Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tag Sales Story #4

I spent most of yesterday afternoon talking with Isa about dream kitchens, and how we both change our kitchens if we had the time, and energy. We pictured simple cabinetry, vintage appliances, and concrete counter tops, etched or stained with industrial faucets and pot fillers, rough hewn floors, and antique carriage lights centered above a sage washed island adorned with a mahogany butcher block counter top.

Yes, yesterday I spent over $100,000 in my mind, completely re-vamping my kitchen. We looked through pages of Internet kitchen photos, and priced vintage stoves and fixtures, even concrete counter tops. So imagine my surprise to find that Vicky Darnell, a friend to Color Outside the Lines since it's beginning, had constructed her own concrete counter top, at a mere fraction of the cost.

Vicky Darnell's concrete counter top.

With help from her son-in-law, Vicky poured the concrete counter, and even thought to give it a decorative bull-nose edge! Then, it was acid-washed to give it a natural stone stain. The real bargain in this DIY project is the concrete counter, at a finish cost of only $153.00. For those of you who have researched the price for concrete counters, you know that they can run between $80 - $100 sq. foot, purchased.

Detail of the concretes decorative edge, and perfectly stained finish. Professional quality from top to bottom!

But it doesn't stop there, Vicky poured over Internet resources to find the gorgeous vessel sink for a mere $89.00, and paid nothing for the mirror. She then turned her attention to the walls, and used plaster and glaze to create the old-world look that Vicky loves, and has abundantly throughout her gorgeous home.

I hope that I can convince Vicky to share her concrete secrets with the blog, as I am sure that most of us would love to have this look in our homes. I know one blogger in particular who is begging for details. (Me!)

But Vicky's ingenuity and creativity doesn't stop with hand poured concrete counters, and perfect plastered walls. No. Vicky and her husband had one more project to share with Color Outside the Lines.

The fireplace constructed by Vicky and her husband for their family room.

I don't know where to start. This room is beautiful from floor to gorgeous wood planked ceiling, don't you think? But imagine this room without a beautiful fireplace and hearth. Vicky couldn't let such a gorgeous room be without a magnificent centerpiece. So together with her husband, a gas fireplace insert, a few pieces of plywood, chicken wire, and a product called "Quick Wall" (applied with her bare hands), Vicky created a magnificent stone fireplace perfect for the old world look she loves.

The stone on the hearth came from around their property - wonderful reuse - and once it was all put together and dry, Vicky did the paint technique herself with a rag and two different glazes. I can imagine nights curled up with a cup of hot chai tea, a good book, like "Mad Girls in Love", and a fire in that fireplace, the flames dancing, casting a shadow upon the old world plastered facade.

Just goes to show you that with a little creativity, and a few helping hands - you can have the look you desire, for a fraction of the cost.

If you're a fan of Vicky's work - make sure to leave a message for her here, which will count as a vote in the Martha Stewart book give-away. Also, please remember that today is the last day to submit your Tag Sales and Bargain hunting stories for the prize, so if you haven't - please do.


  1. Wow!!!!

    Vicky, your work is wonderful, I'll make sure to pass this on to our son, who is doing a kitchen makeover, I think he will love it.:)

    Dear Artie,

    I have to smile when I see how you manage to sneek other friends, and their works, into your posts. You are a true friend.

    Have a great day, GOD BLESS.


  2. Artie, they keep getting better & better! ☺
    Vicky, I LOVE your home!!! You're such a talented lady! Please share your secrets! How did you get the bull nose edge on your counter?


  3. Ok, Artie, I'm going to beg with you - Pleaaaase Vicky, share your how-tos for the concrete! =) It's gorgeous! I want your bathroom! You did a great job with your projects, I love your home and your creativity! I swear this blog has been electric for me this week and I need to get busy myself!


  4. Yes Artie.....
    We need you to ask Vicky to post step by step instructions for the concrete, especially the bull nose. I think I know how she did it, but I'd still like see her version. I've found her to be such a nice lady and so well liked on here, that I'm sure you wouldn't have to twist her arm too much. Either that, or we'll have to send her down to Isa's for private lessons. ;)

    This may sound a bit 'mushy' to you, I'll take that chance, but I bless the day that I found ALL of you on here. Your all such great loving people and always help to brighten the day.


  5. Hi Artie...

    Oh...oh...oh...I love this post today Artie! Vicky truly has one of the most beautiful homes I've ever seen...I love her style!!! I have to tell you that those concrete countertops are "out of this world" gorgeous!!! Vicky...please, please, pleaseeee share how you did them! We are seriously considering doing something similar in our kitchen! Also...that fireplace is fabulous!!! What a talented gal you are Ms. Vicky!!! Thank you Artie for doing this it! Have a great day, my friend!

    Warmest wishes...Chari (Happytodesign)

  6. Well, thank you guys so much for your support. I will be happy to share, but I will want to double check with my sil before giving out the how to's ! He did the counters, I did the cheering! We make a great team. My daughter just rolls her eyes when we get excited about something. You would think I gave birth to him instead of her... vickydarnell

  7. Now... I'm loving this concrete creative is that..I'm wondering Vickie how did you do the bullnose edge? Your creativity astounds me..
    hugs ~lynne~

  8. For those who are impressed with her countertop and f/place they must scoot over to Vicky's RMS pages and see what she has done with her Kitchen Cupboards!!!! I promise they are bound to delight, and bring oooos 'n aaaaaaws.

    Vicky is one creative lady who is always willing to share her talent offering her guidance when seeked. In my books, she is what a true Artisan is all about.

    Big hugs to you Vicki and good luck in the contest.

  9. oh wow, I love, love, love that counter!!

    Buffie :)

  10. Vicky your countertop and sink and the whole bathroom turned out beautiful. Especially love the counter top. Love ya! Sasha

  11. Great job Vicky! I had left comments for you at RMS before Artie's post! You have rated my yard several times. Again, great job!

    G in CT

  12. Great job! When you've caught-up on your projects send your son in law over here! LOL ... love the edge on that countertop. :-) - SherylCanadianGirl

  13. Vickster, my sweet "twin", your bathroom looks AMAAAAZING!! And I'm with Mrs. Ben, I hope everyone goes and looks at Vicky's kitchen on RMS! The job she did on her cabinets is awe-inspiring! I bookmarked it the second I saw it! Great job V and so nice of you Artie for featuring such a sweet and talented person!

  14. Hi Artie! Thanks for the post on Vicky's countertops. I just did a seminar taught by Carmen De La Paz (HGTV's Hammerheads) and she swears by "do it yourself" concrete counter tops. She recommended Manson's Cement Stain. It has a built in sealer which is evidently very important. Vicky your creativity is beyond inspiring.
    Artie, I actually came over to tell you what a kick I got out of your input over @ Gollum's post yesterday. You and Isa make a great team!!!!

  15. Loved it all.... especially the fireplace... Great job...


  16. Oh Artie, that Vicky is one smart cookie! Her spaces are beautiful, clever AND chic. She's one to watch!!!

  17. Wow Vicky this came out great! Love, love, love it! You and your sil make a great combination... love the texture, colors and this is certainly a professional looking installation. Congratulations, it looks just perfect! Artie, your blog is always a great read. Cindy

  18. Vicky, you and your whole family are so talented. The concrete bathroom counter top is gorgeous and Artie is right, so professionally looking. Of course I love the fireplace too, it is so "you", so cozy!. Artie, thanks for featuring Vicky's work and home....Christine

  19. Amazing. I especially love that concrete countertop. Great job, Vicky!

  20. WOW! That is some real talent! That countertop looks so professional, and the fireplace is gorgeous! Vicky is amazingly talented. Thanks for showing her talent. laurie

  21. great this was to see Vicky workwomanship is that a word?oh well it is now..don't you just love all the details she put into this..and her Kichen you need for her to share that and what a beautiful job she did there..Hi Five VICKY!! just great girl...and Thank you Artie for sharing with us..hugs and smiles Gloria

  22. I've always been so impressed by whatever Vicky does in and outside of her beautiful home. It is just so amazing how she comes up with the most beautiful creations. Here is another example of her talent (kudos to her son-in-law also). A bullnose edge just adds that special touch that Vicky does so well.
    I have to resign up with RMS to give her the proper 5 she deserves. We are so fortunate to know this special lady.

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  24. Holy Moley!! I knew you were talented Vicki D! But this is above and beyond!!! I can't even express how much I LOVE THIS!!!!
    The concrete countertops are perfection! And that edge just makes it!! How in blue heavens did you do that? Sign me up for a class please!! And the fireplace?!!! FABULOUS!!! Vanna

  25. Artie, I'm beginning to think there isn't anything that Vicky can't do! Her kitchen is amazing and now this fabulous bath! I love the bullnose or OG edge. Thanks for sharing all this creativity and talent. :-) Susan

  26. I wanted to thank everyone for your support and your kind comments! Big hugs to all of you. I will be sharing the step by step how to's with this blog as soon as I can get my son in law to take the time to help me with it. He is on to a new project and so far has not sit down with me to do this. I do not want to mislead and cause anyone to mess up so I will wait until he is ready. Thanks again vickydarnell

  27. sil said for everyone to go to this website for all the info that he had to create the counter top. and watch the videos. This was his first and he now has orders for more! thanks again and I wish everyone luck and hope to see yours as well.. vicky


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