Thursday, July 25, 2019

Antique Wall Cabinets and Gingham Dollhouse Roof

Picking up where we left off on our last visit, I mentioned I had
rehabbed two vintage wall cabinets for the house. And I am pretty sure 
I talked about my Gypsy picker who carries the cool stuff I love.
 This is the photo she sent me showing me the cabinet 
and the Florentine chest of drawers.
Was I interested? doubt about it! Of course I was!!
The wall cabinet was a bit dilapidated, with flaking red interior paint and a 
thick coat of gold paint that was bubbling right off the surface.
She told me it had been left out in the rain once or twice....
no matter to me, I knew I could "restore" it so it retained its
old world glamour.  Mind you these paint issues were not the original
paint that had started deconstructing, they were paint jobs applied
by either my Gypsy girl or a previous owner. 
 I scraped off the failing paint to reveal the gesso undercoat that all of these Italian pieces
have.  A huge wall mirror that was hung on this wall was promptly taken down and 
the sadly worn arch top cabinet was hauled into the room. 
 YES!!! I was in LOVE.
 A coat of Jolie's Paint in Swedish Grey 
was applied over the sides, top and door surround,
to cover up the gaudy hardware store gold paint. 
 To keep the old vintage look, I left
the rest of the exterior as is, even the exposed gesso bits. 
The interior was painted with Jolie's Eucalyptus (a grey green)
to hide the red and done so in a scrappy fashion so some of the white undercoat
was still visible so it wouldn't look like a freshly painted piece. 
After hanging it, it clearly still looked too new. 
It needed to be aged so a coat of clear finishing wax
mixed with a bit of dark wax did the trick.
 The old Italian/French cabinet had much to love about it.
The colors look beautiful with the Bosphorous Toile fabric 
on my chair.
 This is "my spot" in our living room. The old bench holds 
all the books and magazines I am reading at any given time.
 Less is more when filling up a wall cabinet.
Some art I have had for 20 years took the top shelf,
alabaster bird baths took the center shelf, and the books I brought 
home from Versailles from an old book store share the bottom shelf 
with my peg legged lamb.
Ahhh the grillwork with the pretty florettes!

Definition of Florette:
  1.  A small flower 
  2. The mythological Roman goddess of flowers  

 The broken arch top of the wall cabinet mimics the 
secretary which also has a broken arch pediment. The
room is coming along nicely, with the updates in furniture
and colors.  We are in love with that squishy lilac sofa!
And lastly, here is quick shot of the only dollhouse work done lately.
Reeve's little cottage got a blue gingham fabric roof.  Which made me 
think, why can't real houses have pretty roofs like this?
Next I will add the gingerbread trim to the gables and possibly install
the staircase.  She is a bit rough with the house, so I decided not 
to go to the trouble of glueing on one million cedar shingles only
to have her pick them off one by one. In the end it came out quite cute.
I decoupaged the fabric on with ModPodge and when it dried I lightly
sanded it to give it a soft feeling.  Next up will be the last item I
got from my Gypsy girl....which I turned into the most fabulous
medicine cabinet for my bathroom!

Maison Decor readers will get 20% off orders over $200
using this link: INF-AMYMAISONDECOR

Read more »

Monday, July 22, 2019

Mixing Italian, French, Swedish decor and a glamorous gilded chest

 I've been in redecorating mode in the house, and it shouldn't
be a surprise but I have found more antiques with European roots.
The prettiest Florentine chest of drawers fell into my lap, so to speak.
 I often say that things find me, however in this case, I went looking
for some old gilded Florentine furniture.  Several years ago I had a shop that carried
 vintage European style decor and paint for furniture.  I was fortunate to meet
a wonderful gypsy girl picker.  She would come in unannounced, bringing
incredibly beautiful old things for me to purchase for my shop.
 Anyway, I reached out to her and asked her if she had any Florentine pieces...
and she said yes, she would send me some photos.
And here it is, sitting in all its gilded glory in our living room.
The large cherub candelabra lamp came back out of hiding and
took its spot on top of the chest of drawers.
A collection of mismatched lampshades gives 
it a little bit of quirky summer style. I imagined making a set of blue gingham 
lampshades for it, just like I had made for the candelabra in my dollhouse.
Life imitating art.  I love it!
 Redecorating mode has hit me full on this summer and I 
have been painting pieces and murals and editing the furniture.
A very soft and pretty yet old look is taking shape.
A bit Swedish inspired, and always French of course, and the bits of 
gilded Italian pieces have settled in together to create a room with a refreshed vibe.
 The oval back curbside French chairs are high on the to-do list.
Imagine them all around the table opposite the Swedish trundle bed.
Of course the Florentine chest wasn't the only piece I got from gypsy girl...
next time we meet here, you will see two yummy old and awesome wall cabinets.

Read more »

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Gustavian Inspired Pastoral Painted Secretary

Gustavian style is so pretty!
Gustavian is Swedish with a French influence, which began when
King Gustav III started hanging out in France with King Louis XIV.
Gustav went home and copied Louis but put the Swedish spin on things.
Hence "Gustvian" style was born. 
 I gravitate towards the Gustavian color palette of pale blue, white, grey
and cream and decided to paint some landscape scenes on the panels of the 
small secretary desk, that would capture the essence of Gustavian style.
 Pastoral scenery is so serene and pretty and I have been 
doing a series of pieces with these types of landscapes,
the secretary is the latest in my "Gustavian phase". 
Each drawer has raised borders and I painted landscapes inside
each one, followed by gilding the raised part.
I painted a French Maison on the drop leaf as a nod to 
my Petite French Maison Dollhouse. 
 I used the gold color wax by Jolie Paint, and it highlighted the scenes nicely.
The scenes were painted with many of the colors from
 Jolie Paint's serenity collection.
This is before gilding.  I was torn about whether or not 
to add the gilding, because this looked more like a simple 
country look which was pretty too.
 It came out beautifully and adds to the room.  
Oh, and did you notice the lilac colored sofa with fringe?  
It is a Scalamandre sofa. I lucked out at an estate sale and I love this thing! 
These sofas run in the thousands, and that is out of my budget, 
so thank heavens for estate sales and other people with great taste! 
It looks pretty with all of my purple transfer ware,
 including the lamps that I have in this room.

Off in the dining room you can see some of the other pieces in the
 Gustavian series that I have created.  And there will be more to come,
because that is how it goes when I get obsessed by something.

Read more »

Monday, July 8, 2019

A White Vinyl Arbor for the Roses

Something was missing.  Ever since last winter when a big windstorm
blew apart our old white wooden arbor, the entrance to the 
upper level where the garden shed sits seemed quite bare.
 Looking out our bedroom window you can best see the 
layout of the garden shed and the row of
arborvitaes that flanked the wooden arbor.
After a nasty storm blew it to bits hubs put two of the peacock
chairs at the entryway, one of which was used to prop up the 
climbing rose that was formerly on the arbor.
Anyway as time passed and spring and summer arrived, I felt the 
desire to rebuild or replace the broken arbor.
 After searching online and reading many reviews of vinyl arbors, 
I selected the Vienna Arbor by New England Arbors company. 
Vinyl can look cheesy and this one seemed to get very good reviews and it
looked fairly substantial. 
 This was definitely a two person job, and hubs took the lead in
assembling the thing, while I held onto various parts as he drilled the set screws.
 After about one hour we took the assembled arch and side posts out to the lawn.
 And then I spotted a big hornets nest right in the middle of one of the arborvitaes!!
 There were so many hornets going in and out and crawling all around the paper nest.
I was more than a little nervous we were going to get stung!
We positioned the arbor a bit further out from the hedge, than it originally sat,
so we could avoid disrupting the hornets to get the darn thing in place.
 The arbor comes with heavy duty inserts for each post leg that get buried below the earth.
You can also choose to put 2x4's inside the legs and set in cement, but we just buried them.
 Its quite nice! Not difficult to assemble if you have someone who is handy
with a drill gun. The screws are the self drilling type, which means you must
firmly push the drill without the screw flying off, and hubs was good at that.
And you need two people holding various parts as it all gets put together. 
 After we set it up, I trained the roses to it and stepped back to admire it!
This company has various styles of arbors in different sizes as well as pergolas and 
other outdoor accents.  This is not a sponsored post, just sharing a good product with you all.
Since we plan to move, the cost of doing this was acceptable and I won't shed a tear to leave it 
behind. Can you believe it was less than $200? And it arrived in just a couple of days!
This Vienna Arbor by New England Arbors was purchased on Amazon.
Easy Peasy!

Read more »

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Lake Cottage, Garden and the 4th of July

The middle of the year is upon us! How fast winter turns to summer it seems.
Winter drags on and somehow summer seems to be in a rush, for us in New England.
The fourth of July is always a favorite holiday, centered around relaxing and cookouts
and easy celebrations. Decorating for the 4th is all about the flag, and I was excited to 
find this nostalgic and festive looking fabric that had both flags and roses.  The fabric is called Americana Summer Roses and can be found here at LilyOak's Spoonflower account.
I bought three yards to use as a tablecloth and can see this piece of fabric becoming a family
heirloom in the way that it will grace our tables on the 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day for
years to come!  
Its so pretty with the rose wreaths and swirling flags, dotted by unexpected yellow roses.
I can even throw it over my wicker daybed in front of the cottage windows
to add holiday flair instead of using it as a tablecloth at the lake cottage.
Last weekend we all went up and did some cleaning and site work at the cottage
that suffered a lot of damage from last year's microburst storm.
Over the winter the critters find their way inside and its deflating to come back
and see the damage and filth that awaits....but I got a lot of work done inside while hubs
and son worked on the outside with the excavator clearing the trees and stumps and 
making the lot more pedestrian friendly.  The big logs are all gone now!
It will be at least one more year before we can build here, so we are preparing
to enjoy it as much as we can for these two short summer months.
Our son got his boat license and its going to be really fun having
 two boat operators at the ready for lake cruises and waterski adventures.
We even hung a flag down by the dock, anchoring it on a tree.
 Back at home our gardens are coming to full bloom, and that is 
another pleasure of our short summer season that I savor.
 Three years ago we installed this white picket fence with both privacy panels
and open pickets and its one of my favorite upgrades we have done to the house.
The inner area contains the dogs when they need to go in and out, and I've always felt
that a gate is an enchanting way to enter a property.
Along the outer fence there are some roses that are 
in their second year, and the star of the show is 
this abundant Fairy Rose.  I also have a few David Austin rose bushes,
but they are high maintenance compared to the hearty Fairy.
The clematis is in its third year and putting on quite a show right now!
Summer has Reeve enjoying the outdoor activities with me, and that includes
teaching her how to pull weeds (haha) and take little breaks in her kiddy pool.
She turned two last month and with that comes a lot more fun with her
being able to be a big girl helping her grammy.
Piper and Sylvia are ever present at our heels as we walk about the yard
doing our watering and weeding and planting. 
Life is the way it should be,
with the simple pleasures of family connections and 
always being mindful of our abundance.

Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th!

Read more »