european colors & a demo

They’re here!  The much-anticipated European colors will hit shelves this weekend at both shops, Serendipity & The West End Garage.  I can’t wait for you to get your hands on these beautiful colors.  I mixed up a few of them yesterday and couldn’t love them more.  Here’s some feedback thus far… arabesque-collage Arabesque is a soft, ballet pink.  I have a bulky beat up secretary desk that I “earmarked” for this color.  Yesterday I applied the first coat and can’t wait to work on this piece further.  I am convinced this color doesn’t have to be girly with the addition of some antiquing wax.  I’ll be sure to share the results here. Mora-Collage Mora is very possibly my new favorite!  The color is questionable.  Is it silver gray?  Is it blue green?  Even a neutral?  This one is a chameleon and changes with the light and surroundings.  I painted a sample to consider for kitchen cabinets that I’m getting ready to work on.  I think it leaves just the right pop without being in your face nor is it too quiet. marzipan-Collage I quickly mixed up Marzipan which true to its name is a creamy neutral.  For me, this goes in the Ironstone/Linen category.  Ironstone is by far our most popular seller but perhaps one can switch things up and try using Marzipan which is off white with a hint of yellow but not as yellow as Linen. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with the other 3 colors just yet but here they are, full of beautiful potential… bergere-collage layla's mint  Schloss-Collage Our next free milk paint demonstration is on Sunday at Serendipity in Doylestown at 1 pm.  Please join us, even if you’ve come to a demo before.  We’ll have the new European colors in stock and I’ll be mixing up samples for you to see! If you can’t make it on Sunday but would like to snag a new color, we are currently taking pre-sales online here. Jan demo

cottage chic

My parents recently bought a quaint cottage in our bay side neighborhood.  They’re thrilled to finally own a vacation home which has been their lifelong dream.  They plan to spend as much time here as possible and more than likely retire here one day.  Bonus, it’s just a few blocks away from us (and has a huge garage!).  Never did we imagine that we’d all end up as neighbors just blocks from the water.  Actually I guess we did imagine just that but never thought it would happen so soon!

vintage cottage treasures-5641

The three bedroom cottage needs some TLC to bring out its fullest potential. Right now it is basically just a blank canvas, inside and out.  Over the holiday break we made decorating plans for each room beginning with the living areas.  And of course, my mom and I cut to the fun stuff and bought a few accessories although we’re obviously nowhere near styling just yet.

vintage cottage treasures-5643

I’m very excited about the feature wall my dad and I are collaborating on in the family room.  This wall had a terrible texture and not in a faux finish way but more of a botched up drywall tape way.  There might even be some wallpaper under there too.  Who knows.  The home is 50-60 years old.

cottage plank wall before 5548

We decided to go cottage chic and create a horizontal plank wall using packaged white wood tongue & groove shiplap from Lowe’s.  After the wood was acclimated to the home’s environment, it was time for installation.  There is not a level surface in this vintage cottage so leveling the first panel was tough.

cottage plank wall-5549

Subsequently each board went on smoothly using liquid nails to attach it to the wall and brad nails to secure it.  Now that the entire wood wall is installed, it’s time for paint!

driftwood look milk paint wood plank wall during-5654

It is tempting to paint the plank wall bright white and call it a day but you probably guessed that I’d have another idea.  This is raw shiplap wood paneling.  Raw wood is the best kind of wood for milk paint.  It will absorb into the wood like a stain.  Currently we are experimenting with different finishes and techniques to create a look similar to driftwood. Here are a few of the samples.

driftwood look milk paint wood plank samples

I think I am leaning toward ‘linen over curio’.

linen over curio milk paint for a driftwood look

‘Linen over typewriter’ isn’t bad either but more gray than tan.

driftwood look milk paint linen over typewriter I’ll have to check in with my clients and see what they think.  Which is your favorite combination for a beachy, driftwood look without going too dark?

favorite finds for the home

I’ve never properly shared my newest vintage obsession in my home.  That bright orange industrial school locker nestled between vintage French country toile curtains and an amateur ship captain oil painting.  None of it makes any sense but it doesn’t have to, does it?vintage locker, mohair chair, woodstove #vintage

And would you believe my number 1 picker and brother found that flaming orange locker on a curb?  No shame in his game.  Or mine since I paid him for his haul.  Destined for a landfill no more, my friends.  It now houses all of the wood stove accoutrements.

woodstove + orange locker

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, shall we?  The wood stove is a brand new addition this winter.  It is serving us well as our primary source of heat.  Ryan installed the slate tile hearth and I must say that he did a bang up job bringing the rustic vibe I was seeking.  We picked up the iron log holder on our last trip to Brimfield.  I love this cozy corner in our home which is an eclectic mash up of so many vintage styles.  It has set the tone for the direction of the rest of our house.

woodstove, slate hearth

And do I need to mention the vintage walnut & mohair chairs again?  Because I will.  American furniture designer Ward Bennett for Brickel Associates circa 1970.  They go for about three grand on 1st dibs.  Unbelievable.  Let’s just say I paid less than 1% of that and didn’t have an idea of their value until I researched the label.  Neither did the seller obviously.  My most prized find to date!  It certainly pays to buy (or trash pick) what catches your eye.  Always trust your gut when shopping for vintage.

reclaimed wood plant stand, ward bennett mohair chairs, kilim rug

winter blues

I’ve got the winter blues, my friends.  Not so much in spirit.  I’m actually really enjoying this stretch of dark, dreary winter this year surprising even myself.  In year’s past, I would typically be very disappointed when it came time to put away the Christmas decorations and accept the stillness of January.  This year is different though.  I’ve found solitude knowing this period is brief which has led to productivity and organization on the project front.  You’re in for a real treat around here as I share all of the details of each project as they unfold!

french enamel table-5551

As for the blues, that’s all in the paint colors I’ve been gravitating toward.  I’m in the midst of completing a large cedar closet in moody artissimo – a deep midnight blue. Today though, I’m sharing a French enamel end table – more of a cheerful beachy blue.

french enamel table-5559

This table is solid oak and isn’t too old.  It feels very 90’s which reminds me that the 1990’s can technically be classified as vintage already!  Shocking to think that my high school era is basically vintage.  As if!

90s end table before

The decidedly 90’s table has great lines, subtle curves and an inlaid oak grain on the top.

french enamel table-5565

I painted the 1st coat with lucketts green with bonding agent because the table was very shiny to start.  The 2nd coat was painted French enamel without bonding agent.

french enamel table-5568

I often get asked whether you need to use bonding agent in both coats or not.  Here is the correct answer:  For best adhesion, it is recommended that you use bonding agent in all coats.  With that said, I like to walk on the wild side and experiment a bit therefore chose not to use bonding agent in the 2nd coat.  Also, I’m not a perfectionist.  The 2nd coat lifted the paint in some areas creating a distressed, chipping look.

french enamel table-5556

I decided to accent the chipping grain by using white wax liberally.  First I sanded it smooth using a fine grit sandpaper. I blended the white wax with furniture wax and buffed.

french enamel table-5561

This table is the perfect addition for someone’s beach cottage!  Now available at The West End Garage.

french enamel table-5552

shuffling furniture

The first furniture makeover of the year is here!

trophy mmsmp chest + jewel toned wingback

I love how this little vignette came together.  Alone the gray chest of drawers is neutral.  It is painted with 2 coats of MMSMP trophy with bonding agent.  It is a warm gray lightened and sealed with white wax.  It is also a little lighter because the base of this chest was ivory when it started.

trophy mmsmp chest + garnet lamp

This is a newer chest of drawers that was sporting a factory finish.  It wasn’t bad, just uninspiring and of course I wanted to add milk paint.

trophy mmsmp chest + jewel tones

I lightly distressed the edges of the drawers to reveal the ivory underneath.

trophy mmsmp chest

It is just so fun with the addition of the garnet chair, lamp and other jewel tones proving the gray really is the go-to neutral right now.

trophy mmsmp chest + marsala wingback chair

Funny story about that wingback chair…we have an ongoing joke in my family about the furniture shuffle that occurs.  We actually have dubbed it the Marston Shuffle.  It’s not quite a hand-me-down or even a prized family heirloom but more of a shuffle of furniture from home to home.  This chair has been shuffled 3 or 4 times now.

We started noticing this trend when we were buying our first and second homes respectively.  One family would be moving or upgrading furniture and no longer need a chair/table/dresser, etc. while another was trying to outfit a particular space where chair/table/dresser, etc. would work.  And the Marston Shuffle was born!

A piece can come back to the original owner if need-be, although I am pretty sure that hasn’t ever occurred.  Not yet anyway.  Bottom line, if it is sturdy and well-made, then there’s always someone there to scoop up a cast-off piece of furniture when one sibling is no longer interested.  I suppose that is actually the definition of a hand-me-down though, isn’t it?  Well, we prefer to shuffle furniture.

We all have some hoarding tendencies around here I guess.  That lamp by the way was originally mine.  Now it’s my mom’s.  Exhibit B.

trophy mmsmp chest + jewel tones

As for the fete of the chair, it is likely to end up with a light slip cover and maybe even some painted legs but I do love how the vintage, velvet garnet photographed here.

Do I dare say that it is close to Marsala, the color of the year?

trophy mmsmp chest + garnet wingback

At any rate, the trophy chest of drawers is now for sale at The West End Garage which is open Friday-Sunday in January.  The chair though, that will never leave the shuffle!

trophy mmsmp chest + jewel tones-5580

Do you shuffle furniture around your family?

a new year

Happy new year, friends!  Happy Monday.

paperwhites

All of the holiday decorations are put away.  The paperwhites are almost spent.  Christmas is behind us and 360 days of 2015 are spread out in front of us full of so much potential.  A blank canvas waiting to be painted.

narcissus - paper white blooming

I love this feeling of a new year, new intentions, goals and projects. Of course, many projects.  I’ve been editing our to-do lists which encompass both business goals and home improvements.  Over the holidays, a few pieces of furniture were completed too which I’ll post in the coming days as we get them on the sales floor.  Stay tuned!

toile curtains & paperwhites

Note that our first milk paint demonstration of the year will be held on Sunday, January 25th at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.  You won’t want to miss it as we’ll be rolling out the new European Color Line which boasts six beautiful new colors!  Be sure to follow along on facebook & instagram for sneak peeks!

What do you have planned for 2015?

paperwhites

Well, let’s get to it.  Back to the grind!  Some of us have less of a grind than others…sleeping beagle, Wilson