Posts Tagged ‘r•home magazine’


darling octopus and r•home magazine – the november issue

October 31, 2012

This months do-it-yourself article for R•Home Magazine is all about chalk paint. If you pay any attention to DIY, Pinterest, or painted furniture I’m sure you have heard of chalk paint. But you may not have tried it – there seems to be only one producer of chalk paint, Annie Sloan. And although her product is pretty wonderful it is also pretty expensive (usually costing upwards of $40 a quart, ouch!) And it is hard to come by – only stocked by a handful of stores. It is now available near Richmond, in Ashland, at a store called the Thrill of the Hunt.

But crafty people everywhere have been making their own recipes for chalk paint and I share one in my latest R•Home article. It is super easy to put together and pretty close to the Annie Sloan version.

Here are some pretty chalk paint pieces to inspire you:








Annie Sloan also makes this amazing clear and dark wax. Even if you decide to make your own chalk paint I recommend trying her waxes. The clear is just a good finish for the chalk paint and the dark adds age.



darling octopus and r•home magazine – the july issue

June 28, 2012

The new R•Home Magazine is out and my how-to article is all about creating a fun space in your backyard. I take an old window and make it into an outdoor chalk board – perfect to entertain your kids on these hot summer days.

Writing this how-to wasn’t much of a stretch outside of my comfort zone. And now I think it’s time for me to admit it. I have a chalk board obsession!

When I started to think about it I realize that with this new chalk board we now have a total of 4 chalk boards at our house. That’s kind of a lot, right? Part of the problem is that I am a list maker and the chalk board really comes in handy and it is great kid entertainment.

Here is our kitchen chalk board – and it gets the most use. We write down things as we run out of them so I remember to pick them up at the store. I recovered the top cork board section with a piece of fabric to make it a little cuter.


This vintage chalk board hangs in the office area of my mom cave. It has a picture for each letter of the alphabet and the “G” had a gun drawing. I found a goat sticker and covered up the gun. I didn’t want to deal with the “What is that a picture of, Mommy?” question.


And you might remember this craft project –  a kids table painted with a chalk board top. I will warn you that once you buy the chalkboard paint you will want to use it on everything.

And one more idea to leave you with. I haven’t made these yet myself but I think these wine glasses look like a fun project. Everyone could write their name on their glass so things don’t get confused. You can get the directions at Vivaciously Vintage.

Photo from Vivaciously Vintage.


darling octopus and r•home magazine – may issue

April 27, 2012

My article in this months R•Home magazine is all about closet doors. I re-did these door in my basement and they might be the most elegant doors to hide a hot water heater!

We are just finishing a bathroom remodel which included a bonus closet in our master bedroom. (I use the word “master” loosely – it’s the largest bedroom in our house but come on, it didn’t even have a closet!) Anyway, at the end of the remodel, and over budget of course, we don’t really have $400 dollars, or more, for cool closet doors. So my plan is to buy the cheapest doors around and fancy them up!

I bought these hollow core doors for less than $60 for four panels at Lowes. They are hideous, I know! But they are totally flat. A blank surface for my creativity. I am thinking about wallpaper with molding around the edges. I will make sure to post a photo when I am done. Here are the doors that are inspiring me:

from S. R. Gambrel

From House Beautiful


From Houzz

From Martha Stewart Living


darling octopus and r•home magazine – march issue

March 6, 2012

Pick up this months R•Home magazine and you will see one of my chair re-do’s step by step. I give you all of my secrets!

Everything looks so pretty in the magazine but it’s not all so glamorous behind the scenes. The photographer had a special assistant at this photo shoot – frankie!

That’s right, not only did he have to worry about lighting and composition, he also had to work around this snorting, snaggle tooth pug who thought he should be in every picture. Or we should at least stop everything and rub his belly!

The other two guys around my house who are always trying to get in on the action are Jasper and Emerson. Here they are posing with the chair before her big makeover:

One more thing that I wanted to tell you is that this chair is not alone! I have three more just like her and a dining table that are all going to get the same treatment and become a set. If you are going to paint your furniture the pieces don’t need to match perfectly. The table I have is not originally part of the set with the chairs but once it is all painted the same I doubt you will be able to tell.


darling octopus & r•home magazine

December 23, 2011

Go out and get the January issue of R•Home magazine! There you can read my article about shopping for vintage furniture and home decor in RVA. There are lots of useful hints and a resource list of some of my favorite shopping spots.

I thought it might be fun to elaborate on some of my ideas in the magazine. I found this armoire at the Salvation Army on Midlothian Turnpike but you know you see one of these at every thrift store and yard sale you go to. Flat screen TV’s are making them an obsolete piece of furniture but you could always re-purpose them.


Turn it into a cute home office and just close the doors when you’re done working.

photo from

Or check out this adorable kids art center!

image from

I thought this dresser was almost perfect. I love the shape and the color I would just add some new hardware to make it look a little more modern.


My favorite source for cool drawer pulls is Anthropologie. I regularly shop their clearance section – there you will find pulls for as little as $3 each! Below are two picks that I think would look awesome!

photo from anthropologie

photo from anthropologie

I am the queen of the chair re-do. I know I have re-done more chairs than any other piece of furniture. It is hard for me to pass up a chair with good bones because it is usually pretty easy to give it a new look.


Here are some of my past chair projects that might inspire you.

Victorian Chair

Kid Friendly Laminated Cotton Chair

Curvy Chair

Next issue, I will be showing you how to re-do a chair, step by step, with very detailed directions! Yeah R•Home – Yeah DIY!

PS – You can read my first R•Home article, all about shopping for vintage furniture, online now!


design*sponge in rva!

November 11, 2011

R•Home is blowing my mind. First Eddie Ross, then Maxwell from Apartment Therapy, and now, Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge. Could it get any better? (I am voting for Jonathan Adler next year. Are you reading this Brandon?)

Anyway, I am so excited to listen to Grace Bonney talk about her blog and her new book. Design*Sponge is so incredibly inspiring. Their before and afters are my favorite (of course!)

R•Home for the Holidays is a little different this year – it will take place during the day, include lunch and optional workshops. And I will be conducting one of the workshops – yeah! I will be talking about DIY furniture re-do’s. I will share some of my before and afters along with some great hints to help you tackle new projects.

I would really love to see some of you there! So come out Wednesday, November 16th, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Plant Zero. You can get more information here.


make me pretty – a victorian chair made kid friendly

August 3, 2011

When Courtney, from R•Home magazine, got in touch with me about doing a chair for her daughters’ lounge I had the perfect piece in mind. I had given it the nick name of the “granny chair” because with the current upholstery it looked so old (and not in a good way!) But I knew if I painted the dark wood, and put on some cool fabric, this chair would be amazing. It has such a cool shape – low to the ground, and springs in the seat that make it super comfy.

I sent Courtney this picture of the Granny Chair and she agreed to go for it. Either she really trusts me or she has a great imagination!

Courtney and I started talking about fabric. She told me the colors in the room and then she asked if I had ever reupholstered something in oil cloth. That might sound strange, but I totally understand where she was coming from! With kids you always worry about how long it will take them to destroy your furniture.

But I had a great solution in mind – laminated cotton. I had used some to re-do these outdoor chairs and it is awesome. It is thinner than oil cloth, so it’s easier to work with, but the laminate protects the fabric in a similar way.

I knew just where to go for all things oil cloth and a huge selection of laminated cotton – Modern June. Anyone can shop her Etsy store but she is conveniently located in Richmond so I arranged to pick up the fabric and save on shipping.

With all my supplies in hand I was ready to get started. I was super excited, and a little nervous, to use my new super powerful upholstery staple gun. I borrowed my “best neighbor in the world” Bill’s air compressor and got started. I was a little scared about all this new power but a couple minutes into it I was totally hooked. Power tools rock!

I cut out my fabric too big, and cut off the extra once it was stapled. It helps to have some extra fabric to pull on when you are trying to get things tight. I put all the fabric on and then glued on the trim. This makes it sound so easy but there is much more involved. I think the hardest part is getting the fabric to look smooth and the necessary creases to not be too noticeable.

Here she is all finished. I am so pleased with how it turned out! And I think Courtney is pretty happy too!

Jasper likes to try out all my chairs for me. He is a great helper!