Real Dressers Have Curves

curvesThere is nothing I love more than a bowed front dresser. The soft edge of that subtly curve in each drawer makes me weak in the knees. That’s why when I saw a posting for an estate sale 40 minutes away from my house featuring a beautiful set of bowed front dressers, I fought off the urge to sleep in and set my alarm for seven a.m. on a Saturday and headed out.

It was the second day of the estate sale, and I wasn’t super confident that the dressers would still be there. When we pulled up to the house in the middle of nowhere Maryland, I hopped out and nearly ran through the house. And low and behold, tucked back in the master bedroom of a stranger’s house, there they were. And, I found out much to my delight, half off of the listed price. I was pleased.


Note the Mad Men. Binge watching TV and painting furniture are a match made in heaven.

I wasted no time, and once we loaded them up and brought them home, I started working on them the second I could Sunday. The photo here makes the finish took like it’s in perfect condition, but believe me, it wasn’t. It needed a lot of work, and nothing updates a dingy old piece of furniture like some paint.

I should be painting outside. Get some fresh air, take advantage of the natural light, and save my hardwood floors from needing to be scrubbed with a toothbrush every few weeks to remove all the paint speckles. But I just can’t bring myself to do it consistently. It’s all too often looking like it’s about to rain or this Baltimore humidity won’t let my paint dry. In the Winter I obviously can’t paint outside, and I have gotten into a groove and system in my house I don’t feel like rearranging to do it outside. So, inside I go and keep that extra toothbrush handy.

collageI removed the hardware, cleaned out the drawers and started painting. I was using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre, so no need to prime or sand. It has great coverage and I never have problems with adhesion. After the first coat I like to add a few teaspoons of water to some paint in a separate container. This makes the second coat go on smoothly, helps the coverage, and gives a more silky finish. I nearly always water down my second coat.

After the second and final coat dried, I took a medium grit sandpaper and got to distressing. I sealed the piece with Johnson Paste Wax and took a sanding block and buffed everything to a nice finish. Doing this really makes a difference, you shouldn’t skip this part!

bleedthroughWhen I started on the second dresser, there was one spot that had a scratch just deep enough to cause the dreaded bleed through. This is the one time I do need some stain blocking primer. It took three coats of primer I applied right to the stain, but it finally covered. Some more paint, some distressing, and some waxing and I was finally done with both dressers. At four a.m. Monday morning. Happy Labor Day!

We’ve already taken them up to Sweet Clover in Frederick, MD for the monthly tag sale on September 19, 20, and 21.

Here they are finished! They really are some of my favorite style.





The First Piece I’ve Done For Myself

When I got married and moved to Baltimore, my husband already had all his furniture, fit for a bachelor pad. It was pleather, dark, brown (the only color I hate), heavy and masculine. It was purchased at Big Lots when he was 21, and although it was hideous, it was surprising sturdy and I couldn’t find a valid excuse to get rid of it.

I accessorized it all up, cute pillows, bright paintings, delicate flower vases. I made it livable, but I never liked it. And my least favorite part of it all was the dining table. It was counter height, which I’m not a big fan of, and it was prone to turning white whenever there was anything damp set on it. I literally had to iron my table after nearly every big meal.

But then one day I found this beauty sitting along the road, one block from my house. I carried it back to my house and had it sitting in my kitchen for a month, waiting for it to be turned in to the beautiful table I wanted.




The biggest problem was there were only three chairs, and we definitely needed at least four. But then we stumbled upon these gorgeous upholstered dining chairs at The Barn and we picked up 2 of them.

I was debating between Duck Egg Blue or Aubusson Blue, both Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and I settled on the richness of the Aubusson. While I’d love to match the cushions of the side chairs, I don’t have access to the fabric, so I just did a creamy tan to match the background of the arm chairs. (Tip: I actually bought a drop cloth from Home Depot for $7 to cover the seats and still have a ton left over. Much cheaper than going to a fabric store and it was a perfect match!)





Here’s the finished product:


I’m in love! Now I just have to wait 21 days for the wax to cure so I can begin using the table. That’s very important for a dining room table, it’s going to get so much use that you need to make sure it was a good finish on it. And there it is, the first ASCP piece I’ve painted for myself that I have zero intention of selling.

One more tip I’ve found with Annie Sloan: I have been watering down my final coat. When I just need a little extra coverage to fill in the gaps I missed, I water down the paint and it goes on faster, smoother and saves paint. Just a little water really makes a big difference! The more I paint with it the more I love it!

I’ll leave you just a great before and after shot! Seriously, I’m obsessed.


French dresser with ASCP

I’ve been busy getting back into the swing of things and finishing up my booth for the January sale at The Stylish Patina Barn. The time off I took around the holidays was great, but man I did miss painting.


Here’s a small French provincial dresser we picked up at an auction a few weeks ago. It’s solid and sturdy and make of cherry. The finish was nice, but it has some wear and tear and needed a good pop of color.

I put on two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence (a color I got for Christmas! Thanks, Nana Kay) and finished it with clear wax. I kept the original hardware, but I’m debating if they could use a coat of paint themselves. Maybe for next month.


There’s the finished product. I’m in love! Provence is a great color. I also got dark wax for Christmas, I may have to try that out soon too with the Provence.

Check out the other pictures of my pieces for this month’s sale at our facebook page.. This is just a preview, there’s a few more pieces to come! Stop out this weekend, January 18th to the 20th, to see all my products!

After 27 Years of Waiting


Growing up, my brothers and sister (and even my dad!) had beautiful hand knit Christmas stockings all complete with their names. And while being the youngest child by a decade (I was quite the accident surprise baby) had many advantages, getting the second round of hand made goodies from my mother never seemed to pan out.

My stocking was a cheap store bought one, with an ugly wreath on the front. I complained about it every year. And every year my mother would say she’d make me one eventually, but it never happened.

This year my sister-in-law Amy asked my mother to make her two girls, Samantha and Olivia, their own stockings. And I had to interject. I love my nieces, but there was no way they were getting stockings before I did. I waited for 27 years, and it was my time. So I put my foot down, and low and behold, my mother got all three stockings done for the holiday. Santa even put a cute little travel coffee mug in mine this year!

My husband’s is almost done, and will be ready for next year.


My mother does beautiful work. I don’t know how she has the patience or focus to do such detail oriented work, but it amazes me. I am so excited to finally have my own stocking!
Next year I’ll be stocking my booth with a few of these adorable vintage pattern stockings, and I know it’s early, but we will be taking custom orders all year.

We’re Using Power Tools Now

I can’t say enough about my husband’s involvement in Bmore Nestled. He’s always there when I need him to carry something heavy, take a day off his real job to work the Barn, or spend date night at the auction house. But more and more lately, he has great ideas for products for us too.
Here’s his latest project, and I have to say it’s awesome. A number of old doors came our way, and he came up with turning them into corner shelving units. They turned out great!
Now I didn’t take before pictures. Gasp I know, I know. But here’s a picture of something pretty darn close. The important part is if you’re going to try this at home is that the doors have vertical panels.

We started with this:


We ended up with this:

My husband and his dad worked on these for a few days over Thanksgiving, and I wish I could give you more details on how they were made, but my only role in this was cleaning the filthy doors, painting and picking out hardware (thank you Hobby Lobby! I couldn’t find any old door handles anywhere). They did let me use a power drill at one point, but that lasted about 3 minutes. I think it was mostly a photo op.

There’s my father-in-law. He’d kill me if he knew I posted his picture on the Internet, but I had to give him credit for all his hard work! He’s really a great guy and could figure out just about any project you bring to him.

The doors are available this weekend at The Barn! Don’t forget to stop on out and check out all of our awesome holiday decor as well.

My Gandmother’s House

My grandmother’s house is unlike any other house I’ve ever seen. Now it’s just your basic post WW2 quick construction, small kitchen, rounded door ways. But my grandmother was never terribly domestic, and the last time she decorated was the ’60s. Check out these pictures I snapped over Thanksgiving and revel in the glorious (and the not so glorious) mid-century modern.

There’s my family sitting in the living room. That green couch and that orange shag carpet and those rust colored chairs. This place is like a time capsule for 1960s decor. I really do love that mid-century modern china closet, though.

It wasn’t until I started taking these pictures that I realized that every light switch in the house was a big ornate decorative plate. It’s funny the little things you never notice that you see all the time. And that’s a heck of a big record player, that I don’t believe she’s ever turned on in my 27 years of life.

The word’s tiniest kitchen. Now she did have to replace the oven a few ears ago, but I love that there’s so many original appliances left. The Hotpoint range, and I want that can opener for my kitchen someday.

And finally my favorite room in the house, the bathroom. Just take all that in. The green toilet, the green carpet, the cherub wallpaper next to the faux brick accent wall. Where did these design elements come from? Those tiny swan soaps behind each faucet have probably been there for 40 years, no lie. But that seashell plant holder, seriously. Although I swear to god Pottery Barn was selling a plant basket almost identical a few years ago (it made the email rounds to all the cousins), so maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Share some of your most time specific decorated family homes on our Facebook page!

Let the Holiday Crafting Begin!


Here’s my latest Annie Sloan project, soon to be completed in Duck Egg Blue. I would have a picture of the finished product for you, but last night I was having an awful time with a few spots on the top where something was seeping through the paint. Then I tried to prime just those spots, and I didn’t wait long enough for the primer to dry and then the paint was too light. Then I sanded and tried to touch up that spot, and again didn’t wait long enough and for some reason there was wax involved and long story short, I’m going to have to sand the entire thing down and repaint the top.

But that’s the fun of these projects, right? The mistakes and experiments and then finally seeing an awesome finished product. I’m just not at the finished product yet.

Still in love with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. In fact, after I gave up on the dresser top for the night I painted another semi-circle table for my upstairs hallway. The first one already made it up to The Barn for the December sale. I’m still as impressed with the paint and obsessed with Florence.

Well it’s the day before Thanksgiving, which means Christmas crafting can officially begin! Here’s a few links to my favorite blogs/projects to help everyone get in the holiday spirit.

Eat, Drink, Chic
These are super cute free holiday printables, from gift tags to ornaments. This site has just about any free printable for any occasion you can think of, so I highly recommend checking this out if you’re hosting any events this season.

Gifts in a Jar
Have a ton of neighbors? A thousand cousins? Here’s a great collection of simple but adorable gifts in a jar. Cheap, easily mass produced and you can decorate the jar to personalize!

DIY Snow Globe
I made some of these last week, and they’re about as adorable as they can be. It was super fun to find all the different jars to make into winter wonderlands. I did a salt shaker and a sugar bowl too!

Primitive and Proper
Primitive and Proper is the blog of the lovely Cassie who also is part of The Barn. Her blog is wonderful, and she just posted an awesome idea to use all those old cookie cutters you inherited from your mother/grandmother. You could spend hours looking through her posts, and don’t miss out on her house tour. It’s stunning. There’s not too much that makes me want a big house and leave the city, but I’m way jealous of her place!