2015 Highlights: Craigslist Finds, Tips and Transformations

I really stepped up my Craigslist game this year and was able to find a bunch of awesome pieces (one was even free!) for my new place. If you missed anything else in the 2015 Highlights series so far, check out the other posts here:

2015 Highlights: Getting Organized // 2015 Highlights: Favorite DIY Projects 

Starting off with my biggest (and my personal favorite) Craigslist gem, the mid-century modern credenza. It definitely needed some love and attention so I brought it back to life with the help of a Young House Love tutorial and the results were even better than I could have hoped for. Here’s a look back at the evolution:

Mid-Century Modern Credenza // How to Refinish a Mid-Century Modern Credenza Pt. 1 // How to Refinish a Mid-Century Modern Credenza Pt. 2

Before:2015-05-23 10.47.172015-05-23 10.47.23  2015-05-23 10.47.11   Progress:
2015-05-23 11.03.45 2015-05-23 11.38.15 2015-05-23 14.09.46 2015-05-23 18.08.58  2015-05-23 18.45.55 After:
2015-05-25 14.16.53   2015-05-25 14.16.082015-05-25 14.18.43  

Next up in the craigslist scores: this gorgeous little chair for my desk:

Desk Chair Swap
Those were the last Craigslist finds for my old studio apartment, and then I went on a mega-hunt to completely furnish my balcony at my new place:

Balcony Inspiration: Update // Balcony Reveal //
Custom Outdoor Cushions for the Balcony

I scored this rattan table for free:Lagu7Uhvk3FOoot_kS_2h13ugi2SXTyYIUzxWBpPfn0

And these other items for a great deal:
Loveseat, dining table with four chairs, rug3k4BTSiydYofShocEYzA_MYXAqwAJnMF7BkO0TDGzE4


My most recent Craigslist find rounded out my new bedroom and provided much needed storage:

Craigslist Score + Gallery Wall Update


2015 was certainly a banner-year for Craigslist items. And it proves you can furnish spaces with beautiful, affordable pieces! It just takes a little patience and some online digging. To help you find a Craigslist score of your own, check out these posts:

Ask Studio Style Blog: Volume VI // Finding Gems on Craigslist: Part One: The Search // Finding Gems on Craigslist: Part Two: Sealing the Deal


7 6 1 2 3


Happy NYE! Will be back tomorrow with one last post in the 2015 Highlights series.

2015 Highlights: Favorite DIY Projects

Next up in the 2015 Highlights series… my favorite DIY projects from this year. I’ve been slacking a bit in the DIY realm this fall and winter, but plan to do more projects in 2016. Even though 2015 didn’t include a ton of DIYs, I had time to do a couple projects and am sharing some of my favorites below!

If you missed yesterday’s post, click here: 2015 Highlights: Getting Organized

Press for Champagne Art2015-01-15 12.03.58


Painted Entry Table:
Part I2015-02-24 23.02.07


Part II 2015-02-28 17.56.02


Floral Art2015-04-14 20.56.44


Memo Board Revisited 2015-04-26 16.53.10

Creating a Rug with Stainmaster Signature Squares

In my checklist post, I mentioned needing a rug by the balcony door in my apartment and when Stainmaster reached out about their new product, Signature Squares, I figured it was a perfect fit! I needed something larger than a traditional doormat and wanted something with style and pattern. I chose the Eastern Vibe Basalt pattern in grey and the box arrived at my doorstep quite quickly! They were quick and easy to put together, you can see the full step by step tutorial over on The DC Ladies today, and I now have a beautiful new rug for the space. Check out all of the color and pattern options at Stainmaster.

Here’s the blank, bare look before:


1 Check out my post on The DC Ladies today for the full break down of how I got the look.

After! It compliments my paint color nicely and is the perfect size for the space.      7 8IMG_7587

Stainmaster provided me with the box of Signature Squares to make this rug but all opinions, reviews and tips are my own. If you’re interested in sponsoring a post or advertising, please contact me here

Refinished Mid-Century Modern Credenza: Reveal

If you missed the previous posts check them out below:

Mid-Century Modern Credenza // How to Refinish a Mid-Century Modern Credenza Pt. 1 // How to Refinish a Mid-Century Modern Credenza Pt. 2

After hours worth of scrubbing, polishing, waxing and drying, this credenza turned out even better than I expected. It’s a drastic improvement from where it started and is restored to its original mid-century beauty.

Before:2015-05-23 09.59.48After:2015-05-25 14.18.432015-05-24 13.33.372015-05-24 13.33.182015-05-24 13.32.562015-05-25 14.16.08I switched around a few lamps (the mint one was previously on my nightstand) and added a few items from my recent thrifting trip to compliment the mid-century style. 2015-05-25 14.18.122015-05-25 14.17.14

One last before and after comparison:2015-05-24 13.35.42I’ll do a follow up post in the next couple weeks on how I stuffed a bunch of cords and electronics into this credenza, as well as a new cord-hiding trick I’ve discovered. Happy Friday!

How to: Refinish a Mid-Century Modern Credenza: Pt 2

Moving on to part two, after cleaning all of the drawers, legs and sides on the credenza, I let them dry for a couple hours. Followed by the lovely products from Howard, Restor-A-Finish in Walnut and Feed-N-Wax. And one of my favorite kinds of beer to help the process along 🙂  More on bar keepers friend and brasso later… 2015-05-23 14.10.00

I removed the hardware from all of the drawers after cleaning and laid out all of my supplies on a moving blanket to prevent any potential disasters. You’ll also notice my ipad sitting there for entertainment (The Americans is my new favorite obsession), as I didn’t have the tv plugged in and set up yet at this stage. 2015-05-23 16.22.04  Before: The drawers were much cleaner but noticeably dry looking. 2015-05-23 16.29.16  After using the Restor-A-Finish (with a dab of it on a clean rag, just swiping over each drawer carefully), the drawers were noticeably much shinier. You can see the dullness of the couple on the left in this photo that hadn’t been done yet paired with the new sheen on the drawers on the right: 2015-05-23 16.34.02 They looked even better up close:2015-05-23 16.36.49  2015-05-23 16.39.57 2015-05-23 16.40.17 2015-05-23 16.40.21 This photo of the credenza isn’t the greatest quality, but you can see the outline of the wood is shinier and the legs improved a great deal. 2015-05-23 16.54.18 I left everything to dry for 45 minutes while I tackled the brass hardware. 2015-05-23 16.54.45   I knew the hardware was in pretty bad shape but figured if I couldn’t fix it, I could easily purchase new similar handles. Here’s the before photos:2015-05-23 17.03.05 2015-05-23 17.03.06After a TON of scrubbing with bar keepers friend, (I don’t think the brasso did anything at all) a small miracle happened and the transformation was even better than I hoped for: 2015-05-23 18.44.47   They’re by no means perfect, but a huge improvement and work well with the character of the piece. Side note: bar keepers friend is a magic little powder (for only $2-3) but five days after using it, my poor hands are still dried out and gross, no matter how much lotion or scrubbing I try. I’d recommend using dish washing gloves or something protective for the hands next time…

While the hardware was drying, I also tackled this little chip on one of the legs…. with a brown sharpie. (Again, thanks to YHL for the tips!)2015-05-23 17.53.43 Much less noticeable:2015-05-23 17.55.07  Last step: I applied the feed-n-wax using another clean rag. Placed a quarter-sized bit on the rag and smoothed it over the surface of each drawer as with the restor-a-finish. They started to look even shinier and almost brand new after this step. 2015-05-23 17.59.45 2015-05-23 17.59.49 2015-05-23 18.08.39 2015-05-23 18.08.58 After putting the hardware back on and getting the tv/internet components set up in the drawers (more on that drama tomorrow) it was completely dark out, so this photo doesn’t nearly do it justice! Stay tuned tomorrow for the full reveal and styling!     2015-05-23 20.58.25A quick little reminder of where it started…

2015-05-23 10.47.11


How to: Refinish a Mid-Century Modern Credenza Pt. 1

If you missed yesterday’s post, check out the first look at my credenza here. It definitely needed a little bit of work and love, but the elbow grease definitely paid off. Thanks to a tutorial on Young House Love, I picked up a couple supplies at the hardware store and got to work.


2015-05-23 10.47.11 2015-05-23 10.47.17 2015-05-23 10.47.23  2015-05-23 10.47.38 2015-05-23 10.47.42  Step 1: Magic eraser

I tested it on a non-visible portion first to make sure it wouldn’t do something horrible to the wood, but after the all clear, I scrubbed all the grime off of it. 2015-05-23 11.03.45 2015-05-23 11.07.10 The drawer at the top of the photo has been scrubbed and the bottom one has not. It even removed little paint marks on the drawers, too!   2015-05-23 11.14.16 2015-05-23 11.16.35 You can really tell the difference in this photo as well. Left is still dirty and right is clean. After getting the magic eraser slightly damp and scrubbing, then I wiped off any excess moisture/soapy mix off the wood immediately with a clean rag. 2015-05-23 11.18.40   The result of a lot of scrubbing:2015-05-23 11.26.36 2015-05-23 11.26.43   Step 2: Clean out the inside of the credenza. 

Simply using my vacuum and a rag to clean off the dust, I tackled the inside of the credenza.

Before:2015-05-23 11.37.04  2015-05-23 11.38.15  After:2015-05-23 11.47.10 Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on the last steps to restoring the credenza!2015-05-23 14.10.00

DIY Memo Board Revisited

I made a little DIY memo board over a year ago and it’s survived two apartments and I use it every day. It’s a great place to jot down a grocery list, keep track of workouts and other to-dos. I’ve stuck mine to my fridge with 3M velcro strips, but these could go just about anywhere, from a door to an office wall or whatever works for you. Simply buy a frame and throw in something for a background and use the glass as a dry-erase board. Works with the same markers and wipes off easily. (I even took my gold leaf pen and added a little decorative trim around the inside of the frame)2015-04-26 16.41.24 2015-04-26 16.41.25

After a year + of looking at this every day, it started to look messy and chaotic. I originally threw the fabric samples in there as a temporary solution until I found another alternative, but never ended up switching them out. Thanks to some leftover gift wrap from my DIY Floral Art project, I had just enough to fit in the frame! I love this pattern and now can enjoy it in my apartment and my office. A few photos of the new look below and how to use it for to do lists, etc. 2015-04-26 16.53.10 2015-04-26 16.53.25 2015-04-26 16.54.36