Tag Archives: shabby chic

painted bookshelf DIY

I wanted a shabby chic bookcase for my apartment, but didn’t want to pay a lot of money for it. I decided to DIY it and was on the hunt for a bookshelf with lots of potential.


Then one day I was walking home and saw this seriously neglected thing in the trash. I walked past it, and briefly considered it for half a block. Then I turned around and called Ryan to ask him to help me carry it home (and up three flights of stairs).

While I’m no stranger to grabbing things out of the trash and bringing them into my home, I have always been too scared to do it in New York because of bed bugs. But I figured I was safe because:

1. It was cold outside. Bed bugs like warm temperatures.
2. It was only one item of furniture (if you see an entire apartment’s worth of furniture, stay away!).
3. I didn’t see any bed bugs.

Regardless, I wiped it down with bleach before I brought it into my apartment.

I just love the final result. Here’s what I did. I wiped down the entire thing. Its previous owner was using it for a makeup stand (pictured above). I removed the top tier, lowering the height of the shelf.

Then I repainted the white shelves with leftover paint. It’s Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace and painted the legs of the bookshelf with two sample sizes of Benjamin Moore’s Ticonderoga Taupe.

The whole project cost $3! I certainly recommend browsing the sample area of the paint store for cheap, high quality paint. Especially if you’re doing a small touch up.

This is not the first time I’ve rescued something from the trash and gave it a new life. Remember this adorable desk? Or this shabby chic window?

shabby chic decorating: farmhouse window tutorial

upcycled farmhouse window

A couple of months ago I saw an old wooden window frame sitting on the side of the road destined for a life in a trash heap. So, naturally, I took pity on it and turned it into something pretty.


window before


window after

I really love it so much. It’s in storage right now, but I can’t wait to add this cheery addition to my New York home.

Here’s how I did the upcycle. The window was in pretty bad shape. Besides being filthy, it had paint peeling and some of the wood was badly cracked.

I cleaned the window with soap and water and busted out the last pieces of glass that were sticking out. Then I took an electric sander to it.

Ok, I did something very bad here. I should not have sanded paint off of this, especially since I didn’t know how old the window was. I could have really exposed myself to lead dust from the paint. The dust is toxic. So, luckily, I’m fine, but it wasn’t that smart of a thing to do.

After I sanded the window down, I pulled out my wood glue and set to work repairing the middle beams, which were broken. Then I covered the window in two coats of white paint.

Once the paint was dry, then I picked a pretty fabric to put in the open spaces of the window. This is super easy and looks great for minimal work. I just used hot glue to attach the fabric to the frame.

So, now for the fun part, the bunting! I’ve wanted to add something (anything!) with bunting in my house for a long time, this was it. I used some fabric squares from the craft store and followed this tutorial. It was exactly what I wanted. I left a little bit of bias tape on each side to have it hang around the sides of the window. And, I gave each side a dab of hot glue to secure the bunting.

What do you think?

upcycled farmhouse window

I’ve been spending lots of time in ikea and Target looking for home decor inspiration, but, truly, this type of shabby chic decorating fits my style and personality much more.

shabby chic desk makeover

 I found this little lady in a moment of impulse dumpster diving on my way home from the gym.

desk pre paintjob

I hate to see a perfectly good piece of furniture thrown away. Especially since this one had such unique shelving. It just needed a little love.

desk pre paintjob

Or maybe it had too much in its past life?

desk pre paintjob

I felt sorry for it, took it home, cleaned it up and gave it a new coat of paint.

deskI really need to stop feeling sorry for inanimate objects. But look how much better she turned out.

desk with paint

I used a Valspar Semi-Gloss.


What do you think? What a cute shabby chic desk for my bedroom.