Cabinet Makeover – Mixed Media

Why I'm Here

One of the things I love most about the Fab Furniture Flippin Contest is that while there is a theme each month that we are required to adhere to, there's not a ton of direction – the interpretation is really up to us, individually. I think it works phenomenally well, because among 30+ entrants … that's a LOT of variance in interpretation, and it leads to an entertaining final product. How boring would it be if we were so constricted that as you jumped from project to project, there were slight variations but basically cookie cutter pieces? SNORE FEST. I know what you're thinking … how EVER do I become part of this ever changing roster of fantastically talented competitors? Simple: Shoot an email to and express your interest. The ladies that run the show are all so kind and helpful – you'll love it!

This Month's Theme

This month's theme is “Mix & Match.” For no reason at all, I decided that meant mixed media. Mix and match techniques and textures and whatever else. I feel like I should disclaim here … I'm not a professional decorator, I've never been to design school, I don't know anything about anything except I do things, and sometimes I like them. I didn't want you looking at these photos (uh, this may be a good time to tell you I'm not a professional photographer, either) thinking “This is the worst designer ever! Everyone KNOWS tree branches don't belong with adhesive cork board!” Yeah I SAID TREE BRANCHES. Anyway. I'm just a person who wants her home environment a little prettier than it was before, probably a lot like you. Maybe a little better at some things, maybe a little worse at others – but that's what's great about all of this – we can learn from each other as we go.

What The HECK Did I Do?

I've had the piece I chose for this month sort of in-process for a long time and have never posted a stick of it anywhere. Almost a year, in fact. I inherited it from a neighbor who moved away early last summer. It lived in the bedroom of her artsy, awesome, poetic teenage daughter who did just what teenagers do: she wrote song lyrics, she stuck stickers, she decorated and painted it to fit her supremely artistic view of the world.

Here it is the day I brought it home:

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest | Fairfield World

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest | Fairfield World

I had my work cut out for me. And just so you know, the right door is open because it's mirrored and to this day I have NEVER figured out what to do with mirrors in photos.

Over the next several months, I test drove this and that, trying to find a color scheme and functionality that suited me. I painted the outside. Then I test drove a stencil I love. But for whatever reason, I didn't love it here. I painted it a few different colors.

This is the cabinet now:

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest | Fairfield World

I made a TON of changes – like moving the mirrored door to the middle. Turns out I still don't know what to do with shooting mirrors, so I just shaded it out of existence. I'll go over a lot of the detail items in future posts, but for now I want to focus on the fabulous sponsor for this month!

When the March Fab Furniture Flippin Contest sponsor was announced – Fairfield World – I knew I wanted to FINALLY post this makeover, but wasn't sure how to incorporate Fairfield. Remember that part where I said I can't sew a stitch? I thought Fairfield only made stuff for master sewistas. I was SO wrong. I chose a pack of 12×12 adhesive foam blocks and they arrived in short order. Because this behemoth of a cabinet resides in my office, I wanted a place to display pretty things, clever business cards, basically whatever I wanted, but didn't have a dedicated spot yet. Enter the adhesive foam blocks. These things are amazing – the whole back is peel & stick, which made it super easy to do this:

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest | Fairfield World

I KNOW. So easy it was ridiculous. For the top & bottom, I literally just laid the squares down on some black fabric (sidebar – I have an awful lot of fabric around for a person who doesn't sew), cut around them with a couple inches to spare, peeled off the adhesive cover, and BAM it was all awesome. I used those cute long pins with the pearl-looking dots on the ends to secure the hemp twine, and some little clothespin clips I found on clearance at the craft store.

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest | Fairfield World

The middle one was a tad more complicated. I pulled out a sheer curtain I'd picked up in one bargain bin or another and used the pins to pin it in gathers to the sides of the foam square.  At the intersections of the twine, which I attached in the same manner as the black squares, I poked thread from the backside through the front, through some beads I had in my stash, then back into the back. Tied a knot in the thread, good to go. After I hung them, I dove into my stash of conference goodies and hung a few of my faves.

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest | Fairfield World

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest | Fairfield World

My project is by no means done – I mean, HONESTLY, are they ever really? But THIS piece of it is, for sure. I absolutely love how cute this little display piece turned out, and every time I open my cabinet door, I smile. (Another cool thing? I had enough foam left over to do two other awesome projects that I'll share with you soon!)

That's really the point, isn't it? Doing things that make us happy. By putting it here, on my website, of course I run the risk of someone hating it, and by extension deciding to hate whatever I do. The thing is, you can't let that stuff get to you at all. Like not even a little bit. I made over this entire cabinet with – I'll say at least 80% items that I already had in this corner or that, stashed in the closet. And it's taken me a year to get this far! Maybe it's just the type of personality I have, maybe this wouldn't work for you at all. But if it would, even a little, I'd say give it a go. Take something that you already have, that lives in your home exactly the way you brought it home from the store. Take a hard look at it, take a look at the zillion odds and ends you have lying around your home, and see what you can do to jazz it up! This post wasn't written for you as a way for me to say “you should do exactly this and this and this.” That's not how it works, creativity. It works like this: You take a peek at these photos. Maybe something inspires you. Maybe you realize you have some twine and some beads lying around. Maybe you CAN sew like a madman, and you decide to hop on over to Fairfield and peruse their catalog (or their blog, or inspiration list HOLY COW). Maybe you just like that particular coral paint I used – whatever it is, RUN WITH IT! Every day we live, we never get again. Use yours to create, inspire others, make your space beautiful for YOU. Who cares what anyone else may say? Get your decorate on, people. Everywhere you look, especially in your own home … make sure there's something to make you smile. And there's a special kind of feeling that comes from knowing you have something that literally no one else on earth has in their home – a unique creation straight from your heart.

Until next time, my loves.

You want to see some really top notch, professional level makeovers? You HAVE to check out Colleen's beautiful chair makeover at 58 Water Street, and Charlotte at Ciburbanity will blow the noodles out of your head with her ottoman makeover.

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