Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Rachelle

The Rachelle
 The Rachelle is a cute little table we found on a whim.  For our own home, we have been searching far and wide for the perfect pedestal table and when we thought one fell through our fingers we decided to buy this one instead.  But, to our excitement, a day later, our original one found it's way back to us and we thought we could spruce up The Rachelle and find her a new home.

She came to us from a woman and her son who didn't have the time to give the table some new stain and decided to buy a new one instead.  The Rachelle was just taking up space in her small apartment and she wanted it gone.  Before we had even said Yes! she was already taking the bolts out of the legs and knocking it down - washing her hands of it. 
Dark top and glazed curvy legs

The Rachelle is a little different than most tables you see on "shabby chic" furniture sites.  It's not a pedestal, instead holding itself on four sturdy legs.  And it's not quite a "harvest table" in the traditional sense because it is oval.  This isn't your stereotypical table and because of that, she is worth her weight in gold!

Dark glazed legs
We gave her a good sanding, erasing years of water rings and marker stains and gave her a new, shiny coat of stain.  On her legs, we gave them a face lift - applying three coats of chalk paint over their once dingy exterior. Next, to give her some time-worn charm, we decided to give a go at glazing - giving her legs a worn look and a hint of dimension.  Finally, she got a 2 coats of oil-based poly, to make sure she's good and strong through the rest of her years.

This little table is a thing of beauty.  She gives off a hint of refine and a whole lot of rustic and would be perfect in an eat in kitchen or a small dining room.  As of right now, she is without a set of chairs (though we'll be looking!) but would look fantastic with any you might have kicking around. 

If you are interested in the Rachelle, please email

Delivery is available to Edmonton and Calgary areas for a $50.00 surcharge.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Hazel

The Hazel
The Hazel came to us as one of the most non-descript pieces of furniture we had ever seen.  Hidden in a backroom of a college girl's apartment, the Hazel had just been a keeper of clothes, painted in a non-descript black.  She didn't even have any handles or pulls. 

We brought her home, dusted her off and saw that she was indeed a keeper - with a sweet curved waterfall top and a subtle curve through her legs.  All she needed was a bit of paint, a bit of love and a new beginning...

First, we sanded her, starting with thick black paint, uncovering to a navy blue and down to a solid wood beneath.  She had such simple lines that we decided to go a little retro and a little "trendy" with her, painting her a fantastic minty green - a colour made just for her, that reminds us of old furniture one might of found in their grandmother's house.  For a little bit of trend, we gave her new hardware - a perfectly brassy embellishment that would fit in on any decor and design blog these days. 
Brassy handles and mint green paint.
The Hazel gives a sense of whimsy and vintage with lines that would look perfect in any home - from holding linens or craft items or for holding clothes in any room. She's ready for her leading role now...just looking for her story...could your house be where she begins?

If you are interested in the Hazel, please email us at

Delivery is available to Edmonton, Calgary and areas for a $50.00 surcharge. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Gentry Set and A Lesson on French Provincial

The genre of "French Provincial" is super popular in the world of design blogs or for people who are just interested in furniture.  Good Luck trying to find an old and dusty piece in central Alberta.  They are scooped up faster than a pregnant lady scoops up cake.  I was lucky enough to find one while in Florida and I truly loved the style.  But hey, so does everybody eh?  That's why, when companies do find them first, refinish them and sell them, they ask dear amounts for them. 

So, I was interested, when I found The Gentry Set, if they were, in fact French Provincial with their curvy legs and scalloped tops.  So I looked it up on good ole Wikepedia. 
French Provincial
Features typically associated with French Provincial furniture include cabriole* legs and simple scalloped carving. Finishes vary though common to all colours is the accumulation of polish or grime in the carving over time resulting in an aged patina and emphasis on the carving regardless of whether the furniture is painted or stained.
So the Gentry Set is, in fact, French Provincial!  And while I always thought this genre was incredibly picky in it's pieces, it, in fact, is not!  So look around your house - got anything with curvy legs and a scalloped top?  Well, polish it up and sell it for a million bucks!  You just might get it...
But, back to the Gentry Set.  I got these from a woman named Tanya who had an incredibly cool accent.  They'd been living in her basement for as long as she had lived in the house, and just wanted them gone.  The moment I saw them, it took me every ounce of self control not to skip back to the truck, clicking my heels.  Seriously.  They are beautiful!

Coffee Table
They started out being a truly outdated honey colour and we went to work stripped them of their old stain.  During the stripping and the sanding, we decided to keep a bit of the old around the edges, just to leave a little of her history in tact and add to the beautiful patina that will most definitely grow with age in your home.  Next, she underwent a series of staining, priming, painting and a thick coat of heavy duty wax to keep her strong under lounging feet, hot mugs of tea and sweating cans of pop.

Side Table (1 of 2)
We made sure to leave her with a touch of her own patina - some staining, scratches and a few potmarks to give her that beautiful unique and rustic look that would look fantastic in any formal dining room or in that very first "bachelorette" apartment!   
Here is your chance to own this popular and beautiful genre of furniture - and not break the bank!

If you are interested in The Gentry set, please email us at

*A cabriole leg is one of (usually) four vertical supports of a piece of furniture shaped in two curves; the upper arc is convex, while lower is concave; the upper curve always bows outward, while the lower curve bows inward. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tools of the Trade

What is this fun little thing?
Here at Sweet Peep Design Company, we don't mind sharing our secrets.  Though we love what we do, we love to share how we do it so other people will delve into the world of furniture refinishing.

We get questions all the time about the paint we use and the waxes we use but just recently we were gifted a tool that we can't believe we lived without for so long! So we thought we'd share it with you!

The Painter's Pyramid!

This handy dandy little guy is shaped like a pyramid (duh?) and fits under just about anything - you can use it to hold up pretty much anything so you can paint all the way to the tips.  This is usually the biggest problem for us - and as for personal furniture, I know just about everything I've painted for myself has unfinished legs or bottom edges.  Not anymore! (If I get to it?) 

The latest project - with painted legs!
The other thing I have a problem with while painting?  FRAMES.  I have a gallery wall in our staircase that houses over 100 frames.  None of which have very well painted sides.  These little guys hold 'em up easy while painting.  Now maybe my house will start to look like a "painter" lives here.  (Maybe.)

Even better?  They're cheap and you get 10 in a pack!  (I thought 10 was an odd number and then I found out you can lock them together for doing odd shaped stuff.  Sorta brilliant eh?) 

Anyone else think it looks like a piece of cheese?

If you're all about "DIY" check these out for yourself!  You can find them at Lee Valley Tools in Calgary or Edmonton.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Some Photoshop Art

Obviously, we're not doing much for furniture these days over at Sweet Peep Design Co. 
If you're from Central Alberta - you'll know why.
As for the rest of you - it's really cold here.  And snowy.  I'll be the first to admit, I like the cold and the snow and everything winter but I'm certainly not willing to spend hours outside in the howling wind, sanding a piece of old lead-painted furniture.  Nuh-uh.  Not for me!
So, instead I've been staying warm inside and crafting a little bit!
My latest project is for one of my closest friends in Canada, a girl named Danielle who I met at a wedding in the Dominican Republic last October.  She and I bonded over terrible birthing stories and our love of naps and squeeze cheese and have been close friends ever since.
  For Christmas I wanted to make her something that was personal and sweet and didn't cost an exorbitant amount of money (there I go being cheap again...but we'll call it sentimental in this case.)
This is what I ended up with:
(thanks to for the inspiration!)

A little inspiration, a few minutes on Photoshop and a cool frame later... 

It's a mix of reality (she's a super awesome photographer) and inside joke (because who doesn't want to be a llama?!)  and I really hope she loves it!
Like what you see?  Send me an email and I'll send the template to you, or if you ask really nice, I'll make a personalized one just for you!
From Central Alberta and looking for a photographer? 
Check Danielle out at

Friday, December 20, 2013

Party Decorating and Washi Tape

The Sweet Peep celebrated the big 0-2 over last weekend and of course we had a whole super shindig for her, complete with an Epic Play Kitchen (I'll share that later!)  But being the era of Pinterest and Internet One-upedness, it seems that nothing goes untouched when it comes to party decorating.

Being that her birthday is December 14th and smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Season, I've tried really hard to make it all about her...meaning, NO CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS (until after the big day!) and NO RED AND GREEN!  So, her colours this year were hot pink, aqua, bright green and yellow.  A little summery...I realize.

Those are some gooood lookin straws!
As I was decorating the hot pink treats table I ran into a bit of an issue.  I purchased these seriously awesome (great, wonderful, fan-freakin-tastic) paper straws from Target for $1.00 (compare that to Michaels who sell them for $11.99.) and I wanted to showcase them.  So, I went to the go-to product for holding anything: the mason jar. 

But a mason jar is so...clear.  And, while cute, there was nothing "Pinteresty" about it, you know?

So I pulled out the Washi Tape.  For those of you who don't know what "Washi Tape" is (I'm looking at you Mom), it's pretty much really pretty scotch tape that you can pull off things really easily.  For those of you who want a history lesson, washi is a Japanese word for, well, Japanese paper.  And it's usually made from bamboo, the bark from a bunch of Japanese trees and even things like rice and hemp.  It's used to make origami paper, clothing and religious vestments and now, fancy, expensive, blogworthy tape. 

But it this case, we'll stick with pretty scotch tape OK?

I found this Washi Tape at Walmart for $2.97 (compared to Michaels who sell it for $8.99) and it was the perfect shade of bright (non Christmasy!) green and it came in a fun striped pattern.  I snatched it up and used it for everything from little flags on the cupcakes to embelishments on white Ikea frames. 

As for the mason jar?  I wrapped two strips of it around the centre and with some pink yarn I had over from another project, I wrapped that around the centre a few times and hot glued it at the back.  Finally, I took an embellishment flower (from Michaels...70% off because it was in their Christmas stock...but it's pink...) and glued it right in the centre. 

Voila!  Easiest, cutest, Pinterestastic Mason Jar Straw Holder. 

And, you know, while I was doing all this creative stuff for a bunch of two year olds, I kept asking myself  WHY?  Two year olds don't care.  Well.  I had numerous compliments on my straw holder. 
Made the 2 weeks of late night crafting totally worth it. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Reta

The Reta
The Reta came to us from a little house in the middle of Lacombe and we bought her for a song. She doesn't have the lines and the romantic curves that most hutches have - she was truly a diamond in the rough!

The Reta once belonged to a sweet old woman who housed her fine china perched upon the shelves.  We aren't sure what happened to the sweet old woman, just that she was 92 and her home was steeped in memories and heavy old furniture.  Her daughter's family was in the midst of revitalizing the small house, making it into something new and modern and they felt they should part ways with most of the beautiful furniture within its aged walls. 

The Reta is of midcentury modern design - meaning straight lines and simple craft.  Instead of having heavy doors, she has glass sliding panels (not shown in picture, but will be included!) and instead of being tall and intricate, she is small, simple and compact.  

As part of our "Design Dilemma" series, we got a lot of really fantastic ideas about this hutch - ranging from painting only the handles to framing it all in black to painting the whole thing. We decided to give her a good paint after cleaning her up and realizing she didn't have the same spice as some of the other hutches we found on the internet.

After giving this girl a light sand, we primed her with 2 coats and then painted her in "Maine Lobster", a pretty red that wasn't too bright but didn't have a brick tone to it. To finish her off, we covered her in a tinted wax that gives her a slight antique look and gives her a little bit of a rustic vibe. We decided not to distress her since she had a modern element to her and distressing didn't seem to fit. The one thing everyone seemed to agree on with this hutch was the need for new handles, but after the red was painted, these handles screamed to be put back on after a coat of paint. The new oil rubbed bronze pulls now pop against her new paint - the perfect accessories to the perfect outfit!

Tons of storage!
This poppy hutch is the perfect addition to any home - used here at the Sweet Peep Home as a bar for an American Thanksgiving feast, she would also be great for a mail center in the front foyer, or as her previous owner used her as, a place to put all your fine china in your rustic, modern dining room!
If you are interested in the Reta, please email us at:

Delivery is available to Edmonton, Calgary and areas for a $50.00 surcharge.