DIY | China Cabinet Makeover

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve posted last but I have something pretty darn amazing to share with you today! The hubs and I are officially moved in to our little bungalow (circa 1929) and we are absolutely loving it! It’s been a hectic few weeks but we are finally finding our groove and getting back to some level of normalcy. Now, I have not yet had the opportunity to really decorate and put my personal touch on much, however, I know that comes with time. The important thing is that we are finally making our way through the boxes, clutter, and chaos.

Right before we moved, Shahin’s amazing father and step mom offered up a couple of great pieces that they were not using for our bedroom and dining room: an older dresser and china cabinet. I am not sure if anyone could comprehend how much this had me over the moon. Sure, we could go out and spend a fortune on all brand new furniture like many newlyweds do…OR we could take something preexisting with some character that just needs a little updating. Don’t get me wrong here, I am no expert when it comes to the DIY and furniture game…I am a novice at best. However, I’ve always been artistic and love projects so I was up for the challenge. The great thing about older pieces of furniture (or older anything, really) is that I can appreciate what it is but can also see the potential it has.

Right off the bat, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do with each piece. I am going to “unveil” both of them in the blog but this week, I will be unveiling the china cabinet! So without further adieu, below are the before and after pictures of this gorgeous china cabinet with information on what I did and how I did it!

Enjoy!

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This is where it all began – a wooden china cabinet. This piece was well constructed, sturdy and had a great deal of potential. The design and structure itself were beautiful and the beveled glass doors were swoon worthy.

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I went to Lowe’s and picked out the perfect shade of “Greige” (Gray/Beige). It was a tough decision but I ended up going with Valspar’s “Coastal Villa” (the image below really doesn’t do it justice). What I love about the shade is that it can have both warm and cool undertones as it picks up on the color palette of the room you have it in. This ultimately makes the piece very versatile if we ever decide to repaint the walls or move houses. Along with the paint, I picked up a few sandpaper sponges (course texture) so I could rough up the look of the cabinet once I was done as my goal was to make it ever so slightly distressed.

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{ Valspar’s Coastal Villa – the color chosen for the cabinet }

I removed all of the glass and got to painting right away. I did about two thin coats to ensure that I had covered all of my bases. I knew knobs were going to be something I needed as soon as possible so I popped into one of my favorite stores of all time, Anthropologie, and picked up a couple of knobs I’d been eying. Here’s the thing, with our dresser (which I will be posting about soon, stay tuned), I wanted to save some money because we had 8 knobs to buy. I decided to splurge with this particular project since I was a little more frugal with the last. If you know Anthropologie, you know that almost everything there is quite pricey – even the knobs I purchased were $10/piece. It’s not so bad when you only need 2 but think if you needed 8 – aye yi yi!

The associate at Anthro that was checking me out at the counter was super sweet but began probing me on the reason why I was purchasing knobs. I explained to her that I was upcycling a vintage china cabinet. No exaggeration at all…her jaw dropped. Becoming even more inquisitive, she started asking me how one would refinish a china cabinet and how long I had been in the business. I laughed and told her that this was just something personal I was doing for fun. It honestly kind of baffled me that someone (close in age) could not grasp the concept of taking something old and revamping it. Like the pure thought of not purchasing something brand new defined insanity. Is it really that unusual to update something? No. Intimidating? Maybe a little. The key is to go into every project with a positive attitude. If you’re anxious or even terrified, that’s okay! Fear the unknown but embrace it because what harm is it really going to do? At the end of the day, you may discover that you have a talent or knack for something and even if you don’t feel that way, perhaps you’ve come across a fun hobby. As the old saying goes: if you never try, you never know.

I’ve always been the kind of girl who would just go out and purchase something that I wanted. However, as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have changed and I now revel in thrifting, finding vintage items and making them my own. The hard work and effort I put into something has become both enjoyable and rewarding because I end up really appreciating what I’ve accomplished. But the best part of it all? You are ultimately creating a unique, one-of-a-kind item that cannot be found anywhere else.

{ Silver Mirrored Knobs in Orb }

After I painted the cabinet and let it dry, I took the sandpaper sponge and went around the edges and distressed it. I could have gone all out and beaten it up even more, however, this was something I wanted “lightly” antiqued.

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{ A little distressing with a sandpaper sponge provides a slight antiqued look }

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. The finished product is below with a little before and after action. Can you see what a difference a little paint, distressing and some new knobs can do? It looks like a completely different piece! Come back soon because I’ll be showcasing how I’ve styled the inside of this china cabinet.

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BeforeAfter

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Restaurant Review: Heirloom // Gone to Carolina in My Mind

A few weeks ago, my husband, Shahin, celebrated his 29th birthday! I wanted to make sure we dined somewhere special and preferably at a place we had never been before. Both of us are avid foodies but I was completely stumped on where to dine. I decided to reach out to my network of friends and family via Facebook to ask if they had any obscure and/or excellent restaurant recommendations. The funny thing about the hubs and I is that we are both native Charlotteans and if there is anyone who knows this city inside and out, I would like to think it’s us. With that said, I enjoy giving recommendations to people regarding where to shop, dine, drink, etc. but I also enjoy receiving the suggestions just as much as I do giving them! Don’t get me wrong, I can read blogs and reviews all day, but there is just something about receiving a word of mouth recommendation that is unlike any other.

Although there were several restaurant suggestions made by friends (most of which I have every intention of checking out if I haven’t already), I decided to make a reservation at Heirloom as it came highly recommended by a friend of ours that is heavily involved and respected in the Charlotte food and beverage community. He gave me the run down and almost immediately sold me. It was settled: Heirloom it was! So, why has this restaurant captured the hearts of many chefs and local foodies?

The deal with Heirloom is that it is all farm-to-fork and there is no set menu as Chef/Owner, Clark Barlowe, writes it every morning. But what is even more fascinating is that Heirloom only uses locally sourced, North Carolina ingredients, beer and wine. Now, in my opinion, it doesn’t get any more unique than this. My foodie friends have described this place as a “hidden gem” and it’s gained some attention from The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, Cheshire Dinner Society, Charlotte Magazine, CLTure and more. Clark was even a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped (one of my favorite shows). Check out what we ate in addition to my thoughts below. Enjoy!

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{ The Heirloom Menu for 8/13/14 – accompanied with fresh clams }

What’s great about this place is that you have options. One being a 7 course prix fixe tasting for $65 (includes a glass of North Carolina vino), a 3 course dinner for $30 (you choose any 3 from the 7 course menu and also get a glass of North Carolina vino), or you can choose any appetizers, entrees and/or desserts from the regular menu. Shahin, his dad, step mom and I decided to share some appetizers first. We had this super intricate, local cheese plate with various jams, preserves and fruit to accompany it, clams in a light but tasty broth in addition to some fall off the bone/melt in your mouth ribs paired with eggplant and fried okra – wowza!

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{ Local cheese plate with preserves and fruit; Ribs with eggplant and fried okra }

For dinner, I decided on the 3 course option and chose the Heirloom Salad, 62 Degree Duck Egg Pasta and the Salem Hills Farm Teres Major (Grass fed Black Angus Beef). The Heirloom Salad was absolutely stunning and delicious. It contained Mexican Sour Gherkins, Burton Farm heirloom squash, NROG feta cheese, Cottle Farm cabbage along with a thyme vinaigrette.

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{ Heirloom Salad }

This 62 Degree Duck Egg Pasta…let me just tell you. This dish was to die for. What I also really enjoyed about our experience at Heirloom (that I failed to mention earlier) was that our service was impeccable and I felt that it was very much an educational experience. Our server was able to provide us with detailed information about our dishes, where the ingredients were locally sourced and explained the various cooking methods. She described the idea behind the 62 degree egg which is a cooking method that has been adopted by some chefs as it is said that when the egg is cooked more slowly and at a lower temperature, it creates a very unique taste and texture. The duck egg was placed very delicately on top of the fresh pasta and once you broke that soft, yolky goodness – it created a silky, aromatic and delectable sauce. So what exactly is this incredible sight below? A house made North Carolina egg yolk pepper pasta, Against the Grain Farm dragon tongue beans, capers, a West Hill Farm duck egg cooked at 62 degrees sprinkled with Gremolata breadcrumbs.

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{ 62 Degree Duck Egg Pasta }

Alright, so my third course unfortunately did not make the cut as far as pictures go – it was just a tad too dark to post (we were in a very intimate setting). BUT it was absolutely divine: grass fed black angus beef, Heart & Sole Farm Charlotte and Mountain Rose potatoes, Burton Farm heirloom squash with beef au jus.

Now, if you know me, I am a sweet eater through and through…no shame in the game! But y’all – THIS. FREAKING. DESSERT. Let me sum this up for you real quick: chocolate mousse on top of a chocolate chip cookie crust, a sweet and salty caramel sauce beneath a homemade LIQUID NITROGEN “half baked” ice cream with candied walnuts. Yes, I did in fact say: liquid nitrogen ice cream. What is it exactly? The entire idea of using liquid nitrogen is part of molecular gastronomy (a style of cuisine that mixes Science with food). What the liquid nitrogen does is create a smoother and much creamier texture of ice cream – hands down the best I’ve ever had. Since Shahin does not typically do sweets, they put his little birthday candle in my dessert.  🙂

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{ Chocolate mousse on top of a chocolate chip cookie crust, caramel sauce, candied walnuts & homemade liquid nitrogen ice cream }

Clark even came out and said hello to us, which I thought was incredibly nice. He’s down to earth, humble and just very organic and real. The space felt like home mixed with a touch of vintage farmhouse – very cozy, inviting and warm. If you can’t tell how I feel about this place, all you need to know is: GO! Go now…or tomorrow. But seriously, go. This place is unlike any other in Charlotte and really pays homage to the great state of North Carolina!