new normal, new house, new day

December 7, 2012


I want to start out by say­ing THANK YOU for all the love & prayers sent our way regard­ing my mom. She is con­tin­u­ing treat­ment & doing well…we are all adjust­ing to our new “normal”.

I also wanted to update you on 508 goings ons. For starters.…we are sell­ing our house!!!!!
awake my soul barn wood headboard

We made the final deci­sion to put it on the mar­ket last week­end. This is one step closer to build­ing our lit­tle farm house in the coun­try (yaaaaaaaaay!). We love love loved our cur­rent and first home (how do you think we got the name 508???), how­ever it is time to say goodbye.…


Another super fun thing is our fav lit­tle green num­ber on dis­play in this photo in our foyer (No. 20) is set to be fea­tured on the TODAY show tomor­row morn­ing (Fri­day). For all those vis­i­tors com­ing to 508 for the first time, WELCOME!!! We hope you click around and check us out…you will see that as of Aug this year we have slowed down a bit due to a fam­ily illness…however please do sub­scribe because we have plenty of fur­ni­ture & Lilla Van prod­ucts in the works for 2013.

love to all




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October 22, 2012

Those of you that have fol­lowed our blog have no doubt noticed that we haven’t updated it for some time now. We’ve always been hum­bled and grate­ful for all of the peo­ple who con­sis­tently check in on and we felt com­pelled to offer an expla­na­tion for why we haven’t posted for so long.

On August 27, 2012 Sarah’s mom went for a sim­ple visit to her doc­tor for some pain she was hav­ing. After get­ting some scans, she was sent in to emer­gency surgery that evening. We ended that day lis­ten­ing to her sur­geon explain to the fam­ily that Sarah’s mom had stage 4 colon can­cer. This came as a com­plete shock to every­one, not least of all Sarah’s par­ents. Since that time we have all absorbed that news and this new real­ity and are work­ing to adjust our lives and sched­ules around it. Nat­u­rally we’re work­ing to sup­port Sarah’s par­ents in what­ever ways we can, includ­ing just being present. All of this has led to a shift in our focus, and while we still have projects and ideas in the works, the pace of our busi­ness will slow down con­sid­er­ably for now.

It should also be noted that Sarah’s mom, and our fam­ily, have been sur­rounded by a won­der­ful sup­port net­work. It has been a rich bless­ing and we all have been so grate­ful for people’s love and generosity.

Again, we really appre­ci­ate all the vis­i­tors we get to this site and even though updates will be a lit­tle less fre­quent please con­tinue to check in. If you haven’t already, sub­scribe (or sub­scribe via email) so you can be noti­fied each time we update the site.


Nathan (and Sarah)

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No. 43 {DIY chippy paint & a new seat}

August 22, 2012

508 diy chippy chair, bemz cover

I just recently did a guest post for Bemz {its a cover up} giv­ing a run-down on one of our paint­ing meth­ods– you can check them out…Bemz cov­ers & fab­rics are crazy awe­some. Any­way, I thought I would post it here too.…because this beauty is for sale in our shop AND because I thought of some addi­tional tips in hind sight that I wanted to share.

I also real­ize this may be old news to some, but many of our read­ers have asked our process and how we achieve our looks…so, I thought this chair was a good exam­ple of  just one of the meth­ods we use to cre­ate that old chipped paint look. I like this method because it gives a sim­i­lar look to Milk Paint, but you have more control.

508 diy chippy bemz chair


  • 150–220 grit flat sand­ing sheets, cut for what­ever size you need* {508 uses: 3M Sand­blaster or Nor­ton 3X}
  • elec­tric sander (if you have it) & sand­ing sheets that fit
  • fine grit sand­ing sponges, 220–320 {508 uses: 3M}
  • fur­ni­ture wax {508 uses: Fiddes}
  • a few lint free rags
  • paint, satin fin­ish {508 uses: Ben­jamin Moore or Behr}
  • paint brush {508 uses: 2” Angled Purdy Brush}

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

Unscrew the seat. Loosen sta­ples with flat­head screw­driver & twist them out with wire cutters.

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

Go with the grain! Start with a medium grit sand­pa­per {150} using an elec­tric sander {if you have it} for flat areas & flat sheets or sand­ing sponges for edges & cor­ners. Fin­ish sand­ing with a fine grit {220–320}.

TIP » Don’t go crazy– you just want the bulk of that exist­ing fin­ish off or ruffed up. If the fin­ish is really gummy, use a solvent/remover first.
TIP » Cut long strips of the flat sand­ing sheets and use them to pull back & forth around each spindles

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

Use a lint free rag to apply the fur­ni­ture wax BEFORE you paint. Wipe on the areas that you want the paint to chip off dur­ing the dis­tress­ing stage. For this chair, I applied the wax all over quickly– not really car­ing how thick or thin. This made most of the paint come off in the end, which was what I was going for.

TIP » Be cre­ative with your piece! Don’t be scared. Worst case, you applied too much wax and it is more dis­tressed than you want. Rough it up again and slap on another coat of paint! The more you try, the more you learn.

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

I only needed one 7oz paint sam­ple for this chair. Using a GOOD brush, apply one coat of paint. I only brushed one coat on this chair because I knew I was going to heav­ily dis­tress. The 7oz paint sam­ples are still plenty to do 2 coats on a chair if you prefer.

TIP » Let dry overnight in a dry place {low humid­ity}. It is hard to wait, but the dis­tress­ing step will be eas­ier and less gummy this way.

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

Using your finer grit sand­ing sponge or sand­ing sheet, begin dis­tress­ing. You will see how quickly the paint comes off in the areas you have applied wax under­neath. Again, go with the grain and move quickly. If it is not chip­ping or peal­ing off, MOVE ON.  When you are pleased with your look, thor­oughly clean entire piece with damp rag.

TIP » It is your lucky day! I did my first EVER video tuto­r­ial of this. Nathan did not think it was impor­tant to ever tape my face, so it is just talk­ing arms & legs. Ha. Other than that, it gives you a pretty good idea of how easy it is to do the dis­tress­ing step when you have put the wax on first.

TIP» Be sure to apply a PROTECTIVE COAT. For No. 43, after the chair was clean, I applied a top pro­tec­tive coat of the same clear fur­ni­ture wax {Fid­des, Light} with a lint free rag, buff­ing it after 30 min.

508 chippy chair, recovering a chair seat

There are plenty of “how-tos” on recov­er­ing your basic chair seat– it is pretty sim­ple. But here is the basics of how I do it– quick and easy.

recovering a chair seat with bemz fabric

If the orig­i­nal fab­ric isn’t too torn up after you have taken it off, use it to trace your new fab­ric piece! This ensures that you don’t cut too much extra fab­ric– or worse, too little!

TIP»Often, peo­ple cut cot­ton bat­ting to put between the foam and the fabric…in this case, I didn’t want it to look over-stuffed, plus this fab­ric was pretty thick, so I left the bat­ting out.

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

Basi­cally, I just line up the fab­ric, sta­ple one side and then con­tinue pulling tight and sta­pling each flat side first. Then, I work on neatly fold­ing or bunch­ing each cor­ner tightly, sta­pling the cor­ners in place one by one.

TIP» I mostly use an Easyshot gun, which isn’t the most pow­er­ful out there, but with a heav­ier duty sta­ple it does just fine for most jobs. If you are sta­pling into a denser wood or fab­ric, you may want a more pow­er­ful sta­ple gun.

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

Because I tend to “over sta­ple”, I like to lightly sta­ple a white backing/dustcover on the under­side of the seat to clean it all up. Espe­cially because in some cases, the seat over­hangs from the chair, expos­ing all those ugly sta­ples and could snag your fin­gers while mov­ing it around.

508 diy: chippy painted chair with bemz fabric

Now all you need to do is reassem­ble your chair and enjoy!

Hope this has helped, feel free to ask ques­tions. Oh, except paint colors…we keep not all, but most of those super secret…I mean, we can’t give EVERYTHING away!


508 NO. 43



DIY chippy paint & a new seat}" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">Pin It

No. 36 {factory cart}

August 7, 2012

A while back, while vis­it­ing an old friend, Nathan dis­cov­ered an entire col­lec­tion of fac­tory carts. That might not exactly explain how we found them, but lets just say there are many more where this one came from. Crazy, right? We had no inten­tion of get­ting into restor­ing fac­tory carts, but these had such beau­ti­ful poten­tial that we had to try our hand at it. No. 36 is our first attempt…and I am in love…508 factory cart restoration, No. 36

After much research, we real­ized there are vary­ing lev­els of restora­tion that you can do using var­i­ous meth­ods. We decided that we wanted to be very thor­ough in our restora­tion, but not change the char­ac­ter that the piece had acquired over time in the wood or in the iron.
508 factory cart restoration, No. 36

Nathan deserves all the credit here. He fully dis­as­sem­bled the cart…taking the time to keep all the orig­i­nal nails for the wood and all the orig­i­nal bolts for the iron.

After tak­ing off all the iron parts and clean­ing them thor­oughly, he then sealed them with a clear wax. Many have restored their carts with a black wax to make the iron pop…but we loved the indus­trial aged look that the clear wax gave. You can see here a HUGE dif­fer­ence in the before and after…and how beau­ti­ful the iron is even with out the black tint added…

508 factory cart, no. 36 {before}
508 factory cart, no. 36
508 factory cart restoration, No. 36

As for the wood, he was care­ful enough to save each & every orig­i­nal nail as he took the cart apart. Once the wood was bare, he sanded each board to get all the dirt, paint and splin­ters off. He was care­ful to get the boards nice and smooth, but not sand so much that it took away all the vari­a­tions in the wood. Again, you can go fur­ther than this, sand­ing the wood much more…but this cart was very much USED in its lifetime…we didn’t want to take it back to look­ing brand new again. That is called “tak­ing the cool-ness away”. Our very pro­fes­sional opinion.

508 factory cart restoration, No. 36 before

508 factory cart restoration, No. 36

508 factory cart restoration, No. 36

And finally…because my hus­band is so smart…he added “kick­stands”. The side wheels do come down to the floor, but we raised them in the image below so you can see. These kick stands lock into place to make the piece sturdy for use…but can be flipped back under eas­ily to move the piece. He dis­tressed and stained the wood on the stands so they wouldn’t stand out too much. The cart is plenty sturdy with just the wheels but we like this addi­tion, espe­cially for use as a cof­fee table. Pretty cool, no?

508 factory cart restoration, No. 36

508 factory cart restoration, No. 36

Fac­tory carts are every­where, but I am still so much in love with this!! We plan to sell this one to see how it does…and of course do one for ourselves!

SO, if you like this one and would like us to do more…let us know!! This par­tic­u­lar one {No. 36} will be up in the shop in the next day or so…I just have to ver­ify that it isn’t already spo­ken for. The cost on these will all be $675 plus ship­ping {or if you live close enough to the Lynch­burg VA area, let us know}.


508 factory cart restoration, No. 36





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July 31, 2012

bemz chair no 43

Now that we are feel­ing caught up, we can get back to some good ol’ fur­ni­ture! I have fin­ished this chair, BUT since I did it as a guest post, I want to wait until it goes live to show you. Plus I have writ­ten out TONS of our 508 tips, tricks and tuto­ri­als! FINALLY…an answer to all your ques­tions! Yay for me!

And, just in case we don’t have enough on our plate…we {Nathan} has com­pleted refin­ish­ing our first FACTORY CART. It is ridiculous…ly AMAZING. We have many more we can refinish…if this first one sells {and ships} ok through our shop! I am writ­ing a bit of our process on that to share too. You seri­ously can not han­dle how beau­ti­ful this piece is– I know that for a fact.  Sneak a peeky:
508 factory cart

And last, but still so great? We have just fin­ished sev­eral Lilla Vän ani­mals that are actu­ally NOT cus­tom orders! A few {like this medium red & pale jade friend below} are in our shop now! You will see more trickle into the shop through­out the week too…wooot!

medium dala horse, lilla vän       

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be still {free diy printable}

July 24, 2012

exodus 14:14

So, this is ran­dom for me…but between house plans and 508 plans and fam­ily plans and all the rest…I need to be reminded to be still. I made this print and taped this to my liv­ing room wall…didn’t even wait to get a frame.
Maybe you would like it taped to your wall? I made it 11 x 14 for any­one to down­load for per­sonal use only. Click here if you want to print a pdf.

In other news:

We have recently com­pleted sev­eral Lilla Vän ani­mals that will actu­ally BE AVAILABLE in the shop. Yes, that is right…we finally caught up. I will post them tomorrow.

Also, I made my first video tuto­r­ial. I know many of you have requested DIYs and tips on our process, so I hope this will be a start. This is me swal­low­ing my pride because I hate videos of myself. Ha.

Also, my Grand­par­ents recently handed down these two vases. They have lit­tle peo­ple on them. I know noth­ing about them but I know they have been in her home as long as I can remem­ber and they look Swedish (because most of their stuff is). I think they are quirky and unique and I am happy she chose me to have them. Thank you Grandma.

Until I can take more photos…



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things to tell you on a wednesday…several weeks later

July 18, 2012

We are back from a REAL vaca­tion this time. If I felt like writ­ing about our last 2 weeks, it would take a while…lucky for you, I don’t feel like writ­ing about it! Bot­tom line? We had a major wind storm that took out the power for a week solid. One day later, we left for our once-a-year REAL vaca­tion to the beach.

We feel rested and excited to catch up (and share) the 508 goings ons. First of, of course, are some of our  lit­tle friends mak­ing their way to new homes.…
Lilla Vän: No.22 & No. 23 {MINI DALA HORSE}
And the really REALLY big news?!
Lilla Vän: No.24 and No. 25 Rams

WE JUST SENT LILLA VÄN TO OUR FIRST STORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lilla Vän: No.26 and No. 27 Dala Horse

Typ­ing a lot of excla­ma­tion points DO NOT give my excite­ment jus­tice. Seri­ously. Ready to pee my pants excited.

Lilla Vän: No.28 and No. 29 Dala Horse

Fin­gers crossed that Lilla Vän does well.…will give you new details on the store, etc…when I know they have arrived safely.

Lilla Vän No. 30 and No. 31


This week, I am work­ing on a project for Bemz. Super lovely mate­ri­als to work with and I am doc­u­ment­ing the entire process for YOU to see. Bam.

Keep cool.


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No. 42 {big boy blue} … a wedding gift … again

June 28, 2012

No. 42 {big boy blue}

I told you I had a mas­sively big and beau­ti­ful sap­phire blue piece to show you. Well, meet No. 42. This was one of those pieces I bought with out a plan. Meaning…there is NO WAY I am going to be able to ship this to a client…we don’t really have a place for it in our home…but it looks like a giant’s desk.…so how can I pass it by?? So, it went home with me. And it stayed home, untouched forEVER.

No. 42 {big boy blue}
Then one day, my sis­ter decided to get mar­ried (well, that is the short version)…which as I have men­tioned was kind of a big deal around here this spring and kept us busy! OH…let me just stop here and point out that out of all the bil­lions of guys out there, she mar­ried one named NATHAN. No, not even “Nate”. NOT COOL JULIE. Way to make fam­ily gath­er­ings even MORE com­pli­cated.
Any­way, we began dis­cussing which piece would be their wed­ding gift, and she is all.…“well, I have no fur­ni­ture in our din­ing room and I need a big piece to put linens & dishes…I like that unfin­ished one in your hall­way though…”. BAM. Just like that, No. 42 became theirs.

Here he is when he looked like a giant’s desk…
No. 42 {BEFORE}
And after a mas­sive amount of the very best shade of blue, a LOT of love and a fun shelf in the mid­dle to accom­mo­date bas­kets for linens and such…
No. 42 {big boy blue}
Again, sorry for the weird pho­tos. I really don’t know what I am doing when I take them and I always wait until the last minute to take pho­tos and it is always the wrong weather or time of day. Oh to be rich and hire a photographer.…anyway, this photo shows best how the blue looks in per­son…
No. 42 {big boy blue}

The hard­ware on the piece was MADE for it. I bought the hard­ware prob­a­bly 2 years ago, wait­ing for just the right mas­sive piece of fur­ni­ture to use them on. So, I guess buy­ing stuff with “NO PLAN” and just because it is “cool” some­times actu­ally works out for good…no?
No. 42 {big boy blue}
And here a quick snap­shot of No. 42 right after it was brought to it’s new home…

Love you both, Julie & Nathan. Thanks to G&G and Judy/Mike for mak­ing it hap­pen!

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Big News and Big Whales

June 25, 2012

Well, we are back from our “work­ing” vaca­tion, and we have lots to show you!! Sum­mers are always dif­fi­cult for us to post much…such a busy sea­son! I am try­ing to get caught up on every­thing!
…so.…first off…We fin­ished a bunch of orders for our  Lilla Vän col­lec­tion, but like a dummy, I shipped them off with out photo! I did take a shot of these 2 super whales.…super awe­some…
Lilla Vän, No. 20 Super Whale
Lilla Vän, No. 21 Super Whale
ALSO ALSO, on a per­sonal note…part of our busy­ness this sum­mer is the SUPER BIG deci­sion of whether or not to BUILD A HOUSE. WHOA my good­ness. We have been look­ing for a home to move into for 3 years and would actu­ally pre­fer to buy a home. I mean, you know us.…we like to take old stuff and make it great…so build­ing is WAY out of our com­fort zone! But the bot­tom line is, we want to live in a very spe­cific area (in the coun­try) and there just isn’t any­thing on the mar­ket! So, we are pour­ing all our cre­ative juices into how to make a new home look like US. We want char­ac­ter and we are will­ing to put some MAJOR elbow grease to NOT NOT have that brand-spankin-new-don’t-want-to-touch-the-walls-or-scratch-the-floors type of house. I want to move in and when my son imme­di­ately throws his die cast truck into the wall, I don’t freak out. You get me?

This is long-winded (for me any­way). Bot­tom line? We want to make a home that we can be in for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time. It will be a home true to our 508 look (because that is us!). I totally plan to keep you updated on our ideas and progress if we really go through with it!!!

Lastly, I just com­pleted a big, beau­ti­ful and blue No. 42…will be show­ing him off this week!


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No. 41 {freshy fresh}

June 11, 2012

No. 41

Start­ing off fresh with No. 41 this Mon­day morn­ing! Take a look at this looker…

No. 41 {before}

No. 41 {freshy fresh}

No. 41 {freshy fresh}

I have had this suu­u­u­per pale mint/jade paint color in my stock for a while now…just wait­ing for the per­fect lit­tle num­ber to use it on. This is one of those rare times I went glossy, NO distressing…I know…SHOCKING. Cou­ple that with the bright­est orange I have EVER used and OH MAN…I am totally dig­gin it. (do peo­ple still say “dig­gin it”?)

No. 41 {freshy fresh}

No. 41 was for a beau­ti­ful bride this past weekend…congrats, Kate!!! She and her new hus­band are super fun…so this piece was the per­fect match :)

No. 41 {freshy fresh}

My favorite part? You know I love some orange dip­page  going on with the feet PLUS I had a chance to finally use these SWEET birdies…
No. 41 {freshy fresh}

A fun piece going to a super fun home given by super fun peo­ple. XO, G&G and Judy & Mike!
No. 41 {freshy fresh}

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