Burlwood Side Table Beauty


It’s always a bit daunting, and somewhat exciting, to work with a material that you have never worked with before. Enter this darling, round, burlwood side table. It belongs to a client who is good buddies with my sister in-law.  Her sweet little table had been handed down to her decades earlier by her mother and it had years of pretty heavy use. Here is where it began.


Well loved for sure, but also in need of a revival. I began by stripping the old stain off of the entire table. Because burlwood does NOT have any sort of directional grain, I did not want to take sand paper to it and disrupt the swirly-whirly authentic look. Let the stripping, scraping and scrubbing begin……oh my!



She certainly cleaned up pretty nice, but you can see the difference in wood tones of the sections of burlwood used to make the table. That, and its a veneer layer of burlwood. My sweet client wanted to enhance the look of the table and dress it up a bit. So we talked color (stain, paint and detailing) and I got busy. I stained the top and base in a Dark Walnut, painted the curvy legs in a Parisian Grey and pulled out the details and balled feet with Antique Gold Rub n’ Buff.



I added a layer of dark wax to the painted legs and buffed it well.  The finishing touch would be a couple of coats of wipe on poly to the stained top. I was thinking this would be a done deal within the next 24 hours. NOT!! It felt like running a half marathon, and just when you think you’ve only got one mile left to run, you find out you actually have 2.5!!! (True story) UGH! Forever, I have used Minwax wipe on poly. I’m a huge fan and it has always been a big success for me. So on went coat #1 and something odd started happening, it wasnt drying evenly and it was looking blotchy. Okay, that’s weird! So I wait about 6 hours thinking it might balance out when completely dry and I could ever so gently sand and apply coat #2………ummmm, nope, that didn’t work either. Now I’m gripping….what to do??? I had no choice but to gently sand down/off the Poly which also took off some of the stain. POOP!! So I had to keep going with a gentle sand and steel wool with odorless mineral spirits to remove as much stain as possible and maintain an even look. And there I was, back at square one. So I restained and moved on researching what top coat would be a better option on this piece. I ended up using 2 coats of Minwax Tung Oil. You wipe it on, wait 5 minutes and buff it off. Great for thirsty wood. And the finished result, beautiful.

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Antique looking Balance Scale (Fixer Upper vs. Decor Steals)

Can you tell the difference? I’m not sure that there is one. 

I love vintage scales. I only have a couple of them but anytime I spot one I think my heart skips a beat. I first saw this scale on Fixer Upper. (My ALL TIME favorite show on HGTV…..along with a bazillion other addicts like myself). I don’t know how many reruns of episodes I’ve watched. I may have an official problem. But seriously, are both Chip and Joanna not just so incredibly talented? Their creativity is spot on EVERY single time. 

Anyway, I’ve purchased from the Magnolia Market website. I’d truly like one of every item. I first fell in love with the Dutch tulip crates. So I ordered one when it was on sale.  And I will say that was an awesome purchase. I think it arrived at my house within a few days. It made me want to do cart wheels. It’s been on my coffee table ever since. But that balance scale was calling my name….albeit a little pricey. It’s charming, super versatile……..And recently discontinued. What???? So sad. 

I think it was a God thing because recently I received my daily email from decorsteals.com and guess what was the steal of the day…….?


And for half the price of the other one. Shazaam! Now this scale did take over 2 weeks to arrive, but worth the weight (hee hee, wait). I did not realize that it does not ‘actually’ balance. Which ended up being a bonus. Doesn’t matter if one item is heavier on one side that the other, as it’s perfectly balanced all the time.


It’s interesting and a super decor item. 


Love love love!

Ottoman – DIY Upholstery Change

I’m a lover of a good bargain. Sometimes, certain things can be overlooked if the price is right. Like the damage to this sweet ottoman when I purchased it. So, it didn’t always look this way….it actually began here.

This is the original material that came on the ottoman. And yes, I purchased it…lovely rips in the fabric and all. Initially, I envisioned recovering it right away. But time, kids and life got away from me and I’m sad to admit…I used it like this for several years (with the rips facing the couch), so not super noticeable. Fast forward and I finally recovered it with this fun material.


While my taste and design style has evolved slightly over the years, I’ve always leaned toward more of a relaxed look. I mean, we have 5 kids, so our home is totally lived in. This fabric was great for a season (several years), but it was begging for a change. Enter drapery panel. Yep, drapery panel. 


I have been looking to reupholster this in sort of a grain sack fabric. I love the various looks, colors and patterned stripes of grain sack. I was about to pull the trigger on ordering some of that  material when I stumbled upon this look alike fabric, in the form of a curtain panel, at Hobby Lobby. Using my coupon, I scored this for $17.49. Even reproduction grain sack would’ve run me 3 times that. 


 Because the panel wouldn’t fully cover the width of the ottoman in either direction, I did have to cut and sew the end pieces on. However, because of the stripes I was able to line it up quite nicely and the seams are almost unnoticeable. Can you see it just above the top thin stripe?


I removed the legs, since they unscrew easily, and used a staple gun to attach the material underneath the edges of the ottoman.


I measured the stripes and centered them on the ottoman before stapling. It helps to tack one side, smooth the material, pull it taught, and staple the opposite side. Then I created a simple fold down each corner. 



The finishing touch is the nailhead trim. I’ve used this product on other furniture that I’ve reupholstered.


I purchase this at Hobby Lobby as well. Super easy to use. It’s the antique gold. I lined it up and got busy tacking it down. 


This trim looks like it’s loads of individual gold tacs. However, there are 4 faux tacs in between each actual opening. I like to lay out the trim and then tac every other hole, going back and filling in. I just eyeball it, so for me it helps to visually keep a straight line. 


My confession, my left over nailhead trim only allowed me to go half way around the ottoman. So let’s pretend it’s all finished. Ta-Da!!! So much better.  

Teen Bedroom Tweek, Goes Bohemian Chic

Several years ago I shared a post re: our daughters bedroom. She had a fun loft bed and my hubby and I built a pallet day bed/couch/lounge area to sit underneath it. This was her set up. Great for friends, hanging out and she loved it. (Please ignore the unmade bed up top).


This combination is still getting pinned on Pinterest daily. I only know, because I receive the notice on my phone…..and to date its been pinned 9.5 k. Which is a bit hysterical. It’s fun to watch that number continually increase. Guess I’m not the only Pinterest addict.

About 8 months ago our daughter decided it was time for a change. She, and her taste, have certainly grown and evolved. She is weeks away from 17 now and she is a total Boho, beachy, wanderlust, creative girl. It all started with shiplap. My husband and I had put it on a focal wall in our master and on another wall downstairs in our library/music room. She knew instantly that she wanted some shiplap in her room. Our youngest son, now 14, was dying for her setup in his room and that worked out grand. So we were recreating 2 rooms at once. Here’s his set up that I posted a few weeks ago. 


I have to confess, that the pictures taken while recreating my daughters room are, for now, unavailable. Destroyed my phone in a skiing accident and got a new phone. But I have soooo many photos to still retrieve off of the crushed phone. So these pics aren’t really before and afters, they are all afters. LOL

Because we have a walk out basement, our daughters room is actually 3 stories up from the backyard. She has a sweet deck w/French doors off of her bedroom. (Every teen girl should have this off of their room). Her views of the mountains and downtown Denver are epic. In fact, she has the best views in the house. We watch about 30+ different sets of fireworks from her deck every 4th of July. We applied the shiplap to the rear wall. It’s such a fun element.



Everything we created and purchased was a total bargain. Mirror above her bed went to an old buffet that I rehabbed for a client and she did not want the mirror, so I stripped the old wood stain down and hung it above her bed. The faux tapestry is a throw rug from TARGET (we couldn’t find one she really liked). I stained a wooden dowel, drilled holes through it and attached the rope. 


Cute little side table was a clearance find from TARGET several years ago…it was sitting in my master, so I stole it from myself. Looks perfect in here. And the other fun round gold table was an awesome TARGET clearance score that someone had ordered online and returned to the store. Our daughter sits in this little chair constantly, journaling, looking at many travel and photography books or playing her Ukulele. 


Her headboard is from our old guest bedroom. It is a cheap ‘pleather’ headboard. That just wasn’t going to cut the mustard in this room. So I purchased the grey linen fabric from IKEA and reupholstered the headboard. Nailhead trim I already had from reupholstering our TV room sitting chair.


We already had the desk from IKEA and the TV stand. I added decorative corner pieces to the desk from Home Depot, just to dress it up a little. The upper shelves are wood pieces, cut and stained by myself, mounted to brackets and hung on the wall for storage. The bedside light and the clamp light at her desk are both from IKEA. I LOVE these lights. I have 3 of the black ones in my TV room area.


And we did the same type of single shelf over her TV stand for her flatscreen to be mounted higher on the wall. As you can see, we still need to cover the wires.


And there you have it. A teen bedroom tweek, gone Boho chic.

Completely Classic Hutch

I stumbled on this piece a couple of weeks ago. Though it looked NOTHING like this when my husband brought it home for me, the price was right and I knew I could revive it somehow.  So this is where it began, not so pretty……


The upper cabinet doors were almost impossible to reopen once you had closed them and one of them was missing the pane of glass. Initially I thought I would take the inserts out all together and replace that with some chicken wire. But when I saw the piece in person, the era of this hutch does not lend itself to the farmhouse feel. That, and I still had the issue of the doors sticking shut….super bad. Plan B, remove the doors altogether, Dremel off the metal pieces that keep the doors shut, fill all the holes, sand…..and she’s ready for primer and paint.


Because this piece was finished in very vintage, dated, cherry type of stain, I knew I’d be dealing with a lot of bleed through if using a lighter paint color. Save yourself the headache, after cleaning, prime the old stain really well. Even if you are using a high end, expensive chalk paint. I’ve heard sad stories from friends and many clients who spent lots of time, money and elbow grease trying to paint a piece (multiple times) only to have lots of bleed through. I will say, if you are using a dark shade, this typically will not be a problem. Case in point, I painted the exterior of this piece in a DIY chalk paint, graphite color. No primer needed, I just applied 2 coats of paint. The upper portion I wanted to do in Alabaster white. 2 coats of primer sealed the deal and then I applied 2 coats of paint.


No distressing on this lovely lady. I was aiming for clean and classic. I used a hand rubbed poly on the entire thing and applied 2 coats the the shelving area for added durability. 


The original hardware was lovely, so I gave it a good dose of Rub n’ Buff and it gives such a pop of elegance.


I love the graphite color and was excited to bring it back into the mix (haven’t used that shade in a while). It’s a stellar combination of super dark charcoal’ish/grey/black. And seriously, I love this thing without the doors and the detail at the top stands out even more. 

She’s a keeper

IKEA & Target Hacks for a Teen Boys Bedroom


This transformation has certainly been a work in progress. I have a few more finishing touches to add, but wanted to share this easy, budget friendly DIY hack. It all began with the small rolling cube/coffee table pictured above. This entire IKEA loft bed and cube were formerly in our daughters room. She got the bug (like her momma) to make a huge design change in her room and we ran with it. (That post and pics to come later). So in an effort to recycle those bedroom pieces, our 14 yr old son said that he would love this set up in his room. Done and done! You can read the post re: the pallet couch/day bed at this link. https://crissaclark.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/pallet-couchdaybed-for-under-a-lofted-bed/.

This room used to be our teen daughters room and it was painted 2 bright colors.  Knowing that I was looking to take my sons room design in sort of a rustic direction, I primed and painted the walls (cutting in carefully around the map) my favorite white, Alabaster. The map mural was already on the wall in this room and I felt like it would be a fun design element to just keep it where it was. (That and the fact that it is literally glued to the wall with wallpaper paste……um, yep….its staying). Working with what we had, furniture wise, I decided it would be cool to have my hubby cut some wood pieces for me so I could basically wrap the white IKEA ‘Kallax’ piece with some rustic, stained wood. Handy hubby willingly agreed. He got busy cutting and I got busy giving the wood a quick sanding to remove any splinters. I mixed 2 stains together to create the desired color, applied and let the wood dry well. My husband started with some pilot holes to prevent splitting and used wood screws to attach each piece.


I decided to match this effect with a multi-storage/cube unit for a flat screen tv and miscellaneous storage. I intended on heading back to IKEA to purchase a 6 cube unit, until I saw the same exact thing at Target and they had all of their storage pieces discounted by 20%……Zippadeedoda. Much cheaper, and a bit closer to home. So I assembled it, had my husband cut more wood and I recreated that piece the same way we had the single cube.


I wanted to add some rustic mounted lights beneath the loft bed. I had decided on the HEKTAR clamp lights ($14.99 each) from IKEA. While I was there I saw some plain wooden shelf brackets (they are the EKBY VALTER brackets, $4 each). I literally played with those 2 things in the lighting section of IKEA to see if I could clamp the light onto the bracket and mount the bracket onto the wall. And so I did. After staining the wood brackets, I mounted them to the wall and attached the lights. I had my husband help me to staple the cord of each light down the base of the wooden bracket and onto the loft bed, ultimately hiding each cord. These provide great spotlight for reading and whatnot while on the couch, beneath the bed. They turn, angle and swivel and each has its own switch at the top of the cord. LOVE them!


So close to being completely finished and our son is loving the hang out space in his room as well. 

Stately, Serpentine front, Navy dresser/buffet

It’s official, I have a soft spot for vintage, serpentine pieces. You can imagine how giddy I was when I came across this jewel. The finish on the wood stain was bad, there was no hardware to speak of, other than the locking skeleton key and the bottom drawer would not close very well. But she was a diamond in the rough, with that delicious curvy front, original caster wheels and 3 locking drawers. Potential was just a paint brush away. This is what I started with…..


Not too bad in a picture, but up close and personal the finish was not pretty. I knew instantly that I wanted to go Navy. It’s so ‘Hot’ right now and truly, it has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s also way more neutral than one might think. Ive rehabbed several pieces in Benjamin Moore-Hale Navy, but I was dying to try Sherwin Williams-Naval. It’s slightly deeper in tone. After a good cleaning and light sanding I mixed up some DIY chalk paint using Calcium Carbonate. It’s my ‘go to’ mix every time. Dissolves really well in water and does not clump up or become gritty when mixed thoroughly into latex paint. I applied 2 coats of the ‘Naval’ paint in no time.


I purchased all new hardware from Hobby Lobby. However, because the hardware of the drawer pulls are flat and the drawers are curved, I asked handy hubby to help me bend them slightly so as to allow them to sit a bit more flush against the drawer. Well, bad news……it completely broke. Literally, what feels and looks to be metal hardware is actually made out of some type of composite material and it snapped like a tree branch. Back to the drawing board. I kept the knobs for the narrow top drawers and began scouring Amazon for some drawer pulls with a vintage appeal and found some that only came in packs of 10. Two days later those arrive. Again, my sweet hubby attempts to bend the pulls ever so slightly. And what happened you ask? It snapped, just like the Hobby Lobby ones…..UGH! The packaging even stated that the material is ‘metal’……umm….ok…..but no they aren’t. Praise God I only needed 6 pulls, so I just went with it. The edges do not sit quite flush against the drawer, and you know what?….they look awesome.

I buffed all of the hardware with gold ‘Rub n Buff’, my favorite stuff ever. After painting this piece, I lovingly distressed it. The areas that I distressed I lightly touched with the gold Rub n Buff, such a sweet accent to the deep navy.


The body of the piece was given a good coat of clear wax and buffed to a pretty vintage finish. I applied 2 coats of a wipe on Polyurethane to the top surface for added durability. The navy and gold look so super sharp together, very stately and timeless. The super double bonus prize……it sold in less than 48 hours. 


The new owner of this jewel just bought her first home. Hope she enjoys it for years to come.