Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Retailer: TJ's Inspirations

I am so excited to introduce you to this week’s Featured Retailer: TJ’s Inspirations located in Evansville, Indiana. This enchanting shop, owned by Mike and Thelma Whoberry, sells a perfectly curated selection of vintage French Country home accents. I had the amazing opportunity to meet this fantastic and artistic couple last fall when they attended one of the Amy Howard Workshops in Memphis. Mike and Thelma are very active and involved in their local community where they host bi-monthly Rescue, Restore, Redecorate and Amy Howard at Home product workshops. Together they fearlessly lead tentative DIYers through their creative and transformative furniture adventures.

Before and After: Side Table

Before: Desk
After: Desk
This desk was painted with the 
White Perfection, Seaside, Kumquat, and Sunny Brook Farm Amy Howard At Home Lacquers.

TJ’s Inspirations offers a full array of the Amy Howard at Home product line, including but not limited to: Cracked Patina, Mirror Antiquing Solution, Furniture Stain, Furniture Gesso, Antiquing Glaze, Bole, Gilding Size, Gold and Silver Leaf, Dark Wax and Light Wax. They invite customers who are curious to join them for workshops that they currently offer twice a month. They limit their class size to four to ensure that you will receive all the attention and assistance that you could possibly want with any of the Amy Howard at Home Products. All you have to do is arrive with a piece of furniture – and Mike and Thelma will encourage and support your process. If you are in the area – I hope you take the opportunity to visit this local gem.

TJ's Workshop Area

Busy painting away!
Almost finished piece painted in the One Step Paint
Looks like they had a great time!

TJ's Inspirations
5625 Vogel Road, Suite D
Evansville, IN 47715
(812) 617-1405
Store Hours:
Monday & Wednesday 11am-5:30pm
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 10am-5:30pm
Saturday 10am-2pm

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Painted Furniture Inspiration

I have a soft spot in my heart for antique furniture.  There is so much character in older pieces -- not just in their angles and curves -- or their handcrafted details -- but also in their history.  These pieces have character -- and a story all their own.  It is my hope to inspire and teach you how easy it is to rescue, restore and redecorate these classic pieces that you may have unearthed on craigslist or at flea market -- or rediscovered in your attic.

I want to share the following pieces and their stories.  You can create similar finishes simply using the Amy Howard at Home One Step paint -- followed by a quick application of one of my Antiquing products.

19th Century Chests of Drawers
These chests are from Sweden in Gustavian style circa 1860
They are on sale for $10,500

Antique Secretary
This 18th century Swedish Baroque Period secretary was made in the 1780s
The price is $11,500

Pine Bench
This bench is from Sweden circa 1840
It is on sale for $2,925

Antique Swedish Mora Grandfather Clock
This antique grandfather clock is defined by its curves
which hails from Mora Sweden
This elegant clock dates back to 1820
It has a gorgeous grey painted finish
It is for sale for $3,175

Notice the delicate wear around the edges and the areas where there would have been gentle wear. There is no need for a piece that you paint to look overly dirty or too worn. Think of it as a fine antique that was cherished!

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate

Instructions and Products
are available on

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One Step Color Palette Inspiration

One of my favorite color palettes is the use of neutral grays with a touch of blue. We have a few different greys and blues within the 42 One Step paint colors but here I have chosen to use Metropolitan Grey, Paige Blue, and Luxe Grey.

One Step Color Palette:
Metropolitan Grey, Paige Blue, and Luxe Grey

The addition of the blue bedding works beautifully
The stripes add a new dimension to this bedroom
I like the addition of the blue pillows to the bedding
Gorgeous antique pieces
Adding color to your cabinets is one way to bring life into your kitchen
I like the gray walls in this room
Again the use of a neutral blue for the kitchen cabinets
I like the use of blue for the fabric on the seat of this bench at the end of the bed
Gorgeous tones of blue and grey on the chest
I think the use of silver gilding on the frame works well
I love to use fabric for headboards

Crafting a Beautiful Life™

Monday, July 28, 2014

AHAH Before & After Projects

Monday is our official Before and After showcase day.  I find transformation not only inspiring but deeply moving.  So often we take what we see for granted.  We often operate under the assumption that things, people, situations simply are what they are.  However, I have come to find that almost everything is in a chrysalis state.  We must simply look past -- scratches and scars -- ugly paint -- or a little extra weight.  What it comes down to -- is how we elect to see ourselves and the world around us.  It is my hope that if I can show you how to Restore, Restore and Redecorate something as easy as dresser -- that you can apply this hope and vision to the other facets of your lives.  There is beauty everywhere -- sometimes it just needs to be coaxed forward. 

Before: Dresser
After: Dresser
This piece completely changes the look of the room.
It was painted in the Amy Howard At Home Bauhaus Buff One Step Paint.

Before: Side Table
After: Side Table
This piece was painted with the Selznick Grey One Step Paint.
I love the way it was put in between these twin beds!

Before: Planter
After: Planter
This great piece was painted with One Step Paint.
They used a part Granite with 2 parts Vintage Afflication.
Thanks Modern History Collection for sharing! 

Before: China Cabinet
After: China Cabinet
This cabinet was painted with the Luxe Grey One Step Paint and 
followed by the antiquing steps with the Light Wax, Dark Wax, and Dust of the Ages.
Thank you Royal Room!

Crafting a Beautiful Life™

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lacquer Ideas

Happy Friday Followers and Fellow Furniture Lovers...

Fridays are perfect for formulating and solidifying the weekend plan of attack. A simple and easy way to change the feel of your room - is to use paint. To that end, I wanted to share with you some ideas that are quick in execution and epic in design.

My line of Lacquers produce a thick, rich, hard and high gloss finish to give your DIY project that perfect pop of amazing color.

But, let's be honest, when we think of undertaking a painting project - we immediately think - goodness, this is going to require a drop cloth, a roll brush, one of those paint pans, and a paint can opener - some meditative music - some paint thinner for all mistakes that I am bound to make...

NOT SO with the Amy Howard At Home Lacquer - all you need is to aim and spray. You can transform any piece of furniture - a frame, table, dresser - into an edgy, chic, and high fashion statement piece. This spray-on magical wonder is exclusive to Amy Howard At Home. The quick DIY Lacquer is available in 21 different colors - including metallics - because who doesn't love something shiny.

Black chest
Gorgeous blue chair
Green and white
Love the fabric used here with the color!
Pop of teal
Purple frame and console
Red chairs
Seaside Cabinet

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate.

All products and instructions are available on

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Retailer: Estate Treasures

Our Featured Retailer this week is Estate Treasures located in Panama City, Florida. The shop offers both old and new, estate furniture, jewelry, china, pottery, and glassware. They "love anything vintage and are dedicated to offering a wonderful selection of affordable, vintage, and new items."
Their paint display, the piece that the paint is displayed on is a 
100 year old work bench that came form an estate they did.
Wanda owns two stores, one in the historic district of downtown Panama City called Estate Treasures with a sister store located on Panama City Beach, called Coastal Cottage Emporium. The Amy Howard At Home products are available in Estate Treasures with Coastal Cottage Emporium offering more coastal themed décor as well as a few antiques and vintage items. 

"Estate Treasures features antiques and vintage items as well as a selection of new items that they buy at market. They also liquidate estates, which is where many of our antique pieces come from. They have started using the Amy Howard paints to give older, overlooked pieces an updated modern look that can fit into any décor."

Wanda has been in the antique business for over 30 years. She opened Panama City's first ever antique mall. Understanding that downtown areas were being redeveloped into new "hotspots," Wanda saw a opportunity to become part Panama City's historic district so after many years she moved the business to Harrison Ave., the "main street" of downtown. After 10 years and with a desire to own a smaller business where she could control the quality of merchandise in the store and to focus on high end jewelry, she sold the Antique Mall in 2001 and opened what would become Estate Treasures. She has been in the same location, still downtown, for the last 8 years.

In 2011, Wanda decided it was time to branch out and so in April of 2012, she opened Coastal Cottage Emporium. She wanted to have a store on the beach that catered not only to guests with vacation homes but also to locals that lived on the beach year round. To achieve that, they decided the merchandise needed to be "beachy". Coastal Cottage Emporium has more of the painted and reclaimed furniture, although with it's popularity on the rise, they have started to offer that look in the downtown location on a smaller scale.

Here is one of the pieces that Wanda has refinished.

A china cabinet from the 50's

"These cabinets were rarely lit inside so to update it, I painted the inside ballet white, this allowed beautiful pieces inside the cabinet to be shown. I painted the outside Charm School red, because I wanted to showcase the beautiful workmanship of the cabinet I left the marquetry natural, as shown in the stripes. All done in Light wax. "

Estate Treasures

Wanda Hicks
500 Harrison Ave
Panama City, FL 32401
(850) 215-3782
Store Hours: 
Monday through Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-4pm