pretty in pink

Around this time last week I shared a picture of this adorable pink nightstand on social media.  This was a custom paint job for a little girl who loves pink.  And also for her stylish mom who is designing a beautiful “big girl room” with pink included, of course.  You can see Holly’s inspiring design board over on her blog.

Arabesque Nightstand- Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

What I didn’t share was the dresser.  The base and curve perfectly coordinate with the nightstand although they’re not originally a set.  A little bit of paint ties them and the room together.

Arabesque Dressser- Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

While the nightstand was matte black, the dresser was very shiny – perhaps some poly was applied to it.  I rarely sand a piece prior to painting but we weren’t looking for a chippy look and that shine made me nervous.  I gave the dresser a once over with 100 grit sandpaper to prep it for paint.

Can you guess what this beautiful soft color is?
Arabesque Dressser-5852

It is MMS milk paint Arabesque from the new European Colors.  I used bonding agent in every coat and applied several thin coats.  I find this gives the best adhesion when avoiding a heavily distressed or chippy look.

Arabesque Dressser #mmsmp

I had fun accentuating the paint color with the waxes.  I used all three – white, antiquing and furniture wax.  The white really captures the detail such as these spindles.  White wax also softens the pink and pulls in the mood of the design board.  There is just a tiny bit of antiquing wax around the corners to add some depth.  And the rest was finished with furniture wax to seal and protect.

Arabesque Dressser + white wax

But the true finishing touch is the set of porcelain knobs that Holly found.  The black and white knobs are the perfect set of “bling” for this feminine dresser, don’t you think?

Arabesque Dressser- porcelain knobs

happy valentine’s day

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of helping to style a Valentine’s Day photoshoot.  The shoot was geared for babies and families and general heartwarming love.  Who can argue that?

The photographer behind this project is Mandy Keep – the same photographer who we worked with for our engagement shoot.  Here are my valentines…


The entire shoot was for charity.  Families could have mini-sessions done for a nominal price which was then donated 100% to Greenpeace.

mandy keep photography: VALENTINES LOVE PROJECT 2013 &emdash;

Some Circa Dee treasures made their way into the set.  One of my favorite furniture transformations was the houndstooth chest (which I’ve never actually let go of).  It lent a cheerful, spring-like background to the photos.

mandy keep photography: VALENTINES LOVE PROJECT 2013 &emdash;

Mandy did an excellent job capturing the LOVE for these families.

mandy keep photography: VALENTINES LOVE PROJECT 2013 &emdash;

But this particular little model grabbed my heart!

mandy keep photography: VALENTINES LOVE PROJECT 2013 &emdash;

Maybe I’m biased though.  I’ve known him since he was born…

mandy keep photography: VALENTINES LOVE PROJECT 2013 &emdash;

I am excited to work with Mandy on another family shoot for charity this spring.  Easter is just around the corner…Come get your children’s pictures taken at Circa Dee Brick & Mortar on Saturday, March 9th.  All proceeds will be donated to MS, a cause near and dear to our hearts.

Circa dee Photo Shoot

Happy Valentine’s Day!

All photos in this post are by Mandy Keep Photography

family heirloom

Yesterday I had the chance to spend the afternoon with my sweet little niece. She is not quite two yet but just amazes me with her humor and knowledge.  Every week she picks something new and silly up.  She also has skills in the kitchen.  Something that she didn’t inherit from me!

play date

However, I like to think that she picked up my fashion sense.  And stellar ability to accessorize any situation.


Over the summer her mom and I re-did a vintage dresser for her room.  The finished piece turned out with just as much personality as the little girl who it now belongs to.

Shutter Gray washed dresser

This dresser has a fun back story.  It belonged to my great-grandfather and then my father who gave it to my brother.  This was my brother’s dresser all throughout his childhood.  It is a large sturdy piece which has stood the test of time.  Now it is passed down to yet another generation – the first girl to own it as far as we know.  With that said, it was due for a makeover!

Shutter Gray washed dresser

Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture of this one.  Just picture an uninspiring brown, actually almost gray brown boxy dresser.  Eww.  And very tarnished hardware.

Shutter Gray washed dresser

The hardware, in fact, was the biggest surprise of all in this makeover.  Once cleaned up, a beautiful rose bronze peeked through.  So pretty!

rose bronze hardware

As for the paint, we mixed up a wash of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Shutter Gray.  We applied three coats of the wash to achieve this coverage.  Each coat dried very quickly so we were able to start one right after another.  This project was a breeze!

Shutter Gray washed dresser

Suddenly all of the art deco lines we never noticed were highlighted with this paint treatment.  I like the base of this dresser.  Second to the hardware of course.  So unique!  It’s funny because I have looked at this dresser all my life yet never actually saw those details until now.

Shutter Gray washed dresser with art deco lines

We finished it off with clear wax and a little buffing.  Now it is fit for it’s next owner!

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed