Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Living Room: The Bombe Chest

I have had a nearly 20 year fascination with bombe chests.  I love the curvy feminine lines and the incredible details.

Well, when I moved into this spot, my entertainment center pretty much fell apart on me. Partly because I am probably the only person in this nation that doesn't own a flat screen TV! And because of that, the weight of the TV pretty much crushed the soul out of my TV stand, causing it to buckle in the middle, the legs to become all wobbly. It was like an old lady. Poor thing. I had to send it to the retirement home.

So my family and I settled into our new digs and our Jurassic TV went directly onto the floor. Everyday it looked at me begging me to find a lovely place for it to sit. I looked at it and thought to myself, "If you weren't such a great TV, I would trade you in for a sexier model, but I kinda like you."

Since placing my TV on a diet wasn't a possibility, I set out to find a new home for her. What I found was that the TV stands and entertainment centers sold today are mainly created for the new and sexy flat screens! AND unless I was willing to shell out over $1,000, I was bound to settle for a cheap particle board stand that would eventually buckle under the weight of my beloved.

I needed something made out of solid wood. I needed it to have a place to discreetly hide my DVDs and CDs and I wanted it to be a good looking piece of furniture that would go well with my City Girl Chic vibe but still be classic enough to stand the test of time. Enter the bombe chest. It has all the right elements and goes well with the subtle feminine vibe I am trying to convey. It is sensuous with it's curving lines without being overly girly or frilly.

Bombe chests were first introduced during the French Regency Period. Bombe is a French term for any rounded or convex piece of furniture. Sometimes spelled "bombay", but it is not refer to Bombay, India. During the reign of Louis XV, French cabinetmakers began to abandon the classic styling of furniture loved by King Louis XIV, who placed strict limitations on how furniture may be designed. Master craftsman were finally able to express themselves and furniture masterpieces began to emerge. Many of these pieces had curved or bowed shapes. It was often lacquered with chinnoiserie, or Chinese inspired designs, such as flowers, exotic birds, dragons and tigers never before seen on furniture.

How much do you love that this piece of furniture was born out of a need to express oneself creatively following a repressive state of being? This is right up my alley and perfect for My Renovated Life.

Today's bombe chests are a bit more diverse, and traditionally have Queen Anne style Legs (which is exactly what my table desk has), and ornamental hardware. Many people use them as an accent piece to their entryway, and perhaps I will too as my living quarters change. I do long for a place large enough to actually have an entryway or foyer. But for my small apartment, I was on the hunt for a dark walnut finish, no chinnoiserie and minimal ornamentation and hardware. The most fun part of this search is that it is nearly impossible to find two chests that are the same. Like the snowflakes of chests.

I am REALLY hoping to find the perfect piece. I want a classic piece that my family can treasure for years to come. And I need a new home for my television that will fit right in with this new design I am installing in my living room/workspace. Wish me luck.

What do you think of the bombe chest? If you have one, I'd love to know how you use it and how it's styled!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Renovating My Body: 30-Day Raw Food Challenge

If you have been following My Renovated Life, you have had an opportunity to see that I am not just a FAB event planner. You actually have been able to peek inside my home and see the transformation I am making to my humble abode. But the purpose of this blog is to not only journal the renovation of my living and work spaces, but also the house that I carry with me everyday - my mind and my body.

I spent the majority of my life at a whopping 95 pounds. However, over the last three years I have gained nearly 40 pounds. Although some may look at me and my 135 pound frame and think, "Oh you look great! A little weight is good for you!" I look at myself and can't believe what I see. No matter how you slice it 40 pounds is a lot of weight gain for anyone. And when you are used to your body looking a certain way and then it no longer does, it's disappointing. It's not about what people say when they look at you. It's about how you feel when you look at yourself.

Well, when I look at myself, I am NOT happy. AT ALL. Further, I recently experienced a very scary medical condition with my pancreas and the consumption of bad fat. So, I decided to go on a 30-day raw food diet during the month of January beginning the day after Christmas. I have no idea if I will make it for the entire 30 days but I damn sure am going to try. I need to be healthier, feel healthier and maybe lose at least 10 pounds.

I promised you a peek inside my life and I meant it! I am nervous about this and scared to do it. I will need to exercise which is something I have never really done much of. I have a feeling I will try to wimp out and give up. I know I will crave cooked foods and meats and iced tea! I will probably also go through a few things emotionally and physically as I adjust but I am really praying for an increase in energy, better sleep at night and an overall good feeling about my body, how it looks and how it feels.

Just after Christmas, I plan to share a photo of how I used to look when I was a Skinny Minnie and how I look currently when I put on a tight fitting dress. You are welcome to follow along as I chop and blend and chew my way to a healthier me for the start of 2012.

xoxo - tami

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Workspace: Spray Painting My Desk

I have really grown to love Craigslist. It is a cornucopia of unwanted items. Every now and then you come across an unusual and perfect item. And that is exactly what happened when I found my table desk.

I needed a desk that could fit into the little workspace nook that I painted in my living room. And I wanted something that had enough surface for my laptop and a few desk accessories. I didn't care for drawers and it had to be made out of wood. I wanted something that could be painted white so it would really stand out and pop against the chocolate swirl paint that I added to my workspace.

So the hunt on Craigslist began. I had my eyes out for a table desk and that is when I found this beauty. It was only $25 and it was being sold very close to my home. If you have ever lived in or been to expansive LA, you will understand that proximity can make or break a good deal!

It was perfect. It had curvy legs in the Queen Anne style, some unique carvings on the legs and was being sold as an illusion table. It has the unique ability to look as it were coming out of the wall.

I brought this baby home, decided saw that it needed additional sanding before I could paint it white. So, what does a girl do? She heads out to visit her favorite DIY friend, Home Depot!

This was shaping up to be another inexpensive project. Between the actual desk and the supplies, this total came to $42.86. Not bad!

First things first, I needed to protect my area with a drop cloth. Then I sanded the surface to remove any polyurethane and to provide the paint something to grab once applied. Once I finished sanding, I used a tack cloth to remove any excess sand and sawdust. This is the best way to rid of any debris and provide your surface with a smooth finish for painting.

Then I needed to repair a split in the leg with wooden filler and allow it to set for at least 24 hours. Afterwards, I sanded it down to give it a smooth finish.

To ensure a successful painting job that resulted in a durable finish, the table desk was then covered with a layer of Rust-Oleum Primer. Now the table desk was ready for it's first coat of paint. I used a can of Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover spray paint. Be sure you are wearing a mask to protect you while you prime and paint your furniture.

I ended up putting four coats of paint before I was satisfied with the coverage. I love how the details stood out once I painted it white. And it looks really good in the space. As you can see below, there seems to be a little variation in shade on the top, but that simply the light bouncing off of the wood grain, creating shadows.

NOTE: In hindsight, I probably will not spray paint again. It was very messy and the toxins in the air were way too strong.

I am really starting to love this area so much! I can't wait to accessorize and add some lighting! Perhaps then my photos will come out a little better!

So...what do you think?

xoxo, tami