Pinspiration and Blog Glitches

Here’s the thing…last night I published a pretty awesome giveaway post. This morning my heart sank just a bit when I noticed there was not one single comment on it :-(

After some rational investigation, followed by a slightly less-rational minor freak out, I discovered that the post never published to my feed (so none of my subscribers knew about it) and it also wasn’t showing on my homepage (so no-one who came to my site knew about it either).

Long story short, I’ve been forced to unpublished the giveaway post until the visibility issue is identified and resolved though will hopefully get it back up again next week (so keep an eye out!).

For now, though, here is a ‘test’ post disguised as an inspiration gallery featuring some of my latest fave pins :-)

 Black Study - New England Home

 New England Home

Fall Dining Room - Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

Chevron Sitting Room

Pinterest (original source unknown)

Kitchen Wall Chart - Lingered Upon

Lingered Upon

Kitchen Notes

We Heart

Vintage Bathroom

Pinterest (original source unknown)

Living Space - Tillman Long Interiors

Tillman Long Interiors

Twin Bedroom

Pinterest (original source unknown)

Landscape Gallery - The Design Files

The Design Files

See what else I’m pinning…

Follow me on Pinterest!

Converting Bi-folds to Barn Doors (The Plan)

I’ve coveted barn style doors for almost as long as I can remember. Something about their exposed hardware, diagonal trim and gracious nod to yesteryear just gets me.

A few years back I tried quelling my desire for them with a simple barn door-esque update of my built-in master bedroom wardrobe

Faux Barn Style Door Makeover

…though still my craving lingered.

So, when it came time to transform our neglected guest room into a proper ‘big girl’s’ room for Charlotte, the boring bi-fold was high on my hit list. Though, rather than reach straight for the concrete boots, I thought I’d ‘take care of it’ in a more sustainable way with a little cosmetic rehab!

Bi-Fold Door Before

I’m going to keep the existing door, which is still in perfectly good nic, and simply clad the plain exterior in a decorative, yet simple, barn-style manner using trim, cosmetic hardware and a fresh lick of paint. I also plan to customise the outer frame with the seamless addition of some crown moulding.

Here are a few inspiration pics…

Barn Door Inspiration

Clockwise from top left:
House Beautiful | Design Sponge | Southern Living | Tillman Long Interiors | Decorpad | Dillon Kyle Architecture

And here is my rough rendered concept…

Barn Door Virtual Rendering

You can catch up with my previous posts about Charlotte’s room here.

Yep, I’m aware that barn doors are typically, though not exclusively, on sliding tracks though as I have no provisions for that I’m making the most of what I’ve got :-) And I’m not totally certain what’s going on with the whole dual tone thing…for whatever reason it’s just the vision I’ve had from the beginning.

My first port of call for this project was, of course, the hardware store. I’m fortunate to have a Masters within fifteen minutes of my home though before I dragged two unpredictable kids in-store I first jumped online to do some preliminary scouring.

I know from past experience that ideally proportioned timber trim can be pretty elusive, so I was kinda excited to see that Masters offers a completely FREE cutting service (which is also handy for minimizing those otherwise overly large lengths and panels to fit in your car). I also took advantage of their Live Chat (which I found via their Facebook page) to ask whether the cutting service extended to MDF (as, due to health concerns, this is no longer commonly practised). Not surprisingly, the answer was no. Though that’s okay, there’s always plywood instead.

Anyhoo, after a quick* visit to the actual store, here are some of the project materials and supplies I decided on (*warning: there is really no such thing as a “quick” visit to Masters. Home improvement distractions abound – in a very welcome way!)…

DIY Barn Door Supplies

There were three good options for the decorative cladding:
1 Primed MDF (64mm x 11mm x 2.4m long) $3.77 each.
2 DAR Poplar (64mm x 6mm x 1.2m long) $4.46 each.
3 Raw Plywood Board (1200mm x 900mm x 9mm) $16.89 each.
To keep costs low, and because I wanted something reasonably thin, I decided to go with the plywood board which I had cut (for FREE – awesome!) into 60mm wide lengths (15 in total).

I bought a $5 sample pot in a colour called ‘Lyndhurst Castle’ by Wattle. It’s a soft, yet warm, brown-green-grey.

No explanation needed :-)

And here is the splurge item I just couldn’t resist…

Bosch Sliding Mitre Saw

One of the best things about undertaking a project like this is having a somewhat legitimate excuse to finally purchase some of those loooooong desired DIY toys. Like this totally awesome sliding mitre saw which doubles as a hovering spacecraft when not in conventional use – handy. Can’t wait to try this baby out!

I’m still yet to choose hardware (hinges and handles) and am not totally certain how to go about the crown architrave though will be sure to divulge all in an upcoming post (which will feature a full tutorial and, of course, after pics!).

So, whada you think? What type of barn door would you opt for?



Masters Home Improvement

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This is part one in a three post series sponsored by Masters Home Improvement.
All opinions expressed are my own.


How to Heavily Distress Furniture (and a DIY Kid’s Table)

I have about a zillion project ideas whirring around in my brain at the mo’, though for now I’m still sloooowly grinding through my ‘To Do’ list for Charlotte’s bedroom. My most recently crossed-off project being this cute little table…

How To Distress Furniture | The Painted Hive

I should probably mention that the ‘after’ shots were not actually taken in Charlotte’s room and have been temporarily styled purely for photographic purposes (is that cheating?). Aside from the fact I’m still yet to decide on actual décor (though the chair, which I just bought from eBay for $20, will be staying), Charlotte’s room is sooooo tiny I couldn’t properly capture the table in situ anyway. Oh, and please excuse the fact the chair is un-finished.  I’ll be re-upholstering it shortly (with accompanying tutorial!).

I originally envisaged something old and primitive, naturally mellowed by the years, though quickly discovered that finding something with appropriate proportions was gonna be tricky. Given the space restrictions, I needed something pretty compact, though I found that most tables of suitable height were too deep, and most of suitable depth were too long. So, after three months of fruitless searching, two minor headaches and one ridiculously over-priced custom quote (gheesh!), we decided to build something ourselves (by ‘we’ I mean me, and by ‘ourselves’, I mean hubby – don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to turning my hand to a bit of carpentry, though in fairness Luke does trump me here).

Kid's Table Before

Sorry, though I don’t have a tutorial for the table construction. Luke whipped it up whilst I kept two ‘helpful’ kids out of his hair! Ana White has some great tutorials for stuff like this though.

I  was pretty tempted to build something quirky, like a ‘shelf table’ (attached to the wall in some clever and creative way), or a folding table (which could be stowed away completely when not in use), though as this will be Charlotte’s main play table, I decided to stick with something simple, sturdy and re-positionable, as she will likely try and drag it around the whole house!

I originally wanted a timber finish for the table, though once I bought an old wooden chair to pair with it, I felt there needed to be more contrast between them, so I decided to paint and distress the table instead. Problem is: Charlotte’s bed is already lightly distressed and I didn’t want the table to look matchy-matchy, so in the interest of differentiation I got totally carried away with the palm sander to create a HEAVILY distressed finish.

Distressed Kid's Table | The Painted Hive

And here is the process I used…

Of course, there are endless ways to distress furniture, and numerous starting points for said furniture (raw, varnished, already painted, etc). This is simply how I chose to transform my particular piece of raw furniture. If you’re looking to re-create a similar finish, of course you may need/want to tweak the process to suit your specific requirements.

How To Heavily Distress Furniture | The Painted Hive

I removed the hardware (hinges) and lightly sanded all timber surfaces with fine grit paper. I then removed any dust residue and grime by wiping with a damp cloth. This step just creates a smooth, clean starting point.

I applied two coats of timber stain (I used Cabots Water-Based Interior Stain in Walnut, though you could use any type of stain). The stain helps provide dimension, and a more realistic impression of age, once the furniture is distressed. I love the look of layered wood tones peeking through the painted top coat!

I applied two coats of standard acrylic wall paint (you could use any type of paint though keep in mind that some distress better than others – generally, water-based paints perform well). I mixed up a colour using left-overs I already had. It ended up being a fresh, cool white with a hint of blue-green.

I used a palm/mouse sander, with a medium-heavy grit paper, to heavily distress the paint work. Rather than sand in selective areas I decided to just go with it, and sanded the entire surface – in some places expanses of raw wood were revealed, in other areas hints of walnut stain peek through chippy spatterings of intact paint. I worked in both small and large circular motions in an attempt to keep the distressing somewhat organic and to better disguise the subtle lacy swirls that the palm sander vibrations tend to create. If in certain areas the initial distressing appeared too perfect and purposeful, I concentrated on manipulating the sander to take further paint off in a more random manner (a contradiction, I know, though sometimes it’s the things which appear most natural that have actually required the greatest amount of intervention!).
I chose not to seal the table to retain the matte finish and because I’m happy for it to wear over time. To create a smooth, silky surface I finished by hand sanding with very fine grit paper (you could also use steel wool).
REMEMBER: Creating a certain look might take some practice and technique, and the result is almost always dictated by the individual piece (wood species, type of paint, thickness of paint, etc). Sometimes it pays to be bold and brave (as I have been here), at other times a more subtle and cautious approach is best. Just remember, in the end it’s only paint. If you don’t like the way something looks you can always easily change it.

How To Heavily Distress Furniture | The Painted Hive

As I’m sure is the case with furniture in many small homes, much of my furniture does double-duty as storage. Charlotte’s little table is no exception. We managed to sneak in a shallow storage cavity by hinging the top and installing a base in line with the apron. It’s the perfect place to keep books and little crafty knick knacks. For a touch of fun I painted the inside with a cheery pop of yellow…

Kid's Table with Hinged Lid | The Painted Hive

The hinges are inexpensive steel T-hinges from the hardware store. I could only get them in silver, so I simply spray painted them black and once they were attached I coloured the screws with a marker to match.

In the close-up shot below you can make out some of the subtle lacy swirls made by the palm sander vibrations. You can also see the colour variation between the raw and stained wood, and areas of natural contrast where the lovely timber grain has been revealed.

How To Easily Heavily Distress Furniture | The Painted Hive

Distressing is such a sure-fire way to inject some personality into a piece that might otherwise have been lacking a little life!

How To Heavily Distess Furniture | The Painted Hive



In Print

Once again, I am fortunate to have had a project of mine featured in Reloved Magazine!

My DIY Customised Timber Knobs (from waaaay back in 2010 – an oldie but a goldie!) can be found on page 24 of the Autumn 2013 issue.

DIY Customised Cabinet Knobs

A big thank you to editor Sally FitzGerald for thinking to include me.

This month I was also lucky to be featured in the German style magazine Couch (September 2013, page 103 – Tripod Lamp from a Music Stand) and the DIY Dutch publication Woonstijl (September 2013, page 42 – Magic Canister Decals).

Magazine Features

It’s still such a compliment to be considered share-worthy in any capacity.


No Bake Candy Crumb Cake

I don’t usually post recipes on my blog. Well, actually, that’s not entirely accurate – I have never posted a recipe on my blog! Yet, here I am, posting a recipe that’s devoid of any actual cooking, and is for a cake that’s by no means an actual cake! You’ll all think that perhaps I should have stuck to decorating (though, in my defence, I am actually an okay cook – if I do say so myself :-)

Something about the nostalgia (this was a childhood favourite), simplicity and versatility of this treat just made me want to share it. It is unashamedly sweet, unnecessarily indulgent and unapologetically immature, though it is also undeniably yummo!

No Bake Candy Crumb 'Cake' | The Painted Hive


No Bake Candy Crumb 'Cake' | The Painted Hive

I used mini marshmallows and licorice allsorts though this is the kinda recipe which lends itself to experimentation so be creative with your choice of candy, try using different types of cookies, incorporate dried fruit, nuts or seeds, and consider adding spices, syrups, spreads, essences or other flavourings, or even substituting the coconut coating for a drizzle of chocolate or spattering of sprinkles! And, of course, instead of a log, you can flatten the mixture and create shapes with cookie cutters, or roll balls then stab them with sticks for easy and delicious party pops!

Here are just a few alternate flavour combos…

Candy Crumb 'Cake' Flavour Variations | The Painted Hive

The possibilities are almost endless!

No Bake Candy Crumb 'Cake' | The Painted Hive


Thanks so much to Kristy of House of Evans whose post about ‘Lolly Cake’ inspired me to create this ‘Candy Crumb’ adaptation.