chairs for all seasons

This funny thing happened the other day. It seems to occur to a lot of us in the vintage and furniture flipping industry. I finished refreshing a pair of chairs with milk paint, wax and fabric.  I posed them at either end of our breakfast table just for a mini before and after shoot before bringing them to the shop.  For sale.

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

Well…I think you know where this is headed.  As I snapped pictures to share with you here of the “new” chairs, I was growing more and more fond of them there at the table.

grainsack milk paint & ticking fabric dining chairs

…in our eclectic little nook.  Still a work in progress.  Always a work in progress really.  That is the fun of it naturally because you never know what treasures will find you next.

eclectic breakast nook

The grainsack milk painted chairs just seemed so much lighter and brighter in the space than the others we had in there.  And yes they match the table anyway!

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

The streamlined back is pretty comfortable.  And the caning allows more light to pass through.  It just feels summer-y.  We can change out chairs seasonally, right?

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

For the seats, I used Waverly ticking stripes which plays well off of the grainsack upholstered bench and linen bentwood chairs too.

ticking fabric upholstery

The walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs were looking winter-y there at the table.  However, they are my favorite and aren’t leaving the house.

Eclectic Flea Market Style Breakfast Nook

In fact, I carved out a little sitting area in the living room just for these chairs.  More pictures on that soon but for now an instagram shot preview…

vintage walnut & mohair ward bennet chairs

I certainly have a vintage chair fetish.  How about you?

vintage dining chairs
In other vintage chair related news, we’ll be at Clover Market on Sunday in Ardmore, PA.

Clover Market Spring 2014

And on Saturday at 11 am, I’ll be hosting another free Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demonstration at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

Milk Paint Demo

Perhaps I’ll run into you this weekend!

 

diy cottage style bathroom reno

We have had a quiet yet incredibly productive winter.  We needed it quite frankly.  We also really needed a new bathroom.  The 80’s builder grade hall bath was so dated and just blah.  We gave it a bright makeover on a DIY budget.  Ok, a renovation really.  Here’s how it looked when we acquired the house.  Yikes.

Bathroom Before

Let’s check out the updates.  Come on in…

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

I’ve been hoarding this dresser for a while because I knew it was just right for the new vanity.  And it only cost about $40 because the drawers needed work which is a basic requirement of turning a dresser into a vanity anyway.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Storage is at a minimum in this house so preserving as much drawer space as possible was a goal that we easily met by using a porcelain trough sink instead of a drop sink.  I love how it turned out!

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Check out this post for details on how the vanity was constructed.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Please admire the vanity mirror.  It makes this tiny room seem much larger than it is and the bonus is that we had it all along.  It is very special to me.  The mirror is part of the French provincial bedroom set that I inherited from my grandmother.  I didn’t want to use the mirror with the dresser in our bedroom and opted to split the set up.  It worked out to be the perfect width to pair with the new vanity when hung vertically.  I didn’t touch the old finish.  It seemed like just the right warm, contrast to all of the cool aqua and white.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

 I really can never have enough hound dogs on guard around here.  Especially when they are in the form of vintage paint by numbers.

Vintage Hound Dog Paint By Numbers

Did you catch a glimpse of the shell chandelier.  Yup, I’m pretty smitten with that DIY too.  Sigh.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Details about how we pulled that off for under 30 bucks are posted here.  The salvaged radiator grate is actually acting as a screen to the bathroom fan.  It is so much more interesting looking than the hardware store options.

DIY Shell Chandelier and Bathroom Fan

The renovation began with Ryan demoing out the old vinyl flooring and vanity.

Bathroom demo

He then installed white ceramic hex tile for my birthday present!  The gift of home is the kind I love.  Seriously.  The vintage hooked rug was a birthday gift to myself.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Next up was the PVC beadboard installation that Ryan also DIY’d.  We kept the stained wood molding around the door and window to match the rest of the house.  However, we replaced the door with a white beadboard style which we’ll continue throughout the house.  This seems to be a great compromise between the bright cottage style I love and the craftsman wood style that Ryan loves.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

We picked up a few old brass ship plates last year at Brimfield.  The ‘Certified Private Lavatory’ one found a home paired with the wire bike basket.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

We went with top down window shades again.  I love the privacy they give but the light they allow in.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

Thanks for visiting.  Stay tuned for some DIY tutorials from this room in the coming days.

DIY Vintage Cottage Style Bathroom

a copper top table

Last week I shared the updates we made in the kitchen, specifically in the dining nook. You may have caught a glimpse of our vintage dining table.  It’s a one-of-a-kind find that seems to infuse French legs with a copper top.  And rumor has it that copper is big for 2014.

Flea Market Style Dining Nook

I’d say that the top was a DIY update added to the table by the previous owners.  Most likely copper infused vinyl.  But surely it is real copper because occasionally we get the telltale green copper tarnish.

Copper Top Dining Table

I love when copper tarnishes to beautiful aqua…but not where I am eating.

tarnished copper lid

You may have spied the copper table in the background of some of my recipe posts.  The copper captures the light in such a beautiful way that morphs throughout the day.  It provides such a fabulous backdrop for the pictures too.

apple butternut squash soup

(Butternut Squash Soup)

Spicy Tortilla Soup Recipe

(Spicy Tortilla Soup)

So you want to know where we found such a rare gem?  Well, Ryan and I shopped the very chic marketplace known as the curb for this find.  It also came with a large leaf and 4 upholstered French caned back chairs.  Yes, you read that right.  A full dining room set for nothing!  The chairs are “on deck” for a serious makeover of their own and a different table to pair them with.  They have high backs so they didn’t work with the mix of low back chairs we have in this space now.

Flea Market Style Dining Nook

Ryan and I definitely have different styles when it comes to architecture and decorating.  He sways toward natural and craftsman style – those doors.  I like eclectic, collected and vintage.  This table seemed to meet both of our aesthetic needs and we agreed on it right away.  You can picture us standing at the curb with the tailgate open gushing about how truly perfect it is.  Because that’s exactly what happened.

Eat in Kitchen

The light legs and apron seemed to have been an updated too. They needed a refresh so after scrubbing the table I applied a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in grain sack with bonding agent.  That’s all they needed – one coat.  Can I tell you a secret?  I didn’t wax or put a top coat on either since it is just table legs.  A twenty-minute paint job and they were good as new.  And don’t you love the simple blue and yellow braided rug that anchors the space?

Grain sack painted legs

What’s your best curbside find?

P.S.  We’re still completely stumped as to what our upcycled galvanized hanging light above the table used to be.  Please share any insight you may have!  I’m thinking it was on a farm…

eating in

The eat-in portion of our kitchen was an addition on the original house put on by a previous owner.  Rumor has it that the addition was redone three times because the lady of the house was not satisfied with it.  (And my husband thought I was high maintenance with home projects.)  They finally got it just right making for a cozy dining nook aside from the kitchen galley.

Flea Market Style Eat-In Kitchen

However, the time was long overdue to erase their style (read: lots of wallpaper) and put our own twist on the space.

I’m thankful the previous owners expanded this room because otherwise it must have been so cramped.  Like most homes, our kitchen seems to be the center of the house.  This is where the cooking and eating occurs followed by hours of lingering and occasionally we work in here too. With that said, it was important to me that this space be comfortable.  And definitely full of personality and many eclectic finds.

Flea Market Style Eat-In Kitchen

Cookbook Collection

Ryan and I spent the last two weekends bringing that vision to light with a little sweat equity, paint and flea market finds.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember the blueprint wallpaper I installed at the 2013 Philly Home Show.  We carefully removed them after the show.  Now they’re permanently on display in our kitchen.  The vintage blueprints are all original to Ryan’s father.  Each one tells a story.  Some we know.  Some we make up!

Blueprint Wallpaper & Industrial Galvanized Pendant Light

We got a head start with kitchen updates a few months back when turned the trio of chairs into an upholstered grainsack bench.  And before that we updated the laminate cabinets and installed a pallet wood backsplash.

Pallet Wood Kitchen Wall Backsplash

But now it is all about the eat-in nook.  We do not have a formal dining room.  This is it.  With that said, we decided we wanted all upholstered chairs.  The head chairs are one of my best scores to date.  They are original walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs that fit nicely with the new-to-us copper top table.  More about the table here.

Ward Bennett Vintage Mohair & Walnut Chair

But the game changer for me was the industrial pendant light.  Does anyone know what this is?  I found the galvanized, cloche-like piece at the flea market and we upcycled it into a light.  The seller was unsure of its provenance too.  I’d love to hear your opinion.  I am guessing some sort of farm equipment.

Industrial Galvanized Pendant Light

At the same market, I bought the SERVE letters.  One of my favorite finds for sure.  We can only assume that they were part of a SERVICE sign at some point.  Perhaps from a gas station.

Salvaged Kitchen Style - Blueprint Wallpaper & Serve Service sign

The rest of the room got updated with a coat of buttercream yellow paint.  Thank goodness the wallpaper and border are gone along with the matching valances.  Were matching borders over wallpaper really necessary?  This picture is from when we first saw the house.

kitchen before

There is something about a yellow kitchen that just injects energy.

Vintage Font/Text - Serve Service Sign in Kitchen

What’s your favorite flea market find?

Flea Market Style Eat-In Kitchen - Vintage Serve letters, Blueprint Wallpaper, Galvanized Pendant Light

Linking to: Funky Junk Interiors, Jennifer Rizzo, Be Bold Challenge

wine cork ornament DIY

Tell me you don’t have a big ol’ pile of wine corks somewhere.

In a drawer.  In a vase.  In your liquor cabinet.

If you are just a little bit crafty (and like wine), you’ve most likely stashed some corks like I did, right?  Just waiting for some trash-to-treasure project inspiration.  Well, here it is friends!

wine cork tree ornament diy

Start by gathering these supplies…

cork tree ornament supplies

For the corks, be sure to use the porous ones – actual corks.  The waxy ones just don’t adhere well.

I played around with a few different layouts before I got started.  I found that the bulky champagne corks made great “tree trunks”.  Plus they tend to be more decorative on top.

wine cork tree ornament

  • First, drill a hole perpendicular through the center of the cork so you can loop your twine through.  I used 6 inch pieces of twine for the ornament hanger.cork tree ornament
  • This is totally optional but if you’d like to attach a name tag, now is the time.  Punch (or cut) a circle out of card stock.  Use the hole punch to create a small hole and loop the twine through before knotting it.  This step allows you to double the ornament as a name tag on a wrapped gift!wine cork tree ornament
  • Now let’s assemble.  Glue a horizontal line each cork and attach one at a time.  Make sure to use your ornament hanger as the top cork.wine cork tree ornament

That’s it!wine cork tree ornament

These ornaments are fun and easy to make but the best part is acquiring enough corks.

wine cork tree ornament DIY

Because you probably already have all of the other necessary materials.

wine cork tree ornament supplies

trimming the tree with citrus

The phrase “trimming the tree” took on a whole new meaning for us this year.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

We picked out a live Fraser fir tree a few days after Thanksgiving.  Shortly after getting it in the house and decorated, we realized that the tree wasn’t taking up water.  Panic set in as I recalled what is now referred to as The Tree Fiasco of 2007 when my tree was dead as a doornail 2 weeks before Christmas.  I am talking flammable.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I couldn’t live through replacing a dried out, dead tree again so we had to act fast.  At this point, there were just a few dry needles on the decorated tree.   I knew it could be revived.  This is the point where we actually trimmed the tree.  I held it up out of the stand while Ryan gave the trunk a fresh-cut.

Dried Hydrangea on the Christmas Tree

Crisis averted.  All is calm, all is bright.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Would you believe that not a single ornament moved during this swift surgery?  A Christmas miracle.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I committed to a natural, slightly crafty and  definitely busy look this season in our living room.  I haven’t bought any new Christmas decorations and have yet to regret it.  We had burlap, peacock feathers and moss-covered seed pods leftover from our wedding.  Up on the tree they went.

Dried Seed Pod on the Christmas Tree

We live on a wooded lot now so I was able to collect fresh holly and cedar for the mantel right in our backyard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Plus twigs and dried hydrangeas for the tree.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

Following suit with the natural decor, I checked my fruit bowl.  I bought 2 large bags of grapefruit a few weeks ago.  After we packed in as much vitamin C as possible, we were left with six grapefruit staring back at us.

Grapefruit to Garland

A wonderful opportunity to try my hand at a citrus garland with the leftovers.  I am so glad I did because they quickly became a staple of our holiday decor this year!

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

First prepare the grapefruit…

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Slice up the grapefruits or oranges. Each one will yield 5-6  1/4 inch slices
  • Pat them dry with a paper towel and place on a non-stick cookie sheet
  • Lightly bake for 3-4 hours, flipping the slices halfway

Grapefruit to Garland

Next, make your garland…

  • Choose 1/2 inch-1 inch wide ribbon, twine or fabric as the base of the garland.  I chose to cut up an old flannel shirt, of course (keeping with our Lumberjack holiday theme)
  • Cut into approximately 12 inch long strips.  You will need one strip per piece of citrus
  • Tie each strip of fabric through the citrus.  Most slices will naturally have a whole in the middle
  • Then tie each piece of fabric together creating a little bow at the connection

DIY Dried Citrus Garland

The citrus garland adds a festive illumination to the lit tree.

DIY dried citrus garland

Garland your tree, mantel, foyer, whatever!  Just don’t worry about spending an exorbitant amount of money.  Re-work what you already have in your house…even if it’s edible.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

What are you making this holiday season?