Glowing Armoire


July 19, 2014 by Kara Nichols


photo 3I love this armoire. I bought it from a friend in Oregon and hauled it all the way to Virginia when I moved in 2010. But with the addition of a new-to-me wood dining set and new wood floors, it felt dark and heavy in the dining room. So I took on a new DIY project and painted it in Heavy Cream by Martha Stewart.

photo 2

I was worried about the pine knots showing through but the KILZ primer coat disguised them. I am so in love with this piece now! It’s so fresh and beautiful. I was tempted to paint it pink or some other bright color but my sister talked me into sticking with a neutral and I’m so glad I did. It can easily translate into other rooms and I’m sure I would have regretted the pink.

The other night I was in bed and I couldn’t sleep and I thought “wouldn’t it be cool if the armoire was backlit?” I got out of bed and ordered a string of Christmas lights from and used a staple gun to attach the lights to the back of the unit. It looks better in person, but here’s my new glowing armoire:


It’s such a soft addition and it’s especially beautiful at night. I’d like to get some mirrors for each side of the armoire. Being that I live in a basement apartment I don’t have many windows and need to reflect and create as much light as possible.

To finish off (for now) the dining room I bought a $30 5×7 apple green rug. It is so dang pretty! I can just imagine it flowing through each season with ease. It will look great at Christmas and in the spring. I know a lot of experts recommend putting a lot of money into a rug but I just don’t have the funds. Plus I really like this one no matter what the price.


It doesn’t show up as being bright green in the picture, you’ll just have to take my word for it. All I have is my phone to take pictures. Do you like my table? It’s solid wood and I paid $120. I heart Craigslist. I’ve been hunting for a round table for months. MONTHS. And I landed this beauty. 

Since I’ve been doing so many projects around my apartment it seemed fitting that I would read my first interior design book, The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful. I highly recommend it, especially if you are renting. This book is filled with tips and gorgeous displays of the author’s (rented) home. One thing she wrote about is to not be afraid of putting holes in the walls because it really just does take a minute to patch any mistakes. So I decided to take the plunge and put some holes in my walls: 

photo 1This is the beginning of my attempt at decorating my large living room wall (11 feet long). I am slowly going to turn into a collage of frames, maybe some sconces (are those still in?) and other knick knacks. Originally I wanted to just buy a large mirror for above the tv but mirrors are expensive. I don’t want to commit to a piece of art either, as I can be flaky when it comes to that. So with some inspiration from Jen Hatmaker’s office, which was inspired by The Nester, I am going to slowly transform this empty space.


I know it’s incredibly unbalanced right now, but I really like it anyway. I stole those antlers from my dad’s garage. Hopefully he won’t mind me borrowing them indefinitely. I’m really feeling the jewel tones in my living room. School bus yellow, bright pink, and a hint of purple. The good part is that I don’t have a lot accents so I can easily change them out to something else that will match the grey walls and grey chevron coffee table.

That yellow stool in the corner? My latest pride and joy. It’s not there for function but just so I can look up and see it when I’m working on my lap top. I picked it up at an antique store a few week ago for cheap.

One thing that really helped me take the plunge with my 11 foot wall is what that book says about perfection and how it’s impossible and really, imperfection is beautiful in itself. Instead of feeling bullied by the blank wall I tried to find the beauty in it and a renewed excitement about the possibility it holds. 


One thought on “Glowing Armoire

  1. Judy says:

    Kara,, your armoire is beautiful. I love the backlighting idea. Looks like you’ve got that apt looking quite spiffy. We remember staying down there about 5-6 years ago. Such a cute place and a great view of the lake…right! Keep it up.

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