Vintage fiends like myself always have a list of must-find items tucked away in the back of one’s mind. Perhaps it is an industrial antique scale, a factory cart coffee table, a 1940’s 2-tier plant stand (not to be specific or anything).
For me, as of late, it was a brass bed.
Not a cheap, shiny 1980’s brass bed but a high quality solid brass with a warm patina. A queen size brass bed with serious antique style which would make it vintage, of course, because queen size beds weren’t available until the 1950’s or so. And the price had to be right. After only a few months searching, the perfect piece popped up on Craigslist. The only problem was that it was over 2 hours away. This was a great deal even factoring in gas and tolls. Ryan made the trip picking up the head board, foot board and frame for my birthday. Lucky girl.
This bed was a game changer for sure. It works very well with our existing French provincial family heirloom furniture. That’s not going anywhere. However, I decided to part with the coastal salvage vibe that we had going on previously.
I found a fantastic brass hued mirror that coordinated very well with the furniture and lamps. I brought in Mildred, the necklace-wearing-bust, and other vintage jewelry vessels that I’ve collected. The window seat got outfitted with more pillows because there are never enough. And we finally did something with one of our wedding pictures turning it into a canvas for above the bed. The shell lamps stayed as did the duvet with the addition of new ticking shams.
The biggest change of all is the flooring. Previously this room was outfitted with pink carpet. This winter our home has received many upgrades including new flooring throughout thanks to my patient husband who has redone almost every square foot. I floated a flat weave, natural chevron rug over the weathered-look wood floor.
This bedroom now has a sophisticated yet collected vibe featuring vintage finds and family heirlooms. Each one tells a story. Of course, it is always entertaining to look at the progress of a space. The ‘before’ picture is exactly how this room looked when we first saw the house. It gives me the heebie jeebies. The next one shows how it was last styled with a coastal salvage spin. And of course the present look. You can see that the symmetry remains the same.
What is on your must-find list?
I’ve got a before and after to share today and a new color combination that I am digging…
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.
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.
The drawer pull received a makeover as well. I used gold gilding wax to give it a new look.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vintage quart ball jars work well as canisters on a rack in the pantry.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
Ryan and I recently went away to beautiful Vermont. I really, really love New England and our increasing trips north. That part of the country boasts so many beautiful old homes brimming with character and antiques. No wonder I feel right at home there.
We stayed in a circa 1900 home that encompassed the style of the region so well. It was at the end of a snow-covered mountain road within walking distance to town. Every detail was perfect from the stacks of old books to the antique church pew and area rug. I had serious rug envy! I’m also coveting French doors.
While Ryan skied in the below freezing temperatures, I explored back roads, dug through little shops and read. I had very limited access to the online world. Sorry friends but it was great to disconnect for this vacation.
However, it is always nice to get back home to our own routine. So long for now, Vermont!
Let’s talk New Jersey for a minute. Cape May specifically. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was milk painting a cedar closet a rich navy – Artissimo. Well, here it is!
This started off as a generic old thrift store cedar closet. They’re a dime a dozen. I particularly liked the size of this one as I had a space for it in the cottage we’re working on.
The closet required very little prep work as the wood was mostly raw. I used two coats of Artissimo without bonding agent. I love the richness and depth in this color. I probably could have gotten away with just one coat since this wood soaked up the paint so nicely. I anticipated some chipping milk paint where there was a bit of varnish left but only one area across the front chipped. I couldn’t have planned the placement better myself. The entire piece was finished with furniture wax.
I took this opportunity to hand paint the “on the way to Cape May” lyrics across the flat closet front which is always a hit in these parts. We finished off the front with a new glass knob.
I left the inside unpainted and I swear it is not that orange in real life! We get beautiful natural light in this room which is mostly a blessing but in this case, a curse. This closet will function perfectly for guests to use. I can’t wait to pull the rest of the room together. The room will have a bit of a mid-century vibe. You’ll die when I post pictures of the beautiful vintage dresser…
We had a great group turnout for the milk paint demonstration on Sunday. They left me inspired and ready to tackle some of my own projects! As a result, I painted the day away yesterday using the new European colors. Everything is “in progress” so today I’m sharing a December project that I’ve yet to post.
This table was nearly a goner. The veneer on the base was chipped and needed some repair albeit not perfect. We needed new molding around the column to secure it too. It just needed TLC to inject some life into it again.
Empire style furniture dates back to the 1800’s. Often pieces are identified by that round, circular-like foot. I have seen dressers like this but this was the first table so I snatched it up. Those curved feet were what attracted me to it in the first place.
The wood was very worn and raw – a perfect match for milk paint without any bonding agent. I applied 2 coats of Lucketts Green followed by furniture wax with a little bit of antiquing wax to add depth to the color. This table has so many possibilities for its next life. A dining spot in a small kitchen. An entry table in a large foyer. You name it. It is for sale at The West End Garage.
And these arrows. I can’t get enough of them. The colors are so bright and cheerful. I’ll tell you, I become a real hoarder this time of year. Constantly editing and re-editing vignettes at home. It might be time to thin out this collection though.