Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Buying trip in Atlanta means new home decor headed to our shop!

Justin and I went to Atlanta a week or so ago to take 
part in the huge buyers market aimed at retail store owners.  
(I do believe I accidentally erased all the iphone pics I took 
of Justin and I shopping in Atlanta~so no personal pics here.)
Basically the market in Atlanta is  three huge buildings with
 over 20 floors that house vendors selling everything you can imagine
 from all over the world with their wholesale offerings to store owners. 
 Justin and I shopped for items we felt have the Maison Decor look. 
 So take a peek at just a few of the things we ordered and 
what you can expect to see in our shop come February.  
The first photo is a 37" mirror in reclaimed wood and its just fabulous!
At 42" this Starburst mirror is enormous!
 Its made out of hand forged metal with antique silver leaf finish. 
This is a blend of more contemporary with old world style~
we loved it when we saw it!
I guess our heads were turned by these oversized round mirrors! 
We will have this option in the shop as well~
with a painted and lightly distressed finish.  
All of these mirrors are statement pieces for the home, 
and all have such different messages in the world of style.
We are going to be offering some new home furnishings at Maison Decor this year
in addition to our vintage furnishings.  This settee is just a marvelous piece!
It should arrive the first week of February! Its got that French look I love 
with an old world style with the linen fabric and nail head trim and 
yet it has a bit more modern lines.  What do you think? 
 At 51" wide it will fit perfectly anywhere~
from bedroom sitting area to an eat in kitchen nook, 
or get a pair for use by a fireplace.
One thing we are quite excited about is adding natural fibre rugs to our shop. 
We plan to have a DIY Design area where our shoppers can view rug samples
 and place orders for the color and size they need.
  We hunted down a couple of rug lines with great pricing 
and in stylish patterns like the one above as 
well as three patterns in a natural sisal material.  
This pattern above will come in various neutral colors. 
Another great looking natural fibre flat weave carpet we will be offering. 
 Its got the look we love and the price is fabulous! 
Just a sampler collage of some of the Home Decor accessories coming to the shop.  
We love the washed willow zinc lined baskets and the beautiful conservatory lanterns, 
the crusty looking terra cotta planters, and all things galvanized for that French Garden look. 
 Freshen your interiors with these hand selected items that you can see in our shop 
and online as well as soon as they arrive in a couple of weeks!
  Things that seem to appeal to our shoppers we will expand upon and get more 
from those particular lines.  Our focus was on creating affordable design, 
offering rugs, furnishings and accessories with our Maison Decor style. 
We love rustic French and Belgian interiors with a dose of the unexpected.  
I cannot get enough of garden style indoors.  
Is it because our winters are so long in New England?  I am not sure....
 Stay tuned as the tractor trailers and trucks drop off deliveries of our goodies. 
We will post updates on the blog, the website and of course on instagram and facebook too!

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Transfer images using Transfer Gel

Using Transfer Gel can be super fun! 
You can create amazing results
using a free image found online and this incredible Transfer Gel.
It is a bit tricky and at the end of this post you can read
a link that offers some step by step help.
We get our free clip art and graphics from the Graphics Fairy online. 
 These two valentine graphics
would be fun to use for Valentines Day.  
You could paint an old metal cookie tin with 
Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan and then
 transfer this graphic right on the lid and fill the container
 with home made cookies or store bought chocolates.
 Add a handwritten note in the center~
add a monogram for your beloved~or decoupage a photo.
This heart frame has so many possibilities! 
 Its also free, from the Graphics Fairy!
You can see two transferred images on the boards above
taken from one of our Maison Decor Transfer Workshops.
My friend Kristy at the 4 the love of Wood blog transferred this image
by hand using a different technique that was done by hand.
 You can achieve this same effect using the transfer gel. 
I love how this chest came out, however I prefer to do it the easier way 
using our Transfer Gel, instead of all that hand tracing.
Read the detailed tutorial on how Justin and I transferred colored
images onto the doors of an old armoire and finished it off to
create an antique looking hand painted piece, using the Transfer Gel.
Come by the shop and look at the various examples we have
of transferred images using Transfer Gel. We sell sample sizes of the gel
so you can knock out a few projects 
and buy just the amount you need.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Updating a desk with Chalk Paint

Update your traditional furniture with Chalk Paint and a few tips.
Often times we are asked at the shop to hunt for specific pieces of 
vintage furniture for clients. We have contacts with auction houses and 
can usually source what we need to find in a few weeks.  Ana wanted
a drop front desk that we would paint to go with her decor.
Sometimes it seems that what you were looking for was plentiful,
but as soon as you want to buy it becomes very scarce!
It took us about a month when finally we came upon two options
at one auction. A very french style drop front desk up on legs.
and a more traditional New England style drop front desk
we call a Governor Winthrop desk. 
We purchased both at auction and Ana chose the Governor Winthrop.
We still have the french desk, and I will be painting that soon for the shop.
This grainy auction pic above shows the mahogany desk with ball and claw feet.
 After Ana made a visit to Maison Decor at 150 Main Street, Reading, MA, 
the colors were chosen for the desk.  Here it is with two coats of 
Coco Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan on the exterior.  
No waxing had been done yet. All the hardware was removed, 
but was being painted and gilded per Ana's custom order.
 This is our trick for painting hardware if we have to remove it. 
 Get some thick cardboard and push the drawer pull right through 
the cardboard and it will stay still while you paint and wax it. No dirty fingers! 
And no lost hardware, it all stays nice and neat until its ready to be reattached. 
The hardware above was just getting coated with the clear and dark
 wax to protect and seal it.  After this step it would be gilded for the finishing touch.
 The interior of the desk has a little surprise! 
It is finished with a contrast color, Duck Egg!
A pale green-blue color that is the number one selling color in our shop. 
The desk above is shown before wax was applied. 
 Ana wanted a dark wax finish, and as you should know, 
that is done only after clear wax is applied.  
We waxed this in traditional fashion by first applying clear wax,
 followed by dark wax.
Do it in sections and then wipe off the excess wax with a soft clean rag.  
We use our large wax brush to apply the clear wax and our 
special dark wax brush to apply the dark wax. If you only have one wax brush, 
use it for the clear wax, and apply the dark wax with a rag. 
 Don't cross contaminate your wax brushes as you want to 
make sure clear waxing stays clear on your next piece.
  Look for all of our wax brushes in our online store as well if you are interested. 
Many ask how do we paint and wax the cubbies? 
 Switch out your brush for a soft rag. Use one rag for clear wax 
and one rag for dark wax. Using my fingers wrapped in a rag 
I get a little wax and spread it around. Then I follow up 
with a rag using dark wax, rubbing it all into the painted wood.
For the narrow side slots I wrapped a rag around a 
painters stirrer stick and applied the wax 
into the recessed area where fingers could not fit.  
After the waxing, I applied German Silver Gilder Paste using 
our Gilder brush to highlight the outside edges of the cubbies.
The edges of the cubbies and the tiny knobs to the apothecary drawers 
were gilded afterwards with German Silver Gilder's Paste, 
our number one selling color of gilding paste.  
Its a champagne gold color and looks pretty amazing
 with any choice of Chalk Paint color.  
Makes for a pretty interior, doesn't it?
Interior is all finished and it looks amazing!
This is such a neat little touch that really makes for an 
elegant presentation when the drop front is opened. 
The interior and exterior shown above with clear 
and dark wax with gilded cubbies.
Now all that is left is to add the hardware back on!
It is also gilded for a bit of understated bling.
Update your older furniture~its simply amazing!

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Maison Decor New Paint Workshops!

 This might be our Year of the Workshop
at Maison Decor.  After spending the first year and half opening
three stores and getting everything set up, we are ready to roll
out the workshops so many of you have been asking for.
We have taught hundreds, if not thousands the basics on
Annie Sloan's magical paint, but with a twist. Our basic 
Chalk Paint® Introductory Workshop is really more of 
a comprehensive class that takes you from zero to 60 in just 4 hours!
We cover painting techniques, furniture issues, waxing how-to, and add a 
few extras along the way, like gilding.
If you haven't taken a class yet, this is the workshop for you.
 Justin and I sit right next to you and tell all~
hold your hands and then let you fly!
Its an awesome class that will give you the 
confidence you need to go home and do 
something amazing like paint your kitchen cabinets!
 We also have offered a few specialized classes that involve things 
like metallic finishes and transfers.  This time we have added a 
Workshop for Transfers and all things Crackle.  
There are so many cool ways to up your game with decorative painting 
and using crackle and transfers are right up there.
Transfers are pretty tricky business, so unlock the secrets to 
this method as well as discover how many ways there 
are to give a piece of furniture a crackled finish...
there are over 4 methods we will explore.
 Oh it can get messy and it certainly is fun~
don't you just want to dive right in?  
Well have no fear, we will guide you from start to finish 
on these specialty workshops.
As each month comes along more specialty workshops will be added.
 A lot of our students who have already been
 painting and waxing without the benefit of taking a workshop, 
come back for some formal training. 
They are usually the ones who seem to get the
 biggest lightbulb moments during a Maison Decor workshop!
  Our workshops are carefully planned to give you the most education
 and exposure to the things that matter most for great results.

 Are you in need of a wax refresher course?
Many times that may be all that you need, a quickie class
 on how to apply and remove excess wax,
how to buff, when to do all that. Of course we get into the dark wax too.  
Its the thing most are afraid of, but once you get the ropes, 
it can make your projects look simply amazing. 
Check out the dresser above with and without dark wax. 
Enough said, right?
So we offer this fab one hour on your lunch break class. 
 Another great workshop will be a combination of mixing custom colors combined with a personal journal. We will be giving every student an Annie Sloan WORKBOOK for the workshop and take home where it can serve as a decorating and paint diary. Color Recipes is Annie's latest book so we will be mixing up custom colors, adding them to our WORKBOOKs and also creating the color wheel using every Chalk Paint® color. It will be all out on the workshop table for students to mix and create while learning basic color theory.  If you already own a WORKBOOK you can bring yours to the class and we will substitute the new Annie Sloan Color Recipes book as the WORKBOOK is included in the class. See my WORKBOOK above? I draw sketches of things I want to paint and attach snippets of fabrics and paint swatches with little notes.  Create a home decor file and reference guide based on all the things you love with your color palette.  
Annie's amazing WORKBOOK
One of my students, Suzanne, did a marvelous job on this page
in her WORKBOOK.  She mixed many combinations and labeled 
her recipes next to the color swatches. Nice job! 
We will use recipes Annie talks about in her book,
as well wing it and create whatever colors we want to make!
Since all the Chalk Paint® colors will be on the table you 
will have a chance to make a full color wheel in 
your WORKBOOK for future reference.
So look for these and more WORKSHOPS from Maison Decor in 2014!
Click on the WORKSHOP logo to go to our 
online registration for more information and signup.
Don't forget that Maison Decor sells Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan
online at the lowest prices available in the USA.

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