…white is always right

I posted this on FB the other day and it got quite a bit of attention. So, I thought I’d post it here too because it’s a great example of how to DIY your dining room or kitchen. This is do-able. You can handle this. You could maybe handle this over a long weekend. Let’s take a look.

White rooms always work. Please don’t tell me that your kids will mess it up, blah, blah, blah. I have 3 little kids and plenty of white pieces. We don’t tip toe around furniture and accessories in our house. We love & live in it because it’s pretty. White just like any other color can be cleaned & wiped down. Brown pieces get just as dirty, people. And I have no problem dolling out “time-outs” if a juice box makes it into my living room! Besides all that, there’s not upholstery in this room.

So, back to the white thing. Take a look at this room.


Table. That table could have cost $50 at Goodwill or $100 on Craigslist. You have to look past the ugly brown and see what it can be. Find one, buy it. If it has details on it even better. If it does not and the legs are not broken & wobbly great. Don’t worry too much about scratches. Just make sure it’s in overall good condition. It does not have to be perfect. Don’t let your husband/roommate have an opinion and hold you back because they think “What is she thinking bringing that ugly piece into the house.”. Just do it. Dear Husband was so mad at me when I made him pick up 8 ugly kitchen chairs and now we’ve had them for years and use them every day.

Paint. You could use Annie Sloan or you could use a can of white spray paint that works on wood. If you are using spray paint do it outside. Sounds crazy for those of you that have not worked with it, but I used to spray paint everything when we had our first home – lamps, chairs, tables, etc. You could also use a Benjamin Moore type of paint. Be sure to ask your hardware store paint person that you are painting over wood.

Color. Paint it white. You will not mess up white. Any shade of white you like, but NOT CREAM. Cream is a bit more tricky to match and will look dingy if you are trying to create a white room. If you are using ASCP use Old White or Pure White. Spray & Can paint – pick a white and don’t stress too much about it. You are layering this room so there will be alot to look at and no one is going to notice if your paint is Ecru or Eggshell.

Chairs. Use what you’ve got, Love. Here’s hoping that you have some ugly, brown chairs that you are so sick of. Paint them the same white. Don’t tell your husband/roommate that you are doing this. Beg for forgiveness later when you reveal your new setting. Any type of chairs will do because you are bringing the look together by using the same paint on the table as you will use on the chairs.

Lighting. The chandelier will be a bit of icing on the cake. Seems small, but it will create a lighter, lovelier look. Get a chandelier. You can find an inexpensive one at Home Depot or a hardware store or Target. Don’t wire it yourself. You’ll have to get some help on this part.

Hutch. The hutch is beautiful, but that can come later. Look around for one. Got one that you hate? PAINT IT THE SAME WHITE! Can’t afford one right now? Save up and keep a can of the same white paint handy.

Faux Fur. Need some faux fur for a last little touch? Ikea sells those little ones for like $7 each. I have about 4 of them all over my house. Remove when serving kids dinner in this space! Easily done.

Details. These are important and not to be glossed over. Find some white china – anywhere! Please buy white and do not be tempted by the pink paisley or cute stripes. You are creating a look and patterns will just not do! If you can find antique Ironstore on Etsy or a flea market, perfect. If you can’t and don’t want to spend money on anything fancy then go to Target and buy a few small plates or bowls or any other white serving item. Just a few. An orchid always makes things a bit more special. Trader Joes sells them for $12. Whole Foods has them for $20.

This is a cost effective project that can work wonders in your home. It’s easy and you are more than capable.

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PS – Did you know that REM sleep is the best way to help aliviate a concussion. Bedtime for me is not 7pm. Are we there yet?


…Building a Business – Find Your Motivation

When starting a creative business you have to start somewhere and frequently one finds oneself starting out of necessity. You may want an unconventional career or some extra money on the side and that is why you start your own business. Maybe you need a few festive scarves so you take up knitting. Maybe you need some wall art so you do some black and white photography. Maybe you found a ratty chair on the side of the road and need it for your new baby’s nursery (this may be a true story) and learn to make a slipcover.

I started Blue Egg Brown Nest when I needed kitchen chairs for my new home. We had no budget for furniture and so I made my DH pick up some old, wheat-back chairs off Craigslist. He was truly skeptical when unloading them at my in-laws house where we were staying while building. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing either or if I had just wasted a 100 bucks.

Here is one after cleaning, stripping, sanding. sigh. Actually, my sweet DH did all that gross work 🙂

I ordered about 5 boxes of milk paint from The Real Milk Paint Store, a bottle of white adhesive a something called tung oil. Oh my!

They make many different colors, but I was after something specific. It took a week to achieve.

These are still the chairs that my kids have breakfast at every morning. I heart them. And when I don’t anymore I will just paint them again!

When you are ready to start your creative business, begin at the beginning – with yourself. You will appreciate the gift you have made yourself with your own hands and you will use it because of it’s personal quality. Then once you have experimented and perfected it you are ready to share it with the rest of us!

Got a creative business that you’d like me to highlight? Email me and I will pick one for the month of February!







…Building Series – Buildling a Business

If you are thinking about building a business or have started your own little business, you know it’s taken a good 20/30/40 years to prepare you for what you are embarking on. You have history and practice and observation on your side.

I grew up watching my dad design and hand-make jewelry. My sister and I would watch him put those funny magnifying jewelers glasses on, work with long, skinny tweezers twisting and molding metal wire. He’d sink the soldered piece in the acid that made a “szzzzz” sound, slosh it around in a mason jar of water and then heat the piece again with his jeweler’s torch. He worked with his hands to create amazing pieces and we wear them all the time. You have no idea the jewelry boxes and hat boxes and trunks my sister & mom have filled with his pieces.

(This is my daughter designing with Papa. Funny how it reminds me of me at his side.)

I went to college, majored in English and was going to write books. Unfortunately, that doesn’t pay the rent until you are actually published.

Then I got a job. Marketing. In a design firm and it was a perfect fit for me. Images, photo shoots, writing, graphics. Kinda what I find myself doing 50% of the time at Blue Egg Brown Nest. Who knew how handy my background would come in when I used to ride that metro into work day in and day out. Eating my lunch at Lafeyette Park, staring at the the White House from my park bench.

Then came a waiting period in my life when I started trying to have a baby. God said no for many years. And I said yes to my own pottery studio in my basement, with wheel & kiln & hand-made glazes. It always felt natural to work with my hands and get messy.

(1 month after Reid was born. I just couldn’t help myself!)

I don’t mean to sound self-indulgent. I recount my past to discuss my present. When I look back it really feels like I was building levels and layers to my story and to my current business. There are things that I will try and accomplish now (or at least take the risk of trying) that I would not have if I did not have that framework underneath me. The writing, the marketing, the designing, etc. I didn’t just happen on furniture painting and blogging. I had no budget for pieces and experimented on 8 kitchen chairs off Craigslist. The necessity of needing furniture turned into wanting it all around me! And as a sidebar, I never read a blog in my life before starting my own! (shhhhhhh)

That is my story.

Many of you have asked me how to grow a business or get started or how did I get started. It wasn’t one thing that led me here. It was many things and many more things and right now it works for me. In a few years it may not work. Who knows. If I were able to share any advice I would say reflect on the things you’ve done & built & may be good at or curious about. I don’t really believe the message that you can do anything you set your mind to. I find it misleading. Yes, perhaps you could physically and/or mentally do it. But, would it be right for you? Would it be organic and natural for you? Would you be happy or good at it? Would it be fruitful? Would it end up frustrating you in the end and be unsatisfying. I do believe God has a plan for all of us, but he doesn’t show us the full hand of cards all at once. He reveals it slowly over a lifetime and if we are diligent and listen close enough we will hear & understand…maybe.