Dickey's Decor

Home, Garden and More

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Change of Plans

I picked up these two pieces a month ago from a 1920s home in inner SE Portland. The new owners found these when they moved in. They absolutely didn't go with the style of the house and the BEAUTIFUL grey pickled woodwork. They were on the top floor and these lovely people helped me and Mr.Dickey carry them down three flights of stairs to our truck that waited on a major street. They must of really wanted them out of there because they were FREE.

They are in fantastic condition and are matching in style, but one has glass the other does not. The shelves are all glass allowing them to illuminate whatever is displayed on them. They aren't all wood, but a mix of laminate and wood. They sat in my driveway under our overhang for three weeks before we finally cleared enough room in the garage for me to actually work on them. Originally, I planned to paint them and sell them. I figured I could get $100 for the glass one (with a good paint job) and maybe $75 for the other. Then, I realized I needed something like this to display Mr.Dickey's collectibles. DUH. I decided to paint them black. I also decided to leave a hint of the wood showing around the glass doors in case the paint was scratched or scuffed over the years. I was also being lazy and didn't want to tape. I am sure they will become shabby chic after a year or two in our basement so this is a good solution. Mr. Dickey had other ideas. At first, he was totally on board with moving them into the basement, but upon actually moving them he pointed out something, "When you paint things for other people you take your time. When you do things for us you don't. These aren't finished." What ensued was a pretty epic argument. I admit he was right. I hadn't done a great job painting these two pieces. In the end we he decided not to use them in the basement.
With that being said I had to go back and do some more work on these babies. I hate it when I'm wrong.

 Here is where taking pictures really shows why my husband was right. Dang that is proof. Good thing he rarely reads this. I did go back and paint the top and put another coat on the back.

The paint is Sherwin Williams Duration in Caviar with a little doctoring up. These suckers are heavy. I'm talking H.E.A.V.Y. I think they look great and would work well in a variety of spaces. The glass shelves and lights are an added bonus. I am sure they will look nice in someone's house (but not mine).

$17 Mantle

I have the seven year itch. No, I'm not cheating on Mr.Dickey, but I am ready for a change. After seven years in our home I need something new. I dream about winning a contest that says they will give me $150,000 if I use it all on renovating my home. At night instead of counting sheep, I visualize the changes I would make.
Unfortunately, we don't have huge reserves of money. Sure we save, but when we have extra something always comes up. The things we need want to do cost money....lots of it. We try to do one "big" project every summer. This year we are building a shed.
This year our house will be fifty years old. Is it weird I want to have a party for it? I have made a list (okay more like a hundred) for smaller projects I want to start knocking out that won't cost a bundle. One thing on my list was to create a mantle for our living room fireplace.
When we moved in there was a gas insert that looked like a wood stove. One night four years ago we turned it on and my husband was pushed back by an explosion. Fire began shooting out the sides. I dashed for the bathroom and grabbed a wet towel and flung it on the flames. Nothing. We grabbed the kids and the dog and headed upstairs out of the house. I called 911 and the neighbor herded the kids into her home. The fire trucks were there in three minutes. The entire time I was imagining the basement engulfed in flames. In the end we were lucky the rocks around the fireplace saved our bacon. No damage was done. The firemen turned off the gas and we were told the insert was faulty. If  it had been a month earlier the Christmas decorations would have ignited and this would be a different entry.
The new insert was updated, but the fireplace looked blah.  I would love to have someone come in and build a custom mantle, but right now I have too many other fires going (haha). I like the stones, but they are jagged and would make it difficult to install a mantle flush to them.
Last spring I picked up some great iron brackets for $5. They were big. I had a night time vision of using them for a mantle. I hung them and added a $12  pine board I stained from Lowes. $17 mantle. Cheap update. I am excited to decorate it...a new vision for sleepless nights.

Opps. I guess I should have gotten a ladder out to stain the top of the board. Touch up needed! I am excited to incorporate our holiday decorations up here, but for now it is some of my random finds.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Helping Out a Fellow Horder

One day at lunch I was checking out Craigslist and spotted a free dresser. I quickly emailed the poster and then, forgot about it. Later that afternoon my phone rang and if I could come get it that afternoon the dresser was mine.
Luckily, I could squeeze it into my packed schedule. I raced to the address, cleared out the back of my trusty Volvo and knocked on the door. The signs of a horde were clear. Garbage on the porch stacked up, a wafting smell...what had I gotten myself into?

A man about my age came to the door and I got a glimpse of the inside. Yep. This was a house that could be featured on Hoarders. This guy told me he was left cleaning up the house for his parents who had been moved into an assisted living facility. His uncle helped him carry the dresser to the door and the two of us loaded it into my car.

Solid wood! The drawers were not broken (but were a bit sticky). I love the back fail on this piece. My wheels started turning; changing table, peacock blue. Once in my car I smelled it. It wasn't a horrible smell, just musty. When I came home and Mr.Dickey helped me pull it out. "Did the mouse turds come free with it?" He asked. Gross, I groaned.

I really had to scrub this piece down. Next,  lightly sanded the rough spots. I recently picked up a Sherwin Williams "oops" paint at my local salvage store in an amazing teal/peacock blue. I have seen this color used in a lot of decors recently and I know it is pOpUlar (this is how my sister and popular...an emphasis on the O and the U), however it isn't a color I would use in my home. I debated on maybe playing it safe with this piece, but it really has a funky hipster kind of vibe and the peacock blue seemed to fit. I mixed up my chalk paint concoction and went at it.

Finally, I top coated it with s wipe on Annie Sloan soft wax.

I think this piece would look fantastic with greys, navy's, yellows, corals, whites, blacks and browns. Wow that is the whole gamut of colors. It would be fun to put a mirror on top and use it as a bar. Another way I see this piece being used is as a changing table (#hipsterbaby). I am selling this piece.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Big Feature

I am so excited to be featured on Roadkill Rescue today. The lovely vanity sold this weekend. I will take the money, but will miss this little lady.


Check it out! Thanks for the feature.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Divine Find

This summer I got a text from one of my co-workers that read, "Vanity and a bunch of junk sitting on the corner of Yadda Yadda Yadda. Just thought you might be interested".  It just so happened that Mr.Dickey had a softball game that very day a few blocks from this location. I figured if it was there when we went to his game it was meant to be.
We were running late (of course) and I figured it would be long gone by the time we showed up. We dropped Mr.Dickey off and me and the kids started driving around in search of this vanity. I was about ready to throw in the towel when Drexler spotted it...my co-worker apparently doesn't know his addresses. We pulled up to the curb and sitting in a ray of light was this:

Not only was the vanity there, but also an awesome mirror and stool that matched the vanity. This baby was solid and I instantly fell in love. Drexler and his buddy Baily helped me take out the drawers and load the mirror and stool in the truck, but the vanity was a bit too heavy for them. As if on cue the neighbor walked by and offered to help me load it. (A side note on our truck. It is a regular sized Dodge Ram. Mr.Dickey loves it and so do I, but it is very hard for me to get in and out of it with my 5 foot 2 inch body.) We made it to the game and unloaded this beauty into the abyss garage where it sat until the end of January. I wanted to work on this piece, but I just couldn't figure out what to do with it. I waited for inspiration to hit me. The inspiration was my need to get my car in the garage after a cold spell.

The top was in bad shape.

I stripped it using a gel stripper. I loved the color of the wood once I stripped it and decided to keep it ala natural. I figured out pretty quickly that the top was solid mahogany, but the drawers were a veneer of some kind. This is when I decided to paint them using my own chalk paint concoction. I was happy and sad to find out this "secret concoction" was featured in this month's edition of This Old House. Yep, my secret is very public now.

I figured I had a lovely creamy off-white in my garage paint store, but I came up empty handed. I armed myself with a 25% off coupon for Sherwin Williams and headed to run a few errands. One was a stop at my local salvage store. I was loading up on candy (Hershey bars with almonds for .25!) when I saw they had recently gotten in a shipment of paint from you guessed it Sherwin William's. The very first can I picked up was a lovely cream color and it was $1. This was sent from heaven just for me.

My next mission was to find two more knobs for the vanity. Superstar Bloggers from Young House Love were signing their new book at Rejuvenation Hardware and giving a lecture so this was the best place to start my search. After listening to them (they are super cute) I searched through boxes of wooden knobs. I found two that were sort of matching, but nothing as lovely as the ones already on it. The guy working even asked me if I wanted to sell the rest of the knobs as they were that awesome. After an extensive search, and too much time with Portland Hipsters, I jaunted over to another architectural salvage store Hippo Hardware and found nothing.

I finally began to paint in the late afternoon. For the first time ever it became clear my chalk paint was going to fail me. The veneer (or something) began to leach through the first coat of paint. The next day I had to break down and prime the entire thing. Guess what? Something leached through AGAIN. My vision of this piece fell apart. I tried another coat of paint in one area and it still leached a bit. I finally adjusted my vision and painted in a light grey, Sherwin William's Jubilee.

I top coated it with Annie Sloan dark wax. All but two of the handles are original.

 I struggled with what to cover the stool in. I had a lovely vintage grey and floral print, but it was a cotton and may not have worn well. I almost put a light rose brocade, but the color looked to tan next to the wood. I finally settled on this vintage chenille from a bed cover I had on hand. I LOVE this cover, but unfortunately someone spilled some nail polish on it. I can imagine back in the 50s a teenage girl getting in some trouble for that one. I decided to cut it and use it in my projects. This section was from the bottom.

I am in love with this piece and wish I had room to keep it. It actually makes me think when I get back into my master bedroom I may use a vanity for my make-up application. I decided to keep the mirror that goes with this piece. I can't bear to part with that piece of "trash".