antique red sofa shopatblu

How to overhaul a vintage sofa for FREE!

antique red sofa shopatblu

I’ve had this gorgeous vintage sofa in my store for probably 4 years now!  I was immediately smitten with the beautifully carved wood.  Even the gaudy gold didn’t turn me away since I have an uncontrollable love for things Italian-made like these items currently in my store, The Blue Building.

Italian chanda shopatblu Italian crystal chanda shopatblu tiered chanda shopatblu Wall sconce shopatbluVenetian mirror shopatblu

But I must admit that I have been super intimidated by the very thought of how to overhaul a vintage sofa.  I can do simple upholstery but every time I would inspect this piece, I would walk away shaking my head. Me?  Completely overhaul a vintage sofa?  Yeah right!

The fabric  was torn and outdated but I loved her immediately!  My first plan was to reupholster this beauty with my own crazy quilt fabric.  I have been saving these examples on Pinterest since her arrival!

crazy quilt sofa shopatblu crazy quilt settee shopatblu crazy quilt shopatblu chair crazy quilt shopatblu


It started out, as so many of my projects do, as THAT great piece that will be a show shopper!  I was saving it as my “special project”.  Needless to say, until yesterday my “special project” sat untouched in the same condition in which it some arrived 4 years ago!

Over those 4 years, she did have a few different looks but you must admit, that fabric really can’t go incognito into any vignette!  But I tried.

shopatblu antique red gold sofa vintage red sofa frame shopatblu


Finally the inspiration came at The Chapel Market this past October.  I wish I had a better picture but take a look at this beauty from Littleville Blue.

shopatblu sofa

Littleville Blue simply stripped the fabric off of this beautiful settee to nail this exquisite vintage look!  The cotton batting might be a little too primitive for most mainstream taste but it certainly makes a statement…and gave me some much needed inspiration.

Here she is…stripped and ready to go!

Shopatblu overhaul a vintage sofa

This was so much easier than I thought it would be.  I started by simply grabbing the trim from the top right edge of the sofa.  It was a little tough to tug on but once I got it started, it pulled off easily.  The fabric was even easier.  Since it was old, it pulled right off.  I had to work at pulling the stripped fabric from the very edges and needed to remove all of the upholstery tacks.  Many of the tacks came out as I yanked (technical term) off the fabric.  This, couple with the dust from the old fabric, was the most tedious and annoying part of the process.

shopatblu overhaul a vintage sofa details

She still needs a good vacuuming and perhaps some touch up paint around the edges but isn’t she beautiful???  I suppose I should have waited on this post until she was prissied up but…I just couldn’t wait!  I think I will still keep her with the intention of eventually completing the crazy quilt upholstery.  In the meantime, however, she will blend nicely into every corner of The Blue Building!

shopatblu before after overhaul a vintage sofa

How to Paint a Room in Less than an Hour!

I have never really minded the process of painting a room.  Yes, it is annoying to cut in the edges…it takes some time and a steady hand.  If it weren’t for the prep work of moving furniture, cleaning walls and baseboards, spackling and sanding blemishes and holes,  and vacuuming the floor, painting a room would be pure joy!  I don’t really mind rolling the walls but it drives me crazy to refill the paint tray over and over and over.  Well, HOMERIGHT has answered my prayers with their EZ Twist Paint Stick!  I can paint a room in less than an hour!


I must admit that I was a little intimidated by this simple gadget.  But the instructions were very simple and very accurate.

eztwist instructions shopatblu eztwist instructions shop at blu

It was already assembled (always a bonus) and super stupid simple to attach, load, and start using.  It did, however, take me a few tries to get the paint stick loaded.  The first time I pulled back on the stick to load the paint, I didn’t see any paint load.  It took several times before the paint started loading in the stick.  I assume this was the “vacuum” getting primed and ready for me.

Here is a picture of the first couple of strokes on the wall.  You will notice that it is a bit blotchy.  The roller has holes throughout that enables the paint to seep through.  It takes a few practice swipes for the roller to load completely.

ez twist shopatblu eztwist shopatblu texture

Once the roller is full of paint the application is smooth and super fast.  I was able to quickly and beautifully roll an 8 x 10 square foot section in about 10 minutes.  You simple twist the handle to fill the roller.  No stopping is required until the paint stick is empty.  You can refill the stick in less than 2 minutes and be rolling again effortlessly.

I found that if you keep the roller moving as you twist the handle to refill the roller, the roller loads more evenly.  If you twist the handle to load the roller but have the roller resting against the wall, paint can accumulate in the corners and result in the excess paint dripping out of the roller ends.  The paint stick stores wonderfully during breaks.  I found that if I completely used all of the paint in the paint stick, turned the unit upside down to rest with the roller side down, and wrapped the roller/shield with a plastic bag,  the paint stick was still fresh and ready to go after a short break (I even wrapped it and left it overnight and was able to resume quickly in the morning).  Just be sure to wrap the plastic snugly around the roller…try to eliminate any air pockets to avoid drying of the roller.

After the room was finished, I disassembled the paint stick for cleaning.  Cleanup was easy with warm water and the kitchen sink.  It was a bit difficult to get water flowing through the long parts so I would recommend cleanup in the bathtub next…simply more room.

The next time I used the paint stick, it was a little more difficult to get the paint loaded.  I had to disassemble again and found some paint was dried from the last time.  So, make sure you remove ALL of the parts and clean the unit thoroughly.

I will say, however, that this great tool is only about $27 at Lowes…in my opinion…it is cost effective to go buy another if the pre-used stick is hard to load.  It is definitely work $27!

I love this product!   It saved me more time and aggravation over the Christmas holidays as we completely painted three bedrooms!  Hats off to HOMERIGHT!  I can paint a room in less than an hour!

shopatblu Laura and KariAnne

The Chapel Market 2014- Meet the Bloggers!

The Chapel Market was again a great success!

shopatblu chapel market logo

Hats off to Layla from The Lettered Cottage and the wonderful group of ladies affectionately known as The Pike Road Ladies for hosting such a phenomenal event.

While last year The Chapel Market was a great success, this year was even more exciting! There were double the number of vendors! There was delicious catered food!  There were incredible buys and the vendors absolutely outdid themselves with their displays!  There were milk paint and chalk paint presentations!  I could not get enough of the vintage finds and pretty little things!  Seriously, I think I walked through the market about 20 times just looking and soaking in the inspiration!

Here is the lovely Layla, on the left:

shopatblu Layla KariAnne Laura

Those other two beauties in the photo above were my companions for two days!  I had the pleasure of helping KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and Laura from Finding Home with their booth.  Let me tell you that these girls are even MORE fabulous in person!

This is the Chapel before the excitement began:

shopatblu chapel

I arrived at Pike Road on Friday morning.  I had offered to help Marian, Miss Mustard Seed with her booth setup and lend her a table for check out.  First on my mind was a photo op with the one and only Miss Mustard Seed.  Last year, I was so caught up in the excitement of helping her all day that I realized (too late, on the ride home) that I had never gotten a picture with her!

So, first things first:

shopatblu Marian

Marian has got this market stuff down to a science.   She and her sweet assistant Kriste had done a preliminary layout in her studio back in Pennsylvania so all of us avid readers could get a preview of her space.  I helped unwrap ironstone, and if you know Marian–there was A TON of ironstone! Once everything was unwrapped, Marian simply fluttered around placing items in their perfect place.  Sadly, it only took about 2 hours for the entire booth to be unpacked and ready for shoppers!  I say sadly because my work was done…in 2 hours!!!  I enjoyed every second!

When you walked into The Chapel Market, the first booth you came to belonged to Thistlewood Farms and Finding Home.  I don’t know how it came to be, but there could be no better greeters than the vibrant and trendy combo of KariAnne and Laura.  The remainder of the day on Friday was spent helping these sweet blog friends set up their booth space.  We laughed and priced and laughed and staged and laughed and staged and priced and rolled t-shirts…which I got to model on Saturday!

shopatblu Laura and KariAnne

The Chapel Market started early Saturday with the quaint community joining in the fun.  How about these beauties:

shopatblu hot cocoa

I visited with Kara Fox of Little Golden Fox.  Kara is MMSCP retailer.  We met last year helping Marian with her sales. This year Kara had her own booth!

shopatblu Kara

I helped Lucy of Lucy’s Inspired for just a few minutes…I had to get my hands on some of that beautiful handmade jewelry!  She has the coolest industrial theme and she rocks it right into her jewelry.  So talented and creative.

Isn’t she gorgeous

?shopatblu Lucy

The Urban Farmgirl caravan traveled all the way from Illinois.  Her space was rocking ALL DAY!

You can see why!

shopatblu urban farmgirl 2 shopatblu urban farmgirl

There are always a few people you meet at these events who stand out.  One of those was sweet Linda of Coastal Charm.  We chatted about the business, about trade shows, about merchandise, furniture, etc.  It was a pleasure to run into Linda throughout the day and I know we will be hitting some more Alabama shows soon!

Isn’t she darlin’?

shopatblu Linda

And her booth…wowzer!

shopatblu coastal charm shopatblu coastal charm 3 shopatblu coastal charm 2

Southern Accents Architectural and their salvaged items never disappoint!

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Littleville Blue is located in Cullman AL and Lordy!  Did Teresa and Rena put on a show!

shopatblu Littleville Blue 3 shopatblu Littleville Blue shopatblu littlevilleb2

Shaunna West of Perfectly Imperfect had an incredible booth set up with chalk paint and milk paint for sale.  It was fun to listen to Marian give one on one instructions to first time customers…if only they knew!  And Shaunna’s crew never fails to create the largest and most incredible displays.  Where do they find these mammoth displays.

shopatblu shaunna 2 shopatblu shaunna

All in all, it was a fun filled day of meeting folks and making connections, wandering through vintage heaven, sharing stories, and absorbing inspiration!  I am soooo excited to get back to Blu and Yellow and get to work!  But I am secretly wishing that The Chapel Market 2015 was just around the corner!

shopatblu AL gourds

Alabama Football Gourd Project! Roll Tide Roll!

Needless to say it is football season.  And in Alabama, this is a big deal!  SEC football is like a religion in Alabama!  Two weeks ago one of my dealers at The Blue Building brought in a box of gourds to sell.  I knew they would be perfect for a quick Alabama football decor item…after all, it’s fall!

shopatblu Alabama gourd project

Today I finally had a few minutes so I grabbed the spray paint and went at it!  I had two partial cans of red spray paint available so I used the first on several and then the second.  Both colors were bright and covered well.  30 minutes later, here is the finished product!  Quick, fun, easy and ROLL TIDE ROLL!  For sale at The Blue Building and also at The Yellow Building!  It’s time for some Alabama Football!

shopatblu Alabama gourds

I did it! I transfered my website domain all by myself…

dual peacocks shopatblu

Now I am reposting all of my old posts…have to fix the photos.  Then I will create a page for each store and for current inventory!  Ya’ll…this little blog will be looking snazzy in no time!  HAHA…that means within a year…God willing!

So far, I like Bluhost and am learning WordPress.  Still need to play with and learn about plugins, online store, etc.  And then there is SEO…say a prayer for me!

While I have your attention…we are getting ready to run some phenomenal sales at The Blue Building, in Alabaster, and at The Yellow Building, in Bessemer/McCalla.  Like and follow us on Facebook for more info!



Centralizing our past blog posts! ARGHHH!


I have finally figured out how to move my domain to Bluhost.  However, I have no idea how to transfer all of the past posts so I am just gonna go at it and move them myself…probably not the best idea but time to get things moving.  This has been a very confusing process.  Naturally I went the cheap way to begin…free website at Yola for 2 years.  As I have progressed I am trying to have a more professional website/blog.  But some of my little posts were actually quite good so I don’t want to leave them behind.

This was just a little explanation as to why you will be seeing older posts mixed in with current posts.

At any rate, I am forever learning how to master this blog stuff.  I guess I will continue one step at time and hope that it all falls into place!  Feel free to offer suggestions!

And by all means…go ahead and laugh at me…this whole process is hysterical!  My blog stinks and I know it…Hmmm…possible song here?  Laugh as much as you want…just come shop at Blu and Yellow!  We can laugh together as you find some really cool stuff!







Posted by The Blue Building Home of Elegant Clutter on Thursday, January 9, 2014

Posted by The Blue Building Home of Elegant Clutter on Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Over the years, furniture re-salers develop quick tips and tricks to get pieces quickly into shape.  One of my secret weapons, is Old English Furniture Polish.  I remember my mom using this as a quick fix on her mahogany Duncan Phyffe DRS.  I was always amazed by how the scratches disappeared and the wood took on a new sheen.  Hmmm…and all these years I thought it was Dad who instilled the “fix-it” bug in me…interesting!

Old English comes in many forms but I only use two forms…one for dark woods and one for light woods.  I use the dark woods on walnut, mahogany, most cherry wood and darker maple and pecan wood.  The light formula is ideal for blonder woods like natural pine, light maple, etc.  old english-shop at blu-furniture restoremurphy's oil soap

Most furniture simply needs a good bath and a coat of Old English.  I use warm water and Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean any surface dirt from furniture.  Murphy’s is a great way to “feed” the wood which keeps the wood from becoming dry and brittle with age.  After it’s bath, I allow the piece to dry and then I liberally apply Old English with a cotton rag.  I normally apply the Old English to the rag and rub it into the wood surface.  You will see an immediate richness in the wood as you “feed” it with the Old English.  Be careful to get into the corners and crevices of the piece to ensure an even coat over all.

Old English is a great way to quickly restore lustre to a piece of furniture.  It helps disguise chips, cracks and scratches.  Sometimes, it is necessary to use furniture pens to disguise deeper marks and scratches…but that is a topic for another day.

Here are some before and after pictures of pieces treated with Old English:  

Old English before and after Old English before and after 2
This is a solid oak china cabinet.  From the layer of crud on it, it must have been stored in a barn, garage, or basement.  After a bath with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a slathering of Old English, this baby is ready for a new home!

This next beauty came to Blu from a less than desirable storage location as well.  I named her “Tiger Love”.  

            01212013 061  shopatblu entry french vintage chair and china cabinet

I realize that the before picture is pretty poor in quality but it is actually a pretty good representation of what Tiger Love looked like when she arrived at Blu.  The after photo shows the beautifully revived wood.  Oh yeah,,, and she is now in my kitchen!  One of the perks of owning a store…or two!



Looks like the great freeze of 2014 is just about over, at least here in Alabama.  It was time for a bit of a change at The Blue Building.  Nothing says spring like BRIGHT GREEN- emerald, hunter, kelly, leprechaun—any of those should do the trick.  Periodically, I like to make a dramatic change in the entryway at Blu. A couple of years ago, while staging for The Alabama Symphony’s Decorator’s Showhouse, I was obsessed with a vibrant sunshine yellow used in one of the bedrooms.  Here is the result:

yellow entry shopatblu

Normally I use a neutral in the entryway so that I won’t have to paint frequently.  Black, beige, or gray usually mesh with any vignette.  But you can only do so much with sunshine yellow.  We did black and white and yellow, then red and orange with yellow, then neon colors. then all whites.  It was fun!  Been there, done that, will never paint walls that color again.Here are some of my favorites from the last few years:


And our newest “Welcome Spring!”

What do you think????




August 2, 2014

Part of the thrill of this consignment business is never knowing what is going to show up!  This table arrived one day unexpectedly!
Vintage kitchen table yellow shopatblu

It was so phenomenal in this pale yellow color with these 4 great chairs that I placed in right in our entryway to the store!
shopatblu vintage yellow table

The next day we picked up this vintage wicker set on consignment.  I had the perfect place for it!
vintage wicker shopatblu

It is funny how things just fall into place around the store!  But wait…it gets better…look what I found today:Vintage yellow china cab shopatblu

And the entryway is complete!

vintage kitchen and wicker shopatblu vintage wicker and kitchen yellow shopatblu

Ok, on to another room!  Have a great day!

Chandeliers, lamps and glorious light fixtures!

I have to admit…I have a problem…I cannot resist a beautiful vintage lamp!  Is it too much to ask to have a beautiful vintage chandelier in EVERY room?  I think not!

We currently have some beautiful vintage chandeliers at The Blue Building on consignment.  Why can’t I just simply keep them all?????  Well, because they average $299 each…maybe if I buy one every couple of months??  The good thing about being in this business is that I am always finding great items and great deals.  So, patience is my friend…those awesome pieces are worth the wait!

Here are some of our chandeliers:

shopatblu Italian gold and crystal antique chandelierThis Italian made beauty is approximately 31 inches from top to tip of hanging ball crystal.  It is approximately 18 inces wides and has beautiful crystal tear drops.

shopatblu antique bras and crystal chandelierThis beauty is a bit smaller, only 21 inches from top to tip of crystal ball.  It is 14 inches wide and is mad of brushed/bronzed gold/brass.

Here is a taste of some others…Art Deco, 48 inch brass, gothic cathedral lamp, mini crystals, etc.  You just never know what you will find at The Blue Building!

shopatblu art deco chandelier shopatblu brass antique 48 inch chandelier shopatblu brass chandelier shopatblu crystal chandelier green shopatblu gothic swag shopatblu metal wall light shopatblu modern chandelier shopatblu tiny crystals chandelier


Our inventory literally changes daily!