Do good on a grand scale. That was the advice given to us by Bob Johnson, the closing speaker at Haven 2013. Bob works with Habitat for Humanity and while we were all at the conference, GMC sponsored 6 bloggers making their way through the midsection of our country, doing something grand… something really good. They were travelling down the world’s largest yard sale, picking couches, tables, beds and chairs from the vendors, collecting them for one purpose… to decorate the home of an unsuspecting Habitat family set to receive the keys to their new home yesterday. That’s a grand thing… to give a family moving into a new home, a family lacking what so many of us take for granted when we move, something beautiful and inspiring to come home to.
I’m sure at this point you’re wondering what in the world those 6 bloggers and their amazing journey has to do with Makeover Monday. Sit down friends because this is a long story… but it’s a good one. This is, hands down, one of my favorite makeover stories.
My friend Brittany, aka Pretty Handy Girl, got to participate in the adventure last year. She was headed down to Haven this year and spent yesterday helping this year’s bloggers transform the home with their finds. Before we left, both Brittany and I decided to go through our own furniture stash and find some pieces to take down with us… pieces we would makeover and give to the GMC bloggers to use in the house.
I headed into my
abyss garage and looked through my stash. At the very back, tucked away (because it had been sitting for over a year), was an old pine potato bin. The bin was part of a group of 3 pieces I purchased (the first two stories are here and here) and still sat in the garage because I never quite figured out what I wanted to do with the piece. One of the possibilities I’d mulled over was to transform it into some sort of nightstand with toy storage for a boy’s room. Remembering that got my mind turning and thinking about the family moving into their new home. Two of the four children were boys, so maybe I could put that idea to work and hope that it went with the design ideas of the blogger assigned to the boys’ room. I pulled it from the depths, scoured it clean not once or twice, but three times and tossed it into the back of Brittany’s GMC Acadia to make the trip to Atlanta.
It was late when we arrived in Atlanta. Maybe we were riding on a Haven high (or stir crazy after spending 8 hours in the car), but the second we got into the hotel, we changed into paint clothes and got to work. Drop cloths were laid out on the floor, paint cans were pried open and music was turned up.
Mid Painting Party… the nightstand has been cleaned, disassembled and ready for its paint.
I didn’t want to go with white for my potato bin but our colors were limited to what we’d hauled along with us. I wanted to stay neutral to try and work with whatever the bloggers designed for the house, and so, I ended up painting the potato bin in 2 coats of ASCP in French Linen. But… it wasn’t enough. It just didn’t seem done to me. And then…. I saw the roll of Frog Tape sticking out of Brittany’s supply bag. I found a small amount of a blend of French Linen and Antique White in our paint stash and decided that it was meant to be. That little potato bin was getting a grainsack stripe!
I love a grainsack stripe. It adds visual interest to any piece of furniture. Something about a grainsack stripe feels masculine when it’s paired with darker colors. It feels vintage and classic. In this case, putting a grainsack stripe on that potato bin just felt right (it was also midnight and I might have been suffering from exhaustion). So I taped it off using the frog tape, painted a coat of base color followed by my stripe color and pulled the tape off. All of a sudden, the blah and boring gray potato bin looked fun and friendly. The knobs that stood out like a sore thumb on the original finish matched perfectly with the painted stripes. It looked like it would fit right into a boys room.
I also wanted to do something fun and different inside the main storage area of the potato bin turned nightstand. I didn’t want to paint it (at this point it was 1am and my paintbrush and I were no longer speaking). So I turned back to Brittany’s bag of goodies and found an old atlas and some Mod Podge (I mean, don’t you carry those necessities along with you on trips?). I found the section for the United States and cut out sections to cover the base of the bin’s interior. Since Georgia was the home state of the family and the location of their new home, its state map was Mod Podged front and center on the base. A couple of Mod Podge coats to seal it up and I offically declared the nightstand done.
Brittany took the nightstand and the other pieces we completed that night with her to work with the GMC bloggers on Sunday. She and the other bloggers posted a preview pic on Instagram and… it felt good to see it sitting in the boys room, waiting for them to come home. It felt great to see how an amazingly talented DIY blogger (Liz Marie… she did an incredible job on the boys room) took that little bin and made it part of a inspiring and perfect room for two boys… two boys that have their own room for the first time in a long, long time. Two boys that I think about and can’t help but immediately think of my own two boys. I am humbled that my nightstand got to be a part of transforming their lives… got to be a tiny part of something grand.
Thanks to Pretty Handy Girl for the help with the pictures in this post. I only travelled with my iphone to Haven… I definitely wasn’t thinking about taking pictures for a Makeover Monday post!
***Update: Want to see the boy’s room reveal? Check out Liz Marie’s post on her adventure down the world’s longest yard sale hunting treasures for 2 brothers. It’s the ultimate before and after story!
Want to read about the GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure? Here are the bloggers that participated in this year’s adventure!