Sunday, July 29, 2012

Black Beauty

From the moment we moved into our home, our Master Bedroom has been one big hodge podge of unmatched, disjointed, and unharmonious...stuff. We had clothes hanging in the closet, and others folded into a dresser in another room, and then others in our guest room, or like I like to call it: Limbo. You know, where the clothes go to hang out {for a day, or two, or 100} after they've been washed and before they get put away. We had a TV on a short night stand that about three feet off the wall and a foot-and-a-half from our bed because the TV cord was too short (I'm still not sure why I didn't just go buy an extension cord). Our bed was raised making it incredibly hard to watch TV from anywhere on the bed except right at the edge closest to the TV. It was a hassle to find clothes, a hassle to watch Golden Girls hanging off the edge of the bed, and a hassle to keep Bubba from trying to rush the TV every time The Blind Side came on.
I figured the answer to all the madness was to get a tall dresser. I'm in love with Espresso furniture, so when I saw this on sale in an ad from the Navy Exchange, I marked my calendar so that I wouldn't miss the sale dates. It was on sale for around $120.00

While I was waiting for the sale date to come around, I had decided that I didn't want to spend $120 on a dresser. So I went to my pal, Craig.

For about two weeks, I watched and watched my notifications, and Craig wasn't kicking out anything I liked in the price range I wanted. I then went to Pinterest and found tons of great tips on painting furniture. 

Not long after, I came across a tall 6-drawer dresser in an oak/blonde wood color on Clist. It's important to check out the bones of the piece, and not so much the color or hardware. I hated both on this dresser, but figured I could change it to match what I was looking for in the $120 dresser for less money. 

Here's what I started with:

I went to google to find tutorials on how to paint laminate. I hate to sand stuff, so I was thrilled to find tutorials on various blogs for painting projects that didn't require sanding. I started with a good cleaning of the dresser, removed the wooded knobs and then two coats of this primer:

This is what my Lowe's had in stock, and it worked fine for me. It stuck very well to the laminate, and the paint stuck well to the primer. I will most likely use this for the rest of my paint projects.

When I was buying the paint and primer, I had to ask an employee about a paint recommendation. They had black Valspar paint on the shelf, so I bought a gallon of that because I'm in a "Black Phase" and I knew I'd be doing more of these transformations in black.

After letting the primer dry overnight, I gave it two coats of black paint. After letting it dry again (I'm so impatient), I put on the new nickel knobs I picked up at Lowe's, and this is what I ended up with:

For around $100, I got a dresser that was taller than the Sauder dresser, with MORE drawer space, and a perfect fit for our TV. After lowering our bed and moving our clothes into this dresser from the other room, I solved the main gripes I had about our room. :)
What have you all painted, or plan to paint? I had a blast with this one and plan on hunting Clist for more treasures to transform. Happy Painting!

~xoxo, V.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sweet Tea Party

I had the pleasure of working with a super talented photographer, and first-class, WONDERFUL person.  LeeYen of Loblee Photography took my Bubba's newborn pics, as well as family pics two more times after that.  It was LeeYen that offered me the opportunities to do a few styled shoots when she learned that I had a desire to create a party planning/event services business, and I couldn't have been more excited for the chance to create, combine, and style. 

These are pictures from the last shoot I did with LeeYen before she and her family relocated to the Mainland.  That whole business venture didn't quite turn out how I wanted, but I had so much fun doing this shoot, and our tea party gals are just the cutest ever...I just have to share these pics.  Thank you, thank you LeeYen for the amazing opportunity!

*Photo credit: Loblee Photography
*Baked goodies: Cupcakes by Kiki
*Headbands: unknown

Monday, July 2, 2012

My pal, Craig

I've been acquainted with Craig for quite sometime now.  Sometimes, Craig is good to me, and sometimes Craig is bad to me.  The Craig I'm sometimes OBSESSED with is the same Craig I wish I could just shake my finger at.  Yes, oh yes, I'm talking about the infamous...

If I had known about Craigslist when I got married over 6 years ago, I wouldn't have blown a good portion of our wedding money on all new furniture.  Granted, over time, I think I've learned how to make Craigslist work to my advantage, what to avoid, what to look out for, etc., to create a pretty snazzy living space.  Simple rules like:

1 - given the outbreaks of bed bugs in the Islands, and my absolute PARANOID tendencies to do whatever necessary to avoid them AT.ALL.COSTS, I do not buy upholstered items, linens, plush stuff, anything fabric from Clist.  Chairs? No.  Couches?  Nuh-uh.  Beds?  H-E-double-hockey-sticks NO!  I did buy a pretty rad counter-high dining set with leather chairs off Clist, but not until I carefully inspected the chairs for signs of the little buggers, and then cleaned inside every possible crevice and doused the entire set in Sol-U-Mel when I got home.

2 - If I can buy it new in the store for cheaper, I'm sure not going to buy it used from Clist for MORE.  (kind of a given, but still very much worth mentioning considering how crazy some of these prices are for used items)

3 - Think about the cost (time and money) to move/transport the items when you are considering buying.  Sometimes, it's totally worth it to drive 30 miles to get that ONE OF A KIND SEASHELL LAMP WITH THE MACROME SHADE, but sometimes, it's not.  If I see something I really want, but I know that it's going to be terribly difficult to get to it, i.e., if it's in the middle of downtown, in a city where traffic should be a PUNISHMENT for the harshest of offenders, and I live in the suburbs? Yea, I'll pass. 

These are just a few of my things I consider when browing the List.  I've found some really GRRRREAT things on the List and know that your neck of the woods probably has some fantastic treasures looking for their next home.  I bring this up because my next few posts will feature items I found on the List and how I've used them, re-finished them, re-purposed them in my house.  In Hawaii, the cost of living is incredibly high, as I'm sure some of you may have read on one of the many Yahoo! Finance reports that they do on the "top 10 most expensive places to live," and I am one of many people that do what we can to make it work.  Come back to soon to see how good the List has been to me and how you can make it work for you, too. 

xoxo, V.