Tag Archives: upcycle

turquoise kitchen redux

I was in love with the kitchen in our old spot: big old sink, turquoise walls, black and white checkered floor, huge windows. We put a lot of work into making it our own and I miss it dearly. The new place is a little more well-kept and the management company much more involved, so painting our new cocina turquoise was a no-no. The walls are the same gray we chose for the entire unit which, thankfully, makes a great contrasting color for my favorite shade. The first order of business was adding bits of turquoise everywhere I could. Most of this stuff had been orange in its prior life, plain wood or metal before that. I love how easy it is to update with a can of spray paint.


Shelf: $3, IKEA
Spray paint: Montana Gold Shock Turquoise, $6
Lotus bowls: .50 – $1.00, various thrift stores. I use these in almost every room of the house. I think I have around a dozen!
Mortar & pestle: gift from Papo
Yellow plastic sugar and cream containers: $3, rummage sale


Vintage shaker: $5, rummage sale
Vases: $2, thrift store
Wooden bowl: $1, thrift store
Bombay Sapphire: priceless !


Teak salt and pepper shakers: $30, A Hunted House, Washington DC
Silverware people: gift from Papo
Spice rack: $3, thrifted
Spray paint: the same Montana Gold Shock Turquoise, $6


Hook: $4 for two, Ace Hardware
Spray paint: Again, Montana Gold Shock Turquoise, $6


Coat rack: IKEA, $3
Spray paint: Of course, Montana Gold Shock Turquoise, $6
White cow: $8, thrift store
Wood art: $3-5, thrift stores


Knobs: $1.49 for SIX, IKEA

And of course, the cabinet doors came off almost immediately. The bottom doors that remained got a dose of color courtesy of the cheapest knobs ever.



When our cutlery tray proved too wide for our new drawers we were forced to improvise. These jars came from the junk store and have been used for everything: remember my mini-planter from ReadyMade? They’re perfect for spoons, forks and knives.

And that, my friends, is a turquoise-tinted kitchen. I had much better photos of the whole room put together but accidentally deleted over 150 shots from my camera. I’m hoping to find a recovery tool online lest I have to contort my body into all those weird picture-getting angles again. More of the kitchen soon…

a question for me: rehabbing old school desks

I love being asked questions. Love. I’m the master of pretending to be an authority on any subject. When I get questions in the comment section of posts on this here blog I jump up and down. Someone wants to know what I think? My suggestions? My advice? It warms my heart, seriously. So when I got this tweet from Valerie, I did a little dance and thought hard about her quandry.

Valerie told me that she found these two schooldesks in her mom’s basement. Of course she couldn’t toss them out– everyone remembers sitting in similar ones throughout gradeschool. They’re in pretty bad condition but easily salvageable with a little elbow grease and heart.

A project I recently read about on Apartment Therapy came to mind right away. The writer behind Lost and Fawned, an inspiring blog I added to my reader after the AT post, used spray paint, sand paper and Barkeepers Friend to update an old cart she found at an estate sale. Total cost? Under $10. Check out the before and afters and do browse around her great site while you’re there. I especially enjoyed this post because it featured two of my favorite things: a doggie and estate sale finds.

So we’re covered for the legs and body of the desk. What about the top?

If it is not just a matter of sanding and refinishing, Valerie could have new wood cut and installed by a carpenter. A post on Walnuthaven Cottage details one family’s experience with their old school desktop replacement.

She could also use chalkboard paint as Trey and Lucy did over here.

Lastly, Valerie could sand the whole thing down really well and paint the entire thing one color. She could leave it as is or add some flavor with a stencil or even simple polka dots, like Flickr user niftythriftygirl did right here.

I’m more a fan of the original wood myself but either paint alternative will look great if the wood is really trashed or if she doesn’t feel like fooling around with replacing it.

Thanks for the question, Valerie! Let us know how it goes!

vintage heywood wakefield desk, $150