our collected living room

jungalow style

After nearly 3 years of tweaking, rearranging, shuffling chairs, plants and window treatments, I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with where we’ve landed in our living room.  While the kitchen is usually the center of the home figuratively, this living room is literally the center of ours.  It is a large room with multiple doorways, windows and traffic paths so getting the floor plan just right was really important.  Originally this room was two small rooms that a previous owner opened up.  I’m glad they did.

collected vintage living room-514

grainsack vintage chair living room-491

woodstove vintage living room-500

Form, function and scale were also very important for us.  Our house is small and although the rooms are relatively large, there are few of them so each space has to work just right for our needs.  The corner by our sliding door always stumped me and I knew it could do better for us.

antique victorain secretary white chesterfield living room-536

After months of searching, I found a fantastic antique Victorian secretary desk on Craig’s List.  Last winter we brought this stately piece home to finally give purpose to that corner.  It was immediately evident that this was what the room needed. It pulls triple duty for us as china cabinet storage, bar and work space.  The secretary opens to reveal the perfect little desk that Ryan works at almost daily.

bohemian style living room kilim rugs-511

Another game changer was finally pulling the trigger and purchasing just the right sofa which made its debut back around the holidays.  The white tufted chesterfield puts a smile on my face everyday and it brightens up the middle of the room.  I tend to wonder why I waited so long on this purchase.  Probably because it is the only thing, aside from the gifted yellow rug, that is brand new. Nearly everything else in this space was “found, free or flea” which epitomizes my vintage style.

farmhouse white chesterfield living room-495

eclectic living room-501

Near the entrance, we were in desperate need of a freestanding closet to function for coat storage.  Again, after months of sourcing, I came across just the right scale antique piece.  Persistence pays off!  We drove about 3 hours to pick this one up and it was well worth the trip.  I painted the closet in MMS milk paint Farmhouse White.  The old finish resisted the paint just right revealing the perfect chippy texture.  Form and function wins again!

farmhouse white @mmsmp antique cabinet-521

Those rugs are possibly my favorite find of all time.  That’s a bold statement to make in this room because it’s loaded with favorite finds.  They are authentic vintage kilim rugs that I picked up for a song. I will never let them go.

bohemian home vintage kilim rug ammo trunk bench seat living room-505

Along with the pair of vintage mohair chairs that I’ve sung the praises of here plenty of times before.  I doubt I’ll ever tire of those either.

vintage mohair chair ladder blanket rack living room-527

This room has looked like this for nearly 6 months and I have no immediate plans to change it aside from the occasional accessory or vignette. Famous last words but I think we’ve finally found a happy eclectic mix of vintage/collected/bohemian/farmhouse/jungalow/beachy style. Did I miss anything in that style classification?

collected boho living room-489

bohemian home vintage collected living room

Updating this room certainly didn’t happen overnight.  First there was the wallpaper which came down immediately and up went creamy off-white paint.  Cornerstone by Behr.  I’m still happy with this choice years later.  Then there was the wood stove installation and slate surround.  Next was the flooring which Ryan installed every square foot of.  Finally, the furniture finds and accessories which make the house a home.

bohemian home vintage collected living room

I’ll leave you with some before and after pictures for good measure.  Updates have come in phases but it’s always fun to look back at where we started when we bought this house, frilly curtains included.

living room before

vintage collected bohemian farmhouse living room-514

living room before

vintage kilim rug window seat-505

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garden antiques in the living room

 

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beach cottage bedroom

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom

Is it spring yet?  The beach sure is lonely without you.  I am counting down the days until the neighborhood is bustling again.  As much as a I love a little wintertime solitude, I prefer the action that warm sunny weather brings to the sandy beaches.  With that said, let’s check out a bright and cheerful beach cottage bedroom.  Between starfish and vintage swimsuit art, it is just brimming with anticipation of summer!

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom

If you are a regular around here, you probably remember that my folks bought a cute beach cottage about a year ago.  We’ve been gradually making progress room by room.  Each space was basically a neutral space that needed a punch of color and personality.  The carpet is brand new so it wasn’t going.  They also weren’t into painting as it was also recently done.  The reality is that other time-consuming projects, like creating a bathroom, took priority.  Basically we just pulled together a color palette and accessorized on a budget.  To do that, we used a combination of salvaged pieces, vintage, second-hand finds plus new textiles and art.  The color scheme is just so happy.  Perfect for the beach, right?

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom 393

Once upon a time, the headboard was in my bedroom.  It’s a salvaged door which so happens to measure a short 60 inches – the same width as a queen bed.  Years ago, I adorned it with driftwood, paint and starfish which are still fun.

Possibly my favorite part of the room are the swimsuit prints.  These were very hard to find!  We spotted them about a year ago at Bed, Bath & Beyond but were not ready to pull the trigger.  Of course that was a mistake.  Months later when we ready for art and agreed on the swimsuit prints, they were gone of course.  Local stores were wiped out.  Spoiler alert, after weeks of searching, I finally found them AND they were half price.  Naturally, I also hoarded a set for myself because you never know when you’ll need vintage-inspired swimsuit art.  These were the only two patterns available out of the original six or eight prints.  Fortunately, the colors were perfect.

beach cottage bedside tables + vintage swimsuit art

Those lamps are new-ish but found second-hand for mere dollars.  Aren’t they perfect?  The end tables are both painted in MMS milk paint, apron strings on the left & kitchen scale on the right.  The kitchen scale drum table doesn’t actually belong in this room.  It is one of a pair which are available for sale at West End Garage.  Normally we have a coordinating chest on the right but this one looks pretty darn good there.

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom -390

Let me divert your attention to the other side of the room.  What was once two dusty old closets, is now a full bathroom.  It is the tiniest full bathroom aptly named The Water Closet.

The Water Closet-

The closet space was the selling point on this old house but not for storing clothes.  The house had all the space they were looking for in a beach cottage but just one bathroom which was a deal breaker.  We stood in this very room when I had the bright idea that the side-by-side closets from adjacent bedrooms could be knocked out to make room for approximately a 30 square foot bathroom.

WC before

Now, I can’t take all of the credit.  My dad is the plumber who masterminded the water closet complete with a pocket door.  I will take credit for the pocket door actually.  That was my idea.

pocket door water closet bathroom

To the left is the toilet and to the right is a shower stall.

water closet tiny full bathroom

Admittedly two closets were lost in the making of this full bathroom.  However, we compensated with stand alone closets in each room.  As it turns out an additional bathroom is strongly preferred over closet space in a beach house anyway.

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom -396

Just three months until Memorial Day!

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom -383

Source List

Bedroom

  • Bedding – Homegoods
  • Headboard – salvage
  • Tin Shelf – salvage
  • Night stands – vintage painted in MMSMP Apron Strings & Kitchen Scale
  • Lamps – estate sale finds
  • Curtains – thrifted
  • Top down shades – JCPenney
  • Swimsuit prints – Bed, Bath & Beyond (sold out)
  • Cedar Closet – vintage painted in MMSMP Artissimo

Water Closet

  • Towels – Homegoods
  • Shower Curtain – Homegoods
  • Tile – Home Depot ‘Noce’
  • Mirror – vintage
  • Rattan shelf – trash (no shame)
  • Rattan baskets – Homegoods
  • Plumbing – Marston Mechanical

 

 

 

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makeover: sunny days

It’s been awhile.  But for good reason.  Just last weekend I wrapped up a makeover project with a great friend.  I am excited to share the results today.  I can pretty much guarantee fewer posts in 2016 but when I do post, I hope to knock your socks off with reveals like this one.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Let’s start from the beginning.  The beige, boring before. This room wasn’t given much attention nor was it used frequently.  It was where all of the random pieces of furniture ended up.  Some with great bones, others not so great and a few left behind by previous owners.  The one thing all of these pieces seemed to have in common was that they were a shade of brown.  The walls too!  Beige and brown are almost always the default “safety” color when arranging a room.  Am I right?  We needed to inject color and personality into this space immediately!

Living Room before

When consulting with the couple, we discussed how they wanted to use the room and the feeling they wanted it to evoke.  This space is going to be used, as intended, as a living room for hosting friends and family.  No television, just conversation.  We also determined that the adjacent space beyond the pocket doors needed to be defined.  This would become the library anchored by wall-to-wall built in bookcases.

Library Built In Bookcase

In our initial consultation the couple described their style as “minimalist modern” although I might argue that it’s “contemporary traditional” but who’s keeping track.  In fact, let’s go with “organic modern”.  I think that sums up the outcome.  The project was a healthy dose of DIY, vintage, home store finds and shopping the house, my favorite.  A full source list can be found at the end.

Organic Modern Living Room

One specific influence kept surfacing when flushing out their style and it was Kimpton Hotels which is known for bold interiors.  Specifically their use of contemporary patterns, intense color and often natural elements juxtaposed with metallic & reflective finishes.  The most important element being “pops of color” as described by my friend.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield, vintage botanicals

 

We started with a relatively neutral color scheme by painting the walls a soft gray and then worked in the “pops of color” and texture.  The sofa is gorgeous and so comfortable.  It is a classic gray velvet Chesterfield accessorized with bold throw pillows that can always be changed out down the road or seasonally for a new look.  Crown molding and windows were updated before we got to the fun stuff.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Nature is an important element to the couple since they are avid gardeners and Renee is a floral designer.  The vintage botanical print above the sofa was a find that I’d been hoarding for just the right project.  The set of wing chairs initially started out as a bird motif but after that pattern was discontinued we came across these butterflies which were a great consolation. The birds landed on the twiggy side table.

Organic Modern Living Room - butterfly chairs

It was a no-brainer that the rug needed to be yellow, Renee’s favorite color.  We cycled through a few choices, even sending one back, until we found this one with a simple over-sized pattern.  I stumbled upon the perfect mirrored, coffee table with geometric cut outs mimicking the pattern on the area rug.  We debated over pattern vs. solid panels for the windows but ultimately settled on navy and pulled that deep color onto the walls in the library.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow, navy, gray chesterfield

Can we talk about the lamps and end tables?  Two of my favorite elements in this room perhaps because each set is totally unique – a vintage treasure and a DIY.  Would you believe those end tables were sourced on Craigslist in mint condition?  When first reviewing the listing, we anticipated painting them white but lucked out.  The natural wood is very pretty and didn’t need any updating.  Check out the lattice-work on the bottom.

Organic Modern Living Room - yellow ginger jar lamp

The lamps were hideously dated but the perfect shape, scale and a matching pair.  At 5 bucks they were a steal.  They even came complete with pleated shades which we ditched for ruched drum shades.  A simple DIY with high gloss spray paint gave us the ginger jar shape lamps we were looking for and a fun pop of color.

DIY ginger jar lamp before & after

Library

Turn your attention to the newly minted library.  The couple took the momentum from the living room and ran with it in a series of DIY projects in the library.  We flipped the color scheme just a bit with navy taking center stage on the walls and gray taking a backseat.

DIY Ikea hack - Billy Built In Bookcases

Bye bye beige!  The bookcase is an Ikea hack.  A set of five Billy bookcases were framed and painted to create a wall-to-wall bookcase.  Signature pops of color, of course, are found stenciled across the back.  The displaced books and mementos from the living room all found a new home organized on the shelves.

DIY Built In Bookcase Library - Ikea Hack

Vintage and contemporary pieces are right at home in this new space.  The fantastic natural light doesn’t hurt to showcase all of their finds. Navy & Yellow Home Library

Dining Room

It wouldn’t be a home project without a little project creep, naturally.  In this case the dining room is adjacent to the living room which means the crown molding needed continuity as well as gray owl paint on the walls.

Updated Gray Dining Room Before & After

Changes in the dining room included updating the light fixture to reflect the organic modern direction as well as the bird art.  I convinced them to anchor the dining table and chairs with an area rug which Renee did a great job of selecting.  I enjoy the quiet simplicity of the dark stained Windsor chairs, trestle table and humble bench but I do think the room feels a bit warmer with the bold rug.  Do I dare say that it adds a “pop of color”?

Simple Organic Gray Dining Room

Well that sums up the entire makeover which is Olive approved…

Butterfly Wing Chair

Source List

Living Room

  • Sofa – Macy’s Saybridge
  • Paint – Behr Dolphin Fin
  • End Tables – Vintage Craigslist
  • Lamps – DIY via Craigslist
  • Lamp Shades – Target
  • Throw Pillows – Homegoods (patterned) & Vintage (solid)
  • Area Rug – Wayfair
  • Coffee Table – Homegoods
  • Wing Chairs – Macy’s
  • Pouf – Wayfair
  • Twig Side Table – Pier 1
  • Mirror – Vintage
  • Botanical Print – Vintage
  • Curtains – Boscov’s
  • Top Down Cellular Window Shades – JCPenney
  • Magazine Rack – Vintage

Library

  • Bookcase – Ikea Billy Hack
  • Paint – Behr Very Navy
  • Chair – Ikea Poang
  • Throw Pillows – Ikea (patterned) & Vintage (solid)
  • Rocking Chair – Vintage
  • Curtains – Wayfair

Dining Room

  • Furniture – Vintage
  • Rug – Ikea Vidstrup
  • Bird Print – Ikea
  • Light Fixture – Overstock

Organic Modern Living Room no wm

 

the winemaker’s table

One morning a few months ago I set out on my treasure hunting route feeling extraordinarily optimistic.   You know when you know there is a good treasure waiting for you and you just have to uncover it.  Yes, that feeling!

fall table setting-256

The morning was off to a slow start though.  I hit several garage sales not turning up much more than then 1970’s ceramics.  But I knew the show stopping piece was out there.  The next stop was sort of barn sale at the end of a grassy lane.  I felt this one had promise until I got inside the dusty building and found nothing more than tools.  No cute wooden toolboxes but nails, wrenches and the like.  Not my thing.

I did another lap around the building feeling dissatisfied but not quite ready to leave.  It is like a game of hot/cold and I was getting warm.  I knew it had to be there.  That’s when I spotted a wine-press off to the side.  An antique, oak wine-press!  It was dusty, dirty and smelled acidic but I knew this was the treasure waiting for me and it certainly had potential.  It was screaming table to me.

the winemaker's table - antique oak wine press-245

Then that thing happened when someone expresses interest in a one-of-a-kind piece.  Suddenly everyone is interested and a near bidding war ensues.  As a buyer, this is extremely irritating but as a seller it is wonderful.  Being the buyer in this scenario, I found the other shopper to be in poor form as he elbowed in on my negotiation insinuating that he was going to use the press as intended to make wine.  Of course, it was evident that I wasn’t and merely loved the rustic patina.  I’ve always been a form over function girl.  I quickly handed the seller my cash and rolled it down the lane before anyone could change their mind.

Winemaker's Table- antique oak winepress 243

After a thorough cleaning and the perfect 48 inch glass topper, we have ourselves a beautiful table.  A swanky, rustic table fit for sipping cocktails and noshing at while admiring the craftsmanship of the press.  I have to admit that this one was almost a keeper.  We really love how it fit in our little dining nook.  But I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, “We can’t keep them all.”

Winemaker's Table-252

This one of a kind beauty is up for sale at The West End Garage.

schloss telephone table

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

What color is schloss anyway?

It can be so unclear on the milk paint samples and bags in store.  Schloss is actually a bit of a chameleon color much like grainsack, in my opinion. It changes with the light and based on the surface you’re painting.  The latter is true with most milk paint colors actually.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Schloss is from Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint European color line that came out earlier this year.

Schloss Reinhardsbrunn
Schloss Reinhardsbrunn

It is named for German castles.  The color itself is meant to represent old stone fortresses common in Europe much like the one pictured here.  Sometimes it turns up gray and sometimes a weathered brown exactly like the patina of the castles.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Hopefully this clarifies the nomenclature of this color.  Either way, schloss is a great neutral.  I’ve been using it lately layered with other grays (coming soon) and on its own like in today’s feature.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Shown here is a vintage telephone table where two coats of schloss were applied without bonding agent.  It was topped with furniture wax to protect and bring out the color.

Schloss Telelphone Table-227

The piece was a bit raw and worn as it was pulled out of a barn where it was in hibernation.

telephone table before

The side in sets are more than likely a veneer.  Those areas on the side are the only place the paint chipped adding character.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Telephone tables are certainly becoming extinct, but why?  This one serves perfectly as a nightstand or end table.  It is available for sale at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown along with the great vintage carriage blanket and p.f. candles too!

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

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the chair bench evolution

Once upon a time we took 3 cast off yard sale chairs and upcycled them into a custom bench that is a perfect fit in our dining nook.  Bench Seat

You can review the bench tutorial here.upcycled chairs turned custom bench (4 of 38)

As the space evolved it was inevitable for the bench to evolve too.  When we updated the kitchen, the colors took on an earthy, neutral palette with lots of texture.  The kitchen continues to be the room that changes the most frequently around here…

flea market style kitchen

When the floors were redone this winter, I updated the bench by giving each chair a coat of MMSMP Grainsack over the bold colored chalk paint.  The milk paint resisted the chalk paint in a few places giving just a subtle distressed look.

Also, I came across 3 neutral toile printed pillows that were perfectly sized for each chair.  They were only a buck for each pillow cover.  I found some inserts and boom!  upcycled upholstered chair bench

It’s like a new bench for little cost (again)!  What have you upcycled lately?

dining nook upholstered chairs

 

 

 

driftwood inspired wall

This was a totally fun and unique project to conceptualize and complete.

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6803

Probably because there was no right or wrong when coming up with the color combination for a driftwood inspired wall at the cottage. There were so many directions we could have gone in…

driftwood look milk paint wood plank samples

and we did.  But here’s where we ended up…

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp

The project began with raw pine tongue & groove boards installed over drywall.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5837

I simply mixed up a quart of MMSMP Curio and poured it into a paint tray.  I applied it to the wall using a foam roller.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5838

You can see that one coat of Curio didn’t exactly provide even coverage in this case but it gets better as we go (as does my footwear).  It’s safe to say that this is the “ugly phase” of this particular project.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5840

Now for the “weathering”.  I dry brushed Linen over Curio applying more in some areas and less in others to create some depth. I also used a little Grainsack.

creating a driftwood-look wall-5845

Then we pondered the finish over the course of a few weeks.  Did it need more color/lighter/darker/hemp oil?  All of the above?  Basically it was reading very flat at this stage so I went back through with Marzipan which is the closest color in the line to Linen and worked it in with a brush.  That helped to add depth and texture.  I even used a tiny bit of Schloss, which is more gray in color with a slightly green undertone.

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6815

Finally, I finished the entire wall with a light sanding and a coat of hemp oil.  This really pulled it all together!

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6822

Attempting to mimic weathered wood that only nature can truly create was a bit challenging but like I said, there was no right or wrong!  It’s only paint.  A little bit of this, a lot of that, finish with hemp oil and voila!

driftwood inspired wall #mmsmp-6818

We’re on the hunt for a nubby-textured, neutral slipcover for the wing back chair in order to cut down on the “Christmas in July” vibe that the vignette currently has. Yes, the console is painted in MMSMP Boxwood.  Good eye!

a pretty washstand

Today I have a pretty little washstand to share…

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-6990

Here’s how it look when we started.

wash stand before

I really love the way this one turned out, flaws and all.  It is so understated.  I used 2 coats of Dried Lavender without bonding agent.  Yes, this is dried lavender believe it or not.  It looks darker than usual most likely because the previous finish was so dark.  I wasn’t sure how the paint would react because of the obviously shiny finish that I was painting over.  The effect was surprising and delightful!  Check out that crackle…

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-7002

I finished it with furniture wax and a hint of white wax.  The washstand and the ironstone basin & pitcher will be available for sale this weekend at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown. The lemon cypress topiaries are heading to West End Garage.

dried lavender washstand #mmsmp-6991

how to: milk paint oak cabinets

The cabinets at the cottage are finished! Admittedly the milk paint portion of the project wrapped up a month ago however we haven’t been able to find the right hardware to work with the routed edges of the oak cabinets.  I got tired of waiting for the ‘glamour shot’ and figured it was time to share the ‘in process’ shot.  There are other updates that the room is waiting for such as a new faucet, range hood, etc, etc.  Let’s focus on the paint finish today and how we got here…

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6830

from here (photo from real estate listing)…

kitchen before

We’ve taken a step in the right direction as far as lightning up this old cottage kitchen and making it feel a bit more beachy.  The oak cabinets were not original to the house.  My guess is that there were old metal ones in here at one point.  But the oak ones were in decent shape and worthy of an update.

You may recall my post about prepping the cabinets for milk paint.  We thoroughly cleaned the cabinets with a citrus vinegar solution that you can make yourself.  The key is to not use an oily or intense chemical cleanser that the milk paint will resist.

citrus cleanser-5796

The cabinets were primed with Tough Coat, a MMSMP product.  It is a non-yellowing tough coat that provides extra durability against general wear and tear, water damage and food stains as a top coat.  It also works really, really well as a base coat or primer because milk paint adheres to it.  In this case, tough coat also blocked the oak tannins to prevent bleed through.  It has many benefits.

tough coat

After that I mixed Mora with bonding agent for best adhesion.  I decided to apply 3 coats on the thinner side (instead of 2 thick coats) as I did not want to get any crackling or chipping texture on the cabinets.  Thicker milk paint application tends to lend to the chipping aesthetic that we all love.

how to milk paint oak cabinets-5804

Mora is such a pretty color.  Here it looks gray.  In certain lighting it takes on a blue hue and sometimes even a hint of green.  It is perfect for a space like this with a lot of light that changes throughout the day.  We finished the cabinets by applying furniture wax with a mix of white wax in some areas.  We’re considering going over it with tough coat for a more durable finish but it seems the wax is holding up just fine.  I wiped a splatter of sauce off of the surface the other day and it left no marks on the wax finish.  No issue.

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6833

Here’s what I learned throughout this process.  As I mentioned, I thoroughly cleaned the cabinet doors and primed them with tough coat prior to applying paint.  Tough coat was the best choice for a “primer” because it aided in blocking the oak tannins from bleeding through.  This is something to be concerned with when painting over oak.  However, tough coat is clear and the orange oak did take 3 coats of milk paint to completely cover.

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6832

After working on the cabinet doors from start to finish, I stepped back to reconsider my options for the cabinet bases.  Could I eliminate a step?  When it came to the cabinet bases, I thought I had a better idea so I initially skipped the tough coat primer and used a flat white chalk-based paint as a primer instead.  My theory was that the chalky “primer” would eliminate the need for 3 coats of milk paint since I was priming with white.  I thought it would serve as a base coat primer AND block the orange bleed through in one step.  I was completely wrong.  The orange bled through the flat finish immediately and I had to go over it all with tough coat anyway to lock in the tannins.  It was experimental for sure and created an extra step for me after all!

In summary, here are the steps to follow for milk painting previously finished oak cabinets…

How to Milk Paint Oak Cabinets #mmsmp

To complete this project which consisted of 14 cabinets/drawers, I used less than 2 quarts of milk paint + bonding agent, wax and tough coat.  The product went far.  Essentially we gave these cabinets an entirely new look for under $100.  You can’t beat that!

Mora kitchen cabinets #mmsmp-6830