Friday, May 31, 2013

A Pair of Cottage Style Dressers as Nightstands

This was a fun project I did custom for a wonderful client. I had two 19th century dressers. Both were a little small and very sweet, but needed a refresh. I sanded the pieces down, painted them in Benjamin Moore's Cream Froth, then sealed and waxed them. The client will be using them on either side of her bed as nightstands. Super cute idea!
Before an afters below!

An Old World French Country Dining Set

I loved these mahogany ribbon back chairs as soon as I got them. So much character and style. The antique mahogany dining table balances them perfectly. This is definitely a one of a kind dining set that will up the style quotient of a room significantly. I sanded the dining table to reveal the breathtaking wood underneath the goopy, opaque old surface. I love how much color and variation there is on the top. The carved double pedestal base has carved acanthus leaves and urns, which I've never seen before and is wicked elegant. I painted the chairs and table base in a fresh white, then distressed them, then waxed them with a tinted wax to give the whole set an old world finish that feels straight out of an ancient French chateau. I forgot to snap a before shot, so it's just "after" pictures.
This one is going up on craigslist today, so email me at if you want first crack at it!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

When Disaster Strikes

        Perhaps that's a bit of a melodramatic title, when you compare it to real disasters, but in all honesty, this week has been disastrous. As you know, we're finishing up the gigantic crazy renovation of an entire floor of our house, as in, there was nothing on our second floor, and we've put in two bedrooms, a loooong hallway, a bathroom and a walk in closet. One of the last, and largest hurdles was creating the walk-in shower. We choose pretty black and white tile, with contrasting bands running horizontally. My husband and I had never tiled before, but my husband took on the entire tiling project, and did a masterful job. Spectacular. It took him several weeks, maybe 35 hours total. 
      On Saturday we decided to grout. Surely I could handle grouting, how hard could it be? Right? Wrong. Our friend showed us how to do the top portion. Wipe on, wait 45 minutes, wipe off. So I do the entire lower section and the floor, wipe on, and then *and this is critical* I thought, "Ok wait at least 45 minutes, I'll wipe it off when I have time". Two days later. TWO DAYS LATER. Yea, it's hard as nails. I ruined the shower. I've been spending every free moment for the last three days desperately, madly scrubbing the shower with sulfamic acid and trying to chip away the hideous clumps of dried grout from each individual tile. Which is why I have no new furniture to show you. Everything has been put on hold.
         But wait- it gets better. On Monday, just has I had realized the error of my shower grouting ways, and had started trying to loosen the gunk from the tile I noticed that our water pressure was getting lower, and lower, and lower, and then nothing. Just that horrible gasping noise that escapes the faucet as it sucks on empty pipes. Awesome.Yesterday we had a guy come out and it turns out that our well pump had fully kicked the bucket. They replaced all the inner workings on the well, and it was quite a bit over $1000. So we're very broke, and the shower is ruined, and a week from Saturday we hosting a huge wedding at our house.
        Any old time you want to hand me a glass of wine to go along with my whine, that would be terrific. I know things will get better, and this is just a temporary crappy time, but it certainly doesn't feel like it at the moment. :(
Do you remember that song from The Sound of Music? Rain drops on roses, whiskers on kittens etc etc etc.
Well this is my version. Here's a few of my favorite things:

Flea markets. Every Sunday morning I go to the flea market and it's always one of the highlights of my week. Love this table of vintage green tableware.

Summer, and especially hazy, hot, humid days like today

Chili cheese dogs. Sorry, I don't have a particularly sophisticated palette when it comes to food.
The Avengers. My very favorite movie. I like all the Marvel movies, so it's super fun to see all the characters interacting together. Helllooooo Tony Stark. That man is beautiful.

Country Living magazine. I look forward to it every month.

Antiques. Oh how I love antiques.

Eating meals outside. This looks so pretty and relaxing.

A nice cold glass of dry white wine. yummy.

Antique houses. I could happily drive around for hours just looking at antique houses.

Interior design in all its glorious forms.

Antique weathervanes. I've never seen one I didn't like.

Tolkien. I'm so super geeky and I've probably read these each about 10 times.

My husband. He would be horrified that I posted this hilarious picture of him.

This is my cat Oliver. He loves food and will often eat a full meal and forget within a half an hour, and then demand another meal. Also, he's very talkative, and you can have full conversations with him.

This is our little girl Toni. She's a little sassy to strangers, but will let me carry her around like a baby, and sleeps between my husband and I almost every night.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Black and White Stairs

It was pretty yucky out most of the weekend, so we were able to get some projects done inside. One of the most satisfying projects I undertook was re-painting our stairs. The stairs have been the same cream and peach color since we bought the house four years ago. After a full upstairs renovation, they were in desperate need of an update. We've got a bit of a black and white accent theme in the house- a nod to the 1923 vintage of the building, and I thought black and white stairs would be super sharp. I used porch and floor paint on the black treads, and white gloss trim paint on the uprights. It was a surprisingly easy project, and I think the result is awesome. Before and afters below, along with some other cool black and white staircases.

This is such a wonderful, warm entryway. I really like how the rustic aged surface of the patina plays with the fresh paint on the built in cabinetry and stairs.

This hallway and staircase is all about the light and dark contrast. It makes the space feel dramatic and airy. 

This picture proves black and white stairs can feel very modern as well.

The antique patina of the chest balances the black and white stairs perfectly here 

Red walls with black and white stairs add a casual eclectic feel to this space.

There are a lot of elements interacting in this space, but the simplicity of the black and white stairs keeps it fresh and crisp. 

This room definitely captures the elegance of a 1920s tropical hotel. The green accessories look terrific against a backdrop of black and white.

With slate blue walls, classic light fixtures, and sparse decoration, this space has a traditional nautical style.