Table Tableau

Decorating a new place can be an expensive adventure.  There are the usual expenses like any new furniture or kitchen supplies, but then there are the not so fun extra expenses ~ you almost never see new bath mats, or silverware organizers in beautiful home decor magazines.  However, while there is no easy way to make some of those more mundane essentials at home, you can make something new out of some old items to perk up your living room.

I obtained this little vanity from a relative who had it in storage for a few years.  It looks to be a child’s size dresser with three small drawers, painted white and lemon.  I can’t tell you where to get your own dresser, but I can recommend how to spruce it up when you find one!

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Note:  before you paint a light going over with some sandpaper can help to smooth the surface.  It also removes any dust that a damp cloth misses.

I enjoy painting things at night.   There is something about the cool silence of the evening hours that is conducive to decorating.  So one night, I spread flattened paper bags on my bathroom floor to catch drips, popped open the quart of paint (white diamond), grabbed a sponge brush and began painting.  I started with the legs to make sure that I could get good coverage – and turn the table over if needed without smudging any paint on the top.

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Give your new furniture enough paint to make sure that the end result is flawless.  I know that the distressed look is very ‘in’ right now, but clean and neat is a classic look!  The way to insure that your paint job will come out smooth and glossy, without any holidays (uneven or bare spots) is to give it two coats … this is the same strategy that I use for getting an even shine with my finger nail polish too!

Viola ~ a cute new corner for my living room!

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Tiny Screwdrivers are Stupid

Photo on 7-28-13 at 7.33 AM

No new apartment is complete without at least one trip it Ikea.  I’m not the most handy girl, but I’ve watched more than my share of This Old House and the New Yankee Workshop (thanks Dad) so I figured that assemble at home furniture would be a snap.  Ikea has directions that come in tiny books with many little figures either smiling or frowning or with Xs through them as they march around the pages putting the small screw (No, not the large screw yet!) into the long board like a very pragmatic, wordless comic book.

The bed was starting to resemble a bed-like structure, with a headboard and a footboard and two side panels all securely in place, and I began gloating about my assembly skills.  That is when we reached for the midbeam and realized that an error had been made.  I say ‘an error had been made’ in the same way that politicians acknowledge that ‘mistakes were made’ or children admit that ‘someone spilled something’ on the white carpet … meaning, I did it.  In my excitement and haste to put together the many tiny boards that somehow constitute a sturdy headboard, I had put one piece (the most critical piece) in backwards.

As anyone knows putting together one of those assemble-at-home pieces of furniture is like the furnishings equivalent to that old children’s song … the headboard is connected to the support board, the support board is connected to the footboard… So when one piece is wrong, all the pieces are wrong.

My husband didn’t say a thing, just shook his head, and picked up the tiny bent metal that is supposed to function as a screwdriver and began un-fastening the top pieces.  He must really love me.