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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

First of all, our guest poster today, Hannah, is stinkin’ adorable. She is the only blogger we’ve met IRL, (in real life) and totally exceeded our expectations! Funny story: When we met Hannah, we were in NYC getting ready for our Nate Show taping and she had just finished hers. Needless to say, she looked amazing, and we looked like we had just rolled out of bed (what can we say? We hadn’t been to hair and makeup yet!:) Take a look at what I mean:

Note: Faces appear blurry to protect the innocent.

Secondly, Hannah is soooo talented. She has been featured twice on The Nate Show and has impeccable taste. She chronicles her designs and awesome street finds in NYC on her blog, Hannah Kate Flora. (And ohmygoodness, you HAVE to see the kitchen table she just made! Unbelievable!) So, without further ado, here she is!

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Hi there! I’m so thrilled to guest blog for my sweet new friends, the Real Housewives of Bucks County. I met these darling girls backstage while we were filming seperate segments for the Nate Show. I told them, cheesy as it is, I’m so encouraged by them! Such strong, faithful, clever women!

I racked my brain on what to post and was politely reminded by Brooklyn Boy, my soon to be husband, that I should write about Street Merch – left behind furniture found on the streets of New York (or anywhere for that matter) that just need a new life!  You see, I’m a Texas girl who’s lived in New York for the past 4 years. It’s always been important to make my home (i.e. tiny apartment) feel warm, personal and lived in, but I haven’t always had the budget to go crazy. But I noticed something living here, when you live in New York and move apartments or get rid of things, you don’t have a car to throw your stuff in for a Goodwill trip. No sir. The street is your own personal Goodwill. Whatever you can’t fit in your apartment goes to the curb. To put it plainly – this means you can find amazing pieces on the street, with nothing wrong except that there wasn’t room for it in its previous home.
There’s one piece I want to tell you about in particular – the bar cart.
I had just wrapped an interior design job on the Upper West Side, when I saw this on the street curb . . .
and this cell phone conversation with my mom ensued:
Hannah: Well I just had my final meeting with Erin and it went really great!
Mom: Oh good! I can’t wait to see more pictures. I’m glad everything worked out! What are you doing now?
Hannah: Me too! Oh, I’m just walking home and wait….. what is…. hold on mom…
Mom: What is it?
Hannah: Well I think… hold on, let me move the bags of trash…
Mom: What???
Hannah: Street Merch.
Mom: Oh! What is it?? Can you take a picture?
Hannah: Yea. Hold on, let me just get this bag of trash moved over. Sick. Ok. It’s a retro looking bar cart. Or a really crazy overhead projector cart thing. Hm. Shoot. Should I get it?
Mom: Well?? Maybe. Do you see a cab?
Hannah: No. I have to get it, don’t I? Ughhhhhhhh.
(At this point, my mom is dying laughing at me. These Street Merch phone exchanges happen all the time between us.)
Mom: Hahaaaa. Just get a cab!
(I rustle around and end up manhandling the cart.)
Hannah: Well now I’ve picked it up and am walking down the street. Damn Street Merch. I feel RIDICULOUS!!!
Mom: Hahahahahahahahahahaha
Hannah: Why do I always do this?! I look like a freak carrying this cart under my arm, down the street, in the freezing cold, while I’m on the phone.
Mom: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa
Hannah: Goodness gracious. TAXI!!!!! gottagoloveyoubye!!!
And here’s my cramped view of the bar cart on my lap in the cab. No big deal.
Anyways – I believe that everything has a purpose and I knew this piece had potential. My plan was to revive it with new paint & fabric! First step was to prime it. Don’t worry about the sketchy area I’m spray painting in – you have to make do with cramped cement courtyards when you live in Manhattan.
I chose Navy Blue Spray Paint in high gloss. I gave it two even and thorough coats of paint.
And here it is all dry and sitting in our foyer! Apologies for the iphone pictures, these images are pre new Canon camera.
For the two shelves of the cart, I decided to use some preppy and bright Robert Allen fabric from fabric.com.
After measuring the fabric to fit neatly inside each shelf, I painted a coat of Matte Medium (which you can find at any craft store) directly onto the shelf. Then I laid the fabric onto the shelf and painted a 2nd coat of Matte Medium directly on top, wipping excess clean. I made sure there were no bubbles and the medium was equally distributed.
Once totally dry, I loaded the cart up with goods!

This bar cart has taken on many different forms – sometimes we use it as a side table and sometimes we use it for drinks and treats during parties! It’s very functional, and has casters that make it easy to move.

Thats it!! Bonus: This piece was featured on my first Nate segment which you can watch here!
Thanks Real Housewives of Buck’s County! Loved visiting.
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That looks awesome, Hannah! Thanks so much for sharing your project with us. And best of luck with your wedding and new married life 🙂

jess&Monica

The comments +

  1. Becca says:

    You looked so cute on the Nate Show! It was awesome getting to find your blog! Thanks for guest hosting!

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