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Not really knowing what we wanted for our Jubilee end table, we opened the debate to you. It seemed pretty clear – you all wanted color, even though we were kinda sorta leaning towards a crisp white. Boring, we know, but we figured it could float from room to room (if need be – who knows!). But after a ridiculous amount of internal debate on our part – even considering your suggestions for a sweet little design like this – it hit me. We could incorporate a unique design element and still have white + color. And so, we did this:

Of course once Scott and I discussed adding a colorful edge to our table, the next question was: which color? While some of you leaned towards teal (we already had plenty on hand from our console table), I remembered we still had a sample jar of coral leftover from our keyboard and printer trays – Behr’s Juicy Passionfruit. Still on the fence, we again asked you in an Instagram face off:

Coral was the clear winner, and I was happily on board – meaning, I must’ve secretly wanted that one to win! After removing the legs, Scott gave them a good polish using Eagle One Nevr-Dull (the same thing we used on our pendant light), and holy ships that stuff is good! For fun (er, our idea of fun anyway), the leg on the left has been polished, and the one on the right… not so much:

I got to work on the tabletop, starting with a small repair where the wood laminate top had chipped, exposing the MDF underneath and leaving a noticeable dip on the side. Using a small piece of craft balsa wood I had on hand, I cut it down to the right size using a utility knife, super glued it in place and spackled the seam.

I sanded the spackle smooth once it was dry, and using the exact same method as my painting table – sand, prime (Zinsser Buls Eye), paint (Behr’s exterior white off-the-shelf and Juicy Passionfruit), and poly (Minwax Polycrylic in satin), I applied the two-toned effect. Here’s how:

After my light sand and two coats of primer, I painted two layers of coral on all the edges, building a good color base. From there, I painted three coats of white on top, and once that was completely dry (I waited overnight), I laid Frog Tape down across the top, one side at a time, then touched up my edges with a mini foam brush. I pulled the Frog Tape up immediately – while the coral was still wet – which helps to give the cleanest line. I repeated that side by side, until all 4 edges were complete.

Because I used exterior paint on the top, I didn’t need to go overboard with the poly, but I did use one coat for good measure, allowed it to dry for 3 days before setting our end table-y things on top.

Now that empty space is perfectly filled, and gone are the days that we’re using the subwoofer as a beer holder-upper:

The two-tone effect is the just-right balance of clean and bright – but fun, too. We don’t have much coral in our home (that is, not counting the studio), so the subtle touch of its use in the living room doesn’t overwhelm or feel out of place. And since we’re limbo-living, who knows how long it’ll actually stay right here. Maybe it’ll even end up in the someday studio – the one inside new walls. (Okay, I professed my superstitious-ness not that long ago, but it’s hard to not get excited amidst a great house hunt!)

Oddly enough, this little project has me thinking this could be a fun for The Pet Shop – a little shot of a contrasting color on the edges of those wood panels. Don’t you think?

PS… Today’s the last day to get 14% off our custom pet portrait gift certificates! Just use the code LOVEMYPET at checkout, and voila! Saving money, baby.

  • Hannah K. - February 8, 2013 - 7:05 AM

    Love it! It’s the PERFECT balance. I think the subtle “fun-ness” makes it all the more fun!

    And yes, this could totally work on a pet portrait! Luckily, we haven’t gotten ours yet!ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne J - February 8, 2013 - 8:32 AM

    I love it! What a great idea that I might have to copy! :) It’ll be so easy to paint the edge again if you do ever decide to move the table to another room.ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - February 8, 2013 - 8:39 AM

    Wow – I can’t believe how amazing that $20 end table turned out! It’s fabulous! I LOVE the two-tone look!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 8, 2013 - 8:42 AM

    Adrienne, yes, that’s what Scott said! We can change up the edge color later if we wish.ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - February 8, 2013 - 9:20 AM

    So good. Sooo good. I have never had good luck with the Frog Tape delicate surface tape. Once it took paint off a freshly painted wall and another time it bled through. :/ Looks like I’m doing something wrong because your table is perfectly crisp.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 8, 2013 - 9:28 AM

    Julia, you know, I’ve heard of others having the same problem with the yellow Frog Tape. We were totally fine with it, but I hardly doubt it was user error on your part! Maybe it was because we laid it on semi-gloss paint, so it came off super easy?ReplyCancel

  • Casey - February 8, 2013 - 12:06 PM

    This turned out so nice, and i agree: just the right balance of clean and bright! A great little pop of color.

    New to your blog, and love seeing updates :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 8, 2013 - 1:38 PM

    Casey, so glad you found us!ReplyCancel

  • Nike Onile - February 10, 2013 - 11:17 AM

    You did an amazing job! Great choice with the coral.

    Nike O.ReplyCancel

  • Cecilia - February 10, 2013 - 4:58 PM

    Cute update! The table looks like it really belongs there now! And that polish is AMAZING.ReplyCancel

  • Helen - February 11, 2013 - 2:58 AM

    Good choice! The coral looks great against the wall color. Yay and you posted the link of centsational girl that I suggested. Love the end table.ReplyCancel

  • Advocate Homes - February 11, 2013 - 6:41 AM

    Have to agree, great choice, transforms the whole look of the table.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble Abode - February 11, 2013 - 4:22 PM

    I’m so glad you used coral! Such a happy, bright color. And the perfect balance with the white top and shiny legs. In a word, jealous! Although I’m not eyeing a beat up laminate table top… :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 11, 2013 - 5:10 PM

    Thanks, everyone!

    Cecilia, the polish really IS.

    And Helen, I’ve always loved that tutorial!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - February 12, 2013 - 11:20 AM

    Love the touch of color! And I can’t believe how amazing the metal legs look after using that stuff – totally bookmarking so I remember next time I see something at the flea market and turn it down because of the metal.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 12, 2013 - 11:27 AM

      Trude, the Nevr-Dull is magic! Rust is gone. GONE! I still can’t believe the outcome when Scott uses that stuff.ReplyCancel

  • blair @ design that inspires - February 14, 2013 - 10:25 AM

    I love the little touch of color this brings to the room!ReplyCancel


The smallest room in our home has been quite the source of contention over the last five years. It started as a dark green monstrosity, transformed into an electric blue refuge (in hindsight, that was my choice and ended up being the wrong one for us), and eventually, it ended up as an innocuous pale grey box (inspired by this sunny salon) with a few potentially too-personal touches.

Kim wrote recently about our new house-hunting adventure and that weird-limbo we’re in to take a few small steps and ready our home for the sale or rental market. There are likely no potential buyers or renters who would enjoy seeing themselves in a Yellow Submarine mirror each morning while staring at photo booth strips of our closest friends looking half-sober and fully ridiculous.

With a $100 budget, a pleasant toned-down vibe in mind, and the goal to replace our mirror, light fixture and art,we went from this:

To this:

Here’s a tighter shot of the new 3 bulb light fixture. We were a little uncertain on this one, and it certainly wasn’t our first choice. The $40 price tag, however was spot-on, and the relatively clean lines should work for just about anyone in the market for a new abode.

We scooped up the mirror at Target for $30. Before landing on this one, we scoured Craigs and some local interior stores for something a little more substantial, but in the end, we settled for this simple rectangle since everything else we could source seemed to need a coat of paint or some other modification. We were going for plug and play with this refresh. Whattaya know? It all came together without a hitch.

Well, there you have it. A fresh bathroom redesign in around two hours, and that’s including a medicine cabinet purge to rid ourselves of expired allergy medication and empty band-aid boxes. Art included, our total spend was around $140, but keep in mind, the framed prints will be coming with us when we move, so we really only spent around $70 on permanent fixtures. The shower side of the bathroom remained the same, since the long white curtain is pretty simple and closes off the entire tub anyway.

With more talks underway with a realtor and a mortgage lender, we’re feeling a few steps closer to realizing this little dream of ours. We’re cautiously optimistic that our perfect “forever” home is out there laying in wait for an energetic young couple to come jump it’s bones with a fresh eye and a bag full of power tools.

PS… We’ve been nominated for the Apartment Therapy Homies – thank you! Any others want to chip in on the Homie love, too? We’re in the Home Design & Inspiration category, and you have until Friday to vote here.

  • Ainhoa@ALittleBite - February 6, 2013 - 6:41 AM

    I really like the new light. Dare I say, maybe even better than the old one? I think the oil rubbed bronze finish goes really well with the dark frames and countertop.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 6, 2013 - 7:58 AM

      Ainhoa, oh yes, the new light is way better! The first one was a placeholder when we first moved in, and we never took the to change it up down the road. This guy wasn’t our personal favorite, but we had to remember to keep an open mind for future renters/buyers…ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - February 6, 2013 - 9:14 AM

    That’s the ticket. It looks good and will work for just about any taste. Did you add that fabric in the medicine cabinet?? I am intrigued!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 6, 2013 - 9:34 AM

    Julia, it’s actually a frost/etch on the glass itself – we didn’t add it. However, it’s still pretty see through, and since our cabinet houses medicine bottles and ugly things, we were thinking of adding a layer of frosted film to help disguise all our stuff!ReplyCancel

  • jackie jade - February 6, 2013 - 9:36 AM

    great easy updates! we really need to update the light fixtures and mirror situation in our bathroom too. it will make such a difference!!
    sephora giftcard giveawayReplyCancel

  • Jill - February 6, 2013 - 10:44 AM

    I can’t totally remember the vintage one you liked better, but this one is a really good fit, maybe even moreso. Definitely looks rereshed! :)ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne J - February 6, 2013 - 1:24 PM

    I think it look great and I love the fixture! Where did you get your little cabinet to the right of the mirror? Our bathroom has NO storage so I need help big time.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 6, 2013 - 1:49 PM

    Thanks, guys!

    Adrienne, we got it at Ikea more than 5 years ago – they’re not selling it anymore (I just checked). But they have a lot of affordable options there!ReplyCancel

  • casacaudill - February 6, 2013 - 2:30 PM

    I love that new light fixture. We just bought new ones last night for our rental bathroom. I wanted to go with bronze but with everything else in that room being a weird mix of chrome and brushed nickel I had to stay away. Looks lovely in your space.ReplyCancel

  • B - February 6, 2013 - 7:21 PM

    My bathroom went through the same color transformations: awful green, smurf blue, then lovely gray. What’s with the allure of the electric blue? I regretted my choice about a week later, but took 2 years to repaint it gray!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 6, 2013 - 7:26 PM

    B – funny! I’m thinking the blue makes us think of water… water = shower = clean? Who knows! Silly us.ReplyCancel

  • B - February 6, 2013 - 9:09 PM

    I’ll take that explanation, haha. Live, learn, and

  • laura - February 9, 2013 - 2:47 PM

    love how it turned out, as soon as it warms up I’m planning on a little bathroom redo also! p.s.I live in Logan Sq too, such a small worldReplyCancel

  • Helen - February 11, 2013 - 3:06 AM

    The people that live next to your future home will be so lucky to have you guys as neighbors :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 11, 2013 - 10:04 AM

    Laura – we love Logan Square, no matter where we may end up in the city!

    Helen, you are too nice! Hopefully they’ll love Jack, too.ReplyCancel

  • shannon - February 16, 2013 - 7:25 PM

    Such a great re-do!! Would you mind sharing where you found the light fixture? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 17, 2013 - 3:29 PM

      Hi Shannon, we got the light fixture at our local Menard’s, and it’s by a brand called Patriot Lighting. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Avery Barnes - March 4, 2014 - 12:42 PM

    Love love love that lighting! We just redid our oh-so-tiny bathroom too, and the lighting was the biggest choice, since whatever you choose is going to be one of the most prominent things in the room. I started on sites like so I could see light fixtures from every end of the spectrum..that way I immediately knew what I thought would work and what I knew would absolutely not work. I ended up choosing one similar to yours, so I must have at least half-good taste :)ReplyCancel


Because Scott and I are total suckers for our four-legged kids, we’re offering up a treat for that very special  pet lover in your life (even if that person is you!). Of course now’s the perfect time – you know, with Valentine’s Day around the corner and all – so today through Friday, all Pet Shop gift certificates are 14% off (in honor of the day itself) when you use the code LOVEMYPET.

Orders placed during this special promotion will automatically be upgraded to Priority Mail shipping,* allowing for a timely Lover’s Day arrival and alleviating that last minute what-do-I-get-her/him sweat (because let’s face it, we’ve been there, too). As a side effect of your sweet gift giving skills, you’ll be known as the greatest gift-er in all the land – and who knows what that can lead to.

See your Pet Shop gift certificate options here!

Above, Petey is painted on a 6×6 panel; photo taken with Instagram.

*Priority Mail shipping of the certificate is a free upgrade as part of this promotion. Cost of shipping includes pre-paid postage for the finished portrait(s) and will be applied at checkout. Delivery by the 14th is only guaranteed within the United States and orders placed no later than Friday, February 8th. 

  • Carolyn - February 5, 2013 - 9:11 AM

    Everything you do is OH SO immensely lovely, but what would you say is the most popular size? Do most people with two dogs tend to get individual paintings? I’m pretty darn excited about this sale :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 5, 2013 - 9:25 AM

    Hi Carolyn, to be honest, everyone is so different in what they prefer! If you’re planning on doing a little mini gallery wall, separate canvases can look very cute – or you could put one pup in your office and one in the kitchen. But 2 pooches on the same canvas can also be sweet, especially if they’re inseparable best buds!

    My suggestion is to think where you’d like your portraits to end up, and choose a size and pet-per-canvas that makes the most sense. At the same time, their adorable size makes them easy to move from room to room. So many things to think about for the love of our pets!ReplyCancel