creme de menthe

I’ve got a before and after to share today and a new color combination that I am digging…

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6129

This French provincial nightstand started out rough.  Even the drawer pull was on upside down.  However it had great lines and most of the wood was raw making it a great starting point for milk paint.  This well-loved piece needed a thorough cleaning and some repair before paint.

I was hoping that the paint would find a few areas to resist and it sure did creating the perfect crackle effect with a bit of chipping.

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6144

I applied two coats of Layla’s Mint without bonding agent to the body.  The drawer and the side detail was painted Marzipan.

The nightstand was waxed and distressed with furniture wax and a little bit of antiquing wax.

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6140

The drawer pull received a makeover as well.  I used gold gilding wax to give it a new look.

French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6148

Overall, I love the color combination and will be trying marzipan and Layla’s mint together again soon.   These colors combined with the aged yellow headboard, lamp & alarm clock are really working for me.  Perhaps because the headboard is French provincial as well.  Either way it all seems perfectly imperfect including the rumpled sheets, ticking fabric and chipped milk paint.  Sigh…  The nightstand is not staying here though.  French provincial nightstand Layla's Mint & Marzipan #mmsmp-6133

It is for sale at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

yes, that’s a light

Last week I shared some updates regarding vintage in the kitchen.  We didn’t stop at the furniture and accessories but took it to the lighting too.

flea market style kitchen

The funnel-like object over the dining table started the recycled lighting movement in the kitchen.  This piece has been lighting our meals for over a year now.  I still love its quirk and charm.  And we still have no idea as to what it could have possibly been in a former life.  We assume it belonged on a farm but have no idea.  The mystery continues.  I love to hear guesses.

vintage SERVE letters

Ryan installed a new light where one didn’t exist.  This is essentially a foyer area where the door opens into the room.  We needed lighting to define the space.  We found this galvanized piece at an antique store and both instantly thought “light”.  I know, it’s as if a light went off!  Anyway, it appears to be the top of a cupola and that’s exactly how it was found.  Ryan wired it to serve as a pendant in this space.

cuppola top turned pendant light

Across the room, we replaced the light above the sink.  I love this beautiful rusty structure.  This is a wind turbine/air vent that more than likely came from a barn or commercial building.  It is large and in charge.  Light peeks out of all of the openings casting pretty shadows on the ceiling at night.

wind turbine air vent turned light fixture

Just for fun, the before pictures…

There are still a number of updates and DIY projects to go in this room like making use of the pesky space above the cabinets and replacing the hood.  In the meantime, we’re enjoying the vintage aspects so much more than the dated builder grade choices.  It is fun to push the envelope.  Why not?

wind turbine air vent turned light fixture

More out of the ordinary kitchen projects:

vintage in the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home.  That is certainly the case in our home.  We’ve never done a gut renovation to the space.  Instead we’ve tackled one DIY project at a time to make it feel more like “us”.  Regardless of all of the other projects we’re working on, we always seem to come back to the kitchen.  This winter Ryan redid the floors and closet doors.

vintage kitchen

When putting the room back together between every project, I find that more and more vintage accessories creep into the room which makes me very happy.  Occasionally we find something so unique or that it is deemed a keeper.  I’ve been hoarding some of these keepers for years just waiting for the right space.  Before I give you a tour of the vintage treasures in action, let’s check out a kitchen before and after from the same angle…for fun.

Milk Crate

I’ve had this milk crate for as long as I can remember.  It has been totally utilitarian.  It has served as a centerpiece filled with vases.  Now, turned on its side and mounted to the wall, it is a spice rack.  The openings are the perfect size for pint ball jars and smaller.

milk crate turned spice rack

Vintage quart ball jars work well as canisters on a rack in the pantry.

kitchen organization with ball jar canisters

Produce Scale

This scale is just divine in its vintage green paint glory.  I didn’t even have to think out of the box for its use.  Once again, it is a produce scale housing potatoes.  I love that the face says Philadelphia.

Potting Bench

The old potting bench is made from reclaimed wood and topped in zinc.  It is the perfect microwave cart with a drawer for linens and a shelf to corral cookbooks and cutting boards.  It frees up storage space elsewhere.  Plus, it’s so charming!

potting bench turned microwave cart

Copy Easel

The metal copy easel was a gift a few years back.  I find it to be totally practical as a cookbook stand.  It even has an arm that serves as a placeholder.

We’ve also added some fantastic recycled lighting. I’ll be sharing that soon.

How do you incorporate vintage into your kitchen?

pretty in pink

Around this time last week I shared a picture of this adorable pink nightstand on social media.  This was a custom paint job for a little girl who loves pink.  And also for her stylish mom who is designing a beautiful “big girl room” with pink included, of course.  You can see Holly’s inspiring design board over on her blog.

Arabesque Nightstand- Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

What I didn’t share was the dresser.  The base and curve perfectly coordinate with the nightstand although they’re not originally a set.  A little bit of paint ties them and the room together.

Arabesque Dressser- Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

While the nightstand was matte black, the dresser was very shiny – perhaps some poly was applied to it.  I rarely sand a piece prior to painting but we weren’t looking for a chippy look and that shine made me nervous.  I gave the dresser a once over with 100 grit sandpaper to prep it for paint.

Can you guess what this beautiful soft color is?
Arabesque Dressser-5852

It is MMS milk paint Arabesque from the new European Colors.  I used bonding agent in every coat and applied several thin coats.  I find this gives the best adhesion when avoiding a heavily distressed or chippy look.

Arabesque Dressser #mmsmp

I had fun accentuating the paint color with the waxes.  I used all three – white, antiquing and furniture wax.  The white really captures the detail such as these spindles.  White wax also softens the pink and pulls in the mood of the design board.  There is just a tiny bit of antiquing wax around the corners to add some depth.  And the rest was finished with furniture wax to seal and protect.

Arabesque Dressser + white wax

But the true finishing touch is the set of porcelain knobs that Holly found.  The black and white knobs are the perfect set of “bling” for this feminine dresser, don’t you think?

Arabesque Dressser- porcelain knobs

winter blues

There’s yet another winter storm forecasted for later this week.  Admittedly, I am not totally devastated by this news.  Why?  Well, because I’m bringing the spring indoors with perky pastels and pops of color to pass the final stretch of winter.  Plus I’m planning a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show to get an early dose of spring gardening.  Assuming the winter storm doesn’t get in my way.

Cottage Living Room - Bergere Coffee Table-5866

At any rate, I’ve been having a ball with the new European Colors in the MMS milk paint line.  Today I am sharing a coffee table updated with Bergere.  It is a bit of a smoky light blue and pairs well with white wax for a beach cottage look.

MMSMP Bergere

The table base was painted with 2 coats of Bergere with the addition of bonding agent.  The chunky turned legs remind me of a cross between farmhouse and beach house style.  Ryan built and stained the top.  It is a big, sturdy piece that will be around for years.  Imagine the hours of Monopoly that will be played on that thing.  This piece will be for sale at The West End Garage.

Monkey fist knobs are a great accessory.  I love these.  We now carry them in both locations in various colors.  They are all hand-knotted and made in the USA by a small family owned business.  Aren’t they fun?

Monkey Fist Knobs

Did that tray catch your eye?  The colors are just perfect.  It is made out of reclaimed barnwood.  We have a few of these available in the chippy blues seen here.

Cottage Living-Barnwood Tray

P.S. I am searching for the first mate that pairs with the captain lamp seen here. I put out an SOS on instagram with the mate’s picture.  Let me know if you see the first mate lamp for sale!  We need him.

Old Salt Ship Captain Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

tiny house living

Have you been following the tiny house trend that has swept the nation over the past few years?  I am totally captivated with the concept and it seems to be making its way east.  I have been following this site and I’m smitten with the homes that are built using reclaimed materials. Surely you can see what there is to love…

Honestly, I don’t know if I could commit to tiny house living 100% because I love stuff and I’m a bit of a hoarder quite frankly.  In 2013 we downsized to approximately 1000 square feet of live/work space.  At times it can be hard.  Not so much living small but working small.  On the other hand, it presents a fun challenge allowing one to push the organizational boundaries, consider how they use and store items especially clothing and kitchen gadgets.  Clothing was the area that we purged most when downsizing due to limited closet space.

We often daydream about owning a tiny guest house at some point.  How fun would it be to put friends up in their own secluded tree house or cabin coming in at just a few hundred square feet of comfortable living space?  We have casually looked at pre-fab cabins although I’m not sure that this is the route we’d go if given the opportunity to own a tiny house.  When it comes to owning a tiny house there are utilities to consider, land use ordinances and many other legalities and associated expenses.  Spoiler alert!  That is where our dreaming has stopped at this point but never say never as this trend is becoming more mainstream and accepted.

We’ve actually had our share of tiny house stays over the years while traveling across the states.  Often I consider how the spaces were used in those rentals to accommodate two people.  I dug through my archives to share two of my favorite tiny house stays.  Both were stand alone buildings at about 300 and 400 square feet including a kitchen, full bed and full bath.  How much more do you need?

New Mexico Casita

Casita actually means small house in Spanish.  I loved the outside of this building.  It fit right in amongst the Santa Fe architecture.  When you walked into the home, you faced the sleeping quarters.  The kitchen and bath were to the right.  Another beautiful architectural feature was the brick floor.

NM casita/ tiny house

NM casita interior

Colorado Cabin

Both of these homes had distinct exterior features and private outdoor space.  The cabin just outside of Aspen was a dream mostly due to its setting.  When you walked into the knotty pine cabin there was a seating area to the right.  Straight ahead was a sleeping loft which was above the bathroom and kitchen spaces.  I like the loft for the fact that it saved space in the living quarters however I’m not sure that climbing a ladder into bed every night is ideal.  I’d prefer stairs to a loft.  The majestic view from bed was worth it though!

CO tiny house cabin

CO cabin interior Aspen, CO

Would you ever consider tiny house living?  If so, would you choose a lofted sleeping area or one in the center of the home?  Rustic reclaimed building materials or modern and new?