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



love story

We watched another great, classic movie.  Much like “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Love Story” is filled with life lessons related to love.  This time of the romantic flavor.  And a bit more modern.


Wintry New England is the backdrop making this feel like it could almost be a holiday movie.  Plus it was released in theaters in December 1970 adding to the holiday vibe.

I can’t help but wish I went to Harvard after watching this movie.  Not for the obvious scholastic reasons.  Just because.

love story

Although I own the DVD, I’ve only watched this movie once previously.  I remember being so stunned by the end that I just tucked it away feeling sad.  I think most people know what happens.  Except, well, I didn’t.

Although the movie takes place in 1970, Jenny Cavalleri could easily walk into 2013.  Her style is fabulous and nearly timeless.  Her wardrobe might just be the real love story for me. 

love story

The over sized lapels on this camel coat get me every time.

love story

Nerd chic glasses.  Yes, please!

love story

The knit hat.

love story

And let’s not forget about Oliver Barrett’s rich boy style.  Cable knits, blazers and, is that Burberry?  I sure do think that is the exact same reversible Burberry trench that I scored a few months ago.

love story

Yep, here it is reversed.  I am always researching…

love story

Did I mention that coat was much too big for me so I decided to sell it after all?  Which now makes total sense.  It must be a man’s.  Maybe I should re-brand it the Love Story Burberry jacket. 

Ahh, I sure do love settling in with an old movie on these chilly December nights…”Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

love story

the room without a closet

Happy Monday!  It is a happy one for me because I am still on staycation a.k.a still in my pajamas.  I have a lot of vacation days to burn and that’s what I am doing.  I could really get used to this.  All of this time off has really got me thinking about how I manage my time and conquer home decor projects that are meaningful to me.  There must be a way to leave the corporate grind behind and do this full-time.  I have tackled some major furniture rehabs and holiday decorating as well…don’t worry I will share them all here.

The first project was 2 years in the making…

The guest room in Cape May is closetless.  The home is really not that old (circa 1986) for it to have been built without a closet but sure enough this bedroom didn’t have one until now. 

I have been passively looking for an armoire that could be painted to fit the room. The catch was that I was looking for a cheap one.  Then I found this gem on the cheap.  It was dinged and scratched.  Perfect.  I can’t help but to look at that shiny orange beast and cringe.  I sanded off all of the varnish exposing the bare cedar to prepare it for a whitewash effect.

I’ve been in a coastal and driftwood place lately so that is where I got my cue for the color palette.

I used my new obsession – Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I mixed 1 part Paris Grey and 1 part Pure White adding 2 parts water to create a greyish whitewash on the sides and front allowing the knots in the wood to show through.  For the closet borders I only used 1 part water to thicken the whitewash up a bit.  This gave me the look I wanted with the paint colors creating some depth.  I lightly clear waxed the whole closet.

I love that the original cedar is still there.  It is just limited to inside the closet and not shiny and all over.

Fortunately this little space doubles nicely as a home office.  When the closet is not occupied by guest’s clothes, the shelf works as a computer desk.  So as long as I have to work the corporate grind, I don’t mind doing it in my rehabbed cedar closet turned computer desk.  Ryan keeps asking me why I would want to work in the closet.  It seems like a good space to me.

I am liking how this room is shaping up all due to just a bit of paint.  Remember the red nightstand? Well that sits across from the new closet.

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