Saturday, February 26, 2022

DIY Restoration Hardware Finish: RH DIY Paint Hack with Ikea Tarva Dresser

Whether you have recently purchased a home, or have been making updates throughout your existing space, you know the prices of furniture is through the roof and coupled with incredibly long wait times for delivery thanks to the global supply chain crunch. 

We all love and want the Restoration Hardware look, but sometimes we do not want to spend well into the thousands for each piece of furniture. There are definitely splurge vs. save opportunities when decorating, but if you have a little creativity and knack for DIY, you can transform simple pieces from retailers such as IKEA into something that looks expensive and high-end at a fraction of the cost with an IKEA Restoration Hardware hack. 

Restoration Hardware IKEA Hack - DIY RH Finish with Tarva Dresser

For my most recent IKEA Restoration Hardware hack, I used the Tarva dresser.  The goal of this project was to create a modern looking dresser that resembled the Restoration Hardware Weathered Grey Oak finish, but did not cost $3,000+.

Why I picked the IKEA Tarva Dresser for this hack: The Tarva line from IKEA is actually made of solid wood, pine to be exact, and comes untreated so it is easy to transform in a number of ways. 

To achieve the Restoration Hardware Weathered Grey Oak, I used a simple process of overlaying 3 stains.

  • Furniture of choice: I used the IKEA Tarva Dresser
  • Wood Putty: If you plan to use your own hardware to achieve a certain aesthetic, you will likely need to drill new holes on the cabinets
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper: I opted for a 220 to lightly rough the surface before applying stain
  • Stains: To achieve a weathered oak look, you will need 3 stains. I used the following colors from Varathane: Weathered Oak, White Wash, and Jacobean.
  • Applicators/Rags: Brushes or rags to apply the stains and rags to wipe excess stain off

Restoration Hardware DIY Finish Process:

Start by lightly sanding all the pieces of the Tarva dresser to prep them for stain application. Note that I opted to stain the pieces before assembling the dresser as I felt this was easier to work with.

After sanding the surface, you will be applying the 3 stains in the order: weathered oak, white wash, and Jacobean as the final. Let each stain dry (~1 hour) before applying next layer.
  • Weathered Oak: apply weathered oak stain to bare wood. The stain should give a grey tint to the wood. Apply stain generously, let sit, and wipe excess off. The longer you allow the weathered oak stain to sit, the more grey hue will be visible
  • White Wash: After letting the Weathered Oak layer dry, begin to apply the white wash layer. Note: you may want to apply and wipe quickly to start and keep adding to achieve your desired level of lightness. The longer you let the white wash sit, the more more pronounced it becomes.
  • Jacobean: Once the white wash layer has dried, apply the final stain layer of Jacobean. This dark brown stain will help to tone down the lightness of the white wash, giving it that final touch for the Restoration Hardware look. Again, the longer you let this stain sit before wiping off the excess, the dark it will look
After applying all stains and allowing the piece to fully dry, you can finish your piece with the finisher of your choice - perhaps a polyurethane or furniture wax. 

To make my IKEA Tarva Dresser Hack a bit more modern, I opted to not attach the leg structure which helped bring the overall height down a bit, and selected square hardware pulls to put on the drawers.

What I Learned and What to Expect:

I think it is important to go into any DIY project with the right expectations. When you own Restoration Hardware pieces and have them as a point of reference, it is important to remember that this is not a RH piece...there are going to be differences and your finish may not match exactly...and that's okay!

On the finish - you will get your "knack" down in terms of applying the stain and how long to let each one sit before wiping the excess to achieve the balance of tones you are looking for in your weathered oak finish, whether that be lighter or darker. To that end, you should expect to have some variation throughout your piece as it is hard to get every portion of the dresser exactly the same.

Hardware really takes it to the next level and ties it all together!

If you are ambitious, you can likely get through all the staining in one day if you have the space to lay out the pieces, however, I would plan on staining for ~ 2 days before assembling. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

8 Valentine's Day Gifts for Him that He's Sure to Love | Valentine's Day 2022

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, finding a gift for Him that he'll love does not have to be hard. Your plans may be different this year thanks to the Omicron variant, however, that does not mean you should forget a great gift.

Shopping for the man in your life can be challenging - I've rounded 8 gifts ranging from workout apparel to Nespresso that any guy will be sure to love.

We are supported by our readers. This post contains affiliate links - we may earn a small commission at no cost to you when you shop using our link.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Elevate your Self Care Routine with Hawthorne

Men's shaving cream and shaving gel by Hawthorne

In the shuffle of transitioning from the Holiday season to starting a New Year, sometimes it is easy to de-prioritize ourselves, focusing on larger resolutions - getting a promotion, losing weight, etc.

However, 2022 is about keeping a focus on all the self-care routines we discovered during the Covid pandemic. If there was one thing that the pandemic brought to light for most of us, it was the realization that self-care is truly a must, and most of us were likely so busy moving from one thing to the next that we didn't have much of a focus on self-care.

Whether it is as simple as placing your favorite scents throughout your home that evoke a sense of calm or happy, or making a bigger focus on treating your body well - skin, shower routine, etc - putting an emphasis on self-care does not have to be a challenge. 

One brand in particular that can help men elevate their routines and make self-care a priority in 2022 is Hawthorne. 

Meet Hawthorne

Hawthorne was founded in 2016 by Brian Jeong and Phil Wong and has been designing modern personal care products for men. Their brand features the sleek modern aesthetic and luxurious fragrances you know and love from designer brands that cost $300+ for cologne, but at a fraction of the price thanks to their direct to consumer business model.

hand wash and candle styled on throw blanket

I was able to try the Hawthorne Handwash and Candle. You can purchase these two popular items in either the Smoky and Earthy Home Upgrade or the Citrus Home Upgrade.

The packaging has a very sleek and modern feel, on par with today's top brands. I found the scents to be strong but not overpowering. The candle had no problem filling a large living/dining area with fragrance. The Smoky and Earthy scent reminds me of some of my favorite fragrances from popular brands like Diptyque and Tom Ford.

I also love that all Hawthorne products are 
  • Sulfate-Free. 
  • Paraben-Free. 
  • Silicone-Free. 
  • Phthalate-Free. 
  • Cruelty-Free. 
  • Personalized and Tailored to Your Preferences

    Through a short 5 minute quiz, Hawthorne's algorithms tailor all products to you based on your responses to the questions. This helps them determine attributes such as skin type, hair length, and shower frequency. You will also have the option to purchase a data informed subscription or do a one-time purchase. 

    Hawthorne Favorites

    The bundles are a great way to explore multiple product lines within the Hawthorne brand, or get a great deal on something you love. If you are looking to dip your toes into the brand, Nordstrom carries a curated collection of items that you can purchase individually.

    Shop Hawthorne at Nordstrom below as well as my favorite bundles:

    As we head into the remainder of 2022, remember, self-care is never selfish! 

  • This post was made possible for Hawthorne. All opinions are my own.We are supported by our readers - when you purchase a product using a link on our site, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

    Monday, January 17, 2022

    Deal Alert: J.Crew Winter Sale

     This blog is supported by its readers. When you shop via a link on this page, we may earn a small commission at not cost to you.

    If you have been following the J.Crew sale and holding off, or are just reading about their epic winter is the time to act! J.Crew upped the additional discount off sale styles to a whopping 60% off. Styles and Sizes are definitely limited, but you can find some great pieces and staples such as the 484 Slim-fit broken-in Chino which typically do not receive additional discounts.

    We've rounded up some of our favorites that still remain...extra 60% off is set to expire at the end of day 1/17/22...get to shopping!

    Use Code "EPIC" for extra 60% off at checkout. Additionally, earn an extra 1.5% cashback when you activate your Rakuten. (Not a member? Sign up here)

    Sunday, December 19, 2021

    5 Holiday Scented Candles You Need for Your Home


    We are supported by our Readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

    Fragrance is one of my favorite and easiest ways to transform the feeling of a space. The power of scent transports us to another world and connects us with memories. Scented candles are great any time of the year, but they are especially great during the Holiday Season, casting a cozy glow and filling your space with scents of the season.

    Whether you are looking to fill your home with the scent of a freshly cut Christmas tree or a crackling fire, these candles will add an instant touch of the Holiday season to your home.

    1. Diptyque Flocon Candle Limited Edition

    Each year Diptyque released a limited-edition candle for the season, and this year it is Flocon. The flacon, or snowflake, candle reveals notes of white musk mixed with honeyed accents of mimosa and winter bloom.

    Available at Bluemercury

    2. Cire Trudon Christmas Gloria Candle

    Enjoy not only a luxe seasonal fragrance, but also a beautiful blown glass vessel from what is rumored to be Marie Antoinette’s favorite candle company. Christmas Gloria from Cire Trudon is a woody-heavy scent with notes of spice throughout.

    Available at Saks

    3. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Pain D'Épices Candle

    This candle will evoke all the childhood memories of building a gingerbread house filled with sweet delights. Pain d’epices has notes of orange, honey, cinnamon, and anise.

    Available at Saks Fifth Avenue

    4. NEST New York Holiday & Birchwood Pine Scented Candle

    Perhaps the most fitting and synonymous with Holiday candles is the Birchwood Pine scent from nest. Fill your home with the aromatic scent of a freshly cut tree. This special Holliday set includes both Holiday and Birchwood scents.

    Available at Nordstrom

    5. Jo Malone Glowing Embers Candle

    Evoke the aura of a cozy den or library with a crackling fire, fresh log just tossed on, with this hand-poured candle from Jo Malone. Glowing Embers has very strong notes of smoke (in a good way) and woods.

    Available at Bluemercury

    Monday, December 12, 2016

    Holiday Cranberry Margaritas with Alacran Cristal Tequila

    It is the holiday season, and that means one thing- holiday parties and gatherings! Do you find yourself running around from event to event this time of the year? I know I do! Whether you are hosting your own party or looking for a great cocktail to make for a gathering you are heading to, I have a great recipe to share with you.

    Margaritas are always a crowd pleaser, but do they work at a holiday party? Yes! Nothing says winter and the holiday season quite like cranberry. Try serving this refreshing cranberry margarita at your next holiday party.

    Cranberry Margarita
    -2 cups Alacran Cristal Tequila
    -1 1/3 cups cranberry juice (I recommend using 100% juice variety with no sugar added. Trader Joes makes a great one)
    -3 tbsp Agave Syrup or sweetened to taste (Note: I use agave to make the drink fresher. If you are accustomed to an orange liqueur, use 1 Cup Cointreau of Grand Marnier) 
    -2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 

    1. If you like a salted rim: place salt on small plate, wet rim, and apply salt to rims of glasses
    2. Combine the tequila, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, lime juice, and ice in a large pitcher, and stir.

    I like using Alacran Tequila because it is an ultra premium anejo tequila. It is packaged in a beautiful, clear glass bottle that is sleek looking. The tequila uses agaves from 7-10 years old harvested in the highlands of Jalisco. It is matured for 14 months in American Oak barrels from bourbon generating a rich, woody flavor with a hint of vanilla. As a result of their exclusive clarifying filtration process, a crystal product is produced with light gold reflections. 

    *This recipe yields approximately 10 servings. 

    This post was made possible by Alacran Tequila

    Monday, November 7, 2016

    Escape to Malibu Giveaway with johnnie-O

    LA-based lifestyle brand johnnie-O is offering an exciting fall giveaway to escape to Malibu. For those of you not familiar with the brand, johnnie-O is known for its west coast take on classic east coast preppy styles. The brand has recently ramped up its offering and is expanding across the country, and too celebrate their recent success, the brand is offering an exciting giveaway for the chance to win a trip to Malibu for 2!

    Details:  A giveaway in celebration of its newly-formed partnership with Malibu Beach Inn and the much anticipated launch of johnnie-O’s revamped website.

    As the kick-off to a series of new and exciting promotions, “Escape to Malibu” will offer johnnie-O fans the chance to win round-trip airfare to Los Angeles for two, a 2-night stay at the luxury oceanfront hotel, a round of golf with John O’Donnell, and $500 shopping spree at the johnnie-O ‘Love Shack’.

    This comes on the heels of johnnie-O debuting it’s newly designed website, offering shoppers improved functionality and speed, an enhanced look and feel, shop-able look books, integration with a now shop-able Instagram, and the newly featured “Blue Room” blog (think behind-the scenes “Green Room” in show biz - where the real action happens off-camera) - giving readers insight into all of founder, John O’Donnell’s hot topics, from the best brews and signature cocktails to interviews with key leaders such as Rio Olympic golf course designer, Gil Hanse.

    How To Enter: simply input your email address from now until November 13th on the johnnie-O website here - Escape to Malibu Giveaway - for a chance to win this incredible trip and giveaway. (Rules and restrictions apply)

    The Malibu Beach Inn is the perfect destination as johnnie-o has recently formed a partnership to further establish itself as a west coast lifestyle brand. The brand's partnership with the inn includes Malibu Beach Inn employees outfitted in signature johnnie-O apparel including polo’s, outerwear, and belts; selling select product in their hotel boutique; offering the “johnnie-O Light and Sunny” cocktail at the Carbon Beach Club bar; as well as promoting the “Summer of johnnie-O” special in which guests will enjoy premium beachfront accommodations and receive a johnnie-O polo and ball cap upon check-in.

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