There’s a certain satisfaction…

in receiving the following email just hours after a nice woman picked up this funky nightstand from me (I had forgotten to delete the listing), never once trying to haggle over my already ludicrously cheap price:

“I am very much interested in the nightstand, I was wondering whether a reduction in the price would be possible – or delivery, maybe?”

HA! Too bad, so sad, Craigslist Cheapskate that for once i can ignore :). Apparently, I’m not the only one annoyed by the hecklers, check out this Craigslist vent!

P.S. The buyer customized her new nifty nightstand by removing my shabby chic Anthropologie knobs and replacing them with some i found for free.


vintage night stand



The Pink Princess

So I’m driving along (in an alley, of course) when a young-looking guy (approximately 21) emerges from behind a fence carrying what I knew could become a beautiful nightstand. It had one of my favorite features, which is that the drawer was on the bottom, not the top. There’s no name for this type of drawer placement, btw, at least not per the research that I conducted. He was quite nice, and even helped me secure the piece in the back of my vehicle.

“Are you sure you don’t want it?” I said.

He replied, “Yeah, it’s time for it to move on to someone else.”


I wasn’t sure what to do with the piece at first (I never am) and then the idea struck. You will see this idea in the finished photo below. I think inspiration came from various sources, but in particular I was inspired by this site, found randomly during one of my net-surfing extravaganzas.

I had bought some pretty pink paint from The Home Depot, but at the time I didn’t have any particular use for it at the time of purchase, and I have a huge can of alley-FOUND linen white paint that has been rocking my world. So I decided to do a sweet combination utilizing both colors, that was totally not in my personal taste, or at least not meant for my current home decor, but bound to be perfect for someone else’s.

And it was. I posted it in two sections on Craigslist because I thought it would be perfect for a child’s room (which is ultimately where it went) and threw in some bemusing SEO buzz words like shabby chic and cottage chic, which the piece really was. What befuddles me sometimes is when I read descriptions of other postings that end with something like this: Perfect for your cottage beach home/romantic Parisian apartment…. etc. Who actually has these homes, and wouldn’t they be living off the beach or in Paris, and why would they be on Craigslist? But I digress. It could be more of an Etsy thing, and i don’t play in that space – not yet anyway.

My buyer might have had a cow if she saw the piece before i had done the work. it needed sanding, oh did it need sanding, but luckily I had my favorite toy, this Black & Decker Sander. I also primed the piece to make sure the paint went on as beautifully and smoothly as possible, using this good ole primer. If you ever wonder about what primer you should use, here’s a quote from one of the great employees at Home Depot: “Primer is Primer.” Sound advice, simply stated.

Then on with the paint! I had to decide where to place the linen white so that it didn’t overpower, but rather accented the piece. I think I hit the nail on the head, or the paint on the primer, so to speak.


refurbished nightstand


Now folks, readers, and fans alike, I swear this piece was not commissioned. Here is a photo of it in the child’s room. Could there be a more perfect fit?? 🙂

pink princess

Some Kind Of Wonderful: The Saga

I was commissioned to do this piece by someone from Craigslist. She had contacted me originally about a TV stand I was a-sellin’ that ended up not living to see the light of day, due to a Gorilla Glue mishap. Suffice it to say, the would-have-been-tv-stand-buyer and I remained in email contact, and as it turns out, she needed a desk. She sent me a picture of one that she liked, here it is:

desk inspiration

Just days later, while I was doing some errands, in a not-so-good neighborhood in Chicago known as K-town (for Kill town) I found it. The desk that would become hers.

When I found this desk, its striking resemblance to the one my buyer, Sonya, had sent me stopped me in my tracks. I had to acquire it no matter what. It was in an alley, in someone’s backyard with a bunch of junk, so I don’t know if I was technically trespassing or if it was the garbage area, but some of it was gated. The desk was behind the gate (i guess that would mean I trespassed), and I got out of the car in this ghetto hood in my fancy dress with tights on, and thought about climbing the fence. Then I noticed that the neighbors had pitbulls – and not the friendly ones. In essence, I had to work fast, and I was at risk. Gunfire could transpire at anytime. I grabbed that desk, grabbed three of the four drawers, and figured i’d come up with a solution for the missing drawer. It was just too far and the gate was locked. I tried driving around front to trespass from that angle, but the gate was locked there too.

I got the desk home, and had to figure out what to do with it.
SKOW desk before
Happily, I realized I needed to use.. the saw. I sawed the crap right out of that place on the right where a little drawer would have been, pulled/unscrewed any remainder pieces, and immediately created more leg room. Nobody would ever know that a drawer had once been there.

Then I simply had to clean all that crap on top of it. I wanted to retain the neutral ivory-tone of the desk, and Sonya had told me she loves metallics, so I thought I’d keep the gold trim too. She also told me she wanted something with pastels, particularly coral, as that would match the room she was putting it in.

So I got out some Benjamin Moore paints that I already had in the house, that industriously, I had found in an alley as well, and sent her the color palette for approval, which I received. I then decided each drawer would be painted a different color, and the top drawer would be coral to pronounce its presence. I also repainted the entire base with a very neutral beige-gray paint from Behr (which I also found – crazy huh?). I’d like to take this opportunity to say that paint brand/quality does indeed make a difference. These paints looked beautiful, and went on smoothly. By comparison, some of the Rust-oleum paint I use, which is cheap, doesn’t look-a so good. Although I suppose it sometimes depends on its purpose.

After painting the base and the drawers, I then repainted the trim with a metallic gold (WHICH I ALSO FOUND), let everything dry, and put a protective top coat on (which I bought). Note: I had been making a mistake in the past, putting top coat for stain over paint. So I asked at Home Depot what to use over paint, and they gave me actually a Rust-oleum Paint Cover. Shit takes some time to dry, but is definitely worth it both for the protection it provides and the polished look achieved.

The final touch would be the knobs. This required an emergency trip to Anthropologie, as Sonya was on her way, because I discovered that the knobs I planned to use had broken. This desk would be all about the shabby chic differing knobs on each drawer. The top and bottom drawers have Anthropologie knobs, and the middle drawer has one of the antique original knobs that came with the desk when I found it. Looks very cool, methinks!

Sonya was so happy with her beautiful desk, she decided to take a glamour shot on it.

sonya on desk

Sonya was also kind enough to send me a picture of the desk in its new home.


So, I am now available for commissions. woot!


Her Turquoise Majesty

When you see this piece, you’ll see why I named it regally. She’s known as HTM for short.

This is the second piece I made during my “turquoise period.” I basically took inspiration from the piece I had just done (in my previous post), allowing the rustic, ridged antique elements to remain exposed along with the shelves, with the rest of the piece painted turquoise. This involved a trip to Menards to get more of the turquoise paint I was/am addicted to (the color, not the fumes!).

HTM was in bad shape when I first met her. But with an electric sander, some primer, and the esteemed turquoise paint (I make sure to tape the edges so I don’t get turquoise in the wrong spots), she came out beautifully. I added an Anthropologie knob that helped bring out the colors in both the paint and the wood. Although I’ve since discovered that Cost Plus World Market has great knobs, for less $$!

She’s in a good home now in Hyde Park, upon being purchased by a lovely couple who attend the University of Chicago.



SOLD FOR $45 (cuz really, who’s gonna pay more on craigslist for a night stand, no matter how “majestic” she may be…)

Just Like Picasso Had His Blue Period,

so did i have my turquoise one. ‘Twas a trilogy really that began with my neighbor bringing over a piece and us discussing our love for the turquoise orangey-brown combination. Her piece was a unique gem too! it was a little messed up but i forgot to take the before photo of it until i got this far in.

In addition to the top being scratched up, the hinge was falling off, but all it needed was a screwdriver to rehinge the hinge!  to get the door working. i added an Anthropology knob but kept the original one inside in case she preferred a more subtle look, although many people that came into my house, where that piece was visible and waiting for her to pick up, complimented the knob in particular. i didn’t make that. 😦 but i did have the eye for it. 🙂


turquoise side table



Lane Furniture – Looking Up Value

Check them out.  I wish I would have before I priced this item. The woman who bought this coffee table from me was savvy enough to ask me things I had never even thought of, like when the piece was made, by whom, what wood, etc. – which taught me to research before I price. Even though I sold the table at a higher price than my usual items at $75, it was far short of what you’ll find the coffee tables to be priced at by Lane Furniture. Oops.

When I brought this table into the house, my boyfriend’s words were literally “what is this piece of crap” and not in the nicest of tones. I had faith in it though,  and he later took back those words. I had carried it multiple blocks when i came home one night, kicking off a nice back injury. It was nice out and i went walking instead of going in and found this table.

The red paint came off so easily, it spoiled me for future paint removals. I did not have to wait for the paint remover to settle, I did not have to scrape, it just would wipe right off. Although there was a lot of it. At times, with my scraper and red rags and towels, it looked like there’d been a bloodbath.

It came out beautifully though. I wanted to pitch it to Camp Wandawega after seeming some recent photos from their partnership with Anthropologie because i thought it would look great in a photo shoot as a prop, but someone bought it before i got around to that.  People on Craigslist were chomping at the bit for this mid-century modern beaut.