I don’t know what’s come over me, but all of a sudden, I have this crazy urge to re-decorate our house. People may find it odd that as an artist I don’t have a distinct design style or flair in our home. We originally set out to make it very calm, very Zen-like, very nature-inspired – in other words, very simplistic. And it certainly served our needs.
But the more I antique shop, the more I fall in love with a certain farmhouse-meets-shabby-chic-meets-french-cottage look. I know, that sounds like a lot, but I promise it’s still a simplistic look I have in mind - just with a little more antique flair. And what I love most about decorating with antiques is that it’s the most eco-friendly way to decorate. I love to look at each piece and wonder what the history is behind it. Who did it belong to? How did they use it? Where did it once reside?
We made our weekly jaunt to an antique mall earlier in the week and found a couple neat, inexpensive things, one of them this beautiful, aged and fully functional scale that I knew I wanted to incorporate into the kitchen.
One thing led to another and next thing you know, I was transforming our kitchen with an entirely new look, utilizing my “new” old scale and pulling items from other rooms, repurposing buried items and doing a decorative recycling/reusing of goods already in my home.
Today, let me show you a dirty little secret – my spice and herb racks. They are so caked with oil (as they sit next to my stovetop range) and then dirt naturally attracts/sticks to the oil. It’s a hot mess and one I knew I needed to tackle.
I originally used my label maker (I know, I’m a dork) for labeling my herbs and spices. So utilitarian yet soooo not stylish, but it accomplished the goal. As you can see in the pic, the labels were starting to peel up.
And then I remembered that when I last made my recycled frame chalkboard that I had used a vinyl “chalkboard” product, kind of like contact paper (uber cheap as I wanted to just try out the option in addition to using chalk paint before committing to either method). The vinyl was easy to use, but I decided I want to stick with chalk paint for future chalkboard projects, so it occurred to me that I could use the leftover vinyl chalkboard for labeling my containers.
I punched these out using my scalloped paper punch which I have on hand for making gift tags, but you could easily cut into any shape/size. I then wrote on them with my white gel pen (you could use chalk, though will easily wipe off or with a chalk pen as well – which I’m thinking might be similar to a gel pen?). Any mistakes were easily wiped off with rubbing alcohol and the actual vinyl sheets were reusable/replaceable so any changes that needed to be made were effortless.
Before and After. Funny how a little thing can make a big difference, right?
Of course I did all this after scrubbing down each bottle to remove all the gunk and overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with how this project turned out.
And while I was at it, I decided to use mason jars to store my flour, sugar and salt (instead of the metal and plastic canisters that once held them and are now in the growing Goodwill donation pile). So of course, I had to label these the same (these I wrote in chalk to give it a different look, though I’m sure after rubbing off a couple times, I’ll quickly switch to my gel pen!). I like their simple look and they take up less space than my previous canisters.
Of course you can use chalk paint to paint your jars (either free-hand it for a rustic look or outline your space with painter’s or masking tape for a neater, straight-edged look).
Tomorrow I’ll show you the other things I switched out in the kitchen to bring my antique-inspired look together using items already in my home and a little creativity, so come back to check it out!