New (Old) Brass Kick Plate

 For a while now I have wanted to add an antique brass kick plate to our front door.  I don’t have a historical or period reference for it–I just thought it would look pretty!  Here’s a reminder of what our entryway looks like–this was taken over the summer I think:

Screen shot 2012-12-20 at 9.01.14 PM

My mom is visiting and while we were out shopping the other day we visited a salvage yard and found this old brass kick plate–the perfect size for our door.  My generous mom scooped it up for me along with some brass ager and home we went to work on it.  Here’s what it looked like when we brought it home

kickplate before

Yes, it did already have a lot of patina–perhaps too much!  It was dark and stained and uneven so I brought it home and cleaned it up with some SOS and 000 steel wool:

brass kick plate polishing

This was a little too cleaned up–a little shiny with some really brassy uneven spots.  So in comes the ager.  The bottle says to completely submerge the piece you are aging in the solution but I don’t have any containers big enough to submerge this thing in so I just dribbled it all over the surface and then spread it around with a paint brush.  I don’t have any pictures of this part because it was totally uneven and I panicked and ran to the sink to wipe it off.  The ager works fast and it turned really dark even after I rinsed it off.  I then took a dry piece of steel wool and lightly rubbed it over the plate until it was about how I wanted it:

brass kick plate aged

I also went to the hardware store and bought brass screws to install it and set them in the ager for a few minutes:

brass screws kick plate aged

After installing it my front door now looks like this:

brass kick plate after 2 wtrmrk

It definitely warms up the room–now I just have to use the ager on the super shiny door handle!

And BTW, I just noticed the blue rubber band on the bottom left corner of the rug in the picture!  I thought about retaking the pictures before I did this post, we are supposed to have several days of rain now so I won’t get good enough light to retake these photos for a while.  And really, that’s how it is around here–there are often rubber bands, markers, pencils, Legos, and other detritus strewn about that I don’t even notice anymore!  I’m just going to pretend it’s an umlaut over the U in “Urban.”

Thanks for stopping by!

Antique Door Turned…

Chalkboard and coat-rack!

You may remember a few weeks ago I was stumped as to what to do with an antique door I had found in our yard.  It was one of the original doors to our house and had been exposed to the elements so long the center panel had rotted out.  Here is the before picture:

Thanks to everyone who posted such great suggestions on what to do with it!  I went with the chalkboard idea mostly because I decided to sell it at the flea market and I wanted to keep it simple.  Thanks to Camille at The Vintique Object for guidance on what materials to use for it (hard board).

I cleaned the whole thing up really well and then warmed up the wood with some wax.  Also. I was able to find these antique brass hooks and attached them to the sides to add interest and more function.

I think would be so cute in somebody’s entryway with a little bench at the bottom and some baskets for shoes, etc.

The bag hanging on the hook was another find–a vintage woven market bag.  That will be going to the flea market as well.

Sorry for being off the blogging radar this week.  John was out of town, Becky has had a really bad stomach bug, and something beyond my technical skills was going on with the formatting on the blog.  Thankfully my IT guy returned and I think we are getting back to normal. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Entryway Update

I just can’t seem to leave our foyer alone!  I am always tweaking it–actually, I think I am always tweaking every room.  But here are some little updates that I have been doing:


First, I changed out the rug.  The old one had bothered me since I painted the walls last year.  It went from Ralph Lauren Barn Owl White to BM Winter White. I also painted the door black from white at the same time and added the ceiling medallion and the vintage lantern.  This rug works so much better with the paint color and  floors too.

Here’s the old one:

And new one:

The new rug is actually a very old one.  It had been in John’s family for a while and although the top side is a bit worn and not as pretty, I used the old textile trick of showing the reverse and it looks so nice with the orange in the floors.

Also, Camille from The Vintique Object had a post recently about an entryway redo where she hung DIY chalkboards for the kids.  It’s a great way to leave them little reminders before they head out the door.  I used that idea for the window and hooks I was already using for the kids.  I just painted the window panes with chalkboard paint:


(I was not trying to be artsy with these pictures–it is just an impossible angle to photograph with the stairs).  The chalkboard paint definitely takes this project up a notch.  The baskets below the hooks have been a great way to catch all the little things that go in and out.

A side note:  I recommend either removing the glass entirely from the window and replacing it with particle board or at least taping the back of it with duct tape if you are at all worried about overly-enthusiastic coat hanging and chalkboard writing.  I think I will replace it in this project before the kids are actually big enough to reach it and start to write on it themselves.


And an update on my client’s bachelor pad:  We painted last week and it looks fantastic.  Still waiting on the sofa and several other pieces to arrive but I hope to be able to post final pics in mid May.


One more thing:  I am going to London (!) next week–by myself–to visit my cousin and her family and would love any recommendations of must see shops/restaurants.  Can’t believe I am actually taking this trip…


Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Entryway Organization

As my kids are getting bigger (oldest in first grade this year) I am starting to realize how much better we all need to be about organization.  With homework, after school activities, and play dates ever-increasing, I knew I needed to start to find a system to corral all their stuff.

I also knew I wanted whatever we had to be somewhat cute.  It’s one of the first things people will see as they walk in the front door.  Jackets, books, shin guards, hats, etc. all needed a place to go. 

First I bought these large baskets from Cost Plus about a year ago.  I sewed some cloth letters of each child’s initial and attached them to the baskets with twine.  The baskets are pretty deep so so far, not too much of the clutter has been visible.  This could possibly change as they get busier and the stuff grows…

Next, I got an old window at our local salvage yard and screwed these hooks to the bottom (one queen and two kings!).  I found these hooks at a little shop in Tallahassee, FL called Miss Mandy’s but here are some similar ones on Amazon.

Forgive the weird angles–it’s a narrow space for picture taking.  Thanks for stopping by!