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BHG Guest Blogger

5 Ways to Decorate with Vintage Tools

 

Hello, friends! I’m Amy from Gather & Build—a home design and lifestyle blog.

I started blogging during the renovation of my home, a 1940s cottage loaded with charm and every bad thing: mold, asbestos, lead-based paint, and the ickiest paneling to ever grace a wall. When Refresh magazine approached me about featuring my home in the premier issue, I did what any normal person would do: I read the email four times just to be sure. And said aloud to nobody in particular, no way. No way. No. Way. What?!?

Months after the photo shoot, my story (and home) made it to new stands. It felt like an eternity. Let me be real with you. When your house is going to be in a magazine time moves like molasses—the way time moves for a six year old waiting on Christmas.

It was worth the wait. Surprise, Amy, your house is on the cover! 

 

When it comes to decorating, my style is influenced by vintage and repurposed trends. I like a little bit of history in my decor—something with a life of its own. A trend emerged in my flea market finds: I like tools—as in hammers and such. I like the idea of taking something that has been exceptionally useful and giving it an opportunity to be beautiful.

Here are five vintage tools that have found a prettier purpose in my home:

1. Old Paint Brushes

The more the merrier—I’m on the hunt for a few stands to add to the collection.

 

 

2. The Carpenter’s Ruler

This ruler holds an old photo of my sweet grandmother and my four-year-old self. Bless our hearts. A few other ideas: It could hold a hand-written note, a family recipe, or a postcard.

 

 

3. Tool Boxes

I found these tool boxes when I was renovating. I particularly love the zinc lid on the top box. I stacked them to use as a side table in my living room. They’ve also worked nicely as a sofa table. They make great storage. Christmas decor hides in mine. My pup, Patsy Cline, approves.

 

 

4. Vintage Levels

I love these because most of them have a gentleman’s name scribbled on the side. Of course, I want that side to show. I wanted to use mine as a point of interest but I’ve seen them used as ledges. I like that, too.

 

 

5. Metal Trays

This particular tray was an interior tray in a large metal tool box. It’s great for housing rotating arrangements of flowers, candles, and art supplies.

 

 

 

This is one of my favorite spots in my house—the hallway with its red door and yellow light fixtures which are repurposed acetylene tank tops.

 

 

The yellow lights didn’t make it into the shot in the magazine but the clipboards in my stairwell did. I cannot explain how the photographer captured this but he did! It was quite an angle!

 

 

Grab a copy of Refresh to see the whole house—as in, all but one bedroom!

You’re invited to make yourself at home at my blog for another dose of inspiration. I’m working on a new house project and I’d love to share ideas with you and hear your ideas—my readers weighed in on so many design decisions during this house project.

Finally, I have so much appreciation and respect for the Refresh team—thank you for letting me put pen to paper and tell the story of this house myself. I’m grateful for the opportunity, flattered by your trust. You all are rockstars and you’ve succeeded in creating a beautiful and helpful publication—a thousand thank yous. 

x,

Amy

 


Kenzie Kramer

Best of the Blogs: Furniture Refreshes!

Who doesn’t love a good makeover? I’m obsessed with them these days! From fabulous new facades to a side table turned into a cake stand, I’m always amazed by creative ideas. With my obsession in mind, I scoured countless blogs to discover my favorite furniture refreshes for this month’s Best of the Blogs feature.  Here are my top picks!

 

1. This revamped table from House of Fifty shows that little details go a long way. I’m all about gold accents right now!

 

Photo Credit: House of Fifty

 

2. This Ikea-hack dresser from Sarah Hearts combines two of my favorite trends: two-tone and overlays.

 

Photo Credit: Sarah Hearts

 

3. More Ikea upgrades! This one, featured on Armelle, gets a new look with fresh white paint and eye-catching hardware.

Photo Credit: Armelle

4. I’m always pleasantly surprised when people turn basic items into creative pieces. This toddler chair-turned-planter from Four Generations One Roof  is such a fun way to recycle unused furniture.

Photo Credit: Four Generations One Roof

 

5. One thing I’m currently coveting for my work space is a colorful tray to use as a catchall. I love that this DIY tray from Simplified Bee can be customized with inexpensive wallpaper scraps.

Photo Credit: Simplified Bee

 

6. I’m a sucker for all things colorful, especially this bold green chair from Young House Love. The rattan-inspired design and cheerful ikat pattern make it my ideal office chair.

Photo Credit: Young House Love

7. A ladder turned into shelving? Yes, please. One of my favorite things about this makeover from A Beautiful Mess is that that you can easily remove the shelves to use the ladder for its original purpose.

Photo Credit: A Beautiful Mess

8. I’m amazed at how Remodelaholic turned this inexpensive table into a console with drawers and shelves. I’m also a big fan of baskets and how they add contrast to this piece. 

 

Photo Credit: Remodeacholic

9. As I said, I love a pop of color. This teal table from Yellow Brick Home brightens the entire entryway and the Greek key pattern on the sides is the perfect subtle detail.

Photo Credit: Yellow Brick Home

 

10. A touch of rustic style is a great unexpected element and these reclaimed wood tables from Kojo Designs seem incredibly simple. They also saved extra money by using wood from a fence they had just taken down!

 

Photo Credit: Kojo Designs

11. I think this refreshed empire dresser from Picked and Painted is the perfect cottage style piece. The slightly distressed paint gives it a great worn in look while the glass knobs add a touch of elegance.

Photo Credit: Picked and Painted

Have you ever given a piece of furniture a new look? I have an old coffee table waiting for a fresh coat of paint and after seeing all of these projects I can’t wait to start! Next month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite 4th of July decorations and DIYs. Do you have one that you’d like to send our way? Shoot me an email at BHGBloggers@Meredith.com.

- Kenzie Kramer, Social Media Editorial Assistant


Maria Charbonneaux

Behind-the-Scenes: Kitchen + Bath Makeovers

The Spring 2013 issue of Kitchen + Bath Makeovers is coming to a newsstand near you any day now! The theme is “Before and After,” so today I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes peeks of a few furniture makeovers from the issue.

 

When we produced the Budget Kitchen makeover last summer, we hit up consignment shops, thrift stores, and Craiglist for affordable dining room furniture and frames. After some searching, here’s what we found. While some of our pieces needed a deep cleaning, they had good bones.

 

Here’s a peek at how we used these pieces in a dining room. Hard to believe they’re the same pieces, right?

 

 

The chairs and bench each got a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Medieval Times. We removed the rush seats first before priming and painting to keep them their natural color.

 

The homeowner already had the IKEA cabinet shown in the after photo, but it’s now discontinued and we wanted two storage units for the dining room for balance. We found a used IKEA cabinet that was a close match, but a little large. We trimmed the legs down with a circular saw to make it more closely match the scale of the existing cabinet and removed the door before priming and painting them both in Benjamin Moore Grey Mist.

 

The frames were a great deal! We found a bunch of them on Craigslist, so we tested out lots of configurations until we were happy with an arrangement. If you’re having trouble deciding how to hang art, try laying out the pieces on the floor first before you put holes in the wall. Snap photos of various arrangements and compare them to decide which one you like best–you’ll also have a guide to help you remember how they looked as you start hanging them. If your frames are really big, you may want to get out a ladder like I did to take good photos from up high! We used a spray primer to quickly coat the intricate frames, and then applied a couple of coats of Benjamin Moore Henderson Buff, Woodstock Tan, and Medieval Times.

 

If you’re on a budget, I encourage you to consider finding some quality used pieces that you can give a new lease on life. Not only is it an affordable solution, it’s also rewarding to have a customized piece that you refreshed yourself! Check out these furniture makeovers for more inspiration and watch this video for tips on painting furniture.

 

—Maria Charbonneaux, Associate Editor, Kitchen + Bath Makeovers


Style Spotter Editor

I Spy: A Hint of Neon

Spotted! In this cozy living room, a spectrum of light green accents certainly perks up the classic white slipcovered furniture and built-ins, but the real jolt comes from the neon throw on the ottoman.  Think small and mighty — a dash of neon feels fresh and fun, but it can definitely overwhelm a space in a hurry. (I have plenty of childhood photos that prove this point perfectly!) Here are some of our fave picks to add some pep to your home as the daylight hours start dwindling:

Cage Pendant Lamp; Urban Outfitters / Whitmor Rattique Storage Tote, Target / Mini Planters, Set of Four; Wind & Willow Home / Letter-Size Interior File Folders; The Container Store / Ampersand Screen Print; Shop Ampersand / 2013 Mini Date Book; Paper Source

 

–Alexa Fornoff, BHG Commerce Integration Editor