Once upon a time, long, long ago, on an island far, far away, I owned a home decor store. And at this store, we had many beautiful things for sale, including handmade items from over twenty Hawaiian vendors. Going to the home furnishings mart to shop for the commercially made merchandise for the store was about as close to heaven as you can imagine…if you love all things home decor like I do, anyway.
Most of the items we selected were well received and sold relatively easy. But every now and then there were some clunkers. That moment when you unpack the boxes of items you selected months ago in LA or Seattle, and say “what was I thinking?” That moment may have been the case with these candlestick holders.
They are tall and slender, and a lovely shade of mustard with green undertones. Not the most attractive, but in all fairness, I think they were part of our fall collection, and they went well with all of the autumnal tones. (Yep, even in Hawaii, they like to pretend they’re having changes of seasons:))
I actually liked them, so I bought a pair and have used them for over 15 years in various areas our home for fall and Thanksgiving. Finally, as I was paring down our seasonal decor, I took them to a consignment shop in Sandpoint Idaho, where I have had good luck turning my trash into cash.
When I was there last week, the owner told me there were a few of my items that had been there quite a while and hadn’t sold. Imagine my surprise when those mustard wooden candlestick holders were two of the items!
Since I was in Idaho to do a consult and walkthrough on a new build vacation rental that I’m decorating in late April, I was doing some local shopping for the project. So, I grabbed the unloved candlesticks back from the consignment shop, and held them tightly back to my car, muttering “you’re not ugly, you just need a new hairdo.”
Emboldened with a new sense of purpose for these old candlesticks, I got out my acrylic paints and started with a dye job. The palette for this bungalow is lake themed, and includes all shades of blue, from aqua to navy. I painted the first one with a periwinkle blue and waited for it to dry. It looked a little flat and not quite right. Time for some highlights.
Armed with a sanding block from my husband’s tool chest, I started making her look not quite so new. Roughing up the edges a little did wonders, and that mustard color as a background color was really growing on me!
Next, it was time to put on the conditioner. Again, thanks to hubby’s garage that is as well stocked as Home Depot, I applied a coat of paste wax and let it dry. Then I buffed it to a soft sheen, and ta da…this candlestick holder was ready for the prom.
Initially, I was only going to do one stick, but when I saw how well it turned out, I mixed a custom color that coordinates with the palette but leaned more towards a shade of aqua. Following the same steps, candlestick number two turned out great.
Yes, I know they don’t match. Yes, that was intentional. I may not use them in the same room, but no matter where they go, they will blend in seamlessly, because at a vacation rental with a watery theme, there really isn’t a shade of blue that can’t join the party.
Once the decorating project is complete around the first of May, I will blog about it, and you can see where they landed. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of some of the pieces that will bring the pops of blue to an otherwise gray, brown and beige backdrop.
There are times when old home decor items are doomed for the scrap pile. But other times, it just takes a little imagination and elbow grease to give them to give them a whole new lease on life. I encourage you to look at tired items around your home and reimagine them in a new way. Throw some paint on it, gold leaf it, sand it down to natural wood tones…you get the idea. Sometimes, a trip to the salon could give them just the “glow up” they need!