Distressing Your Dresser

Quality furniture can and should last you a lifetime. Your furniture is extremely versatile in looks. The entire look of a chair can change just by being reupholstered. Old mirrors can become art pieces. Dressers can become something you never thought you could own. Let us add character to that old dresser that you have always hated. The one that you cannot seem to find a spot for, yeah that one. Distressing the piece will make your dresser a chic, timeless piece.


Supply List:

  • An old dresser
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Paint Base Coat
  • Polyurethane (Finishing Coat)
  • Paint Brush 


1.  Prepare your workspace.

Distressing your dresser involves sanding and painting so consider moving the dresser to an area that can get a bit messy (your garage, backyard, etc).

2.   Begin sanding 

Grab your sandpaper and begin gently sanding the dresser. 

3.   Wipe down your piece

After you have sanded the dresser, take your “tack cloth” and wipe down the dresser.

  • Tack Cloth is a cloth that has been processed with a sticky adhesive in order to pick up any leftover particles, dust, etc. (This can be purchased at any home improvement store).

4. Apply the base coat

You will begin to paint your entire dresser with the base coat paint. You can choose whatever color you would like for this step. 

  • Make sure to buy a satin latex paint for your base coat.

5. Let the furniture dry

6. Grab your sandpaper

Once the dresser is completely dry, you can begin sanding areas that you would like to look distressed. 

  • Note: Distressed dressers are meant to look like they naturally became that way. Think about the places that would have become distressed over time and begin sanding those areas.

7. Wipe it down

Grab your tack cloth again and wipe down your dresser to get rid of the leftover particles. 

8. Apply a paint finish

You can use Polyurethane to finish off your dresser.

You have now created a timeless piece of furniture from an item you once hated. Remember, you can distress a wide variety of your furniture items and we hope you love your “new” old dresser.

The Influence of Dark and Light in Design

When formulating a design strategy for your home, it is important to consider how light and dark will influence your choices in flooring, furniture and wall color.  Keep in mind what direction your home faces, which rooms are cooler or warmer, and which areas of the house have minimal natural light available.  These are all pieces of useful information you will need to bring out the best parts of your home’s traits.  It will also help you provide solutions to some of its disadvantages.


Rooms that receive a lot of natural light can afford to be decorated with darker furniture and flooring.  The rich colors will come to life when the sun shines through.  Using a lighter but vivid wall color with your decor will also keep the focus on the room’s darker aspects and keep the design looking dramatic. If the light coming from the windows is insufficient in the next room on your list, try using a lighter color palette to help make the room appear larger and less dingy.   Bright earth tones will give the room a crisp, refreshing look. Pair it with glass decor and mirrors for artificial light sources to reflect in order to counteract the darkness.


Proper lighting coverage in each room of your home will help provide the best contrast from dark to light when transitioning from day to night. No matter how well some rooms may receive the sunshine, they will all be needing artificial sources of light by day’s end.  Do not underestimate the usefulness of a light dimmer. This will allow you to stage each room with the proper amount of light needed depending on the time of day, room design or even to please your houseguests.  Bedrooms can use softer yellow bulbs while high traffic areas can use a sharper white light to keep things bright and active.


Finally, consider how the use of cooler and warmer colors can be beneficial to the appearance of each room to help accentuate the light and dark to its best advantage.   Each space needs to feel comfortable and inviting. Mixing colors, textures and lines as your baseline in design will allow you to come up with the most flattering contrasts in your home.

Your Personal Indoor Garden

No matter where you live, growing a garden outside is not an option for you. Personal gardens can have several health benefits. You will always know where your food is coming from and that they are always 100% organic. It is important for us to take health seriously, because there are many unknowns in our food nowadays. Let us eliminate those unknowns with your personal herb garden. 


How to plant an indoor herb garden: 

  1. Choose a space that gets at least six hours of sunlight. 

It is important to place your herbs in a spot that gets at least six hour of sunlight. The sunlight will ultimately increase the taste of your herbs and it helps your herbs to make their necessary oils. 

  1. Pick out your container. 

You will need to consider separating your herbs. Certain herbs will prefer dry soil whereas some will want a lot of water. You can place your herbs into different containers or pots and label them with a chalkboard sign. The chalkboard signs will help you to distinguish which herb is which. 

3.    Decide what herbs you want. 

Grow herbs that you know you will use. A lot of popular herbs are less expensive to grow than uncommon ones. Make sure to do research before deciding which herbs you want to plant. You may decide to plant some herbs during different seasons, because of sunlight restrictions. 

4.    Plant your herbs. 

Gather your pots, soil and chalkboard signs. As you begin to plant your herbs, be aware that herbs need room in your pot. Sprinkle soil at the bottom of your pot/container then put in your herb. After the herb is in place, fill the rest of the container with soil. Depending on your herb, water it as soon as you plant it. 


Note: Gifting your herbs can be an extremely thoughtful gift. Start the planting process for your family/friend then gift them with a beautiful potted herb. 


You can enjoy your new indoor herb garden by trying out some new food recipes! Invite family and friends over for a delicious meal that was seasoned with food grown by you. 


Hummingbirds have been a longtime favorite to many homeowners. They are quick, little beauties that show up around your yard seeking satisfaction from sweet nectar. Hummingbirds do not exclusively love the sweet nectar you provide in your feeder, but they enjoy an array of “nectar producing flowers.” Surprisingly, hummingbirds eat small insects as well. If you are ever struggling with bugs entering your hummingbird feeder, experts encourage you to leave them as a nice snack with their meal. 


Preparing your hummingbird feeder is quite simple. Just always remember the ratio 4 to 1 (sugar to water). You will need to heat your water until the sugar combines with the water, but be careful not to overheat your sweet nectar. You can store your nectar in the refrigerator for two weeks without complications. 


Note: The nectar you are providing the hummingbirds is a “supplement” to the birds. Experts say not to invest in sugars that have extra additives and vitamins. 


If you are looking to attract more hummingbirds to your yard, buy plants that produce a natural nectar and are the color red. In fact that is why the feeders are red, hummingbirds are attracted to this hue. You may have heard of putting red food coloring in your nectar to attract the birds. We encourage you not to use red dye, because it can be potentially dangerous to the hummingbirds. 


Cleaning your hummingbird feeder is essential to keep the birds happy. Hummingbirds are extremely picky with the cleanliness of homeowners’ feeders. Some say that the birds would rather not eat than consume your spoiled nectar. 

  • Never use soap when cleaning out your feeder.  Studies have shown that the birds do not like the taste and will choose not to eat your nectar. 
  • Completely remove any uneaten nectar from the feeder. Take into account how much you are throwing out between each cleaning. If the birds are not eating all the nectar you have provided, decrease the amount of nectar you put into the feeder. 
  • Your feeder will need a deep cleaning at last once a month with bleach. Make sure to fully rinse out all bleach before using. 


We want to make hummingbirds happy, because they tend to make us happy when they are around our yard. We encourage you to follow these tips provided. Have you had success with any different ideas than the ones listed above? If so, we encourage you to share below in the comment section. 

Painted Cabinets Make Kitchen Light and Bright


When you’re designing your new Fulton Kitchen, it’s worth considering painted cabinets. They add a light and inviting look to your food preparation space, and keep everything feeling light and bright. With lighter countertops and under-cabinet lighting like this kitchen in the Caravan model in Central Vermont at Cooley Station, the entire room is designed to create a supportive mood that makes it easy to spend time in this kitchen.

There are still a few darker elements for contrast, like the oven and microwave and the comfortable stools at the pull-up eating area on the island. Accessories also add nice pops of color. But the overall mood is light and easy on the eyes.kitchen-1w

Notice how the accent wall, shown at the back of this photo going into the dining area, provides another contrasting element. At the same time the white dining chairs connects this space with the kitchen.

This is a smart connection between the two spaces, linking them both while still providing a source of much-appreciated contrast. The darker wall also supports a cozy ambiance which is appreciated in a dining space. Notice also the colorful tablescape where the accessories link it to the island. These choices make a home look more like a designed space rather than creating a more scattered feeling. kitchen-6w

Don’t be afraid to mix dark and painted wood. You can see how well it works with this dining table and chair set. The shabby-chic effect on the painted chairs keeps them from seeming too matchy-matchy with the cabinets while still creating a link. While the painted chairs bring the painted kitchen cabinet feel into the space, the dark stained wood echoes other pieces used in the rest of the home. This type of mixing allows you to add just a few new pieces without having to discard the bulk of your furniture if you choose to go in a different style or color direction with your new home.


Take a look at another way this kitchen provides contrast without going dark. The addition of one glass-fronted cabinet in the corner adds a welcome and interesting break in the line of top cabinets. Both the height difference and the contrast of the glass add a welcome change in the design. And limiting the glass front to only one cabinet is also a smart budget strategy, because window doors are more expensive. They also require you to maintain tidier cabinets, which can be a nuisance.


In another opportunity to add an interesting contrast, the island is a soft grey/taupe rather than white. This color works well with the chosen countertops and the flooring, yet it helps the island feel like something special. Choosing a different cabinet color for your island is daring, yet as you can see it can work well.

One reason this color choice works is because the same taupe is echoed in the kitchen’s backsplash. If you notice, the mid-range tone is a close match for the island cabinet color. When you can find ways to make those kinds of connections, you will end up with a kitchen that feels integrated and well thought out.kitchen-3wIt’s interesting to realize that there are actually three fairly strong patterns present in this kitchen: the flooring, the countertops and the backsplash. You can see all three in the photo above. This could easily feel like too much if the contrast within or among the patterns was stronger. Imagine these same patterns in vivid reds and oranges! But because they are all gentle and light in color, the number of patterns isn’t overwhelming. In fact, you almost need these patterns to keep the kitchen interesting. In a way, the patterns take the place of a stronger light/dark contrast you would see in some other kitchens.

Here’s the final interesting design decision with this light bright kitchen. The rest of the open floorplan was designed to focus your eyes in that direction. The diagonal flooring draws the eye toward the kitchen, and the brightness of the space contrasts with the mid-range colors of the dining and family room to draw you toward the light just like a sunflower turning to face the sun. kitchen-7w

The rest of the home is warm and welcoming, with other white elements that mimic the light kitchen such as the sofas in the family room as you can see above. But linking it all, the heart of this home, is the light and bright kitchen, made for a family to live in, eat in, and spend time together in, and above all, enjoy. And that’s the best use you can make of a kitchen, isn’t it?








Ideas for Decorating a Vaulted Room

Decorating a vaulted room can be an exciting undertaking. A few key things to consider when decorating spaces with vaulted ceilings are artwork, curtains and lighting. Here are a few tips for each category.

First, hanging artwork is a great way to decorate a room with vaulted ceilings. There are a few tricks for hanging artwork in a room with an arched ceiling. First, it is important to mimic the ceiling line to complement it. Also, keep wall art around eye level. Finally, vertical rather than horizontal artwork works better with a vaulted ceiling.

Next, curtains are excellent for rooms with vaulted ceilings. There are many options for how to hang them from covering the whole wall or framing windows. There are also many choices when selecting curtains like color, fabric style, and length. Fabric styles vary and have various benefits. For example, polyester is affordable, sturdy and long lasting. Cotton curtains are another option; they drape well, and go well with a modern décor. You can choose sheer cotton for an airy feel or a tightly woven cotton for more privacy. Silk curtains also drape well, and are heavier than cotton. Silk curtains can be damaged by too much sun exposure, so it is important to protect them; they also require dry cleaning, which is something to consider. Linen curtains are also dry clean only, and drape nicely. Natural light easily seeps through the fabric, as it is sheer. Velvet curtains are always a classic choice. They look elegant, and insulate well. Velvet is a heavy fabric, and is a good option for drafty rooms. Finally, lace is another option. Because of the sheer nature of the fabric, lace curtains provide an airy light feel to a room.

Finally, lighting a room with vaulted ceilings is another key feature to make the space look its best. There are several options to choose from, and it is recommended that one layers the lighting by choosing several options. For starters, pendant lights work well. They are often suspended by chains or rods. There are a wide variety of sizes and shapes from which to choose. Another option is track lighting; track lighting is often used with a sloped ceiling. This option allows for greater control over the direction of the light source. The lights situated on the track can be manipulated to face multiple directions at one time. Recessed lighting is also a good choice. Recessed lighting is an excellent choice for adding ambiance to an environment. It can be used to spotlight artwork, or a specific area of the room. Finally, wall lighting is also effective. Wall sconces are an excellent choice in a room with a vaulted ceiling as they can direct light in multiple directions highlighting the height and depth of a room with a vaulted ceiling.

These are a few ideas to help you decorate a room with vaulted ceilings. Please contact us if you have any questions!

Your Guest Bedroom

If you love to entertain, you understand the importance of having a spare bedroom. An extra bedroom gives guests a comfortable escape from the traditional “couch stay.” No matter the length of their stay, you want guests to feel at home when they stay with you. Guest bedrooms can take on an array of different styles, but there are some essential factors that contribute to an wonderful stay!


1. Keep it cozy. 

Stuffed animals and decorative pillows all over the bed can be cute, but it can also be a hassle to remove each night. Consider keeping the bed as simple as possible for the guests.  

Make sure that if you keep your AC low to provide your guests with extra blankets. There is nothing worse than being cold all night. 


2. Provide an extra phone charger. 

It becomes really difficult to remember to pack everything when you are sleeping at someone else’s home. Phone chargers can be easily forgotten, but they are essential for the next day. Guests will be pleasantly surprised by this feature and it will not go unnoticed. 


3. Dress it up with a mirror.

Mirrors are extremely versatile. They provide a useful feature as well as a stylish one.

If you have a smaller room, consider putting in a large mirror on one of the walls. This tends to make the room look larger than it actually might be. 

Everyone loves a full-length mirror. They are perfect for putting on the final touches to your outfit and making sure everything is in check. If you have room, add a full-length mirror in or near the guest bedroom. 


4. Incorporate a desk/vanity. 

A desk gives your guests somewhere to sit down and write, but it can also be a place filled with necessary items. 

Think about items you would like to have in or on your desk (note pad, pens, pencils, etc.) 


5. Add storage with a dresser.

Your guest will need somewhere to put all of their belongings. If you do not have a closet, make sure to provide them with a dresser. Guests tend to keep the room neater when they have somewhere to put all of their things. 

Trend alert: Try using the dresser as a night stand! 


6. Be Bold.

This is your chance to be bold in your design skills. If you were afraid to try something in your own room, try it out in the guest bedroom! Take a chance with that paint color you were always hesitant to try out; you may be pleasantly surprised.  


7. Light it up.

Lighting can be a very important feature in your guest bedroom. Look for areas of the room with low-lighting and add a lamp. 

If you have room, put a lamp/lighting near the bed for nighttime reading.

Use Antiques to Add Visual Interest to Your Home

Antiques tell a story, hold a bit of mystery to them and always add character to a space.  That’s why it can usually add to the beauty of your home to add a bit of decor to it from time’s past.  Whether large or small, commonplace or unusual, antiques can draw the eye and be a conversation starter.  Collecting items for your home can be very exciting and you may want to start incorporating things right away but your best bet is to do a little research first.  Find out what styles you prefer by visiting a few thrift shops, flea markets and antique stores.  A pattern may emerge and you might notice that you are drawn to a distinct time, styles originating from a certain country or pieces produced by a popular designer of the past. Once you know what you’re looking for, the process can begin!


When it is time to introduce older items into your home’s design, a gradual approach is always best. While you may be a big fan of certain pieces, you also want to be sure that they will look appropriate in your home once you’ve purchased them.  Sprinkle items throughout the space to create flow and allow their placement to look more natural.  Simple ideas can be an old-fashioned spice rack in the kitchen, a gilded mirror in the bathroom and matching antique lamps for your bedroom nightstands. Larger furniture pieces can be used in guest rooms in the form of a dresser or in the dining room with a buffet. 


While some of these suggestions are more functional in nature, it is still a good idea to add artistic pieces to your home. Miniature statues, delicate vases and beautiful artwork will only add charm to a living space.  When properly spaced, guests will be able to appreciate all the modern amenities in your home, while enjoying the old-world appeal of your decor. So, get out there and explore the antique world to find out which pieces best evoke your sense of style!

How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 17: Variety

Variety is used in interior design to prevent a space from becoming too dull and predictable.  Incorporating elements different than the ones currently existing in the space helps add interest and excitement.  Even in the most subdued designs, creating a focus through slight variations of elements will add significance to the room’s layout.  This unpredictability will help draw attention to the space and add diversity to the design.


We previously discussed the principle of unity and how the viewer’s eye automatically seeks out a pattern when entering a room.  Variety seems to be the opposite principle, but they need to work together to make a layout successful.  Having one without the other would make a design appear unpolished and boring.  Here are some ways to incorporate variety throughout your home without sacrificing the unity of its arrangement.


Line:  If your living room furniture is arranged in straight, predictable lines, consider placing a few pieces at different angles to open the space to make it more comforting and accessible.  To soften up a kitchen’s lines, add circular stools at the island bar.  A circular table set in a room with vertically lined wall paper adds variety as well.


Color:  An accent wall in a complementary color to the room’s furnishings, a pop of color from a hanging art piece and a bright area rug are all things you can incorporate in your design.  Using different colors with your accessories will also make it easier to change them out during different times of the year depending on your changing preferences.


Form:  If there are a lot of angular pieces in the room, mix it up with a few curved items.  A large vase placed near the fireplace, round side tables for each end of a sofa or an Edison bulb fixture over the dining room table are all good examples.


Texture:  Smooth, sleek textures make a room feel cooler and more formal while thicker textures create an inviting atmosphere.  If you have a leather couch, add a warm blanket.  Use a small area rug in front of the sink or stove section in the kitchen to simultaneously add interest and comfort underfoot. 


Light:  Light can be used to bring focus to an area of the room at night time through spotlights on built-in shelves or you can create a statement by installing a detailed chandelier in the dining area.


Pattern:  An asymmetrical pattern will immediately draw the eye and give the room a playful look.  A pattern placed in a room will a lot of solid colors will give the viewer something more striking to look at.

How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 16: Unity

The principle of unity is the concept of pulling all the elements and principles of interior design together to create a connected look to the space you are decorating.  To ensure that the result is successful, it is essential to plan and decide what the dominant features of the room will be.  This will prevent the room’s design from becoming overwhelmed with an abundance of focal points.


Connecting the elements can be done in multiple ways that will result in the grouping of certain pieces together while keeping each section cohesive to the overall arrangement.  Upon entering a room, the viewer’s eye automatically looks for a pattern to recognize.  Having a sense of order to a design creates an inviting environment which the viewer seeks out involuntarily.


Elements can be grouped together by proximity, similarity, continuation and alignment.  Proximity is the method of placing items close together to make it obvious that they are related to one another.  A sofa with accompanying loveseat and coffee table is an example of this.  A group can be assembled through similarity by placing repetitive items together.  Using items similar in color, size or shape will accomplish this.  A blue area rug under an upholstered chair with blue accent pillow staged in front of a painting with a similar shade of blue in it is a good representation of this method.  Alignment is achieved through the lining up of edges to bring focus to them.  Coordinating chairs at a kitchen island or lining up artwork frames on a wall are obvious displays of alignment. Finally, continuation provides direction from one element to another through signified lines, curves or edges.  The light beaming down from a chandelier can lead the viewer’s eye to a circular coffee table surrounded by a half-moon shaped sofa with globe lamps at each end. 


When deciding which groupings to use for the space, remember to maintain the main theme of the room.  Keep a common motif that binds them all together no matter what proximity they are to one another.