It’s the Little Things

I have not fallen off the face of the earth or been eaten by sharks. Some periods of time just seem to lack inspiration. So instead of junking up your newsfeed and email with things that don’t really inspire me in order to “create content” I chose silence. I’m a nonconformist that way.

So what is it that has brought me back? Door knobs! I know, right? My house is old. It was built in 1979. That is the same year my sister graduated from high school. Hi Jackie! It will never look new again even with a whole lot of effort. My sister, on the other, looks amazing!

All of the hardware is antique brass.

antique brass door knob

antique brass door knob

You are probably thinking this doesn’t look too bad. Hang on.

This particular finish came before the bright gold phase.

visually offensive gold

visually offensive gold

It is not quite as visually offensive as the gold but still looks very dated.

Here is a photo of my own, dated, antique brass door knob before I decided what to do about it.

Tresa’s personal antique brass door knob

Ick! 1979, people! Not a pretty sight. So one day, without stopping to think about what a pain in the ass it would be, I decided to paint them all black. Not a revolutionary idea by any means but there it is. It’s been done before. Even before Pinterest.

Did you know that door knobs come with a lot of parts to them? Exactly. As you all know, anything worth doing is worth doing right so I fired up my screwdriver and got busy.

The change has saved my life.

life changing black door knob

The effect makes my heart beat faster. I hang out in the hallway more often as a result of it. And I did, in fact, paint the strike plates and face plates. And the hinges. And all the tiny little screw heads.

black hinge with tiny little screw heads

This change celebrates the age of my house. It was worth all the trouble to give it an old timey feeling instead of a dated one.

If you are going to change out your hardware you still have to remove it all and install the new. Very labor intensive. I cut out the cost of new hardware with a few light coats of Rustoleum spray paint in between.

It’s the little things.

 

*No screws were stripped in the execution of this project.

 

Kitchen Cabinet Transformation

I never tire of it; breathing new life into something old! This kitchen had suffered flood damage and so the homeowners (who are lovely people!) took the opportunity to not only repair the damages but update other elements. They had already replaced the floor and countertops.

Old cabinets

Old cabinets

Obviously, the cabinets were next in line.

Newly painted cabinets

Newly painted cabinets

They chose a fresh cream color with a charcoal glaze. It complemented the floor and granite perfectly! They added a kitchen island which was built using part of the old cabinetry.

Newly built island before finish

Newly built island before finish

They chose a charcoal black distressed finish to add some character.

Charcoal black distressed island

Charcoal black distressed island

I love before and after photos.

Before

Before

Especially when I remember to take them!

After

After

I’m giddy about this kitchen makeover! They have a few more items to change before the project is complete but I couldn’t wait to share! Cabinets, people!

Mirror, Mirror

This old mirror has quite a history.

Damaged mirror frame

Damaged mirror frame

It survived several generations of my client’s family and a voyage across the Atlantic ocean from Germany. It amazes me that the mirror never broke while the frame suffered some extensive damage.

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Ouch!

I made a mold of a corner that was intact and used some cake decorating tools to rebuild this corner and some other missing pieces. Then I waved my magic paintbrush to give it a new finish and here is the end result.

Restored mirror frame

Restored mirror frame

This is the rebuilt corner.

Rebuilt corner

Rebuilt corner

And here it is back in its home getting ready to be hung in the dining room.

Restored mirror

Restored mirror

I love a challenge!

And a good story behind any piece that needs to be restored.

Workspace fun!

Work can be fun! Especially when one gets to decorate their own workspace! That’s what went down with these two well-used desks.

Well-used desks

Well-used desks

They look like they’ve been instrumental in the education of countless children.

They found their way to my clients who decided to let their occupants choose their new finish.

And what creative imaginations those occupants have!

Creative workspaces

Creative workspaces

Even doing taxes could be more fun when sitting at a desk like either of these!

I used a chalkboard spray paint for the desk surfaces to increase the fun quotient even further!

Brilliant portrait

Brilliant portrait

I feel honored to have had my portrait drawn. It looks just like me!

I consider painting a fun workspace more fun than work!

Workspace designers

Workspace designers

Even the guy who helped to deliver the desks got in on the fun!

More fun!

More fun!

Consider sprucing up your workspace. We are all affected by our surroundings and making changes can drastically affect productivity and creativity!

 

 

 

 

 

Cabinet Trends part 2: Unhinged

At the risk of going the way of most sequels, I felt the need to address a cabinet trend that few are talking about. My friend, Ande, calls it the cream with chocolate glaze finish. Anything that sounds like food can’t be bad, can it?

This trend has been around for (I’m guessing) at least ten years and is still going strong. You most likely won’t see it in the latest decor magazines or websites. But it works in so many kitchens and is very versatile. Who am I to judge?

Let me ‘splain.  The cabinet is painted with a cream, off-white, ecru, linen colored base coat. Believe me, I didn’t even scratch the surface of possible names for this color. Then it is glazed with a much darker brown color. Sometimes the glaze is an all over glaze and sometimes it is just in the grooves. I can get on board with anything that involves a groove.

Off white base, dark brown grooves

Off white base, dark brown grooves

Off white base, all over dark brown glaze

Off white base, all over dark brown glaze

The all over glaze can be varying degrees of a light or heavy application.

Remember these?

Beautiful off white cabinets with dark brown glaze

Beautiful off white cabinets with dark brown glaze

These beauties below went out on a limb and are sporting a dark gray glaze.

Beautiful off white cabinets with dark gray glaze

Beautiful off white cabinets with dark gray glaze

This finish will not disappoint and seems to have stood the test of time.

Not all kitchens can pull off this look; nor should they.

Dance break!

Dance break!

So contact Atmospheres if you want to invoke thoughts of cream and chocolate every time you walk into your kitchen!

Cabinet Trends

People are branching out with their cabinet choices since it is no longer necessary to replace the whole shebang to get a different look.  Paint, stain or a combination of the two can cover up your existing cabinet finish including those white melamine/thermafoil cabinets that are standard in many homes.

melamine cabinets

melamine cabinets

A current trend is different colors for the top and bottom cabinets as shown here at Apartment Therapy.

bicolor cabinetry

bicolor cabinetry

I can get on board with this since I love color.  Feels a little daring, a little outside the box. That’s how we roll.

Another trend is to paint or stain the island or peninsula a different color than the cabinets.

stained cabinets with black, distressed bar

stained cabinets with black, distressed bar

Here are some new finishes I recently made samples of thanks to Ande Crenshaw at Mojo Faux

IMG_1657

IMG_1660

IMG_1661

IMG_1663

There is no need to play it completely safe with your cabinet finish because it can be changed just like your wall color.

If you are ready for a change, call me and let’s create a custom finish for your cabinets!

 

Color!

I recently painted this desk.

home-decor-2-004

Colorful desk

Yes, I did this on purpose you may want to ask and it was fun!

It was inspired by a piece I saw at a client’s house pictured here.

Client's furniture

Client’s furniture

Side view

Side view

If this style of furniture has a name, I don’t know what it is.  Inadvertent design?  Accidental decor? Regardless of its origin, I happen to love it!

The desk I painted was not painstakingly planned and thought out.  Shocking, I know but I used what I had on hand.

Speaking of accidental art, I snapped this picture of the leg of my work pants because I liked the composition.  It inspired me because it was not deliberate. Laugh if you must but I do not discriminate on where I find inspiration!

Tresa's masterpiece

Tresa’s masterpiece

I saw this piece at a store and determined this may be a growing trend.

Trendy furniture

Trendy furniture

In my world, I like to believe that these pieces were either put together from leftover materials or have some interesting and harrowing history instead of being manufactured in a factory.

So that is what I choose to believe about this picture currently being circulated on Pinterest and tumblr.  Its colors are vibrant and captivating and could tell an adventurous story.

Captivating colors

Captivating colors

What do you think? Beguiling or garish?

Polka dots and Poetry

Repurposing furniture is currently where it’s at. This little cutie wasn’t nearly as memorable when it was plain white.

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Pink polka dot dresser

Measles?  Maybe. Whimsical?  Definitely!  It goes with the fun that is this little girl’s princess, fairy tale room.

IMG_1500

Whimsical furniture

And it reminds me of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things— 
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; 
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; 
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; 
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. 
All things counter, original, spare, strange; 
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) 
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; 
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.

Thank you for indulging my foray away from paint and into poetry for a moment.

There are sure to be other bunny trails in the future. Stay tuned.

Upholstery painting

You may get tired of me saying that I will paint anything but this project falls into that category.

I originally bought this oversize chair to put in a teenage hangout space.  I got it for $25 on craigslist.  It wasn’t very pretty but made up for that in comfort and price.

kind of ugly

Plans changed and I no longer needed it for the teen hangout but didn’t want to get rid of it either.  However, it seriously did not fit into my current decor in any way and I cringed every time I looked at it next to my Benjamin Moore “Agave” colored walls.  The chair was only $25 so I didn’t really want to have it reupholstered and I liked the fringe and didn’t know if it could be saved through the reupholstery process.

I asked my friend, the internet, about it and you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn of the product “Simply Spray”  for changing the color of upholstery.  The fringe on the chair included a nice burgundy color that was available in the spray so I took the plunge and ordered some.

Here is the result:

colorful!

Now this is a chair I can live with.

Here are the lessons I learned through this process that might help you decide if this is something you want to try.

  • This chair is corduroy which probably required more paint than a flat fabric would.
  • The paint cost more than the chair.
  • The fabric is still soft if you run your hand with the nap.  It feels stiff against the nap but that might be another corduroy issue.
  • It required 3 applications.  Probably another corduroy issue.
  • The color is staying fast and has held up to moderate use.
  • This would be great for stenciling.

I’m glad I was able to find a solution to keep the chair and I think Simply Spray is a good product if not a little pricey.  This is not a paid endorsement.  Just passing on my experience!

Maybe it will help you save a piece of furniture you love that needs a new color.

Cabinet do over, make over, redo reveal!

I was fortunate to be involved in this lovely cabinet project that I posted about earlier.

Remember these?

Sorry to make you wait for the “afters”.  I hope no one has lost sleep in anticipation.

No more waiting.  Here is the amazing outcome!

before

after

before

after

before

after

Feel free to post your “oohs” and “aahs” in the comments and call Atmospheres if your cabinets need a makeover!

Design by the lovely Heather Spriggs Thompson.