Sunday, November 13, 2011

Making New

If I had told myself 10 years ago that I would be buying THRIFTED clothes/shoes/books/household items on a REGULAR basis when I was in my (upper) 20’s… I would have flipped a lid!  USED?  Eww!!

That’s for folks who:
  1. Cannot afford new
  2. Have no sense of taste
  3. Are hippies ;)
Come on!  Why would I buy USED?  Great question… and I now say “why not?!”

I have had more fun searching out ‘lightly used’ items for a fantastic price than I have ever had after paying full price for a brand new original price item.
Something about knowing it’s ‘one of a kind’.  I won’t run into someone at a wedding wearing the same dress.  I won’t visit a friend’s apartment to discover they have the same mirror in their bathroom or same piece of artwork on their wall.  And what a great sense of satisfaction when showing off my new item!

If I shared with you all of my amazing finds this blog post would be so long you’d never read it, so today I will just show you my most current discovery and thus latest project!

I have been fighting with a trouble wall in our living room for quite some time.  It sits adjacent to a wall with a giant photo collage.  And it sits opposite of a clementine orange accent wall.  I needed something just the right size and just the right color.

I was really hoping to find a piece that had a nice frame to finish it off as well.

While visiting my favorite thrift store a few weeks ago I did a stroll by the mirrors and artwork.  I was hoping that I might be able to find something the right size for my space so I could re-finish it my own style.

Matthew cringed when he saw what I came home with!  This bad boy measures 32”x50” (great size!) and has a beautiful frame with a linen matting.  I hung it on the wall to ensure it was a good fit for my space.

Over the next week and a half while I started thinking about what I wanted to do with it I had a lot of funny comments from friends ranging from: “Wow… is that new?” to “Interesting,… that’s not really what I would picture as your style!”… basically all hints at why in the world did I buy it this thing and hang it on my wall??

Well I decided that what I needed in it’s place was some abstracty black, white and grey birch tree trunks.  I thought it would look fun and modern with a nice simple design.  I set out to work.  I popped the picture out of the frame so that I could change the gaudy gold look to a nice clean black to look more our style. 

I started by painting a coat of white for a primer

Then I did a nice background grey to set the scene

Then added a few white ‘tree trunks’

Added some black details

And popped her in my freshly painted black frame

VOILA!  It’s a finished piece.  We love it!
…. Or do we?  We sat on it for a few days and it’s not that we don’t like it…. It’s just that we want to love it!

Ok… so back to the drawing board… I think the problem was we like COLOR!  And that side of the room is already lacking in color with the black and white photos, the plain couch, etc…

I got the primer out and painted over the birch trees:

Then while poking around online I discovered this fabulous retro Dunkin Donuts logo.

It has just the right color for our room.  Matthew is OBSESSED with DD.  And to top it all off I actually “owed” him a piece of DD artwork after I hung up this bad boy in our kitchen:

So… I sketched it out and started painting:

And HERE is our finished piece!

Sure it took about a day and a half of painting all together, but here’s how the break down looks for the money we actually spent on it:

Old painting: $24.95
Primer: already had in basement
Paint: already had in basement
TOTAL: $24.95

For some inspiration from others click below:


  1. Girl, you are TOOO much! Liked the first re-do Love the final. You have a most creative mind! Along the lines of frugality... I loved my dining room chandelier but the gold was um... passe.. so I am in the process of a cheap revamp, painting it black. Love it, new look and $8. (Also painted the gold curtain rods) You inspired me.

  2. Love DD guy's chubby lil face!!! I bet it looks so great across from the orange wall, too. Great job mang!

  3. I love your ideas KeRRi... you are so involved in your home, and that is a wonderful thing! KEEP UP the blog posts, I lovvvve reading them :)