from the garden to the dining room

I know the Home Show was like weeks ago and you are probably so sick of hearing me talk about it and addressing the event as a proper noun but guess what, so many projects went into that little upcycled room.  So many hours.  I am going to talk about them until, well until, I can’t talk about them anymore and they fade into the dark night of the blogosphere.

Actually, until spring really when there is something new and fresh and worthwhile to talk about.  Or until we get married.  Yeah, the wedding will trump the Home Show for sure.

Anyway, what do you do with a garden trellis that you aren’t using in the garden?

Home Show - Milk painted dresser and trellis mirror

Turn it into a mirror of course!

Home Show - Garden Trellis Mirror

My neighbor is always finding little treasures along the way, much like me.  He handed this garden trellis over to me months ago and it sat in my garage ever since.  Until the aha moment came.  The moment I know you all wait for.  The moment Ryan cringes because I enlist him for yet another project.  As always, I promise him it is simple and will only take a few minutes…

garde trellis mirror

So the trellis got turned on it’s side.  Then we just sawed the ends off of the whole piece so it would be symmetrical.  And by “we” of course you know by now that I mean Ryan.

The great debate of January 2013 was whether or not the garden trellis should have 2 mirrors or one large mirror behind the entire trellis.  Hmmm…

Obviously we decided on 2 mirrors which gave a floating effect.  Still though, I ponder how 1 would have looked.

I speed dialed my old friends at the glass store and had 2 mirrors cut in a matter of days.  We removed the 3 middle bars from the back  of the trellis.  The mirrors rested on the bars in front.  Then we attached mirror hanging hardware in the back to those front pieces.  Finally, Ryan and I strategically screwed the back bars into place while keeping the mirrors centered.  You definitely need 2 sets of hands with this project to keep the mirrors centered and level.

how to make a garden trellis mirror

Yes, this was a team effort constructed right on the dining room table because as I recall it was like 12 degrees in the garage that day.  And you can also see how all of the projects in the dining room were evolving at that very moment.  Note the dangling new drapes over the old ones.  Hot mess.


But of course, the dining room looks like this now with the mirror starring on one wall and reflecting light from the large window across the room.


Which reminds me, when I posted our new and improved dining room on Monday I don’t believe I shared this angle with you which shows both the new mirror and Ryan’s vintage ball jar sketch that he made as a child.  Quite the gardeny feel this space has now.

dining room

I love how the artwork looks in the new room.  It is a perfect fit.

ball jar artwork

What do you have planned for the weekend?  Stop by the ol’ brick & mortar shop on Saturday from 10-5!

our new and improved dining room

We moved into our house almost 2 years ago.  Time really flies.  In fact I remember the first day we set foot in it, it was President’s Day 2011.  Exactly 2 years ago.  We put an offer on the house on the spot.  We loved it and still do!  We’ve had to do very little to really personalize it because this little house had been updated by the previous owners in so many ways that we would have chosen.  They had great taste when renovating the 1949 cape cod.  This is where I say “however”…

Since the day we moved in I wanted a sage green dining room.  Bottom line is, we’re earth tone people.  We like earthy greens, warm browns and cool blues.  We seem to dress that way and sway toward those colors.

So our cranberry red dining room never seemed to match us. Here is a before shot from just after we moved moved in.


The challenge came though because the paint was done well.  Deep red is really hard to get right and I think the previous owners got it right along with the coordinating regal window treatment they left us too.  We got so many complements on those curtains but, again, they never felt like us.  It was hard to let it go and some of you reading will probably like the before better!  It is not like this was a room we sat in and discussed how hideous it was and how badly it needed to be redone.  I moved full speed ahead anyway and took those expensive panels down and exchanged them for my vintage, thrift store toile ones along with some fraying feed sacks for valances.  Ahhh…

vintage toile drapes & feedsack valance - window treatment

What is wrong with me?  This just feels so much better.

vintage toile drapes

Once I started bringing sage accents in the room, I knew it was time to paint.  I decided the walls needed to be Arles alla Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  It is such a warm yellow.  It is perfect!  I attempted to do a wall with chalk paint but to get the coverage I needed over all of that deep red, chalk paint wasn’t going to be cost effective.  Although, I might add, cream chalk paint very easily and successfully covered this same color red paint on my brick fireplace surround last year in just one coat.

So we took Arles to the paint counter and had them color match it in latex.  And when I saw we, I mean Ryan.  While I was on my home show marathon, out of the house for like 10 days straight, he painted the dining room!  He couldn’t bear the one half painted wall anymore and swears I set that up.  If only…what a brilliant idea.

So it is finally ready for a big reveal!

dining room paint inspired by arles

I also added an antique hooked rooster rug.  Maybe a little bit country?

antique hooked rooster area  rug

I painted the base of our table in a custom mixed sage green milk paint.


This was a result of mixing Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in kitchen scale with a bit of linen and a hint of typewriter.  All left over from recent furniture painting projects.

reupholstered linen bentwood chair

In fact, I don’t think I ever shared this table on the blog before.  Here is an in progress shot of the room as it was evolving but still very much cranberry, taken a year ago.


The table was one of my very first furniture projects.  I stripped and sanded the top and stained it in ebony.  Because the dining room is so small, this drop leaf gate leg table is perfect for the space.  There is also another hidden leaf stowed away inside so it accommodates a lot of people when needed.  It’s like a Stretch Armstrong of tables.  Remember him?

drop leaf table custom mixed sage milk paint

Ryan and I recovered the vintage bentwood chairs in linen.  I like how the worn wood is lighter than the rest of the wood in the room.

vintage bentwood chair

Did you notice the new chandelier?  Well it was there last year too.

dining room paint inspired by arles

This was a ReStore find a couple of years ago.  It came with mini shades but I didn’t like them.  I love the simplicity of it without them.

dining room paint inspired by arles

And how the finish coordinates with the hardware on the old aqua door (which I decided to give a permanent home since fostering it out on my mantel).  Funny thing is that this chandelier was in the red room but completely faded into the paint color.  Now it pops.

dining room paint inspired by arles

Although Ryan thought the red was fine and originally wasn’t into this project, he too is thrilled with the new yellow room.  It is so much brighter and airier.  Is that a word?


dining room paint inspired by arles

dining room bentwood chair

And my mixing bowl collection…hello!  Swoon.

built in - mixing bowl collection

vintage vignette

built in display shelf

Now the domino effect has begun in this room.  Next up, stripping and painting the original built in cabinet doors to be re-hung.

And maybe bead board.  And crown molding.  Can’t you just picture it?  This is where Ryan pretends he’s not listening.

Oh and I’m already scheming more of an eclectic cottage style bench too.  Stay tuned!

Have you ever redone a perfectly fine “before” to better suit your tastes?  And where do you find your paint color inspirations?

Happy President’s Day!

Linking to: TwelveOEight, Miss Mustard Seed

hanging drapes

So I wanted to title this post “hanging drapes for dummies” but I didn’t want to scare anyone away before reading the first line.  Another title choice was “hanging drapes for thirty year olds” because if you are an actual adult i.e. over thirty, you probably already know how to hang drapes the old school way and you will learn nothing new from this post.

But as it seems, the last time I really saw drapes in my home was circa 1989 and I wasn’t hanging them.  Then the 90’s hit.  Oh the 90’s.  Balloon valances.  Need I say more about the puffy beasts that hung over suburban windows everywhere?

Moving onto the new millennium.  Or so.

My window treatments up until recently have always involved sheer panels, tab tops, grommet tops and funky, ornate hardware.  That sort of thing.  I have never once hung a drape.  Or draperies.  That word sounds so grown up and maybe even old-fashioned.

But there is a first time for everything and that was a really long introduction to…hanging drapes for dummies.  With pictures.

Follow along as I become an actual adult and introduce drapes into my home.

First let’s review what I mean by drapery.  I am talking about heavy curtains with pleats.  Old school.

Specifically, I am talking about this fabulous pair of handmade, vintage toile drapes that I scored for a song!  The fabric needs to be attached to the curtain rod.  But how?  I don’t want to use the modern ring and clip method.

drapery pleats

We’re going way back.  This, my friends, is a drape hook.  This little device does all the work!  A package of drape hooks costs about $2.50 and can be found at your local hardware store.

drape hook

Flip over the drape so you are looking at the back side of the pleats.

back of drape pleats

The drape hook has one pointy end.  Insert the pointy end upward into the seam of the pleat so it is running parallel with the pleat.

how to hang drapes

Once inserted, the curved part of the drape hook should be near the top of the pleat.

drape hook

Repeat this process pinning each pleat with a drape hook making sure each hook is sturdy.

how to hang drapes

And that’s it.  They’re ready to be hung!

how-to hang drapes

Fun fact:  A package of drape hooks contains 14 hooks.  Each of my drapes had 7 pleats.  Coincidence?

how-to hang drapes

Stay tuned for the reveal!  There’s still a lot of work to be done in the dining room.

Signed, Your first time drape hanger