{ Things I’m Currently Obsessed With }

Hello, lovelies!

It’s been an intense last few weeks trying to get settled into the new home. I will say, today was a monumental one as we had our blinds installed! Although this may not sound too exciting, we have 26 windows in our house and none were covered when we moved in – so having this little addition has made quite an impact. They’re beautiful 2.5″ white, wooden plantation blinds and they certainly add some charm to our colonial style house. Speaking of houses (since it seems to be the hot topic of the month), I’ve decided to share with you a few home decor pieces that I’m currently obsessing over. Enjoy!

1. Safavieh Lucretius Bar Cart in Gold 

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This is definitely the item that I am most excited about. To make a long story short, I won this very bar cart on an Instagram contest from one of my favorite home furnishing and decor companies, Safavieh. If you haven’t heard of them, I would recommend checking them out because their items are absolutely stunning. While you’re at it, follow them on social media as they run various contests on a pretty regular basis. Just recently, they were offering their Instagram followers a chance to win multiple pieces of furniture and home accents of their choosing – from headboards to tables to chairs. In case you did not know, I am a big fan of social media…not just on a personal level, but from a business standpoint (perhaps it’s the marketing that runs through my veins). I think the companies that utilizes social media to engage their customers are hitting the nail on the head. When I entered the contest initially, I never expected to actually win. In fact, I never win anything. Ever. To my surprise, I was contacted by Savafieh through Instagram and then via email where they provided me with a few different bar cart styles to choose from. I ultimately chose this gold number because I loved the traditional elegance it encompassed. Not to mention, I thought it would look fabulous on top of our Persian rug. Stay tuned as I’ll be styling this bad boy up soon!

2. Chinoiserie

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I am an absolute sucker for the color blue and even more, the chinoiserie style. From a design aspect, I enjoy mixing old and new and love anything and everything eclectic. Chinoiserie really adds an element to the home that makes my heart skip a beat. It’s really picking up some momentum in the home decor world and you can find the style practically everywhere – from Ralph Lauren to Macy’s. However, my favorite pieces are typically found in antique shops. I currently own a few pieces but plan on adding to my collection gradually. The vase pictured from One King’s Lane is definitely one that I’ve been swooning over lately.

3. Cognac Leather Furniture

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I can tell you exactly when I started falling for cognac toned leather furniture. I had been scrolling on Instagram back in December and stumbled upon this very picture shown above. That couch. I needed to have that couch. I was sold. West Elm always tugs at my heart strings but really, it’s been months now and I cannot stop thinking about this couch. As much as I hate to admit that a piece of furniture has rented so much space in my head, I have to own up to it. So there you have it. This beautiful Hamilton leather couch from West Elm comes as a sofa, love seat and sectional. There is something so warm and cozy about this style. Did I mention that it as on my “must purchase” list? *Le Sigh*

4. Wrought Iron Chandeliers

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There is no denying that I’m a fan of both silver and gold, but I’ve been recently turned onto the oil rubbed bronze/wrought iron look, particularly when it comes to light fixtures. Perhaps it had to do with moving into our new house – I just find it to be suiting for the look and feel of the home. These chandeliers from Pottery Barn are freaking gorg. I love the warm, rustic and classic feel it encompasses. Beauties, right?

5. Gallery Walls

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I have been a big fan of gallery walls for some time now and am officially over the moon that I can begin our very own! There are so many directions you can go in with a gallery wall. From oil paintings to sketches, to color schemes to themes, to pictures to prints – the world is your oyster. As mentioned before, I have an affinity for an eclectic style and will probably end up going with a mix of everything to satisfy that yearning. I’m slowly collecting my pieces and using Pinterest as an inspiration. This lovely set up pictured above can be found here.

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{ From City Chic to Suburban Simple }

Alright lovelies…I know it’s been a few weeks since I last posted. And no, it is certainly not normal. I am a blogger that posts weekly but I had to take a brief hiatus for a very good reason. But do not fret – I’ll be posting regularly again now that things have calmed down. So what exactly has gone on in this duration that has caused a slight pause in posting?

Welp…if you did not know, the hubs and I were looking to purchase a home. We had lived in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood for almost a year and as much as we have always loved the area, we realized quickly that the space was getting a little too tight for us. We were in a historic bungalow which had such great charm, however, to put it frankly, we needed more room.

We had been working with our real estate agent for a few months and kept finding ourselves either losing out on a house because we did not move fast enough or ended up in a bidding war because a house had multiple offers. The housing market in Charlotte is pretty hot right now and with it being inundated with buyers, not a lot of inventory and low interest rates…it was a recipe for frustration. I was down and out a few weeks back because we had lost a bidding war on a house and I had not felt defeat like that in some time. However, a week after the bad news, our dream home came on the market. So Reader’s Digest version: we put in an offer sight unseen the day it came on the market with a time table (we asked for a response from the seller by 5pm that day in order to avoid another multiple offer scenario – yeah, we played hard ball) and I went to scope out the digs on my lunch break that day. Risky? I’d say so. But I just had warm fuzzy feelings about this home and we went with our gut instinct.

Needless to say…it ended up working out in our favor and I am proud to announce that on May 26th we closed on this gorgeous southern colonial.

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I will say that I am and always have been a big believer in fate. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes, you have to believe. Not just say you believe, but actually live it by letting the cards fall how they may, putting your best foot forward, thinking positively and not letting a hit or setback deter you from still pushing forward.

Although Shahin and I have always been big into “city living” we have officially traded it in for a more simple, suburban lifestyle. Does that mean we have aged 20 years and will never go out to the bars and breweries we used to enjoy? No. It just means that we have taken a new direction in our life and marriage and are so excited to make this house a home.

Stay tuned for home update posts as I see many projects in our future! In the meantime, enjoy some other great shots of our new abode below. Enjoy!

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{ beautiful front door }

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{ living room and lots of windows }

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{ dining room }

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{ Our garden of aloe, tomatoes and radishes }

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{ the back }

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{ ivy trees and a pretty sweet shed }

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{ a pretty incredible back deck }

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{ back deck love }

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In Bloom | Swoon-worthy Vases

Happy almost weekend, lovelies!

Although the weather in the Carolinas has felt more like Seattle lately than the sweet south, it definitely makes me look forward to the beautiful weather to come! And as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers — no truer words could have ever been spoken. With that being said and keeping this theme in mind, what better way to showcase your May blooms than with a beautiful vase? Vases are both functional and make great statement pieces in your home. Below are a few of my favorites that I’ve been eying (and I may or may not own #6). So instead of letting this dreary weather bring me down, I’m going to daydream about sunshine and fluffy, soft peonies in a gorgeous vase. Enjoy the selection of pretties below!

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1. Pineapple Mercury Glass Vase, $31.43 {from Horchow}  2. Pearl Place Rosebowl, $75 {from Kate Spade}  3. Paisley Park Coral Bud Vase, $22 {from Fitz and Floyd}  4. Indigo Aishe Vase, $24 {from Pure Home}  5. Neon Pink Wire Floral Vase, $27.15 {from Oliver Bonas}  6. Adra Vase, $39.95 {from Crate & Barrel}  7. Clear Heirloom Vase, $14.99 {from Target}  8. Aqua Frosted Bottles, $39.95 {from Pier 1}  9. Maine Tall Vase, $76 {from Neiman Marcus Last Call}  10. Olivia Vase, $49.95 {from Joss & Main}

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Bar Cart Basics | The Anatomy of Styling

Good evening lovelies and happy weekend!

It was such a wonderful past week for me because I just started a new career in my coveted marketing field and am absolutely loving it! I am working for a company with a special mission with a very friendly, fun and supportive marketing staff. In the midst of getting acclimated, I wanted to do a post this week but was far too pooped to get crackin’ on the blog until now.

This week, I wanted to highlight the art of bar cart styling. Why? Aside from the fact that I am obsessed with them, they truly add a unique component to your home. However, some people fear tackling the bar cart for a few reasons:

a. They cannot figure out what direction to go in (from an aesthetic and functionality stand point).
b. They may not know how to style one appropriately.

I am here to solve that problem! Alas, I am providing you with some Bar Cart Basics! Enjoy!

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First thing’s first: choose the style direction you wish to go in. I’ve decided to go with gilded neutrals and pops of color (in this case, a deep, rich blue). Overall, I personally like classic elegance – it’s chic, simple, and will never go out of style. Even if you purchase a few trendy pieces, you can always change them out as your taste changes.

1. Essential Element: Cocktail Glasses. What bar cart would be complete without some beautiful glasses? First and foremost, you need them. But more importantly, you can have a little fun and be as eclectic as you want to be. I like the idea of using touches of gold, particularly because it correlates with my overall look. Instead of choosing one type of glass, why not try several? Personally, I love rocks glasses and instead of using just one style, I’ve decided to mix and match with keeping my gilded theme in mind. Check out the Mingle Bar GlassLex Bar Glass (I own these bad boys) and the Greet Bar Glass – all $9.95 a piece from Crate & Barrel.

2. Design Element: Small Figurine. Of course the functionality of your bar cart is key, but you can add little touches to personalize it and make it fun! I have an affinity for pineapples (not to mention they symbolize warmth, welcome and wealth in a home). Add a small figurine to your bar cart such as this 9″ Brass Pineapple Candle Holder I discovered at Chairish.com for $185.

3. Design Element: Books. Much like coffee table books, they can be used for functionality and/or a way to accessorize. Have some drink recipe books that are relevant your bar cart? Throw them on there and use them to style it. Looking at it from more of an aesthetic stand point? Add some vintage books to tie in your pop of color or to provide it with some timeless elegance. Since blue is my pop of color, I found this eclectic Set of Five Vintage Books for $30 from Etsy.

4. Design Element: Flower Vase. If you’re a sucker for flowers like I am, try adding a vase of them on the top of your bar cart. It creates a soft, feminine feel while giving it a more polished look. If you enjoy grabbing some fresh flowers at the Farmers Market and like to change them out weekly, you can certainly go in that direction. However, if you are looking for something that requires a little less maintenance, purchase a vase of faux flowers that stay fresh forever. I really fell for this mercury glass vase full of Faux Peonies for $99 from One Kings Lane.

5. Design Element: Apothecary Jar. Another great design element to incorporate is the use of apothecary jars. Glass is a popular material used but I have grown a wild infatuation with chinoiserie inspired ceramics – particularly anything blue and white. It also happens to tie into my pop of color. Even if you want to go in the direction of a small bowl or ginger jar rather than apothecary, you can go to any antique shop and pick one up for a very reasonable price. I’ve found several for around $20-$30 a piece. However, I do love this Ming Lidded Apothecary Jar from Frontgate for $79.

6. Essential Element: Whiskey Decanter. This is another fundamental piece of a bar cart, especially if you are featuring rocks glasses like I am. You can find them just about anywhere but this Flamant Home Interiors Leona Decanter from Amara is a beauty and priced at $113.

7. Design Element: Straws. This may not be necessary, but it does add a fresh look to your bar cart. It’s an inexpensive way to add a touch of whimsy to the overall feel and ends up tying everything together quite nicely. These striped straws come in an array of different colors but I personally enjoy the classic black and white. You can pick up a 25 Count from Party Source for just $3.49!

 8. The Bar Cart Itself. Speaking of bar carts, this post would not make much sense without the bar cart itself! Here’s the deal: there are numerous bar carts out there at different price points, styles, colors, materials…essentially, the world is your oyster here. Going for a more rustic look? Anthropologie has some beautiful wooden and metal ones, for example. However, I adore this one to tie into my gilded/classic theme. I also really love this bar cart because it is reasonably priced. There are bar carts out there in the thousands, but this Meredith Bar Cart from One Kings Lane is just $210!

9. Design Element: Monogram Letter. If you scour Pinterest like I do, I’m sure you’ve noticed the increased popularity in implementing the letter of your first name or last name in design. Being a newlywed and my last name starting with an “A”, I’ve been collecting “A’s” at every chance I get. Adding a monogram letter to your bar cart adds a little personality to it while also personalizing it. You can find them practically everywhere, particularly Etsy, which has some that even light up for a more retro feel. However, this Acid Etched Letter from Urban Outfitters priced at $14 is pretty inexpensive, vintage-inspired and well, gorgeous!

 10. Essential Element: Cocktail Shaker. For those of you who enjoy a good cocktail, a shaker is absolutely mandatory for your bar cart. I’ve seen some made of sleek brass or hammered metal and also some that are more simplistic. This Madison Collection Cocktail Shaker from Sur La Table is $50 and can be used for many years to come. I love that it is both European-inspired and timeless.

 11. Essential Element: Coasters. Trying to protect your wooden table? No one likes the dreaded ring left from a drink! Coasters are absolutely essential in regard to a bar cart. These beautiful coasters are made from natural agate and play into my neutral color palette. This Set of 4 Coasters by Shiraleah can be purchased from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th for $57.70 (originally $71).

 12. Design Element: Prints. I’m a art enthusiast and lover of good prints. Adding a piece of art to your bar cart whether it be physically on the cart or hanging on the wall above it pulls everything together. The print you pick truly depends on your style – it’s a very personal thing. You could add your favorite artist’s work, something illustrated and funky, or a letterpress print that relates to the bar you are essentially creating. The Blue Pineapple Print I fell in love with ties into both my pop of color and pineapple trinket and is an instant download priced at just $5. The Gold Foil “Pop Fizz Clink” Print ties into the gold and metallics I’ve been using, directly relates to the bar cart and is priced at $25. Both were found on Etsy (one of my favorite places to shop of all time).

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Fall Favorites | Home Edition

Happy Fall Y’all!

It’s hard to believe my favorite month is coming to an end relatively soon. Less than two weeks left of October and then we are on to November (which also happens to be my birth month). This was a great weekend because Shahin and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday. It was magical and filled with brunch and bloody marys, pumpkin picking, and DIY projects around the house. We plan on taking a belated anniversary trip to Asheville in November and combine it with my birthday – excited to brewery hop and re-explore one of our favorite cities! Oh, and my parents gifted us the Pistachio KitchenAid Mixer I’ve been swooning over – I guess they know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Can’t wait to pick out what I’m going to bake first (meanwhile, it looks super adorable on my kitchen counter). Happy Anniversary to us!

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Speaking of things for the home, it just so happens that my Fall Favorites list directly correlates with this theme. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite fall items and decor pieces (including some delicious smelling candles) that completely encompass Autumn. As always, everything is very reasonably priced…so no need to break the bank. Enjoy!

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Fall Favorites Home

1. You & Me Doormat, $45 {from Lulu & Georgia}  2. Branch & Twig Pie Server, $18 {from Anthropologie}  3. Pumpkin Buttered Rum Candle, $14.95 {from Crate & Barrel}  4. Threshold Set of 3 Decorative Fall Figurines – White, $22.99 {from Target}  5. Go Where Love Grows Wooden Sign, $50.00 {from Etsy}  6. Hello Love Teacup & Saucer, $19.00 {from Etsy}  7. Hand Embroidered Fall Hoop, $22 {from Etsy}  8. Rust Plaid Throw, $99 {from Crate & Barrel}  9. Boulangerie Jar Candle, Pumpkin Souffle, $26 {from Anthropologie}  10. NEST Moroccan Amber Boxed Candle, $34 {from Bloomingdales}  11. Plum & Bow Golden Fox Pillow, $39 {from Urban Outfitters}  12. Farmhouse Pottery Pie Dish, $24 {from West Elm}  13. Happy Pumpkin Spice Season Print, $19 {from Etsy}

 

DIY | Vintage Dresser Makeover

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

I thought I would break up my Fall posts with a little DIY action. This was actually a project I worked on well before we were even fully moved into our new home. I’ve only waited this long to share the project because I so wanted to decorate it prior to posting, however, I have not yet found exactly what I am looking for…so stay tuned because there is definitely more to come!

If you remember my DIY china cabinet makeover post a few weeks back, then you may remember that Shahin’s dad and step mom provided us with that beautiful vintage china cabinet that I was able to update. I had only mustered up the courage to take that project on solo because I had exposure to this one first with a little help from my friends (cue in The Beatles song). And by a little help from my friends, I actually mean a LOT of help from my friends. I truly could not have taken on this beast without some of my closest girlfriends along for the ride – Stephanie (check out her blog here), Jennifer, and Ashley. See, no one should believe that a DIY project is a daunting task, rather, something extremely enjoyable – make a day or evening of it! After indulging in a few glasses of vino, a slice of Fuel Pizza, and some good ol’ catching up, we got right to work.

Below is an image of the original piece we were working with. Shahin’s dad and step mom also let us take this old dresser to revamp for the new house. When I initially looked at it, I knew exactly the direction I wanted to go in as I saw the great potential it possessed. It’s no secret that I am a lover of vintage things. I like anything that is rough around the edges but still encompasses elegance and character.

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{ The dresser: BEFORE }

I decided to scour Lowe’s for the perfect paint colors. I had a vision and needed to see it through – I wanted to get a vintage/worn feeling and knew that crackle paint was partly the answer. I had some experience using this medium in the past (when I worked on the vintage door for our wedding), but a good bit of time had elapsed since the last time I had touched it. So, what is crackle paint, you might ask? Pretty much the best thing ever. It’s a paint medium/faux painting technique used between different layers of paint that once applied, crackles on its own and can be easily distressed to provide an “old” look with layers of different colors peeking through. After purchasing a couple of paint cans (color choices shown below), a can of crackle paint and some sanding blocks – I was in and out of Lowe’s in less than 30 minutes. Done and done.

After removing the knobs on the dresser, we used my first color choice, Valspar’s Coastal Villa, for the bottom layer of the dresser. With four of us, we were able to knock it out pretty quickly. This is actually the same color I used for my china cabinet as I had paint left over and absolutely adored it. It may look beige here (the image does not do it justice), but it’s actually the perfect shade of greige (grey/beige).

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{ Valspar’s Coastal Villa – the color chosen for the bottom layer of the dresser }

After we let the Coastal Villa paint layer dry, we applied the crackle medium. Any crackle paint should do but below is one by Valspar that you can easily pick up from Lowe’s or order online here. Otherwise, you can always pick some up at any other home improvement store or craft store such as Michael’s.

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{ Valspar’s Crackle Glaze Medium }

Once the crackle medium was applied, we added the top coat of paint about an hour later (the minimum), but if you’re trying this project out – do not wait any longer than four. The second color I chose was Snowcap White, also by Valspar.

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{ Valspar’s Snowcap White – the color chosen for the top layer of the dresser }

Once we painted this on the dresser and allowed it to dry some, we could see that the paint was really starting to crackle on its own. However, I wanted to distress it even more. My friends and I used various tools such as screwdrivers in addition to the coarse sanding blocks to really rough it up, particularly around the edges. The finished product turned out BEAUTIFULLY – especially when I purchased new knobs (about $4/each from Lowe’s). That’s when the dresser really transformed.

TA-DA! Below is our finished/custom/one-of-a-kind beauty that I am so proud of! Y’all, no lie – it’s everything I could have hoped and dreamed. I love the distressed, old-timely feel mixed with a touch of classic elegance. The contrast between the grey and the white is ridiculously amazing and what I treasure most is that the original warm wood color is still somewhat visible through the crackling.

To finish it off, I put a lace runner on top of the dresser (which I upcycled from our wedding), and am now in search of the perfect set of gold or vintage brass lamps…oh, and of course some little nick-nacks and decor. Check out all of the lovely details below.

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If I had tried to purchase this piece somewhere, it would have cost me a small fortune. The DIY route was the best decision ever and even more, we now have a unique piece that can not be found anywhere else! I have to admit, I am one happy girl!

Interested in using the crackle paint medium? Here are a few very important pointers to remember:

  • Make sure that the two different colors of paint you choose have enough contrast. If you pick colors that are too similar to one another, the crackle/distressing will not be very obvious to the naked eye. Play with different color combinations – the possibilities are endless!
  • When applying the crackle paint medium, be sure to use it modestly.
  • Ensure that you are covering everything as the crackle is clear and can be hard to see.

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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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