Today, I have a very special lady with an out-of-this-world furniture transformation to share with you all. Seriously, my jaw is still agape over it. She needs very little introduction because by now, you’ve already been acquainted with this creative Canadian with an eye for style. You see her face here most Fridays. Have you figured it out yet? That’s right, it’s the talented and lovely Thalita!
Hi you guys, I’m Thalita from The Learner Observer. You might recognize me from this…
Oh my word!!! Can I just tell you how super insanely exciting it is for me to be guest posting at The Thinking Closet? When Lauren emailed me to propose this, I was so giddy with excitement, I could hardly contain myself! I mean, who wouldn’t be excited to be sharing their work on this totally fantastic blog, right? And who wouldn’t be excited to share their work with totally fantastic readers, right? Right!
If I can be honest with you, I was a little nervous about choosing something to share with you all because I know you’re used to such amazing content from Lauren. Here’s hoping I can live up to your expectations. Ready?
Now, this is the story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I got a hutch using a little flair.
How terrible was that on a scale of 1-10, like a 27? I’m sorry. I’m so not a rapper. But chances are you sang along with the tune in your head, and some of you even kept going with the original lyrics, didn’t you? Come on, didn’t you? Ok time to get serious! (Just kidding, I never really do that).
If you hang around The Learner Observer for just 5 minutes, you will learn one thing rather quickly: I love to frequent thrift shops for just about anything from frames, to decorative items, and furniture. I am also an avid Kijiji shopper (I know Kijiji exists in the U.S. but not many people use it, so for the sake of clarification, it’s Canadian Craigslist). This piece particularly, I searched for high and low. I wanted a hutch/pantry in my kitchen so badly, and I wanted it to cost under $100 before paint and other supplies. When I saw this 80’s wall unit, I instantly knew what I could do with it. Sure, it had a small TV and a painting of the ocean on it, but I had a vision! A vision of white shelves and dishes neatly put away. Dreamy.
Here’s what I did to make that happen.
First, I removed all of the hardware. There were about 258 tiny screws! Then, I got out my trusty random orbit sander (a Christmas gift from my husband – he knows what I like). I didn’t do any major sanding, this was just to begin to get the sheen off of the surface, and it only took me a couple of hours to do all of this. My main concern was the shelving because they would get the most action with things being moved around.
I used the same primer here as I did on the tiled walls of the scary basement washroom, and I have no complaints! The paint was actually also the same. Don’t you love double-duty materials?
Because it was such a nice warm and dry day, we painted the whole thing and brought it inside. I was ELATED! Pure joy and it wasn’t even finished yet. The bottom portion needed a little tweak – legs! As much as I love the shape of the piece, the height wasn’t doing it for me and it needed a little lift. I got 6 plain wood 6″ legs from Home Depot and the metal pieces to connect them and my dad attached them to the bottom for me nice and tightly, using some 2 x 4s as extra security and height. I would have gone for the 9″ legs, but they might have been too tall, and they were double the price! I’m going for lowest possible cost, here (as usual). Note: I will list all materials with links shortly, ok? Here is the leg I chose and the hardware used to install it:
The final step of the weekend was snazzing up the back of the shelves. I had already decided on going for black-and-white on the chairs in the kitchen (which you can see here), and my cupboards are white with black handles/knobs. I contemplated painting the back. That would have required more time, more paint, and more painting. After completing the washroom and this, I was all painted out! Wallpaper was the next option, but I didn’t find one I liked at a budget-friendly cost. While at Target with my mom that weekend, I thought to look at wrapping paper. Bingo. Rolls were on sale for $2.99 each. I got two and skipped on home to get my gluing on! I just used Rubber Cement for this, so nothing fancy. I even applied it with the hard little brush it comes with.
Sadly, we have no pictures of this. Both of us had glue-y hands and it took all of about 10 minutes to get these on. I used exactly one roll of the paper, which felt pretty darn great! Now, let’s see the final outcome!
And let the shelf-styling begin!!! I even started a Pinterest board to help me think of ideas. This is most definitely not my forte, and I just know I will cringe as I look back at these years from now, but here we go…
A lot of what’s sitting here now has been boxed in our front closet since we got married… 11 months ago! Some pieces (like the small white and blue bowls carefully placed in an ombre pattern, which I love) were a recent Anthro purchase. The last thing on the to-do list for this piece is to potentially change the hardware. I don’t mind the shape and colour (though perhaps they can use a little Rub ‘N Buff like these), but I did consider something a little smaller and a little less “in your face,” so I went to Anthro and got some (ON SALE) hardware.
What do you think? Stick with the originals or go for the new? I would have to fill the holes with wood filler, sand and paint the doors, so it’s not a whole lot of work. I just need to actually make a decision. Help me!
Now, let’s talk numbers.
Wall Unit to Hutch Cost Breakdown:
Wall unit: $40 (WHAT THE WHAT? Did I just say $40?? YES! And I knooooowwwwww…. what a great deal!)
Paint: $35 (Not including primer costs since it was also used in the washroom)
Brush and roller: $7
Wrapping paper: $2.99
Legs: 6 at $4.69 each. Total: $28.14
Metal hardware: 6 at $2.43 each. Total: $14.58
Anthropologie hardware: 4 at $2.95 each (originally $14 each). Total: $11.80
GRAND TOTAL: $141.50
So, how did I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how I should style my shelves and what hardware I should stick to.
If you want more, I’d love for you to check out some of my favourite projects on The Learner Observer so far, like my Sharpie Paint Marker Bowl, or my attempt at putting together my first Gallery Wall, or that time I Dip-Dyed a Pillow! And if you like celebrations and pretty prints, I’m giving two away this week for my 1-year Anniversary. But hurry – tomorrow is the last day to enter!! Oh and if you’re in the mood for five links, go check out this week’s Friday Five!
Thank you, Lauren, for asking me to be on your totally awesome blog today, and thank you all for actually reading my run-on sentences and putting up with my craziness for a day!