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Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

Remember that painting workshop we did at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore back in the summer? I wanted to show you how the end table that we painted with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan turned out. Somehow, this little post just never made it on to the schedule, and it is long overdue.

Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan End Table Makeover)

This is what she looked like before, hidden in between all the good pickins’ at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Montgomery County, PA.

End Table Makeover with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan ASCP

Back in August we held two Painting 101 workshops, where nearly 50 people learned the finer points of painting with a brush and spray painting. A HUGE thank you to everyone who came and had fun with us! Even though almost everyone who attended had painted something before, everyone who wanted to got a chance to try their hand at something.

prepping the end table makeover

By the way, we are planning a DIY Jewelry Frame workshop for November 13. Stay tuned for the registration link for the ReStore, coming soon. Please comment below if you want me to notify you with an invitation. Space will be very limited!

We worked on this little end table and several other items during the workshops, and I ended up putting the finishing touches on it back at my office.

Remember that trick I showed you with DIY Paint Props? It came in handy here.

End Table Makeover with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan ASCP
One of the things I love about the Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan is that you don’t have to prime. Just get to it!

End Table Makeover with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan ASCP

The idea was to cover this yellow with a dark wax, but when I saw how pretty and cheery it was, I just couldn’t do it. But don’t worry, I’ll show you what that yellow + dark wax combo looks like on the jewelry frame that we’ll be making at Habitat in November at our next DIY workshop. Or you can see what I’ve already posted on Facebook.) Watch my home page and newsletter for the registration link coming soon!

End Table Makeover with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan ASCP

There was a lamp makeover at the same time, but I generally spray paint my lamps, and used Rustoleum 2x on this formerly brass lamp.

End Table Makeover with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan ASCP

This little table now could easily match similar items that would retail for hundreds and still not be the all-wood, solid quality. But this is all wood with solid construction.

But beauty isn’t only on the outside. Surprise!

End Table Makeover with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan ASCP

This glamorous black and white contact paper added a glimpse into her inner beauty.

If you love this little table as much as I do, you can hightail it over to the ReStore in Norristown and pick her up, or check out some of the other pieces just crying out for a re-do.

Beautiful on the Inside (End Table Makeover)

I hope you’ll be inspired to customize timeless pieces like this for your own home. You can see another end table makeover that still lives in my own home and stands up to the punishment of kids just fine. Pin this on your DIY board for later.

Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan End Table Makeover)


Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

Quick, what’s one of the easiest and most rewarding DIY projects you can do in your kitchen?

Answer: Install pull out shelves in kitchen cabinets!

how to organize kitchen with rolling shelves

I do this for clients all the time, but some of my readers and followers don’t have the luxury of having me come to where they are, so I’m going to show you how to do it yourself. You can even order the supplies right from my site.

It’s frustrating when you can’t get to the back of the cabinet, especially if you are older or have mobility issues.

pull out shelves make kitchen organizing easier

This gal was worried about the couple of inches that you might lose on the side. You can see she was already using pretty much all of her space.

organzing kitchen cabinets with pull out drawers

But just because things are packed neatly like this doesn’t mean they are easy to get to. Trust me, the couple of inches is a good trade for actually being able to get to the stuff and the back of the cabinet.

Making this upgrade is easy. Just measure from the inside of the front frame of the cabinet, or the inside of the hinges if they stick out like these do. Order the size that is the whole number inches closest to your size. If your measurement is 25.5″ wide, then you’ll order 25″ shelves, which will be slightly less than 25″, but will be the right size for your cabinets. Be sure to verify the depth and order that correct size, too. Here’s that link again from my site if you want to order these roll out shelves. I have them in my own kitchen.

It’s just 6 screws per shelf. If you own a drill, you can install these. If you don’t own a drill, I can personally recommend my lightweight, Ryobi Compact Drill Kit .

installing roll out shelvesOnce installed, they can hold up to 100 pounds. These are all wood, and can be ordered with a straight front or a scoop front ($15 extra). If you don’t already having rolling shelves on the upper level of your base cabinets, you can order those, too, which come with the extra support and hardware to install it in mid-cabinet.

There’s that favorite pan!!!!

installed pull out shelf

And all of the entertaining goodies that are easy to get to now!!!

pull out shelf organizes up to 100 pounds

Getting to things down low can be a real drag, especially if they are in the back of the cabinet.

organizing cabinets with pull out shelvesIsn’t it easier to just pull things out so you can see what’s on the shelf?

organizing shelves with pull outsIf this is something you’d like to do, you might want to pin it to your kitchen ideas board.

how to organize kitchen with rolling shelves

Have you been wanting pull out shelves in your kitchen?


Posted on: October 23rd, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

I love showing a quick closet organizing project, because it really gives you an idea of what is possible in just a few hours. Maybe this will give you inspiration for your own closet organizing project this season.

how to organize a closet

This client had several closets that needed attention, but they didn’t need a new closet system. They honestly and truly just needed organizing, using the five steps for organizing that I always use. Here’s what we started with:

quick closet organizing …and just a few things on the floor.

With a closet this small, we need all the space to really work, and this isn’t cutting it.

the floor of the closet need organizing

This is the organized closet after. Look…FLOOR!

organized closet

But that’s not really impressive. We also organized the second closet including shoes, boots and hats.

closet organizing Closet before and after (13)











We switched out seasonal clothing and put it in a third closet, the cedar closet.

That’s three closets, four seasons, three levels of the house.

So how long did this all take? Less than 3 hours.


The best part? The client donated some lovely but unworn items to her favorite charity, The Career Wardrobe. Did you see my pictures on Instagram from last week’s event at their Wardrobe Boutique? She also sold several lightly used name brand purses and made just about as much money as she paid to work with me. So it was a win all the way around!

how to organize a closet

Does this give you some inspiration to organize your closet?


Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by Darla | 5 Comments

Renovating is a huge challenge for many, because it is so hard to “see” the finished result before you start. In this bathroom renovation, which I was thrilled to be a design consultant on, you’ll love the huge transformation of this 30-year old bathroom into something completely modern and beautiful.

Here’s the bathroom before:

Bathroom before (8)

Bathroom before (5) Bathroom before (2)


Bathroom before (3)

The homeowner wanted a completely different, updated look with a spa feel and the ease of a walk in shower. Since this was the only full bathroom in the home, she thought long and hard about whether it was wise to remove the only bathtub in the house. But in the end, she desided to make the changes for her and not some future potential buyer, and I love her for that.

I believe you should live in your home the way you want to live in it. Design for you.

She spotted this display in a local tile shop, and all other design choices stemmed from this design inspiration:

blue glass tile shower for spa bath renovation

And here’s the fabulous bathroom after, starting with the new taller vanity with granite top:

wood vanity with granite top in bathroom renovationWe decided to eighty-six the frumpy medicine cabinet, especially since she gained a ton of new drawer storage in the vanity. But we kept the niche, accenting it with the Versailles pattern tile that is on the shower floor.

medicine cabinet turned display niche in spa bathroom

Spa Bathroom After (2) The beautiful new shower stall is literally highlighted with a new SolaTube light, which is a circular skylight that allows light to travel through the attic into this interior room. The light you see in the picture is sunlight. She tells me during the night, the moonlight is also very bright from this SolaTube.

It also has a built-in shower seat, which no full shower should be without.

The plan is to eventually finish this shower enclosure with glass doors.

Spa Bathroom After (4) You’ve already seen this side of the shower, and where we added the guest towels as decor and sneaky storage.

Spa Bathroom After (5)

Along with the 3 hooks inside the shower and the niche that holds soap and shampoo, there are three hooks outside the shower that hold the fluffy, quick drying microfiber towels that pair perfectly with the blue glass tile and the rest of the color scheme.

By the way, do you know how incredibly hard it is to photograph a bathroom without getting yourself in the picture?

towels in the new spa bathroom

The closet in the background is one that you’ve already seen. Nothing behind closed doors here but more bathroom closet organization to add to the spa feel!

This bathroom renovation took several weeks, like all renovations do. There was dust everywhere, and the half-bath downstairs worked mighty hard while this bathroom was out of commission. But now that it’s all over, it’s amazing!

What do you think of this spa bathroom renovation?

Spa bathroom renovation