Blog

A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

BEFORE AND AFTER: MY PAINTED AND STAGED KITCHEN

My kitchen. It’s my baby, my everything. I spend ALL of my time in here, or at least it feels that way! As far as staging goes, it didn’t take much for it to get ready. I keep my countertops almost completely free of anything that isn’t essential. I’m not a neat freak by any means, but I am really particular when it comes to the kitchen. For preparing to put the house on the market, we did declutter the interiors of the cabinets [though that didn’t last very long, since there are SO many kitchen supplies I am incapable of living without!]. Throughout the day, there’s lots of natural light in the kitchen, so keeping all our house plants in place helps highlight that. I simplified what I kept on the open shelf cabinet, leaving only white serving pieces to give it a clean look. What really transformed the kitchen was the white paint on the walls. Nearly the entire house was painted in Sherwin Williams Alabaster, a perfect ‘Goldilocks’ white in my eyes: not too warm, not too cool and just right. It instantly made the kitchen feel larger, brighter and more streamlined. The few hits of color in the space [mostly varying shades of blue and teal] now add a subtle pop to the kitchen. This kitchen is so functional and beautiful, it didn’t take much work [other than a little tidying and paint] to bring it to life for the staging photos. Check out a few ‘Before and After’ shots below!

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BEFORE

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AFTER

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AFTER

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BEFORE

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AFTER

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Mixing White and Black Wax for a Brushed Graphite Finish

I know...my first furniture post in AGES! The past few months have been crazy here. My home is currently up for sale, so it's been months of staging and photographs and keeping the house pristine.  All of those factors makes painting furniture in my house a challenge to say the least.  I've decided to start things up again, mostly because I'm going a little nuts not being able to continue my furniture painting obsession. My first project piece was this beautiful double bowed dresser. I painted this piece for my Airbnb and I've received wonderful compliments on it from my guests!  The finish is really unique. I painted it with my go to Graphite chalk paint from Annie Sloan and brushed on a mixture of white wax and black wax.  I didn't blend the two waxes completely. The mixture resembled crushed up Oreos [I really should have provided myself Oreos while writing this post...fail!]. I brushed on the mottled wax mixture, quickly buffing it away with a white t-shirt rag to blend the finish. I love the depth it gives this piece! What do you think of it?  I'll be putting it up for sale soon in my shop

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TIPS FOR STAGING A HOME: WHOLE HOUSE INTERIOR PAINT [BEFORE!]

Hi friends! Normally I'm on here sharing all my current furniture painting projects, but I've had to put furniture painting on a brief pause for one very important reason. I'm in the process of preparing my house to put it on the market, something that's incredibly exciting and daunting all at once! For someone who works from home, not being able to utilize my house the way I normally do has been a bit of a struggle to put it mildly, but we've been strategically working on the house over the past couple months so that I could still work and live there.  But the time has come for paint, and A LOT of it.  We're essentially having every surface of the house repainted, with the exception of my office and a couple bathrooms. SO. MUCH. PAINT!

Most of my friends were pretty shocked I wanted to paint, since they found our house really well decorated and the colors neutral [most of the house was painted in Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray, with a few brighter colors in some rooms!]. But anyone who has shopped for a home, has put one up for sale or is in the staging / real estate industry knows white walls do wonders for selling a home. Creating a completely blank canvas that any buyer can envision themselves in makes a world of difference. It was the top priority on my budget for putting our house on the market, and I'm SO excited to see the finished results over the next week!

I only had a couple whites in the running, and I nearly went with the white I used for my airbnb, Extra White. It's an incredibly cool, true white and feels really modern and fresh.  I absolutely love it in the airbnb, but something in me knew that my 1930 bungalow still needed a bit of warmth.  Yes, we've modernized it quite a bit over the years, but I still wanted the vintage of the home to come through with a slightly warmer white. Sherwin Williams color of the year a couple years back was Alabaster, and after reviewing copious photos, I knew this was the just-right white for our entire house.  Taking into account the direction the home faces [it's a south facing house to the street, but some of our living spaces face out north to our backyard], I worried that Extra White would make the house feel too cold for my liking.  Alabaster looked more like it could work in a variety of rooms.  Had this not been a paint job for staging, I would have likely gone room by room and chosen colors for each space [even if that meant different whites for different rooms]. But we're moving, and and I can only assume the next owner will want to paint each room to their liking, unless they love the clean white walls that is! 

I'm currently writing this from my airbnb, which we've temporarily moved into while the crew tackles the house. I desperately want to be a fly on the wall, watching the transformation happen before my eyes. Designers like me get to watch the process happen over time and be fully immersed in, but I have to remember I'm currently my own client.  Having that big 'reveal' after the house has been bathed in white will be far more dramatic!  Here are the quick photos I took this morning of the first floor before the prep work began. [I ran out of time to snap photos of the second floor since the crew had already arrived!] It's so bizarre to see my house so sparse, but we'll get it back to looking lovely and 'lived in' [quotations because staged homes never look fully lived in but that's sort of the point!] as soon as painting is completed. Excited to share the home staging process with you over the next month! 

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Clean and Simple Can Be Beautiful: White and Walnut Mid Century Dresser

This piece was the last one I painted just before taking a solid month off of work.  YES A MONTH! I now realize how long that was, and the thought scares me a little, but I'm so thankful for that time I gave myself. I spent the bulk of it with family and friends, traveling to the Philippines, Singapore and Texas. Getting myself back to the reality of work and day to day life has been a struggle, but I've had that painting itch for some time now, and the photos of this beautiful, classic mid century dresser reminded me how clean and simple furniture and styling brings ease to my mind and inspires me to create more.

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When I'm stuck in a rut, whatever kind it may be: writing rut, cooking rut, socializing with humans rut [that's can be a thing from time to time for me!], all I need to do is remind myself to keep it simple and take small steps towards getting back into the swing of things. Maybe it's just filling out a Q&A about life quiz to rejig my brain, maybe it's just putting together one of my favorite breakfasts like avocado toast with scrambled eggs and a new addition of chipotle chili sauce...mmm [that was this morning!]. Or maybe it's just spending some one on one time with a friend on the porch, drinking wine or a cup of coffee and watching the world pass us by.  It's incredible how little moments like this can reinvigorate me, revitalize me and remind me about my love for all the passions in my life.  

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Painting is the one passion that most clearly connects my personal interests with my professional ones. Yesterday to get myself out of my painting rut [though I suppose it was less of a rut and more of a vacation, but no matter!] I decided to repaint a pair of side tables I was given. I'd already painted this pair, but decided they needed a new color to better suit their home in my Airbnb. Once those are photographed and ready to go, I'll share them here, but for now, I wanted to gush about this mid century beauty.  

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Mid Century is the one place where I don't tend to overcomplicate things. I find their form and structure so beautiful in their original state that I hate to fuddle with it too much.  Sometimes I'll get creative with my color choices, but this time I took mid century to its purest form. I stuck with a few coats of Annie Sloan's Old White on the frame of this piece. I love using white with modern pieces because it creates the perfect blank slate for whatever design choices I'd like to make. 

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I'm a person who changes the style of my home depending on how I'm feeling that week [or sometimes that day!], and I find using small objects and wall art to inject color is my favorite method of design.  Keeping this piece so simple is what makes it feel timeless. I could style this piece in so many ways, my brain perks up just thinking about it!

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For this shoot, I was so frazzled about leaving for the Philippines, I kept the styling basic and modern. I love taking a piece of art and pulling a few colors from it to incorporate into the design vignette. For me, it's the easiest way to create a really pulled together style. This series reminds me how important it is to edit, and keep things minimal sometimes. It brings an ease to my mind that I can't get enough of. This simple series of photos is inspiring me to get out there, find some new pieces to work on and pick up the paint brush. Check out this piece and others I've got for sale in my shop

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Designing My Airbnb using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Hi friends! Quick post today- I'm supposed to be painting [started on this gorgeous console yesterday], but it's looking like I've come down with something [fingers crossed it's not the flu- I did get my shot!], so I'm stuck on the couch, wrapped up in blankets. While I rest up, I wanted to share some photos of a space that's very special to me, my Airbnb! It's a 'tiny house' bungalow in my backyard I completed about a year and a half ago. I used my go to paint line, Annie Sloan chalk paint on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as the sliding barn door. As I work on new pieces of furniture, I'll rotate some of my painted work into the space to keep it fresh and new.  I took these photos quite recently and thought I'd share a few here.  They feature quite a few Annie Sloan paint colors. I loved incorporating bright pops of color in the space and I hope you do too! For more photos, head to my other website, STATESOFREVERIE.COM or check out my Airbnb listing if you're ever wanting a bright, modern space to stay in on your next trip to Atlanta, Georgia! You can also find some of the pieces in my Airbnb for sale in my shop!

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