekend was the one at the back in this picture.  I know I should have taken a better picture of the table, but in true form I just got in the mood to paint and jumped in.  It is how I operate when a lot is going on.  Paint first, think later.
The tables had been in a vacant house left by previous renters and this one was in pretty rough shape.
I fell in love with particular table because I have an identical one that is in great shape from my mom.   My table is a family piece that I would get grounded if I painted.  This one I am free to do what I want to.

I spray painted the legs with chalk spray paint I picked up at Walmart.  I liked the paint but frankly it wasn’t worth the extra cost for the chalk finish.  I should have just purchased flat white paint.


This table at one point sat under a leak and had water stains along with a water ring that just wouldn’t come out, even with sanding the finish off.  I tried my darkest stain, Minwax Jacobean, and the stain still showed through.  Bummer.


I knew I wanted the top of the table to be stained with the bottom painted, so I knew I needed a solution to my water problem.  The solution was my Restoration Hardware Weathered Oak Finish for the top.

I figured out this finish through trial and error and have used it several times like here on the bathroom vanity in our suburban house

dresser to bathroom vanity

and here on the top and sides of the Funky Dresser

Funky Dresser

It is a finish that covers a lot of flaws and is almost foolproof.  This finish is the most popular post on my blog, so I guess I am not alone in using the simple process.

Pickling Stain on top of the stained wood then wipe off in the direction of the wood grain almost immediately.


It always looks a little nasty at this point and every time I second guess my decision.

The next step is to apply a coat of Jacobean stain over the top.


Wipe off the excess stain with the grain and voila- the water rings disappear.

I sanded the paint slightly on the legs and will ne adding a clear protective finish to the top of the table once I am sure the stain has dried completely.


It turned out great and gave me the satisfaction of getting one project done this past weekend.

I don’t know where this table will end up, but I really think it is pretty.

I hope you were productive this last weekend,

Blessings,

Karen

Our First Project- The Kitchen

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It looks like we will be closing on our home Friday.  We now have a closing date and time at the title company.  The insurance guy has gone to take pictures, and he survey is completed.  Whew.  This has been a struggle.

Before Mr. Math has to return to work, we want to get the kitchen up and running.

Here is how the kitchen looks today:

   
   
I found this inspiration picture on TomKat Designs

  
There are a lot of elements in this picture.  

Here are the plans to get the kitchen spruced up that should be doable this summer:

1.  The carpet must go.  Vinyl plank floating floor is going in as soon as it comes in.  Currently it is back ordered until August 5th.

  
2.  The fluorescent light is coming down and pot lights are going in around the kitchen.

3.  The ceiling fan is coming out.  

4.  There is a huge pantry on the other side of the refrigerator that is coming out so that a walkway can be put in to open up the space.  We are going to put in a pantry in the laundry room.

  
5.  Pendant lights are going over the island.  I plan on working on some IKEA pendants to get the look I want.

  
6.  A farmhouse sink is going in.  I have decided that I wNt a double farmhouse sink.  I love the way it looks in the kitchen of House of Smiths.

  
   
 7.  The cabinet doors are getting a makeover.

  
8.  The laminate will be replaced with Quartz.  

  
9.  The cabinets will be painted two toned and hardware added.

   

  
We will be keeping white appliances because one day I hope to have a vintage stove…one day.

We will keep you posted on our progress.

I hope your summer is going well.

Blessings,

Karen

Mid Century Chair Makeover

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We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter.  They were rough.  They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.

  

       I loved the classic style, and the solid wood frame.  Two of the three are going to go in my guest shed.  The third is going to The Southern Belle.  She will have a project on her hands.

I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t.  He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house.  The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century.  I cannot wait to get started on this project.  I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.  

  
These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over.  After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding.  It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded.  I’m not whining.  I promise.  I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.

When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice.  The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.

One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain.  I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas.  I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out.  Live and learn.  I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.

  
I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled.  Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.

The seats originally had leather strapping.  One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross.  The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess.  After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather.  Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it.  I really do like him being off in summer!

  
 The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math.  He ordered them online for me.  The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines.  They look like they could have been original to the chairs.  He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each.  Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!  

  

All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.

The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.

  
      

The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful.  We were lucky to have found them.

Blessings,

Karen

Finding My Inspiration Home

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Do you ever know what you want something to look like but you just can’t explain it to anyone?  That is how I am about our soon to be- “needs a name”- house right now.  I want the house to have a farmhouse look but with color throughout. A rustic modern farmhouse.   Mr. Math hates this word but I want the rooms to be 80% composed of neutrals with “pops” of color infused in every room.  I am afraid that some folk in my life are afraid that the house is going to look like a bag of jelly beans.  That is not what I mean when I say I want there to be color and light.

Right now all the colorful stuff that is going to be spread around the 2000 square foot house and outdoor kitchen ( which is going to be a bright and cheery kiwi and turquoise) is mushed together in one room with nothing neutral.  I can understand the concern when I show my friends this space.  If the entire house looked like the  storage bedroom does right now I would have to keep a basket of sunglasses by the front door for those brave enough to enter.

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I did find some websites that have the style I am going for in our farm house.  The first house is over the top but I love #7  which is talking about small doses of color infused  I love the white walls, wood ceiling, and bright colors.

Country Living

A little bright goes a long way, so limit the full-throttle shades to accents and put it in neutral everywhere else. Even neon (yes, neon) looks smart when used sparingly. In daughter Lia's attic bedroom, a highlighter-yellow pillow and rug feel vibrant and hip without overwhelming the space, thanks to the more muted teals and pinks. RELATED: 42 Kids' Rooms You'll Both Love

This home in Hooked on Houses is much more the look we are going for.  It is bright and playful but still an adult home.  I love the look of this hallway and the  bedroom in this house is beautiful.  I love how the homeowner has infused color in an overall vintage and neutral home.

Hooked on Houses

Alison Kandler's Colorful Farmhouse (3)

Here are some of the wild colors that will be finding a home in our home.

These quilts, which were all made by my grandmothers or great grandmothers are going to be in a quilt cabinet- as soon as I find, or more likely- make one something like the one pictured below.  

   
 I will have to come up with something for the door because I don’t have any windows that size.  I love that my grandmothers loved color as much as I do.  The quilts are definitely vivid.

source:  ashleysprimatives.com

The cow print is going to be hung on a reclaimed wood “gate” made from my husband’s family barn and some hardware off their smoke house door.  The gate with the picture are going to hang/lean on our fireplace mantle.

  
The dresser is going to be our media center.

Funky Dresser

I may be changing out the red on the bottom drawer and knob but I wont know what needs to be done until I see it in the room.  We shall see.

Our bedroom will be light with an aqua headboard, coral lamps, white, mismatched, vintage night stands.  There will be milk glass vases, my vintage window , and will have wood elements through a pine bedroom dresser and chest of drawers.  I am going to love that room.  

coral, pink and blue girls room

I have the bed painted Aqua.  I am looking for bedding now.

   
   The chicken was painted by a friend and will be hanging in my kitchen.  It is so cute.  I love that she painted it for me.

  
It is so much fun dreaming of our soon to be home. I am excited that in two months we should be moving in.

Tick, tick tick.  Waiting is hard. 

200 Dollar Bedroom Makeover 

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Have you ever read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff?  I was an elementary teacher a long time so I relate to a lot of children’s books.  In this particular book we learn that if you give a mouse a cookie, he is going to ask for a glass of milk which leads to a straw, then a napkin… the list grows.  

My master bedroom is a lot like that book.  Mr. Math finally convinced me to get a king sized bed.  Since we were already switching from a queen sized bed to a king I thought that it was the perfect time to do a mini makeover for the bedroom.  The change in bed size meant that we needed a new headboard, bedding, pillows, etc.  Add to the new bed that a friend just gave me a load of 12 inch wide reclaimed cedar and a plan started to form.

I have had this particular picture Pinned for a long time. Viva Terra

 

I love the rustic bed, the blue bedding, and the ship lap wall behind the bed.  Viva Terra calls this particular bed Gustavian and a king bed is $2195  with a $200 delivery fee.  It is a stunning bed but the chances of me paying that much for a headboard and footboard are almost nil.  I also love my bench at the foot of the bed to put on shoes so no footboard. 

I remembered that I had see this tutorial on Remodelaholic.  Curvy Reclaimed Wood Headboard Tutorial

 

I had also seen  this tutorial on how to make a faux shiplap wall using this plywood.  Sweet Pickins and knew it would be the perfect backdrop for the bed.

 

Well, this very rainy weekend we got the room done. The bed got delivered Monday but has been hanging out in our hallway until we could get the room makeover completed.  We did it and all in, the makeover- less the cost of the new bed, pillows, mattress pad and sheets, was  under $200.00.  As usual it didn’t go as planned, but I like the happy accidents.  I will have pictures and instructions this week. 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Blessings,

Karen

My Plans for the Guest Shed

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I am HATING and I do mean HATING having the Garagemahal shut down while the near the lake house is on the market.  It has been an unusually cold, wet winter in southeast Texas and I have been at loose ends.  It is too cold and or dark in the evenings when I come in to work on projects at home during the week and it is all about decluttering, cleaning, and moving stuff to storage on the weekends.  Oh how I hope this is all over soon.

One of the things that I can do right now is plan and dream.  After my big winfall at the clean out the barn sale, I am really thinking about the Guest Shed.  According to the tax rolls it is a little over 400 square feet.

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I know you are probably not impressed with it, but it is cool. It has a wood burning stove, hardwood floors reclaimed from a high school gym and already has plumbing. Currently it is a wood shop but it wouldn’t work for me. The enclosed space wouldn’t accommodate moving furniture in and out. There is a better space on the property already.

 Have you ever tried Olioboard?  It is fun to use.

OB-guest shed 

If you have a room you are thinking about redoing it is a great way to envision the space. I have super cool mid century chairs instead of the ones pictured, we will be building a Murphy bed that will look like a cabinet. The space will have a bathroom with a shower, a kitchenette with my farmhouse sink find in it a and cabinets already in the space.

The one room guest house is going to have bright white walls, a whitewashed turquoise wall, bright curtains. (I am thinking orange print for the curtains.) I love the site Spoonflower for fabrics. Right now these are my favorites:

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I am leaning toward the wood grain as a nod to the woods surrounding the shed.

I plan on getting a modern vinyl fouton that can double as an added bed. I think the artwork is going to be mid century-ish fish as another reminder of the lake nearby. ( I also think they are really cool.)

I found these cool images on Etsy.







 This Good Housekeeping 1959 photo is my inspiration with a more modern twist.

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I collected some colors while out yesterday and I found the cushions for the lounge chair at Lowes. They are a green print.



Now if only our lake house would sell quickly.  Fingers crossed.

I hope you all have a dry, warm, productive day.

Blessings,

Karen

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