Styling and Profiling | Bower Power
Skip to content

Styling and Profiling

2012 March 6
by Katie

My other big project for February (besides my office bathroom renovation) was making over this Goodwill china cabinet.

The last time we talked, I told ya how I started the vamping up process where I took the piece from veneered wood to painted white.

Now it’s a bright little sunshine in my morning (or a little chocolate on my banana…that sounded gross…strike that…grease on my bacon…much better)…

I spray painted the hardware a dark oil rubbed bronze….I love how it gives the piece a little more presence.


And the hutch part finally got styled with my china and other ‘preciousness’.

Is it wierd that I get giddy about styling a cabinet?

Because I totally do.  It’s like my version of Disney World…except no lines, only foot massages and unlimited accessories.

My china was all from my wedding…it’s Lenox’s Federal Platinum…and I love the simplicity of it.  And yes, I do use it.  Not as much as I would like…but hopefully one day I’ll have the time to host a monthly teaparty with girlfriends.  I like to mix and match it with cheap white dishware and random objects.

Random stuff like my Goodwill birdie (this is the white ceramic animal that brought my girl Sherry and I together)…and my white milk glass candlesticks (I practically stole those suckers on the way back from a past V-day trip)…

Oh and you can’t miss my centerpiece – the mercury glass vase (it’s from Michaels) filled with some homemade leaf roses (here’s the link when I made them).

The bottom of the piece has really chunky hardware and you almost forget that it provides a ton of extra storage.

The drawers are not super deep but I don’t need them to be.

I stuff a ton of stuff in those suckers.  Everything and anything.  It’s nice that little toddler fingers aren’t strong enough to open these drawers.

And the doors are great too  – closing off more storage space.

I think I wanna put hooks on the back of the doors.  They could hold twine of napkin rings or extra serve ware.  I’ll let you know if I take the plunge.

So now the dining room looks like this…still unfinished for sure…but coming along.  I still would like to get some art on the walls flanking the china cabinet.  I’d love a new table and chairs.  Oh and curtains.

Some of you begged me not to change the mirror.  And you know what?  I have to agree – I like it gold…

just not this gold.


I’m sure it’ll look great with a warm muted gold Rub N Buff.  And when I say I’m sure, I mean, I hope and pray on bended knee.  Thank you Jesus and amen.

The doors I am turning into windows.  I’m magical like that.  All I have to do is wave my DIY wand and instantly they will be transformed.

You see, my magic wand is actually just a curtain rod.  and waving is attaching it to the wall.

I’m thinking either all white curtains or something that has blue, gray and gold.

So there’s my update.  Fun stuff.

Glad to finally share my stylin’ and profilin’ china cabinet with you all.  It’s big pimpin.  with a fluffy white cat and rhinestone panties.  I just made this get weird, didn’t I?  sorry mom.

Anyone else work on some dining room pimpage?  that’s a word.


oh and in case I haven’t been annoying enough about it - Apartment Therapy Homies are back!  And guess which awkward girl is a finalist!

Yup – after almost four years of blogging I am finally proud to announce that this politically incorrect blog is knockin on the pearly gates of a bonafide award.  The internet winds could change at any time – so each and every little vote counts (at least they all do to me)…and I would just fall over and croak if we gave them fancy publicized shiny magaziney blogs all a run for their money.  But I need your help.  and your husbands.  and your friends and families.  basically anyone you know with an email address and access to a computer.  If you would take a moment to VOTE HERE and HERE, I will forever be indebted to you.  thank you and may your toenails be shiny and your pork be fried :)

143 Responses leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    March 6, 2012

    We got Lenox Federal Platinum China for our wedding too! So happy to hear someone else that actually uses their china. People tried to tell me not to register for it because it’s never used, but it was always used in my parents house growing up. I can’t wait to have a china cabinet as pretty as yours to display it in!

  2. March 6, 2012

    I love it and the way you styled it so symmetrically. Great job!

  3. Heather permalink
    March 6, 2012

    Can I vote on your curtains? Because I’m envisioning ORB curtain rods with white flowy curtains, and then giant, baroque-ish, gold finials to match the mirror. And if making the tiebacks giant bows of wide blue ribbon, to match the back of the china cabinet, is too matchy I think it would look good anyway.

    • March 6, 2012

      You have vision!
      xo – kb

    • Sandra T permalink
      March 7, 2012

      I hate having to pick out curtains! Unless they are white and flowy, I get stuck on what pattern? what colors? what should they match? do they look like the gold brocade drapes with white sheers in the middle that I grew up with in the 70′s? ARE THEY BORING? Which is what usually happens. Btw, how did this house end up with 2 doors in the dining room, anyway? A-door-and-a-spare? I’m imagining a bay window there? Would that work, down the road somewhere? Sorry for all the ??’s.

      • Sandra T permalink
        March 7, 2012

        All that to say: Katie, love. Could we have a “choosing the right curtains for any room” decorating powwow? It is sooooo needed!

      • March 7, 2012

        I know. I know. I know. This house design is sometimes just crazy. The front of the house has six doors…all next to each other….weird.
        I would love to be able to have a bay window…but yeah, probably never gonna happen :)
        xo – kb

  4. Erin in VA permalink
    March 6, 2012

    Love the china cabinet and the choice for blue background. It really makes your dishes pop. We have the same pattern for our wedding china – I chose it for the shape of the teacup :-)

    Voted on AT for you too! Good luck!!

  5. Samily71506 permalink
    March 6, 2012

    Hi there. So I’ve been reading your blog like every day for a while now, but too much of a chicken to ever comment. You crack me up all the time and I have a toddler just a little bit younger than Will. So I finally decided to comment and let you know I voted for you, and right now you’re way ahead. Yay! Oh and I love, love, love you!

    • March 6, 2012

      Samily – I love love love you! And many thanks for your vote – oh and heck – you never need to be chicken. be at least a pig – they taste better :)
      xo – kb

  6. March 6, 2012

    I am! (doing a pimpin’ out project for my dining room!) A hutch that came from my mom’s house (and from someone else’s house years before that and so on). It was finished in this horrible faux finish yuck that has taken me months to get sanded down; and today I put my first coat of poly on!! I’m so excited to get it in the room and “stylin”….although mine will be styled with plenty of Legos!! OK, maybe some fab stuff on top, but lots of Legos out of site but still handy.
    And you crack me up with your rhinestone panties and your pork be fryin….Thanks for the laughs.
    And I already voted….and you’re doing great!

  7. Urban Wife permalink
    March 6, 2012

    It looks spectacular! Can I just be honest and say I don’t really like the gold mirror? Please don’t judge me (and trust me, I don’t know a thing about interior decor!) but I just think it clashes with the rest of the room. It could also be that I have a dislike to anything yellow gold.

    • March 6, 2012

      Oh yeah – it definitely needs more to tie it in, right?!
      xo – kb

  8. March 6, 2012

    Total gorgeousness! I really need to find pieces like this! You are so inspiring!

  9. March 6, 2012

    The cabinet looks SO SO good! I love the white with the dark hardware.

    And, you have a true gift for styling that cabinet. Is it too much to ask to ask you to fly to Illinois and help me with my cabinets. They never look good. Never.

  10. cathe permalink
    March 6, 2012

    love the piece love your blog u always crack me up just went to apartment therapy and voted for u good luck and keep us laughing.

  11. Jen from Ohio permalink
    March 6, 2012

    Hi Katie, Wow that cabinet looks fantastic. I wish I had the ability to see the potential in pieces like that!

  12. March 6, 2012

    GAH! I love it so much, again (this and the bathroom- come on!). I’m dying to redo my china hutch and I was thinking along these same lines. Thanks for “testing” it for me! ;) We totally have the same china, too. Neat.

  13. March 6, 2012

    Great makeover and what beautiful photos!!!
    So tickled to be in the running with you over at the Homies, and look forward to hanging out with y’all at Haven in June!


    • March 6, 2012

      I am so flattered to be in it with you…seeing as how you are the epitome of cool in my book. And I am so excited about the Haven thing too – I just heard from Rhoda that I might be a little helper for your session!
      xo – kb

      • March 7, 2012

        Oh my goodness, you are in for a big surprise then at Haven!
        I am just the opposite of cool…think: nervous and weird. (Unfortunately) those are much more accurate descriptions of me! I get stomach cramps just THINKING about talking in front of a room of folks at Haven (and what if what I’m saying is incorrect or dumb?), so it should be an interesting day to say the least! :-D

        • March 7, 2012

          haha…better you than me…and I highly doubt you are weird – for heavens sakes miss tv show!
          xo – kb
          p.s. what is the surprise?! I’m dying over here. DYING!

  14. March 6, 2012

    I love the hutch. . . and my wedding china is very very similar, love that too. Quick question about the wainscoting you did in there. . . how tall is it? We are about to do the very same thing in our dining room, but I still have to decide on the perfect height, and I like where yours sits.

    • March 6, 2012

      We didn’t install it but it is 35.5 inches from the floor to the top of the chair rail.
      xo – kb

  15. March 6, 2012

    The cabinet looks great! I have that same ceramic bird, I found it at a Value Village for $2 and named it Quailand! You can even see him in this post:

  16. Sherr permalink
    March 6, 2012

    The china cabinet is perfection! I love when you open the doors that they are decorated amazingly, even when nobody else sees them. BTW, I had a $2,500 dining room set that I grew tired of & I painted it black. I have no regrets. It looks so much better. White would work also. I think the room looks great. Also loved the bathroom re-do. I’m pulling for you in the Homie awards!!

    • March 6, 2012

      Thanks so much for the pulling! I need all the help I can get!
      xo – kb

  17. March 6, 2012

    You can always use 3m hooks. No commitment and they work great! Just did it on the inside of my kitchen cabinets to hang bibs and pot holders :)

  18. March 6, 2012

    Georgous!!!! I so wish I could do something like that — or even have an eye for it. I would die for a cabinet/hutch to store and support my dish-buying obsession. Well done!

  19. March 6, 2012

    I LOVE the cabinet. You did such a great job! Just thinking of that sanding make me want to shed a couple of tears. I love the idea for the hooks for napkin rings and such. I say go for it!!

    PS – I envy your stylin’ skills! :)

  20. March 6, 2012

    I LOVE the idea of hooks on the backs of the cabinet doors…may have to do this to mine. :)

  21. Tanya permalink
    March 6, 2012

    HellO Katie!

    Your blog is my all-time favourite, woohoo! I’m commenting for the first time because I really feel that the gold mirror is not doing your Dining Room any favours! Your GORGEOUS new China Cabinet is completely overwhelmed height-wise and colour-wise by the mirror, doncha reckon?

    Warm wishes,

    • March 6, 2012

      Yup – right now it sure is…but you know me…I have plans up my sleeve :)
      xo – kb

  22. Allison permalink
    March 6, 2012

    Not sure if you’ve heard of this trick before, but it definitely fits into the cheap and DIY category. I read somewhere recently (probably a link off pinterest) that you can take electrical conduit ($1.50 for 10 ft of it), spray paint it, add finials and use it as a curtain rod! I’m not sure how long your dining room curtain rods need to be, but those extra long curtain rods certainly cost a pretty penny and I’m guessing this way would be waaay cheaper. Love the cabinet styling by the way. I too am obsessed with white dishes/ceramics so your cabinet was a beautiful sight!

    • March 6, 2012

      I haven’t heard of doing it with electrical conduit…pvc pipe yes…but conduit, no! Thanks for the advice!
      xo – kb

  23. Tanya permalink
    March 6, 2012

    PS. I’m feelin’ bad that my first-ever comment is expressing doubt and not delight! Sorry ’bout that, matey!


    • March 7, 2012

      No way dude! Comments – as long as they are not hatin on my three B’s (boyfriend, baby and bacon) are always welcome :)
      xo – kb

  24. Cheryl L permalink
    March 7, 2012

    These results are seriously breathtaking! You have serious class and flawless taste. Sometimes I wish I was Southern and inherited some of that good stuff, too :P Instead I’m from San Diego and consider it a huge accomplishment if I manage to spray paint some candlesticks white…haha! Keep on keepin’ on, beautiful. (Yep that last one was towards you.)

  25. Tallulah Eulallie permalink
    March 7, 2012

    Love your cake stand, love your tureen, love all the white china goodness. So versatile, isn’t it? Your dining room is coming along nicely; it has that eclectic look that I love. Nothing matchy-matchy, none of the pieces related, but it all comes together perfectly. I always seem to like those rooms that evolve slowly the best. Back when I was doing interior design, I always liked the jobs that had the tightest budgets; they really forced me to be creative. Katie, you have a really good eye, and you have the whole creativity thing nailed. Have you ever considered a career as a decorator?

    • March 7, 2012

      haha…I’m gasping for breath :) So funny you are Tallulah!
      xo – kb

  26. March 7, 2012


    As of now, you are KILLING IT in the Home Design Blog category. You’re a smidge behind on the DIY blog at the moment, but if we rally more troops… we WILL succeed! (I totally logged into AT for the first time in months and months just to vote for you. I’d say you owe me a bacon and tomato sammich for the effort, but it was worth it. Unless you want to give me a bacon and tomato sammich anyway. I’d never say no to bacon.)

    A suggestion I have regarding the insides of the doors is that you use some Command 3M hooks so you can use the space to hang a few things up without the commitment of something you’d nail or screw into the wood.

    I have to do some kind of organizing in my china cabinet because I’m having a girlfriend over on Friday and I don’t want her to wonder if I am hoarding enough dishes to feed an army. (I am. But I don’t need everyone else to know that!) I may use it as an excuse to shake the dust off of my barely used pathetic little blog and make a post about it. Maaaaybe.

    • March 7, 2012

      I love your suggestion – but seeing as the previous owners so generously left some holes for us, I think we are just gonna put the brackets in to hide those :)
      xo – kb

  27. March 7, 2012

    The cabinet looks fantastic – you can hardly tell it’s the same piece! And I love the way you styled it – it’s inspiring me to put some decorative pieces into my own china cabinet. Lenox Federal Platinum is my wedding china too. :-) I love it… but actually my husband picked it out. He picked out two things for the wedding: the china, and me. Hopefully he’s happy with both choices. Haha!

  28. March 7, 2012

    Lovely! I’m always so afraid to paint furniture but your piece is an inspiration! Well done.

  29. March 7, 2012

    wow wow wow. what an amazing piece—and the storage is fabulous! looks like a million bucks. or a million pieces of bacon, whichever you prefer. might be a tough call.

  30. Stewart permalink
    March 7, 2012

    Katie Bower! this is gorg!!

  31. March 7, 2012

    Loving the blue back on your cabinet!

    I’m wondering if your still liking your carpet tiles for your dining room rug? Aren’t they Flor? I’ve been researching them but wondering if I’ll love them long term??

    • March 7, 2012

      I love love love them. We had all the food for Thanksgiving in there…and we allow the kids to serve themselves…let’s just say it gets a little messy and they were so easy to clean. Absolutely recommend them!
      xo – kb

  32. March 7, 2012

    You knocked that out of the park girlfriend! That is some great styling and profilin’.

  33. March 7, 2012

    Loving this :) Makes me want to stalk craigslist hard and find me a china cabinet! That is my dream…to find a china cabinet and DIY it. But….apartment living…must obtain a larger space first :)

    Great job Katie!!

    Good luck too, in the homies!! Rooting for you!!

  34. March 7, 2012

    Wow, the china cabinet looks amazing. You are an awesome stylist (I can never get my bookshelves or mantel to look anywhere close to that good). I have that same brass votive holder (the one with the quatrefoil punchout pattern) – love it! The only bad part is that I only have one (found it at a garage sale).

  35. March 7, 2012

    love the make over and I VOTED-good luck!

  36. Jennifer permalink
    March 7, 2012

    It looks great Katie! You did a splendid job! Great find on the Fenton milkglass!

  37. Patti permalink
    March 7, 2012

    You are adorable and I love your fellow besties! I had to tell you that your Survivor spoof is hilarious it was enjoyed immensely. Keep ‘em coming :)

  38. Laura permalink
    March 8, 2012

    This mirror kind of reminds me of the one you have. Only yours is a little more ornamental.


  39. Lakshmi permalink
    March 8, 2012

    Don’t remember how much you paid for this cabinet, but I saw a similar one at a thrift store yesterday for $500.00 marked down from $700!!!
    P.S: Congratulations!!!

    • March 8, 2012

      WHAAAT! Yeah, mine was $32. So crazy how thrift stores vary soo much.
      xo – kb

  40. March 8, 2012

    I love this! You are amazing. Gorge!

  41. March 8, 2012

    Nice to hear you’re thinking about using AMACO’s Rub ‘n Buff on your mirror project – can’t wait to see how it turns out. If you’d like to try any of the other 15 colors let me know – I’m happy to send some product your way.

    • March 8, 2012

      REALLY!? Because I am a huge huge fan of free stuff :)
      I’ll email ya for sure!
      xo – kb

  42. Irina permalink
    March 10, 2012

    Please, please, no curtains!!!….And also I love your mirror but I don’t picture it in that room, I look foward to seeing how it looks after you paint it

  43. Brandi permalink
    March 12, 2012

    What grit of sandpaper did you use to rough up the hutch? I have a wood veneered dresser that has sort of a shiny finish to it that I did not think I could paint, but after reading your post, I’m thinking maybe I can. I am a totally newbie to painting anything, so I have no idea where to start.

    • March 12, 2012

      I used medium grit just so I didn’t remove any of the veneer…but still scuffed it up for grip.
      xo – kb

  44. March 13, 2012

    Really nice job

  45. Katie permalink
    May 24, 2012

    I love your blog!!! Just found it today and I have occupied most of my 2 year old’s nap time reading! lol:) i haveeeee to do laundry now though:( lol. What technique, shade of white, etc. do you use when painting your furniture white???

    • May 24, 2012

      Hi Katie! Welcome! And for furniture…I use semi gloss white (whatever shade – mostly leftovers from trim – which would be bright white base no color or tint added) and I always prime (spray primer is my dearest friend) and then either brush or roll or spray on the thin multiple coats of white.
      xo – kb

      • October 18, 2012

        I have some paint left over from painting the trim in our house, and it is paint plus primer. Do you think I would still need to spray prime it?

        • October 19, 2012

          Maybe. Since our piece was more like a veneer or laminate type finish, oil based paint will work best. Usually a paint & primer in one is only water based and could not stick as well. It all depends on how much touching you plan on doing. The pieces that get touched or could get dinged up the most – it’s always best to oil-prime….whereas if something is more for show and you might just be dusting it occasionally won’t have to be as hardwearing :)
          xo – kb

  46. Sherry permalink
    May 30, 2012

    I was wondering what brand of spray paint you used on the hardware? I’m in the middle of doing my hutch right now (it’s a bit off white) and can’t decide on the hardware.
    My next project will be to spray paint my grandfathers wrought iron dining table and I want it all to match (sorta), so all the metal ties together.

    • May 30, 2012

      Oil Rubbed Bronze…It’s really great for hardware :)
      xo – kb

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS