Friday, November 20, 2015

Boys Farmhouse Bedroom~Industrial Lighting

I always have room makeovers in my head for quite awhile before I actually start on them. I know what I want and I watch for deals on things I need for the makeover. I've had most of the smaller things I need for my two younger boy's room but I didn't have any lighting. I knew I wanted something industrial but everything I found that I liked was out of my price range. My plan for the room includes 2 beds and I wanted a wall light above each bed so whatever I chose would be 2 times the money. That meant I needed to find something really reasonably priced.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Parrot Uncle wondering if I would review one of their lights. Perfect timing! I had never heard of Parrot Uncle so I clicked over to their website and was pleasantly surprised to see a nice selection of vintage industrial lights at very reasonable prices. I had a hard time deciding which light to review since I liked several of them but I finally settled on this one. However, since the wall isn't wired for a light where I wanted to put it, I needed to convert it to a plug-in light. Don't be intimidated: it's not hard! I used this tutorial but there are several out there. Just find one and follow it. It greatly expands your selection of lights if you can make any wall light a plug in one!

Last week, I received the light and finally got around to installing it last night. I thought I would have it hung sooner but we ran into a flooring issue which pushed the project back several days. I had the ceiling, walls and trim all painted and the only thing left to do was the floor. I enlisted hubby's help to remove the old carpet so I could lay the vinyl plank flooring. Uh oh. When we ripped up the carpet we uncovered the original pine tongue and groove flooring in less than perfect condition. It's amazing what carpet can hide! The boards were cupping pretty badly in places and on top of that, the original floor joists were bowing. We strung a line from one side of the room to the other and discovered the floor dipped about 2 inches at the worst spot! Hubby declared that unacceptable and I commenced to ripping out all that original flooring. I was torn because on one hand, I knew it would involve TONS of work to refinish and even then would still sag but on the other hand, my old farmhouse loving self was crying inside to destroy all that antique flooring. A lot of hard work and aching muscles later, we have a very level, nice floor with vinyl planking.

So, because of that little (big) detour, I'm several days later getting my light hung. But, like I said, I did get it hung last night and here it is in all it's vintage industrial glory!

Isn't it so pretty?! The light is gorgeous and everything I hoped for but thought I couldn't afford! It's well made and arrived (from China) very well packaged and in perfect condition. I've ordered a matching one for above the other bed and I can't wait to get it and get it hung. I'm also eyeing their selection of outdoor wall sconces since we are in need of some outdoor lighting too. ;)

Here's a larger view.

Since the room still isn't finished, there's nothing else to show at this point but I will update as I get it completed. I have one of the beds ordered and it's scheduled to arrive next week. I can't wait to get it situated below this light!

Here's another view of the light straight on:
Sigh! I love it so!

A few things:

*The tutorial I followed shows a 4" offset crossbar to mount and this particular light came with a straight one. That doesn't work in the surface mount application like I did. It's an easy fix since the 4" offset crossbars are available at Menards for a few dollars.

*Parrot Uncle is an international company with locations in China and North Carolina. Some of their suppliers are in China which means shipping takes longer. Not a big issue if you know what to expect. :)

*Parrot Uncle is running a sale now through the end of the year and their products are 20% to 50% off. They also offer free shipping and free returns for any order over $50. That's a step above a lot of companies!

*I was provided a light from Parrot Uncle in exchange for my opinion. I was not told what to say and all opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading!
from the farmhouse,

Monday, October 19, 2015

Farmhouse Cabinets

It's no secret: I love farmhouse cabinets. I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to gloriously chippy, rustic wooden farmhouse goodness. Recently, I was able to acquire several (in less than glorious finishes) for very reasonable prices. In other words, cheap. Cheap, because obviously, they need some lovin'. But they've got good bones! They are made like furniture is rarely made anymore. Thick, solid wood throughout. I thought it would be fun to do a post showing the "before's" and my plan for each one. I'll start with the biggest.

This one is huge! It's about 7' tall and 6' wide. it's all tongue and groove beadboard with a lovely old green paint. I picked it up really reasonably and there's *almost* always a catch to a good price. The catch with this one is, it was used in a factory and the inside is V.E.R.Y greasy. I'm still working on this one so to be determined how well it turns out.

Not much of the green paint is visible under the layers of grime but the inside shows it better. When I scrubbed the outside, the paint was so loose that most of it scrubbed off. I'm still undecided what I'm going to do on the outside. I thought I knew but when I started working on it, I became undecided. To borrow a line from Victoria Elizabeth Barnes. (if you're not reading her blog, you should be! She's a riot!) "I wandered off to examine bark in the forest of indecision." I LOVE that line! Maybe because I can relate. It's such a big project that I want to get it right the first time. So, I waffle.....

Next up is a cabinet that I plan to use for a bathroom vanity when we get around to remodeling the upstairs bathroom. I have been watching for something with the right lines and dimensions for a long time and one Sunday I spotted this one on a Facebook group. It had been listed for a few hours and someone had beat me to it. *insert very sad face here* It was perfect and I couldn't believe it couldn't be mine. I messaged the lady that sold it to see if she knew if the person who bought it was going to resell it or keep for themselves. She told me the guy was going to refinish it and make it an island for his kitchen. So, I gave up and figured I'd need to keep looking. The following Sunday after lunch, I was cruising Craigslist and gasped out loud. It was a listing for my cabinet! Long story shorter, the guy decided he didn't have time to refinish it and was just getting his money out of it. He had tacked on $15 for his gas to go get it but since he was closer to me than it originally was, I felt like it was a win all around. I messaged him right away and asked him if he could hold it for me until Monday (since we don't do business on the Lord's Day) and he agreed! I felt like this cabinet was meant to be mine. A lot of people will not do holds but I was so happy he did and the cabinet is now mine and has joined the line of cabinets awaiting a new life. :)

I know it doesn't look like much but I have high hopes for it. The sink will go in the left side and the potato bin will be a laundry chute. I'll just cut the bottom out and where this goes upstairs lines up with the laundry room so the boys can just toss their clothes into the bin and viola! They will end up in the laundry room. That's the plan, anyway. ;)

The 3rd 'before' cabinet I'm showing is one I had encouraged my mom to buy at an auction for a specific use in her house but after she got it home, she decided it was too much work and decided to resell it. I felt obligated to buy it from her. I have some ideas to make it awesome but it remains to be seen if my vision is feasible or not.

And my last cabinet is one I don't have a 'before' picture for, just the 'after'. (Albeit, not a very good one.) This cabinet is in my guest room which I also use for sewing and storage. I was looking for something kind of shallow and about 4' wide and with blind doors. I spied this one at an antique shop one day but the price was out of my range. I was going to leave without asking for a better price since it was significantly higher than I wanted to pay but something told me just before I left to ask the proprietress if she was firm on her price. I asked her and indicated which cabinet I was talking about. She walked over to it, studied it for a minute then named a price that was HALF of what was on the tag. Wha?! For that price, I couldn't turn it down. I had originally planned to use it the way it was but when I got it home, I decided the stain (paint?) was much too reddish to suit me so I stripped it and stained it with a brown stain. It's 2 different woods (not uncommon for old cabinets) so I used 2 different stains to try and minimize the different wood tones. It fits perfectly in the spot I bought it for and holds a TON of stuff.

It was cloudy the day I took this picture so I will include a better one when I do this room reveal. This was one of the biggest things I was waiting on before showing my whole guest room so I only have a few small things and then it's ready to show you. I can't wait! :)

And I can't end this post of farmhouse cabinets without showing you one my friend, Wendy, scored at the local thrift store last week. I think I squealed a little when she texted me this picture and said it was at the thrift store. Every time I look there, it's junk! She has great plans for this sweet little cabinet and I can't wait to see it made over. She does great work (and SHOULD have a blog to show the world her awesomeness) so I know it will be just the cutest! She gave me permission to share these pictures with you and maybe she'll let me share the 'after' when she gets it finished. ;)

Look at that beadboard front! And that hardware! Swoon! This will be so cute painted!

Check back to see what becomes of these farmhouse diamonds in the rough. 

From the farmhouse, 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Giveaway on Facebook!

I recently changed to a different facebook page and just today, deactivated the old one. Yesterday, I reached 100+ followers on my new page and I'm celebrating with a giveaway! Go to my new facebook page to enter. Thanks for following along!

from the farmhouse,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

French Farmhouse Headboard Bench

This is a project I just completed for our school's benefit auction  this month.

I had a french provincial style headboard and footboard that had been languishing in my shop for at least 3 years. I bought them at a garage sale for $5 with the intention of making a bench but when I got them home and realized the footboard was much too low to make the seat, I became discouraged and that's why it sat so long. 
Obviously, I had already started building when I remembered to take a 'before' shot.
Here you can see how the posts were originally.

Headboard before
I tossed  around different ideas but nothing seemed feasible. Until one day I had the idea to put the seat where it should be and divide the open space for baskets. Because the footboard has the corner posts that extend up, I realized this was probably my best option. Once the idea was hatched, I decided to find baskets before I started the build so I could make the openings exactly the size I needed. You know, make it look intentional. ;) I found these baskets at Ikea. Because it was a 'design-as-you-go' project with a lot of 'fiddle factor', I don't plan to give a tutorial. There are already a lot of headboard bench tutorials online. I'm just sharing to maybe spark ideas for anyone who has a similar problem with a too-short foot board. Following are a few progress shots so you can kinda get the idea how it's built.

One problem I spent way too much time trying to resolve was this foot. Half the ball had broken off and unfortunately, I no longer had the piece that fit it. I didn't want to leave it like it was so my first idea was to make a clay mold of the opposite side. After letting my mold dry a day or so, I used clay to make a new piece. Another day to let that dry only to discover, the 'curl' went the wrong way. DUH! Because I used the opposite side, the curl was a reverse of what I needed. :( So, next, I took a mold of the curl on the top of the same post. Double DUH! Same problem because it is upside down. When I placed it on the bottom, the curl still went the wrong way. By this time, I was getting pretty frustrated. I had 'wasted' a half a week waiting on clay to dry and still couldn't use it. So I began to brainstorm for other ideas. I went to Hobby Lobby and found a wooden toadstool in the unfinished wood section. In the first picture of the collage below, I had already cut off the stem section and shaped it with my sander in preparation for the 'ball' part. For the ball, I cut off the top of the toadstool and glued and nailed it in place. As you can see, there were still some gaps but nothing a little vinyl spackling couldn't take care of. It doesn't match the other foot and that bothers me a little bit. My perfectionist husband told me I was being too much of a perfectionist so I decided to 'let it go'. :) It does look better than it did and isn't very noticeable unless you're looking for it so it is what it is.

Most of the wood used to build it came from my scrap pile. I did have to buy some bead board for the ends and some quarter round (used double on the front to make half-round on the top edge). The seat cushion was a different story. Even with a 50% off coupon from JoAnn, that stuff is expensive! I used the 3 inch (I'd have like about a 2.5 inch but they don't make it) and wrapped it with batting. The front corners needed notched out for the front legs. A tip for those who don't know: Cut foam with an electric knife. It works like a charm! The floral fabric came from Hobby Lobby and the ticking stripe is from Etsy. Most of the ticking available in-store is an ecru color and I needed as white as I could to match the floral fabric. I found this real vintage ticking that is pretty close to white. It's not perfect but it looks good to me.
Sorry for the poor quality cell phone pictures. :/ I was in too big a hurry to get out my big camera.

For the paint, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Napoleonic Blue. It's been awhile since I've used the ASCP and I'd forgotten how easy it is to work with. It went on beautifully with very minimal brush strokes. It's expensive but it does have beautiful coverage. For the white highlights, I used the small cans of white chalk paint from Hobby Lobby. To seal the paint, I used Rustoleum's Ultimate Polyurethane in Matte. I purchased mine at Lowes but it's also available on Amazon.


I feel it will be a more durable finish without the upkeep that wax requires. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, this is going to be auctioned at our school's benefit auction so I wanted it to be as carefree as possible for it's new owner. Reviews I read also said it will not yellow like other polyurethanes do. With the paint being dark, I wasn't necessarily worried about that but just thought I'd mention it for someone who might be wondering. 

Thanks for reading! ~Rachel

Linking to:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Farmhouse Kitchen Phase 2 ~ DIY Pantry w/ Antique Screen Door

Once upon a time, a long time ago (before there was Pinterest), I spotted this image
I can't find the original source for this image.
If someone knows where it's from, I'd LOVE to link to the originator.
I found the image here.

and fell. in. love. At the time, my kitchen looked like this
and I didn't have any nice little closets to convert to a pantry. (That door leads to the laundry room.)
So, I tucked the idea in a back corner of my mind and dismissed it as an unlikely-to-come-true dream.

Then one day, as I was dreaming about turning my kitchen into a farmhouse kitchen with painted cabinets, an idea occurred to me: Why not create a pantry?! I had this narrow space beside the laundry room door that was too small for cabinets. The wall was offset from the dining room side of the beam (deeper on the kitchen side) making a 'nook' of sorts. It was about 4 inches on the kitchen side and only about 2 inches on the dining room side. On the other side of the room where the other log beam is, it's about 6 inches on both sides. So, I decided this was the place for a pantry and I would 'build' the beam out to match the other side and make an indention about 8 inches. The side of the pantry toward the laundry room door sticks out into the room but it's not enough to be intrusive.

I began watching for an antique screen door similar to my inspiration photo but any time I found one, they were way out of my budget. I mentioned to my mom that I was looking for one and a few weeks later, she texted me this pic:

It was $25 (I think); did I want it? Oh yes! I DID want it! Granted, it looked pretty rough but she told me the wood was mostly solid and the door was sturdy. It laid in the garage for quite awhile until last winter when I FINALLY began to realize my dream of a pretty farmhouse pantry. I used 1 X 8 lumber and built the shelves, top, bottom, and sides. I had already wallpapered the wall with beadboard so it wasn't necessary to put a back on it. I spray painted it white and screwed it to the beam on the side. I had already been gathering my Golden Harvest Canisters at garage sales and thrift stores so I custom made the shelf spacing to best utilize the space. These canisters are pretty widely available in my area and usually pretty inexpensive. I paid as little as $.10 and as much as $2.00 for mine. I saw them for as much as $10 - $15 apiece in antique stores (and on eBay) but since I was in no hurry, I would only buy them if they were less than $2. I have a few more in my cupboards that aren't pictured. The lids come in several colors but I knew I planned to paint them to coordinate with my kitchen so was unconcerned with the mismatched lids.
After I got the shelves built, I filled and labeled the jars and organized the shelves. It sat like that for awhile until I got the door re-sized and hung. Then, just last week, I finally painted the lids (Krylon Pistacio).

As you can see from the previously shown picture, the door was pretty rough. Red paint that had faded to a brownish-pink and very dirty. The screen was very torn and the surface of the wood was very weathered. I began by removing the screen and the MANY staples and tacks that were attempting to hold it in place. I then carefully removed one side and the bottom of the door because it was too tall and wide. I cut off what I didn't need and made new 'pockets' to slip the tabs into to make it sturdy. I used my Dremel since I don't have fancy joinery tools and it worked fine. A little crude looking but once it was all glued and stapled back together, it looks fine. Some of the corner braces were broken or broke when I removed them so I used plywood the same thickness and using a good one for a pattern, I cut new ones with my jigsaw. They are on the bottom of the door: can you tell which ones? :)
The picture actually makes them look more visible than they do in real life but it's because the wood wasn't as weathered. I used MMS milk paint (tricycle) and dark wax. The dark wax really went into the grooves and toned down the red. Since the plywood had less grooves (weathering), it's brighter red. After the door was re-sized, painted and waxed, I stapled in new screen. I used the black fiberglass screen from Menards and doubled it on the bottom where I didn't want the items to be as visible. I hung the door using cabinet door hinges.

A few pictures of what it looks like now:
(As you can see, I still need to de-country-fy my dining room.)

Pretty organization! Makes me happy. :)

My Tupperware Modular Mates fit perfectly and I didn't even plan it. I love when things like that happen!
For my spices, I got square spice jars (unfortunately, I don't remember where I got them!) that fit perfectly into a Coke crate. A little story on the crate.... I had been looking and looking for one but they were all more than I was willing to pay. I looked locally, eBay, and Etsy. One evening, I decided to check online again and checked eBay first. Finding nothing, I switched over to Etsy and a few down the list, I spotted this one. The first thing that caught my eye was the price and the second thing was the date of manufacture. It is stamped 7-76 inside; my birth month and year! The price was much lower than any I had found so far and in my price range. After a quick conference with hubby, it went into my cart and was on it's way to being mine. After I bought it, I noticed it had only been listed less than an hour! Providential, I say! :) I love how it's framed perfectly when the door is closed.

I know some of you will wonder about my labels and where I got them. I made them myself using the printable vinyl from Expressions Vinyl and my Silhoutte Cameo to cut them out. I will probably end up re-doing the spice labels because I used red for some of the text and it's a little hard to read.

And just for kicks, a side by side comparison:

The third and final phase of the kitchen makeover will be my island. Hoping to share soon!

Note: The spice jars I used are similar to these* but were less expensive. I think I paid around $12 for 24 jars.

Vintage Inspiration Party on Knick of Time
from the farmhouse,


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dresser Repurposed to Bathroom Vanity

Here is a quick post with before and afters of a project I finished up this week.

Antique marble topped dresser repurposed to a bathroom vanity.
This was the only before picture I could find. Not awful but in need of a little lovin'.
(Please pardon the messy shop. It's cleaned up now. ;) )
The center drawer was broken. 2 of the pulls were broken and the finish was very tired.

After. I have no good way to show it with the faucet but I will include a picture of the faucet. (I LOVE it!)

My plan of action included fixing the broken drawer, shortening the middle drawer and modifying the top long drawer to accommodate a drain pipe, and paint. I used MMS milk paint in Ironstone and waxed with clear wax to seal and dark wax to bring out the lovely details. Since the center top drawer never had a pull (I suppose you were supposed to open it with the key but I don't have it.) and 2 of the other ones were broken, I found 3 similar and a bit smaller pulls for the top row of drawers. DH helped me drill a hole in the marble top to accommodate the sink drain. We used a diamond hole saw and water. Drilling very slowly made for a nice clean cut. It's now for sale here: FOR SALE

A few more shots:

Linking to:
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday

from the farmhouse,