Creating Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn Inspired Decor Without the High End Price Tag
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
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I've always been drawn to unique décor items that have an aged look with a modern edge. This may include antique furniture, architectural salvage, or even vintage artwork that gives a glimpse into its previous life yet still adds design value to my home . One trend I'm loving right now is concrete or clay vessels and lamps. They can often be found on the shelves of high end furniture stores or design studios such as Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and West Elm. While I love shopping at these stores, I just can't justify spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars for something I can easily create myself. As my kids can testify, since they've heard me say it hundreds of times, I usually leave these places proudly proclaiming, "I could make that myself!"
Follow along as I transform a thrift store vase and an outdated lamp into textured treasures that exude a modern yet timeless and natural aesthetic.
Finding Your Piece
The best finds are the items you already have in your home that just need a new "breath of life." You're not buying new stuff and best of all, it's FREE! For the lamp project, I'm using this disco ball looking silver lamp (what was a thinking when I bought this?!!) If you don't currently have anything on hand that would work for your project, check your local thrift store. This is where I found the perfect shaped vase for my vessel project. This ugly green boy was only $4.99! Perfect for texturing and painting.
Here are the supplies needed:
Flat sheen acrylic paint. I chose a gray palette for the vase, using a variety of both light and dark grays. For the lamp, I used gray, brown and cream tones.
Flat sheen black or charcoal spray paint for a dark background, if desired.
Bucket or small tub of water for wetting the paper towels and cleaning excess joint compound off your gloves as you go.
1. Using a wet cloth or wipe, clean your piece.
2. With gloves on, dip into the spackle and start smearing it around horizontally. Experiment a little to decide how smooth or rough you want the texture. If a super smooth finish is desired, you may need a scraper or smoothing tool. If you want a patterned texture, here is a link to a plastic scraper set used on pottery for only $9.99 on Amazon.
*For the lamp, it already had a brick type pattern that I wanted to partially come through, so I didn't heavily texture over it.
3. Let the piece dry overnight. Then carefully sand down any parts that are too heavily textured.
4. Once the piece is completely dry, you can spray or paint a base coat. I chose to paint a concrete colored gray on the vase. If you are sure you're going to completely cover the item with texture, you can skip a base coat of paint under the texture.
5. Using a wet paper towel, randomly go in with some dabs of darker gray or black paint making sure it doesn't look "patterny." Push the color into the cracks and crevices. Try to avoid globs that look sponged on.
6. Let the piece dry, then spray with a clear coat of finishing spray (non yellowing) to set the color and protect it.
I really liked the heavily textured look of both the vase and lamp, so I left a lot of the rough edges.
The final and most satisfying part of this project was filling the vase and styling the pieces. I chose *faux olive branches to fill the vase, however any type of long stems could be used. Some other options might be eucalyptus, pampas grass, thin branches or even faux magnolias.
Not bad for $4.99! Yes, I could purchase both of these beauties at Pottery Barn or RH. The lamp would be in the $400 range at PB and the vessel would run about that same price at RH. However, if either of these items ever took a wayward hit from an impromptu indoor football game by my son, I think I'd cry! Also, when I'm done with this look, I won't feel guilty getting rid of either item at all.
This technique was so easy and could be applied to a variety of decorative items. I'll be trying some textured wall art soon, so stay tuned!