Meet my friend, Laura! She's a lifelong friend who inspires me with her talent to decorate, and her courage to go after really big dreams. Dreams like, oh I don't know... publishing THREE young adult books! Liar Society, Lies That Bind, and This is W.A.R. are books she co-authored with her equally talented and inspiring sister, Lisa. To read more about her (and these books) check out their blog, Lisa and Laura Write.
Enjoy Laura's recount of DIY'ing this piece, especially the adventure she went on to buy it -- "...he did not have a police record I could uncover..."
Every so often, I get this overwhelming urge to paint something. To start the day with ugly oak and end with FABULOUS. This particular time, my older sister Lisa was painting all sorts of stuff for her new house and I wanted in. Unfortunately, I'm at capacity in the furniture department and another piece would not fit in our house so I had to resort to replacement. I targeted a very wobbly ladder bookshelf my son loved to rock and figured I was supporting a good cause and potentially saving his life by buying something new. Turns out, after gifting said wobbly bookshelf to Lisa, all it needed was a few screws tightened. But that's neither here nor there.
I scanned some catalogues to gather inspiration and found some lovely pieces at Ballard Design. But, have you seen their prices lately? Who do they think they are?! Pottery Barn? Okay, maybe they are Pottery Barn, but I barely shop there either, so I knew I'd have to take my inspiration and leave.
I liked the look of both of these, but preferably without a $2000 price tag. Yikes.
So I did what any self-respecting girl on a budget does. I went to Craig's List. I searched on "bookcase" and "glass." I figured by adding "glass" to the search, I'd garner some higher end results. Well, I found this beauty.
Oak? Check. Glass? Check. Knobs to change? Check. Stability? TBD. Perfect bones for a rehab. But I'd have to buy it first. My husband isn't much of a Craig's List kinda guy, so I knew I'd have to do this particular project on my own. And because I have no patience whatsoever, that meant THAT DAY. I emailed the owner and said I was interested. HE (okay, not to be sexist, but a little warning bell went off when I found out the seller was a man) said it was still available and he was free for me to pick it up that day. I did a bit of Googling/cyberstalking and discovered he worked from home, was not a registered sex offender and did not have a police record I could uncover. I called Lisa and explained the plan and told her I would call her RIGHT after I did the pickup and if I didn't call that she should call the local police department (that was 45 minutes away from where I live, btw) immediately and relay the address of Craig's List seller.
45 minutes later, I arrived at the seller's house, which did not appear to be a murderer's lair. But when I rang the doorbell and the man came to the door, he said to come through the garage. Hmm. Didn't quite like the sound of that, but I had that bookcase on the brain and it was clouding my judgement. Went to the garage. "It's just down here in the BASEMENT," seller said. Oh. Oh. Um. Bookcase. Bookcase. Bookcase. Okay. I LED THE WAY to the basement, which in retrospect could have been a fatal error. One kick and I'd be done. But when I made it down to the basement, there she was. The bookcase. And it was every bit as beautiful as I'd imagined.
Seller helped me haul it up and shove it in my trunk. On my way home, I called Lisa to reassure her of my safety and SHE DIDN'T ANSWER THE PHONE. So much for my backup plan. Apparently she was on the phone with our other sister. Nice. But in the end, I guess the moral of the story is to trust in Craig's List. At least most of the time.
I raced home and began my project straight away. I bought Annie Sloan chalk paint in Duck Egg Blue and applied approximately 15 coats. Do not be mistaken. The bookcase I purchased was kind of a piece of junk. Laminate. And potentially more wobbly than what I had parted with. But it had glass! And knobs! And it'd be so pretty! And it was a cool $50.
I'm very proud of the finished product. It's a lovely aqua-ish blue, has a brand new bead board backing that my husband tried to cut with a jigsaw while swearing profusely and failing miserably. The lovely people at Lowes eventually made a straight cut for me and I nailed it to the back.
I replaced the knobs with some ones at half price at Hobby Lobby and was good to go! The project fulfilled the itch to DIY...at least for a few more weeks. Until next time!
I'm just glad she's still alive and here to share this with us! Thanks, Laur!!