twinning on a budget

Remember the beach cottage that we’ve slowly but surely been putting our mark on?

twin beach bedroom on a budget

Today I’m sharing the kids space.  It is a very simple white box that we filled in with a loose red & blue color scheme.  I have to admit that this isn’t one of those spaces that is going to knock your socks off with ingenuity or a great before and after.  However, it is totally functional and well received by its little guests.

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I can assure that there is not a new piece in sight aside from the bedding, some of it anyway.  Everything else was found, free or flea.  Very easy on the pockets.  The matching quilts are vintage and possibly my favorite find in the entire space.  I always pick favorites.  I found these at a Navajo estate last summer and just knew they were right for the space.

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Who remembers This End Up from the ’80s and ’90s?  These beds were bunked in my brothers’ childhood room and fortunately I come from a long line of hoarders so these solid wood beds are still going strong over 25 years later, ready for the next generation.  The simple twin beds have classic lines that remind me of summer camp.

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The dresser was another shabby vintage piece which I intended to paint but once we moved it into the space, the rusty-red color just worked with the quilts and the warm wood.  Easy peasy.

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The mirror brings a bit of beach cottage flavor to the space along with the adjacent oar wall.  We originally planned for a standing closet here, specifically vintage blue lockers.  As the space evolved and we saw how it was being utilized we found that we didn’t need to take up square footage with a closet.  No one is staying in there long-term so oar hooks do the trick for the wanderluster.

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Across the room, our little visitors can pull up a chair and page through a book or do a craft while they’re here.  Our bigger visitors can use the small table between the beds as a nightstand.  We’re versatile like that.

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The cedar storage chest at the end of the bed is not permanent in this space. In fact, it sold shortly after I took these pictures.  It was painted MMSMP farmhouse white and was just the right storage piece for toys or bedding at the foot of a twin bed.  I think we’ll need to duplicate this look in the future because it worked well here.

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We hung some simple thrifted, waffle texture curtains although I’m really on the fence with the length.  I don’t want floor length in this room because of the little ones but this particular length feels like a bad tea length dress.  It is just cutting the room’s height mid-calf.  You know what I mean?  I’ll let that evolve though, as I’m sure I’ll know the right textile when I see it, along with the art as I have a vision of more beachy/nautical pieces above the length of the beds.

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That’s it! Welcome to the kids room at the cottage.

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a vintage birthday shoot

Using vintage props in a photo shoot is not a new idea but it is always a good idea, in my opinion.  When my sister-in-law asked me if she could use our fantastic French ticking settee for my niece’s first birthday shoot, of course I was on board!  Normally we just admire this petite piece of furniture and finally it was called into duty.

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To execute the vision we needed to scout locations, sort through props, try on hair flair and arrange outfit changes for the model, as well as, a nap.  Such a diva!  Fortunately Hadley was pretty agreeable to the arrangements we made and signed off on the whole “first birthday photo shoot” deal.

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She’s pretty much a natural at working the camera and the vintage.

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We warmed up with a portrait shoot using the driftwood inspired wall as a back drop and a hot pink slipper chair – another vintage find that I knew I was saving for a special reason.  While the vintage pieces play a nice supporting part in these photos, I think it’s clear who steals the show!

When you have a vintage Pedigree pram, it only seems appropriate to pose the baby and doting parents with it, right?  But the faux fur stole completes the look.

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It’s a tough call but my favorite are the photos with the settee and that adorable one year old…

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend with your babies.

spring tablescape

We’ve been busy over at the cottage the past couple of weekends.  We’re working to get it to a point that it can be enjoyed this summer with minimal project disruption.  The deck was power washed and we found an adorable vintage wrought iron patio set that is a perfect fit for the space.  We gifted it to my dad for his birthday a few weeks ago.  We commonly surprise them with perfectly scaled furniture that they didn’t know they needed.  It seems totally normal when you’re in this profession.  Maybe not?

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We have a similar vintage patio set that will be hitting The West End Garage very soon along with this great bench that we all secretly want to keep…

vintage wrought iron bench

Last weekend, for a pre-Mother’s Day celebration, I put together a pretty, spring tablescape where we enjoyed happy hour after a long day of projects. I started with a fantastic vintage floral, fringed tablecloth layered with pansy dishes and vintage Vera napkins.  We added a grouping of upcycled candlesticks to the mix that Ryan and I just completed.  I love how they turned out.

We sat on the deck listening to the seagulls while indulging in the most delicious treats from Shari’s Berries.

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Naturally we texted photos of the chocolate covered strawberries, cherries and cheesecake to my brothers, who weren’t present, to be sure they upped their game for our deserving Mom this Mother’s Day.  Nothing like a friendly sibling rivalry!

But really, how can you top decadent chocolate and that fun vintage tablescape?  Get mom her own chocolate covered berries at Shari’s Berries!

Shari's Berries #SBTreatMom

cottage chic

My parents recently bought a quaint cottage in our bay side neighborhood.  They’re thrilled to finally own a vacation home which has been their lifelong dream.  They plan to spend as much time here as possible and more than likely retire here one day.  Bonus, it’s just a few blocks away from us (and has a huge garage!).  Never did we imagine that we’d all end up as neighbors just blocks from the water.  Actually I guess we did imagine just that but never thought it would happen so soon!

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The three bedroom cottage needs some TLC to bring out its fullest potential. Right now it is basically just a blank canvas, inside and out.  Over the holiday break we made decorating plans for each room beginning with the living areas.  And of course, my mom and I cut to the fun stuff and bought a few accessories although we’re obviously nowhere near styling just yet.

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I’m very excited about the feature wall my dad and I are collaborating on in the family room.  This wall had a terrible texture and not in a faux finish way but more of a botched up drywall tape way.  There might even be some wallpaper under there too.  Who knows.  The home is 50-60 years old.

cottage plank wall before 5548

We decided to go cottage chic and create a horizontal plank wall using packaged white wood tongue & groove shiplap from Lowe’s.  After the wood was acclimated to the home’s environment, it was time for installation.  There is not a level surface in this vintage cottage so leveling the first panel was tough.

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Subsequently each board went on smoothly using liquid nails to attach it to the wall and brad nails to secure it.  Now that the entire wood wall is installed, it’s time for paint!

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It is tempting to paint the plank wall bright white and call it a day but you probably guessed that I’d have another idea.  This is raw shiplap wood paneling.  Raw wood is the best kind of wood for milk paint.  It will absorb into the wood like a stain.  Currently we are experimenting with different finishes and techniques to create a look similar to driftwood. Here are a few of the samples.

driftwood look milk paint wood plank samples

I think I am leaning toward ‘linen over curio’.

linen over curio milk paint for a driftwood look

‘Linen over typewriter’ isn’t bad either but more gray than tan.

driftwood look milk paint linen over typewriter I’ll have to check in with my clients and see what they think.  Which is your favorite combination for a beachy, driftwood look without going too dark?

shuffling furniture

The first furniture makeover of the year is here!

trophy mmsmp chest + jewel toned wingback

I love how this little vignette came together.  Alone the gray chest of drawers is neutral.  It is painted with 2 coats of MMSMP trophy with bonding agent.  It is a warm gray lightened and sealed with white wax.  It is also a little lighter because the base of this chest was ivory when it started.

trophy mmsmp chest + garnet lamp

This is a newer chest of drawers that was sporting a factory finish.  It wasn’t bad, just uninspiring and of course I wanted to add milk paint.

trophy mmsmp chest + jewel tones

I lightly distressed the edges of the drawers to reveal the ivory underneath.

trophy mmsmp chest

It is just so fun with the addition of the garnet chair, lamp and other jewel tones proving the gray really is the go-to neutral right now.

trophy mmsmp chest + marsala wingback chair

Funny story about that wingback chair…we have an ongoing joke in my family about the furniture shuffle that occurs.  We actually have dubbed it the Marston Shuffle.  It’s not quite a hand-me-down or even a prized family heirloom but more of a shuffle of furniture from home to home.  This chair has been shuffled 3 or 4 times now.

We started noticing this trend when we were buying our first and second homes respectively.  One family would be moving or upgrading furniture and no longer need a chair/table/dresser, etc. while another was trying to outfit a particular space where chair/table/dresser, etc. would work.  And the Marston Shuffle was born!

A piece can come back to the original owner if need-be, although I am pretty sure that hasn’t ever occurred.  Not yet anyway.  Bottom line, if it is sturdy and well-made, then there’s always someone there to scoop up a cast-off piece of furniture when one sibling is no longer interested.  I suppose that is actually the definition of a hand-me-down though, isn’t it?  Well, we prefer to shuffle furniture.

We all have some hoarding tendencies around here I guess.  That lamp by the way was originally mine.  Now it’s my mom’s.  Exhibit B.

trophy mmsmp chest + jewel tones

As for the fete of the chair, it is likely to end up with a light slip cover and maybe even some painted legs but I do love how the vintage, velvet garnet photographed here.

Do I dare say that it is close to Marsala, the color of the year?

trophy mmsmp chest + garnet wingback

At any rate, the trophy chest of drawers is now for sale at The West End Garage which is open Friday-Sunday in January.  The chair though, that will never leave the shuffle!

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Do you shuffle furniture around your family?

thankful

I am thankful for a job I absolutely love.  Buying, merchandising, potting, painting, decorating and all-around creating are tasks that I simply love to do.  Shopping Brimfield…for work?  Yes, please.  It’s been said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  Truly, I am grateful.

Circa Dee at West End Garage- Garden Holiday, cotton, boxwood & vintage radio flyer scooter

I’m thankful for my husband who has been by my side creating this brand.  He’s done the heavy lifting, constructing and much of the behind the scenes work to make my many visions reality.  Just this week he spent hours meticulously arranging minute dollhouse furniture, positioning the tiniest of dishes and details.  Something I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience to complete.

Circa Dee Victorian Cape May dollhouse holiday wndow display

Circa Dee Victorian Cape May dollhouse holiday wndow display

I am thankful to call this community home.  Cape May is a quaint seaside town lined with historic homes and filled with some of the most creative folks around.  This week has been a massive behind the scenes tour as we’ve watched an entire town prepare for the big event.  The Holidays In Cape May.  Fresh paint, new lights, stacked firewood, grand displays, pressed linens.  Pulling out all of the stops to create fantastic memories.  No wonder Cape May was named one of America’s best towns for the holidays by Travel + Leisure.  I’m grateful to contribute to such a special culture.

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Christmas in Cape May-5153

I’m certainly thankful for your support.  This year we’ve taken our business to a new level.  We’ve expanded and branched out to areas I dreamt about for longer than I realized.  We added an entire line of garden products including live plants and American made gifts.  You’ve been so encouraging.  Following our journey both personally and professionally.  Leaving comments across social media.  Introducing yourself in person.  Pinning, liking, purchasing.  Thank you.  It hasn’t gone unnoticed and means the world to me.

Circa Dee at West End Garage- circa 1940s plant stand

Happy Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?

pushin’ along

We raised an impressive $500 through the Petal Pushers fundraiser last week for our Bike MS: City to Shore team!  Just a gaggle of ladies happily arranging flowers while making a difference…

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I am so grateful for this community, family and friends for all of their support!  We couldn’t have done it without our fearless leader and professional floral designer, Renee Tucci, the mastermind behind Petal Pushers.

We have about 6 weeks to go until the actual Bike MS: City to Shore ride and most of our riders have met or exceeded their minimum fundraising goal.  You can check out our team’s progress here.

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Multiple Sclerosis is a real part of our everyday life and business journey.  Those things are closely intertwined therefore I choose to share personal updates such as these here.  I hope to educate or empower someone by letting you in on our lifestyle.

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Ryan’s MS diagnosis has shown us that life truly is a gift.  MS has taught us to live for today and not put things off for ‘someday’.  We’ve become more adventurous and courageous.  Within reason, of course.

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It has been a year since we moved to Cape May and slowed down our pace of life while eliminating some stress and ‘stuff’ along the way.  A year!  Already.  And two years since Ryan’s diagnosis.

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I’m not sure that I ever made it explicit but Ryan has officially come on board with Circa Dee.  He is doing very well in this new lifestyle that we chose.  It seems to agree with him.  And me too.  Although change can be terrifying at first, it is certainly good and not to be feared.

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more fundraising

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for the Fab Four Flea in Cape May a few weeks ago.  We cleared out a ton of stuff and sent many treasures to new homes to be adored, as they should be.  Naturally we had a blast doing it regardless of the 5 am wake up call.

Fab 4 Flea

So much fun that I’m hosting another yard sale this Saturday.  This time in PA.  Montgomery county.  That’s right, another multi-family yard sale (with other families) where we pawn more of our long forgotten about treasures off on you for next to nothing.  We’re practically giving it away all in the name of charity once again.

vintage treasures

All of the funds from Saturday’s sale will benefit our Bike MS: City to Shore fundraiser.  (Ryan’s offline donations need to be updated, if you’re keeping tabs, but they are growing!)

bikelogoThe great purge of 2014 continues…expect more vintage, some furniture, lots of kitchen items, sporting good equipment and just general household items – some old, some new.  You can view our ad here and find out where to go on Saturday morning.  As always, early birds welcome.

save the world buy vintage

We have another Team Recanize fundraiser event planned for later this summer.  I will be sure to share details ASAP.  I think you’re going to like it.  It does not involve buying any of my old junk.  I mean junque.  Stay tuned…

While I am shamelessly self-promoting our events, please note that I will be hosting another free Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demonstration on Sunday at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.  Let’s talk paint.

free MMS milk paint demo

 

creating age & patina

A few months ago, my sister-in-law and I tackled this large hutch for their home “landing area”. It was the perfect candidate for milk paint. An older, well made piece with slightly porous wood in most areas and a dulling finish left on it in others.  We predicted the dulling finish would create a resist and cause chipping.  Sorry, I can’t seem to track down a before picture but it was looking slightly dated.

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We chose to use “half strength” bonding agent. That’s a term I sort of made up meaning I don’t measure the recommended one part bonding agent to one part paint ratio. I don’t recommend “half strength” bonding agent until you really have a feel for how the paint works on different surfaces because it can be a bit of a wild card in terms of adhesion.  Of course, that is the fun of it!

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For the look we were going for, it worked out just right. We did little to no prep on the piece other than removing the hardware. We applied 2 coats of Mustard Seed Yellow with some bonding agent as described. We used antiquing wax around the edges, handles and details and waxed the rest with furniture wax. This created a perfect warm patina on the yellow.

Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint Hutch-3425

We were thrilled with how natural the chipping looked as if this hutch has been gracefully aging in a farmhouse for decades.  It chipped a little further after the piece was moved into its permanent place.  Once they felt the finish was just right, my brother applied flat polycrylic to those areas to stop any further chipping from occurring.  This essentially locked the age in.

For the inside shelves, we applied 2 coats of Linen. We thought the yellow undertones in the neutral would be a nice complement to the Mustard Seed Yellow.  We used regular furniture wax on the linen to keep it bright.

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When evaluating whether or not to paint a piece of furniture and what color to paint it, I feel you really have to honor the style and era of the piece.  I’ve learned this with trial and error of course.  But not every piece can handle every color.  This hutch is just perfect in a warm chipping yellow.  It has a nice farmhouse feel.  Yet, it can also complement some contemporary homes and decor as well.

I really love how this one turned out!  I’d love to see your latest milk paint project too!  Email pictures or tag @circadee on instagram with your finished project.

Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint Hutch-3428