Saturday, June 9, 2018

How to make a French Trumeau Mirror

The ultimate in French mirrors, is the Trumeau mirror.  
 Trumeaus were made in France in the late 1800s, and were made to go on walls between windows. 
A rectangular mirror with two sections, the lower with a mirror and the upper had a decorative carving or a decorative painted scene that was the focal point of the mirror.
I have long admired these mirrors, but authentic French Trumeaus are very pricey.
This large and gorgeous Louis VI period blue and gilt Trumeau was 
sold on First Dibs at just under a very pricey $15,000.  
So imagine my delight when my blogger friend, Jamie Lundstrum,
( So Much Better with Age blog), penned
a DIY book about all things Vintage French style.
 And inside Jamie's book, was a how-to for making a French Trumeau mirror!
It is among 70 projects for adding Vintage French decor to your home.

It was time for a change in the dining room, I had even been contemplating wallpaper.
After taking everything off the walls, we headed to Home Depot to get supplies. 
I followed along the instructions and got an MDF board along with
some trim pieces for the top and sides.  I decided to use an existing mirror I already had that was
in an ornate carved frame.  In the book, Jamie frames out a cut piece of mirror, 
but I figured by using a framed mirror I already had, it would be less expensive and easier!  
The point is you can do it either way and end up with the mirror of your dreams.
 The top of the mirror can be made two ways, one with a crown molding like the one here and 
the one in Jamie's book.  But I enlisted my husband to do the cutting of the moldings
 on his fancy saw.  One can also use a plain piece of flat backed molding for the top,
 as many of the original Trumeaus were made this way.
Note the lack of moldings on the bottom, and the simple molding on the top.
  The focus is on the mirror and the decorative carving. 
There are so many ways to design your
own mirror, and that is really the fun part! 

The colors and styles are endless, which makes it perfect for personalizing your home.
You could add French wallpaper or fabric instead of a painted scene for your focal point.
 After hubs and I cut the molding and laid it out on the 24" x 48" MDF board, he went to take a nap
and I got out all of my Annie Sloan paints.  I was hoping for a grey, but there was none to be had.  
So I decided to do a turquoise color and then soften it up with some aging techniques.
 A pastoral scene would go in the top decorative part of my Trumeau.  I wanted to add a bit 
of lavender color to the sky scene so it would pull in my purple transfer ware dish collection.
 Next, I painted most of the trim and the entire mirror using
 Matthew Mead's Metallic Gold paint by Fusion.  
The gold was making it look so French and amazing! 
At this point I was getting very excited! 
 The molding was attached using a staple nail gun.  The mirror was attached 
using construction grade glue I applied with a caulking gun.
  All of these instructions are outlined in Jamie's book. 
While not making the exact same mirror Jamie made,
I created my own version using the bones of her instructions.
And I think that is the best thing about creating and decorating~
making it YOUR OWN!
 I stood the mirror up against the wall ( before I glued on the bottom mirror)
and realized I should probably change the entire room! GAH!
Paint the walls and change the curtains!! 
One little change can have that effect you know...
The next day while Reeve napped, I ripped apart my King sized duvet cover from
Ballard designs and turned it into four panels.  On her next nap I painted the wall behind
the mirror and it seemed when she awoke she noticed the changes!!
Look at her cute face during lunch time staring at the mirror!! hahah!
She is my little unwitting decorating apprentice.
 Without further adieu, I show you the completed mirror!  
Layers of white, olive and pale green paint were dry brushed over the turquoise base color.
  A vintage drapery part in the shape of a Fleur de lis was glued to the top area of the 
mirror for an extra flourish.  Personalizing my own Trumeau in this way, 
with the little painted scene and the drapery part finished it off. 
 A pair of old iron candle sconces were embellished with some blue opaline 
macaroni beads and some aquamarine Creative Candle tapers.
 The mirror has added a beautiful focal point to the dining room, 
with the French Vintage style I adore. 
 The pale green buffalo plaid curtains give it the Gustavian look I LOVE.
 To celebrate I broke out my opaline goblets and found the most amazing bottle of wine
at the local liquor store.  It looked just like blue opaline!  If you are interested search for 
Gemma di Luna Pinot Grigio.  It is about $15, and just the bottle is worth that all day long!
 The antique gilded ballroom chairs were put into service around the table after I 
noticed how perfectly they complemented the gold in the mirror.  
 Someone may not be as excited as I am, but I have to say, this has been one of the most
fulfilling day projects I have done in a long time!! 
Yes, it only took me one day!!
Well, maybe the second day I did fine tuned the paint color 
by dry brushing on a bit more paint....
 Get inspired to create when you turn the pages
 of Jamie's French Vintage Decor book.
From Trumeau mirrors to lavender sachets, 
there are simple to medium skill level projects included in this book.  
 due out June 12, 2018!  Happy decorating peeps!!




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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Wallpapering the dining room, Rustic French Chateau style and Monet's Water Lilies



 Monet's Water Lilies, painted in 1907, was just a fingertip away yesterday when I found myself chaperoning my son's high school class to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.  There was an entire room filled with Monet's paintings, and I think this was my favorite.  We were told not to touch any of the artwork, and of course we didn't, but it felt so surreal to have this masterpiece right in front of my face without anyone watching.  It was a private moment, and quite luxurious for my soul.
Monet's purple, green and pink paint colors were luminous, and breathtaking. 
 I was very interested in how he painted his landscapes, as I relate to this stye of painting.
 Monet painted many other things besides his famous water lilies and Giverny gardens, including this "Ships in a Harbor" painted in 1873. The scene below is "The Seine at Lavacourt" painted in 1878.
 My eye was drawn to the French style at the MFA, including this ceiling treatment.
 An unexpected addition to this gallery, it was most impressive and beautiful.  
All in all, a very nice outing and one I should plan to attend on an annual basis. 
 As a college student in Boston,  I studied art, and some of our classes were held in the Museum of Fine Arts itself!  I remember learning many things, like the differences between the columns and capitols:  Ionic, Doric and Corinthian, all which came from Ancient Greek architecture.
A mini lesson for you!  
From top to bottom, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles.

 Moving along, I have been thinking about wallpapering or painting my dining room. 
 As I sit in the living room and look past my blue walls I can imagine a color or a pattern that pulls the robin egg color into the dining room.  Or celadon green...as the living room has both blue and green.   This paper by Laura Ashley is Summer Palace and has a background of robin egg.  It also has pink and yellow which would look really pretty with the new opaline glasses I have from the Martha Stewart sale.  But its not so hot with the purple transfer ware....and that is a dilemma.
The paper is fun and whimsical, but I fear upsetting my decorating applecart too much 
if I put it up in the dining room.  Its a paper best used for a space that doesn't need
 much decoration, and my dining room has a lot of decor packed into its four walls!
So maybe I will paint, or visit the wallpaper store in search of something that works with 
purple, green and blue.
Always decorating in my mind, its a pursuit I am passionate about. 
 My home will never stay the same, it will always be tweaked and get facelifts or minor adjustments.
I have seen pictures of it in the past and admired it thinking, oh that was so pretty, why
did I change it?  I know why, I just can't help myself!
I like too many things, and too many styles.  My current style dilemma is liking the 
rustic French country side chateau style of decor but I also am attracted to the fresher
whimsical French cottage style.  Maybe I just have to commit to one and swear off the other.
Let me show you some examples from friends and designers.
 This is the dining room of my friend from Chicago, Betsy Duggan.  She is the one who sent me some blue opaline chandelier parts years ago when I began my opaline obsession, you may recall.  Anyway, this is a dining room from her old house, and I thought it was so happy and welcoming.
A good example of Happy French Cottage style.
I loved her green Lilly of the Valley wallpaper, and the matching painted cupboards 
and  table set with pinks and blues.  Totally up my alley.
All of my opaline colors would fit right in on her table, and you can see what I mean
about them working with the Summer Palace wallpaper, can't you?

 This designer, Leslie Biggley, from thelesliestyle.com,  posted this photo recently. 
 I loved the fresh clean colors of the duck egg blue chairs and the lavender draperies 
with the floral mural wallpaper.
Its a tad too modern for me, but I love the overall look.
 Switching styles to the Rustic French Chateau look, this is a great example of what I LOVE.
But in reality I don't have stone walls (yet) and so that is mostly what is so appealing in this space.
I loved the pink touches and the overall soft French look and of course the arched windows and the genuine French doors.
This is a paired down version of the rustic French chateau look that I find appealing. 
This image is from Peeking Thru the Sunflowers.  I just wonder where all the stuff is kept?
I like a bit more decoration, but I love the rustic table with the skirted French chairs and of course the
French console with the Trumeau mirror at the far end of the room.
Hang up all my purple transfer ware plates and it essentially turns into my dining room!
Right?  I have a rustic table under the purple cloth, and a French console too.
 Imagine sitting next to me on my couch....this is what I look at. 
So I am pondering the dining room walls in my pjs.  Looking through books and old magazines
for something to inspire me...and then changing things up. 
 Two styles, two different approaches. 
 Which way will I go? I don't even know yet.


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