A place for six to eat...

My clients, Kelly and Rainer, wanted their old dining room table and chairs to be refurbished with a modern look which included refurbishing everything from the seat cushions to the various water stains and chipped pieces of wood. The whole ensemble was in desperate need of a "Refurbished with Love" facelift!

It turns out their dining set had a matching china cabinet in decent condition which I used as a guide to match the new stain for the set. Since the table top had a layer of wood veneer, I chose to use new a product to refurbish it, a gel stain by Minwax.

I haven't had any experience with gel stains before, but supposedly they are an alternative for 'faux' wood surfaces. In the end, I developed a big love/ hate relationship with this gel and there are more reasons why I don't like it.  First off, I should warn you, the gel has the consistency of pudding and is better applied with a sponge brush as opposed to a bristled one. Secondly, it dries ten times faster than your typical oil based stains. Therefore, if you are working on a large area, I suggest staining it in sections. This will help tremendously considering if it dries on you, it will be tough to get out. However, should you run into this problem, I suggest applying additional stain over the dried section and buffing the heck out of it! Lastly, the gel seemed to leave a residue on the wood and was rough to the touch. This was obviously frustrating since you need your surface to be smooth as silk before applying the polyurethane at the end. Lastly, fom a price conscious perspective, the gel stain only comes in quart size amounts at a whopping $16, which can add up quick when trying to pick the right color for your piece.

table and chairs after

Half of the table had water damage and uneven color in many areas. 

table top before

table top before

table top after

chair after

chair after

close up on stud detailing

Overall, the dining set came out beautiful and the stain was spot on for matching the cabinet! I also upholstered the dining chairs in a neutral fabric picked by the client and added a stud detail which gave the chairs the modern appeal they were looking for.

Overall I do not think I would use a gel stain again, however I was very please with the final outcome.  This was a big project for my small work space, but definitely a fun one to transform.

I am now pleased to say, seating for six is now available at the Hoboken brownstone of Kelly and Rainer. 

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Behind the Love

Here at Refurbished with Love I give furniture a facelift, making your old pieces of furniture new again. My motto is ReStore, ReUse and ReStyle. Not only do I refurbish furniture, I also upholster and sew custom linens such as pillows, curtains and shades.

I am a big city girl with southern roots! I have a passion for refurbishing furniture and am lucky to make it my career. New fabrics, tools, paint colors and hardware make me giddy. I can spend hours at my local thrift store, flea market or antique store.

I come from a long line of craftsmen. My mother taught me how to sew when I was a child. First with hair scrunchies, then as an adult making dog coats for my puppy Mia to brave the snowy winters. With her living in Texas and me in New Jersey, no matter the distance, she sat patiently on the phone answering all my questions of "how to" and "what about". She too is an excellent seamstress, although it is not her full time job just more of a hobby. As for the rest of my family, my grandfather on my mother's side was a carpenter who worked on yachts. Both my grandmothers were amazing seamstresses, sewing wedding gowns and some of my baby clothes. Growing up I can remember my father always building or repairing something. He made my first sand box with a huge slide. He reupholstered the family sofas and remodeled my childhood home adding on three additional bedrooms. Today he is a successful architect.  And last but not least my sister, Vanessa, owns her own successful custom linens company in Texas, Jacquelyn Reese Baby and Kids. Check out her blog at Onehautekid.blogspot.com.

So I guess next time someone asks "how did you know how to do this", I should say “it’s in my family genes!”

A Seat for One

This project was by far my favorite. Why, you may ask? Because I love the way it turned out!  So much so that if I had a bigger apartment I would have kept it for myself but on the flip side it's a good thing since I have the typical small Hoboken apartment. I could find any excuse to keep everything! On a side note, to help put things into perspective for those of you who do not live in the New York/ New Jersey area, my apartment is the size of my parents master bedroom suite in Houston Texas! One evening, during one of my visits home, I was lying on their king size bed chatting with them as they were getting ready to go out. As I was lying there I looked around and thought to myself, my entire apartment fits in this bedroom including my bathroom and closet! How depressing! But I digress...enough about my small space, it is a treasure.

For those of you who are familiar with small space living you understand the need or limitation to having a single seat chair. I found this particular chair at a thrift store in Jersey City where it was substituting as a stand for a fan to keep the store cool. When inquired about the chair to the clerk she replied "Okay, but it doesn't have a seat!" so in turn of course I said "I know, trust me, that is not a problem!" 

chair before

I decided to try a new brand of paint that I fell in love with recently from Clarks & Kensington.  Ace Hardware recently introduced this paint line in February and it is an amazing combination of paint and primer in one. In addition to distressing the chair, I added a dark brown glaze covering the entire chair.

And of course I added a seat!  I picked out this beautiful and fun bird fabric from Premier Prints.

chair after

close up on distressing detail at bottom of chair

close up on distressing 

Like I said before this is by far one of my favorite projects and was a very popular item at the fair. It sold the minute the fair opened!

Up next are two chairs I found by a dumpster. Check back to see how I transform these chairs into a bench!

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A Houston Family Heirloom... The Piano Bench

Over my summer trip home to Houston I took on two more projects and one of them was the old family piano bench at my sister's house. My grandfather, on my dad's side, was a professional piano player in Miami and this was the piano he had in Miami. It was brought to Houston when my grandparents moved in with us in the late 80's.

Our house was always filled with music. I can still hear my grandfather playing old songs from his night club days and how he endlessly practiced his new sheet music for his Lutheran church where he played.  I learned how to play "She will be coming around the mountain" on this piano. Can I still play that today? No, but I have fond memories of my grandfather teaching me.

piano bench before

To reupholster this bench I used fabric, trim and studs picked out by my sister. She also monogramed her family initials on the top. The monogram added an elegant yet personal touch.

piano bench after

close up on the monogram

It turned out beautifully and now looks great in her family study.

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My Etsy Store

Many of you have asked where I sell my furniture, well besides my mini pop-up shop at festivals and trade shows you can also find Refurbished with Love furniture and home accent items here at my Etsy store, Refurbished with Love.

my etsy store

I do have many more things to add to my shop, I just need to find the time to take pictures! Therefore, thank you in advance for your patience. In addition to these items I have 4 lamps, 4 tables and a chair not shown in my online store. If there is anything in particular you are looking for please send me an email and I will send you images of more items.

Happy Shopping!

shop refurbished with love

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Vintage End Table with octagon top and pedestal base.
Solid wood with an ebony stain.

Vintage End Table After

Two Tiered End Table... aka Dumbwaiter Table
Solid wood, hand painted Moroccan pattern in two shades of gray, white base.

Stemless Wine Glasses with Chalkboard Paint Label
$25 for 4


Vintage Bar Cart 

BOOK LAMP Made with Vintage Hard Back Books $50

It's a chevron transformation!

Chevron, chevron and more chevron.. I can't get enough of it! Some of you may remember my 'old obsession of the week' post discussing the pattern chevron. Well, I have finally started to put those ideas into action! My first chevron project was this coral colored side table.

I picked up this table in northern New Jersey and instantly loved the shape of it with the curved edges and detailed legs. The table originally was white and the worst paint job I had ever seen. It had the thickest coat of white acrylic paint. In some parts I could literally peel it off in sheets and in other areas I had to used a heavy duty stripping solution twice! Once all the acrylic was removed, I painted it a base color of Behr's 'Cool Melon.' Then I stenciled on the chevron pattern and painted the stripes in Behr's 'Cool Lava.'

side table before 
close up on end table

end table after

Here is the second chevron project I recently completed.  I picked up this bench from the same place where I got the table. This poor bench was in bad shape when I picked it up, but I love the final product!

After some much needed TLC. I stained the wood a rich ebony and made a new cushion from the beautiful beautiful navy and white from Premiere Prints zig zag fabric.

chevron bench after - SOLD
I have more of this fabric left over and I think I will use it on my work stool!

Check back to see more pattern projects!

Antique Glazed 1950's Two Tier Side Table

I picked up this vintage side table on one of my many furniture hunting trips in New Jersey. This beautiful end table doesn't have a date on it, but after much research I have come to the conclusion it is either from the 1940's or 1950's. What drew me to the table was the curved detail on the top and the scalloped legs. Once I got the table home, my creative juices started flowing and I decided to paint the table 'Quilter's White.' I also added a decorative glaze to create an aged/vintage look. In my opinion, the dark cherry wood gave this table a very dated look, something you would find in your grandmother's house.

end table before

You may not be able to tell from the before picture, but this table has a draw.  Originally it didn't have a handle, therefore I added this Anthropologie draw pull.

end table after

A fresh coat of paint completely transformed this table from drab to fab and the draw pull is my favorite part! If you are interested in purchasing this antique end table visit my RefurbishedwithLove shop on Etsy.com.

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Shaken, Stirred or Straight Up Bar Cart

Recently I have been in love with bar carts of all varieties; metal, glass, wood all kinds. Bar carts can be a great addition to any large or small space.  Just imagine, in a large game room, a trendy cart on wheels helps to keep the party moving! In a small space, a bar cart helps to create a festive cocktail area without taking up too much space.

A couple months ago I found this bar cart on one of my furniture hunting trips. I instantly envisioned the changes I wanted to make but with juggling my other projects, I wasn’t able to refurbish it until this May. It was in need of some serious TLC!  Below are the before and after pictures of the beautiful cart.

bar cart before
I wanted the cart to have a vintage look and was inspired to write common bar terms on the top tier. Each word was hand stenciled and took a lot longer than I thought it would!

bar cart after

bar cart after

close up on top tier

close up on handle stencil

bottom tier

Here are some other great carts featured on Houzz.com. I especially love the gold bamboo cart by Bagues.

Bagues bar cart

Here is another by William Sonoma Home.

For those of you who are thinking, "I don't drink alcohol or need a bar cart". Let me tell you these carts can also be used a serving station, mobile desk or mobile end table. So next time you see a bart cart pick it up, take it home and tell me what you have done with it.

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Easy as A, B, C

I know this is very late, but here is the bookcase I refurbished for my niece, Sloane's, nursery over Christmas. I apologize for not having a before picture. Originally it was a dark cherry wood and my sister wanted something brighter for the room. Therefore, she chose a crisp white for the outside and a bright tangerine orange for the inside.

The nursery colors are lavender, pale orange and white.

bookcase after

It's Spring time for Craft festivals and Street Fairs

Spring time is upon us! The weather here in NJ / NY is amazing and it's that time of year for street festivals and craft fairs. This year, I have decided to participate in several going on in and around my area. I'm especially looking forward to the Hoboken Art & Music Festival on May ? due to the fact it is right outside my door! Talk about convenient!

Recently, I had my first festival in March at the Paramus Craft Show and fortunately, all my great experience in event planning helped me get organized. Here is a picture of my booth area. Please forgive the wrinkled tablecloth, it drove me crazy! I am definitely adding a handheld steamer to my list!

My allotted 8' x 10' space was stocked full with wine glasses, lamps, coaster, pillows and end tables. I have to say, the craft show was very interesting. There was a plethora of handmaid crafts from life size wooden rabbits to chenille stuffed carrots. I was actually the only furniture booth but my coasters sold like hot cakes! I used an assortment of colors and patterns and they turned out super cute! For the next fair I think I'll experiment by stamping them with a single letter with a background pattern for variation.

Lastly, a big shout out to my oh so awesome friend Rachael for volunteering her time and crafty work which made my first fair even better!! 

My next festival is May 6th the Hoboken Art & Music Festival and more to come.

If you are round come stop by and see me!

Obsession of the Week...Spring Colors

I love color! But you wouldn't guess that by looking at my wardrobe. The majority of my clothes are black, grey and neutral colors but lately, I have been obsessed with bright colors for spring! I have all kinds of ideas for my up coming projects, including bold patterns, colors and new styles.

Recently, I picked up several vintage and antique pieces of furniture in northern New Jersey and have decided to venture into a bold palette with my refurbishing. I have selected bright corals, turquoises and greens. I will be using these colors on lamps, lamp shades, rugs, tables and much more!

Behr Tropical Waters
Behr Cool Melon

Behr Cool Lava


I will post images soon of my new projects!

Obsession of the Week... Lamps

Lamps are a great accent for any room and almost everyone has one, so why not make it a statement, like this teacup lamp. I discovered this DIY teacup lamp on the blog Vintage Revival and fell in love with it.

It's super cute and totally inspiring! I will admit drilling through glass tea cups and saucers somewhat scares me, but this blog also gives great tips for drilling into glass. Can't wait to try it.

Here is another example from blogger Rocky Bella of a glass vase turned into a lamp. She was inspired by the glass lamps from Crate and Barrel. I saw something similar at Target the other day and I really like them.

After seeing these DIY lamps I am on a mission to start making my own. As for the teacup lamp, I like how she added color by spray painting the teapot. I think I will do the same when I attempt this.  As for the glass vase lamps I envision it with a fun lamp shade of a bold pattern and color. 

fabric images via Fabrics.com

In addition to making these lamps I also want to refurbish some vintage lamps I picked up at my local thrift store. I will keep you posted on how it goes. I'm crossing my fingers hoping I don't break to many glasses!

It's called a dumbwaiter table...

As many of you know I am crazy about stenciling and am happy to report my latest project is finally finished. What did I stencil? It's called a Dumbwaiter Table. I came across this table a while ago and knew I wanted to do something special to it. I always envisioned using multiple colors and a cool pattern on the table tops.

dumbwaiter table after

dumbwaiter table before
The top of each tier is painted in Benjamin Moore's Gibraltar Cliff and Beach Glass.  The stencil I used is a beautiful Moroccan pattern from the Royal Design Stencil Shop. When I ordered the stencil I didn't realize how big it was going to be because it's a wall stencil. Therefore, when it arrived it was way too big for this small table, so I tried shrinking the pattern on a copier and it worked. It was a long process and I wouldn't suggest it to anyone. Once the pattern was scaled down, I then traced on to blue painters tape I had put onto the table tops.

the grueling stencil process
The stenciling process took longer then I thought it would, but the results are fabulous!

table tops

close up on table top
  The table also has a beautiful pedestal at the bottom and in between each tier.

THIS TABLE HAS SOLD, but if you are interested in other things check out my Etsy Shop - Refurbishedwithlove. Keep checking back for my next stencil project, a chevron pattern rug!

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A is for Apple, B is for Boy, C is for Custom Made Nursery

As I mentioned before, my Christmas holiday was a busy one filled with sewing and refurbishing. Two of my biggest projects were for my best friend Jessica's nursery. I am sure if I lived in Houston Jessica and her husband would have me busy day and night with projects for their new home.

The nursery has a cute farm house theme complete with a pig, old barn door refurbished dresser, madras plaid, red and white gingham ribbon and all the toys perfect for little boys. My projects for the nursery were to sew drapes, a London shade and refurbish a dresser.

nursery after 

Jessica picked up this dresser for $50 from a Houston thrift store. It is made of solid wood and is about 50 years old. It needed minor repairs, other than that it was in great condition. Over the 50 years the dresser has acquired some beautiful wear and tear from the warm holes to the antiqued mirror.

dresser before
close up of dresser before

dresser before

Jessica knew from the beginning she wanted this dresser to look like an old barn door, from the weathered wood, fading paint to the distressed edges. The paint color was a perfect fit. Jessica chose Martha Stewart Living Sealing Wax.  Lucky for Jessica, I really enjoy a challenge and the finished product looks as though it was made from the wood of an old Texas barn.

dresser after

close up on mirror and dresser top

close up of dresser top

To help complete the farm house theme custom made drapes and London shade were sewn. I chose a indoor/outdoor cotton/poly blend navy fabric for the drapes and shade. The durability of an indoor/outdoor fabric is great for little boys. For the drapes we also choose to make the length floor to ceiling for a more elegant look. Both the drapes and shade are lined with blackout lining. Blackout lining is a necessity for nurseries because it helps keep out most sunlight for those naps at all different hours. A delicate red and white gingham ribbon was added as trim to both the drapes and shade.  


In addition to the dramatic length, we also decided to make the drapes extra wide. Jessica wanted the extra fabric to gather and bunch when the drapes are fully closed.

London shade
close up on London shade

The London shade turned out  fantastic. I love the bobbled bottom. Baby Brody is one lucky baby, two amazing parents, two loving dogs and one awesome nursery.

Photo by Jessica Matos Photography.

Follow me on Pinterest

I am addicted to Pinterest. It is such a cool concept and a great storage bank for creative ideas. So far I have used Pinterest for DIY ideas, cooking, home improvement tips, decorating and much more. I will admit at first I was hesitant to join mainly because I didn't understand the concept, but now that I do I can't stop pinning! If you want to see what I am pinning you can follow me here at RefurbishedwithLove Pinterest.

You can also access my Pinterest page by clicking on the "P" icon in the upper right hand corner.

Happy Pinning!

Happy New Year... 2012 is my year!

Happy New Year everyone, it's 2012 and I have decided this is going to be my year!

My Christmas holiday was a busy one full of refurbishing, sewing, shopping, eating and spending time with my family. It is always great to see my nieces and nephews, they are growing so fast and are so adorable. Here is a picture of my niece (my sister's daughter) and I at Santa's Wonderland in College Station, Texas. This was my second time visiting Santa's Wonderland and it's always a good time. We roasted s'mores, ate BBQ and experienced some good old southern holiday spirit. 

me and jacquelyn on a hay ride
Last year will definitely go down as a year to remember for both the good and the bad. It was a year full of surprises, changes and lessons learned. I have always been a firm believer that things happen for a reason. You might not know the reason or understand it, but whatever the reason is it will make sense in the end.

Therefore, I am making it my mission for 2012 to take Refurbished with Love to the next level! Keep your eyes and ears open, because there is a lot more to come.

Happy New Year! 

Obsession of the Week...Mad for the Chevron Pattern

My latest obsession is the chevron pattern. I like it on fabric, rugs, furniture, dishware, frames, pillows, on floors, everywhere! I know this style has been around for a while, but I have seen it popping up more and more lately.  Currently, I am working up the courage to paint the pattern on a rug! I want a new 5x7 area rug for my bedroom, but the idea of painting carpet kind of scares me. I know it shouldn't, because I have worked on harder projects than painting a rug, but I am afraid it's going to turn out stiff. Here is the before and after rug that inspired me. You can see the tutorial here at Remodelaholic.com.

Here is another great example of the chevron pattern on a table top.

I definitely want to try it on a piece of furniture, but I think after that I should probably call it quits or I will have to check myself into a chevron rehab program! Well maybe a throw pillow too, but then that's it, I swear!

Obsession of the Week...Stencil Mania

Lately I have been obsessed with stenciling. I love all the different patterns and how easy it is to apply. Stenciling can transform almost anything. It can be done on a wall, a piece of fabric, a table, rug, chair or dresser. As of now I have two items on my stencil to do list and they are a rug and an end table. I can't wait to get started. Recently, I purchased a beautiful Moroccan stencil on Etsy from the Royal Design Stencil Shop. They have some of the best patterns and a big selection.

moroccan stencil

My first stencil project will be on this two tiered table, also referred to a dumb-waiter table which I found over the summer. I am envisioning a pretty stencil pattern on the tops of each tier. The pattern will give the table a unique look.

two tier end table also know as dumb waiter table

Also, in my search for stencils I came across these beautiful leather bar stools with stencil work on the leather.  I love this pattern and would like to stencil it on a rug. Although, I am also obsessed with the chevron pattern and I think it would be pretty on a rug too.

I will post pictures of the finished table soon.

Happy Stenciling!

Jessica's Breakfast Nook

Over the summer, my best friend, Jessica and her husband moved into their new home. In June, when I was home visiting family and friends, Jessica asked me to sew for her breakfast nook new cushions and a roman shade. I was very excited to take on this project and jumped at the chance to help her decorate her new home. Jessica and I have different taste when it comes to decorating. Jessica's style is more bohemian mixed with traditional where as my style is more contemporary meets traditional. Though our decorating styles are different I always like what she picks and sure enough she picked two great fabrics.

Her original cushions were old and out of date black and white checkered fabric and the window was bare.

old cushions
True to her bohemian taste, Jessica chose a beautiful multicolored chenille fabric for the cushions and an embroidered bird fabric for the roman shade.

breakfast nook finished

I love the way the cushions and shade turned out and can't wait to see them in her breakfast nook. I will be home for Christmas and hope to have better pictures soon. Also, I will need to do a little fluffing when I get there and by then I will have finished her new throw cushions for the bench.

roman shade
close up shot

I am very pleased with the way it all turned out and it is very cozy! I sat here a lot over Christmas and New Year's with my glass of wine chatting with Jessica as she worked in the kitchen.

Bon Appetit!