A Vanity Makeover

bathroom vanity, handpainted, renovation

Occasionally, I will get a call from someone who is not sure what to do with a piece of furniture that they have and because of the furniture’s purpose and/or locale, there is no reason to replace it.

This was such a call.

I spoke with the person on the phone and told her I’d be happy to stop by to take a look.  The piece of furniture was a bathroom vanity.  It was a beautiful piece and structurally, there was nothing wrong with it.  The vanity had been custom fitted to fit the plumbing under the sink and the basin was new.  Cosmetically, the vanity needed some tlc and an update.

hand-painted, furniture, renovation
Bathroom Vanity before transformation by Artworks by Marcine, LLC

I can do that!

The client was happy that she didn’t have to start over looking for a new vanity.  She was also happy that I would be able to do the vanity while she was on vacation.

My client has an antique chair that essentially, she wanted the vanity to resemble.  I did a mockup of the piece including the color change and a particular motif that she liked on my computer.  I find this so helpful for my clients.  The mockup helps clients see how the finished product will look and it is easier for me to make the changes digitally than on location, especially when she wouldn’t be there to check it out.

Furniture in any way shape or form is done in layers and requires patience, patience, patience.  In this regard, a piece of furniture takes time to do; every step has to dry before the next step begins.  I promised my client I would send her daily texts with photos so she could see the progress.

I made the necessary repairs such as fixing dings, scrapes, etc.  There was a lot of wood putty and sanding, washing, wiping.  The surface had to be dust free and clean from greasy residue so that the subsequent primer and paint layers would bond properly.  I also swapped out the plastic tarps so that any dust particles would not be an issue.

Using a bonding primer and  Benjamin Moore Advance , I began transforming the vanity.  Once the layers were dry, I used Modern Masters metallic paint to hand-paint the motifs.  Once that layer was dry, it was time to seal the piece.  The Benjamin Moore water-based paint is very durable on its own, but I’m always concerned about the amount of traffic and exposure to water, etc., so I’d rather take the time and seal up the piece with a commercial quality sealer.

This is the finished vanity.  It was truly a transformation that better fit the client’s space and best of all, nothing had to be installed or replaced.

bathroom vanity, handpainted, renovation
Bathroom Vanity-AFTER by Artworks by Marcine, LLC
hand-painted , renovation, diy
A closeup of the hand-painted details by Artworks by Marcine, LLC

What do you think of the transformation?

Do you need a transformation in your home or business?  I can help you!  Murals, wall finishes, etc.  Feel free to call me via phone, 908-599-2129 or fill out your contact information here.

When you ordered a desk online and it’s the WRONG color

rustic chic, artworks by marcine, nj

“Marcine, can you help me?”

I love that question.

I have a client that ordered a desk online for her business.  She had someone assemble it and the color was just wrong for the space.  It wasn’t what she had expected, through no fault of her own.  Sometimes what you see online and what you get in reality are different.  It happens.  Usually, the company will take items back but since this piece had already been assembled, sending the desk back was not an option.

This is the back of the desk in its original color.

Quite often I will get asked to make something visually fit into a space.  At first, the client wanted the desk to really have contrast.  I took photos and superimposed different colors on them using my computer.

The initial results were not on point.

The decorating style of this commercial  location is “farm-chic.”  The desk had  had to be elegant, to stand out and yet fit in.

I figured making the desk look like it was created out of barnwood, but chic barnwood was the way to go.  I asked the client if I could use a metallic silver in the finish and she was excited.  My stipulation was that I had to keep it light.

Many layers of bonding primer, base paint, glaze. metallic paint, barrier coat, topcoats…

VOILA!

Farm Chic Desk

Detail

Problem solved.  The desk fits into the environment, continues the theme of the space, and the colors are just right.

Need help with your space?  I can help you!

Please call me at (908) 599-2129 or fill out the contact form and I will get back to you!

Hygge and why I love it so

Remember the obsession with lights I have?  I found the reason why.

At a recent meeting I attended, someone mentioned Hygge.

Who-what?

Hygge.  It is pronounced “Hoo-gah.”  It is a Danish word that means a feeling of happiness, coziness, contentment.  The person at this meeting started talking about  a book by Meik Wiking,  The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living and gave a brief synopsis of what it meant to be cozy, and to have a life of contentment.

Of course my mind drifted that night to creating a feeling of coziness.  How was that accomplished in a space?

I did further research, because I’m a bit on the nerdy side.  In their youtube video, The Mustards explain how they try to maintain Hygge in their home .  Because of their geographic location, Scandinavian countries have long winters.  They look for ways to bring in light to those long nights.  Candles, warm white lights, light walls, fire crackling in a fireplace all do the job.  Of course, a fuzzy throw blanket and fuzzy pillows also help.  Simple furnishings creating the least amount of visual clutter, and keeping the space tidy also creates a space to relax in and not feel anxious.  Plants bring a bit of life to the space.  And, of course there’s always a hot cup of tea and the company of friends to complete this feeling of coziness.

Well here in NJ, our climate is a little different.  We have the heat and humidity and a decent growing season.  We are also CROWDED and there’s always A LOT going on.

I knew the connection with Hygge was with the lights, and the attempt to make my space less cluttered.  But with a 13 year old boy who drops his stuff everywhere, that’s a constant challenge.  I wanted more.  When it was time to repaint my downstairs,  I kept thinking about what made me feel cozy?  Besides the lights, summers out on the deck chatting  with my Hubs by candlelight, it was also the sight and smell of the Jersey Shore and how relaxed I felt going to the beach early in the morning and drinking my coffee while watching the waves meet the shoreline.  It was the colors in driftwood.  All of those things funneled into my space.

You can feel cozy no matter where you are.   It’s up to you to create it.   Think about what those things are that makes you feel cozy and happy, and how they appeal to your senses.    The hints are there.  Happy Hygge!

Finding The Right “Tool” For The Job

Recently, I visited a potential client who has  a tall wall in her entrance hallway.  This wall was narrow  but tall.  She was concerned about choosing a finish that would not only look great but was able to withstand the wear and tear of family traffic.

There are all kinds of products out there in the decorative painting world.  Want something to look like suede? Yes, we’ve got that.  Want something to look like metal? Yep, we’ve got that.  Want something to look like stone?  Yep, we’ve got that too.

The right “tool” for the job.

There’s an extremely durable plaster that would fit the bill and, it can be painted.  As a matter of fact, this stuff is magic.  I can manipulate it into brick, I can make a cracked old wall–all kinds of things.   The fact that I can hand paint it to further customize the project is an added bonus.  The paints will be wall paints.  It can also be top-coated for further protection, but honestly, it will dry to a hard  colorful finish that will be washable with mild soap and water.

I provided three samples to the client, all with the same colors and the same materials.  They were just executed differently.

Plaster finish option 1
Plaster finish option 2
Plaster finish option 3

I’m curious to see which one she chooses!

Is there a space you’d like to change or turn into a focal point?  Contact me at marcine@artworksbymarcine.com or (908) 599-2129 today!

Welcome to 2018!

change, artworksbymarcine, marcine, stars, lights, new year ,2018

I’m sitting on my couch (it’s a rarity, trust me) on December 30th in the afternoon.  The snow has stopped falling here in NJ and I was actually happy that it was snowing because I had nowhere to run to .  Two pots of coffee and a quick shovel of snow, I’m  here writing this blog entry.  I started to think about the year that has almost come to a finish.  I think the theme of “Change”  is a pretty good way to describe the year as a whole.

I’ve always liked changing.  Who wants to stay the same?  Not me.    I think that’s inherent in being an artist.  We’re all about change and embracing it.  That’s how we grow as creatives.   External  physical changes are easy to spot: different hair color (I think I’ve been every shade of red since I was 16) , different clothing styles, (as long as it comes in black–my fave.)   The real changes that are most important are the changes on the inside, in my opinion.  It’s those changes who help us grow and learn.

My son graduated high school this year and was off to college.  I had to deal with letting go.  He was my first one leaving the nest and since my mom passed away 5 years ago, he has been my rock.  Yeah, it was hard.  I had to grow up a little.  I think he was already grown up and ready to leave the nest, lol.  (There’s a saying I have that “We actually learn from our kids.”  )

My husband had Thyroid cancer, which he beat, but then developed lymphoma, and later Lyme  He has had two clean PET scans so no lymphoma but we are always watchful and stay  on top of bimonthly checkups.  The Lyme?  Well, that is another story.  We’ve become vigilant about our health and are proactive in addressing any concerns.

My younger son, who is in the sixth grade,  has had changes in school, which directly affects us at home.  We are trying to give him more responsibility to manage himself but in small increments so he doesn’t get frustrated.

And me?  Well, I’ve changed some of my habits, getting rid of not so good ones and replacing them with more good ones (still a work in progress.)  I’m making friends both online and offline with people who are more of my silly, sarcastic,  real, down to earth, creative ” tribe,” who are positive thinking, honest individuals which is a good thing, and I’m weeding out the toxic people.   Professionally, I have had the opportunity this year to work for  really wonderful clients who appreciate and see the value in what I do and trust my judgement. Yes: appreciation, value, trust.   Clients like that fuel my fire as an artist and a business person and for me, that has been super exciting.  The end result is some really cool projects I completed. This is one of my goals for the new year: to find more clients exactly like those people.  One of my other goals is to keep expanding my tribe.  In my personal artwork, I started getting back into making my art.  I have paintings in my studio that I feel are unfinished.  I just don’t have an ending for them now.  I tend to overthink my work and that has proved to be stifling.  That’s another thing I have to work on.

That’s just some of the changes here….I’m sure that 2018 will hold even more change.  I think the theme of 2018 will become (dare I say Change) Opportunities: opportunities to teach and be taught, opportunities to grow, opportunities to lead, opportunities to give,  opportunities to create.

I am so looking forward to it.

I hope you are too.

Happy New Year, everyone.  May 2018 bring us the most wonderful opportunities life has to offer!