Saturday, May 18, 2019

Spraying my Patio Furniture Pink

Think PINK!
Pink Patio Furniture!
 Pink is really "in" right now for home decor.
It turned out to be very charming and whimsical in pink.
This set is a vintage wire furniture set called Peacock style and 
it is from the 1970s.  It was in its original white ( with now rust)
finish when hubs found it for me, and it was time to freshen it up.
 Not the easiest thing to paint, but that didn't stop me.
And hubs helped by scraping the table down, as that was covered in flaking
and peeling paint. 
I used cans of Rustoleum Candy Pink, a new color.
It took about two cans per chair, and at least two cans for the table.
 I laid a plastic drop cloth over the rock wall in the yard and on the ground and 
painted the chairs front and back and upside down. This paint takes a while to dry,
and being impatient, I just grabbed the tacky/wet chairs and turned their position to 
keep on painting and get the job finished. I did one coat the first day, and then the second 
day I painted them again to get any spots I missed and a second coat over most of it,
with pretty good results. 
 However, even though I shook the paint can for the recommended time it would spray
out various shades of pink.  At first I was freaked but then though, hey this is pretty cool!
It has an ombre look overall, in a subtle way that is appealing to me.
A tremendous amount of the paint goes right through all the wire
design and onto the drop cloth. There is no way around that...
 One thing you must do is to buy this handle by Rustoleum.
It attaches to the spray nozzle of the can and then you 
can spray for hours without any hand cramping or finger paralysis. 
 This is pretty much completed....
now on to making pink Sunbrella cushions for 
my Martha Stewart outdoor wicker set.  Yup. You heard me right.
One last thing....while I was at Lowes buying the paint
I saw Country Home magazine on the rack! This is the issue
that features my home, so don't miss it!!

Read more »

Friday, May 17, 2019

Curbside Find: A set of Louis XVI French Chairs

 In a bizarre and fortunate twist of fate, there is an update to the story of how I found this
one French chair in front of someone's house waiting for the trash truck. I scooped it up and felt 
very lucky indeed.  Fast forward almost one year to the day, I was driving by the same house
and what astonishing sight to my eyes did appear??
 Four more of the chairs that matched the original curbside treasure I hauled away!
How could this be? It was truly amazing, and even though I was driving my mother in law's 
small Ford Fusion, and not my pickup truck, I lurched to the curb and jumped out.
It was tricky to stuff all four chairs into such a small car, and I was glad I didn't have the baby or any
dogs with me, as they all just barely fit.  Now they are safely ensconced in a storage trailer waiting
to be reupholstered and restored for our lake house (that has not been built yet, haha).
 So the pondering began....what did I want the chairs to look like, and what did I think 
the lake house decor would look like?  The general idea in my mind is to have it be more cottage
style than French style, so the right fabric and finish on the frame would be critical to the look.
For over a year I have been admiring the fabrics designed by Paula Arndt, of LilyOake on Spoonflower.  Paula has created a bunch of designs fit for an updated Swedish cottage look which could work perfectly.
One of my favorites is this small check in a color called faded blueberry.
I brought in a chair and taped the sample to the back. Maybe I will have a coordinating fabric
on the front of the chair with the check on the seat and the back.  Lots to think about,
and it is one of the most pleasant parts of decorating....the pondering.

To give you an idea of how it could look, take a peek at 
Ballard Designs, with a similar French chair in a painted finish
with a gingham or checked fabric.  

But gasp, look at the price!  It would cost $2296 for five chairs
finished in this fabric and finish.  Right now the base chair is on 
sale for $399, still a fortune compared to FREE on the curb and the 
cost of a yard and a half of fabric per chair.

You could pay that for a set of 6 real antique French chairs on first dibs!

These were a few of my very favorite fabrics.  I have learned over the years 
as a window treatment designer and interior decorator that checks and stripes will
always stay in favor with a homeowner over a floral or patterned fabric.
And I plan to have these chairs for a very long time....
Even so I love the Lily of the Valley pattern, as that is a flower I adore, and 
one rarely seen in fabrics and wallpaper.

So the solution is easy....put that darling pattern on a ballroom chair and 
I can have my cake and eat it too!! 

Read about the day I found the first French chair here.

Read more »

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Easter family fun and my Estate Sale begins

 In just one week Spring has officially sprung.
The cherry tree in the front yard that hubs and I planted when we moved
in to this house 12 years ago is in full bloom and so beautiful!
 Tulips are popping up and the trees are just beginning to leaf 
out to provide privacy in our back and side yards.
Last Sunday we had all the "kids" over for Easter dinner and a new tradition that
we started two years ago:  The big kid Easter egg hunt!  It is a money hunt, where
the plastic eggs are filled with mostly one dollar bills, a couple of fives, tens and twenties.
However there is one golden egg, and that holds the grand prize of a hundred dollar bill!
This year Reeve's mom, Madison, won the grand prize!
The "kids" have to search our back yard carrying baskets of course, to find the eggs.
It is so much fun for me and Mr. Maison Decor to watch them scurrying around, and 
 Reeve watched along with us, quite confused about what was happening.
Next was Reeve's egg hunt, with eggs scattered in plain
site across my mother in laws green flat lawn (she lives next doors).
I filled her eggs with raisins and Teddy Grahams.
Reeve wasn't quite sure what this was about either, which
explains the perplexed facial expression. She had all of us following
behind her filming her, so it was much like a paparazzi moment, as her
mom and I coaxed her to pick up the eggs.
Building our family traditions continues, and I can't say enough
of how much I love doing things like this together as a family.
 She is the first of my grandchildren and I hope one day I will 
have many many more!
 There was egg dying too, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Our menu included a ham and roast chicken along with all the trimmings and
topped off with one big decadent coconut cake!! OMG, so delicious.
I didn't gain one pound either, and I have to say I am quite pleased about that!
I only wish I had taken pictures of the dinner and all of us eating, but I forgot
all about it after starting to set up the table for a buffet style meal as we had a crew.
In other news around here, I have decided to start selling off some of my collections of vintage and antique belongings that I have gathered up over the years.  Two weeks ago I made an announcement that I would start to sell off things on Instagram. (I figure I have about a good year before we get serious about moving to the lake house we hope to build one day. ) I sold this big set of purple transfer ware to one of my Instagram followers, and she was thrilled to begin her collection in a BIG way!! I still have purple transfer ware (many have been asking) but I have amassed a collection to big to use at the lake house when we move.
 Next, two of my friends from bogland and Instagram drove all the way from North Carolina and 
New Jersey to shop my house!  Shirley, from Houspitality Designs, and Mary Alice, from Rare Corners, arrived at 5 pm and shopped for three hours!  It was a fun and memorable time, and both gals took home some of my treasures. ( I will plan on having a courtyard estate sale in May or June for local peeps who may be interested.  Please leave me your email address in comments or email me and I can notify you if you want to attend.)
 The next morning  Shirley and Mary Alice loaded their van and hit the road, 
carrying with them my gustavian bench, my Swedish chair, 
and a bunch of other things including some purple transferware!!
Hubs and I posed for a portrait the night before, with Piper and Sylvia in the courtyard.  
The corbels also ended up finding a new home from another follower of mine on Instagram, 
as well as the pink door seen behind Mr. Maison Decor.  This is just the beginning of my sell off,
and if you want to see more of when I will be selling follow me on Instagram @amymaisondecor
and you can purchase things that I can ship in the continental US.  

PS. A lot of folks will open an Instagram account to follow designers or people who inspire them, and they don't post their own pics, so if you want to open an account, and you don't want to post photos, you can certainly do that. 
Read more »

Friday, April 12, 2019

My dollhouse feature on The Enchanted Home and Weight loss update

Happy Friday everyone!
I am thrilled to be featured on a new series, The Style File,  at my friend Tina's incredible blog
The Enchanted Home!  She asks me some interesting questions about this dollhouse hobby
that I have been working on and you might be surprised to read what celebrity inspired me to begin
working in miniatures.  Lots of dollhouse pics that I have not posted on my blog here, so 
make sure you run over and check it out!
Also a quick update on my low carb weight loss journey. 
I am happy to report I am at 19 pound weight loss at this point, and I have 
integrated more carbs back into my diet.  Overall I just eliminate the white
stuff, potatoes, rice, pasta and bread, with the exception of the Fantini scali 
bread which I have mentioned before.  The white wine is also back, but on weekends
only or if out to dinner.  So if you think you can't eliminate certain things forever,
you don't have to....just do the hard work for several months and then you 
will be in the position to allow yourself some of the things you love.
This picture of me and Matthew Mead was taken two weeks ago when we
met at my lake cabin to check on it and to help Matthew pick up some of his 
photo shoot props.  Its still very wintery up at the lake in New Hampshire,
and it was actually kind of depressing going inside the cabin.  I will post
more about our intentions of rebuilding there and where we are in the process.
Anyway, this was the only pic I could find that shows my body so you can see I am 
looking more "trim" as my dad likes to say!  I have had many readers
share their own weight loss success stories, and it makes me so happy to 
have inspired them in anyway.  I know how much happier I feel every day going
into my closet to not fret over what will fit or what will not.  What will make me
look thinner, and what is not flattering.  So its a diet that has worked for me,
and I hear its working for many of you as well!!  Bravo!!

Read more »

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My Country Home Magazine Feature

 Country Home magazine's April to July 2019 issue is featuring so many great 
country homes, and it is a big thrill to have mine included!  
The story is called "Aged to Perfection" and that is because my country house
is not an old country house, but a prefab that I "aged" with vintage decor accents.
 The photography was done by Duanne Simon, who shot all the homes
in Nora Murphy's best seller, Nora Murphy's Country House Style. 
The story in Country Home was written by Deb Engle who interviewed me 
over the phone for an hour.  She did a beautiful job capturing where my sense
of decorating comes from, and how together with my husband we did the various
DIY projects that changed our house into a "country home".
I have saved Country Home magazine issues from decades ago, as it
was one of my very favorite magazines when I was a young home maker 
and decorator.  I loved the way country decor could give my home 
personal style using older things, inherited things, and unique ways to present
decorating ideas using everyday items, like the cover above illustrates.
And here is a note of personal interest....
Covers from December 2005 and 2007                          
My pal Matthew Mead was a Style Editor for years at Country Home.
He was invited to work there by none other than country decorating icon 
Mary Emmerling!
Many of the magazines I saved had covers he created. 
  Its amazing to think of the points of connection I have with him,
and this is just one more, and it was before we had even met.
Little did I think he would take me to a party for Mary and I would close
out the night sitting on a couch with Mary and Matthew chatting away.
Another super cool thing is that Matthew Mead is working for Country Home
today for a Christmas feature for them.
Its like a freaky full circle moment over here!!
Looking at the list above of Country Home players in 2007,
 I noticed other recognizable names, including talented
Sandra Soria, who wrote my story when I landed the cover of
Romantic Country magazine in the Spring of 2017. 
 Sadly this magazine is no longer being published.  
Which brings me to suggest, if you like particular magazines, 
like Country Home, then please subscribe.
This will help keep a magazine in business, and the price for issues is so 
much less than buying off the shelf.  
The current issue should be in stores where magazines are sold any day now.
Subscribers always get their issues ahead of the stores, and that is how 
I got mine yesterday.  After texting my sister Ellen, 
she went shopping for it and said she couldn't find it anywhere....
and that is why.  So give it another week sis, and you will see it
at Lowes or Home Depot, or at your local drugstore or bookstore.
Then fill out that subscription card and get future issues delivered to your door!

Read about the night we went to Mary Emmerling's party in NYC here.

Read more »

Friday, April 5, 2019

Grand Easter Basket Centerpiece

My fancy Easter Basket!
Set inside a silver pedestal punch bowl I bought last year at Brimfield,
I added various spring faux flowers, shredded easter grass and painted eggs.
I have had this twig style basket for several years now.
  I set it inside the punchbowl and then stuffed shredded paper
easter grass around the gap between the basket and the punchbowl.
They make this paper Easter grass in all kinds of colors so you can 
coordinate it with your home color palette. I used purple and green.
 Then I filled it with lots of different kinds of faux flowers I had 
in my storage bin. The more I added, the better it looked.  Fake lilac
sprigs, peonies, roses, ferns and berries on sticks.  
A garland of florals was draped around the mirror above to create a 
bigger statement featuring the basket.
 The effect was a whimsical woodland Easter.
 You could add little sheep or bunnies to the basket or the table top,
more eggs....more more more!!!
 On the table I made another vignette with a vintage centerpiece bowl. 
Filled with dried rose heads (that I have been collecting for the past several months)
I added pink blown eggs I made last year for another Easter craft project.
The eggs and roses make an easy and elegant centerpiece, with vintage style.
Mix your regular Easter decorations
with faux flowers, vines and eggs of all kinds.
using unusual containers in your cupboards. 
Its easy and fun, and best of all, it costs almost nothing to make!

Read more »

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Lake cottage, White kitchens and the Wedding painting

The lake house is in the beginning stages of planning!
 Our rustic unheated 1910 fisherman's shack is
going to get torn down and a year round home will take it's place.
I haven't blogged at all about the lake cottage, but that soon will be 
making its way to my blog as we get ready for the next phase of life in retirement mode,
as we plan to move into it after selling our Boston area home.
White kitchens have always been a favorite of mine. 
 I think they are timeless and 
so the new cottage will have white cabinets.  While looking for inspiration 
I found some pretty examples on Traditional Home magazines website,
so lets take a look!
Rarely do I see a French Country kitchen anymore, so this was surprising to see.
However our kitchen and cottage will likely be less "Frenchy", and
more of a blend of traditional, craftsman and cottage styles.
 Another white kitchen from Traditional Home with color on the ceiling.
This kitchen is actually on a lake, and I love all the choices I see here.
 A creamy white cabinet color with marble and butcher block.
Views to the lake is driving the design of our cottage
so we can take advantage of having a home on the water's edge.
You would never getting tired looking out of the window at the kitchen sink.
Double islands in a fun color in an otherwise white kitchen.
Our kitchen will be modest in size, but in an open floor plan
to the living space which will give it an open feel. We will have
an island and have toyed around with color ideas.
This is our current kitchen as seen in Nora Murphy's Country House Stye book.
Because it is in a contained space it feels small. 
I painted my maple cabinets white years ago and still love the look.
They say you can tell the decade a house was built just by looking at 
the kitchen cabinets.  Knotty Pine, Golden Oak, Cherry, Thermafoil...
they all have had their time being popular, and then falling out of favor.
White kitchens are timeless!  A quick change of accents and hand towels,
and you have a whole new feeling for your kitchen.  
 Last but not least,  the wedding painting!!
I wanted to show you the finished painting of my son Brandon's wedding
to his bride, Mimi.  Live event painter, Sheila Foley started this painting during 
the outdoor wedding we held in our courtyard under a tent,
and finished it in her studio and called me about a year later to say it was ready.
It was worth the wait!!
We now have a unique memento of a special day for our family, and it 
captured the wedding festivities and mood so well! 
The attention to detail, and capturing peoples likenesses was unreal!
Simply amazing!
This was taken an hour before the guests arrived for the wedding,
where Sheila had started the background of the painting.
To see more about the wedding day 
and the painting in progress click here.

For more information on live event artist  Sheila Foley, click here.

Read more »