Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Painted Furniture Inspiration

I have a soft spot in my heart for antique furniture.  There is so much character in older pieces -- not just in their angles and curves -- or their handcrafted details -- but also in their history.  These pieces have character -- and a story all their own.  It is my hope to inspire and teach you how easy it is to rescue, restore and redecorate these classic pieces that you may have unearthed on craigslist or at flea market -- or rediscovered in your attic.  I want to share the following pieces and their stories.  You can create similar finishes simply using the Amy Howard at Home One Step paint -- followed by a quick application of one of my Antiquing products.

19th Century Chests of Drawers
These chests are from Sweden in Gustavian style circa 1860
They are on sale for $10,500

Antique Secretary
This 18th century Swedish Baroque Period secretary was made in the 1780s
The price is $11,500

Pine Bench
This bench is from Sweden circa 1840
It is on sale for $2,925

Antique Swedish Mora Grandfather Clock
This antique grandfather clock is defined by its curves
which hails from Mora Sweden
This elegant clock dates back to 1820
It has a gorgeous grey painted finish
It is for sale for $3,175

Notice the delicate wear around the edges and the areas where there would have been gentle wear. There is no need for a piece that you paint to look overly dirty or too worn. Think of it as a fine antique that was cherished!

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate

Instructions and Products
are available on

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One Step Color Palette Inspiration

One of my favorite color palettes is the use of neutral grays with a touch of blue. We have a few different greys and blues within the 42 One Step paint colors but here I have chosen to use Metropolitan Grey, Paige Blue, and Luxe Grey.

One Step Color Palette:
Metropolitan Grey, Paige Blue, and Luxe Grey

The addition of the blue bedding works beautifully
The stripes add a new dimension to this bedroom
I like the addition of the blue pillows to the bedding
Gorgeous antique pieces
Adding color to your cabinets is one way to bring life into your kitchen
I like the gray walls in this room
Again the use of a neutral blue for the kitchen cabinets
I like the use of blue for the fabric on the seat of this bench at the end of the bed
Gorgeous tones of blue and grey on the chest
I think the use of silver gilding on the frame works well
I love to use fabric for headboards

Crafting a Beautiful Life™

Monday, July 28, 2014

AHAH Before & After Projects

Monday is our official Before and After showcase day.  I find transformation not only inspiring but deeply moving.  So often we take what we see for granted.  We often operate under the assumption that things, people, situations simply are what they are.  However, I have come to find that almost everything is in a chrysalis state.  We must simply look past -- scratches and scars -- ugly paint -- or a little extra weight.  What it comes down to -- is how we elect to see ourselves and the world around us.  It is my hope that if I can show you how to Restore, Restore and Redecorate something as easy as dresser -- that you can apply this hope and vision to the other facets of your lives.  There is beauty everywhere -- sometimes it just needs to be coaxed forward. 

Before: Dresser
After: Dresser
This piece completely changes the look of the room.
It was painted in the Amy Howard At Home Bauhaus Buff One Step Paint.

Before: Side Table
After: Side Table
This piece was painted with the Selznick Grey One Step Paint.
I love the way it was put in between these twin beds!

Before: Planter
After: Planter
This great piece was painted with One Step Paint.
They used a part Granite with 2 parts Vintage Afflication.
Thanks Modern History Collection for sharing! 

Before: China Cabinet
After: China Cabinet
This cabinet was painted with the Luxe Grey One Step Paint and 
followed by the antiquing steps with the Light Wax, Dark Wax, and Dust of the Ages.
Thank you Royal Room!

Crafting a Beautiful Life™

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lacquer Ideas

Happy Friday Followers and Fellow Furniture Lovers...

Fridays are perfect for formulating and solidifying the weekend plan of attack. A simple and easy way to change the feel of your room - is to use paint. To that end, I wanted to share with you some ideas that are quick in execution and epic in design.

My line of Lacquers produce a thick, rich, hard and high gloss finish to give your DIY project that perfect pop of amazing color.

But, let's be honest, when we think of undertaking a painting project - we immediately think - goodness, this is going to require a drop cloth, a roll brush, one of those paint pans, and a paint can opener - some meditative music - some paint thinner for all mistakes that I am bound to make...

NOT SO with the Amy Howard At Home Lacquer - all you need is to aim and spray. You can transform any piece of furniture - a frame, table, dresser - into an edgy, chic, and high fashion statement piece. This spray-on magical wonder is exclusive to Amy Howard At Home. The quick DIY Lacquer is available in 21 different colors - including metallics - because who doesn't love something shiny.

Black chest
Gorgeous blue chair
Green and white
Love the fabric used here with the color!
Pop of teal
Purple frame and console
Red chairs
Seaside Cabinet

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate.

All products and instructions are available on

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Retailer: Estate Treasures

Our Featured Retailer this week is Estate Treasures located in Panama City, Florida. The shop offers both old and new, estate furniture, jewelry, china, pottery, and glassware. They "love anything vintage and are dedicated to offering a wonderful selection of affordable, vintage, and new items."
Their paint display, the piece that the paint is displayed on is a 
100 year old work bench that came form an estate they did.
Wanda owns two stores, one in the historic district of downtown Panama City called Estate Treasures with a sister store located on Panama City Beach, called Coastal Cottage Emporium. The Amy Howard At Home products are available in Estate Treasures with Coastal Cottage Emporium offering more coastal themed décor as well as a few antiques and vintage items. 

"Estate Treasures features antiques and vintage items as well as a selection of new items that they buy at market. They also liquidate estates, which is where many of our antique pieces come from. They have started using the Amy Howard paints to give older, overlooked pieces an updated modern look that can fit into any décor."

Wanda has been in the antique business for over 30 years. She opened Panama City's first ever antique mall. Understanding that downtown areas were being redeveloped into new "hotspots," Wanda saw a opportunity to become part Panama City's historic district so after many years she moved the business to Harrison Ave., the "main street" of downtown. After 10 years and with a desire to own a smaller business where she could control the quality of merchandise in the store and to focus on high end jewelry, she sold the Antique Mall in 2001 and opened what would become Estate Treasures. She has been in the same location, still downtown, for the last 8 years.

In 2011, Wanda decided it was time to branch out and so in April of 2012, she opened Coastal Cottage Emporium. She wanted to have a store on the beach that catered not only to guests with vacation homes but also to locals that lived on the beach year round. To achieve that, they decided the merchandise needed to be "beachy". Coastal Cottage Emporium has more of the painted and reclaimed furniture, although with it's popularity on the rise, they have started to offer that look in the downtown location on a smaller scale.

Here is one of the pieces that Wanda has refinished.

A china cabinet from the 50's

"These cabinets were rarely lit inside so to update it, I painted the inside ballet white, this allowed beautiful pieces inside the cabinet to be shown. I painted the outside Charm School red, because I wanted to showcase the beautiful workmanship of the cabinet I left the marquetry natural, as shown in the stripes. All done in Light wax. "

Estate Treasures

Wanda Hicks
500 Harrison Ave
Panama City, FL 32401
(850) 215-3782
Store Hours: 
Monday through Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-4pm

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Antique Inspiration

A great resource to find inspiration as I have said before is antiques. If you are not able to physically go antique shopping, there are many sources online now to browse though. One I love to see what is available is 1st Dibs. There are antiques from all periods, places,etc. I have found a few pieces below that inspired me with ways that you could take on your own project using the Amy Howard At Home products. 

Pair of Louiz XV Style Painted Armchairs
These chairs are from France in the style of Louis XV circa 1900 
They are on sale for $1,800
Now you could use the Gilding Supplies to finish accents on your chairs
You must simply use the Bole, Gilding Size, and Gold Leaf to cover the piece.
Once you have laid down the gold leaf, in order to get that beautiful antique look,
use the Light Wax, Dark Wax, and Dust of Ages to finish off your piece.

Gilt Leafed Mirror
This gilded wooden frame was made in the 1960s in the US
The price on the pair is $2,800
You could restore pieces that you have found or bought using the Gilding Supplies
You would again need to use the Bole, Gilding Size, and Gold Leaf.
Depending on your desired look, you could wear the pieces as much or little as your wanted.

19th Century Desk
This writing desk is from France circa 1950
It is on sale for $4,495
You could use the Amy Howard At Home Black One Step Paint to paint your desk
Then use the Gilding Supplies to finish off accents on your desk with the Gold Leaf
It is important that you find a shape that you like but the process to gild is simple afterwards!

French Painted and Gilt Wood Mirror
This antique mirror dates back to 19th Century in France
It has a gorgeous painted finish on the wooden frame with gilded details
It is for sale for $2,450
In order to get a similar finish using the One Step, you could choose one of our lighter gray colors such as a the Chelsea Square or Luxe Gray and 
proceed to add accents with the gilding supplies
I would then wax and dust it thoroughly depending on the amount of distress you want for the finished piece
Lastly, you could antique your own mirror using the Amy Howard At Home Antique Mirror Kit

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate

Instructions and Products
are available on!