Upcycle Shopping

I’m often asked what I look for when shopping for a good upcycle candidate. The answer is not exactly straight forward…I rarely follow any real rules.  Usually when I find something and can instantly visualize it refinished…I know it’s a winner.

But here are a couple of things to consider…

Good bones  : meaning its built well and is preferably solid wood. If it’s a chair – sit in it. If it’s a dresser – be sure to test all the drawers. Some minor issues can be easily fixed, so be sure to look into the source if there is a problem. Sometimes it can be as simple as a missing screw.  I don’t worry too much about the existing finish, in fact scratches ease my guilt of painting something “antique” 🙂

Style & Character: the cool factor…it’s what probably influences me the most.  I’m inspired by anything I can accent with paint. Curves, carved details, great lines…it’s what makes a piece special. I’m also a total sucker if it has original and unique hardware. Again, it’s the details…

Price:  (heavily influenced by the first two) Price is always difficult, and isn’t always indicative of quality, which can be frustrating. But I believe if you find a piece with good bones and great character, it will be a good investment.  Since I’m often shopping for furniture to upcycle and sell, It’s important to me to be careful to ensure I can turn around and offer it to clients at a reasonable price. If it’s a piece you plan on keeping for yourself…do you love it? Then you really can’t go wrong.

Happy Hunting!


Grey, black, cream…more grey. Ugh…I love color but I have to admit it is difficult for me to paint furniture in a bright color. Although I love to see great use of color, I struggle to incorporate it in my own home and seem to hold back when I’m painting a piece that I plan on selling. BOR-ING! Seriously, for a girl who likes to have fun, I really can be a snoozefest when it comes to paint.

The accent table I recently painted in Annie Sloan Florence was a big step for me. I have admired that color for awhile, but couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger until my recent adventure to the Ruffles and Rust Vintage Show. But with a little encouragement from a good friend and a well-made margarita, I came home with one of the brightest colors of paint I have ever purchased. 🙂         Continue reading


Okay, I have to confess something…I really don’t love antiques. I know, I know, I decorate with plenty of “old stuff” in our house and I spend a lot of time in antique shops, thrift stores and estate sales. But honestly?…I can barely stand the smell of those places. Sure,  I nod my head politely as the antique dealer goes on and on about the historical background on the serpentine dresser I’m considering, but my head is swirling with all the different ways I can “fix” it with paint. (gasp! I know…I feel a little guilty if it helps)

What I do love is cool stuff, and a lot of it happens to be vintage. Sure, my heart beats a little faster when I walk into Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware, but unless you want your home to look just like the fall 2012 catalog cover, you have to mix it up a bit! Get out of the mall and get your hands a little dirty!

As you probably figured out by now, I love a beautiful piece of furniture…but there is nothing like a great vintage piece of “junk” to add a unique architectural element to your overall design. Most of the new home accessories in stores now are a reproduction of something that served much more functional in its former life. Why not go for the real thing? I guarantee you will have a hard time finding a friend with one just like it!

Here is an example of one of my favorite finds…

Yep, it’s an old boat prop. But don’t you love the patina? Even with my track record, I had a little explaining to do when I pulled this baby out of the trunk. But I love it.

Here is a photo of where it sits on our sofa/console table.

Besides…if I’m going to write a blog titled beachglassblonde, I should have a boat prop. 🙂

Meet Florence

Another thing I picked up at the Ruffles and Rust Vintage Show was a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Florence. It is such a fun color and this was just the piece to try it out on! 

When I started painting I planned on covering the whole thing and just distressing in certain areas, but sometimes plans change. 🙂 The dark color of the original stain took on a really cool patina effect when I dry-brushed the paint allowing a lot of the dark stain to come through.         Continue reading

bad day reality check

Is it Friday yet?! Gosh, it’s been a week…and not the good kind. I have to tell ya, I was feeling a little cranky today about things. Seriously, nothing major…but just a few challenges I could do without. Anyway, I was looking for a particular photo on my laptop and I came across this beauty…

Continue reading