The Makeover of a Clothes Valet

DIY Clothes Valet Makeover

In a home, it’s the little things that make a difference, and that’s what inspired this makeover.

I’ve wanted to paint the clothes valet you see here for awhile now, even had the paint to do it…

Maple Clothes Valet

But I use it to display my Grandmother’s quilt (I wrote about the quilt here), so the valet is usually tucked behind a patchwork of colours!

Vintage Handmade Quilt, Maple Clothes Valet

And you know how it is. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Originally my thought was to paint the valet in black… and I still think black would look good. But I decided to lighten things up with Benjamin Moore’s self-priming Aura paint in Tapenade CC-694 instead.

My biggest procrastination, honestly, was the sanding! Who enjoys sanding, anyway? And I know… if I used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, I wouldn’t have to sand… but my motive was to try and use up some of the paint I already have! Besides, you’ll see I used Annie’s clear wax for the finish!

DIY Clothes Valet Makeover

I was pretty happy to forego the primer. Have you ever used self-priming paint? One less step, and you’ve got my attention!

Here’s how BM’s Tapenade CC-694 fits in.

BM Tapenade CC-694 Bedroom Story Board

It works with the green stripe in the drapery panel (I wrote about that DIY here), the hints of green at the base of the flower petals in the duvet… and also, Tapenade is a gray-green.

Here’s a look at my Gran’s vintage quilt back in place.

Vintage Handmade Quilt on Quilt Rack

I like the way the green works with the colours in the quilt. Notice the large paisley in the bottom left corner?

Here’s one more look back at the ‘Before’…

Vintage Quilt on Maple Clothes Valet

And another look at the way I’ve finished styling this little corner space.

Vintage Handmade Quilt

This is an example of working with what you have, and adding a little DIY twist to make what you have work even better. I didn’t buy anything… not even the basket filled with scarves that’s sitting under the quilt.

And if you were to ask, everything in this corner has a little story, even the basket! Did you notice the scrolls hanging above the quilt? I’ll tell you all about them in another post! Yup, they have a story, too!

How about you? Have you made any changes in your space lately? What tips do you have to share?

My thing is working with what you have to pull a look together. By tweaking a few things here and there, even the smallest changes can make a huge difference. It’s once you’ve done this that you’ll know if, or what new pieces you might like to add. Because the other part of working with what you have, is knowing what’s not working anymore, and letting it go. But wait, you might want to give it a DIY makeover first! You’d be surprised what you fall in love with all over again!!!


All Photos by Sheila Zeller


Sunday Brunch on a Wednesday!

Fruit Platter, Quiche

Okay, I’m a little late getting this post put together, but when it comes to Sunday brunch, it’s better late than never don’t you think? This past weekend we raised a toast to a milestone birthday for my Dad, and were joined by family and friends. Then on Sunday hubs and I hosted Father’s Day brunch at our place for everyone. Do you know, we had 5 dads and a dad-to-be around the table?

Here’s a little look at our Sunday brunch…

Cheery flowers and colourful napkins brought in some festive fun.

Vase Wrapped With Twine

And we joined two tables together so we were able to seat 12. It was set with china plates my hubby grew up with, and that his mom passed on to him about 6 years ago. We really enjoy using them, and love that there are enough to go ’round when we are hosting a gathering of this size.

Table Setting for Brunch

Can you see the vintage butter dish between the vases? The black and pink one? My sweet hubby gave that to me for a surprise Valentine’s gift one year. It matches a square cake plate my Mom passed on to me a long time ago… I also got to use our little tiny glass butter dish! And our very cool blown glass salt & pepper dish.

Table Setting for Brunch

Want to see them up close?

Glass Butter Dish, Salt & Pepper

You might remember my butter dish discovery, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the salt & pepper dish. See it at the top right? It’s made by G.B.S. Glass Blowing in Shawnigan Lake, and was given to me by my Auntie Ada a few years ago. She was one of our out-of-town guests, so it was fun to use it while she was here!

Also on the table were these vintage cut-glass salt & pepper shakers. They were given to me by Kaleigh almost 7 years ago, and were purchased with her very own hard-earned money.

Vintage Cut Glass Salt & Pepper Set

She was barely 10 when she purchased them! Aren’t the memories behind special pieces the best?

We served three kinds of quiche made by hubs, and got to share some of the sweet basil we’re growing this year.

Fruit Platter, Quiche

I put together 2 fruit platters, and was super pleased at how fresh and tasty the fruit really was.

Fruit Platter

And we shared some local Cowichan Valley treats.

Fresh bread and pastries from True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay…

Eccles Cakes, True Grain Bakery

Here you see Eccles cakes and pain au chocolat. Eccles cake is one of my Auntie Sharon’s favorites. We were so pleased that she and my Uncle Ken also joined us for brunch that day!

And French pastries from Saison Market Vineyard.

Saison Market Vineyard Pastries

Are you saying, mmmmmmm, yet?

I can’t even tell you what my favorite treat was, because everything was so good. The pastries and bread were baked fresh that morning, and hubs was there right for opening at each place! True Grain opened at 8am, and Saison at 9am, so the timing to hit both couldn’t have been better!

It was so much fun to do all this…

Table Setting

And enjoy it with some of the special people in our life, using special pieces we’ve acquired throughout our life. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

I love getting the house ready, and setting the table for occasions like these.

How about you? Is this something you like to do, too?

Thank you for taking the time to stop by!

Photography by Sheila Zeller

Vintage Linen Tea Towels

Linen tea towels are a kitchen’s delight. Did you know that linen dries faster than tea towels made from other fabrics?

Linen can last a lifetime, and if you’re asking me, I say it’s the way to go!

Source: The Kitchn

Here’s a look at some antique and vintage options that caught my eye.

Love these ones in plain white French linen.

Source: Heather Bullard Blog

Notice the tone-on-tone monogram? Monogrammed tea towels were very common back in the day!

And these antique linen tea towels will suit any decor with their slubby texture, and buff colour.

Source: Pale and Interesting

They are hand woven, and what’s so cool is no two are alike, because they are hand made.

It’s their unique imperfections that make them perfect, give them character and add to their appeal.

Source: A Beach Cottage

Wouldn’t it be the best day ever to stumble upon a stack of treasures like these?

Here, the linen tea towels you see are made from French grain sacks. I wrote about repurposing vintage grain sacks here, and the history of grain sacks here.

Source: Greenstead Boutique

The really great thing about these linen tea towels is their thickness. Not only are they incredibly durable, but they can be doubled over for a pot holder, and used for a trivet, too. And… in spite of their vintage, these repurposed grain sacks can be machine washed (at 60 degrees) and tumbled to dry!

The 2 blue striped vintage towels have been paired as a set.

Source: Found Style

If you love them, you’re in luck because they’re available to purchase! Found Style has a whole assortment of vintage items to choose from, and the tea towels are just a sampling.

These vintage purple striped tea towels have been home loomed, a craft that is no longer widely practiced, and a process that is very time consuming.

Source: Parna

If you look closely you can see some uneveness in the weave. This not only adds to the character of these tea towels, but also gives them a very special feel.

I love green! And look at the assortment of patterns here.

Source: Eddie Ross Blog

So cheerful, but functional, too! Did you know that linen is best for drying glasses and china? Can you guess why?

It’s because linen doesn’t leave any lint!

Linen tea towels…

Antique, vintage, or new.

Source: House & Home

They’re practical, and beautiful too!

Do you use linen tea towels?

I have a few older linen tea towels, but I’d love a collection of vintage ones. There’s something about them, their look and feel… And I’ve learned that for light stains and discolouration, Borax is a linen tea towel’s best friend. Test a small spot first to make sure your colours don’t run… and then soak your tea towel for a few hours in tepid water (some say to use distilled water) with a little Borax and a mild laundry detergent. Rinse and hang to dry. And of course… press out those wrinkles if you must 😉 



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

If you would like a little help with your space contact me here.

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Featured at hodge:podge

I’m very excited…

My closet redesign is being featured over at hodge:podge today 🙂 If you live in a rental, this post is for you! And if you don’t, well, this post is for you, too!! It’s a little inspiration for a lot of closet maximization! Is that a word?

And did you know that Barbara has started a new series on her blog called, Loving Your Rental? Hodge:Podge is always a great place to visit for inspiration and DIY ideas…

And now, tips for sprucing up your rental pad, too!

P.S. – Just in case you missed the news… Barbara was one of two winners in AyA Kitchen & Baths dream kitchen design competition, and as a result she is off to Blog Podium! You can read more here.

See what I mean. When you visit hodge:podge you know you’re in good hands, I hope you’ll stop by!



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

If you would like a little help with your space contact me here.

Looking for a colour consultation click here.

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Cool Ways to Hang Up Your Art

Holy Hannah, where do the days go? You’ve seen a little less of me, but I’m still here! It’s just that Mr. Sun came out, so I took the opportunity to get outside and pull the thick, lush weeds that never stop growing !

Anyway, today’s post is all about très cool ways to showcase your artwork. Do you remember the shopping bag art I wrote about here?

Let’s start off with clothes hangers. Not a new idea, but just way too much fun to leave out of the mix.

Like this vintage mult-skirt hanger.

Postcards on Multi-Skirt Hanger

Source: Etsy (In With the Old Shop)

Just think of the collection of things you can display!

Or a grouping of pant hangers like these from Ikea.

Source: Style Files

Adds interest to a gallery wall, don’t you think?

I love this throw-back to the past that borrows a little Mid-Century Modern flair.

Source: More Ways to Waste Time Blog

And what could be more perfect than vintage pant hangers to feature each piece?

Vintage wooden skirt hangers would also work, too.

Source: SF Girl By Bay Blog

A little more whimsy and added cache for any space.

If hangers aren’t really your thing, you might like to try clipboards instead.

What a great way to add a little punch…

Source: Decor8 Blog

While keeping multi-project samples organized and in place.

If you’re into layered vignettes…

Source: Apartment Therapy

Clipboards are great, because they prop up well, and fit narrower ledges in a space.

And if you have a little Picaso or two…

Source: Second Hand Social

Why not multi-purpose a curtain rod with ring clips to hang these very special masterpieces?

Or you might like Ikea’s Dignitet System that you see here instead.

Source: Apartment Therapy

What a great way to create an interchangeable feature wall as the new pieces flood in!

Got any old bike rims hanging around? 😉

Art Clipped to Bike Rim

Source: My Tattered Angels

A quick coat of paint, and you’ve repurposed it into an artistic piece, all stylish and new!

If you’d rather leave the tire intact, you might like this idea instead.

Source: Montana Bride Blog

Clip your photos to the spokes with clothes pegs and you’re ready to roll!

If this look is for you…

Artwork Displayed on Bike Rims

Source: Second Hand Social

Why not double the impact, by displaying two!

Do any of these ideas catch your eye? Which one would you like to try?

I’ve been wanting to create a gallery wall for a while now, but just wasn’t sure which way to go. And then I found a few vintage Baribocraft pant hangers along with some other ones, too. And I knew, this was what I wanted to do! Now it’s a matter of sorting out which pieces I want to feature…



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

If you would like a little help with your space contact me here.

Looking for a colour consultation click here.

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Organizing: Planning A Gift Prep Station

I was working yesterday on an organizing overhaul with owners in their commercial space, and one of the things I was able to see right away was the need to establish a gift prep station. This company offers gift bags and baskets filled with their product, along with nicely presented gift certificates.

The problem: prep was taking place in the staff room, in the back storage area, at the front counter, and even on the fly in the boss’ office. Madness, right?

In the open storage area there is an old metal office desk being used for a work surface. All the drawers have been removed, so the desk surface is really its only function. This storage area also has lots of unused vertical space.

I don’t have any photos to share right now, but here’s a mock-up of what we plan to do.

  1. Add open shelving above the desk for supplies
  2. Install a removable rod under the bottom shelf for rolls of ribbon
  3. Mount containers to the wall for scissors, pens, and all those miscellaneous tools that need to be handy
  4. Install a bulletin board to help keep track of things
  5. Install open shelving in the desk
    • the 2 wide shelves will hold flat sheets of tissue (they usually work with just 2 colours)
    • the 3 smaller shelves will hold their stock of gift bags and gift certificates
  6. The opening under the desk is left free for the completed gift bags.

The owner was thrilled with this plan, and by the time I left yesterday I had moved everything related to the gift prep into this area.

If all goes well the shelving should be installed next week… just in time for the Mother’s Day rush!

Do you look at your space in terms of zones or stations?

I really believe thinking of your space chunked into zones or stations, makes it easier to stay organized. Not only does this establish the function of the area, but it narrows down your options for where things belong. And this makes it easier to keep things in their place, and maximize the function of your total space.



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

If you would like a little help with your space contact me here.

Looking for a colour consultation click here.

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Photo Diagram: Sheila Zeller

What Colour Are Those Antique Windows?

Do you remember these antique windows I bought back in the summer?

Well, my brother was over the other day and he asked if they were blue or gray. I’ve always looked at them as gray, but decided to get out my Benjamin Moore colour decks and see what they had to say.

It was interesting because the leading is definitely a blue-gray, and in person is almost a perfect match to BM’s Eclipse 2132-40.

Eclipse 2132-40

The paint on the frames is also blue-gray, but depending on the light, dances between two different colours…

Pilgrim Haze 2132-50, the bluer undertone of the two, and a lighter shade of Eclipse.

Pilgrim Haze 2132-50

And Gull Wing Gray 2134-50, still a cool undertone, but with less blue in it.

Gull Wing Gray 2134-50

You can hardly see the difference between them here.

So this is another view of these BM colours next to the window. Keep in mind how the computer skews colour.

This is just to show you the slight difference between Gull Wing Gray (top) and Pilgrim Haze (bottom). And also so you can see how close Eclipse (middle) is to the colour of the leading.

This next close-up shot gives you a better look at how slight the difference is between Gull Wing Gray and Pilgrim Haze, yet what a difference there actually is next to the frame. Notice how Pilgrim Haze (bottom) almost blends with the frame, compared to the slight contrast of Gull Wing Gray (top) against the frame?

So in answer to my brother’s question, the frames are actually gray… a blue-gray, but still gray. Did the frames look blue or gray to you?

I thought this was a great example of what it’s like to work with colour. One person’s perception or interpretation may not be another’s. Just like one computer may show the same colour completely different from another. And, if I was actually going to paint something to match the window, my next step would be to paint up large colour boards in these colours so they show true. Remember, the paint chips are only a place to begin!

Do you like to work with colour, or would you rather have someone work with it for you?



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

If you would like a little help with your space contact me here.

Looking for a colour consultation click here.

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Photos: Sheila Zeller

Have You Heard About This Clock?

I know this is not quite ‘hot off the press’, but it’s still pretty fresh, and I thought you should know…

This iconic 60’s IBM clock…

Classic IBM Indicator Clock

Source: Hodinkee Blog

Is making a comeback!

Do you remember it?

Whether it’s from your time or not, get ready to see a whole lot more of it, because IBM has teamed up with School House Electric Supply Company, and a reproduction, as seen above, of this classic clock is on the market.

Hypebeast digital  magazine put it this way…

In true schoolhouse fashion, IBM has released the 1960s Standard Issue Clock featuring a vintage faceplate made to imitate the recognizable standard issue clocks from the mid-20th century. A domed glass lens, steel spun case, and original hands all contribute to this item’s authenticity. The clock also reflects IBM’s history as a timepiece manufacturer…

Did you notice, even the second hand is red just like they used to be!

Let’s take a little look back in time at a few of the vintage clocks…

Notice the red hand?

Iconic IBM Standard Issue Clock

Source: Factory 20

This one is c. 1970…

Iconic IBM Standard Issue Clock

Source: Remodelista

And this one is minus its second hand!

Iconic IBM Standard Issue Clock

Source: Roy Arden Blog

But maybe that’s because it’s after 4:00!

And here you see a hanging option of the Standard Issue clock.

Iconic IBM Standard Issue Clock

Source: Worthpoint

How do you feel about this clock being back on the scene? Does it remind you of your school days? Would you still be hanging around at this time?

I do remember this clock well, maybe not the vintage 60s, but definitely the c. 1970s onward. This clock was in every classroom I was ever in! By the time I was working in offices, the clocks had changed their game face, and I never worked in a warehouse, so no connection there. But I have to say, there’s something about this clock and the nostalgia it brings that feels heartwarming, a little bit fun, and I think its timing is just right!



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

If you would like some help with your space contact me here.

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A Credenza Mystery

I received a really nice email the other day wondering if I knew the maker of, or had any info on the Brutalist credenza in Don Draper’s new office from Season 4. This is the photo that was attached.

Brutalist Credenza/Dresser

Source: Jonamor Decor

Roger, do you mind moving those chairs for me please?

You know by now I’m a Mid-Century girl at heart, have a date with hubs on Fridays for a few episodes of Mad Men and martinis, but do you think I could sleuth out many details on this piece?

The best I could do was find a few more images, very few details, and no original designer name. Here are the photos I found on Modernica blog.

Brutalist Freeform Credenza

Source: Modernica Blog

I guess Roger was leaving – he didn’t move the chairs for me! With this photo we can see the details of this piece a little better.

So this is what I learned…

This credenza is the ‘Freeform Credenza‘ and it came from Modernica Props in Los Angeles.

Here’s a full view of this very unique piece.

Source: Modernica Props

Did you know that Modernica, a now distinguished manufacturer and designer of Modern furniture, started out as a vintage store? Read more about Modernica here.

If I had to guess the designer influence behind this piece, I would say Phillip Lloyd Powell (1919-2008) and Paul Evans (1931-1987). Did you know Powell and Evans teamed up through the 60’s and 70’s? Read more about their partnership here, but suffice to say their union worked magic as evidenced by the cutting edge designs they created.

Here are some of their incredible pieces, so you can make up your own mind.

Sculptured Black Walnut Wall-Hanging Cabinet

Source: Worthpoint

American Walnut Wall Mounted Console

  Source: 1st Dibs

Black Walnut Amoeba Cabinet

Source: icollector

Walnut Desk

Brutalist Desk

Source: Invaluable

Walnut 2-Door Serving Cabinet

Brutalist Serving Cabinet

Source: Worthpoint

Black Walnut Sofa

Brutalist Sofa

Source: icollector

Pierced & Mirrored Folding Floor Screens

Brutalist Folding Floor Screen

Source: 1st Dibs

When you see the details of these Powell & Evans creations, can you see a similar style in the sexy Freeform credenza that calls Don Draper’s office home?

Here’s one more look…

Source: Modernica Props

I would love to know for sure the influence behind this Modernica credenza, but for now I’ll hand it over to Powell & Evans. I’ve also been informed this piece might actually be inspired by Lane or Witco. If you know something more, or anything different, I would love to hear from you!

Oh, and on the note of Don Draper’s furniture…

Watch for this MCM dresser to appear in Don’s bedroom in Season 5!

Source: Mod Monger Blog

Just say’n 😉

Do you like to know the history of the pieces used in set design? What show’s decor is getting your attention right now?

I love learning behind-the-scenes details, because there’s always more to the set than meets the eye. As I delve deeper, I am awed by the incredible attention to detail that goes into each part and piece of the big picture, and then I laugh at myself for being awed, because isn’t that how it works? As Charles Eames said, ‘The details are not the details. They make the design.’ And that’s the truth behind each and every set design, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

For the Love of Rusty Old Things

Artistic Rust

For the love of rusty old things…

There’s no way to really describe it. You either love it or you don’t. But if you have a love for rusty old things, then this post will make sense to you…

In one word, art.

Artistic Rust

Source: ehow

I love the colour of the turquoise as it bubbles and cracks against the rust.

Vintage links of hardworking chain…

Vintage Chain

Source: Small Studio Blog

So dramatic in a pile like this.

An old bolt… jewellery against this coarse grain of wood.

Rusty Bolt as Art

SZInteriors Photo

And a truly repurposed piece, this clock is made of ‘found’ objects!

Repurposed Rusty Clock

Source: Etsy (Paula Art)

What’s your guess? Do you know what the first life of each object might have been?

And for all my buddy DIY-ers out there,

Rusty Art

Source: Squidoo

This paintbrush is for you!

Love these vintage square-cut nails.

Rusty Steam Punk Art

Source: Etsy (Gazaboo)

Which have been classified as ‘Steam Punk’ art!

I have a thing for doors and their great hardware.

Rusty Latch

Source: Pinterest

And I bet this latch looks better now than when it was new!

Weathered wood and a rusty hay fork.

Rusty Hay Fork

Source: Etsy (Find 4 You)

Somehow farm tools get me every time.

Could this be the last spike in these railway ties?

Rusty Spike & Bolt

SZInteriors Photo

How about that for a supersized nut and bolt?

This vignette is a collection of vintage whimsy.

Rusty Kitchen Scale

Source: Etsy (Junque Gypsy)

And what’s not to love about the all American Family scale?

I love, love, LOVE the colours in this photo.

Peeling Green Paint Rusty Fence

Source: Cul de Sac via Pinterest

So deep and rich, especially with the tangerine tango of the leaves! The weather today feels like it could be autumn all over again…

Would you put these on top of your wrought iron fence?

Rusty Art

Source: French Laundry Blog

Would you give them a makeover or leave them just the way they are?

I bet you’ll never guess what this rusty piece is…

Photoshop a Rusty Surface

Source: Tripwire Magazine

Would you believe it’s actually created in Photoshop? This is not a real object, it is layers of colour, texture and special effects! And no, I didn’t create this. I only wish I did!

What’s your style? Do you like rusty old stuff, or do you prefer some glam and shine?

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Please see below each for photograph for credit source and link.