bringing out the blues

I’ve got a good old-fashioned ‘before and after’ to share today.  Here is a 1960’s barrel back caned chair.  I love the shape of these chairs and the upholstery is in excellent condition.  The problem was the dark, shiny finish.  It was muting the pretty blue fabric.

chair before

With the addition of lighter paint, the texture and colors of the fabric pop and give this chair a fresh look for 2014.

barrel back caned chair-5033

First, I applied a coat of Artissimo (navy) with bonding agent while carefully getting the paint in all of the crevices of the caning.

barrel back caned chair-

Next, I used the wax puck in a few places around the edges and raised areas to create a resist between layers of paint which is evident in the final distressing.

shutter gray chair leg #mmsmp

I brushed on a coat of shutter gray over the entire chair carefully applying it lightly over the caning so the navy would really peek through.

painted barrel back caned chair-5036

The final steps involved lightly sanding back the wax puck to reveal the navy blue under the gray followed by topcoating with furniture wax.

The upholstered back of this style chair is one of my favorite features.  Such a great shape.

barrel back caned chair-5047

I’m not usually a glitter and gold kind of gal but I’m loving these pinecone branches which are popping up in our holiday displays and juxtapose rustic accents well.  They’re festive and easy to mix into a vase arrangement, mantel or wreath.  What do you think?  Love ’em?

glitter pinecone branches

Here’s a look at how the Circa Dee holiday window display is evolving at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown along with the barrel back chair.  Speaking of Serendipity, I’ll be conducting a Milk Paint Demonstration there on Sunday at 1 pm.  Be sure to join us as this will most likely be the last one of the year.

holiday window display

The Sleigh Rides sign did not last long so I’m off to paint more!  Hope to see you at the demo this weekend.

glitter and rustic holiday vignette

 

secret weapon

Ok so it’s not so secret anymore.

Let’s just say that I am not much of an upholsterer.  I have tried my hand at it and it’s worked out ok but nothing epic has come of it.  I can’t do much beyond a basic seat.  Anything involving curves, sewing, welting, etc.  Not me.  Nor do I enjoy the task.  And I’ve come to accept that.  Part of the acceptance came when I found a stellar upholsterer to partner with who totally gets my style and is a true artist in his craft.

Meet Pete.  Hard at work.

IMG_9057

When I started designing the bedroom for my home show room I knew there had to be an upholstered headboard. It had to be eye-catching.  It had to be vintage fabric.  A few ideas flew around as to what fabric to use but ultimately I settled on this bold, vintage tablecloth that is durable enough to stand in as upholstery.  I love the print and feel like it is totally fresh again as a headboard.  I considered tackling this project alone but decided to call in the professional after all.

Home Show - Upholstered Headboard

I love to source vintage furniture, re-imagine it and find just the right fabric, lay it out and then turn my idea over to the professional to implement.  Check out these before and after collaborations between Circa Dee and Hummingbird Upholstery…my vision, Pete’s craftsmanship.

Barrel Back Chair Before & After

Before & After French Settee

Before & After Club Chair

To all of my local blogger/designer/DIYer/upcycler/upholsterer-seeking friends, I am sharing my secret resource with you because I believe in paying it forward.  I love supporting small businesses and artisans – people who do what they love everyday.  You should definitely enlist Pete at Hummingbird Upholstery for your next project.  His workshop is located in beautiful Chester county.

barn door

By the way, the club chair and headboard collaborations from the Home Show room are for sale.  Both are currently listed on etsy.

Reclaimed Industrial Bedroom

the king’s chair

So much to share today! Let’s get to it.

I have a chair before and after that I am just smitten with. Here is the finished vintage club chair.

vintage club chair reupholstered in linen

Here is how we found it…destined for the dump and long forgotten.  We sat on it for awhile waiting for the right inspiration to strike.  Get it? Sat on it? Ha!  I wouldn’t literally sit on that thing in the before state.

club chair before

It was pretty bad! We called it the king’s chair in it’s horrendous, torn velvet upholstery.

club chair before

The entire chair needed to be stripped inside and out but I knew it had potential.  The cushion was rebuilt and the chair reinforced.

vintage club chair refinished in linen

I love the big, bulky shape.

vintage club chair reupholstered in linen

And all of the details.  I painted the wood with ASCP Paris Grey and lightly distressed.  Then went over it with Egyptian Gold gilding wax to highlight the details.

vintage club chair wood carving details

I love how the gold glistens in the sunlight showing off the details of the ornate wood carvings.

vintage club chair wood carving details

Did you catch that upholstery?  It is a nice, nubby linen fabric made from hemp.  The perfect natural and neutral fabric to cozy up by the fireplace or for a casual beach house!  My upholsterer did a stellar job on this one – actually he does on every one.

And that pillow…super cool.  It is made from recycled tents!

recycled tent pillow on vintage club chair

I love how the king’s chair morphed into a sophisticated club chair fit for a queen.  The only problem is that I should have never moved it into my house for a photoshoot.  Because now I really want to keep it and that wasn’t the plan.  Somebody please take it off of my hands!

vintage club chair refinished in linen

By the way, sneak peek of our holiday mantel in the photo above – more on that next week. Let’s just say that it is my favorite mantelscape yet!

And since we’re talking chairs today, I never did share a proper photo of the French settee from a little while back.  It is so regal yet can be toned down and playful with the right color scheme.

reupholstered French settee

And here is the before.  The fabric was never quite sturdy enough for a chair.  It was thin like cotton bed sheets so of course it tore.

French settee before

I chose a durable fabric by Waverly in a striped pattern that reminded me of antique ticking fabric. Love the double welting and French details.

French settee makeover

Baby got back!  The curves go all the way around.  This settee is a masterpiece from all angles!  It would be fabulous in an entryway or playful in a boy’s room.  Stately in a dressing room too.  I can go on…

French settee

The settee is for sale in my space at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ.

Speaking of West End, I just moved into a larger space last night. If you’re looking for me, I’m on the reverse side of where I was before. Double the space equals double the amount of Circa Dee treasures you can expect to find! The garage is open everyday now for the holidays.

And now for the public service announcement portion of this post…

Find Circa Dee at Union Stock – a popup next weekend in Manayunk featuring a collection of locally handmade goods and wares.  I’m very excited to be in the mix with this group of local artisans.  Click on the photo for the complete lineup.  I’ll be there for the Friday evening reception.  Hope to see you!

Union Stock

As for our very own Brick & Mortar, we are open for the next 3 weekends!  Come find some unique vintage and repurposed gifts and a little something for your home too.

circa dee holiday hours

And don’t forget to RSVP if you plan to come to Miss Mustard Seed’s book signing by emailing me, commenting or on the facebook event page.

And speaking of the book ‘Inspired You’, we have a winner…drumroll…Sharon K.!

Happy weekend!