Coat hooks as desk top storage?

Yesterday I posted the reveal on makeover #2 for the school science table (see makeover #1 here). I wanted to rewind and show you a happy accident-organizational tid-bit.  When we originally put this room together we set this wall up with plenty of hooks for backpacks, coats, etc. for my tweenage man.  Then when we brought the table in, the lower set of hooks were in the way.


My plan was to take the Pottery Barn hooks out but as I got to staging the table I found they made a great way to organize books and the like.


Who woulda thunk it…coat hooks for desk organization!?


It’s even perfect for my super size twine ball that I use for everything under the sun.



See full desk reveal here.

Brooke and I talk about all things “twine” on Studio 5.


How to make galvanized steel look like zinc.

I just performed a makeover on this school science table last month and I’m already thinking of ways to re-invent it.

before and after

Of course I can’t leave well enough alone.

Why not have it outfitted with a galvanized steel top?


I turned to the same company that cut a sheet of galvanized steel for our huge Magnetic Board.  


Metal Supermarkets charges approx $35. for a piece of 22 gauge galvanized steel metal piece to cover the table.  However the labor to have it wrapped and corners welded was about $150.00.  I could have bought the metal and shopped for less expensive labor but I was in a time crunch (and impatient).

Here’s what I did to turn the shiny metal in to an aged zinc look…


First (1), clean and de-grease your surface.  I used Simple Green (be sure to dilute it according to directions on the back).
Next (2), shake Amy Howard’s Zinc solution (found this at ACE Hardware. One bottle will cover approx 25-30 sq ft).
(3), Put it in an old container that you can either throw away or use specifically for only this solution.
Last (4), wear rubber gloves and apply the solution with a lint-free rag.


Dip and pat on surface randomly. You can see the oxidation process starts immediately and will have a black appearance.
Leave on about 15-20 minutes or when your surface has reached the desired look.


Pat excess off with a dry rag (don’t completely dry it). As it dries you’ll see the chalked aged finish appear. Let it sit over night.


Apply Amy Howard’s clear wax thinly over entire surface to protect it (found at ACE Hardware).

Applying wax

Apply the wax the same way you would over a painted surface or over your zinc surface using an up-down, side to side motion randomly.
After about 15-20 minutes buff it out with a lint-free dry rag.

before and after

The result is a weathered surface that looks like it’s been around for ages.



One table, two looks

Which look do you like better?


Being as this table will live in my son’s room, the zinc surface is so much more well suited for him who will no doubt beat the heck out of it.
Luckily it should only look better with time and wear.

(See how I transformed this $4.00 science table the first time).

Check out Amy Howard demonstrate how to make steel look like zinc.

Here’s my Studio 5 appearance just in case you missed it.
Don’t forget to enter the drawing for a chance to win a $1000.. blinds makeover from Smith & Noble.

Natural woven shades trend.

Our homes are filled with hazards to children and pets.  One of those dangers might be something you would never expect.  Did you ever imagine that your window coverings could be one of those potential threats?

I was recently made aware about the safety risk window coverings pose to children and pets.  When you raise you blinds the length of the cord you pulled is left dangling down the wall or floor. This warning label comes on most blinds but it’s one of those things that goes straight in the trash without even a thought.


Smith and Noble asked me to help spread the word about the importance of window safety and are urging families with children to retrofit or replace existing window coverings with cordless ones.  After having witnessed my own child wind up in a hanging blind cord in the past for fun I was totally on board with this movement.

For the past 3 years this window has has been naked without any window blinds or coverings.


Except for the privacy issue I prefer to have my windows open and un-obstructed. If you’ve ever walked through a model home you’ll notice that windows may have coverings but they are always up and open letting the light in and making the room fill bigger.  But I’ll admit, at night when it’s pitch black outside, I’ve imagined Freddy outside looking in and then think, “I should really get some blinds up.”

Smith and Noble has a HUGE assortment of blinds, shades, shutters, in almost every traditional window covering material you can imagine.  At first I thought I wanted a Roman Cordless Fabric Shade.

Samples 2


I fell in love with this Noyo Indigo Roman shade…feels very Amber Interiors – esque.


In the end I decided to go with a classic and timeless Natural Shade.


This Kota Sterling Cordless Woven shade was the perfect selection.


Still allows plenty of light in but gives all the privacy I need from Freddy.  (The natural woven shades can also come fully lined so no light comes through).

PicMonkey Collage

The other benefit is that when you’re standing at the window and look up you see the ugly, dirty eaves.  Now that the shade is up the ugly view is hidden.


The best benefit is that these shades are cordless.  No hazardous hanging cord for kids to play in.  They go up and down so effortlessly with just a little push or pull.

What I love about ordering window coverings from Smith and Noble is that you can get free samples to test against your window and decor.  Plus you don’t have to go through a window rep who has to look up prices on each selection you make.  Just enter your measurements and it will tell you exactly how much they are.  Easy-peasy.

Smith and Noble wants your window treatments to be safe for your kids, pets and family.  They will be giving a $1000. window treatment makeover to one lucky person!  They will also be giving away $50.00 trade in value per shade when you enter.  To enter go to their site here.