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

 

versatile vintage theater seats

First of all, is it theater or theatre?  I have always been compelled to write theatre but it turns out the American English spelling is theater.  What is your preference?

My preference is most certainly vintage but we already knew that!  I’ve mentioned my unofficial conquest list of must-finds which is always changing.  However, vintage theater seats have always ranked high on the list.  A few weeks ago I was able to mark it off because I found them!

apple picking-7763

They’re an attached pair of wood and metal seats that fold up.  Not just the seat bottoms fold but the chair legs collapse like a folding chair allowing the pair to flatten for storage purposes.  That function leads me to believe that these were part of a venue where the seating configuration would change frequently.  The chairs were never permanent fixtures and as a result the set is not too heavy.

A coat of hemp oil brought the wood back to life and really makes them shine again.  This set is available for sale at The West End Garage.

apple picking-7765

There are a number of places in the home that I can think to style vintage theater seats.  I’ve compiled a list to get your wheels turning!  (Please pin from original source by clicking photo.)

Entryway/Foyer

theater seats entry

theater entry

AT Theater

Dining Room

theater dining

theater chairs dining

Kitchen

theater chairs kitchen

Theater Kitchen

Bedroom

Theater seats bedroom

apartment-in-Sao-Paulo-by-Felipe-Hess-and-Renata-Pedrosa-photo-by-Fran-Parente-yatzer-13

Which is your favorite room showcasing theater seats?

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…

from the garden to the dining room

I know the Home Show was like weeks ago and you are probably so sick of hearing me talk about it and addressing the event as a proper noun but guess what, so many projects went into that little upcycled room.  So many hours.  I am going to talk about them until, well until, I can’t talk about them anymore and they fade into the dark night of the blogosphere.

Actually, until spring really when there is something new and fresh and worthwhile to talk about.  Or until we get married.  Yeah, the wedding will trump the Home Show for sure.

Anyway, what do you do with a garden trellis that you aren’t using in the garden?

Home Show - Milk painted dresser and trellis mirror

Turn it into a mirror of course!

Home Show - Garden Trellis Mirror

My neighbor is always finding little treasures along the way, much like me.  He handed this garden trellis over to me months ago and it sat in my garage ever since.  Until the aha moment came.  The moment I know you all wait for.  The moment Ryan cringes because I enlist him for yet another project.  As always, I promise him it is simple and will only take a few minutes…

garde trellis mirror

So the trellis got turned on it’s side.  Then we just sawed the ends off of the whole piece so it would be symmetrical.  And by “we” of course you know by now that I mean Ryan.

The great debate of January 2013 was whether or not the garden trellis should have 2 mirrors or one large mirror behind the entire trellis.  Hmmm…

Obviously we decided on 2 mirrors which gave a floating effect.  Still though, I ponder how 1 would have looked.

I speed dialed my old friends at the glass store and had 2 mirrors cut in a matter of days.  We removed the 3 middle bars from the back  of the trellis.  The mirrors rested on the bars in front.  Then we attached mirror hanging hardware in the back to those front pieces.  Finally, Ryan and I strategically screwed the back bars into place while keeping the mirrors centered.  You definitely need 2 sets of hands with this project to keep the mirrors centered and level.

how to make a garden trellis mirror

Yes, this was a team effort constructed right on the dining room table because as I recall it was like 12 degrees in the garage that day.  And you can also see how all of the projects in the dining room were evolving at that very moment.  Note the dangling new drapes over the old ones.  Hot mess.

IMG_9082

But of course, the dining room looks like this now with the mirror starring on one wall and reflecting light from the large window across the room.

IMG_9307

Which reminds me, when I posted our new and improved dining room on Monday I don’t believe I shared this angle with you which shows both the new mirror and Ryan’s vintage ball jar sketch that he made as a child.  Quite the gardeny feel this space has now.

dining room

I love how the artwork looks in the new room.  It is a perfect fit.

ball jar artwork

What do you have planned for the weekend?  Stop by the ol’ brick & mortar shop on Saturday from 10-5!

our new and improved dining room

We moved into our house almost 2 years ago.  Time really flies.  In fact I remember the first day we set foot in it, it was President’s Day 2011.  Exactly 2 years ago.  We put an offer on the house on the spot.  We loved it and still do!  We’ve had to do very little to really personalize it because this little house had been updated by the previous owners in so many ways that we would have chosen.  They had great taste when renovating the 1949 cape cod.  This is where I say “however”…

Since the day we moved in I wanted a sage green dining room.  Bottom line is, we’re earth tone people.  We like earthy greens, warm browns and cool blues.  We seem to dress that way and sway toward those colors.

So our cranberry red dining room never seemed to match us. Here is a before shot from just after we moved moved in.

IMG_1924

The challenge came though because the paint was done well.  Deep red is really hard to get right and I think the previous owners got it right along with the coordinating regal window treatment they left us too.  We got so many complements on those curtains but, again, they never felt like us.  It was hard to let it go and some of you reading will probably like the before better!  It is not like this was a room we sat in and discussed how hideous it was and how badly it needed to be redone.  I moved full speed ahead anyway and took those expensive panels down and exchanged them for my vintage, thrift store toile ones along with some fraying feed sacks for valances.  Ahhh…

vintage toile drapes & feedsack valance - window treatment

What is wrong with me?  This just feels so much better.

vintage toile drapes

Once I started bringing sage accents in the room, I knew it was time to paint.  I decided the walls needed to be Arles alla Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  It is such a warm yellow.  It is perfect!  I attempted to do a wall with chalk paint but to get the coverage I needed over all of that deep red, chalk paint wasn’t going to be cost effective.  Although, I might add, cream chalk paint very easily and successfully covered this same color red paint on my brick fireplace surround last year in just one coat.

So we took Arles to the paint counter and had them color match it in latex.  And when I saw we, I mean Ryan.  While I was on my home show marathon, out of the house for like 10 days straight, he painted the dining room!  He couldn’t bear the one half painted wall anymore and swears I set that up.  If only…what a brilliant idea.

So it is finally ready for a big reveal!

dining room paint inspired by arles

I also added an antique hooked rooster rug.  Maybe a little bit country?

antique hooked rooster area  rug

I painted the base of our table in a custom mixed sage green milk paint.

IMG_9285

This was a result of mixing Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in kitchen scale with a bit of linen and a hint of typewriter.  All left over from recent furniture painting projects.

reupholstered linen bentwood chair

In fact, I don’t think I ever shared this table on the blog before.  Here is an in progress shot of the room as it was evolving but still very much cranberry, taken a year ago.

IMG_4389

The table was one of my very first furniture projects.  I stripped and sanded the top and stained it in ebony.  Because the dining room is so small, this drop leaf gate leg table is perfect for the space.  There is also another hidden leaf stowed away inside so it accommodates a lot of people when needed.  It’s like a Stretch Armstrong of tables.  Remember him?

drop leaf table custom mixed sage milk paint

Ryan and I recovered the vintage bentwood chairs in linen.  I like how the worn wood is lighter than the rest of the wood in the room.

vintage bentwood chair

Did you notice the new chandelier?  Well it was there last year too.

dining room paint inspired by arles

This was a ReStore find a couple of years ago.  It came with mini shades but I didn’t like them.  I love the simplicity of it without them.

dining room paint inspired by arles

And how the finish coordinates with the hardware on the old aqua door (which I decided to give a permanent home since fostering it out on my mantel).  Funny thing is that this chandelier was in the red room but completely faded into the paint color.  Now it pops.

dining room paint inspired by arles

Although Ryan thought the red was fine and originally wasn’t into this project, he too is thrilled with the new yellow room.  It is so much brighter and airier.  Is that a word?

IMG_9296

dining room paint inspired by arles

dining room bentwood chair

And my mixing bowl collection…hello!  Swoon.

built in - mixing bowl collection

vintage vignette

built in display shelf

Now the domino effect has begun in this room.  Next up, stripping and painting the original built in cabinet doors to be re-hung.

And maybe bead board.  And crown molding.  Can’t you just picture it?  This is where Ryan pretends he’s not listening.

Oh and I’m already scheming more of an eclectic cottage style bench too.  Stay tuned!

Have you ever redone a perfectly fine “before” to better suit your tastes?  And where do you find your paint color inspirations?

Happy President’s Day!

Linking to: TwelveOEight, Miss Mustard Seed

hanging drapes

So I wanted to title this post “hanging drapes for dummies” but I didn’t want to scare anyone away before reading the first line.  Another title choice was “hanging drapes for thirty year olds” because if you are an actual adult i.e. over thirty, you probably already know how to hang drapes the old school way and you will learn nothing new from this post.

But as it seems, the last time I really saw drapes in my home was circa 1989 and I wasn’t hanging them.  Then the 90’s hit.  Oh the 90’s.  Balloon valances.  Need I say more about the puffy beasts that hung over suburban windows everywhere?

Moving onto the new millennium.  Or so.

My window treatments up until recently have always involved sheer panels, tab tops, grommet tops and funky, ornate hardware.  That sort of thing.  I have never once hung a drape.  Or draperies.  That word sounds so grown up and maybe even old-fashioned.

But there is a first time for everything and that was a really long introduction to…hanging drapes for dummies.  With pictures.

Follow along as I become an actual adult and introduce drapes into my home.

First let’s review what I mean by drapery.  I am talking about heavy curtains with pleats.  Old school.

Specifically, I am talking about this fabulous pair of handmade, vintage toile drapes that I scored for a song!  The fabric needs to be attached to the curtain rod.  But how?  I don’t want to use the modern ring and clip method.

drapery pleats

We’re going way back.  This, my friends, is a drape hook.  This little device does all the work!  A package of drape hooks costs about $2.50 and can be found at your local hardware store.

drape hook

Flip over the drape so you are looking at the back side of the pleats.

back of drape pleats

The drape hook has one pointy end.  Insert the pointy end upward into the seam of the pleat so it is running parallel with the pleat.

how to hang drapes

Once inserted, the curved part of the drape hook should be near the top of the pleat.

drape hook

Repeat this process pinning each pleat with a drape hook making sure each hook is sturdy.

how to hang drapes

And that’s it.  They’re ready to be hung!

how-to hang drapes

Fun fact:  A package of drape hooks contains 14 hooks.  Each of my drapes had 7 pleats.  Coincidence?

how-to hang drapes

Stay tuned for the reveal!  There’s still a lot of work to be done in the dining room.

Signed, Your first time drape hanger

what i’ve been buying

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a treasure Monday post.  As you can imagine, picking is slow this time of year due to the weather.  That hasn’t really stopped me though.  I’ve attended a few auctions lately.  And have been scoring at the thrift store in the fabric department.

Typically I am rotating chairs around the house from room to room but lately it has been window treatments.  Which, by the way, are really difficult to photograph due to the lighting.

I love finding vintage linens in excellent condition…

Is it the year of the pom pom?  I feel like they are suddenly every where.  I am not complaining!  I am falling right into this trend and fortunately I am finding vintage pom poms.  Even better!  I modified a pair of drapes as valances in my guest room.

vintage window treatment

On the same day, I came across a pair of perfectly coordinating twin flat sheets that stand in as curtain panels.  No sewing needed!

vintage window treatment

Of course this new found “window treatment” caused a domino effect.  I’ve been passively looking for something like this for the guest room so I happily took down the green plaid panels.  We are currently playing with them in my parent’s guest room.

vintage window treatment

After finding the sweet yellow and orange pom poms, I came across an adorbs set of brown pom pom curtains.

vintage window treatment

How could I resist them?  They are also a candidate for my parents house although I wish I had a place to hang them in my own home!  The size just isn’t right.  Shucks.  They are so whimsical and cute!

vintage window treatment

Moving along to my favorite find though…a set of vintage sage green toile drapes.  You might have caught a glimpse of these on my instagram last week when it was love at first sight.  Swoon!

They are the perfect size for my dining room window which has now caused yet another complete domino effect.  I’ve been wanting a green dining room since we moved in nearly 2 years ago.  These drapes have finally kick started things around here.  Now I’m on the hunt for the perfect contrasting valance.  I’m trying a few things like a new to us antique area rug.  I painted the table.  The list goes on.  I’ll share everything when I’m finished with the research and development stage.

In 2014.  Kidding.  I can’t wait that long to pull it all together in the dining room.

vintage window treatment

I will be sure to share what I learned about hanging drapes.  Like old school drapes that your grandmother had.  This is a new topic for me.  Stay tuned for that post on Wednesday.

vintage window treatment

What vintage treasures have you been finding lately?

original art

Hello! Hello! There is a new addition front and center in our dining room. I couldn’t be more smitten with it!

That’s right.  It is an amateur watercolor by my main squeeze, Ryan.  He created this little gem in fourth grade!

Perfection.  It is seriously vintage at about 25 years old.

It’s like fourth grade Ryan predicted the future and knew how totally perfect his original art would be in his grown up home.  After all we are obsessed with mason jars around here.  We’ve got the mason soap dispenser and tea towel in the kitchen.

We also made the Ball pendant light recently.

I’m thinking Ryan’s art will make a cameo at our wedding because we will certainly have Ball jars full of wildflowers just like his picture foreshadowed.  Wouldn’t this art be darling next to a guest book?

Oh the wedding!  We actually have no updates in that department.  Other than the fact that you can expect to see Ball jars.  We have not set a date or picked a venue.  We’ve been super busy with the shop and all.  Thanks for asking though!

Back to our adorable family heirloom…When we paint the dining room sage, I will change the frame to a dark wood.

See moms you really should save all of your children’s artwork!  Their future spouse might just love it as much as you do today.  I’m so glad Ryan’s mom passed this one on to us!  Priceless.

shortcuts

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ve got a secret.

And I’m going to share it.

See my romantic tablecloth?  What do you think?  Quite v-day-esque I feel.  It suited the aesthetic I wanted for last Sunday dinner.

Would you believe that it is actually a vintage linen bed skirt?  True story.  Full size/double.  In fact it would probably pass more naturally for a tablecloth if it was on a rectangular table instead of my oval one.

But anyway it is a bedskirt that belonged to my grandmother and was occassionally displayed on her French provencial bed that is now in our guest room.  It has been in a drawer for years because I honestly had no intention of pairing it back with the bed.  Last weekend I was passively looking for a violet or pink vintage tablecloth.  I never came across it while shopping.  When I got home, I followed my own advice and shopped my home for what  I already had.  Sure enough the ruffly bed skirt was a shoe in for the dining table.

So as long as I am sharing secrets…I’ve got another one…

The skirt turned table cloth was wrinkled after being stuffed in the drawer.  I ironed it right on the dining table.  Before you gasp…I had a cushiony protective table cover between the cloth and table.  I used the iron on the lowest setting and just lightly hit the wrinkles and smoothed them out.  I’ll admit this can be risky so use your best judgement.  It certainly was a shortcut that saved a lot of time although was not a perfect solution but since the queen wasn’t coming to dinner I was fine with the results.

To recap: tablecloths and ironing boards are out. Bed skirts are in.

For a picture tutorial on my felt heart rose bouquet, check out my guest post at Great Hall Scott.

What shortcuts do you have to share when tablescaping?

Linking to:

Home Stories A2Z