Cleaning Vintage Brass to Look Like New

Since our summer programs ended, I took a few days off to just relax before the hustle and bustle of the Fall starts.  With my quiet time, I decided to go downtown and walk through some of the antique shops.  There are quite a few great antique shops around here, and I am always looking for interest pieces to add to our 1900’s home.  There have been a few things I have been on the hunt for like small night stands and vintage brass candle sconces for the dinning room.  I didn’t have any luck with either of those yesterday, but I did find three awesome milk glass pieces. One of the pieces was in perfect condition, the milk glass candy bowl, but the two candlestick holders needed some TLC due to the brass tarnishing over time.

Once I got home, I set out to clean the brass and some small stain on the marble on the milk glass candle sticks holders.  Here is a before:

In order to clean the brass I used the following supplies:

  • 2 small bowls
  • Warm water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Baking soda
  • 2 clean cloths

In one small bowl I placed warm water.  In the other small bowl I juiced 1/2 a lemon and added baking soda, about 3 to 4 spoonfuls, until I made a paste.  I then used one clean rag and the lemon juice/baking soda paste to scrub the brass really well.  It also worked well to clean the marble.  This took a lot of muscle.  Once I was done scrubbing, I used the other clean rag and the warm water to remove all baking soda and lemon juice from the candlesticks.

milkglass collage

After my candle stick holders were done, I was ready to add them to my decor.  I added candles to my candlestick holders and greenery to the candy holder.  I decided to add these pieces to the dining room, since I felt like they were fancy.  I also liked that I was adding some white into the decor in the dining room since I feel like there is a lot of grey.

milk glass DR collage

The dining room is looking pretty good!  Once we get the wainscoting and the room painted it will be good to go. What have you found lately at the antique stores?

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6 fans for your space

If you are a fan lover like we are over here, this post is for you!  We have been looking into updating some of the ceiling fans in our house.  Here are a few that we have fell in love with:

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Deciding on Paint Colors

How’s your weekend been?  We’ve been going back and forth to the paint stores.  Okay 2 stores, because I had paint picked out at both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.  Unfortunately, there is no one stop shop for both, so I made two trips to both stores.  At least they were down the road from each other.

I wanted to plan out the colors in the house before we started painting, so I scoured Pinterest and the internet for some ideas.  I then started a PowerPoint page to plan out rooms and ideas for the house.  I had a slide in PowerPoint to keep track of all the colors in the house, because I wanted to make sure my colors went together.

Here was my original plan before testing paint samples on the wall:

Original color scheme

  • Passive Gray- Entry way
  • Deep Sea Dive- Kitchen (our attempt to match Magnolia Weekend)
  • Covington Blue- Dining Room
  • Swiss Coffee- Living Room
  • Sweet Dream- 1st floor bath

As you can see from two trips to the paint stores, my plans changed as I tested paint samples on the walls of the house today.  I fell in love with the Magnolia Weekend paint a while back and thought it would be perfect for the kitchen.  We don’t have a store around here that sells the Magnolia Weekend paint.  I really did not want to order it off the internet, so I tried to find a match with Sherwin Williams.

We thought we found it, but I hated my “match” once we put a sample of it on the wall.  I thought it was too dark, so back to the drawing board I went.  I ended up stealing the planned paint color for the dining room that I also loved.  I loved it as much on the sample paper as I did on the wall!

The living room I bought a cream color to brighten up the space.  I got it up on the wall and started second guessing myself.  So, we decided to try a grey that I had found and liked from Sherwin Williams.  I got home put the second color on the wall and it didn’t seem right for the room.  I ended up grabbing my sample paint of my original paint and painting a larger section of the wall.  My original won out!  Why did I ever second guess myself?! I should have gone with my gut, but if anything this is why we always buy sample paints and test before we paint an entire room.  I can be picky and flaky with choosing paint colors sometimes.

It has come a long way, but I think we have finally decided on colors for the first floor. Here is how it has changed, as I have tested some samples in the house:

Paint Colors 1st Floor

  • Passive Gray Silver Satin- Entry way
  • Deep Sea Dive (Our attempt to match Magnolia Weekend) Covington Blue- Kitchen
  • Covington Blue Gentleman’s Gray- Dining Room
  • Swiss Coffee- Living Room
  • Sweet Dream- 1st floor bath

We have a few days this coming week where we have help with our daughter, so we are planning to paint the kitchen and living room while she is occupied. We are painting my two least favorite colored rooms first.  I am so excited to rid the kitchen of red and the living room of the dark tan color!

I have some room plans to share soon!  They are not quite finished yet.

What are your weekend home improvement plans?

Dining Room Update

Its been a whirlwind of a summer!  Where did the time go?!  Between traveling for work and weddings, I feel like we haven’t been home.  We have worked on the house slowly, but our little old house had some surprises in store for us! Surprise number one was some water leaking in the basement with this very wet July we have had.  We have been trying to get a mason to come look at it for weeks since we have an old stone foundation.  Is it always this much of a process to get a contractor to come to your house?! Surprise number 2 came when tried to hang a new light fixture in the dinning room.  There was an awesome deal on overstock on the chandelier I had been eyeing, so we decided to go ahead and order.

Chandelier Collage

I absolutely love this chandelier, and I was so excited to get it up.  We replaced most of the light fixtures in our first home.  Replacing light fixtures is always frustrating, but we always managed to get the job done.  Not this time. My husband took down the old ceiling fan, and there was damage to the plaster on the ceiling, which we will have to repair.  Then when he went to hang the chandelier, we couldn’t hang the chandelier due to how the wires went through the ceiling mount. We ultimately decided to call in a professional electrician.  We figured our daughters room also needed another outlet installed, since it only has two.  We were temporarily using an extension cord to power the air conditioner in her room.  Not the safest, so we decided for peace of mind to have an outlet installed as well. The electricians had a harder time hanging the chandelier than installing the outlet. Both are done though!

Here is the before of our dining room from when we were still unpacking with the fan from probably the 1970s:

Dinning Room

Here is the after missing light bulbs, because I realized I didn’t have enough when the electricians got here. Face palm….Cue the late evening run to Walmart!

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The room is so much brighter!  You can also see we finally hung the mirror.  You can’t see the damage to the ceiling in this photo.  We are thinking we might do a ceiling medallion.  It looks like there used to be one there at one point in time.

  • Hang chandelier
  • Repair ceiling.  Use a ceiling medallion?
  • Find and hang candle sconces next to mirror
  • Paint
  • Wainscotting
  • Rug for under dining room table
  • Set table
  • Curtains

Slowly but surely we are getting there!  What surprises has your old house thrown at you?

7 ways to save when decorating your home!

If there is one thing I hate, it is paying full price for an item.  I am always on the look out for deals and steals to save myself money and make our dollar stretch further!  I can’t say I never pay full price, but I try not to.  If anything trying not to pay full price prevents those impulse buys sometimes.  So here it is 7 ways to save when decorating your home:

  1. Buy used!  Check out yard sales, thrift stores, Craigslist, Facebook Market place.  You can find some really great items for your home.  Some brand new and never used with a much lower price.  Our couch is a great example! I found on Craigslist and it was brand new, but less than half the price on Wayfair.  Wayfair had the exact same couch for $850 while we paid $300.  A total of $500 in savings!  Sometimes this route takes some time to search and find exactly what you are looking for, but it can be super rewarding.  The thrill is in the hunt here!

couch update2. Check stores like Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, Wayfair, and Overstock that sell brand new items but at a discounted price from many retailers.  I find a lot of our home decor items through these stores to find name brand items at a discounted price.  Stores like Home Goods and Tuesday Morning you have to visit frequently as inventory is constantly changing.  I find I do a lot better when I go during the week.  I usually stop on my way home from work.

3. Use Ebates if you are shopping online!  Shop with Ebates online at your favorite stores, receive cash back on your orders, and get paid by check or Pay Pal.  Easy and Simple!  I downloaded the Ebates assistant on our browser and it will let you know cash back deals and if sites you recently visited have changed their cash back rewards.  For example, Overstock had been 2% cashback, but tonight I got an alert that it was now 10% cash back.  10% cash back is pretty amazing!

 

4. Use Honey.  Honey is another site that helps you find the best deals with automatic coupon codes.  Honey makes it easy when you download the free extension to your web browser and lets you know what coupons are available at the sites you are shopping at.
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5. Do it yourself!  Paying a professional is expensive!  If you can do it yourself, put in the hard work and save some money. Doing it yourself can be so rewarding! That being said sometimes a professional is 100% necessary for things you are unable to do yourself.  The trick is knowing the difference!

6. Sell unwanted items like clothes or furniture when you do spring cleaning and use the money towards decorating your home!  I find Thred Up is really convenient and easy for selling clothes and prefer Facebook Market place for selling furniture items.

7. Refinish furniture items.  Don’t have time to sell unwanted items? Can you refinish them and repurpose them somewhere else in your house?  I have plans for several furniture pieces in my home to repurpose and update with paint.  Now I just need to find the time to prep and paint these items!  We have several ikea pieces of furniture, in particular a dresser and bookcase, that I would like to update with a fresh coat of paint and some new pulls on the dresser.

How do you save money when decorating your home?!  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

4 Gorgeous Chandeliers

So I’ve been on the hunt for a dinning room chandelier.  Our dinning room now currently has a fan.  A fan to me just does not say elegant dining room.  The fan, though, does help keep air circulating in the downstairs of the house!

Dinning Room
Our Current Dinning Room

We are obviously still unpacking our dining room.  I usually leave the dining room table set, but I am still finding homes for things.  We are also missing a few of our dinning room chairs.  We had to store them at my father in laws house when we moved to PA, because they would not fit in our tiny apartment.  Half of them have not made there way to our new house yet.

We had a gorgeous chandelier in our previous home that I found in a salvage store in Columbia, SC.  The chandeliers style, though, doesn’t go with our current home.  I also left it when we sold our home.

So here are 4 gorgeous chandeliers that I have been eyeing for our dinning room:

Chandelier Collage.png

  1. Ophelia and Co. Knot 6-light Candle-Style Chandelier
  2. Bungalow Rose Dormont 5-light Candle-Style Chandelier
  3. Grace Oaks Senecca 6-light Candle-Style Chandelier
  4. One Allium Way Strasburg 6-light Candle-Style Chandelier

I think #4 is my favorite! What do you think?