Category Archives: house

Print Room Addition: Part I

I’ve been excited to share this project with all of you for some time.

PR before_web

We (and by “we”, I mean Nick) started the process of converting our side porch into an office/print room in November 2013. While most of the construction wrapped up in early March  in time for Olivia’s arrival,  we just recently put the finishing touches on setting up shop and I could not be more excited!



move press_web


A little background…we picked up the press in December 2012 from Woodbridge, Va… an AWESOME Craigslist find!

And it has been sitting in our dining room up until just about 2 months ago.


While it’s a beautiful object and a great dinner conversation piece, Nick and I weren’t crazy about having this 800-1000lb press on our hardwood floors.  I had done several projects in the dining room but was ready to have a more permanent home for the shop but there were no better options in our house.

One day while daydreaming, a lightbulb went off and I had the idea of enclosing the porch on the side of our house.  We live on a busy road, and rarely used the porch for much more than storage(hillbilly style). Plus the porch was on a poured concrete slab so there would be no problem holding the weight of the press.


press room_web

Here is a rendering I did of my preliminary vision for the room.

I carefully made the suggestion to Nick…I’m pretty sure he rolls his eyes and gets really nervous every time I tell him I have an idea and rightfully so. It usually means lots of work for him, and a lot of bossing around from me.  Poor guy, he’s such a good sport.

progress nick josh_web

So on a rainy day in November, he and our friend, Josh got started on framing the new room!

progress framing_web

He had never taken on a project of this size but he jumped in with both feet and did a fantastic job!  He did everything from drawing the plans (with my input of course), to building permits/inspections, to electrical work, to spray foam insulation…

sprayfoam nick_web

Here he is all suited up and ready to crawl under the porch to insulate the slab from below… what a stud(no pun intended).

progress nick roby_web

We were fortunate to have lots of good help from friends and both of our Dads.

nick kev 2_web

After lots of busy weekends away for the holidays, the exterior construction wrapped up in mid January!

final outside_web

We kept the original columns from the porch and got a great deal on 4 Pella windows.

progress Nick kev1_web

Nick tackled all the interior projects as well.  Drywall, trim, painting etc.  I helped out with some of the finishing work like caulking and painting trim as much as I could at 8 months pregnant (which you can imagine was not very much).

inside progress_web

After Olivia was born, setting up the room and moving the press to its new home got postponed a few months.  Nick and I ended up moving the press from the dining room to the addition one saturday morning in June and this past weekend I FINALLY got to do my first print in the new room!

Can’t wait to show you the final results :)

PR cabinet-web

Here is a sneak peak to hold you over…


Bentwood Rocker

Nick has recently become my Craigslist scout.  He found this awesome rocker for a great deal and he even picked it up for me!

bentwood before_web


I had the fun job of painting it and giving is a new look!

As soon as I saw the piece, I automatically thought that it would be adorable in a nursery so I went with a light color scheme.  I used the same custom mixed blue color from this dresser for the main body of the rocker, and used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old White for the caned areas.

bentwood progress_web

Here is a progress shot after the first few coats of paint and before distressing.

bentwood final dresser_web

And here is the rocker all finished with its brand new look!

bentwood final3_web

I think its such a sweet little piece.  I pulled a few objects from Olivia’s nursery for the photos.

bentwood final2_web

bentwood detail2_web

It is cute and also very comfy!

bentwood detail_web

Thanks so much for checking in!

Christmas Baby Shower

This past weekend, I co-hosted a baby shower for my very good friend, Reema.  She is 5 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy and we have had so much fun going growing “bumpy” together!


We threw the shower at my house and I supplied the invitations and decorations…


Reema is having a baby girl (just like me, so fun!) and so the theme of the shower was “Ribbons, Lace, and Pearls” with a christmas-y twist!


I letterpressed the interior of the invitations and used doilies, to create a lacey effect on the inner envelope..


I decorated the tree according to the theme and Reema’s mother-in-law Barbara made beautiful cookie favor ornaments!



are they so cute?  Yummy too!


drink table3_web

The drink table is always one of my favorite stations to set up, and you know I am a sucker for mason jars! (You can see a similar drink station from another shower I hosted here.)






Reema’s sisters, Nadia, Lamya, and Mona took charge of all the food for the shower- and boy did they go all out!

food table2_web

We had enough food to feed an army and it was all so delicious!


Just check out this appetizer table if you dont believe me!


meat platter_web

We chose a brunch theme for the menu, so the main table had everything from

Mexican Fritattas…


to chicken salad croissants…

chick salad sand_web

citrus salad with pomagranates…

citrus salad_web

and smoked salmon and cucumber bagels!

salmon bagel_web

These girls really know how to put out a beautiful spread!

badr sisters_web

For dessert we had delicious and adorable almond cupcakes with citrus icing


(notice the lace and pearls?  I love how everything came together!)


And you can never have too many cookies!


We had a cute little station set up for guests to contribute mommy advice for Reema


And then it was time to “Ooooo and Ahhhhh” at all the precious baby girl gifts!



We had a really great turn out and had a very full house!


It was so much fun hosting this event for such a great friend.  Cant wait to meet her sweet baby in February!

Our newest team member!

Hey there!  Remember me? I know it’s been months since I last posted, I’m going to try and do better.  But I do have lots of exciting news, updates, and projects to share with you, so maybe you will forgive me this one time?

First of all, I am so excited to tell you all about the newest member of Monday Morning Press.

Her name is Olivia and she will be joining us at the end of March…

I’m sure it will take us a little time to learn how to work together and get into a routine but I am completely over the moon that she will be joining us!

Meet Olivia…

oliver ultra1_web

…isn’t she cute? :)

She is 22 weeks old and so far has been very good to her mommy.

Her daddy has been very good to her mommy as well, despite some emotional rollercoasters along the way ;)

We found out the Little Olive was a “she” on Halloween.


I dressed up as and Angry Bird with some co-workers at the office… and had a blue and pink baby bird on standby for the big gender reveal.

It was a fun day and I was very excited to start brainstorming nursery ideas!

Not that I hadn’t been browsing Pinterest for months (duh!)… but knowing the gender made everything more real and also made it easier to start making some decisions.


Here are my favorite inspiration photos for Olive’s nursery.

inspiration 2

I’m loving the combination of all the mints, creams, whites, grey, blacks, oranges and corals!

  We have a very small room for her (9’x10′) but I think that we can make it nice and cozy.

Here is a priliminary mock up I did for her space.

Olive Nursery colors_WEB

The room is a blank slate right now, but I will definitely keep you posted on the progress!  I’m very anxious to get started.

Now that I’ve regained some energy in the second trimester, Nick and I have been busy with projects around the house.

This past weekend, Nick started our big Fall project of 2013!  Last year he built an awesome patio in our backyard…this year, he is enclosing our side porch to be used as a sunroom/craft/print room.

Here is what we were working with…

porch before_web

and here is the model I did of the vision for the finished space…

press room_web

I’m thrilled to get this project under way and finally get my letterpress out of the dining room and into it’s own home.

I think this will be a great addition to our home and I’m so impressed and grateful for Nick’s skills and willingness to take on a project of this size…

…at 6:00 am…

…on a saturday…

…in the rain…

He and our good friend Josh made some great progress this weekend.

porch work_web

aren’t they adorbs?

porch progress_web

And here is how things looked by the end of Sunday… all the framing is almost done!

Thanks Hubby- you are a superstar :)

While Nick was working on the addition, I tried to knock out a few furniture projects.  It’s been harder to find the energy lately and also more difficult to manuever myself and heavy furniture pieces.  Therefore… I dont have any staged shots of the finished products, but here are a few shots of what I got accomplished this weekend!


A cool bar/buffet I bought unfinished from Susan at Uniquely Yours or Mine.

I had to strip the original wood veneer of the top because it was in bad shape, but luckily the wood underneath

was stain-worthy and it turned out beautiful!

I found a little wicker basket to slide in the top opening and brought the piece over to Orange!

I also worked on this set of side tables… the first pieces in a 5 piece bedroom set that I found on

Craigslist.  Of course I don’t have any before pictures (sorry!)

side tables_web

There is a queen headboard, a long dresser, and a wardrobe that complete this set.

I plan to paint everything in the same way.

I’ve been trying to work outside as much as possible for good ventilation when painting.

Luckily, the Chalk Paint I use most of the time is very pregnant-lady-friednly with low VOC’s but I do wear a mask when staining or waxing or working with latex paint.

Here are a few other projects I’ve (slooowly) completed over the last few months!




And the 2013 christmas cards!  I’m selling in sets of 4 with red envelopes at Orange.


Go check out all the other fun holiday items at the shop!


Annnnnd last, but certainly not least… I became an AUNTIE in August and have been spending as much time as possible squeezing my ADORABLE little nephew, Connor.


He really, honestly, is the sweetest, most happy little boy I’ve even seen.


And hanging out with him has been great training for our own upcoming little bundle.  We called this day “Daddy Bootcamp” although Nick somehow managed to dodge changing a dirty diaper :)


Anyway, we LOVE him and love his parents.  In fact, the 3 of them are visiting this weekend! Cant wait :)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this update and I hope you will bear with me over the next few months as I have a baby and learn how to be a mom!  I’m looking forward to sharing this new adventure with you as well as some of our prepartion projects along the way.  I will defintely be back in the furniture business next summer, and while I dont expect Olivia to be picking up a paint brush by then, I do suspect she will be making a few guest appearances :)

A very special baby shower!

My brother Dan, and his wife, Anna are expecting their first baby at the beginning of August!  Not only is this their first baby, but it is also the first grand baby for both families!  Which means I will be an Auntie for the first time!  DAnna (Dan and Anna’s celebrity couple name) announced earlier in the year that they would be having a BOY and his name will be Connor Jacob,  love it!  (warning… this is an exclamation-heavy post)

As you can tell, I am very excited about the arrival of Connor.  DAnna will make great absolutely wonderful parents and I am thrilled for them.

This past weekend, my mom, my sister, and I hosted a baby shower for Anna and baby Connor at my house in Richmond.


Here we are all prettied up and ready to get the shower started!

My mom came to Richmond the weekend before the shower to hang out with me (while Nick was away at a sailing race) and to help prepare for the party.

We had a great time and got lots of tasks accomplished.  My mom doesn’t think she is creative or crafty but she was a huge help in brainstorming and making the vision for the shower come to life!

I designed and pressed the invitations last month.


I wanted to go with a vintage-style boy friendly theme for the shower.


So we stuck with neutral blues, greens, mints and creams for the color scheme.

(check out those ironstone plates mom found at a local antique shop when she came to visit… she bought me 20!  They are the perfect size for finger foods and even have a little handle on the side for easy holding!  Such a sweet momma)

drink dresser_web

The drink station was made up of mason jars with name tags…


…paper straws and the most yummy strawberry lemonade (compliments of Trader Joes!)


Mom helped make these cute little name tags… see, isnt she crafty!

mason jars_web

We also made these fun little utensil pockets…

utensil pockets_web

…and the pennant banners on the chalkboard window and fire place.


Here is Hobie eyeing the food table before the guests arrive.



Friday night before the shower, my mom, dad, sister, and I went on a crazy food making frenzy.  I couldn’t have done it without them!

We made chicken salad croissants, broccoli bacon salad, pesto past salad, chocolate covered strawberries, fruit salad, glazed ham rolls, turkey-brie-fig bites, cupcakes, mom’s famous home-made cheesecake and white chocolate dipper pretzel sticks!


It was certainly a labor of love… but dont worry, we brought them to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner that night!

(My Mellow Mushroom count last week officially totaled 5…this is bad)

Guests started arriving and the food buffet was open!


Anna’s friends came from near and far!  She has such a wonderful group of beautiful friends!


(Anna on the right!)




I recently  bought a mini polaroid camera ( I know, so hipster right?)

As I snapped pictures of the event, we placed them on the mantel!


After everyone mingled and ate, Anna opened all her sweet baby boy presents


And of course there were many, many, “ooooos, and ahhhhhs”


So cute!

After all the gifts were opened, we went outside to take a few silly pictures.


This is Anna and her sister Melissa, fellow first-time auntie!


Let’s frame that adorable baby bump!


Seems like you can’t throw a party these days without a mustache photobooth!


We thought it was a perfectly appropriate way to celebrate Little Man Connor.


We had a great group of ladies and I really hope everyone had a good time.


(you can see we had a few other expectant moths in the crowd!)



It was such a fun party to plan for such a SPECIAL occasion and a SPECIAL lady!


I am so blessed to have the best sister-in-law in the world and cannot wait to meet little Connor!


Less than a month to go… :)


I will be selling a line of vintage-inspired, handmade paper party goods in Orange and on Etsy soon!

Stay tuned for more pictures and details

Weekend recap

Well, I had big ambitions for last weekend as you can read here

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way you plan. We had a very productive weekend overall but I did not finish one darn furniture project. I made progress, but was not able to bring one to completion before the work week. Let me explain….

It was a beautiful morning on Saturday and my wonderful husband started the day with a burst of motivation ” I think I’m going to try and organize the basement today”. OK!!! (I had to take advantage of this while it lasted! )

Well, a trip to Lowe’s…


… and a couple hundred dollars later, “organizing the basement” turned into the beginnings of a complete basement renovation. I really can only blame myself, I’m notorious for taking a small task and creating a huge project… Poor Nick- he refers to me as The Taskmaster…. I just can’t help myself, I get all these grand ideas in my head and have a hard time containing myself (and our budget) Nick had to kindly reel me in, and we decided to start with the first step… DryLock.

DryLock is a waterproofing system most used in basements that you roll on like paint (except it is the consistency of toothpaste). It’s best to apply to the out side out the walls to prevent moisture from getting in, but since our walls were underground, we painted the inside. (At least this is my very general understanding).

Here is a shot of the basement before ( don’t judge)


And after applying DryLock…



We only finished half of the space, but It was a great way to get the basement project started, and while it still looks rough, it’s a huge improvement from the exposed CMU. One step at a time…that is what I have to tell myself. There is an existing B-Dry system so hopefully between the B-Dry and the DryLock, our basement will really BE dry!

In between DryLocking, I was painting furniture…


I gave you a sneak peak of this chair last week…


And posted a poll on Facebook asking people to vote on whether or not I should paint it. The majority of people said, Yes! Paint!

So, that is what I did…


I taped up all the fabric so it would not get splattered( there were mixed opinions on this upholstery, but I decided to keep it for now)


…and painted it with two coats of Old White ASCP. To give a little extra pizzazz, I useD Duck Egg Blue ASCP to add accents to the beautiful detailing in the wood.

On Tuesday night, I finally finished the project…I did a heavy distress, followed by a coat of clear wax, with dark wax brushed on for depth.


And here it is all finished up!


What do you think?




I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and Hobie is certainly happy to have his chair back.

hobie cushion_web

I recently discovered the app Retromatic, and whipped up this cute little frame… Warning, this app is cheesy but very addicting! Enjoy!