blue royalty

Happy Monday, friends!  What’s shaking in your world?

We’ve had a hectic couple of weeks but finally I have a new dresser painted, waxed, photographed and ready to share.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

I really like how this one turned it out.  It is not quite my norm.  It feels a bit more regal than the casual look I tend to go for.  It is fun to experiment outside of your comfort zone and push the envelope a little.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

First I painted two coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s flow blue milk paint mixed with half strength bonding agent.  I only did half strength because I wanted a tiny bit of resisting between the paint and previously shiny finish.  It worked as I planned and gave some random chipping and crazing making the finish less than perfect – how I like it.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

I did some experimenting with the line’s new white wax.  I am loving the results.  I highlighted the edges, corners and specifically where there was crazing.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

The white wash effect really brought these cool imperfections to light while protecting the finish.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

The original furniture wax was coated over the rest of the piece.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

Another game changer are the gilded drawers.  I brushed on gilding wax around the edges of each drawer.  This is where the royal and regal look comes into play, I think.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

I love the original brass pulls.  They cleaned up quite nicely with some brasso and complement the gilded drawers well.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

This dresser is for sale although it hasn’t made it to the shop just yet!

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

All of the accessories are mine though.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

I just love this moody sailboat oil painting.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

The little gilded jewelry box was originally my grandmother’s.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

It is still filled with her baubles.  It is the little heirlooms like this that are priceless to me.

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

So what have you been working on?

flow blue dresser white wax gilded dresser

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed

behind the scenes

Hey guys.  What an amazing experience the Philly Home Show has been.  As you read this, I am moving the remainder of the inventory from the convention center back to the shop for next weekend’s sale!  (Save the date – February 23rd)  I met so many wonderful, like minded individuals who love to repurpose and reinvent their homes.  So welcome to all of the new readers.  I hope you find some inspiration here!

I wanted to share some fun tidbits today about what goes into putting a room together at the Home Show.  As I pictured before, you start with NOTHING.  A huge open convention center room with nothing more than a concrete floor.  This is how it looked when I arrived two weeks ago.


Within the hour, the carpenters were installing walls.


They are simply sheets of 4×8 drywall erected to carve out a 12×20 sized room.  At that point, it was all mine to do what I wanted with.  Exciting.


First came paint.  Major thanks to my friend Marc from Radon-Rid who was a trooper with set up and break down.


Call him to get your radon levels tested!  And Ryan helped too of course…


Then the wall installation which consisted of vintage blueprints.  This was the most time consuming part but also the biggest impact in the room.  Because I planned to salvage the 40+ year old paper again, we very carefully and gently hung it on the wall.  It wasn’t a permanent installation.  Major thanks to my mom for helping with this tedious job.


Many people asked where I found all of these prints.  The renderings belong to Ryan’s dad – my father-in-law to be.  Each was drawn, signed and dated by him in the early 70’s.  Now you understand why I wanted to salvage as many as possible, right?  Again.  It is a bit of a time capsule.


Many retired architects and contractors commented on the installation and told me about a stash of similar drawings they have and never knew what to do with.  They don’t make ’em like this anymore with the evolution of CAD and similar programs.


Now obviously this is an extreme example of re-using the blueprints but there are other options for reuse too.  Like lining drawers with the paper.  Or just installing one accent wall.  Or a gallery wall of framed, sentimental sketches.  I always thought this would look cool in a little boy’s room or a home office to give it a little punch.  Side note, the original blueprint of hour house is permanently mounted in our cellar stairway.  It is so cool.  I just wish I could move it to a more noticeable place.

Home Show - Repurposed Frames & Vintage Vanity

Next we arranged the furniture while installing pallet wood baseboards and yardstick chair rails to break up the paint and paper.  I love how the greyed out pallets coordinated with the blue walls.  By the way, the inky blue wall color is called Ming Vase by Clark & Kensington, Ace Hardware’s line.  I am a regular at Fisher’s Ace and they kindly donated the paint.


And finally the accessories.  My favorite part.  Circa Dee’s mission mentions family heirlooms…

The mission at Circa Dee is to inspire home through repurposing, refinishing & reinventing.  Learn to give vintage, family heirlooms and found materials a new life when mixing them with modern decor.  High style never looked so eco & budget friendly.

…so I thought it was important to have some of my own in this show room.  There are a lot of little personal touches like old family photos.


These are all relatives of mine on my father’s side. My great grandparents…


This is a picture of my maternal grandmother taken right in Philadelphia decades ago.


Ryan’s thesis is tucked in this little reading corner.  Don’t worry we have extra copies to loan if you want to read up on immunology and the like.


There you have it – blueprints, family photos, thesis.  What heirlooms are subtly placed in your home?

More pictures of the finished room can be seen here.

Reclaimed Industrial Bedroom

Linking to Funky Junk Interiors

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.


The guest room has been getting lotsa decor love lately. 

First, the sheet music wreath.

Then the spoon wreath last week.

And now a window treatment!

The funny thing is that we don’t spend any time in there.  It reminds me of a living room that no one lives in.  You know the type.  You may have had one growing up or maybe you have your own now.  It’s that room in the house that is the most pristine.  So pristine that no one goes in there.  No one is allowed in there.  I’m afraid that my beloved guest room is turning into the untouchable room.  We need to have some overnight guests stat so we can change that.  Until then I continue to deck the walls in vintage (and spoons). 

Moving right along.  Vintage scarves are my accent du jour.  These aren’t just any old scarves.  They were my grandmother’s.  When I acquired the furniture from her, the silky fabrics were left in a drawer.  I never saw her wear these scarves in my lifetime.  I wonder if they were all even hers or possibly her mother’s.  At any rate, they are most definitely 50 years old or more.  They are quite fragile so I am afraid to wear them.  What if I were to lose one?  Stain one?  Tear one?  Some even have holes already so when working with them, I chose not to wash or steam them.  I didn’t want to wear them out even more. 

After seeing various versions of scarf curtains and valances, I decided that was how I wanted to display some of my silky heirlooms.  I chose complementary colors to the navy walls and contrasting yellowy furniture.  The greens are pretty. 

When it came to hanging the scarves, I simply draped them over the already existing valance hardware. 

(Yes, we still have a 1950’s shade on the window.  Me likey.)

I used 3 large scarves, folded them in half diagonally making a triangle.  When draping them, I made sure the point was down in order to keep the look consistent. 

I’m pretty happy with the results.  So simple and so much better than keeping these textiles hidden away in a drawer.  And I’m hoping those wrinkles will just fall out.  Soon.  Very Soon.

What are some other ways to display vintage scarves?

Linking to:
Funky Junk Interiors
House of Hepworths
Freckled Laundry
House of Grace

spoon fed

Late one night Ryan came into the office to tell me he was going to sleep.  I told him I was too, just as soon as I made a wreath out of plastic spoons.  He snickered, shook his head and left the room.

He thinks I’m nuts.  Maybe I am.

I first saw the plastic spoon wreath here.  I thought it was clever and had to try it.  I went to the dollar store to pick out some pretty spoons.  I settled on yellow.  I’ve been on a yellow kick lately.

Two dozen spoons and some hot glue later I had myself a wreath.  It only took about 10 minutes to make.  You just glue the back of the spoon to the handle of another spoon and keep going.  You can use more spoons if you’d like.  I added ribbon also from the dollar store.  It was so easy.  In fact, I was thinking that this might be a fun craft to do with kids.  I was feeling a little like a girl scout leader in my delirious state of mind.  So I went to sleep.

The following day I looked at my wreath of spoons.  What the heck do you do with a wreath of plastic spoons? 

That’s what I was thinking as I carried it around the house looking for a place to hang it.  It’s not exactly super chic unless you are having a picnic.  Oh, the perfect picnic decor!

But we weren’t having a picnic.  So I kept trying out spaces…

Then I settled on this wall above my antique dresser behind my Grandmother’s pitcher and basin. 

It looks right at home there and sort of frames the pitcher. 

By the way, the pitcher and basin must have been made in the ceramics hey day of the ’70s.  The tell tale message is on the bottom.  To Rita (my Grandmother), Love Debbie.  We have no idea who Debbie is.

Back to the plastic spoon wreath…for it to not look super strange in your home decor, it really needs to be part of a vignette and preferably set back.  Then it blends and becomes a subtle conversation piece.  This isn’t a wreath that can hang out there alone.  Think buddy system.

The spoon wreath vignette sits opposite the vintage sheet music wreath in the guest room.  We’re officially at wreath capacity in that room.

I think I’ll try a fork wreath next…

Linking to:
The Lettered Cottage
House of Hepworths
Fireflies & Jellybeans
Beyond the Picket Fence
Mod Vintage Life
Between Naps on the Porch

tv killed the radio

Hey guys! I’m really excited about the latest antique addition to our house.

But let me start by telling you about our master bedroom. It is shockingly very un-vintage and do I dare say possibly modern?

Ok, not modern but not vintage either. Traditional?

Just like the guest room, we are working a dark wall/light furniture combo.

All of the colors in the room are very warm and relaxing…easy to catch some ZZZ’s in.

I like lots of pillows and neutral colored bedding in different textures like cotton and silk.

But what I’m really excited to show you is the new-to-us TV stand!

Don’t be fooled. It’s not just a TV stand. Know what that is?

It’s a Silvertone Radio console circa 1930s. I just love it! I especially love what this combination represents in terms of how far technology has come. Let me tell you a story about it…

This radio belonged to Ryan’s mom. She told us how it was positioned between her and her sister’s bed when they were children. She remembers listening to it before going to sleep. She’s kept it all of this time.

Fast forward 60 plus years and routines haven’t changed much. Just the technology. The radio console now acts as a shelf for the TV that we watch before going to sleep. The piece still serves a similar entertainment function to us as it did to them all of that time ago.

First we incorporated Ryan’s dad’s camera collection into our home and now his mom’s radio. We are so lucky! The color and grain of the wood is just beautiful. Plus the console also gives some bonus storage shelves.

Ok, so maybe I snuck some vintage into this seemingly traditional room afterall! Here’s a little more…

I found Ryan’s night stand at an antique shop. It is topped with a picture of our beloved Wilson and an awesome bourbon bottle lamp.

We found the lamp antiquing a few years ago and just had to have it. It is so Ryan.

I decided to go with mismatched bedside vignettes speaking to both of our styles. Plus dark woods to contrast with the light bedroom furniture we aleady had. That means I use this quirky chair to stack books and magazines around. I wouldn’t dare sit on it though. Hey, it was only 4 bucks!

It’s topped with a milkglass lamp. Because I love milkglass. The shade is new. Just a little bit of flare to girly up the dark wood of the chair-turned-table. Oh and the distressed parts of the chair are authentic from age. My favorite part.

Thanks for taking the tour! Do you love the new addition of the radio?

Sharing with:
Chic on a Shoestring


say cheese

Built ins.

That was a term that I was always passively searching for in the real estate listings when we were house hunting. Original built ins and pocket doors. We ended up with 3 sets of built ins throughout the house. No pocket doors but I’m over it.

I love our built ins! Here’s what they looked like the day we moved in. Ignore all of the stuff. At one point there were doors on the bottom but the last owner removed them. I’d like to put some back on…eventually.

The last owners also painted the walls behind the shelves red. There’s been lotsa red up in here. It was just too much. And felt a little too modern for my vintage self. While the red did contrast nicely with the white, everything that got put on the shelf seemed to just blend into the color. There wasn’t enough contrast.

So…I painted them. A glossy, refreshing white! But I started with primer to cover up all of the red.

Ryan removed one shelf on the right so we could fit the TV rather than have it on the mantel. This was the great compromise of the living room.

Luckily, we have this pretty fabulous collection of vintage cameras. Ryan’s dad was quite the photographer in his hey day. A couple of years ago, he gave me all of his old cameras. I held onto them hoping to display them in a unique way some day.

Looks like that day is today!

We’ve displayed them amongst old and new family photos. This is still a work in progress. We need to add more pics. The idea is to have different eras of pictures nestled amongst the different camera models.

Check it out closely…

Here’s a Super 8 movie camera. It’s displayed upside down. I love this one! Super 8s have been making a comeback especially on the wedding scene.

This one is probably the oldest of the group. It didn’t come from Ryan’s family collection. I got this one when I was a kid from one of my grandparents.

Up top there is a Polaroid Land camera. I love the accordion-like detail on this one. Below it is a Kodak Brownie, I believe, plus some miscellaneous lenses.

Here’s a bowl of the coolest ice blue flash bulbs. These were too pretty to not include in the vignette.

Rounding out the shelves is this old school typewriter. Love it! I found it in a dusty corner of my parent’s basement about 5 years ago and have had it out ever since. Everyone comments on it.

So there you have it. All of these cool antiques belonged to different family members of ours. I am so thankful that no one throws anything away!

Linking to:
Primitive & Proper
Between Naps on the Porch

be our guest

What a fabulous, long Memorial Day weekend we had! I found myself surrounded by friends, family and perfect summer weather the entire time. There were lots of people in and out of our house and therefore our first official house guests!

They got to stay in our very vintage guest bedroom…

The room is still a work in progress (as they all are). We inherited the navy blue walls from the little boy who used to live in this room. Navy blue is a bold color to go with but it works really well with my Grandmother’s antique bedroom set that I now own. There she is getting ready for her wedding circa 1946 at that very same mirror.

I love the contrast between the ivory furniture and dark walls. I think this works so well because there are 3 large windows that provide plenty of natural sunlight.

Remember the chenille rug? It’s hard to believe I found this gem just a few weeks ago. Here it is in it’s new home at the foot of the bed. I’m still on the hunt for a coordinating chenille bedspread.

I like how this little corner is shaping up. There’s one of the night stands donned with a tarnished compote filled with wooden spools that I estate saled last week. Interesting combo that makes me happy!

See that picture? It is a Philadelphia newspaper print dated 1913. I love the contrast of the newspaper on the navy wall. I got it at an antique mall a couple of years ago in Quakertown, PA with my antique-loving-SIL. It was that day that we decided we needed to rent a trailer and go cross country antiquing. We haven’t booked that trip yet but one of these days…

But my new favorite part of this room is the vintage sheet music wreath.

I made it last week during the 19 inning Phillies game on Wednesday. I could have made atleast 3 of them in that time. Ryan didn’t really understand why one would want to make a wreath of paper. I told him it only cost $3 in materials. Then he saw the end result. Maybe he is a believer of paper wreaths now…

I started with a really great tutorial that I found here. Then I went to the dollar store and got some materials.

I wrapped the wreath in the ivory ribbon. Then I tore all of the sheet music pages out of the book.

Here’s a tip…cut those pages in half horizontally. Your sheet music will go further.

Then I rolled all of the pages and glued the edges. The tutorial throughly outlines this step. I tried different sizes. In other words, I rolled some tight and kept others open wider. I learned that the wider ones make the wreath look fuller. Duh.

Final step is to hot glue the rolled pages to the wreath. I did 2 layers. One glued to the side and one glued to the front to create depth.

There you have it. A wreath of old paper. I love it!

Have a great short week my friends! I expect to see Wilson on Thursday or so when he gets out of bed. He is just so exhausted from our long weekend…

Sharing with:
Between Naps on the Porch