Friday, February 25, 2011

Buffet Style: Before and After

At last year's ballerina birthday party, Emma blew out her candles in front of the brown buffet pictured above.

When Joe's parents updated their living room, they offered us their old stereo cabinet. I was thrilled to accept it because I had been wanting a piece like this to store kids art supplies. Spanning nearly 6 feet, the stereo cabinet also offers plenty of display space on top.

Fabric panels on the outer cabinet doors disguised speakers when the piece was used as a stereo cabinet, but changing those out for glass offered display space on the ends of the unit. Before Joe's parents brought us the cabinet, they had ridges added to the inside of the door. This allowed us to simply slide rectangles of glass into the ridges. One of the sheets of glass broke during the refinishing process, but it cost less than $3 to replace it. Big impact for little money -- love that!
I was a bit intimidated to refinish the stereo cabinet and had been putting the project off for more than a year, but wanting to use it as a buffet for Emma's upcoming birthday party pushed me to go for it. Here are the results:

Isn't she pretty?

I am loving the soft white finish, which makes our new buffet look so much more at home in our kitchen. Wheels on the bottom of the piece have allowed me to move it from one room or another, and it seems I  have need of it in every room of the house. I have positioned it in our dining room for Emma's party this weekend, but Joe says he fully expects to come home one day to find I have moved our bed out because I just had to see how the buffet looked in our bedroom.

The top of the buffet has already proven a great surface for photographing new recipes and crafts.

Have you ever noticed on makeover shows that in "before" shots the woman usually looks so sad -- tired and slouchy in her frumpy clothes? But then in the "after" photos, she radiates confidence in her new look. Well, I thought our new buffet should get dressed up for the big reveal.

Who is ready for a tea party?

I conquered my first big furniture refinishing project with the help of a few friends. For a long time I have admired Cindy's feminine style and DIY decorating courage at My Romantic Home. She has refinished furniture throughout her California home with beautiful results, and she is so generous with tips and tutorials. This post on painting furniture was my go-to guide for this project. I kept my laptop open to Cindy's instructions and referred to her tips throughout the process. I think she would be proud of my results! If Cindy ever makes it to Alabama, I think I owe her a slice of pecan pie and a glass of sweet tea served from my new buffet.

In pondering what color to repaint the stereo cabinet, Jen of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam inspired my choice in this post. My jaw dropped when Jen posted about finding the yard sale deal of the century: a beautiful antique secretary for $5. I was so amazed, I gushed about her find over dinner with Joe. "OK," Joe replied, "I give you permission to buy any priceless antiques you find for $5 or less."

Thanks, Jen.

This frugal mama sets the bar high -- or low in this case. Thankfully, though, I don't have to look beyond the furniture we already have to find plenty of hand-me-down pieces in need of a face lift.

In her post, Jen pointed readers to designer Eddie Ross' gorgeous secretary re-do. Eddie says his go-to paint color is Farrow & Ball's classic All White. This looked like the perfect color choice for me, but at $100 a gallon online, I knew Joe would be less than supportive of a purchase. I happened by a local paint store going out of business, though, and they mixed up a gallon of high-quality paint using the designer formula for only $14.

I think Jen and Eddie would be proud, too! Two more slices of pecan pie coming right up as I blush over their compliments. "More sweet tea, anyone?"

I look forward to tackling more furniture re-do projects this spring, but for now I have several projects to complete for Emma's party this weekend. In the midst of this busy week, I hosted our quarterly book club meeting last night, so I will be back next week with fun recipes, crafts and a giveaway.

(I'm linking this post to Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home.)

"Trust that little voice in your head that says 'Wouldn't it be interesting if ...'  And then do it." -- Duane Michals

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