Friday, July 11, 2014

Don't Know If It's Just Vanity, But I Think This DIY Transformation Rules!

Well I don't know about you, but I'm all about getting the most "bang for your buck," when it comes to upgrades in my home.  We have a very limited budget to address home improvements.  With a 20+ year old home, the list of "things to do" is endless!

We did a little aesthetic upgrade to our guest bathroom a few years ago that included removing some hideous navy, floral wallpaper (can you say "busy?").  We painted the room a beautiful, watery, blue and added beachy beige accents.  Then we replaced the old shiny brass mirror and light sconces.  A new shower curtain and Voila!  It was quite an improvement, but still the dilemma of what to do with the vanity weighed on me.  The wood finish was scratched and worn (it actually looks better in the pic here than it did up close and personal!), the counter-top was white Formica, clean but not as nice as it could be.  The old faucet with the crystal ball handle-you know the one-well it had to go!  So the question was what is the cheapest way to revamp it while still achieving an upscale look? 

One problem was that the vanity was a custom size so trying to buy another one led to the Goldilocks principal- it was either too big or too small- requiring us to make changes to the flooring.  Besides, those new ready to install vanities from the big box stores are made of particle board, not good quality wood like this one.

I knew the vanity would look great repainted in a custom grey color (mix of ASCP Graphite and Paris Grey) to match the mirror and fixtures and that I could do it for very little money, but to replace the counter-top proved to be quite expensive.  So here's where we had to get really creative! 

We created the illusion of a free-standing cabinet by adding "feet!
A darker glaze brings attention to the details!

We decided to repaint the vanity and to purchase a new standard sized granite counter-top from the big box store because it was so much more affordable.  It was about 3 inches too long.  After doing some research and watching several YouTube videos, we began the process of cutting 2 inches from the end of the counter-top touching the wall.  This resulted in a centered sink and a finished edge overhang on the other side of about 2 inches.  The standard overhang is about 1 inch, but we decided we could live with it, especially since it saved us about $400! 

Cutting granite was quite a new adventure for we measured many times and approached it slowly and cautiously, but we did it!  The cut was neat, but it really didn't matter too much because we covered up the cut with the side splash.  Then we added a new faucet.  We are really quite proud of the results!  You won't find this vanity anywhere else because it is uniquely ours.

DIY's rule!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Inspiration-Jump into Creativity

Patchwork Dresser
Patchwork Dresser by West Elm

I absolutely fell in love with this dresser when I saw it in West Elm.  I loved the square and rectangle shapes outlined in white to emphasize the different colors creating a patchwork effect.  The lines were clean and contemporary with a nod to mid-century modern design.  It left a lasting impression on me.

A few weeks later while shopping a local charity thrift store, I happened upon this beauty and it was actually mid-century design, not reproduction.  It was all one color of wood (As I am usually anxious to paint, I often forget to take a "before" pic, which is why I don't have one of this piece), but the shapes immediately made me think of that dresser from West Elm.

Of course, I typically work with paint, rather than stain, so I decided to create a similar concept by using four different colors of ASCP-Old White, Paris Grey, Coco and Provence.
Inspiration is often the jumping off point of design.  Sometimes it is the colors in a Persian rug.  Sometimes it's a picture in a glossy decorating magazine that stops us in our tracks.  Sometimes it is the texture of a shell, rock, bark, or other element in nature.  No matter what it is that inspires you, it is possible to reinterpret it in your home design.  I used the West Elm dresser as my inspiration, but interpreted it using my own choice of colors.  I chose to leave the natural wood as my way of outlining the squares and rectangles.  Don't be afraid to trust your own instincts about what will work best for your particular design.

These sweet little antiqued gold knobs were exactly like the ones on the dresser.  I think that's what really caused me to connect with my inspiration piece.  It was also these four drawers and the four squares in the doors that helped me to determine that I would use four different colors, rather than repeat just two or three.

Here's the finished piece, inspired by the other dresser, but uniquely my own.  Love that!  Who knows maybe mine will inspire you!