Before & After: Antique Dresser Re-Do!

I had been looking for a medium size dresser with a cool shape for the bedroom. My husband doesn’t like to use a dresser, which lends to all of his things being tossed around the shelves in the closet. I didn’t want anything too large (seeing as apartment living doesn’t promise the space for any furniture, let alone large pieces), and I didn’t want to pay much more than $100 for a fixer upper.  I looked and I looked and I looked on craigslist and at thrift shops for the perfect old piece to redo.

It really did seem hopeless. I looked for months! I even considered painting an Ikea dresser when I was feeling desperate. Then, finally, there it was. An antique, solid wood short boy for $120; complete with mirror!


IMG_0168   IMG_0171



The whole thing had quite a bit of cosmetic damage; all small stuff, like water rings and a couple little scratches. I tend to feel bad paining quality wood (this is walnut). So, I tried to sand it down to see how much of the varnish I could get off to re-finish it. It would have been a ton of work to sand it down completely by hand. So, I painted it.

I used the same paint I used for the three tables around the apartment. And, I used a similar process to paint them. I sanded them down a little bit all over. Then painted them and sealed them with the same fast drying polyurethane.




And then the mirror fell and broke so I bought this mirror.


And then I decided that I didn’t like the new mirror. So, I had the old mirror repaired.



I moved the gold mirror above my other dresser, but it might be too large. I’m thinking of moving it above my headboard. I don’t know though.

I still need to find some new knobs (I’m thinking gold) and attach the mirror to the back of the dresser (I need to talk to my dad about that). But, for the most part I’m super happy with the way this project has turned out.

So, tell me what you think!


Grace Kelly Inspired Handmade Wedding Gown

I am totally obsessed with this perfect handmade wedding dress. The bride loves Grace Kelly, especially in ‘To Catch a Thief’. So she and her mother designed and made her ideal gown based on the three main gowns in the 1955 movie. What a lucky duck to have such a talented seamstress for a mother!

The blush colored chiffon panels are removable, just in case she wanted an all white gown.

The goddess train is also easily detachable.
Here is the gown in all white. It looks super sweet, but I do prefer it with the colored panels, a little less traditional is always nice.
Check out the rest of this gorgeous bride’s site and more of photos of her gown here.

Old Wedding Photo Friday

Get a load of this gorgeous 1900’s bride! Her gown is completely decked out! Lace, applique, beading! She’s got it all! Not to mention that killer head-piece and full length gloves, she’s practically royalty!

This beauty is Miss E. Root. Photographed by Harris & Ewing between 1900 and 1909.

Early 1900's Bride


Happy Friday!


Pinterest V. Reality: Oreo Cheesecake

I love to try new recipes, but then I get disappointed when my creation doesn’t turn out to look like the pictures. I am fully aware that I have no formal culinary training, yet I still expect to be able to create professional looking food. Why do I have such high expectations for myself?


All the beautiful glossy pictures of all the delicious desserts. And most of them made by ‘real’ people just like me… right?

WRONG! They’re all really good at this stuff!

So, for the rest of you who are just like me and have unrealistic expectatoins for your culinary skills here is how this Pinterest venture turned out in the real world.


This is the picture that got me going. An Oreo Cheesecake from Bites of Sweetness. Yummy! Right?
So the recipe was pretty standard, lots of cream cheese, lots of Oreos and some careful baking. I’d made cheesecakes before and they turned out pretty good. So, I was confident.  This is how mine turned out.
This is what she did, that I didn’t do.
  • She trimmed around the edge of the cake to expose the inside and give it a right angle. I didn’t, mainly because I didn’t see the point.
  • She sliced the top off to make it level, also. I didn’t because I don’t like to waste cake!
  • She crumbled the Oreos on top, I just sorta chopped them (I was anxious to eat it!).
  • The recipe for the Chocolate Glaze called for 125 g bittersweet chocolate. I only had about 100  g bittersweet chocolate. Which is why I think her glaze is so much darker than mine.

The recipe was really good, and the directions were quite thorough. The cake was perfectly dense and rich. I could have done without the chocolate glaze. It looks really pretty, but I thought it was kind of overkill. I should have crushed the cookies for the garnish. It’s more manageable to eat that way.


I forgot to mention that the blogger of Bites of Sweetness is a trained pastry chef. I am a trained bartender (not quite the same).
Overall, this was a really good recipe. And, I did my best to make it exactly to as the recipe called for. Check out the rest of the blog, Bites of Sweetness. It’s pretty awesome!
Check out the other yummy treats I’m pinning.
Happy Baking!

Bring Back Deco: In The Form of Rings Please

Love, love, love vintage rings! Art Deco jewelry is really coming back for winter, with all of the vintage brass colored metal and geometric shapes we’re seeing everywhere. And these five rings are just perfect for this trend!Vintage Avon Gold & Frosted Camphor Glass RingArt Deco Ring -  Antique Diamond Art Deco 18ct Gold & Platinum Ring

vintage ring

1920's Platinum, Diamond & 18k Gold Ribbon Bow Ring Size US 6

Antique Art Deco Ring - Vintage Diamond Art Deco 18ct Gold & Platinum Ring



So Blue…

Yay for home improvement projects!!! My husband and I have had these three tables since the very beginning of college. And, seven moves and some time spent outside has left them less than ideal looking. I had been thinking about painting them for a long time, but hadn’t found any inspiration for a paint color/style.

But, thanks to Pinterst I found inspiration!

Via Little Green Notebook

Via Little Green Notebook

Let’s talk about why this picture is so perfect! The color combination is fresh and happy while still feeling luxurious and classy! This color could work in any room of my house.I’m also obsessed with gold hardware right now. I just freaking love it!

So here is what they looked like before:


The small table on the left is the one that I painted. It was in the worst shape out of all of them from being left outside for a while.


This set of coffee tables was the first piece of furniture I ever purchased for myself before moving to Chicago. This table has burn marks, water rings and bite marks from my dog when she was a puppy.


Another angle of the same table. I don’t have a before picture of the smaller version of this coffee table (BAD BLOGGER!).

I rough sanded the tops of the tables a little, applied two coats of the Galapagos Turquoise semi gloss paint and primer. Then I applied a two coats of Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane. The quick dry didn’t seem very quick, but what do I know.

And now, for the transformation!


This is the smaller version! It’s hard to see the color, but you get the idea. This is a little nook I make in the dining room.




No knob yet, but the color is perfect! You can’t tell at all that this was almost a trashed piece of furniture.


Doesn’t it look great with the duvet cover?


The bigger coffee table. I love the white tray with it! I should have used a wood fill for the very obvious hole. Oh well, live and learn.



I think it looks great with all the yellow I’ve added around the house, too!

My photography skills aren’t great (obviously). But, you get the general idea. It’s sorta a subtle difference, but it has totally changed the way I think about these three pieces of furniture. I’m still working on finding the ideal hardware for these pieces.

Now if only I could redo the hideous sofa just as easily!