Re-Invented Ballard Design Table

Found along my travels looking for tired furniture ripe for re-invention, I came across this Ballard Design side table/night stand.  It was solidly built and had great bones but it was crying out for a re-invention.

Tired but solid and with lots of life left.

Tired but solid and with lots of life left.

Armed with a couple of cans of the amazing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I began the process of re-invention on this little beauty. I began with a light sanding, a coat of Annie Sloan Old White and then a wash of Annie   Blue. I painted the inside of the cabinet and inside the draw with a couple of coats of her paint in the color Provence. I finished with a few coats of clear wax and buffed to a soft sheen. Finally I updated to hardware to go with the finishes and behold the re-invention of the Ballard Design Table was complete. This is currently available for purchase on here .

Ballard Design Table Complete

Annie Sloan Provence inside drawer.

Annie Sloan Provence inside Cabinet


Lots of projects in the works. I have a great assortment of fun, beachy throw pillows I have been working on and once I take some photos of them, I put them online. I have also found some great new pieces of furniture on their way to re-invention so stay tuned.

Until next time, have a great weekend. Best, Linda


The Re-Invented Hollywood Regency Club Chair


I have always been inspired to take a stab at re-upholstering.  I happened upon this chair recently and I had a vision.  As a first re-upholstering test, I would highly recommend starting with something a little bit easier.  Having said that, there is something exciting about taking on a big challenge and completing it.  This chair was in dire need of a DIY intervention before it was headed to the dump.  The seat foam was so entirely rotted that it weighed about 20 pounds.  Disclaimer:  all deconstruction was done in the garage and I highly recommend doing the same if possible.

I will not provide a tutorial on upholstering as it was my first project and the steps from a to z were by no means examples of best practice.  It was a great learning experience and perhaps the next chair will be presented in more of a how to manner.  I did manage to get my hands on a matching chair and I am considering making them a matching pair.

Sorry looking Hollywood Regency Chair as found.

Sorry looking Hollywood Regency Chair as found.


Hollywood Regency Chair Before Side View

Hollywood Regency Chair Before Side View

This sorry chair was completely stripped down to it’s spring all ready to get dressed for the party.


Almost ready to begin getting dressed for the party.

Almost ready to begin getting dressed for the party.

Some sanding and a fresh shiny coat of white paint were in need. Then the reconstruction of the upholstery began. I found this beautiful fabric online here . This nautilus inspired fabric was really high quality and a dream to work with. It is actually reversible which worked out quite well when I make my millions of yards of self-welting and accidentally reversed the fabric. Luck for me it added a nice touch in the end. So after several weeks of working on her now and then, she was finally feeling like Cinderella and ready for the party.

Cinderella ready for the party.

Hollywood Regency Chair Done

Hollywood Regency Chair Completed Side View

Hollywood Regency Chair Completed Side View

Hollywood Regency Club chair complete - back.

Hollywood Regency Club chair complete – back.

So I have finished my  first re-upholstery project and can’t wait for it to get warm enough to start in on the matching chair or another one I have waiting for me in the garage.

Coming soon – I discovered Annie Sloan Chalk paint….watch out tired and shabby furniture out there my paintbrush is ready and able to re-invent you too!  I have spent a lot of time pondering the whole idea of reinventing yourself lately.  If you could re-invent yourself, what would you do?

Till next time.  Have a great week.  Linda

I am back.

It has been way too long since I have updated  Life sometimes gets in the way of all of the fun or a giant company steps on your toes and squashes your spirit.  To be honest, I had some Google adsense ads running on my blog as well as on my company website  One day, quite suddenly, Google kicked me out of Adsense for no apparent reason and totally without explanation on both on my blog and my website.  If you know Google, they just shut you down and that is that.  No recourse, no conversation, no nothing.  My feelings were hurt and I was angry.  I have spent many 100′s of thousands of dollars with Google Adwords over the past  thirteen or fourteen years on my business website and was looking to get a tiny fraction back in running some ads on it and  I can only imagine, the blog had something to do with it because I would never compromise my business or reputation by intentionally doing something wrong.

Well, long story short, I took it personally and was ready to throw in the towel on my blogging.  Blah, blah blah, same old story.  Giant company looks to control the world.  Well my friends I have had my wake up call and I have now decided, I can’t let a big company like Google take me down.  So onward and upward we go.  It is not about the money.  I wasn’t even making any money.  It is about sharing and being a part of a great community of makers, designers, DYI’ers and like minded souls.

The good news is, I have been busily working on some really fun projects over the past several months and I can’t wait to share them with you going forward 

Inspirations…. First Build – Media Console

I am so excited for today’s post.  It seems like it was forever from beginning to end.  Unfortunately, running a full-time business sometimes gets in the way of my fun!

Where do your inspirations come from?  I find inspiration everywhere.  I love visiting Twombly’s Garden Center to get inspiration from the many beautiful plants and trees. I am also a big fan of Pinterest.  I am always thinking of the next project, build, fix, paint, design or redo.

My newest inspiration came from a photo in House Beautiful Magazine you can see it here.  I saw the photo of the room in an issue in a decorator’s store and was wowed by the amazing shinny purple door.  I said to my friend “I must use that glossy purple paint somewhere”.  The first idea that came to me was that I needed a media center for my TV in my great room.  I had just painted that wall a beautiful lilac and the rest of the walls a light aqua.  That is the moment I decided I would build it myself and paint it all glossy and purple!

I have always been a big fan of woodworking but have not had much experience.  I have a great assortment of power tool from little projects here and there.

I began my  online search for some building plans.  That is where I discover the amazing building blog by Ana White and all of the project plans she has all free.  I settled on this media center.   It had the basic bones that I needed and was approximately the size I needed.  I decided that I didn’t want doors or drawers.  I wanted an open space for my components and the lower shelves for some pretty baskets.  I also decided that I wanted casters or wheels instead of legs so I could easily move it and clean behind it.  I am a huge fan of wheels on furniture.  They are very functional and can be fun and funky as well.

I purchased the wood necessary to build my rendition of the media console and also purchased the recommended  Kreg Jigs® .  That tool was amazing and now I just want to keep building things.  So here is a bit of the process:

 This the the box built.

 Here it is primed and wheels attached.  These wheels rock!  You may notice some bowls and pots filled with water around the room.  The paint manufacture suggests a kiddie pool filled with some water in the room prior to and during painting to collect dust particles from the air and keep them from being attracted to your paint.  I figured this would do the trick:)

 Although expensive, I chose Fine Paints of Europe – Hollandlac Brilliant in a beautiful shade of purple.  This is a super high-gloss finish that is exactly what I wanted.

Here it is painted (not the easiest paint to work with – but worth it) and ready to roll.

A closer look at the paint and wheels.

I added a thin back with holes cut out for the cords for a nice finished look and

found some cool baskets and sprayed them turquoise to tie in with the wheels.

The final product!  I love my new console and I had a great time making it.

Lessons learned with this first build:  Cut a bit bigger and then you can shave it down to fit.  Cut too small and you have gaps.  It is well worth the time to sand really well and remove all traces of dust prior to painting.  Next time I also think I would prime all of the wood prior to assembly and touch up afterward.

 What inspires you?  Where to do get your best decorating ideas?  Recipe ideas?  Garden design ideas?  Now all I want to do is start on some new project.  I don’t have much room for more furniture but I’ll be ready when the next inspiration hits me.  I really want to build a brick pizza oven but I’m not sure masonry is as forgiving as woodworking.  Cheers, Linda


Glass Tile Back Splash Project

Happy Friday – My favorite day of the week.  The beginning of the weekend!

This winter I tackled a glass tile back splash project.  I must admit that this was one of the most intimidating projects I have attempted.  The only tile experience I had previously was installing pebble tile floors in front of my fireplace,   and laundry room.  They were easy because there was no tile cutting involved.  If a pebble didn’t fit you just replaced it with a different one.  I will share the finished product first and then go through some of the photos shot while doing the install.


I should begin by telling you I have no upper cabinets in my kitchen so there was not a lot of tiling that needed to be done.  Nevertheless, this project has been weighing on my mind for several years.  I did not want to spend the money to have a professional installer do such a small job.  Besides, I love a challenge.  This is what the back splash and bar looked like before.



So I got lots of sample tiles to find just that right tile.  This was a one-shot deal.  No going back and changing my mind.  It is tile meant to go up and stay up a long, long time.  I bought the small  1″ x 2″ aqua glass tiles online as well as the grout.  The tile was on sale but the grout (a special ground glass grout for glass tile) was not any deal.   I purchased the necessary equipment:  A very cheap tile cutter, glass tile blade, eye protective glasses, a mask, (I already had a grout float and trowel and some painter’s tape.)




Don’t worry about all that cracked glass tile.  That was, fortunately, at the bottom of the box.  This picture does not properly reflect the color.  They are a real aqua color.  My counters are blue granite and my pendant lights are aqua crystal so it all works quite nicely,

Next time I will check all of the tiles before I begin my project.  One more purchase that I absolutely loved were these double-sided tile sheets.  You cut them to size and affix them to your tile area.  You then press your tiles (cut to size) onto the sheet and you are done.  Here is a photo of the packaging and a shoot of the sheets on the wall.


What a dream those sheets are.  They aren’t inexpensive but for a small tile job like mine, they save you having to trowel the adhesive onto the wall prior to laying the tiles.  Because the sheets come set on a backing, you have to cut tons of tiles in half to even the way down the wall in the subway style pattern they are arranged in.  I made a template and just counted how many halves I would need.  When you install the halves, you put the cut side in so the reveal is a finished edge.  Pretty simple once you get going.  The next photo shows the tiles pre-grout.


The next day the grout was troweled on and wiped off with a damp sponge.  This grout is amazing.  Since it is made of glass, the grout lines don’t really show a lot and the glass tiles are the feature. The grout has a bit of sparkle to it but it is hard to see in the photos.  Trust me it is lovely.



I am thrilled with the final product and now I want to just tile everything.  That is the problem when your project is over.  What do you tackle next.  I decided to build a media center for my TV.  All that is left is to attach the back.  You’d thing something that simple would be a no brainer but… I need a second set of hands to get it properly lined up to attach it to the back.  I’ll ask Leslie to lend me a hand so I can complete it and share it with you.  Have a great weekend.  Cheers, Linda copyright 2012-2013