Updating a Dry sink

Hi all! Thanks for joining me on my furniture updating kick.  My newest subject? A dry sink:

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I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve always been drawn to their quirky look and seemingly oxymoronic name.  These were typically used in places where washing was needed but where plumbing did not exist.  A pitcher and a water basin would be placed up on top for washing, and cabinets below lend space for washtowels and shaving accessories.   Nowadays, these have become more rare and perhaps, this is why I’m so drawn to them.

(*if you’ve been following along on Instagram stories, you might already have seen this guy and the progress its made. @backtoblueberryhill on IG)

Once I got mine home, I sanded the entire piece top to bottom.  I removed the doors and all the hardware for painting and decided to jigsaw the middle of the doors out.  I added chicken wire (which had been antiqued with a combo of black and copper spray paint)  to the now open holes to give them a little more character. I sprayed the hardware and knobs in the same fashion to keep the look consistent.  Next I distressed the entire piece and chose to go with the popular choice on Instagram and leave the top roughly sanded.  Lastly I sealed the entire piece with Minwax paste finishing wax.

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doors

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And little styling with some fall décor I had on hand and….

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What do you think?

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Thanks for popping by today! Have a fantastic weekend, friends!

Source List:

Paint – Benjamin Moore Rockport grey
Moscow Mule Mugs: Walmart
Basket – Crate and Barrel
Cotton Stems – Michaels
Roped Wire Basket-Marshalls

 

 

Coffee table and end table makeover

I guess I had coffee tables on the brain after I made one over for my friend (more on that here), because I found another great candidate begging to be brought back to life that I just couldn’t pass up:

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So as soon as I could, I unscrewed the tops and got out my sander.

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Then purchased a few bottles of satin black spray paint to give the gold bottoms a sleek black suit:

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Next I whitewashed the newly sanded tops (a technique I like to do to take the yellow out of the wood) and sealed everything off with Minwax paste finishing wax:

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I went back and forth on what to do with the wicker baskets… and finally decided to put a greywash on them to soften the whole look. Ready to see the end product?

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I am digging the industrial, rustic vibe they bring to our living room.

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And one side by side for kicks:

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Thank you so much for stopping in today! I hope you have a fantastic weekend XO

 

 

 

Making Benches for the Dining Room and JORD Wood Waches

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by JORD Wood Watches.  All opinions are 100% my own.

I’m very excited to be teaming up with JORD Wood Watches for this post!  The Mr. even got to benefit from this one, so it’s a win win in my book.  They create these amazing hand-crafted, unique wood timepieces and pride themselves on their watches telling “more than just time.”  So JORD, here’s our story:   We are wood working machines over here on Blueberry Hill… and this little gem matches our lifestyle just perfectly:

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(side note:  “hand model” is now being added to his resume ;-))

The Mr. is the handyman around here.  I just come up with all the crazy ideas.  Lucky for me, he likes building things and woodworking so it works out well.   This time? No different.  For weeks I’d been mulling around this horrible idea to sell our beautiful upholstered dining room chairs.  Gasp. I know… truth be told, I lost sleep over it.  But, when it came down to it, I hardly let the kids breathe near them much less sit on one so it was time for them to go.  I replaced the ‘head’ and ‘foot’ of the table with Ikea Wicker ones I’d had my eye on.  But whaaaat about the other 6 seats? Queue the Mr.   He sized up the situation and knew he could make some stools for much less than we could buy 6 new chairs for.  And that, my friends, was music to this DIYer’s ears.  It was then that he came up with the fantastic idea to replicate a stool we’d found in my grammy’s basement last year.  It was one my grandfather had made many years ago from scraps of wood and found signs. He was a highway worker by day, and a woodworker by night. I like to think I get some of my craftiness from him. 😉

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A few hours, some sawing and a drill hole or two later and voila:

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We decided to mix things up a bit and make three smaller benches for one side, and one long one for the other.  I stained, then painted them and used a sander to distress.  A coat of wax finished these babies off and I couldn’t be more excited about the results.  Ready to see?

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Bring on the spaghetti dinners this year… I can wipe these babies down after a good meal and no one would be the wiser.  Thanks for stopping in today and before you go – hop over to Jord Wood Watches   For your chance to win a $75 e-voucher.  All (yes, everyone is a winner here) who enter win a $20 e-gift card (excluding the grand prize winner).  The contest is until 8/28/16 so hop over there and claim your prize today! (Offer expires 10/31 for grand prize and 12/31 for $20 prizes).

Luxury Wood Watch

 

 

 

 

 

A Coffee Table Makeover

A friend of mine was looking for a square coffee table for her living room…and oh, how I love a good hunt.  Off to the internet I went – and found her this beauty:

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Okay… not quite beautiful, yet.  I brought it home, and gave it a good sanding:

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Then I painted the legs Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Grey:

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I chose to whitewash the top, accenting the wear and tear that it’d received over the years.  I absolutely love pieces with character.

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Lastly, I distressed the legs and waxed the entire piece.

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And… here’s how it looks today:

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I can’t wait to see it in it’s new home!   Thanks for stopping in, have a great day!

 

If you’re in the Boston area and would like help updating a piece of furniture, send me an email for a quote: kate@backtoblueberryhill.com.

‘Green’ is the New Green – Updating a Fireplace with AirStone

Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you by AirStone.  All opinions are 100% my own.

I’m really excited about teaming up with AirStone and Lowe’s to bring you today’s post!  AirStone’s newest color is coming out in 2017 and they’ve asked my help to share it with all of you.  Its natural beauty, easy install, and fantastic price are just the beginning…. let’s step back and see how it all started, shall we?

I’d been trying to ‘live’ with our green marble fireplace because, let’s face it, it’s MARBLE.  But, like many elements in the world of décor, things go out of style.  I quickly came to realize however, fireplace updates can get expensive.  Then, I came across AirStone.  It’s a ‘green’ product made of recycled materials, is fire retardant, and ‘beginner’ friendly.  Don’t have a wet saw?  No problem.  You don’t need one.   If you have a hacksaw or a masonry blade for your circular saw, you’re all set.  Don’t want to be bothered with the messy task of mixing grout?  Got you covered there too.  AirStone is applied with a pre-mixed adhesive, right over your existing surround.* That’s right – no demo required.  Simple enough?  Let’s do it.

Here’s how our fireplace used to look:

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And here’s how it looks, after we installed AirStone:

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Want to give this a try at home?  Here’s how:

We first took the box of AirStone tiles and laid them on the floor in their individual packages according to color.

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Then, we taped off a mirror image (dimensions exact) onto the floor so we could arrange, then rearrange the tiles into place.  Here’s a tip: use an equal ratio of each color stone for the best, most natural effect.  We decided to put all of the tiles horizontally,  but you can mix things up and place them vertical too.  There are square and rectangle stones also provided in the box, but we chose only to use the smaller, rectangular ones for this look.  In a nutshell – the design is really up to you and there are plenty of options to choose from.

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Next up? Installation.  We opened the premixed adhesive and with a putty knife, spread a generous amount to the back of each stone. Then starting from the bottom of the fireplace, we secured each stone.  We decided to stagger the ‘brick’ lines to give it a natural look, so the Mr. cut a few stones vertically a different size every layer or so to keep things from looking to “planned.”  Then it’s simply apply, stick, repeat until you get to the very top.  We (ahem, the Mr.) used a hacksaw to cut 1/4″ from the last layer of stones to finish everything off.

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Lastly, we covered the hearth with Limestone and finished it with molding.

Be sure to check your local Lowe’s store in 2017 to bring home your very own box of AirStone, you’ll be so glad you did!

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Thanks for stopping in today, I hope I’ve inspired you to make an update in your own home, too.

Source List:

Fireplace Surround: AirStone, found at Lowe’s (this color will be available in 2017) www.airstone.com
Wicker Chairs: IKEA
Pillow Covers: HM.com
Striped Throw: Westelm.com
Rug: Lowe’s
Wall Color: Moonshine by Benjamin Moore
Glass Demijohn bottle: Homegoods
Lamp: Ballard Designs
Milk Can: Was from my Grammy
Wood toolbox: Homegoods
Flower Stems: Joann Fabrics
Cotton wreath: craftoutlet.com
Clock: Antiquefarmhouse.com
Cup rack: Amazon
Moscow Mule Mugs: Homegoods
Wire baskets: Homegoods

 

 

 

 

Our First Free Range and 3 Things I’ve learned about Raising Chickens

We decided to let the Chickens do a little free-ranging yesterday after spotting a chunk of our lawn that had been infested with Grubs.

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Turns out, Free-Ranging can be a fun activity for the whole family:

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The chickens loved it, and so did we.

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Looks like we’ll  be making this a regular treat for both parties.

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And, now that we’ve been chicken owners for 10 weeks, here are a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Chickens poop.  A lot.  Luckily though, we built a coop on wheels so we can move it around, rake the droppings into the grass, and call it free fertilizer.  If you are thinking about raising your own chicks some day, I highly recommend building or buying one that can be moved to different areas of your yard.  This will let the lawn recover from where the chickens have ‘ranged’ and allow for easier cleanup.
  2. Chickens have personalities. Turns out, the term “pecking order” is the real deal when it comes to chickens.  Mia, the biggest of the three, is the most dominant.  She is the first one into the coop at night and calls the others to follow in behind her. She is the first to the food, or water and will peck at the others to hold her position as top chick.  Poppy, is the most daring. We call it a “him” because it’s the little man’s chicken.  Poppy will be he first one to hop out of the coop and run away from us when we try and put him into the roost.  Phoebe, the smallest of the group is the most timid.  She is the last one into the roost at night, and the first one out in the morning – as if the other’s make her go down the ramp and check to make sure things are ‘safe’ for the more dominant chickens to come down.   She also has the prettiest chirp… its more of a purring yodel than a chirp.
  3. Chickens are easy “Pets.” Once our coop was built the only maintenance they require is replenishing water and food. We change the shavings about once a week depending on how hot it is/how much time they spend in the roost (weather is the biggest factor here).  Chickens don’t like to get wet.  So if it’s a rainy week – we’ll probably need to change the coop shavings every few days.  We bought a self replenishing chicken feeder so I’d say about 1 – 2 times a week I put more food in, and the water – depending on the heat- needs to be changed whenever it gets low… the bigger the waterer, the less you’ll need to change it.

So far, we’re still happy about our decision to raise chickens.  We’re hoping, with a little luck, we’ll start getting eggs by the end of the summer… and THEN, the real fun begins.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Memorial Day!

 

Spring in the Kitchen

Springtime on Blueberry Hill is almost magical.  Out my kitchen window, what once was a view of empty trees and broken limbs, quickly becomes a sea of green leaves.  The PJMs and rhododendrons bloom a gorgeous shade of magenta and the sweet smell of lilacs fill the air through my whistling screened window.  Yes, There’s something special about this time of year.

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I’ll have to plant some annuals soon; I’m really getting used to all of this fantastic color out my window.  And perhaps get something to climb that antique ladder too!? If you have any suggestions for good “climbers” I’m all ears.

Thanks for stopping by! XO

Window buckets and a Birthday Party

The perfect excuse to get things done is to have a party.  This past weekend we celebrated little man’s 4th birthday, so that meant time to get the house and gardening in ship shape for company!

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The weather finally cooperated for us so I could plant some flowers in our window buckets without having to worry about any frost beating them up.  I headed to the local flower shop on Friday with a plan and of course as soon as I saw all of the beautiful options out there that plan went right out the window.  After about a half an hour going from one end of the place to the other, I finally made a decision on red verbena and purple bacoba.

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I’ll be sure to take an updated photo as the summer progresses to see how they look after a little more time.  Fingers crossed they’ll double in size! Thanks so much for stopping in today.

 

 

 

Real Life and A Boxer Puppy

Hi Guys! Oh boy, I can’t believe it’s been close to a month without checking in.  My apologies.  Things have been, well, a little busy around here.  Let’s catch up shall we?

First up, the baby chicks. Not so baby any more…. they are fully feathered and loving their new coop.  The kiddos have been extremely helpful with the daily chores keeping these ladies clean, fed, watered, and happy.  Hooray for responsibilities for the little ones.

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Next up?  Well – we decided to surprise the kids with a boxer puppy.  Yes.  This is one of the main reasons I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks.  We’ve been trying to “baby” proof the house again… and we’re back on the potty train.  I’ve never owned a dog before, so every day is a learning experience for me.   I will say the one constant that has kept me going is our puppy schedule.  The Mr. put together a fantastically detailed hour by hour chart and it is a godsend.  I think the puppy appreciates it too.  We have to remember he’s just a baby and still needs lots of sleep – which is hard to come by in a house full of little kiddos.  So we have to the minute when the little guy should go out to potty, eat, play sleep… repeat.  So far?  So good.  We’re having a lot of fun with him and I hope he’s happy in his new home.

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Thank you for your patience and your continued support…I hope to be back to my regularly scheduled home décor posts soon!

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Chicken Coop Update

The weather has started to cooperate again so we’ve been busy bees over here constructing/painting/figuring out how our coop is going to work ;-).  So I thought I’d give you a little update as to where we are today:

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Its a little difficult to see here but I chose to do the roost in Benjamin Moore’s Grey Owl, and the run in plain white. The Mr. wired the perimeter of the coop, which will *hopefully* keep any predators out.  (please join me in a small prayer that it works!) And we’re going to put some cedar shingles we had left over from the dining room, on the peak to add a little character. (See that little splash on the bottom of the roost?  Littlest miss wanted to help paint… and I love it!)

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And speaking of character…

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Don’t shoot! We’re almost done.   And not a minute too soon either… our “little” chicks are now almost fully feathered and ready to start using it!  I found two old windows I salvaged from the old shed we had out back and I plan on repurposing them on either side of the roost.  I also would love to add a few window boxes, flowers, and a few other details to make this little house a home for our girls.