Archives For brass

I apologize for the light programing last week. I got food poisoning which morphed itself into a miserable cold, but I’m finally on the mend!

I bought my Buddha lamp at a vintage outdoor market over a year ago. In the time since, it’s moved around a bit but mostly it’s been on my nightstand. I really like the lamp but I like it even more for being only $10! When I bought it I had plans for painting it and changing the shade but you know, time passes and things don’t get done. Until this weekend that is!

Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint I decided to spray it gold! It’s bold and crazy, but I think I really like it.

One of the main reasons this makeover got delayed is because I have been looking for the right lampshade for a year. Here’s something that I didn’t learn in Kindergarten: Lampshades are stupid expensive. I mean seriously, it is nearly impossible to find a white drum shaped lampshade for under $20. You can find used lampshades for pretty cheap but they are all horribly shaped like the ‘before’ version of this lamp. I wanted a simple straight up and down circular white lampshade without pleats for under $15, is that too much to ask for?? Apparently, yes, it is.

Finally I caved and bought one for $25 and it hurt. I also bought a $4 can of gold spray paint.

Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint All in all the makeover cost $29 plus the original $10 lamp which makes it a $39 lamp. Still a great price for a lamp, but more than I wanted to pay for it, sigh.

Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint My only reservation about my new gold lamp is that it is just so… so gold. That was my intention obviously, but it’s pretty shiny even for me. I think what it is missing is the dimension it had before. Maybe at some point I’ll go over it with black paint and add dimension in the shadowed areas. Check back in a year to see if I’ve gotten around to that, ha!

 

This is the exterior and entryway of my house as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Antiques Mall Finds

March 1, 2013 — 1 Comment

There is a big difference between thrift shops and antique shops, but they both have their merits. Thrift shops make you work harder but you can get really good deals. Antique shops are curated for you and you pay for it. I’ve chronicled my thrift shop adventures here and here, but I haven’t yet talked about antiquing. A week or so ago I made my way up to the Carmel Old Town Antique Mall and like most things with ‘mall’ in the title, it was huge! Most antique malls are set up so that different vendors can rent sections of the store. For that reason pricing varies from booth to booth. Overall I found this mall to be reasonably priced. I tried to walk out with only one thing but alas I left with two because I’m obsessed with weird things.

Can you spy what is new?

Okay, that is a little too far away to see her. Here she is up close.

Yep, that’s a solid brass Nefertiti. This one booth had a solid brass seal with beach ball on his nose and I was sort of tempted by it because it was brass but the seal was very cartoonish looking. Then my friend spied this lady up on a shelf. She was $10 and I had to have her. Actually, I really debated whether or not I needed her but I’ll get to that in a minute. First let’s talk about how regal Bob looks here:
So serious, as though he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Anyway, on to the kitchen where the next item I bought is.
I know what you’re thinking… you didn’t even bother to put away the dishes before you took pictures? Yeah, it’s true I didn’t but no what you’re probably thinking is… didn’t you just buy a different rug for under the sink? Yes, I did, good observation! So apparently I’m now obsessed with rag rugs because I’ve purchased two in two weeks (the first one is here). I can’t help it I just really like them. The best part about them is that you can just throw them in the washing machine – amazing. So the pinky coral one that I originally purchased for here is great and I still love it but when I saw this one which is a little longer I knew it would work better under the sink. So I moved the smaller rug to the bathroom which I’ll show you a picture of in a minute but first another picture of Bob who was feeling very photogenic on the day I took these pictures.
This picture makes me really happy for three reasons:
1) Bob is standing still. That never happens, seriously never.
2) The new rug is so pretty
3) The. Floors. Are. Beautiful.
Here is the other rug, relocated.
iPhone picture because I was too lazy to get out my good camera
As you can see I just laid it on top of the bath mat that is already in there. Why did I do that? Because I thought it would add texture and depth to the room, uh, just kidding, I did it because I’m lazy. But I actually like it sitting on top of the other one because it makes me feel like I’m standing on a plush carpet while brushing my teeth. So luxurious. Plus I love the bright color in there.
But back to my big decision, both the rug and the Nefertiti statue were $10 so I was trying to choose between the two but I decided I liked both of them well enough to pay $20. That is the big difference between thrifting and antiquing. Last time I went thrifting (here) I paid $16 for five things and at this antique store I paid $20 for two things.
Do you prefer antiquing or thrifting?

Last week I was in Phoenix, AZ for a conference. I was so happy when I remembered that there is a Frank Lloyd Wright home in that area. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to vist a FLW home (Falling Water, you are on my hit list). Taliesin West was amazing and I learned so much about him as a person and designer. Here a few of the photos I took while on the tour. This is about 1/15th of pictures I took, I was a maniac! We could only take pictures outside and in the outer buildings, but I hope to share a post about the interior later this week.

Love this long arbor.

Almost all of FLW other homes were built on commission for someone except for this house. He paid for and built this one on his own so he cut a lot of corners and used what he had on hand. Apparently, he was real cheapskate! The stone walls are just dirt and rocks from the land that he compacted into walls. Thankfully he was such a good designer that the structure has lasted for 70+ years.

There is almost no grass in Phoenix and FLW tried really hard to use nature as his inspiration, but he did put a large patch of grass in the front yard. He went against his own design principle because when he first built this home he had two little daughters and he wanted them to have somewhere soft to play outdoors.

There is a lot of Japanese influence around the house. FLW loved Japan and used a lot of pieces he bought in Japan in his commissioned homes, but for his own home he couldn’t afford the real pieces from Japan. He improvised and went to Chinatown in San Francisco to buy all his Japanese art.

Orange doors! Brass handles! LOVE

More orange doors! More brass handles! LOVE

Hope you enjoyed this little photographic tour as much as I did!

IKEA Rast Makeover: Updated

September 19, 2012 — 4 Comments

About two weeks ago I shared my IKEA Rast makeover which turned out to be more of a make’eh’.

I had problems with the staining and I couldn’t afford cool knobs so I sort of just left it in the ‘progress’ stage. This past weekend while I was shopping for my front door makeover job I wandered into the hardware aisle. Low and behold I found knobs that I liked! Okay, so I don’t love them but I like them and for a cheap nightstand that is good enough for me. Especially since they were only $1.58 each after tax.

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Unfortunantly, it wasn’t as easy as just switching out the knobs. When I took the wooden knobs off they left this ring:

LAME. Whatevs, I am over this dresser. I put on Jurassic Park and did a quick sand and repainting of the drawer fronts. It didn’t take that long and dinosaurs calm me down 🙂

I like the way the knobs look and it definitely looks more finished now. I’ve decided not to worry about re-staining it because I just don’t care enough and it doesn’t show that much. But I did do one other little thing to add personality to this piece…

Yay, happy polka dot lining! I’ve had this roll of red and white polka dot wrapping paper for about a year. I got in the dollar section at Target and I have seriously wrapped thirteen presents in it and it has still not run out… it is like the never ending roll of wrapping paper… (ironically I’ve wrapped a lot of Hanukkah presents with it so it’s apropos). All I did was measure and cut out the paper and then I used scotch tape rolls all over the back. I don’t know how long it will hold up but it looks really happy and I can easily replace it at any time.

The saga of the IKEA hack is o.v.e.r. Here is the cost break down:

IKEA Rast dresser: $34.99
Stain/Varnish combo: $12.99
Knobs: $9.48
White paint: $0 (already had it)
= $57.46

That is definitely more than I wanted to spend but it is a solid little dresser and I really like having all my stuff hidden in drawers, plus I could potentially use that stain on other projects (if I ever attempt staining again).

I am so over the political campaign. But you know what I am not over? CAMPAIGN DRESSERS. Furniture is so much better than politics, so let’s talk furniture. I first heard of these lovely vintage gems about a year ago via a blog called Honey and Fitz.

(Source) I had never seen a dresser like that before and I thought it was so beautiful. Honestly, I kind of like the ‘before’ better, but regardless I was intrigued. After a little research I found out that campaign chests were actually used during campaigns in the 1700-1900s. They were built strong and compact so that they could be moved from campsite to campsite during campaigns and battles (for use by the generals). The brass hardware kept the corners from getting scuffed up. Interesting, right? I thought it was interesting and I knew that I wanted one ASAP. My game plan was simple: Craigslist. So while I searched and searched for weeks and weeks I appeased myself with all this eye candy.

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(Source) But eye candy can only satisfy me to a certain extent so back to my Craigslist search I went. My Craigslist tip is this: don’t be too specific in your search. I basically look at everything because most people don’t label their stuff correctly. For this particular search I used the keyword ‘dresser.’ Yes, it takes more time to search through everything but you are more likely to find hidden gems that way. For example, if I searched ‘campaign dresser’ and found one it would likely cost a lot more because whoever knew to list it as a ‘campaign dresser’ would probably charge more than someone who just had it listed a simple dresser. Does that makes sense?

Finally, my daily Craiglist trolling paid off. This picture is the definition of a hidden gem. Look at that nasty thing! But I knew the second I saw it that it was a campaign dresser. The description was ‘solid wood dresser’ and the seller was asking for $240. I got her down to $200 and I went and picked it up. It was rough looking in person. It was very dirty and all the beautiful brass hardware was painted over, but I knew it had potential. I didn’t take any pictures of the clean up and paint job because I wasn’t blogging at the time so here is a brief rundown. I thoroughly cleaned it using diluted vinegar and water. Then I removed all the hardware that I could (a few pieces were really stubborn). The next steps are basic ‘how to paint furniture’: 1) sand it 2) wipe it down 3) paint it 4) paint it again 5) let it thoroughly dry. The real challenge to restoring this dresser was the painted hardware. I wanted to restore the hardware to it’s original brassy goodness so I used the following tools:

(Source) These random tools were my best friends for about three days while I scrubbed and scrubbed that dang hardware. Again, I don’t have pictures of it but they would be boring even if I did. After I removed all the hardware I dumped them all into my crockpot full of water and half cup of vinegar. I put the crockpot on low heat and let the hardware soak for a good long time. I took them out and let them cool a little bit and then used Brasso and steel wool to scrub that paint off. Large chunks of the paint came off with just warm water but there was paint stuck on that I really had to work at. The Brasso and steel weel did their job but it took a looooong time. After what seemed like 800 hours I got those babies all shined up. The few pieces of hardware that were stuck on the dresser I skipped the soaking stage and just used the Brasso and steel wool on.

I thought about painting the dresser a lot of different colors. If it had been wood stain when I got it I probably would have kept it that way but since it was already painted I had a world of colors to choose from. As you can see from my inspiration images I like the bright and bold ones the best. I was thinking of something crazy like bright blue, but eventually I decided to just keep it a crisp, clean white. Why you ask? Because I like crazy colored walls so white furniture will stand out more again them. Plus, brightly colored furniture looks great in white rooms and as I mentioned here I don’t do white walls. Plus furniture is harder to paint than walls. For this dresser I used white semi-gloss paint and I am so very, very happy with the finished product.

So that is journey of my campaign dresser. What is your dream find from Craigslist?