Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A smashing kitchen island

Oh I miss the flea market- and warm weather like today's makes me downright PINE for it. On one of the very last flea market Sundays of the season last fall my little sister and I scored this fantastic antique workbench. It was structurally in great shape, and had an amazing surface of chippy paint (green over a creamy white). I finally got to working on it a few weeks ago- and actually bought a new toy to tackle it - A heat gun! I was able to strip away all the paint on the surface, and then sand and stain it. I think it turned out goooorgeous, and after stripping away the layers of paint, I realized that the top was actually two old barn boards that the gentleman (or lady) who built this must have salvaged.  And now they're the icing on the cake on a beautiful one of a kind kitchen island. That means that those boards are on their third use through life - barn- work bench- kitchen island, and if that's not green, I don't know what is! I sanded the legs smooth and then painted the a bright white. Check out the before and afters! This island is up on the Eastern Connecticut craigslist now, if you're interested in buying it!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What I'm hunting for now

I'm currently quite satisfied with the design on the main (downstairs) floor of our cottage. Not many things I would switch out or edit- but there is always a running list in the back of my head of things I would love LOVE to add to my collection. Here's the current list:
A great gallery clock like this one here

Architectural elements like the antique door in the foreground, and the wood tiles on the wall

Great antique trade signs.

A brightly painted front door- (this just requires paint) .
An antique claw foot bathtub

An antique glass door bookcase.

Here's another amazing sign

A 19th century bannerette weathervane

here's another great one

An antique painted windsor settee

And last but not least, a mora clock.

Hello lovelies

I know- it's been more than a week since I posted, and that's very negligent of me. As a peace offering- look at these lovely pictures I took in the garden behind my house today. We've had a very warm, mild winter thus far, and I'm hoping that points to an rely spring. My daffodils seem to be thinking so!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Some upcoming projects

Things have really picked up since December (which was shockingly slow on Craigslist) and I'm going to need to really focus on refinishing to keep a steady stream of new listings. I've already sold everything I listed at the beginning of the month! Sooo- here's a sneak peak of what's keeping me busy at the moment. See something you like? Let me know and I may be able to refinish custom for you. This represents about half the inventory I'm currently storing in my "workshop" (basement).
Ok, I know the paint is super overwhelming- but picture this painted the softest shade of dove gray with the top sanded to reveal the light wood, and then sealed. So pretty right?

I'm thinking about keeping this one for myself- that means it will likely get painted some shade of green, blue, or turquoise.

Beautiful c.1900 oak round table with the most amazing detailed legs. I think I'll sand the top, stain it dark, and paint the legs. hmmmm

Antique workbench. I love it as it is, but to make it workable as a kitchen island, I'll either put a new top on it or sand the old boards down to make a clean prep surface.

an assembled pair of matching rockers- painted white maybe?

high gloss black paint on the legs, and a newly sanded and stained top should up the ante on this pretty vintage maple drop leaf table!

Mint green please

As you know by now, I love the color green. The must have shade for spring 2012 is mint. It's on every runway and pouring into all the stores (I would love to get myself a mint green cardigan). And since it's so of the moment- why not integrate some mint green into your home too? I have a tall c. 1910 chest of drawers in my dining room that got the mint treatment this week. It's original dark wood surface had gotten nicked and stained, and rather than sanding it and re-staining, I went ahead and painted it the softest most delicate shade of green. Every time I look at it now I grin. It brightens the whole room and looks so cheeky. Here's some other mint green gems!

Before for the tall dresser- you can see it in the right corner

After! and I got the amazing plaster pineapple at the same house where I got my new overmantel mirror.

I love the play of the two greens together. So pretty!

What a gorgeous kitchen!

Such a great piece. I would definitely not be able to walk by this if I saw it at a flea market!

Beautiful kitchen cabinets. and I love the hardware too.

more minty green cabinets

The retro fridge is played down by the clean spare lines of the rest of the space. It's harmonious and uncluttered. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What else for the walls

I love a good original oil painting as much as the next girl- but sometimes I think it's fun to put something else up on the walls as art. Right now I'm digging the rustic, casual look of antique barn doors, wrought iron gates, and old windows as art. A word of the wise- do this with restraint as it can end up looking "country cute" *shudder*. But when done right, a piece of found architectural art can up the sophistication and style of any space. I've got a pretty cool pair of antique shutters that I like to hang from time to time horizontally- they're not up right now though, so no pics. Here are some great examples:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spring flips

I was very very busy last week- hence the lack of blog posts (sorry!). But have no fear- I was working on interior design, and I have two big new changes to show you. You may have noticed in the last blog- my floors are different! Not just different but improved. When we bought our house, one of the first things we did was tear up the carpet. The 3in wide pine floors were intact underneath, but had the most bizarre surface I'd ever seen. Someone at some point had been inspired by some world class laziness, and stained the floors a deep messy red shellac- but only around the area rugs that must have been on the floor at the time. So only the outer three  feet of our dining room and family room were stained, everything else was the raw pine- except where there were big smudges and streaks of stain, where that lazy person hadn't bothered to wipe up the excess stain---Anyway, FINALLY that problem has been solved. I rented a sander from Home Depot, sanded the floors in both rooms, stained them dark walnut, and 3 coats of polyurethane later- they're complete! Check out the befores and afters- and some pictures of my new spring decor!
So you can see how some of the floor was stained, some wasn't- And there's that monster of a sander looming in the corner.

Pretty right??? I'm so proud! It was a lot of work- but I think it turned out pretty smashing!

That's right, you can see the reflection of the radiator in the floors, that's how shiny they are!

New display on the white shelves- I just need one more antique pitcher now.

The enchanted consignments sign was a Christmas present from my parents that my dad found up at their flea market in Maine.

So the new addition here is- well the shiny redone floors, but also the tv stand. I got it for free off craigslist and painted it white. I was sitting in the family room a couple nights ago admiring the mirror and had to chuckle- other than the couch and tv- the mirror, at $50, was the most expensive thing in the room. The leather chair, tv stand, side table, and log holder were all free. Everything else was under $10. 

On the front porch. After a lot of thought- I decided this is where the ladder should reside.

See that cool painting under the piano teacher sign? I got that over the summer at the flea market for $15 (a lot for me). On my way out of the flea market I had two offers on it - one for $25, and one for $40. I declined both. I think it's a pretty special piece of folk art. I've been waiting for spring to put it up.

So as much as I liked the pumpkin colored chest in September, I've decided the color only works about 2 months out of the year- which is not enough. I'm going to paint it again tomorrow evening- I'm thinking a springy green- or maybe a pale watery blue- icy gray? I don't know.

That wrought iron armilary is a real antique- probably from 1900-1920. My parents got it for me for Christmas. It's currently my favorite antique I own ever. Every time I look at it, it makes me smile.

Looking into the dining room. I had this great large arched mirror I was going to put between the two doors. I painted it green (and it's not easy to paint a mirror), was all set to hang it, put in the nail and everything-- yeaaaa the mirror's too wide. In defeat, I put back the mirror that's been hanging there for a while. I'll have to save the green mirror for the upstairs once its finished.