Friday, March 31, 2017

Easy and Spectacular: All White Easter

 Stunningly simple, and yet spectacular, an all white Easter table is 
easy to create and most impressive.  These amazing ideas come from my
creative friend, Matthew Mead.  I really wish he was still blogging, but since he isn't,
I thought it would be fun to put these ideas all together for him in my blog!
(Thanks M)
Get ready to be inspired to steal some of his great ideas
for your spring or Easter table.   White, white and more white!!
The opening image may be my favorite idea:
White asparagus surrounds a white pillar candle, secured with white ribbon.  
 Frost a cake with whipped cream frosting and top with Ferrero Raffaello Coconut Candies
to conjure up cotton tails!  Set on a white pedestal cake stand to impress. 
If you don't have white, use clear glass to keep the palette clean.
 Not hosting Easter?  Bring this to your hostess:
  A white bakery box holds an array of Easter goodies
 all nestled in a section of egg crate cut to fit the box. 
 A simple and charming idea to set at each table setting:  
a broken eggshell used as a vase for a single flower.  
 Little paper cutout bunny silhouettes glued to toothpicks are inserted into lemon cupcakes, frosted with sugar and white sprinkles. Use as place settings by inscribing names on each bunny.
Print out a bunny template like this on card stock
 and then use for a table centerpiece or menu card.

 White carnations make whimsical cotton tails.
Print the menu on the bunny template and add your carnation cotton tail, 
and dress up the white dinner plates. 
 (Matthew told me he cut each card out using tiny sharp scissors.)  
 Speaking of cotton tails, a pile of creme puffs sprinkled with 
confectioners sugar makes a cute reference to Peter Cottontail.  
 More paper cutouts, or vintage looking Easter bunny decorations
 are tucked into flower frogs, painted white for the occasion.  
 Lemon cookies from Trader Joes get the Easter treatment with a sprinkle 
of confectioner's sugar through small stencils.  I love this idea, and I can imagine 
these cookies at a First Communion party as well as at an Easter table.

 Another wonderful way to use stencils and sugar, 
this time on a store bought pound cake!
Find an array of stencils at shops like Michaels or Joanns.
Simply unwrap a white chocolate rabbit or two, and arrange on a white tablecloth
 with some white eggs and candies.  Tuck a few white tulips or hyacinth 
inside of juice glasses.  Brilliant!
A large clear egg from a craft store is a magical way to present an 
old fashioned and romantic Easter gift to a special loved one.
Think WHITE this Easter, and follow Matthew Mead's easy ideas 
for an unforgettable table to share with your family and friends.
To see even more White Easter Ideas, visit his Pinterest page here
Note: All photos property of Matthew Mead
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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gilding is so French!

 The antique Venetian mirror that I found on vacation has a gilded motif, and that
brought about the thinking of incorporating some gold accents on my French chairs.

 This lovely cane back chair with blue-grey paint and gilded accents captured the essence of what I hoped my silvery grey chairs could aspire to....although my chairs are not as fancy,  it is the "essence" that was the plan. Adding some dimension with stain over the cane backs, and then gilding the decorative details became an afternoon's project.
 Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint line has added gilding wax to the lineup, and it comes in five metallic shades, two of which are gold colors. I went with "Bright Gold" after comparing the two.  
This gilding wax will complement any furniture, so start thinking what you can gild!
 Gilding with gilding wax is much easier and quicker than gilding the old school way using gold leaf and sizing.  Simply rub on or paint on the gilding wax, using your fingertip or a small stiff paint brush, like the one I used. After squeezing a bit of gold wax onto a piece of wax paper, I traced around the grooves of the chair using the brush, as well as the floral detail on the chair back.
 One tip I have when using gilding wax and a brush, is to dip the edges of the brush into a bit of mineral spirits, then into the gilding wax, and then apply to the surface.  It is the same methodology of dipping a paint brush into water when painting watercolors.  It glides right over the surface, leaving a gilded stripe in its path.
After gilding the accents on each dining room chair, I took a chip brush and applied
some dark wood stain over the caning.  Applied right over the previously painted
surface, it gave the look of my inspiration photo that I had hoped to achieve. Some
chairs are more heavily gilded, and some spots are sparse, as if worn off over time.
The result is subtle, but noticeable, enhancing the dining room in that antique kind
 of Frenchy way that you all know I love.  The chairs have a sophistication that 
they lacked before, and yet at the same time they aren't screaming for attention. 
Using Annie Sloan's gilding wax is easy, affordable and yields great results!
Give it a try, and get some gilded goodness going in your home.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Master Bedroom:Dreamy Bedding and Headboard Installation

The master bedroom makeover is well on its way to being a success story.
Bedding plays a huge role in the style you want, so its a natural place to start your 
bedroom decorating. Our bedroom is small, and has slanted ceilings, and 
when we decided to go from a Queen to a King bed, I thought the bed would have to
go in front of the window.  Well, it looked terrible in front of the window,
so we turned it around, and tucked it under the slanted roof line, and it 
fit like a glove.  The bedspread/coverlet was the inspiration for the European style I wanted,
and since we were keeping all the dark wood furniture but eliminating 
the bed itself, we opted for a tufted fabric headboard. 
 The color of the headboard was the one thing I was nervous about.
The walls of the room are a pale aquamarine, and I took a chance on this deeper 
colored blue headboard.   All of the bedding and bed parts were ordered online, sight unseen.
That is pretty nerve wracking, and I had to wait for them to arrive, one by one. 
I wouldn't be able to tell if my choices would work, until it all arrived.
 Yesterday the last pieces came and hubs and I were able to set up the bed, 
with the new bedding, and we ended up being pretty thrilled with the way it turned out. 
(All sources will be listed at bottom of the post)
 When I redecorate, I don't start from scratch.  Many of my things will be
repurposed or given a new role.  Some items, like the carpet, are taken from
another room to achieve the look I am trying to create.  Of course getting a bigger
bed, meant getting all new linens, and that was the fun part!
Some items would be a splurge, some would be on sale.
The bedspread was the inspiration for the style of the room, and it came from the idea
that I thought it looked like a family relative to the painted antique table.  And that is where I 
got brave enough to order the darker blue headboard, hoping it would look nice with
the blue on the painted table.  The bed is a little bit greener, in the range of blue/green
 but I think it looks fine.  The overall palette is monochromatic aquamarine.
 Since the new foam mattress is up on a pedestal and a riser to give it
some height (18") from the floor, I searched high and low to find a bedskirt
that would work.  And what a delight it was to see it in person!  It is a cotton voile
in a pretty "sea glass" color.  I ordered two euroshams from the same line to 
coordinate the bedding, as the spread is from a different company.  While it 
may be easy to order everything you see on one website, I like to hunt down my own
vision of how the bed should look.  While the bedspread was shown with offwhite bedding,
I wanted to pull out the blue in the bedding, and that is why I looked for blue components.
If you had this spread, and you liked the color green, you could easily do the same thing,
to have your room be "your style" with your favorite color, green.
Mind you, I am still in the fun and early stages of styling the room,
which means I am hanging things up, looking for lamps, and moving
things around.  The next big part of this bedroom makeover is to 
switch out the silk draperies.  While the color is spot on, they are 12 years
old, and showing fading and wear.  I guess that is the tattered elegance that 
I favor, but I saw some unbelievably gorgeous draperies that I think will 
look amazing with this bedding.  
For those of you who are interested in where I got the bed parts, mattress, and 
the bedding, my source list is as follows.  Click on the item to go to the link.

Perhaps my last post on the King sized dust ruffle from Horchow spurred some buying, 
as now it seems the King may be out of stock. 
 It was a smokin' deal at $79, and they do have the twin size for sale at $56. 
 I love this bedskirt!  
It is a cotton voile, a bit of a crinkle texture, and it
is lined.  I didn't do a thing but open it up and put it under the mattress.  Two twins would give
you a king size if you wanted to alter them.  But the point is, keep shopping and looking and 
you will find bedding that is well priced and lovely.  I splurged on the Coverlet from Soft Surroundings, as I felt that was the one thing that would make the room, style wise. 
So spend where you must, and save where you can.
We have only spent one night on the new foam mattress, but it seems fantastic.  
The platform and the riser were both so well made, we were very pleased with everything.
This is not a sponsored post, and even if it was sponsored, these opinions are honest
and hopefully helpful to you, if you are also redoing your bedroom.
Note: Update on the mattress~we love it and are enjoying our best sleep in years!

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Aquamarine bedding steals from a luxe online shop

 The master bedroom makeover from a Queen size bed to a King size bed started
with hubs and I moving the Queen bed into another bedroom.  You might recognize it as 
the room I had just turned into my home office space.  It is being turned into a guest room now,
and our old Queen bed looked quite lovely in its new setting.  Our foam mattress arrived quickly,
as we purchased it online after reading many reviews.  
They recommend setting it up and letting it get rid of the toxic fumes in a process
called "off-gassing".  Basically open the windows and turn on the fan and let the odors
from the foam dissipate for 3-7 days to avoid any reactions to the VOCs the foam emits.
When we got it, the mattress was rolled up in a vacuum sealed bag, and it was very thin. When we cut it loose, it hissed and blew up and grew to the 12" size it is now!!! Totally freaky!
Mr. Maison Decor ordered a platform and a riser that is put together and placed on top of the 
metal platform to give the bed extra height for an appealing look when covered with bed dressings.
The mattress is in front of the window, and until the headboard arrives, we will let it continue to 
off-gas until we put it together and move it into position.  But until then, I have been hunting for 
bedding for the King size bed.  Which may turn out to be more expensive than the bed and mattress!
 My first purchase was this Belgian tapestry bedspread.  I fell in love with the look of it in a Soft Surroundings catalogue, and that is usually all I need to feel confident that I am going to love something in real life. But one never knows until it when it came I ran right upstairs and opened it up and laid it out on the old bed.  Colby, never to miss a big moment, wanted all in on the decision making too.
We both loved it, and he was careful not to lay on it right away.  These pics are all from my iPhone, and so they aren't quite as true to color as real life, but it looks just like the catalogue pic.  My goal was to have the bedding look complementary to the painted table, and to work with the blue walls in my room.  Both seem to be perfect.  The rug will not be staying, as we are going with sisal.
We need a bedskirt to cover the platform and the riser, so its a necessity for a well dressed bed.
The catalogue pic above shows it with an ecru bedskirt, and I was thinking I would do white. But in person white didn't seem like it would look right.  So I searched online for bedskirts at Country Curtains, Overstock, Pottery Barn, Target....and then I thought why not check Horchow?
 Horchow is a very pricey catalogue company that has beautiful things at staggering prices.  
But one never knows what one will find, unless they look, right?
 And what to my wondering eyes should appear on the sale page, 
but this King sized Cotton Voile dust ruffle in a color called Sea glass, marked down to $78. 
And wouldn't this color look beautiful?  YES IT WOULD AMY!!
 (*Putting item in cart and processing sale)  
Now the bedding set it was shown with didn't catch my eye, but the color of the skirt did.  
That is a terrific deal on a bedskirt, and its not polyester or rayon, it is cotton, another big plus!
 As a matter of fact they had some gorgeous bedding on sale. I particularly love these bedspreads that have built in ruffle from the top of the bed's edge to the floor.  They are called skirted coverlets, and I think they are wonderful.  You wouldn't need a bedskirt, but I can see they have one on this bed.
How pretty is this set in that aquamarine blue?  Now the coverlet is kind of pricey, even on sale, but the shams are all on sale and sometimes you may want to add a few pillows to an existing set to give it a fresh new look.
 Another pretty coverlet in periwinkle...
A lovely pink ensemble with gorgeous trimmings, also on sale.  So I advise hunting around in all the shops, from Target to Horchow to see what you come up with.  Soft Surroundings also had bedskirts but I didn't see anything that spoke to me.  I also needed an 18" or 19" drop, 
and most shops will have choices, from the classic 14" drop to elevated drops of 20" or more.  All this online shopping occurred mostly because I have a cold, and was home bound this weekend.  Since all the bed parts were arriving I was desperate to get the extra things I needed to finish off the bed.  I still need to get a new down duvet and that might be it.  A HUGE snow storm is upon us for Tuesday, the day the upholstered headboard is set to arrive.  Here is to hoping it arrives on schedule!
And the good news is, that after only two days there seems to be no smell in our bedroom at all. YAY!

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Chateau style bedroom makeover plan

Our bedroom, as shown in the Spring issue of Romantic Country Magazine,
is getting a makeover.  After spending a week in Florida at a wonderful rental 
home, sleeping every night on a super comfy King size bed, hubs and I decided to
make the switch from Queen to King.  While I am excited about the new bigger mattress,
it also meant we would need a new bed, bed frame and bedding, 
which was the really exciting part!
The bedding part was easy. 
I have always loved this tapestry style bedspread from Soft Surroundings. 
 It has that Old World Frenchy Chateau look that you all know I love, and the colors
couldn't be more perfect!  We both decided to go for a bed without a footboard, to allow for more room in our smallish bedroom.  So that meant a bedspread like this could finally work.  These spreads
don't look great when sandwiched in between a headboard and footboard.  I finally could order the spread I had lusted over, ever since I laid eyes upon it.  
Imagine that spread with my painted antique table....yum zone!
The new headboard will be a fabric headboard, since it is easier to mix it in with the existing bedroom furniture.  I ordered it online, and took a roll of the dice, chance wise, in the color department, since I picked out a blue fabric headboard. I think the blue fabric will be closer to the painted table than the lighter blue of the spread.  It could be totally wrong or amazingly right.... 
I will just have to wait and see how it looks with the walls and the spread.
The only real dilemma I see, is that the bed will go in front of our window, and I have always
hated that layout option.  Its not great, putting most furniture in front of a window, lets face it.
So I am cooking up some creative ideas on what to
do with the window and the wall behind the bed, so that it looks GREAT!!!
Not ok, not kind of alright, but really wonderful.....and I have a few ideas.
Of course I could just put up wider curtains as a backdrop, but that seems very boring.
I am thinking of a hardscape back behind the tufted blue bed.  Think old doors on barn sliders
that could open and close to allow access to light and air, and provide a stunning rustic backdrop.
I have been looking at inspiration photos of beds in front of windows, and I haven't seen
anything as pretty and as rustic and as cool as what I envision in my mind.
Wish me luck!

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