School Desk comes out of hiding: Family history & function!

Welcome to Flashback Friday, where we re-visit a painted piece of the past.  I love transforming a piece of furniture, but if that piece has some family history behind it?  Well, that is the icing on the cake.  I love knowing these stories while I'm painting these types of pieces; it puts a whole new spin on the process, and is essentially, the core mission behind Novo Decor.... 

Re-creating & refreshing the home using what home-owners ALREADY OWN

It's time to bring those pieces of furniture out of hiding and display them proudly, share their stories, and remember their history!  This is what today's story is all about.

Tiffany was looking for a desk for her son, and then this happened....

When Tiffany's father-in-law found a collection of vintage school desks in an area church, she immediately saw its potential.  The coolest part about it, is that Tiffany's husband's grandparents founded that church years ago......and now, Tiffany and her family get to hold on to a piece of that history with this awesome "new" vintage desk! 

Tiffany contacted me with a photo of the desk, asking if I could do "something" with it. I said, "YES ma'am".  

The desk was in great condition, but the chrome was rusty, and needed some TLC.   

The wood pieces (seat, desk top, and arm rest) unscrewed right off the chrome frame, which was a time saver for spray painting the base.  Additionally, the screws were surprisingly cooperative (you never know with old rusty screws how well they'll come off). Huge bonus!

Here's a quick glance at the process.....

1.  Clean & spray paint the frame

Once the wood pieces were removed, I used baking soda and water to clean off the rust from the base.  I mixed half cup water with a bunch of baking soda to create a pasty texture. 

I painted on the mixture, let it sit a half hour,  then scrubbed it off with a light abrasive sponge. Most of the rust came right off.  The remaining spots were harmless, as they would soon be spray painted.      Once dry, I spray painted the entire frame using Rust-o-leum's "Oil Rubbed Bronze":  (three layers)

2.  Strip & re-stain

The desk seat and back needed refurbishing. Since they were authentic wood, I wanted to maintain that look.  I decided not to paint them. Once stripped and cleaned, they were ready for re-staining.  I used MInwax stain in "Dark Walnut".  

3.  Paint

Two layers of teal chalk paint were applied to the desk top, and arm rest.  Light sanding followed for a smooth surface. 

4.  Apply Wax (antiquing) 

Finishing the project with light and dark wax gave the piece an "antiqued" look.  I did this to the desk top and arm rest.   For the seat and chair back, I used a clear Polycrylic sealant.   Done!

One great Desk

It can be a challenge to find a perfect little desk for a "little" at home, not to mention a perfect little chair scaled to size!  I speak from personal I've been searching for a chair for Luke's desk.  The chairs I find are either too wide, too tall, too short......

But a desk like this one?  PERFECT.   With it's compact size, great quality, and built-in seat you can't go wrong!  Be sure to keep your eyes open for desks like these at second hand stores!  

Find those gems, haul them out of hiding, use them, and tell their story

And that is how recognizing the potential in a piece of furniture, can turn into a functional piece of furniture, that not only enhances the home interior, but has a family history that now can be represented and enjoyed for years to come.  I'd say this is a BIG SUCCESS make-over story. 

Happy school shopping (ug! how can this be happening already?!).....

Are you looking for an old school desk?   I have TWO left to custom paint just for YOU!  Here they are.....

Enjoy your weekend!!!!! 







Painted Cabinetry: A look back

Happy Friday and happy Flashback Friday! 

It is hard to believe another week has passed and here we are with another Flashback Friday feature!  I hope you enjoy these weekly peeks at painted pieces of the past as much as I do!  It has been two years since Novo Décor got its start, and I look forward to many more memorable years ahead, as well as many more Flashback Fridays!

Today's Feature......


The home-owner desired fresh "new" cabinetry that matched her tiling.  Painting the cabinets was a smart alternative to "gutting" her entire bathroom (especially since she still really liked the tile work)!  


With a plan and some paint, this bathroom transformed beautifully.  

Now, one year later, the cabinets need a few touch-ups in places where the usual wear and tare of bathroom usage left "marks".   The faucet handles had also began to show signs of wear; totally expected given their regular exposure to water.  

Now what? 

The home-owner contacted me and asked if I could "fix" the biggest stain; hair dye ( NOOOO not hair dye!).  Since I was there anyway, a few other areas were "fixed".    We decided I would take the faucet handles with me (leaving the faucet fixtures in place) and give them a few more layers of spray paint and sealant.  

Applying spray paint to the faucet handles may be an annual occurrence, and that's OK as long as the home-owner is OK with it!  All the other hardware has held up great (towel rings, toilet tissue ring, light fixtures), and that's a win. 

Hey customers!

Have you had a piece of your furniture painted by Novo Decor?  Please don't hesitate to contact me if your piece needs touch-ups.  See these examples:  

1.  The paint chipped in some places.   YES. I can fix that! 

2. A corner of your furniture was chewed off by your dog.  Um NO.  I cannot fix that! Sorry!  

I want you to be happy with your piece for many years to come!  If your piece has incurred sdamage, let me know and I'll see what I can do!   

And that's a wrap for this week's Flashback Friday!  Maybe the next featured piece will be yours!??  Until next time....

Have a great weekend!!!

See other Flashback Fridays below!!!!


Modern Retro Tables: Bold or neutral?

Flashback Friday time!  Today's featured piece is a set of mid-century modern tables.   It is hard to believe these tables received their make-over two years ago already!  Like they always say, time flies when you're having fun!!!!   

Bold & Neutral

Whether you know you love bold, definitely lean toward neutral, like both, or just can't decide which you like, you CAN do both in a single piece.  Yes really! 

Today's featured tables are just that; bold AND neutral.   The tables were painted white;  about as neutral a color as it gets.   And, for the bold part....bling.  Be bold.  Add bling!   

Here's a look at a table before photo:

And this is after the make-over: 

For some "hidden" boldness, I added a pop of color inside the drawers........

....because who doesn't enjoy a bright and bold drawer interior?    

These tables are a great example of combining neutral AND bold in a single piece of furniture, and they showcase the owner's style well. 

Going bold doesn't have to mean neon colors!  It's all in the details.....and in this case we added some bling in the knobs,  and metallic legs. 

Do you have a piece of furniture in desperate need of a make-over?Post a picture of it to Novo Decor's Facebook Page and I'd love to give a suggestion or two!!!

Have a great weekend!  


See more FLASHBACK FRIDAYS below:      

5 predictors of a successful furniture make-over

On Fridays I like to share with you a painted piece from the past.  Every piece of furniture has some form of a story, and it's fun to dig in and learn about the pieces I paint.  Rather than showing you a particular piece here today, I'm changing it up a bit and highlighting the meat and potatoes behind how one considers whether their furniture is "make-over worthy". 

How do you know if your furniture is worth a make-over?  What "signs" can you look for that predict a successful outcome, and result you love? 

Today I'm sharing five predictors that have consistently produced successful outcomes, and happy furniture owners. 

5 Predictors of a successful furniture make-over

1.  Recognize the potential

Most people have the ability to recognize that their piece of outdated furniture has potential. One thing that often gets in the way of seeing furniture "blossom" into something we love, is the temptation to get rid of it.   Next time you feel like tossing that old dresser to the curb, think twice.   Take a look at what happened to these dressers, when given a second look.....

2. Emotional connection & Value

It really is a great honor to be able to use pieces that were passed down in the family. Not only do these pieces hold sentimental value, they are typically well-made (see #4!). Displaying and using these pieces is a meaningful way to remember our loved ones who at one time, owned these same pieces!   A make-over enhances the beauty of these one-of-a-kind pieces, while at the same time, allows us to showcase our style and personality in new ways. 

Here are some examples of what can happen to pieces that hold sentimental value in our hearts: 


See the story here:    Shabby Chic Kitchenette: REVEAL TIME
See the heartwarming story here:   Distressed Chevron Cedar Chest

See the heartwarming story here: Distressed Chevron Cedar Chest

3. Functionality

Consider all possible uses of your old furniture.  Functionality is key when it comes to making decisions about painting a piece of furniture.   The more uses a piece potentially has, the more likely it will long live out its "new" and improved look (not to mention the many locations in the house to place it).  Consider a make-over, and you're one step closer to uncovering those pieces in hiding!

Giving pieces like this a second chance can be an eye-opening game-changer for the home.  See an example here: 

This hutch became a great place to store games and other "things" you don't want sitting out. The open shelving allowed for display of favorite accessories, too.  It's a win-win. 

This hutch became a great place to store games and other "things" you don't want sitting out. The open shelving allowed for display of favorite accessories, too.  It's a win-win. 

4. Condition

A sturdy piece of furniture is the best candidate for a make-over.  This is the case for two main reasons:

1.  It will last longer, therefore the time & money investmented into the piece will be well worth it.  

2. It will tolerate painting, sanding, and minor repairs without falling apart! 

Basic indications of a sturdy piece are solid stance (it does not wobble), pieces are intact (like edges of tables or shelves), and major pieces are present (all essential pieces in the body/structure of the piece are present).  

If you are in question about the shape of your piece, shoot me picture of it and I'll give you an honest answer:

5.  Knowledge, excitement, anticipation 

If you are like most home-owners, you own an outdated, or unattractive piece of furniture.  I encourage you to look beyond the "ugly", and take notice of these predictors.   Knowing (knowledge) what to look for in your furniture (#1-4 above), can lead to an enjoyable and empowering experience (excitement and anticipation).  This in turn, results in a highly successful furniture make-over.  

A furniture make-over goes beyond the paintbrush!   The history and story behind a piece of furniture, along with how the finished piece affects our emotions as home-owners, is really what it's all about.  

So with that, take notice of what you already have, or don't use.  Identifying just one of today's predictors in your old furniture, has the potential power to be a game-changer for you and your home! 

Have a wonderful weekend


See other Flashback Friday's below: 



Flashback Friday: A Painted Piano that Pops

Hello and welcome to Flashback Friday!  This is a weekly series that highlights a painted piece of furniture from the past!  Today's feature is a.....


In summer 2016 this piano was painted in a classic white, and distressed in all the right places! The added pop of color makes it a treat for the eyes! 

Chapter 1:  The dilemma

Kate (not me, a friend named Kate!)  had a vision for her piano.  She bought white chalk paint and began painting.   While painting, Kate came to the realization that her piano wasn't taking shape the way she hoped.  What did she do?  She stopped painting, and then she called me.

Here is the picture Kate sent me of her piano: 

Here is what she had to say about it:

"I started painting it with white chalk paint. The problem is....I didn't finish, and I don't have an eye for detail work. I didn't put the wax finish on it because the paint doesn't look quite right." 

Chapter 2: Accepting the challenge

It was time for a home consultation.  I needed to get a look at that piano, pronto! Kate stated, "If i'm honest with myself I know I probably won't get back to it.  I just don't have the patience for it."   I knew I could help.....

Kate asked me to paint it for her.  And then, something really marvelous happened. Kate sent me a text:  "Kate! I've got a challenge to add to the piano." Her text included this photo below, accompanied by this question:

"Can you do a pattern like this?"

Now, I'll admit, this pattern was intimidating....but I love a challenge.  I answered,  "Love that. Yes Kate. Pretty sure I can do that!"  

Chapter 3:  Planning

I had my work cut out for me!  I started by sketching different designs, to get a feel for this particular geometric pattern.....

Then it was time to talk color.  I brought samples to Kate's house, and she chose an amazing combination of 5 colors including "Lakeshore", "Hot Pink", "Aquarium", "Silver", and "Rejuvenate". I took measurements of the area on the piano, so that I could figure out the design mathematically, and create a symmetrical and eye-pleasing arrangement. We were getting closer. 

Chapter 4: Math and pianos

My least and most favorite things: Math and Pianos.   For this pattern to come to fruition, math was my friend (okay okay, so maybe math really does apply to everyday life).  Knowing the height and width of the space allowed me to determine number of columns, squares, and square size.  I decided to made a sketch of the design to scale....

Aside from the math part, sipping on my coffee and coloring this design was quite relaxing and enjoyable.  

Chapter 5: Let's get this piano painting party started

A few days later, I began the job.  The white paint came first. Then sanding. Lots of sanding! After measurements, and meticulous placement of painter's tape, the painting followed. 

Chapter 6: Wet paint, and painter's tape, and wet paint oh my!

With all good things come challenges.   Painted triangles had to dry before painting neighboring triangles.  This had to happen because painter's had to be applied to a dry area, in order to paint another area "next door".  I staggered the painting, always looking for areas that could be painted without bothering other neighboring areas that were still drying.  

And so on and so forth...... 

Chapter 7: The final countdown

Slowly but surely, the piano came together!  The colors couldn't have been more striking....


Do you have a piece of furniture in your home that has the potential to POP? Turn a traditional piece into art for your home!   Think about adding something creatively unexpected to your home. 

I invite you to post a picture of your piece of furniture on Novo Decor's Facebook Page!!!!  Let's brainstorm ideas together!!




Armoire Make-over: A solution

"We thought of painting it ourselves but just don't have the time right now."

That's what Sara said about her armoire.  This is what her armoire looked like BEFORE its make-over:

Sara's furniture scenario: 

Sara wanted to use this armoire in the spare bedroom; a room without a built-in closet. She knew it would be useful for guests and storage, but she wanted a new look for the piece.  

What were Sara's possible options?

1.  Get rid of the armoire, and buy a new one

2. Hire Novo Decor to paint it for her

3.  Hire a carpenter to build a closet

4.  Paint it herself

Sara ruled out options #1, #3, and #4 not only due to her time constraint, but also because she wanted to avoid potential hassles, and add-on costs involved with all the other options.  For Sara, this made option #2 a no-brainer.   Option #2: Call Novo Decor! 

Sara's piece was completed in summer 2016.  You can view that full post here: Shabby Chic & Fantastique Armoire REVEAL.

Nearly a year after its make-over, what is Sara saying?   

"I love my new armoire".  

Sara's decision yielded the result she wanted, and required zero time and hassle on her part.

Seeing the potential in our furniture and giving it a second chance is a wonderful thing. Having the time to paint it?  That's the challenge, and often a barrier to getting started.  

Maybe you can relate?  

Providing a solution for a furniture dilemma like this one is something I love doing.  Here is how Sara's armoire turned out:  

"I'm thinking about hiring you.  How do we get started?" 

After our initial discussion (either by phone or email), we set up a home consultation so I can look at your piece.  We discuss ideas.  I provide an electronic estimate along with a description of your specific order plan.  Once I get your "OK" with the plan, and you wish to move forward, we schedule a time to drop off/pick up your piece. .  

You can drop off your piece at my home, or I provide a pick/up and delivery service for a fee. 


April is FREE consultation month! If you decide to place an order with me THIS MONTH, you'll get $25 OFF.  This offer applies to any order valued at $125 or more. 

Contact me at, or directly from Novo Decor's FACEBOOK page 

Enjoy the beautiful Easter weekend ahead! 


See more Flashback Fridays below......

New house prompts furniture face-lift: Dresser set

Happy Flashback Friday! This post is the second of a two-part series featuring a dresser set that received a face-lift in preparation for its move to a new home. Jenny and Jim already had a decent dresser set, and wanted to use it in the new home, BUT, the dressers were outdated and pretty beat up.  It was time for a furniture face-lift.

Giving your furniture a second look (even the "ugly" stuff) can become a total game changer for the home interior.   That's what Jen and Jim did!  They simply knew they could continue to use their old set, and realized the need for an update.  So, they enlisted me to the task of re-creating both pieces, and now, they have custom painted dressers that look great in their new room.

Here is one of the dressers before its face-lift:


Both dressers needed minor repairs, but nothing a little wood filler couldn't take care of. They were painted gray, and distressed.  The drawers were lined with chevron contact paper for a little fun.    

Drawer liner is so simple, yet it can really add a fun pop on any piece of furniture.  Pair it with a fresh coat of paint and you've got yourself a transformed piece!  

And what would a finished piece be without some type of accessory on top? 

And here is one dresser AFTER its face-lift......big difference wouldn't you say?  

The owners of this set knew they could use the dressers in their new home, but desired a fresh new look.  They realized the potential in them.....and they're glad they did.  No dresser shopping trip was needed (a huge plus considering the countless other shopping trips a new home brings).  And, they have a great dresser set in the color and style of their choice.

Now that is a success story! 

I hope you are still enjoying your dressers guys!

Enjoy your weekend, 


See more Flashback Fridays below! 



Flashback Friday: Two-room Make-over

It's Friday and you know what that means?  It's time for flashback Friday!  Flashback Friday is a weekly series where projects of the past are featured. Once a blog post is written it goes to the "archives" where hardly anyone sees them.  Boo!  Flashback Friday is an opportunity to re-post an "old" project from the past.

Today we're taking a look back at a room transformation.  Initially this project started with the kitchen table and chairs.  From there it evolved into a two-room transformation! 

Here is the kitchen BEFORE its transformation (I had already painted the kitchen set, which you see in the picture)....

The kitchen set received fresh paint and new upholstery on the chairs.  I offered several upholstery options, and the home-owner stepped outside her comfort zone and chose this....

Kitchen set BEFORE: 

Kitchen Set AFTER: 

So the kitchen set is refreshed, but what about the rest of the room?

It became apparent to the home-owner that the rest of her kitchen and the adjoining living room weren't working with her newly painted kitchen set.  The set now had color, but the rest of the space didn't.  A room make-over was in the near future....

First, a color scheme was determined based on the home-owner's favorite color, navy....

Give me Accessories! 

Adding a pop of color was achieved by adding plenty of accessories.   Wall art, accent furniture, decor, and a variety of throw pillows brightened up the space instantly.

Living room BEFORE: 


Don't forget the window!

OK. We achieved color.  But, the bare kitchen wall needed attention.  A pair of navy blue geometric window panels, and a colorful picture provide visual balance between the kitchen and the living room: 

kitchen after.jpg

A sea grass rug, chandelier, and greenery added additional texture throughout the space.  It's all in the details! 

Room Make-over (Novo Decor Style):

Mixing the old with the new is what Novo Decor is all about!  In this room make-over a mix of skillfully chosen thrifted home decor items, newly purchased items, and the home-owner's already owned accessories complimented one another to pull the two rooms together.   

Have a room you're proud of?  I'd love to see it! Post a picture to Novo Decor's Facebook page! 

Have a question about that "difficult" room in your home?  Learn about Novo Decor's room packages below....



Flashback Friday: little desk, big result

Welcome to Flashback Friday! This is a weekly series that highlights a painted piece of the past! Today's feature is a desk make-over that was completed in summer, 2016.   This desk received a fresh new look using the owner's favorite color: purple!

Here is the desk BEFORE:

It is a well-built piece of furniture, and turned out to be a great example of using a bold color, without going overboard.  The neutral gray tones and the natural wood balance the piece. The fabric pulls the colors together.  It really works.   

And here is the desk AFTER its makeover:

I added a fun surprise in the drawers because what is a drawer without some kind of pretty liner?  The fun thing about drawer liners is they don't have to match the patterns used on the exterior of the piece.  If there is commonality in colors used, options for drawer liners are plentiful....


A childhood piece of furniture passed along in the family, now updated and sporting a mixture of beloved bold color, neutral paint, freshly stained natural wood, and a fun fabric seat cushion.

Customer order:   "You know I love purple".  

Outcome:  Success! Sam was happy with the final result!  The desk adds color and character to the room it sits in, to be enjoyed for many more years to come.

I hope you're still loving your desk, Sam!!!

Did you miss previous Flashback Fridays?  Catch them below: 



Flashback Friday: Shabby chic kitchenette

It's Flashback Friday time everyone!  Today's feature is........a 75 year old kitchenette!  

This challenging little piece received a make-over last summer.  It has been passed down in the same family for 75 years and it is hardly recognizable now. Are you ready?


As you can see I squirmed in my flip flops at the challenge I was about to tackle, BUT, a good challenge keeps me on my toes (literally!) and I almost always end up learning something valuable with each one. 


I found some cute vintage fabric to line the inside (see my post on more ideas for fabric use in your home HERE). The doors on the piece were removed to show off the cute shelves and fabric interior:

The kitchenette is now being used daily to store essential oils.  Over the years it has served many purposes and at one point had dirt in its drawers. (a planter was one of its many uses)  But, Carla, the owner, knew it was a keeper and saw its potential for function in her home once again.

Here it is in Carla's home boasting its fresh new look....


If you missed the introductory post on this piece and would like to see more on its transformation, here is the link:  Kitchenette

Do you have an old piece of furniture that means something to you? Carla sure did and now it serves a purpose, looks adorable in her home, and brings back memories each time she's in that room. 

Happy Friday everyone.   Check in again next Friday for another featured painted piece of the past!!!










Here are the doors I removed (this was after stripping several times):


Can you believe at one point this was how the whole kitchenette looked during its renovation?   The center of these doors had some sort of paper decal on them.  After stripping twice, the result was a tacky and very stubborn surface, so I will be adding fabric to these as well....along with a fresh coat of paint (or two!). Speaking of these doors, any ideas for what I could make with them?? 




What a fun little piece.  The best part is the history behind it, and the fact that it struck an emotional cord with the owner's mother, Arlene! I guess she was very happy to hear this little piece was getting a make-over.  And Carla loved it, stating "It's adorable".  She even sent me a picture of it all stocked up in her home:


It looks awesome doesn't it?  I love Carla's cute accessories for this space.  Carla, this room looks different than the first time I saw it.....have you been doing a little decor shopping and prepping for your "new" piece of furniture!  I love it.  

Do you have an old, I mean REALLY old, piece of furniture that looks like it has seen better days?  Believe it or not, even those kinds of pieces can be transformed!  And the reward when they are priceless!   I hope Carla enjoys her kitchenette for many more years to come, and maybe someday, her grandchildren, or even great grandchildren, will use it as well! 


Happy Feet anticipating the potential of this piece......


Happy Feet enjoying the outcome of a touch job done! 

Thank you Carla, for entrusting me to this task!  It was a joy to transform your little kitchenette that holds such strong family histor