Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review

Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review - offbeat + inspired-6

My obsession with garage sale shopping began about two years ago when my husband and I moved into our house. We previously lived in a one-bedroom apartment and didn’t own much furniture, so I had to get creative in order to decorate on a budget. I’ve enjoyed most of this process – searching out vintage shops, finding unique pieces that cost next to nothing and turning “junk” into something beautiful. The downside, however, comes when I have a decorating vision but can’t (immediately) find a wallet-friendly way to carry it out.

This part of the process continues to teach me patience. I’ve been working on my living room one piece at a time for quite a while, and I’ve begrudgingly learned the secret to decorating on a budget: being patient.

Not everything in my house needs to be done yesterday. As I’ve practiced patience, I’ve noticed that what actually does end up in my house is more cost effective, unique and generally something I’m truly proud of. I’ve perused quite a few sales and walked away from items that weren’t the right price, but eventually the waiting paid off.

Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review - offbeat + inspired-1

The most recent addition to my living room is this storage console that I found at a garage sale for $10. Yup, $10. It’s pretty heavy-duty and sturdy, and judging by how much trouble I had moving it, it’s not going anywhere for a while.

Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review - offbeat + inspired-7

Using Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, I painted the outside of this console in Old White. I didn’t even bother to remove the hardware – I simply painted right over it. I also didn’t sand or prime, which is one of the best things about using Chalk Paint®. The paint adheres to almost any surface, and sanding and priming isn’t necessary. The only thing you should do is wipe off any dust and dirt before you get started…although, true confession, I didn’t even do that for this piece.

For the inside, I blended 1 part English Yellow with 1 part Olive to create an avocado color that works really well with the rest of the furniture I have in my living room. As I painted the sides where the white and avocado colors met, I used masking tape to create a clean edge.

Repainted Storage Console - Process - offbeat + inspired.jpg

After the paint dried (which only takes about 15-20 minutes), I finished both the inside and outside with Clear Wax. I then sanded a few spots to distress it and rubbed a little more wax over those sanded parts for extra protection.

Repainted Storage Console - offbeat + inspired.jpg

To see these steps in action, check out this video from Annie Sloan that shows the process I used for this storage console. (The only thing I did differently was that I didn’t use Dark Wax for this project.) Keep in mind that Soft Wax takes about 30 days to completely cure. Your furniture can still be used during this curing time. However, until the wax cures and has its full protecting powers, you’ll need to be a little more careful about water stains, scratches, etc. The good thing? If you do have any scratches or stains, just reapply the wax to that area to fix it!

Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review - offbeat + inspired-9

Annie Sloan Brush Review

This was the first time I painted with a brush from Annie Sloan, and I will definitely be using it for all of my furniture painting from here on. The round shape makes it easy to paint the nooks and crannies of a piece like the one in this post. The brush also holds more paint than the one I had been using and the bristles spread out really well, allowing for more coverage with each stroke. Basically, all that adds up to the paint process going much faster than when I had used my old brush.

If you’re only going to be painting furniture once in a blue moon, a regular paintbrush works just fine. However, if you’ve got a few projects lined up or plan to make this into a regular hobby, it’s worth investing in one or two of these brushes – one for paint and one for wax. (If you’re going to be painting even more or doing this as a business, I’d suggest having a separate brush for Clear Wax and one for Dark Wax.)

These brushes are clearly designed to work really well with Chalk Paint®. The paint goes on smoothly and evenly, and in my opinion, it makes furniture painting easier and faster.

To purchase Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, check out their list of retailers and stockists in your area. Have questions about Annie Sloan products? Visit Annie Sloan Unfolded, check out their FAQs page or ask me in the comments below!

The Chalk Paint® and brush featured in this post were provided for me by Annie Sloan. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. When I feature products, I thoroughly test them and only post about those items I really love.

Loving Libby Story [and a Giveaway!]

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Spring and summer. Every time these two roll around, I swear they’re my favorite. Flowers, ice cream trucks, baseball, picnics, hiking, road trips with open windows, reviving my 90′s alternative mix CD’s (not sure why, but *always* at this time of year) — love. Dressing for all that adventure is half the magic. I’ve been collecting lots of flowery skirts and airy tops lately, mix-matching and layering while the weather stabilizes. Over the last few months, as I’ve been feeding my Instagram obsession with my springtime obsession, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming friends with the adorable team over at Libby Story.

Libby Story is wonderful. They have a shop, a stunning digital magazine, a lovely (and super friendly) Instagram feed, and they’re the kind of company you want to be friends with. Like go for coffee, have a slumber party, get matching mani/pedis friends with. Needless to say, I’ve been thrilled to work with them on some really fun stuff! The first thing we did together was a “Blogger Crush” feature in the most recent issue of Storied Magazine (available on iPad and iPhone)! They featured me (page 39!) and I am *still* floating over all the sweet things they had to say. Then I did a limited edition fashion illustration print for their shop (available here, pictured at the bottom), styled after an outfit I chose from their spring collection — the outfit I’m wearing in this post! This past weekend I did a takeover of their Instagram feed, sharing pics from my first trip to Keeneland and some Easter fun with the family. So basically, when they visit me in Kentucky, we’re getting our nails done and having that sleepover.

Putting this look together introduced me to some new favorite brands. I am now head over heels for MINKPINK, Knot Sisters and MIA Shoes. The floral shorts are by MINKPINK, the tank is by Knot Sisters, the cardigan is by Hem & Thread, the heels are by MIA Shoes, necklace is by Lenna Agnes and the illustration boots are the ADORABLE “Flip A Coin” booties by Seychelles. I love that these pieces can all be easily paired with other wardrobe staples. For a night out, I would swap in some black shorts or a mini. A cozy tee would also work great with the shorts, as well as a sleeveless button-up with a sparkly bib necklace to dress them up a little. Any way they’re worn, these gems will all be in my regular rotation for the next few months.

I hope you enjoy this look and the style inspiration from my new friends at Libby Story! Scroll to the bottom for all the juicy giveaway details.

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

Libby Story is giving one offbeat + inspired reader a $50 gift certificate to their online shop and one of the limited edition fashion illustration prints (pictured below) that I created to showcase some favorite pieces from their spring collection! The giveaway is open internationally and you can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Winners will be announced on InstagramTwitter and Facebook within a day or 2 of the giveaway ending. Good luck and enjoy!! If you’d like to purchase one of the prints before they sell out, you can find them here!

Loving The Libby Story Shop [and a Giveaway!] - offbeat + inspired

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Cafe Corner [A Small Space DIY]

The Cafe Corner [A Small Space DIY] - offbeat + inspired

Moving from a big rental house to a small third floor apartment has been a bit of an adjustment. In a really good way! For starters, it dawned on me that although I’ve been patting myself on the back for the last 5 years on how responsibly I’ve avoided all manner of hoarding…I am, in fact, a hoarder. With all the extra space in our house rental, I didn’t even realize how much useless STUFF I had been hauling with me. Stuff I wouldn’t even know existed until it was time to move again, and I’d think,  ’Awww, someday I’m gonna want that!’ Girl, no. Someday you’re gonna admit that a tattered cardboard box is the only love that thing will ever see. Basically, this little apartment has helped me master the art of tossing boxes without opening them. A major space saver.

Keep reading!

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-4

In an effort to expand my cooking repertoire, I’ve been experimenting with new dishes, techniques and recipes. I don’t often make desserts, so I figured that would be a great (and tasty) area in which to step up my culinary game. The latest sweet treat? Italian fried doughnuts, also called zeppole. Yup – deep-fried, buttery, sweet dough covered in sugar. What’s not to love?

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“Wistring” Spiced Mocha Buttermilk Pancakes

Wistring Spiced Mocha Buttermilk Pancakes - offbeat + inspired

These are the in-between days. It’s not hot, it’s not cold, it’s not dry, it’s not wet. One day it’s uncomfortably warm and the next it’s snowing. I’m never quite sure how to deal with this little window of not-still-winter-not-yet-spring, but my tendency has been to dive head first into skirts, sandals and barbecue planning — which of course lands me in a fit of frustration. Not fun. I’ve decided it’s time for me to start treating these in-betweens like their own special season. I’ll call it “Wistring”.

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Fashion For Your Face + A Giveaway [Featuring Rowley Eyewear] (Giveaway Ended!)

Fashion For Your Face + A Giveaway [Featuring Rowley Eyewear] - offbeat + inspired

Frames: No. 99 in “Tortoise” [Mr. Powers by Rowley Eyewear], Lip Color: Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in “Temper” (dupe for MAC Lipglass in “Caqui”, discontinued)

 

All the girls in my family wear glasses. Except me. I’m not sure why I lucked out with the decent set of eyeballs, but being a daughter of 1 and sister of 2 ocularly challenged females, I’m familiar with the frustrations of finding stylish and affordable frames. Since glasses have been on my fashion radar for the past few years, I’ve realized that even though their sight-improving abilities are essential — as a pure accessory, I’m obsessed.

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Upcycled TV Tray

Upcycled TV Tray 3 - offbeat + inspired

I absolutely love garage sale, secondhand and “side of the road” shopping. There’s something about transforming what many see as junk into beautiful and functional decor. Even items that appear simple or drab can be remade into a one of a kind piece.

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A Giveaway (actually 2!) With Katie Dean Jewelry

 

I’ve been overdosing on Instagram lately. Seriously. Just when I start to wonder if it’s gone to unhealthy extremes, I stumble across a beautiful feed that turns into a new kindred-spirit sister-friend and all my faith in Instagramming as a permanent (necessary) fixture in life is renewed. I met Katie Dean of Katie Dean Jewelry this way only a few short months ago. She left some lovely comments on my pictures, and when I browsed her feed and checked out her shop, I fell in love. She’s sweet as can be, stunningly gorgeous, uber talented and stylish, and has made quite a name for herself in the jewelry world. Her pieces have been worn by all kinds of celebrities and have popped up in shows like Parenthood and Glee! [I passed out a little when I saw them in Parenthood. Tad bit obsessed with that show.] Basically, GO GIRL!!

Katie’s style is such a perfect mix of bold and understated. She creates adorable, on-trend statement pieces as well as chic, delicate basics that you’ll want to live in. I’ve completely fallen for the Wrap Arrow Mid-Ring and the Light As A Feather Earrings as dailies, and when I want to go more playful or edgy, the Wise Warrior Necklace and the Forever & Always Bracelets have become true favorites. [All pictured in this post!]

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Spiced Bourbon Coffee

Spiced Bourbon Coffee - offbeat + inspired-6

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” 
-Edith Sitwell

In the fall when temperatures start to drop, I find myself looking forward to winter. There’s something romantic, serene and comforting about the season that forces me into hibernation. Outdoor activities give way to quiet evenings at home, and lively summer barbecues turn to intimate dinners. The first few snowfalls cover everything with a brilliant white blanket, and holiday festivities help me avoid the impending cabin fever.

Eventually, the enjoyment of winter fades away and is replaced by an eager anticipation of spring. It’s this time of year that I’m weary of the cold. The occasional sunlight teases as it warms me through my kitchen window – spring must be coming! And then I walk outside, only to turn back in my house to don a few more layers of clothing.

When everything in me craves the warmer season to come, it’s easy to forget the joys of winter. This year, however, I’m trying to be more intentional, taking advantage of what this season has to offer. Spring will come. But meanwhile, there’s still time for admiring snow-laden trees, bundling up under a cozy blanket and quietly sipping on Spiced Bourbon Coffee by the fire.

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Banana-Rum Scones

Banana-Rum Scones - offbeat + inspired-5

Years ago over one of my winter breaks in college, my mom and I spent a week together in New Hampshire. While some of my friends traveled to warmer climates, I opted for snowy mountains. I had the chance to snowboard, my mom and I snowshoed and we soaked in the beauty of the outdoors. To top it all off, we made sure to enjoy incredible food.

While wandering around the local area, we came across a quaint little bakery selling freshly baked muffins, scones and other pastries. The scones they had there remain the best ones I have ever tasted in my life. Maybe it was the beautiful evergreen trees layered with sparkling flakes and the blanket of crunching snow under my feet that made a warm scone and a cup of coffee taste so amazing. Or maybe those flaky, buttery treats were special because they were a culinary discovery I shared with my mom. Whatever it was, that experience turned me into a scone lover.

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