As an avid yard sale shopper, I look for unique things that I can envision fitting into a space in my home and sometimes other people’s homes. This large, ornate gold mirror was one of those things I almost passed on but then decided that for $20 it was too great and took it home. The frame was PLASTIC! But then, who cares?? It’s pretty! Of course, if you have been following me at all since I started this blog, you will know that I paint a lot! Most items will get a new look with just a little white paint.
I looked around my house and couldn’t find a spot to put this mirror but at the time I got it, my son and his wife were purchasing a new home and I knew the perfect spot for it. Out comes the white paint from the stash in the garage and the transformation begins.
First, I completely covered the frame with a couple coats of satin white paint from Lowes. You could use any color but I’m in a white mode right now. Then after it was dry, I took a small piece of sandpaper and lightly “distressed” some of the detail. This gives it just more of worn, older look and allows some of the gold to show through as in the photo below.
When I was finished, I brought the mirror over and hung it in their dining room. It was the perfect place and reflects the light and crystals in the chandelier.
Don’t you just love their elegant French Chic dining room?!!
Several years ago after we moved into our current home, my husband and I were out driving in Wellington and I noticed a home that had an iron gate on the exterior of their front door. It wasn’t just a “functional” gate that looked like it would keep out criminals, but a very beautiful wrought iron gate. I loved it and decided at that moment that I would have to look for something like that for our house.
If you drive around on Palm Beach Island you will also see a lot of iron gates around the mansions that look like these below. The gates are both decorative and functional to secure their properties. They remind me of a French Chateau gate.
They add such a huge statement to a home. These gates stuck in my head for years. Because I am so practical, I would check places like Craigslist to see if anyone out there was selling an iron gate that could be used outside of my house. Nope, I wasn’t finding a thing. In the meantime, I had found these decorative matching iron wall pieces at a yard sale in Wellington and fell in love with them at $40 for both!
I can’t believe I almost didn’t buy them because I didn’t know where I was going to use them. Something told me to purchase them anyway. I went home and took down what I had on my living room wall and put them up above my couch. I have always loved the scrolls and curves that they have. Little did I know that they would become my inspiration for another project.
A few years went by and I started thinking about the exterior gate again. In 2016, I found a guy who lives in our area who manufacturers all things iron called Calabrese Creations in Iron. One day I gave him a call and he made an appointment to come by our house. He really listened to my idea as I showed him my plan based on the two iron gates hanging on my wall. He took some photos of the wall gates and measured my outside entrance and he was on his way to make my gate. Below is a photo that he sent me during the process before it was powdercoated.
It took a couple of months but the day finally came and he installed it a few days after Halloween 2016. I think it is my favorite thing about my house now and I get lots of comments about it from visitors and neighbors who are in love with it just as much as I am. See more photos below.
Practically Palm Beach was specifically created to show you how to save money decorating your home and to share money-saving tips in general. This post will focus on how to repurpose a beautiful frame you may already have. If you are like me, you have a couple saved in the garage that you just could not part with.
Below is a framed oil painting that I bought at a yard sale in our neighborhood several years ago for only $25. It is a very large frame measuring 48″ x 36″ on the inside. The frame was originally painted gold and it didn’t quite fit into my style at the time so I painted it black and rubbed a little silver rub on the edges.
I always loved the large ornate frame, but after several years I just didn’t want the painting any more. I sold the painting at my yard sale, but kept the super large frame. If you have ever gone to a store to get a picture framed you already know that a frame this size would be hundreds of dollars! So I stored it in my garage until I could come up with a plan for it later.
One day while shopping on our local Swip Swap Facebook page, I noticed someone was giving away a mirror that they had removed from their bathroom wall. It just happened to be the exact size that I needed 36″ x 48″. Wow! I immediately contacted the person and said I was on my way. I decided to paint the frame white as I am trying to brighten up everything in my house. My husband then helped secure the mirror with some mirror tabs on the back. I will tell you that we had to do just a little whittling of wood on the back of the frame to get the mirror to fit in just right. I love mirrors which became my next problem. Where do I hang it? I searched around my house and the only place I could find was to remove a picture I had in my bedroom and replace it with the large mirror. Here it is in my bedroom (with the reflection blotted out). I can only imagine how much you would have to spend on a mirror this size at a retail store.
The other idea for a frame you just can’t let go of is to create a chalkboard to hang inside your door, in your kitchen or even at your place of business. For this project, I bought a piece of thin board from the local hardware box store and had my husband cut it to size. Then using chalkboard paint, I simply painted a few coats on it with a small sponge roller. Each season gets new text. My handwriting needs a lot of help, but I don’t worry about it too much. Pinterest is great for getting chalkboard ideas for every season.
Below are three other frames that I made into chalkboards and and sold. It’s fun to have a chalkboard to write notes on or just to be creative on. A customer hung the last one in her salon and shared this picture with me. Have you tried making one yet?
Although I will never be on a reality show, I am a bargain hunter. No, I’m not a coupon clipper but you will find me stopping at most every yard sale I see! For this blog I thought I would highlight a fun morning of yard sale shopping so you can get an idea of what you can find if you are looking.
Over the past 20+ years I have been regularly going to yard sales/garage sales and have saved a lot of money finding cool things to decorate with or even things to repurpose and sell. For me, it is definitely the thrill of the hunt to see what is out there. I often times find unique items that you would never find in a retail store. So fun!
When I created the “Practically Palm Beach” blog I immediately decided to do a little hunting for items with a distinctively Palm Beach/Florida look. I guess I got inspired by the title! I thought I would document what I found on just a single Saturday morning last month. Remember that I distinctively looked for items that were typical Palm Beach area inspired or tropical in some aspect. It didn’t matter if I was going to keep them or sell them later, I was just on the hunt for bright, colorful and tropical items. I love a new project! (Of course, they had to be a deal!)
My first “find” was just down the street in our development. It was a set of very tropical handpainted wine glasses for only $5. The set was for 7 pieces since one had gotten ruined when the sellers explained that they tried to wash it in the dishwasher and the handpainted design got ruined. Who cares! They are adorable! They are even cuter than the photo shows.
I also found a cute ceramic Pineapple serving bowl for $1. It was colorful and tropical so I snatched it up. No flaws! I need to have a party.
The best deal I found were these Turquoise Jack Rogers sandals “practically” new in the box for only $15. They just happened to be my size too! If you aren’t familiar with this brand, it’s very popular in the Palm Beach area and they sell new for over $100 in the local stores.
Next I found a bright green glass vase for .50 and since it was a great color, I bought that too. I plan to get some bright fuscia flowers for it to put on my patio. Below are my deals of the morning. It was fun to hunt down some tropical/colorful pieces for Practically Palm Beach. Have fun bargain hunting and remember to keep your eyes out for things you could use to brighten up your life! (The vintage tablecloth in the photo below was found a few years ago at a yard sale as well.) Happy Bargain Hunting!
Creating a Restoration Hardware Look with Thrift Store Furniture
Who doesn’t love walking into a Restoration Hardware store? Do you dream of purchasing some of their fantastic furniture? Today I want to share with you how to create a Restoration Hardware look on thrift store furniture. For many years, I have browsed around RH and drooled over that pricey, weathered look. Since I can’t pay those prices and I love being creative, I decided to go in a different route – to the thrift store!
Finding old, quality, wood furniture with good bones is actually pretty simple. Plus, they just built furniture better back in the olden days so it will be much sturdier than a piece from Ikea or Target. I was able to pick up real wood pieces to duplicate this look with just some paint and new hardware.
Remember to look beyond ugly colors or dated looks. Here are some examples of the RH furniture.
Wanting an expensive look with a tight budget can be challenging, but if you keep an eye out for furniture with “good bones” you just might find a Practically Palm Beach piece. Making frequent stops at local thrift stores became a weekly routine for me, and I love the hunt! Don’t give up if you don’t find something right away. Consistent searching pays off eventually. One particular store became very useful in finding some major pieces. I hate to give away my secret, but it’s called Faith Farm.
I found two matching nightstands for around $50 each. They didn’t look like this when I bought them but unfortunately, I never took a before photo. But they were similar to the headboard that I got at Faith Farm too (see photos below).
To replicate the woodgrain look, first remove all the drawers and hardware. Using a Purdy 1.5″ paintbrush, I painted on a light butter-colored latex basecoat to cover the entire piece. I painted it on working in the long direction of each drawer, top and sides. You don’t have to be too fussy at this point. Just avoid any drips. I then took another 1.5″ brush and “dry-brushed” over it with a dark brown latex paint to create the rustic wood look. I’ve found the trick to this is just dip the tip (about 1/4 inch) of the brush in the dark brown paint and when wipe off most of it with a wet rag, swiping the brush on the wet rag before touching the furniture and a angle. It will be best if you practice on an old board first to get the hang of the “faux wood” stroke. The lighter touch you have, the better. I sealed it with a polycrylic sealer to protect the paint finish using a brush. I think I put on two thin coats, but three would be even better. Let each coat dry completely before putting on another one. I’ve had a couple places of wear because my cat loves to jump up on my furniture and dig in his claws when he makes contact.
To give it a better rustic feel, I ditched the shabby chic handles that came with the nightstands (to be used on other furniture later) and replaced them with bronze cup handles that I purchased at Lowes.
On a separate occasion shopping at the same thrift store, I found this huge wood headboard and could just envision it fitting into the RH look as well. It was massive, but I purchased it for only $50! I did the same “faux” paint job on it.
Two dressers were given the same look. Remember, it takes time to find several pieces that can work together so just be patient. One dresser was found on the side of the road in our neighborhood on bulk pick-up day (in perfect condition!) and the other dresser I’m sure was found at the same thrift store for little or nothing. My best “trick” is remove all the handles and spraypaint them with Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
Basically, all five pieces that I have in our bedroom were purchased for a fraction of the cost of ONE piece of RH hardware. With a little paint and a bit of creativity, you can have the RH look.
First of all, let me just say I’m so excited that I’m finally starting this blog. I feel like it has been something lingering in the back of my mind for quite a while and I just had not taken the time to get it started. I want to thank my wonderful “techie” daughter, Jenna, who set up my site for me. I’m excited to share my Palm Beach home decorating ideas, my love for the area I live in, and many other helpful tips and posts on how to put together a “practically Palm Beach home” on a tight budget. I have always been thrifty and practical and that’s how I came up with the name for my blog. I live in Palm Beach (well not exactly), but I do live in Palm Beach County, Florida and can actually drive 15 minutes and be on the island of Palm Beach. (My dream is to eventually live on the beach – – but I’ll get into my obsession with the beach later.) Here is a little more about myself and how and why I arrived at starting this blog.
I grew up in northern Minnesota on a small grain farm. And, yes, it is frigid freezing up there in the winter, but the summers are beautiful but they just don’t last long enough for me and that is the reason I live in a sub-tropical climate now. We were a simple, small-town farm family and were taught to stretch our dollars as far as we could. We worked hard doing chores around the farm and helping harvest the grain fields. Yes, I have plowed the back 40! Because my dad grew up in the Depression years, nothing was wasted and everything got repurposed or fixed before we ever bought new. My dad and mom taught us how to be “Minnesota Nice” and the value of a dollar and of family, friends and God. I wore my older sister’s hand-me-down clothes and we had a large garden to feast on during the summer months. This practical way of living is where I started my “thrifty” persona and have sustained it in my life.
It has actually been quite fun to create a home where very little money was spent. Of course, things like TVs, beds and my couch and some chairs were bought new, but almost everything else in my home was either purchased at a thrift store, garage sale or on Craigslist as a used item. I love being creative and giving something a new look. You’ll see many of these projects in future blogs (coming SOON!). Also, because I love the beach, I’ve decided to include a photo I’ve taken of the beach after each blog.
Again, welcome to Practically Palm Beach and tell your friends about it so we can all have fun sharing ideas together!