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.