B. Inspired: The Love Table

On my last visit with Bryce, I found him one morning in his workshop alley with a bunch of wood and some tools. No surprise there. He was working on a new table to be sold at his Hermosa Beach shop, Curious. The table, as he shared, would be "distressed and loved." 

Bryce showed me his version of how to distress a table. You can use anything and everything, as he demonstrated with a chisel, large holed drill bit and galvanized steel pipe from his workshop. He made little marks, indents, bruises...

When Bryce makes furniture, he has this habit of carving out one word using a hammer and screwdriver. Sometimes he tells the person who buys it, sometimes he keeps it a secret, so they can discover it on their own. For this table he chose the word Love. And perhaps my favorite lesson Bryce has taught me is that you don't ever have to be perfect. If you don't make beautfiully carved letters, who cares? It's the intention behind it that counts and besides, the imperfections are the good stuff.  

Next, he added a coat of Briwax in dark brown.   

After waiting a bit, Bryce then distressed the table even further by scraping off some of the Briwax. And the love came shining through.... Thanks for the inspiration Bryce!


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

B. Inspired: Mix & Match Tabletop

Time in Hermosa Beach means time spent with Bryce, my old neighbor and lifetime friend. I'm heading back home to Atlanta today with great memories of my short vacation here. Bryce is a constant inspiration who keeps me laughing and active- as he has more energy than 4 people combined. His latest creation in his backyard workshop came via a mix match of hardwood flooring, stained and unstained that was given to him by a neighbor. What to do with it? It took him a sec, then he got to work...

Bryce found this old parlor table base for $5 at Habitat for Humanity. He spray painted it red and then organized his mix and match pieces of flooring.   

In a traditional table, the grain of wood would run in the same way. Bryce did the opposite, mixing the direction of grain as he arranged and put the pieces together like a puzzle.  

To enhance the patchwork look, Bryce sanded and rounded the edges of each piece so you can feel the difference between the cuts. Lastly, he added a clear coat....

...then attached the tabletop to the base using wood screws. 

With the leftover stained wood, Bryce made this two-top table for his kitchen. It just took him a couple hours total. Impressive as always...and inspiring. Thanks Bryce. 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

B. Inspired: What oh What Shall I Repurpose?

The one thing I really miss about being Bryce's neighbor is the many trips we would take to go find stuff. When I was visiting him over the holidays in Hermosa Beach, we got to take one of those trips. This time, it was to a beach house about to be torn down. The owner told Bryce to go in and take whatever he wanted. So, what oh what shall he repurpose? 

One of his first finds was just this basic drawer. He realized quickly that it could make a great shelf. Funny enough, when we checked out the back bathroom, we found these glass slats in the window and wondered if they'd fit the drawer. In typical Bryce fashion, they fit perfectly...

The drawer was in good shape so while I conditioned it with Feed-N-Wax, Bryce cut a piece of scrap wood he had on hand to hold the shelf up. (These were loosely secured so you can take the shelf out if desired) 

And voila, it was that easy.

Not only is this a low cost option for a shelf, it has a charming tale to tell. I think you need to have at least one item in each room that tells a story. Thanks for the inspiration Bryce. Hope you're inspired too...


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas, I'm at my good friend Bryce's home in Hermosa Beach, California, where we used to be neighbors. I love his orange wall that he just finished...

He was inspired by a trip we took a couple years ago to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. Made of a couple hundred slats of wood, the wall is perfect for hanging anything you desire. 

Bryce cut, sanded and placed these slats over a white wall and window that desperately needed a facelift. The natural light can still filter in during the day and by choosing the orange paint, it gives the room a bold look that completely transforms and uplifts the space.

It's a festive Christmas this year at the beach. I'll try and add a few pics throughout the day. Enjoy your holiday. Much love to all...


B. Inspired: A Room Divider

I was so happy to get an email from Bryce last night, sharing his latest before and after creation. He recently found two pieces of glass at his local Habitat for Humanity shop (one of the pieces shown above). The price for both panes was just $20 total. He brought them home and let them linger at his workshop until inspiration struck... 

Bryce finally found an idea in creating a room divider or just a nice piece of wall art. He created a frame using 1 x 4" clear pine wood. He also bought 1 x 1" molding at Home Depot to hold the glass in place. Bryce, "When I put it together, I decided to stagger the wood to give it a nice aesthetic." As you'll notice, one panel sits forward on the frame, while the other sits back, which gives it a layered look and adds interest. 

Then he painted it a swiss coffee white, distressed it a bit with 80 grade sandpaper and added a clear coat to finish. Beautiful, nice job as always...thanks for the inspiration Bryce! 


Photos: Bryce Toney   Content: Sweet Peach

B. Inspired: More Before & Afters

My buddy Bryce is just so fabulous. I so miss being his neighbor and seeing what he'll whip up into existence next, usually within the hour. This time it's a few wood pieces that he scavenged and transformed...

Bryce found this fantastic credenza and side table at an old junkyard and immediately took them back to the alley behind his shop. He first sanded them, then primed the pieces with white Kilz paint. He added Swiss Coffee White paint and a yellow paint he had on hand. Next, Bryce distressed both pieces with 100 grade sandpaper. He finished the whole thing off with a water based, clear polyurethane. 

And it was such a good transformation, the pieces made the front window of his lovely beach side shop, Curious. 

Bryce was lucky enough to also find at that same junkyard a bunch of dark colored scrap wood with the same thickness. He wanted to make a table with the collected wood so decided on a tabletop 30" x 60". He first cut a piece of 1/2" plywood that size. Then, like a puzzle, he assembled the different pieces of scrap wood together atop the plywood, cutting the scrap wood where needed to fit the final dimensions.  

Bryce mixed up the direction of the grain, turning some pieces sideways. As he shared, "When your piece is reclaimed, it can be unique. It adds character when the wood doesn't match or the grains don't line up." After all the pieces were set, he used wood glue and screws (from the bottom) to secure the table top in place. 

He bought metal sawhorse legs for the base for a total of $80 at a local shop. You can find these easily at Home Depot or Lowes. 

To complete the look, Bryce painted the legs black and sanded the edges a bit. Lastly, he put a clear coat on it. Voila! 


Photos: Bryce Toney    Content: Sweet Peach


B. Inspired: Before & After

Bryce always blows me away with his creations- creations which often take him less than a couple hours to concoct. Like this 1960's bathroom medicine cabinet he took down for a friend to make way for a remodel. Instead of throwing it in the dumpster, he brought it to his workshop...

Bryce added legs, sanded the entire piece then painted it all one color... turning the medicine cabinet into a charming coffee table with storage. Fantastic, right? 

Next, he found inspiration in this old window pane found leaning against his alley dumpster. This too, he surmised, would make a great coffee table...

For this piece, Bryce added proportionate legs made of knotty pine which ages quickly and is easy to distress. He then added 1 x 4" trim to help secure the legs and finish the look. Lastly, he stained the entire piece with a dark brown Briwax. I want this...

This last Before & After took place in San Diego. Bryce was visiting a mutual friend of ours who is expecting his first child. In typical Bryce fashion, he found this dresser at a nearby garage sale while visiting that morning and brought it to our friend's home to convert it into a more polished dresser for the baby room. 

Bryce did a rough sanding on the entire dresser, then used a Kilz water based primer to ensure the top coat would stay strong. He actually used a gray colored primer so that when he added a white top coat and sanded it lightly on the edging and corners, the gray showed through a bit. He likes the idea of slightly distressing the dresser as it makes the whole piece forgiving to mistakes and imperfections. It began with potential, now it has charcter. Thanks Bryce...


Photos: Bryce Toney    Content: Sweet Peach

B. Inspired: Horizontal Stripes

I recently sent this picture to my dear friend Bryce out in Hermosa Beach, California. We used to be neighbors there and I must admit, I miss the beach life a lot! Bryce is an incredible business owner with a ton of energy, ambition and supreme repurposing skills. His shop, Curious, has tons of wonderful home items, many of which he makes himself. So...after I sent him this picture as an idea for painting a wall in his newly expanded store, he came up with some inspiration of his own...

It began with this wooden dresser he found on one of his always amazing dumpster dive expeditions. This is the before...

...and this is the After. It's amazing what a little sanding and a coat of paint will do.  

And then Bryce did indeed paint a wall or two in his store. He shares these pics via his cell phone. His newly expanded space is as cheery and positive as the man himself. And this color scheme works well for the always sunny, laid back California days...

Thanks Bryce for creating such wonderful transformations from one photograph. Anyone out there have some fun painting projects they'd like to share? I'd love to see them. Just drop me an email me here. 


B. Inspired: Low Cost Gift Wrap

If you love gift wrap or just love to be smart with money, Bryce has a handy trick. Just head to your local Home Depot or any hardware store and buy masking paper. 

For just $2.97, Bryce bought masking paper that was 12" wide and 180' long. That's 180 feet. It'll last you forever and act as a perfect palette for your creative endeavors...whether it's with paint, crayons, magazine cutouts or stickers, you can personalize your gift any way your heart desires...

One way Bryce added some charm to his presents was with colored raffia or twine. Then he used his set of alphabet stamps to personalize each one. (some great options here, Amy Butler's modern version here.) If you like to be a little crafty, you'll reuse these letters over and over for years to come, trust me...

Bryce added a homemade gift tag from scrap wood in his shop. The possibilities are endless, without any extra cost. Homemade is always better and this project proves a great way to reinvent a new life for some of your old things lying around your house. Thanks Bryce...     

B. Inspired: Low Cost Coasters

In the flooring section of Home Depot or Habitat for Humanity, you can always find stock piles of tiles. They come in all manner of colors and textures and make easy, sturdy coasters. 

You can often buy a dozen for less than $5. Next, buy some felt pads and add to the underside of each corner.

Lastly, wrap them up with raffia for a fun hostess or housewarming gift....

Or, you can always keep them for yourself...Thanks Bryce. 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

B. Inspired: Dumpster Dive

Brcye taught me how to dumpster dive and he's quite the master of it. He knows how to spot a treasure and in just 48 hours, he found some incredible items just outside his shop's back door- two chairs and a table. 

To give the table and chairs a new life, all Bryce needed was some sand paper and clear coat. 

Sanding is great as you can distress the table as much or as little as you want. Since the table was already distressed, all Bryce did was give it a consistent look throughout. Since it would be used as a table top, he added two coats of the protective finish. Less than two hours later, a new table! For the chairs, Bryce added a few screws for support where the legs met the sidebars (then covered them up with a little putty and black magic marker.) These needed just a little sanding and one clear coat and voila...

The final result is really fantastic. Bryce loves the different layers of paint found on the table- wondering all the different lives it must have had. The chairs are good quality furniture from Mexico that exude that wonderful old Mexican style. The cushions were perfect just the way they are. It's always amazing what people throw out. Thanks for the inspiration Bryce. And thank you to Meredith Gradishar of Zoom Theory Photography for the lovely pics. I think I need to do a dumpster dive of my own now... 


Photos: Zoom Theory Photography   Content: Sweet Peach 

B. Inspired: Low Cost Picture Frame

This one is real easy...All you need are a few items:

1. WOODEN PICTURE FRAME (these are everywhere at garage sales and thrift stores) The ones above Bryce and I found in a North Carolina thrift store for 50 cents each.  2. SPRAY PAINT  3. SANDPAPER  4. TWINE

You start by lightly sanding the frame to smooth out any rough edges, then spray paint the frame any color you wish. Bryce and his always delightful sister Stephanie show off their new frames...

Next, take twine and wrap it around in any configuration you desire- straight across, diagonal, vertical. Tie it in the back, then use it to hang pictures or clippings that inspire. If you change your color scheme, just spray paint it again. This is a fun and easy one, not to mention a great gift idea. Thanks Bryce! 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

B. Inspired: Salvaged Treasure

When you find an old light fixture that catches your eye at a yard sale or thrift store, it's worth a try to bring it back to life. Even if you pay someone else to wire your new found object, the payoff is a one of a kind piece that has a charisma all its own. Bryce found this unique mid century light fixture at a flea market for $15. He immediately saw its potential and took it home to wash and wire it. 

First thing he did was buy electrical cord. You can buy it for as low as .59 cents a foot or even cheaper and easier is to buy an extension cord of the length you want and just cut off the female plug. That way you already have the male plug attached and will be one less step in the process. Learning to wire a lamp isn't hard but does take a little practice. Here's a good step by step tutorial I found online.  


This came out even better than expected. I love the softness of the circles cast on the wall. It's a corner made cozy and serene, perfect for a bedroom or a porch. Or better yet, a kid's room....nice find! Thanks Bryce.


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach 

B. Inspired: Low Cost Lamp

In Charlotte, North Carolina, my good friend Bryce and I stopped by the reliable Value Village for some thrift store scavenging. As we both love lamps and glassware, we found ourselves in the same aisle. Bryce picked up this adorable yellow lamp base for just $4.14 and I liked it immediately. So next step was to buy a lampshade and a few spare parts...


We found a floral patterned lampshade at Target for $14.99, then headed to Home Depot to buy a 3" steel nipple and compatible washer and nut to raise the shade. The total cost for our new lamp was $23. In this case, Bryce followed the same steps it took to take the lamp apart as he did to put it back together. The only addition was to add a longer nipple to achieve the height we wanted.

It took all of ten minutes and voila, a new lamp which ultimately ended up atop my fridge in the kitchen. I love the look of a table lamp in a kitchen and it's pretty much guaranteed no one else will have this lamp. That's the beauty of thrift shopping and a little crafty engineering. Thanks Bryce! 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach