secretaries day

Aside from being Earth Week, turns out it is Administrative Professionals Week a.k.a. Secretaries Day.  Calling a person your secretary is so passe but you can still refer to your furniture as your secretary without any raised eyebrows.  This, my friends, is a secretary desk.  A beautiful serpentine one at that.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6429

It was a hand-me-down from family friends.  I was so sad that it didn’t fit my own secretary nook where we have a more petite version.  The ample storage and curvy base are something to be envious of regardless of the missing support.  Low and behold it fits perfectly in the entry of my parent’s cottage.  Yes, the cottage.  Remember that fixer upper we’ve been working on?

When you enter the house, you walk directly into a room larger than a foyer but smaller than a living room.  It is actually a porch that was converted into a room.  We’re calling it the parlor as it opens up to a larger family room.  It is the perfect space to store beach towels, kick off your flip-flops, drop your keys and pen a postcard.  All of which can be done with the help of the secretary.  Who says you don’t need a secretary at the beach?

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6444

This little gem was one of the first pieces of furniture we moved in months ago.  It needed to be lightened up for this cottage space.  Pink seemed like a fun and unexpected choice yet MMSMP Arabesque is not overly feminine.  It received 2 coats of Arabesque with bonding agent added. I played around with the waxes and worked in both white and antiquing wax for some depth while also lightly distressed.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6437

The drawers were painted separately from the body and you may notice that they have a slightly peach hue to them.  This is the fun that milk paint can offer.  Slight variation like this is what I love about it.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6434

As for the rest of the cottage, it is slowly but surely coming together with the addition of another bathroom being the major project which is subsequently holding up some of the others.  Not to mention this has been a part-time project for all of us.  However, we finished painting the oak kitchen cabinets but have yet to choose hardware or make a few other updates in the kitchen.  I’ll snap some pictures soon so I can share details about the process of milk painting cabinets.

vintage serpentine secretary desk painted arabesque MMSMP-6442

Finally, I’d like to mention that I’ll be in Doylestown on Sunday demonstrating milk paint to those who are interested!  Join us…

mmsmp april

 

 

 

 

Cape May magazine

The spring edition of Cape May magazine is now available.  Aside from featuring everything we love about this town, the regional magazine also offers a regular decorating column called Interior Motives.  Earlier this season, I was asked to contribute to the current column’s theme of refreshing the bathroom.

Bathrooms?  I can talk bathrooms!

Bathroom task lights turned sconces-6339

I met with the editor and we discussed redecorating the bathroom for the upcoming season using new paint, fixtures and accessories.  Naturally I didn’t stray far from the themes of repurposing and styling with vintage.  The cottage bathroom that we completed last year in our home was mentioned in the article (as well as one we’re currently working on using that pretty brass fixture).

Bathroom task lights turned sconces-6344

Here’s how that cottage bathroom looks today with the addition of sconce lighting that we recently added over the sink.  For months I was on the hunt for just the right vanity light fixture.  Then, at the flea market, I came across a pair of gooseneck, task lamps.  Thinking outside of the box, it was clear to me that these lights could be the finishing touch that we needed in this bathroom.  Insert light bulb pun here.

Bathroom task lights turned sconces-6328

Ryan worked his magic dismantling and reconfiguring these task lights into sconces.  He took off the switches and exterior cord and hardwired them to work on the light switch.  We also sprayed them glossy heat-resistant white.

And voila, a custom vanity light for our bathroom.  I like how the lights have a gallery vibe to them as if they’re illuminating the heirloom mirror like a piece of fine art.  If you’re curious, you can see how we constructed the vanity out of a dresser here.

Bathroom task lights turned sconces-6332

The magazine article also references ways to use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the bathroom. We talked about using tough coat as a protective top coat to preserve wood surfaces around water and humidity such as the mirror.

Check out the magazine next time you’re in Cape May.  You can always purchase online too.

spring happenings

Spring is just around the corner!  My favorite time of year.  Everyone comes out of hibernation.  Daffodils begin to emerge.  The days continue to get longer.  We start freshening up our porches and outdoor spaces while confirming summer vacation plans.  Oh the prospect of the season ahead.  It is so exciting, isn’t it?

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6024

We’ve made a few plans of our own.  Circa Dee is heading to Clover Market this spring.  We’re keeping it small and sharing space with In With The Old at 2 of the 4 spring markets.  We’ve been stashing vintage finds for Clover Market all winter long.  It is going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to see YOU.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6021

Expect to find Circa Dee and In With The Old at the season opener in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, April 12th.  And the season closer on Sunday, June 7th in Bryn Mawr – note the new location.  You can check out all of the market details here.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6027

The next milk paint demonstration is scheduled for this Sunday, March 23rd at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.  All are welcome.  No registration required.  Just plain fun.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6028

Down at The West End Garage in Cape May, we’re stocked for spring.  Be sure to stop by and visit us while you’re at the beach!  The West End Garage is open Friday-Sunday in March & Friday-Monday in April.  Hope to see you soon.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6031

snow way

Finally Cape May county got hit with a snowstorm!  Usually we just get rain or a dusting when winter storms move through the region.  This storm was all ours though, dumping a manageable half-foot Monday night.  The snow quietly enveloped the region – from coast to farmland.  Very exciting.  The tide seemed to slow down just enough to allow the water to freeze under the frigid temperatures.  It is almost unbelievable to see the beach in this state, isn’t it?  Ryan was on feeding duty at the local alpaca farm.  I tagged along to visit the animals who seemed less than impressed with the snow.  Just look at their expressions!

snow at Sunset Beach Cape May-5834

 

from snow to sun

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.

Vermont snow

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.Vermont cottage

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!

Artissimo closet-5764

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.

closet before

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.

Artissimo closet-5768

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.

Artissimo closet-5774

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…

Artissimo closet-5772

 

 

windows of 2014

In just a few short hours we will be celebrating the arrival of 2015. It sounds completely surreal: 2015!  We certainly live in the future.  The age of hashtags, selfies and admittedly more social media acronyms than I can keep up with.  True confession, I thought #MCM stood for mid-century modern.  Who knew man crush Monday was a thing?

I am happy to celebrate the past everyday surrounded by pretty and practical vintage things.  I thought that it would be fun to close out 2014 with some of my favorite displays from our window at The West End Garage.

We took up residence in this space in March and started off with an Easter themed window.

easter spring window display

Spring came with a walk in the garden.

spring summer window display

Summer arrived along with our busy season and the omission of a few fun windows.  I have resolved to take more photos with an actual camera in 2015 to capture all of our displays!

patriotic window display

Fast forward to fall…my favorite season and perhaps my favorite window of the year.

fall window display

fall window display

We closed out the year with the magical Victorian dollhouse. A mini version of Christmas in Cape May when historical homes are decked out from eaves to gingerbread trim.

Christmas winter window display, victorian dollhouse

Fun fact:  The West End Garage is a very old building that was originally a Ford Model T dealer.  I believe this front space was the showroom hence the beautiful tin walls and ceilings that are still in tact.  Then it became an auto shop called, none other than, The West End Garage.  We’re so lucky to be part of such a unique space.  If you haven’t been in before, you have to put it on your list for 2015.

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ (26 of 28)

If you’re lucky enough to celebrate the New Year in Cape May, be sure to stop by.  Everything is on sale today and tomorrow.  Thanks for a great year and Happy 2015!