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Ambassador Gold

July 30, 2012

After the Goodwill Gods blessed me with a $15 Campaign dresser, I decided to test my luck at another thrift store (Saver's). And, spoiler alert, I struck gold!

While browsing the various aisles of chotchkies and other miscellaneous knick knacks, I saw a simple white dinner plate with a thin line of gold banding around the edges on top of a stack of similar plates that had silver banding instead of gold.



I liked the plate but wanted more than one so I continued to browse around until I stumbled upon a stack of 7 more of the same gold banded plates hidden behind some other stacked dinnerware. I set the 8th one on top of the other 7 and continued to browse around the rest of the store while I tried to Google the information that was on the bottom of the plate:



The plates are made by Christopher Stuart and they're part of his "Ambassador Gold" china collection. Doesn't that sound fancy? My quick in-store Google search didn't bring up any pricing information but it didn't matter because I liked the plates so I went back, grabbed the stack and headed to the check out.

The plates were marked 99¢ each:



But they had a purple sticker on them and all purple sticker items happened to be 50% off that day so I got them for 50¢ each and ended up paying $4.36 for the set!



When I got home, I dove further into my Google search and found out that the plates were sold between 1995 - 2002 and then they were discontinued. However, you can buy replacements plates but they sell for ... wait for it ... $17.99 EACH!!!



[ Image via Replacement Plates ]

$18 A PLATE!!! Which means the set of 8 plates that I got for $4.36 would have been $144!!! That's just the replacement cost too which means the retail cost could've been much more than that! Crazy, right?!

Based on the years they were sold (1995 - 2002), they're anywhere from 10 - 17 years old (depending on when the previous owner bought them) and they're in pristine condition! Amazing!

I'm planning on pairing these new 50¢ dinner plates with the David Stark salad plates I got from West Elm and am looking forward to hosting dinner parties in the near future :)




Have the Thrift Store Gods been good to you lately? What's your favorite thrift store find?

Goodwill Gods

July 27, 2012

I'm pretty sure the Goodwill Gods were looking out for me on Wednesday night because guess what I found?



A REAL, VINTAGE CAMPAIGN DRESSER! FOR $15! 1-5! $15!



Can you believe it?! On Tuesday night I had finished DIYing a fake campaign style desk and then just yesterday I was complaining about how finding a vintage campaign desk on Craigslist was impossible and then BAM! Goodwill smacks me in the face with this! Sure it's not a desk, but it's a real campaign piece! I'm telling you, it was fate :)

I'm pretty sure I let out a yelp when I saw it and possibly startled some customers as I was flailing my arms around trying to get my boyfriend's attention but I couldn't believe my eyes!

The dresser is in really bad shape cosmetic wise, and it's missing one of it's "L" braces (I found the other one in the top drawer!) but the bones are good and the makeover possibilities are endless!


Missing hardware :( Hopefully I can find a decent replacement!

Dove tail drawers:



Sides:



Can you see the potential or do you think I bit off more than I can chew? Check back on Monday to see what else I got!

DIY Campaign Style Desk

July 26, 2012

Last April, my mom surprised me with World Market's Josephine Desk for my birthday (thanks, Mom!):




I love the desk as-is but lately I've been thinking about adding a little something to it to make it more unique. I love the look of campaign desks but hate how much they cost and trying to find a vintage one on my city's Craigslist is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - impossible:



[ Images via Style Hive ]


[ Image via 1st Dibs ]

Anyway, the more I looked at campaign desks, the more I started noticing how similar the style of my Josephine Desk was to them. That's when my DIY light bulb went off!

Feeling inspired, I went to Ace to see what kind of campaign-esque hardware they had and ended up coming home with the following:

3 packs of 4 1-1/2" x 3/8" brass corner braces (later updated to 4) - $3.49/each:



And 2 brass lion head pulls - $3.79/each:



Which I used to create my DIY version of a campaign desk:




Side note: I know the pulls I chose for my desk aren't true campaign style pulls but every pull that I found that looked like a real campaign pull required a chunk of the drawer to be cut out so the pull could be recessed into it. I didn't feel comfortable with that idea so I passed on buying real campaign style pulls and bought the ones I felt more comfortable with (and liked more!) instead :)

Before I show you any more after photos, let me explain what I did first for those that would like to DIY a campaign desk of their own!

You may have noticed in the photo above that the corner braces I got from Ace have "Ace" stamped into one side:



I didn't want my desk to look like it was sponsored by their company so I simply flipped them over so I could use the non-branded side on my desk.

To start attaching the braces to my desk, I held one of them up to the corner and used it as a template to drill a 3/32" pilot hole through one of the bracket's holes:



Then I screwed one of the brass screws that came with the braces into the newly drilled pilot hole to hold the corner brace in place:



This made it easier for me to drill the other 3 pilot holes into the desk:



After the remaining 3 pilot holes were drilled, I screwed 3 more brass screws into the holes and just like that, my first corner brace was in place!:



Then I repeated the same steps above to attach the remaining 15 braces. I attached 4 corner braces to each side of the desk:

Right side:



Left side:



3 to the left side of the drawer on the front of the desk (since I had already attached the top left one):



And 4 to the right side of the drawer on the front of the desk:



Once the braces were attached, I eyeballed where I wanted my lion head pulls to go (7 1/2" in from the left and right, 1/2" down from the top) and then I drilled two, 9/64" pilot holes into the front of the drawer so I could screw two screws into the drawer from the back (one for each pull), and attach my lion head pulls:


[ Please excuse the night time photos :) ]

Once the pulls were attached, my DIY campaign style desk was complete!





Why yes, I am using a slice of agate as my mousepad :)



How about a little before and after action?

Before:



After:



Now let's do a little budget breakdown, just for fun:
  • Josephine Desk - Already owned (It'd be $139.99 if you were to buy one today)
  • 4 packs of 4 brass corner braces @ $3.49/each = $13.96
  • 2 lion head pulls @ $3.79/each = $7.58
  • TOTAL: $21.54!!!

What do you think of the transformation? Are you going to DIY some campaign furniture of your own?

I'm sharing this project on: House of Hepworths, AKA Design, One Project Closer, and Our Fifth House!

It Dries Darker

July 25, 2012

Is what I kept telling myself as I was rolling on my first coat of Benjamin Moore's "Old Navy" paint:



I had it color matched to Valspar's Signature line of paints at Lowe's because the Ace Hardware that sells Benjamin Moore's line of paint was closed and I was too impatient to wait until the next day to get the paint. Could that be the problem? The color matching, not my impatience ;)



The swatch looked so good in my house but it looks so much different on my console table! It's looks much more dull and has a grayish, almost purple tint to it instead of navy. And it never dried darker like I was hoping it would :(



However, I was determined to make things work because I'm stubborn and too cheap to buy more paint so I tried an experiment. I grabbed a clear cup and scooped some of the blue paint out of the can:



Then I took a can of black spray paint and sprayed a few sprays of black into the cup of blue paint:



And I mixed everything together really well until the paint wasn't marbled anymore:



Once everything was mixed, I painted a small swatch on a scrap piece of wood we had lying around to see if it was the deep, dark blue I was looking for and unfortunately, I saw no change. I even tried spraying more and more black into the cup hoping I'd get it right but the color never changed!



Womp, womp :( I was hoping I'd be able to share some after photos with you tomorrow but it looks like I'm heading back to the drawing board (AKA Lowe's) to choose a new paint color. Hopefully I'll find a winner and will have some photos to share with you on Monday!

In the mean time, have you ever experienced any DIY or paint color failures before? Feel free to commiserate with me in the comments!

Console Table Makeover

July 24, 2012

Some time back in 2010, I bought a zebra console table from HomeGoods for something like $120.



I liked it at the time and it went with the whole black and white thing I had going on at the time but as my style evolved, I started to like it less and less.


I didn't want to get rid of it completely because I like the chunky shape and clean lines and I thought that I should at least try to make it over into something I loved rather than going out and buying a replacement.

Side note: I started this project way back in December 2011 when I was still living in my condo so you may notice the flooring/window treatments/entire house change in future photos :)

To start the makeover, I cleared the table off:



And started ripping off the vinyl (?) zebra covering to see what kind of wood was hiding underneath:




It was particleboard. I knew it was going to be something cheap considering it was completely covered in the zebra vinyl but I was hoping for something different so I could have at least had the option to stain it down the road haha

Anyway, as I was removing the zebra vinyl, I started to remove the nailhead trim:



Eventually I had removed half of the zebra:



And more than a handful of the nailhead trim:



Once I had removed everything, I filled all of the holes with wood filler:

And then the table sat in my condo's hallway like that for 6 months until we moved into our new house. Clearly I'm on top of things around here haha

Anyway, after we finished our entertainment center, I started working on this bad boy again by sanding it all down:



Wiping it all off with a damp, lint-free cloth:



And then spraying it with primer to get it ready for painting!:




In case you're wondering, I used spray primer instead of roll-on primer because it's all I had on hand and I was too lazy to run to the store :)

Can you guess what color I decided to paint it? Check back tomorrow to find out!
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