Family Room: Fireplace & TV & Built-in Shelving


We’re back to working in our Family Room. It’s been a while. We plan to add three separate shelving/built-ins. We’ve built, primed and painted the first section (on a back wall) over the last two weekends. 


Why three sections of built-ins? It’s amazing how much “stuff” we’ve accumulated over the years – and what I can’t, won’t ever part with:

An iron doorstop gift from dear friends, wedding tobacco jar, my children's books and clay bowl, my great grandmother's ice cream churn, my other great grandmother's wood sewing box

An iron doorstop gift from dear friends, wedding tobacco jar gift, my children’s books and clay bowl, my great grandmother’s ice cream churn, my other great grandmother’s wood sewing box


Douley is OVER this reno mess!

Douley is so over this reno mess!

Before the water damage; this room was well-used: TV, game boards, toys, wii – you name it. We’re adding lower cabinet storage and upper shelves on either side of the fireplace and the TV (gasp) above the mantel. The Barker Cabinets have finally arrived and we can start on the shelving/built-in sections. Our inspiration:






fplace_decorpad 2










Of course, these are our dream ideas. We’ll see what reality brings. :) 

Have a good week! – – Joanne

Family Room: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5


From Old Door To Headboard



George gamely hung with the 3 ‘sistas’ this weekend. Having recently moved in to her new home; the plan was to help Laurel decorate, outfit a guest room and to construct a headboard from an old door.  
First, George hung antique stained glass windows that fit perfectly in her three front windows.



While he was busy, Glenn and I rummaged through boxes, re-arranged furniture and added decorative touches to the guest room.



That was AFTER I knocked over a full can of soda. Across the room, down the wall, under the dresser.  :(



Meanwhile, Laurel scrubbed clean the antique wooden six-panel door.


After a quick lunch, all of us commenced on The Headboard.


  • 30 x 70″ wood six-panel door
  • 70-inch length crown molding 
  • 60-inch length 1×2 pine board
  • 70-inch length 1×6 pine board
  • 3) 60-inch length 2×4 pine boards
  • drill
  • skill saw
  • hammer
  • screws, nails
  • paint & brush

To determine the height of the legs/supports, we took two measurements:
-Height from floor to top of the mattress = 30 inches
-Height of mattress + door width = 60 inches

We had three 2×6 pine 60-inch lengths. We cut one in-half (two 30-inch lengths) and screwed each of the halves to one of the remaining two 60-inch 2×6″ boards.


The legs were attached to the back of the door with wood screws.
The door sits on the shorter support piece. These old wood doors are heavy!

We attached two 30-inch long pine 1×2 strips to each end of the door. This makes the depth of the door appear wider and it hides the leg supports.


Crown molding and a 1×6 pine ledge were attached to top of the new headboard.


You can add a paint technique or stain or leave the door as is. We lightly brushed on chalk paint made from a mixture of blue-hued paints left over from other projects. 



We drilled holes and bolted the “new” headboard to the metal mattress frame.

Project Breakdown:

  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Time Commitment: 2.5 hours (not including drying time)
  • Cost: The total cost was just $70.00! ($35.00 for the door + $35.00 for wood)
  • Tip: You could skip adding legs all together and save expense by simply attaching the headboard to the wall with French cleats.

My 100th Post! Have a good week! – – Joanne

Linking up with the Vintage Inspiration Party over at Beyond the Picket Fence

Removing Cigarette Smell from Wood Furniture


I found this American empire flame mahogany chest a few weeks ago – the perfect storage solution for our bedroom.  



Even with a few chips, dings and bruises I could tell it was well-made. The drawers are dove-tailed, hand-planed on the bottom and have original brass lock plates.





I assumed it was priced to sell due to the dings and scratches.  Eh. . . you know what they say about “assuming” :)  Once home, I detected a faint cigarette smoke smell.  I tried MANY online recipes for removing the smell from wood:


It was better, yet a faint smell persisted. I was frustrated.  You got to know when you are beat and ask for help. My friend, Ginene from over at  Fox and Finch Antiques  suggested Pinesol and  New Life Furniture Masque



After cleaning the interior of the chest with Pinesol and the exterior with New Life Furniture Masque; the chest was clean and the mellow luster restored. Most of the scratches are now gone. But, most important, it removed the smell! Thank you, thank you, Ginene!

New Life Furniture Masque restored much of the finish and smoothed out scratches – even the “R T’ engraved into the wood . . .



It smoothed out and lightened a water stain (or maybe a corrosive substance?) . . .



It shrunk the large imperfections and filled in little nicks . . .



It is a little darker in appearance now, but what an improvement!



I am so happy :) with the results. After wiping the chest with the masque, I followed with a little New Life Wood Moisturizer.




I think the cute little three (over four) drawers sold me.  ;)



Love my “new” chest!

Have a good week! – – Joanne


Salvaged Shabby Wood Shelf


I wanted a shelf over my bed headboard; but nothing was inspiring me. Nothing! I was experiencing that dreaded, time consuming “I’ll know it when you see it” syndrome. I couldn’t find the right design, or wood or stain.


Well, it had been staring me in the eyes all summer. I had a “Duh” moment. Use some of the salvaged wood I had on hand! And . . . leave the wood as is: shabby, no added paint or stain.


It is a sickness, but I love to collect salvaged woods from furniture or building construction. I have quite a collection. I used two vintage window crowns and a buffet backboard piece left from our half bath remodel.


I planned to place the shelf high on the wall, so I used the most damaged piece – the light green window crown, minus the trim molding – as the shelf. One side has a few rough spots which look worse in the image than actually is. Only a 6’5″ person would be able see the damage. ;)


Five screws secure the green wood to the white window crown. The stained backboard piece was secured with flat braces.


The only thing I had to purchase were the flat brackets. I love the combined woods and colors.


Don’t you just love it when it all comes together and it costs almost nothing? . :)
Have a good week! – – Joanne

Easy DIY Necklace Holder


This is supposed to be a post about an easy DIY necklace holder. I digress:

I repeated last week’s agenda – spending another last few days before returning to school at the beach and thrifting. *sigh* Summer vacay is over already? I love my job. Buuuut, I really h.a.t.e. going back mid-August. What ever happened to returning to school after Labor Day?  I felt like I had to cram it all in. Hedonistic, I know.

A little surf and sun . . . I love our little beach, known to locals as Seashore State Park (now First Landing). While not a secluded beach, it’s definitely a retreat from the oceanfront crowds and noise. Located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, it has calmer waters. It’s just a neat beach. My sister, niece (her friend) and I spent a lazy, sunny, balmy day at the beach.


jewelry hook - beach


A little crafting . . . Back to the necklace holder. Do your necklaces ever get as tangled and knotted as mine? Maybe because I hang them over my mirror? Since my bedroom is on the smaller side, I needed a wall-mounted holder. I used hooks and a piece of pallet wood left over from other projects (Easy Key Rack and Pallet Table).jewelry-right


It’s secured to the wall with picture frame saw tooth hangers. Such a little project, but a huge improvement.


Now, I won’t spend frustrated time trying to de-tangle my necklaces in my morning rush.  :) 




A little thrifting . . . While winding my way through the West End Antique Mall in Richmond; I found a small 1840 mahogany three-over-four empire chest for my bedroom revamp. There is some minor chipping damage and I have to figure out how to remove a faint cigarette smell.  




It’s always a quandary for me: paint or not?  If I painted it; I’d probably use chalk paint – but what color? What would you do? I’m VERY open to suggestions.

Well, the par-tay is definitely over. Faculty and staff went back on Monday; students start this coming week. What do you want to bet that they’re as reluctant to put away their summer toys as I? ;)

Have a good week! – – Joanne 



Weekend Finds and A Little R& R


This summer, we have been very busy (see Budget White Kitchen Makeover or Bedroom Revamp). We’ve worked straight through June and July, throughout most week nights and on weekends. While my sister and I have the summer off, George does not. He even took his summer vacay week off to work on the kitchen. What a guy! 

Then, August was upon us before we knew it!  And, you know the saying, “All work and no play . . .” So-o-o, we decided it was definitely  time for a little R&R break. :)

A few restorative days at the beach were in order . . .

Hmmm, think I need a pedi!

Hmmm, think I need a pedi!


My Ah-Mazing Mom

My Ah-Mazing Mom ^ and Sistah >

Certainly needed to work in a little sight-seeing thrift-ing . . .

Quick! Know anyone who needs a leather topped mahogany table for only $49?

1940's mahogany table

1940-50’s mahogany table


Who couldn’t use a vintage wood ladder (or two)? 


Glass jars speak to me. Even vintage pickle jars. I envision a seashell collection inside. 

Ever since we started our bedroom revamp, I have fallen for vintage cotton linens.


And a nostalgic trip down memory lane . . .
Digging through loose photos packed in shoe boxes, I found two fuzzy photographs: my daughter and niece playing dress-up in my ruffled, stained 1980’s wedding gown. Got to love those 1980’s fashion mistakes.  

Ha! I certainly don’t remember being THAT thin. What ever happened? ;)  


Well, I feel rested and ready to complete that kitchen makeover tomorrow morning. Hope those who are now experiencing summer are able to take a little R&R break. If you’ve the time, please check back in a week or two to see our progress. Thanks for stopping by!

Have a good week! – – Joanne