A Personal Fav: House of Turquoise

What’s your favorite color? Look around your home, open your closet…chances are you decorate with and wear your favorite color almost every day. It’s your signature. It sets your mood and frames your personality.

I’m perpetually drawn to turquoise, a beautiful shade of greenish-blue which is incredibly fun, flirty, intense, sophisticated and calming all at the same time. It’s a great color to use in home accents, ceramics, fashion, art…you name it.

One of my favorite blogs, House of Turquoise, offers up inspiration and lifestyle/retail choices in all shades of my favorite hue. These are just a few of the beautiful images from the site:




This week I’m a happy girl to see a special House of Turquoise collection on Joss & Main, a popular online shopping site. (Sale ends May 20.) The collection is coastal-inspired and features a mix of natural woods and upholstered furniture, fiber rugs and sea glass lamps, as well as nautical wall art and fresh, contemporary throw pillows.

Here are some of the beautiful pieces available in the sale…


Check it out if you’re looking to refresh your living space or just want to lose yourself and browse at pretty things!

Special Note:

  • You can subscribe to Joss & Main to get daily emails with special collections and sales. It’s like an upscale, online Home Goods…love!
  • And, if you like Joss & Main, take a look at One Kings Lane to see daily collections of quality products at discounted prices.
  • Over the past few years, I’ve ordered pillows, rugs, ceramics, accent tables, bedding and picnic/outdoor living items through these sites, and I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the products and shipping times.

Vintage China Cabinet

Last fall, in a moment of pure adrenaline, I snagged a china cabinet from our local ReStore. I had great expectations and quickly removed all the hardware, then let the poor thing sit idle in a corner of our dining room until last week. With our big, multi-family garage sale coming up this week, I knew I needed to give this beautiful beast a makeover and find her another home.


Luckily, the bones on this girl were solid, and I didn’t have any major issues during her transformation.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White on the exterior (and inside the lower cabinet) and Duck Egg inside the upper cabinet and inside the single drawer. She has some great lines and I love the lattice-work overlay on the glass doors. The medallion drawer pulls were in perfect condition and only needed a little CLR to remove some rust and shine them up.

She’s now listed on craigslist (for a mere $250) and will be on display this weekend. Fingers crossed she finds her “soul-home”!!!

Here are a few more pics showcasing her details and road to stardom:


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UPDATE: (May 11, 2014)

I sold the cabinet!!! Yay! So glad she found a home and will be proudly displaying a Raleigh woman’s 1950’s-era bone china set in her dining room. It’s a little like letting go of a child. While I didn’t have a personal connection to the piece per se, it did take some blood, sweat and tears to get her into a valuable state, so it’s a bittersweet day. Now…what do do next???!!!

Nautical Nightstands

In April 2012, Ben and I (and another couple), purchased Island Paradise, a beach house on beautiful Topsail Island (NC), as an investment property. While the property had great bones, it was in desperate need of a complete cosmetic makeover (imagine a cheaply decorated tiki-jungle-safari theme). Luckily, we had two handy and well-organized husbands managing the budget and contractors, while the two design-savvy and stylish wives led the interior overhaul and shopping requirements (we had years of practice between the two of us).

We did the best we could to repurpose a lot of the furniture but almost all of the accessories had to be donated, consigned or recycled out to make room for a new aesthetic. Shopping for bedding, lamps and other accessories was super fun! (What women don’t love shopping…especially when starting with a clean slate?!) Within a matter of weeks, the house was easily transformed from its previous state into a serene, coastal vacation retreat, ready for a fully booked season of summer renters.

During our appraisal of the furnishings over the last year, we knew there were some critical pieces missing from some of the rooms. To give a few of the king suites a more finished look, we needed solid night stands (as opposed to the random rattan and odd pieces the previous owner threw together). Over the winter off-season last year, I scoured Craigslist almost daily and finally found two pairs of solid wood (made in the USA) matching beside tables in a honey wood finish and knew they had potential.


Having discovered Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) the year prior, I knew these night stands could easily transform with some light paint and new hardware, so I set to work. The first step was giving them a good washing.


Next I removed the hardware and taped off where I wanted to paint. I selected ASCP Old White (a rich, creamy white) for the main color. However, for practical reasons, the house being a rental, I wanted the pieces to be durable and not show wear, so I opted to leave the top panel the original, sealed wood (to avoid chipping and marks from phones, books, shoes, cups, sunscreen or whatever else the renters decided to drop down).


I thinned out the paint with a few drops of water and gave the tables 3 coats of Old White. In between each coat, I lightly sanded the (dry) painted surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper. This step is quick (a “2-second” sanding is plenty) and helps to smooth out any brush strokes (assuming your goal is a smooth surface and not a rustic finish).


After the paint was dry, I gave them another 2-second sand with 220 grit sandpaper and then a finishing sand with 600 grit sandpaper to give them an ultra-smooth finish. Finally, I applied one coat of ASCP Clear Wax and buffed it out.

With the painting complete, I needed to figure out the hardware situation. I knew I couldn’t put the leaf/vine pulls back on the drawers. I looked locally at Lowe’s and Home Depot but everything was too generic or commercial. I checked out my favorite online hardware market (House of Antique Hardware) but couldn’t decide. Then, as I was working with Gemma on a craft project, I came across my big ball of twine and thought maybe I could create a DIY knotted drawer pull. A few snips of twine and knots later, I had the pulls installed.



I love the light, two-tone finish and think they compliment the beach house decor quite well. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more small items we can add to the house to keep it feeling fresh, clean and visually appealing for our summer renters next season!


(After the fact, I found a few rope drawer pulls at Anthropologie that sell for $12-14/each. I’m pleased to report our new pulls cost us $0!!!! And honestly, if I do another dresser or side table, I’ll likely try to DIY the bottom right drawer pull by wrapping rope around some of those commercial/generic drawer pulls I found at Lowe’s and Home Depot.)


Chair Affair

A few years ago I claimed ownership of an antique captain’s chair from the basement of my grandparent’s home in North Dakota. The chair sat in their basement for well over 50 years. I remembered it from my visits as a child, and my mother recalls the chair being there for as long as she can remember. Needless to say, it has sentimental value, and aside from that, it’s got a comfy round back which hugs you in all the right ways.

I knew from the start this project would be a labor of love. It was clear from all the chippage, the chair had been painted at least a hundred times over (okay, maybe only 5-6 coats), and I had to assume at least one of those coats was lead paint. Although I planned to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP), I knew it needed to be stripped and sanded prior to painting. (One of the biggest perks of ASCP is the lack of prep work required for the paint to adhere and transform almost ANY material. I’ve seen folks use it on wood, veneer, plastic, concrete, ceramic, metal, leather and the list goes on…)

It took a few weeks to fully strip the paint and sand it down (by machine and hand), and then another week to paint and wax for the look I desired – a modern color with a well-worn finish.


before chair

before chair spindle




during chair3






Technique: I chose Aubusson Blue for the base coat, followed by a top coat of Provence + Old White (approx. 5 to 1 ratio with a dash of water to thin it out). I gave it a quick coat of clear wax and buffed, then distressed in “natural” areas (where you might expect wear…as opposed to random distressing which looks too contrived). I finished it up with a dark wax layer, followed by a final layer of clear wax to seal it all in. I’m happy with the chair as-is…it works with the color scheme in our living room, and can easily move from our main living area to a bedroom, if need be. Should we move or change the decor in the house, I’d be inclined to repaint this chair (knowing I don’t need to relive the tiresome and tedious prep-work stage).

Special Notes:

  • ASCP is truly easy to use and requires little to no prep work. However, it is wise to do a little research to understand the various techniques you can get from very simple tweaks or “in-between-coats-of-paint” steps. You can thin the paint with water, mix colors easily, sand between steps, wipe down or rub while the paint is still wet, distress before OR after waxing (though it’s less messy if you distress post-waxing), use a coarse brush on damp paint to create strokes, and so on…the paint is so versatile. I’ve read so many folks say they hated the paint because it left brush strokes (which can be avoided by thinning the paint prior to application AND a light sanding between coats). Basic tip: just do a little homework before you use this fab product.
  • If you want the darker, antique look using dark wax, be sure to ALWAYS APPLY CLEAR WAX FIRST.  So many folks slather the dark wax directly onto the top coat of paint and find it is streaky and difficult to apply. Applying the clear wax first, seals the paint and provides a smooth base over which to blend in the dark wax.

Favorite chalk paint project blogs: