Month: November 2014

Living Room Arched Mirror – Source Revealed!

After posting pictures of my living room last week, I received many comments and emails asking where to purchase the large arched mirror.  It’s an amazing 7′ tall x 4′ wide, metal wall mirror with paneling at the bottom.  And the best part???  I purchased it for just $300.  If you’ve ever priced out similarly sized mirrors, you’ll know that this is a fantastic price for a mirror of this size and quality!




I purchased my mirror from a local store, so I set about trying to figure out how to purchase it online so that I could share a national source with you.  Unfortunately, my first few attempts didn’t give me any leads.   Thankfully, I’m like a dog with a bone when I want to find something out and so I kept searching….and then on day 2 of trying I hit the jackpot!



The mirror is sold by the name Huáijiù De {Nostalgic} Metal Wall Mirror.  It is supplied by both UMA Enterprises and Woodland Imports by Benzara, but it is the latter that supplies to online retailers.


List of Retailers {lowest to highest}

1. Richards – Best Price $299.99.

If you’re in the California Bay Area, Richards has the best price at $299.99.  Give their San Ramon store a call and ask for Renee F. and she’ll order it for you and help make transportation arrangements, if possible.

2. Amazon – $342 +free shipping {affiliate link}

3. Walmart – $407.96 +free shipping

4. Wayfair – $407

5. Woodland Imports – $493.89


Arched mirrors – even large ones – aren’t all that hard to find, but one with a panel at the bottom is a bit more unique.  I fell in love with the Huáijiù mirror because of the paneling and the fact that it looked more like a window {with a window sill at the bottom}.  Here’s a closer look:




If the panels aren’t your style, though, here are some other similar options:


1. Restoration Hardware Palladian Mirror

{RH Palladian Mirror}
{RH Palladian Mirror}


2. Ballard Designs Grand Palais Mirror

{via Ballard Designs}
{via Ballard Designs}


3. Ballard Designs Amiel Arched Antique Leaner Mirror

{via Ballard Designs}
{via Ballard Designs}



4. Pottery Barn Distiller Arch Mirror

{via Pottery Barn}
{via Pottery Barn}


5. Wayfair IMAX Barnett Metal Mirror

{via Wayfair}




I’m {hopefully} going to pick up my second mirror today and will share more pictures of the living room as it comes together.  In the meantime, I’m taking a few days off to spend with my family.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.


Happy Thanksgiving!



Tidbits&Twine - Signature





Would you like to receive my posts via email? Enter your email address below. You will instantly receive an email from FeedBurner and you will need to click the link to activate your subscription.

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner



How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

Today I’m sharing a project with you that is a super easy and inexpensive way to update an 80’s home  – painting cultured marble.  My late 80s tract home features lots and lots of cultured marble and oh, did I mention that I strongly dislike cultured marble?!  For those of you not familiar with it, cultured marble is a solid surface product made from resin that is designed to look like real marble.  Perhaps modern-day cultured marble is different from what I have in my home, but sadly, what I have discolors easily {it turns yellow over time}, chips, and honestly, doesn’t fool anyone into believing that it’s real marble.  Not only are ALL of my bathrooms covered in this product, but all of the bases of the columns in my home are topped with it.  To me, it just has a dated look and I was ready for a change, so I broke out the paint!

I decided to paint all of the column bases white to make them look more like painted wood and therefore, fit better with the trim and moulding that I someday hope to have!  These areas get lots of wear and tear because people sit on them, the kids throw their backpacks on them, etc., but they don’t get water on them {like countertops in bathrooms would}, so this tutorial doesn’t apply to bathrooms or kitchens which need to be water-resistant.

Here’s a look at the BEFORE:



In addition, the columns and bases were in desperate need of some caulking!



The cultured marble was showing a lot of wear and tear, not only because it was discoloring in certain areas, but also because it had a lot of dings and imperfections {I think the green spot might be some slime from a birthday party a few years ago that stained…}.



Here’s a look at the dining room for farther away.  You probably never knew the dining room was surrounded by columns since I’ve never showed them before!!



This project is really easy and only requires a few steps and supplies {detailed supply list at bottom}.  Plus, I didn’t do any sanding beforehand, which makes this project even easier!



Step 1: Clean

I used glass cleaner to clean the cultured marble, but then went back with a damp rag to ensure that no contaminants were left behind that would cause an issue with paint adhesion.  It’s really important to make sure that the surface is free from debris, but also chemicals or other contaminants that will keep the paint from sticking.


Step 2: Caulk

If your cultured marble ajoins a wall or column like mine, be sure to caulk!  Caulking not only gives everything a more seamless appearance, but it also greatly helps with cleaning because it doesn’t allow dirt and grime to settle in between the two surfaces.  I had a confined space to work in so I didn’t use a caulking gun but instead used a tube, but using a caulking gun is more economical.  Cut the tip at an angle for a more precise application, gently squeeze a thin line along the area to be caulked and then smooth out with your finger.  Continue to run your finger over the line until you get it just as you want.  Be sure to keep lots of damp paper towels handy to help wipe away excess!  Also, be sure to use paintable caulking!


Step 3: Prime

This is a super important step since cultured marble is a slick surface, making it difficult for paint to adhere.  I had professionals paint the columns in my bedroom and they used a special primer called Kilz Adhesion, which is a bonding primer specially formulated for slick surfaces, such as cultured marble.  This has held up tremendously for us and is my #1 choice for this project!  Unfortunately, this product is not available in all states, including California where I live.  {Not sure how my painter ended up with it then!}  As such, I couldn’t use this particular product for my painting project and so set about testing out a few other primer options.

I ended up using Kilz Premium and was happy with the results.  Here’s a tip: Don’t roll the primer onto the cultured marble, as it doesn’t provide enough coverage to adhere well or to cover the “veining” in the cultured marble.  A brush worked best for me!  {I even tried rolling and back-brushing, but just regular brushing turned out to be the best method for this project.}


Step 4: Paint

I gave the primed cultured marble 2 coats of latex semi-gloss so that the sheen would match that of the columns, baseboards, and other trim in my home.  A good brush is a must!  I know that Purdy is the gold standard in painting, but I actually prefer the ProVal 2 1/2″ angled brush.


Step 5: Top Coat {Optional}

As I mentioned, the area I was painting gets a lot of wear and tear so I decided to add a top coat for extra protection and easy cleanup.  I used two coats of a satin finish Polycrylic.  {The satin finish actually gives the same look at the semi-gloss in paint.} While it goes on smoothly and easily, even the tiniest speck of dust will instantly show because it’s on a white background with a clear coat.  It’s best to do this step when you’re alone at home and be sure to turn the air/heat off so that particulates in the air don’t blow around and settle in your wet surface!  :)


Here’s the finished result!  It’s brighter and cleaner and no longer looks straight out of the ’80s.



Here’s a closeup….more more yellowish, veined “marble”!



Whatever you do, don’t skip the caulking step.  Here’s why it’s so important:



Here’s a recap of the supplies I used:

  • ProVal paint brush
  • Kitchen & Bath Latex Ultra caulk in bright white
  • Kilz Adhesion Primer {If not available in your state, use Kilz Premium Primer}
  • SW Emerald Latex paint – Swiss Coffee Semi-Gloss
  • Minwax Polycrylic Finish in Clear Satin



So far, I have seven columns done and seven more to go!!!
Tidbits&Twine - Signature





Would you like to receive my posts via email? Enter your email address below. You will instantly receive an email from FeedBurner and you will need to click the link to activate your subscription.

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner


Updates in the Living Room

My living room is the first room you see when you enter my home and is probably the room that least represents my style.  It’s a mix of old furniture, hand-me-downs, and recently, some new pieces, too.  It seems like forever ago that I first shared with you my plans for updating the living room and originally, I didn’t plan to share it with you again until the project was finished.  But why?  That’s not how real life works and that’s certainly not how I work!  I don’t just get an idea, run out and buy everything, and poof my room is done!  {I wish!}

If I wasn’t working within a budget, I could easily find things I love and purchase them, but finding things that I love and that work for the space AND that fit within a budget – well, as I’m sure you know, that’s much more difficult.  Sometimes you have to make concessions in certain areas that then force you to make changes in others.  And changing the plan is absolutely okay!  So long as you know your goal, it doesn’t really matter how you get there.

So today, I’m sharing some of the progress I’ve made in the living room.  It’s NOT finished – not even close!  And while I have some new pieces, none of them really tie together just yet, but for me, that usually happens in the final stage where the details and accessories help to pull everything together.

This is where my living room design plan originally started.  Remember this?

TIDBITS & TWINE Living Room Olioboard

Well, I did eventually make my own gold-framed chalkboard…



I also finally purchased the wing back chairs I’ve always wanted.



My original vision for the room included adding two windows.  The room is particularly dark, but unfortunately, adding windows just isn’t realistic.  Instead, I found this amazing 7ft tall, arched wall mirror that mimics the panes in my existing window and bounces the light around the room.  I ordered one more for the other side of the fireplace {it hasn’t come yet} and I’m waiting on my handyman to hang them.  For now, they are just leaning on the wall but already, I am in love.  While I do love the black color, believe it or not, I might end up painting them…I’ll decide later once I finish pulling the rest of the room together.



I love that the mirror has a panel at the bottom with this beautiful detailing…



I also wanted to add some lighting to the room, but again, that wasn’t in the budget.  Instead, I found these gorgeous brass candlesticks that I added to the mantel.  The arms swivel allowing me to fold them up a bit so they actually fit on my narrow mantel.  And of course the design also includes lots of books and boxwood….two of my favorites!



Over the weekend while shopping at Target, I found a chunky cable knit throw in my favorite shade of blue.  It of course had to come home with me.  :)



And last but not least, I bought a cowhide rug!  For those that follow me on Facebook, you know that something came over me the other week and I suddenly decided I wanted to add a cow hide rug to my living room.  It looks a bit odd at the moment since it’s sort-of floating in the space with no coffee table to help anchor it, but I think I’m going to love it.  You can tell I literally just unfolded it for the picture since it still has lots of creases in it… :)




So now you know…for me, designing and updating a room is a process that takes time.  I buy a few things, live with them for a bit, return what I don’t like, keep what I love, and then continuing buying until the room finally comes together.  The only big ticket items left are the sofa, coffee table, and writing table, but I’m waiting until I sell my piano to figure those items out since my baby grand piano is taking up pretty much the entire other side of the living room.


What’s your design process?  Do you figure things out and buy all at once or buy a little at a time?
Tidbits&Twine - Signature




Sharing at: The ScoopSavvy Southern Style




Would you like to receive my posts via email? Enter your email address below. You will instantly receive an email from FeedBurner and you will need to click the link to activate your subscription.

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner