Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Q&A with Wendy from Dresser Up Vintage Boutique


I recently discovered a new gem on Monmouth Street in Newport, Kentucky. My mom said that she had stumbled upon this store and invited me to go one Saturday. First, let me start by saying how estactic I am that people are starting to invest in Monmouth Street again. I would love to see it filled with other boutiques and businesses like Dresser Up Vintage Boutique.

Dresser Up offers a variety of items from home accents to refinished furniture pieces to a full collection of the ever so popular chalk and milk paint. Wendy Critcher, the owner of Dresser Up, sat down to talk about her passion for DIY projects and what customers can expect from her Newport boutique. Here's what she had to say...

Tell us about the concept behind Dresser Up.

Wendy: The concept behind Dresser Up Vintage Boutique came from my desire to decorate my own living room in a repurposed and shabby chic design style. As I began collecting items to decorate my home, painting furniture and repurposing other 'junk' for my space, the idea for Dresser Up began to form.  It took me over a year to voice my desire to start Dresser Up to my husband. I was so excited, but it was a big step for our family. 

I have been decorating, sewing and painting for over 20 years and I knew this was what I wanted to do. When I began to use Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison Blanche Chalk Based Paint, I fell in love with the products and I decided this would be the foundation of my business. I wanted to interact with other people and I knew that teaching people how to use paint to repurpose their furniture and other home d├ęcor items would be a great way to have fun and meet great people. I was right.


What spurred your love for repurposing?

Wendy: I have always loved antiques. I used to go antiquing with my parents in high school.  I just hate to see the beautiful things of the past get tossed out in the garbage. The craftsmanship of even a simple door knob is interesting and can be used in repurposing. This helps keep our beautiful antiques from landing in the garbage dump.

What items are you currently collecting?

Wendy: I love primitives and am currently collecting primitive bowls and other smaller items. I just purchased two primitive rakes and a blanket chest.

What's one item you can't pass up?

Wendy: Anything with great vintage hardware.

Are there any vintage items that are hot and we should keep an eye out for when shopping?

Wendy: Anything with a French country style is still big, but I think people are looking for the pieces that speak to them personally.

What are your biggest selling items?

Wendy: My biggest seller is my repurposed tin roofing letters. Anyone can use them in their home as they are so versatile. However, on any given day, I don't know what will sell. Everyone who walks through my door has different taste and is looking for that item that will fit in their home.

You sell Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint as well as chalk paint. Can you tell us about the difference between the two?

Wendy: Both Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison Blanche Chalk Based Paint are both called "no prep" paints. This means you don’t have to strip or prime your furniture. You can paint wood, metal, laminate, glass and other surfaces and it will adhere to your project. There are a few differences between the two paints.


Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint is all natural, mineral-based and comes in powdered form. You just add water, mix really well and you get a great paint. You can give your piece that gorgeous aged look by making it appear chippy with little effort. Adding a bonding agent to the paint will give your piece a solid smooth painted surface.


Maison Blanche is our chalk-based paint and it will give your furniture that beautiful old world look. The chalk content is what makes it stick to the surface of your project. Maison Blanche comes in liquid form in a can and is ready to use. In the Maison Blanche line, we have products that will really make your piece pop, including a product called Organza Shimmer which will add a metallic look to your piece, seven different colors of wax, embossing creams, and laquers in both satin and matte finish.

You also offer classes at Dresser Up. What can people expect to learn?

Wendy: Yes, I offer classes about once a week. I currently teach both a milk paint class and a chalk-based paint class. I am getting ready to offer additional classes, such as bring your own 'Wine and Sign' class. I have lots of ideas for other classes. I will adding these soon!


In closing, I thought I would share my recent Dresser Up purchase. I picked up this vintage-looking chalkboard and flower magnet collection for my kitchen. Because of its interesting shape, it has become quite the conversation piece among guests.

A special thanks to Wendy for sharing more about Dresser Up Vintage Boutique! You can follow along on Facebook for updates on class offerings and DIY inspiration.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Spring Favorites for Your Handbag Collection

It's no joke that we all have spring fever. After this February weather snuck up on us so late in the game, we are yearning for above freezing temperatures. It's clear that we're all embracing the thought of florals, pastels and chirping birds.

I'm also craving a wardrobe refresh. For me, one of the best wardrobe investments you can make is a good handbag with a solid shape. I think a well rounded handbag collection includes at least one solid neutral choice, plus a handbag of color - something that really makes a statement.

With that being said, here are a couple neutrals and a couple colorful options that have stole my heart this spring.


If each one was $1, which would you choose?

(Lol. Did you like that question? That was my go-to as a child. I would say to my mom, "If it was a dollar, could I have it?")

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What I Didn't Show You in My Last Bargains & Buyouts Post

Since Bargains & Buyouts has been such a hot topic on Simply Sarah Style lately, I thought I would share a few items that caught my eye during my last visit to the store in February. While I only brought home one piece during this visit, I wanted to pack up so much more. If only I had a bigger car... or a semi truck!

Here are some of my favorites from my last visit...


This four piece patio set was reasonably priced. It was significantly more affordable than what you would find on Wayfair or even at Target. In fact, I think it was around the $400 mark. Plus, you could negotiate them down. If I had a bigger vehicle, this set would have came home with me too.


I seriously debated on purchasing this bookcase. There are so many ways you could bring this piece life. See styling examples here and here. In fact, the bookcase in the second example is the exact same style as this one, just a different finish.


This foot stool is dreamy. Imagine two of these at the end of your bed. You could sit there in the morning when putting your shoes on or it could serve as surface space for dropping your bag or even laying out your outfit. So stunning!


I thought this set was perfect for an office or along side of a fireplace. They definitely have a manly feel, but I think you could girly them up if you wanted.


Oh, I loved this piece. What a classic dresser! You could think beyond the bedroom and use this piece in an entryway or a dining room. Heck, with its long shape, you could even use it as your TV stand/console.


I saved the best for last. This queen-sized tufted headboard was the showstopper of the day. You would feel like a queen with a piece this spectacular. It would make quite the statement in your bedroom. I see this piece really coming to life in a bedroom with gray walls.

Well, that wraps up my mini tour of Bargains & Buyouts. Have you visited the store yet? Which was your favorite piece?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

One Dresser | Three Different Ways (Another Bargains & Buyouts Score!)

After receiving so much interest in my first Bargains & Buyouts article, I decided to partner with Bargains & Buyouts to bring you a stream of savvy deals. This post was sponsored by Bargains & Buyouts, but all opinions are my own.


I always enjoy reading the articles that feature one item styled in various ways. It doesn't matter if it's a furniture or clothing piece, I always love these features. Most of the time, these articles inspire me to get off the couch, go grab a similar item or styling accent and rearrange something in my house or wardrobe. I'm sure my husband thinks I'm nuts for getting these instant spurts of inspiration.

When I first saw this Dwell Studio dresser during a recent trip to Bargains & Buyouts, I knew it had so much much potential and could be styled in so many different ways. The fact that the drawers had a controlled closing feature sealed the deal. It had to come home with me.

This piece is currently listed for $949 on the Dwell Studio website. Bargains & Buyouts had it listed at $595. After expressing my interest, I negotiated an even more affordable price with a sales associate. On top of that, the store was offering 10% off your entire purchase that day, which means I was able to score this piece for half the retail price. Major score! (If you didn't catch my article on my first Bargains & Buyouts shopping experience, you might want to check it out here, especially if you live close to the Cincinnati area and are wondering about the negotiating process at this store.)

My mind kept going over all the places I could put this dresser in my home. Because this piece is so versatile, I thought I would share some ways I'll consider using it...

#1 - As a Bedroom Dresser (the obvious)


My husband and I could totally benefit from another dresser in our bedroom. We currently have a huge armoire and two nightstands for storage. I know my husband would be thrilled if he could have additional drawer space within arm's reach!   


I had to capture the drawers. I should have videotaped the drawer closing action for you. I love that they close themselves.


#2 - As A Bar


I'm all about the bar cart and bar area! While most people have bar supplies in their home (wine, booze, bottle openers, etc.), they rarely think to display these pieces in an artful way. I would love use the surface space on this piece to display our bar items and then would capitalize on the drawer space for the storage of kitchen textiles, serving pieces and party supplies.



#3 - As A Dining Room Buffet


I have quickly realized that our new house doesn't have the nearly the storage or surface space that our condo had (surprising, I know). With that being said, serving space for parties and gatherings is minimal (unless you pull out a card table, but who wants to do that). Using this dresser in the dining room would allow us to set up a serving station while also stashing away extra kitchen and party supplies.  



So, what do you think? Shall I choose way #1, #2 or #3? I thinking they would each be a win!

This weekend, I'll also share pictures of other items that caught my eye during my last Bargains & Buyouts trip.

A special thanks to Bargains & Buyouts for teaming up with me to bring you additional ideas and inspiration! You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their ever-changing inventory.

Happy shopping, my friends!