upcycled toolbox table

A couple of weeks ago I posted a quick snapshot on instagram and facebook of an upcycled table we put together.  The new table deserves a proper feature here today…

upcycled toolbox table

This was a fun little collaboration. Our lead picker, Jake, found this old, heavy toolbox a few months back. Lucky for him it was loaded with many worthwhile tools.

upcycled toolbox table

The utilitarian case is sturdy and well made yet too heavy to lug around filled with tools in modern times.  The rectangular box is the perfect size for a small coffee table or side table and has a lot of life left in it. The vintage piece has the best patina which tells stories of decades of hard work.  The original creamy yellow color is under there too.  After a thorough cleaning, I applied a coat of furniture wax for a nice durable finish.

upcycled toolbox table

I set out to find a nice set of legs and scored with these tapered mid-century ones.  We attached the legs to give the toolbox a boost to table status while leaving all of the original hardware in place.  I particularly love the brass corners.

upcycled toolbox table

Bonus, the table acts as a great storage piece since the top opens the same way the toolbox once did.

upcycled toolbox table

The toolbox table has found a new home!  Thanks for your interest in it.

Have you repurposed anything lately?

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diy cottage style bathroom reno

We have had a quiet yet incredibly productive winter.  We needed it quite frankly.  We also really needed a new bathroom.  The 80′s builder grade hall bath was so dated and just blah.  We gave it a bright makeover on a DIY budget.  Ok, a renovation really.  Here’s how it looked when we acquired the house.  Yikes.

Bathroom Before

Let’s check out the updates.  Come on in…

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

I’ve been hoarding this dresser for a while because I knew it was just right for the new vanity.  And it only cost about $40 because the drawers needed work which is a basic requirement of turning a dresser into a vanity anyway.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Storage is at a minimum in this house so preserving as much drawer space as possible was a goal that we easily met by using a porcelain trough sink instead of a drop sink.  I love how it turned out!

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Check out this post for details on how the vanity was constructed.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Please admire the vanity mirror.  It makes this tiny room seem much larger than it is and the bonus is that we had it all along.  It is very special to me.  The mirror is part of the French provincial bedroom set that I inherited from my grandmother.  I didn’t want to use the mirror with the dresser in our bedroom and opted to split the set up.  It worked out to be the perfect width to pair with the new vanity when hung vertically.  I didn’t touch the old finish.  It seemed like just the right warm, contrast to all of the cool aqua and white.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

 I really can never have enough hound dogs on guard around here.  Especially when they are in the form of vintage paint by numbers.

Vintage Hound Dog Paint By Numbers

Did you catch a glimpse of the shell chandelier.  Yup, I’m pretty smitten with that DIY too.  Sigh.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Details about how we pulled that off for under 30 bucks are posted here.  The salvaged radiator grate is actually acting as a screen to the bathroom fan.  It is so much more interesting looking than the hardware store options.

DIY Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

The renovation began with Ryan demoing out the old vinyl flooring and vanity.

Bathroom demo

He then installed white ceramic hex tile for my birthday present!  The gift of home is the kind I love.  Seriously.  The vintage hooked rug was a birthday gift to myself.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Next up was the PVC beadboard installation that Ryan also DIY’d.  We kept the stained wood molding around the door and window to match the rest of the house.  However, we replaced the door with a white beadboard style which we’ll continue throughout the house.  This seems to be a great compromise between the bright cottage style I love and the craftsman wood style that Ryan loves.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

We picked up a few old brass ship plates last year at Brimfield.  The ‘Certified Private Lavatory’ one found a home paired with the wire bike basket.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

We went with top down window shades again.  I love the privacy they give but the light they allow in.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Thanks for visiting.  Stay tuned for some DIY tutorials from this room in the coming days.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

eating in

The eat-in portion of our kitchen was an addition on the original house put on by a previous owner.  Rumor has it that the addition was redone three times because the lady of the house was not satisfied with it.  (And my husband thought I was high maintenance with home projects.)  They finally got it just right making for a cozy dining nook aside from the kitchen galley.

Flea Market Style Eat-In Kitchen

However, the time was long overdue to erase their style (read: lots of wallpaper) and put our own twist on the space.

I’m thankful the previous owners expanded this room because otherwise it must have been so cramped.  Like most homes, our kitchen seems to be the center of the house.  This is where the cooking and eating occurs followed by hours of lingering and occasionally we work in here too. With that said, it was important to me that this space be comfortable.  And definitely full of personality and many eclectic finds.

Flea Market Style Eat-In Kitchen

Cookbook Collection

Ryan and I spent the last two weekends bringing that vision to light with a little sweat equity, paint and flea market finds.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember the blueprint wallpaper I installed at the 2013 Philly Home Show.  We carefully removed them after the show.  Now they’re permanently on display in our kitchen.  The vintage blueprints are all original to Ryan’s father.  Each one tells a story.  Some we know.  Some we make up!

Blueprint Wallpaper & Industrial Galvanized Pendant Light

We got a head start with kitchen updates a few months back when turned the trio of chairs into an upholstered grainsack bench.  And before that we updated the laminate cabinets and installed a pallet wood backsplash.

Pallet Wood Kitchen Wall Backsplash

But now it is all about the eat-in nook.  We do not have a formal dining room.  This is it.  With that said, we decided we wanted all upholstered chairs.  The head chairs are one of my best scores to date.  They are original walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs that fit nicely with the new-to-us copper top table.  More about the table here.

Ward Bennett Vintage Mohair & Walnut Chair

But the game changer for me was the industrial pendant light.  Does anyone know what this is?  I found the galvanized, cloche-like piece at the flea market and we upcycled it into a light.  The seller was unsure of its provenance too.  I’d love to hear your opinion.  I am guessing some sort of farm equipment.

Industrial Galvanized Pendant Light

At the same market, I bought the SERVE letters.  One of my favorite finds for sure.  We can only assume that they were part of a SERVICE sign at some point.  Perhaps from a gas station.

Salvaged Kitchen Style - Blueprint Wallpaper & Serve Service sign

The rest of the room got updated with a coat of buttercream yellow paint.  Thank goodness the wallpaper and border are gone along with the matching valances.  Were matching borders over wallpaper really necessary?  This picture is from when we first saw the house.

kitchen before

There is something about a yellow kitchen that just injects energy.

Vintage Font/Text - Serve Service Sign in Kitchen

What’s your favorite flea market find?

Flea Market Style Eat-In Kitchen - Vintage Serve letters, Blueprint Wallpaper, Galvanized Pendant Light

Linking to: Funky Junk Interiors, Jennifer Rizzo, Be Bold Challenge

salvaging a bedroom

Things are starting to feel more and more settled around our new permanent home.  Well you know that it is not actually new at all or new to us for that matter.  And the things in it aren’t new, of course.  You could have guessed that.  But the permanence of this home is what’s new.

architectural salvage bedroom

Today I am sharing how the old is pulled together to create a new salvaged, coastal bedroom.  This is one of my favorite places to relax.

I love all of the colors and textures…and also the view of the season changing out of the window that this bed faces. In fact, the previous owners oriented their bed on the adjacent wall which only left a view directly into the bathroom facing the toilet. Blech.  The back wall is all windows so it seemed obvious to face the bed in that direction.  I’ll share the window seat in another post…when we upgrade to top down shades.

garden rake belt organization  (2 of 6)

Naturally, I always go for loads of pillows covered in neutral solids.  However, I am not afraid to punch up the duvet with pattern.  For winter, I brought in this warm medallion duvet from Crate & Barrel.  The palette in here is so inviting…

architectural salvage bedroom

And that headboard is an old door that I updated a few years ago with paint, driftwood and starfish.

The vintage lamps are one of the best treasures the previous owners left behind in this house.  They needed an updated shade but, man, they are perfection.  Those oars are one of the first accessories I bought for this room and they’re still a fave.

architectural salvage bedroom

The furniture made the move with us.  It is part of my Grandmother’s French provincial bedroom suite.  After having all of the pieces living together in our guest room in the last house, I decided it would be better to break them up a bit.

Isn’t it funny how the finish on the night stands and dresser look like milk paint with antiquing wax?  It most likely is but I didn’t do it!  They’ve been finished this way for decades.  They’re a perfect fit here and are an inspiration for updating French pieces like this moving forward.

architectural salvage coastal bedroom

The driftwood shelf was salvaged a couple of years ago.  I added hooks recently for my necklaces.

The mirror is not dirty.  It’s called patina!  I love mirrors with this much wear on the glass but apparently others do not because it didn’t sell this summer.  I took it home from the shop and I am trying it in this space.  I am undecided on whether it is taking the coastal theme too far.  Is that even possible?  The Golden Girls set is what I am generally trying to avoid however this mirror doesn’t say Rose to me.

architectural salvage coastal bedroom

There’s always room to add more beach glass and shells that wash up…

coastal collection

The life-preserver I love.  And the columns were salvaged from an old Cape May home.  They’re kind of crazy town in here but they’re not going anywhere.  I like crazy.

And I’m obsessed with vintage chenille blankets especially in aqua.  This throw has been around awhile and is here to stay.

So that’s my happy place, friends.  Happy Tuesday!

architectural salvage bedroom

a DIY trailhead

Ryan and I will be celebrating a big ol’ 2 months of marriage tomorrow.  In honor, I’m sharing a wedding DIY.

Remember our big tent?

We popped up a party under that thing just like we pop up a shop under our 10×10 at various markets.  Except this was like 100×100 or something cray-zay big.

© Love Shack Photo

For someone like me, it was a dream to be able to build my reception setting from the ground up.  In the beginning, I insisted on not having a narrow theme as I thought it was too kitschy.  Our theme sort of evolved as we continued to plan details.  So did the color scheme.  I will give you one guess.

Yeah, aqua blue.

And the theme was a little more subtle with a nod to “On the way to Cape May, I fell in love with you”.  How could we not, seriously?

© Love Shack Photo

Once there was an established theme we conjured some fun details to deck the bare corners of the tent and tables.  With our guests in mind, we put together a trailhead highlighting all of the cities they had traveled from to be with us on our big day.  It was essentially a destination wedding since about 3 people invited (and, ahem, not invited. I haven’t told you about our wedding crasher yet, have I?) actually live at the shore.

The trailhead was also a subtle nod to Ryan’s love of hiking.

making a wedding trailhead (3 of 7)

I’ve seen a number of versions of wedding trailheads on pinterest pointing to the direction of the cake, dancing, drinks, etc. but never one quite like this.  We were pretty excited about our concept.  Feel free to pin it!

We started with an old coat rack since we wanted something that was freestanding and didn’t need to be staked into the ground or anything.  I don’t have a true before pic but it was a wooden coat rack with 4 brass hooks.  One was totally busted so it was super cheap.  I saved the 3 good hooks for a future project.  The base of the coat rack got a wash of milk paint in Ironstone.

making a wedding trailhead out of a coat rack

Here’s a roll of fencing that I’ve been hoarding.

making a wedding trailhead out of old picket fencing

I bought this at a yard sale a couple of years ago.  I share that because I don’t want you to think I stole it off of a sand dune that is now blowing away without the fence allowing the ocean to recede onto the road flooding everything in sight.  No.  Someone else probably did that and then I paid for it.  Or maybe it is actually just guilt-free garden fencing.

Anyway, I pulled each picket out after making a list of how far our guests’ home towns were in miles from Cape May.  With nothing more than a sharpee marker, I printed the city and miles shifting the orientation of the trail point somewhat haphazardly.  No one said it had to be exact.  We left the fencing color as-is since it gave some character to our trailhead and matched the Ironstone base pretty well.

making a DIY wedding trailhead

Enter Ryan.  The man with the power tools who assembled the project.

How to DIY a wedding trailhead

In the making, we had a bit of a duh moment.  We were destined to have white screws so they’d sort of blend in.  After searching the hardware store high and low for the right screws we turned to spray paint. Duh.  I paint everything else, how did I not think of that off that bat?  It took 2 seconds to pop the screws into a discarded box and lightly spray the heads.  Let that be a lesson to you my friends.  Spray your screws any darn color your choose because they pretty much only come in silver, black and brass.

poke screws in box to quickly change the color with spray paint

And of course, we couldn’t forget Cape May 0 miles, known locally as Exit Zero.  And known to us as Happily Ever After.  I’m so cheesy…

© Love Shack Photo

This was a lot of words for a 1-2-3 project.  But I’m chatty today.  I hope you like our version of the wedding trailhead.  By the way, don’t our friends and family live in some great cities?

© Love Shack PhotoDIYing a trailhead

All wedding photographs were shot professionally by Love Shack Photo.  All DIY photographs were DIY’d by me.

part 2: the haul

Did you catch my last post about our romantique Brimfield honeymoon?  It was fate that our wedding was the Saturday before the spring antique market.  Honestly, I didn’t plan it that way.  With such timing, how could we not take the opportunity to honeymoon at the largest antique show in the country?  Don’t worry we also hit Nantucket and other New England sites such as Plymouth.

But let’s talk about what we bought!  These pictures don’t show all of the haul but the majority.  Although we could’ve fit more in the truck, I was trying not to make this a crazy Circa Dee buying trip since that isn’t exactly why we were there.  We had a lot of fun picking out things for our home including a set of andirons for our fireplace that aren’t pictured.  Overall, it was 50/50 in terms of what we bought for us versus what we bought to sell.

Ok I’ll stop talking for a minute so you can feast your eyes…

vintage treasures May (1 of 28)

vintage treasures May (2 of 28)

vintage treasures May (3 of 28)

vintage treasures May (4 of 28)

Have you ever seen a Tom Thumb?  It is a kid’s size typewriter.  I hadn’t seen one before but then ran into a few of them.  It is from the 1950′s and comes with a metal cover.  I love the color.  I am bringing it to Brooklyn Flea Philly this weekend so maybe someone will be just as amazed as I am by the Tom Thumb.

vintage treasures May (5 of 28)

And this Lazy Lake sign…it is most likely a reproduction made maybe 30 years ago but it is still fabulous.  The swim cap, the graphics, the bum in the air!vintage treasures May (9 of 28)

Oh there were so many fun vintage ship wares.  I have a thing for crotchety old ship captain figurines these days, especially the old peg leg one.  And check out the brass plaques used which came from a ship.  I had such a hard time picking out which ones I wanted.  We’ll definitely be hanging the Cert. Private Lavatory plaque in the bathroom.  I haven’t made a decision on the others although they’re all quite punny.

 vintage ship plaques & captains

More nautical swag.  I never pass up a minnow bucket.  Those orange graphics!

vintage treasures May (19 of 28)

Vintage glass fishing buoys are so beautiful.  They tend to vary a little bit in green and blue colors and their shapes are imperfect.  The glass was usually blown right on the ship.  The buoys still float.  Ryan tested it…  We kept one and put a few for sale in West End Garage because they really make an awesome coffee table piece in a beach house.

vintage treasures May (20 of 28)

I found so much humor in this sign.  I wanted to keep and display it but decided it would give customers the wrong idea because yeah, we do take credit.

vintage treasures May (12 of 28)

The credit sign is laying on a vintage apple press.  At least part of the apple press.  The wood has the most beautiful patina to it most likely from the acid of the apples.  I love the age of the wood so we’re planning to create something with the press piece.  Stay tuned on that front.

vintage treasures May (13 of 28)

This little birdhouse was also made by the nice couple that we met that shares our anniversary.  They were selling these birdhouses like hotcakes so we had to grab one for ourselves!

vintage treasures May (14 of 28)

We selected a neon letter R to represent our last name.  You can also see there that we found lots of mason jars.

vintage treasures May (21 of 28)

And crates.  I chose ones with graphics that I liked.  I especially liked the Buckeye crate for all of my friends with Ohio roots.  vintage treasures May (25 of 28)

We scored a few pieces of small furniture that I’ve already put in my space at West End Garage.  It was pretty bare there when we got back so I was happy to add this white Empire chest.  It is also perfect for a beach cottage.  I was drawn to it for its crackle finish.

vintage empire chest

So what were our favorite finds you ask?

Ryan’s was definitely this carved wooden eagle.  The day we found it he mentioned something about wanting a “totem pole”.  And then he spotted this.  And suddenly totem pole type things were everywhere.  I’m so glad he selected the eagle though because some were not nearly as awesome.vintage carved eagle

I’ve always wanted to find a leather doctor’s bag.  Then I came across one with my initials on it!  The guy practically gave it away when he heard they were my initials.  I didn’t mention that they’ll be changing any day now as soon as I get around to completing the paperwork.

vintage doctor bag

So what is your favorite find from our Brimfiled stash?