our collected living room

jungalow style

After nearly 3 years of tweaking, rearranging, shuffling chairs, plants and window treatments, I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with where we’ve landed in our living room.  While the kitchen is usually the center of the home figuratively, this living room is literally the center of ours.  It is a large room with multiple doorways, windows and traffic paths so getting the floor plan just right was really important.  Originally this room was two small rooms that a previous owner opened up.  I’m glad they did.

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grainsack vintage chair living room-491

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Form, function and scale were also very important for us.  Our house is small and although the rooms are relatively large, there are few of them so each space has to work just right for our needs.  The corner by our sliding door always stumped me and I knew it could do better for us.

antique victorain secretary white chesterfield living room-536

After months of searching, I found a fantastic antique Victorian secretary desk on Craig’s List.  Last winter we brought this stately piece home to finally give purpose to that corner.  It was immediately evident that this was what the room needed. It pulls triple duty for us as china cabinet storage, bar and work space.  The secretary opens to reveal the perfect little desk that Ryan works at almost daily.

bohemian style living room kilim rugs-511

Another game changer was finally pulling the trigger and purchasing just the right sofa which made its debut back around the holidays.  The white tufted chesterfield puts a smile on my face everyday and it brightens up the middle of the room.  I tend to wonder why I waited so long on this purchase.  Probably because it is the only thing, aside from the gifted yellow rug, that is brand new. Nearly everything else in this space was “found, free or flea” which epitomizes my vintage style.

farmhouse white chesterfield living room-495

eclectic living room-501

Near the entrance, we were in desperate need of a freestanding closet to function for coat storage.  Again, after months of sourcing, I came across just the right scale antique piece.  Persistence pays off!  We drove about 3 hours to pick this one up and it was well worth the trip.  I painted the closet in MMS milk paint Farmhouse White.  The old finish resisted the paint just right revealing the perfect chippy texture.  Form and function wins again!

farmhouse white @mmsmp antique cabinet-521

Those rugs are possibly my favorite find of all time.  That’s a bold statement to make in this room because it’s loaded with favorite finds.  They are authentic vintage kilim rugs that I picked up for a song. I will never let them go.

bohemian home vintage kilim rug ammo trunk bench seat living room-505

Along with the pair of vintage mohair chairs that I’ve sung the praises of here plenty of times before.  I doubt I’ll ever tire of those either.

vintage mohair chair ladder blanket rack living room-527

This room has looked like this for nearly 6 months and I have no immediate plans to change it aside from the occasional accessory or vignette. Famous last words but I think we’ve finally found a happy eclectic mix of vintage/collected/bohemian/farmhouse/jungalow/beachy style. Did I miss anything in that style classification?

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bohemian home vintage collected living room

Updating this room certainly didn’t happen overnight.  First there was the wallpaper which came down immediately and up went creamy off-white paint.  Cornerstone by Behr.  I’m still happy with this choice years later.  Then there was the wood stove installation and slate surround.  Next was the flooring which Ryan installed every square foot of.  Finally, the furniture finds and accessories which make the house a home.

bohemian home vintage collected living room

I’ll leave you with some before and after pictures for good measure.  Updates have come in phases but it’s always fun to look back at where we started when we bought this house, frilly curtains included.

living room before

vintage collected bohemian farmhouse living room-514

living room before

vintage kilim rug window seat-505

Thanks for visiting!

garden antiques in the living room

 

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beach cottage bedroom

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom

Is it spring yet?  The beach sure is lonely without you.  I am counting down the days until the neighborhood is bustling again.  As much as a I love a little wintertime solitude, I prefer the action that warm sunny weather brings to the sandy beaches.  With that said, let’s check out a bright and cheerful beach cottage bedroom.  Between starfish and vintage swimsuit art, it is just brimming with anticipation of summer!

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom

If you are a regular around here, you probably remember that my folks bought a cute beach cottage about a year ago.  We’ve been gradually making progress room by room.  Each space was basically a neutral space that needed a punch of color and personality.  The carpet is brand new so it wasn’t going.  They also weren’t into painting as it was also recently done.  The reality is that other time-consuming projects, like creating a bathroom, took priority.  Basically we just pulled together a color palette and accessorized on a budget.  To do that, we used a combination of salvaged pieces, vintage, second-hand finds plus new textiles and art.  The color scheme is just so happy.  Perfect for the beach, right?

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom 393

Once upon a time, the headboard was in my bedroom.  It’s a salvaged door which so happens to measure a short 60 inches – the same width as a queen bed.  Years ago, I adorned it with driftwood, paint and starfish which are still fun.

Possibly my favorite part of the room are the swimsuit prints.  These were very hard to find!  We spotted them about a year ago at Bed, Bath & Beyond but were not ready to pull the trigger.  Of course that was a mistake.  Months later when we ready for art and agreed on the swimsuit prints, they were gone of course.  Local stores were wiped out.  Spoiler alert, after weeks of searching, I finally found them AND they were half price.  Naturally, I also hoarded a set for myself because you never know when you’ll need vintage-inspired swimsuit art.  These were the only two patterns available out of the original six or eight prints.  Fortunately, the colors were perfect.

beach cottage bedside tables + vintage swimsuit art

Those lamps are new-ish but found second-hand for mere dollars.  Aren’t they perfect?  The end tables are both painted in MMS milk paint, apron strings on the left & kitchen scale on the right.  The kitchen scale drum table doesn’t actually belong in this room.  It is one of a pair which are available for sale at West End Garage.  Normally we have a coordinating chest on the right but this one looks pretty darn good there.

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Let me divert your attention to the other side of the room.  What was once two dusty old closets, is now a full bathroom.  It is the tiniest full bathroom aptly named The Water Closet.

The Water Closet-

The closet space was the selling point on this old house but not for storing clothes.  The house had all the space they were looking for in a beach cottage but just one bathroom which was a deal breaker.  We stood in this very room when I had the bright idea that the side-by-side closets from adjacent bedrooms could be knocked out to make room for approximately a 30 square foot bathroom.

WC before

Now, I can’t take all of the credit.  My dad is the plumber who masterminded the water closet complete with a pocket door.  I will take credit for the pocket door actually.  That was my idea.

pocket door water closet bathroom

To the left is the toilet and to the right is a shower stall.

water closet tiny full bathroom

Admittedly two closets were lost in the making of this full bathroom.  However, we compensated with stand alone closets in each room.  As it turns out an additional bathroom is strongly preferred over closet space in a beach house anyway.

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Just three months until Memorial Day!

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Source List

Bedroom

  • Bedding – Homegoods
  • Headboard – salvage
  • Tin Shelf – salvage
  • Night stands – vintage painted in MMSMP Apron Strings & Kitchen Scale
  • Lamps – estate sale finds
  • Curtains – thrifted
  • Top down shades – JCPenney
  • Swimsuit prints – Bed, Bath & Beyond (sold out)
  • Cedar Closet – vintage painted in MMSMP Artissimo

Water Closet

  • Towels – Homegoods
  • Shower Curtain – Homegoods
  • Tile – Home Depot ‘Noce’
  • Mirror – vintage
  • Rattan shelf – trash (no shame)
  • Rattan baskets – Homegoods
  • Plumbing – Marston Mechanical

 

 

 

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Christmas at home

It has been quite some time since I’ve shared projects from my own home.  And for good reason.  We’ve been shuffling furniture around still trying to find the “perfect” layout and pieces.  We’ve settled on this cozy arrangement in our family room for the holidays.  It feels good to “nest” again, one of my favorite winter past times!

Christmas living room

I finally got a bee in my bonnet about the sofa situation that I had been less than thrilled with.  I had enough of trying to camouflage the overstuffed brown sectional.  After a ton of research, I finally went ahead and ordered the creamy tufted Chesterfield of my dreams.  It arrived last weekend, ten days early!  Just in time for holiday decorating.  Come get acquainted with this beauty.

white velvet Chesterfield sofa

Don’t be shy.  Reach out and touch that velvety tufting.

tufted white Chesterfield sofa

The sofa coordinates nicely with the vintage club chair we already had which was reupholstered in hemp fabric a few years back.  Suddenly this space feels bright, airy and inviting!

corner club chair buffalo check reindeer Christmas

I plucked a fading bench out of the garden to try as a coffee table for the season.  The measurements are just right.  The newness of the sofa almost felt too regal for my rustic-loving self.  The chipping, vintage bench seems to juxtapose the sofa just right.

chipping white garden bench coffee table baluster lamp white sofa

I scored the old bench for 5 bucks at a yard sale about 5 years ago.  Five dollars well spent I’d say.

chipping white garden bench coffee table recycled fabric hooked rug

I like how the chipping finish coordinates with the chipping window frame that we just moved into this space.  We used the window as our seating chart at our wedding in 2013.  We never removed the names of our guests and instead used this as a frame by outfitting each pane with a 5×7 photo from our special day.  This is as far as we’ve gotten in making any sort of wedding album.  That baluster lamp is one of Ryan’s creations.  Pink is rapidly and unintentionally becoming accent color in here.

vintage window picture collage

Before we move onto Christmas decor, let me point out one more change.  We boosted this vintage card catalog up to proper end table height with the addition of tapered legs.  I also painted the frame of the piece however did not want to mess with the drawers, specifically the old pulls.  I am still deciding on whether to stain or paint the legs but for now we’re enjoying the table in its unfinished state.
vintage card catalog end table

The mantel always gets pride of season.  This year I was compelled to follow a traditional red & green palette for the most part. I only slightly switched things up from the autumn mantel by adding the lemon cypress trees, red pomegranates, last year’s felt wreath plus a little bling of course.  The botanical prints, another newer addition, have been up since late summer.vintage red and green botanical Christmas mantel

I also switched out the blanket on our battered, splattered ladder.  Say that 3 times fast!  We made the flannel bunting a couple of years ago.

vintage red and green botanical Christmas mantel

The tree decor is pretty laid back this year.  We always choose a fresh Fraser fir.  Growing up, we had full Douglas fir trees but I’ve become accustomed to the irregular shape of a Fraser.  The gaps are perfect for filling with twigs of cotton and the like.

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Presents are starting to pile up under the tree.  I’m ahead of the game this year with gifts already wrapped and tagged.  Would you believe I found all of these pretty papers at the dollar store?  I was impressed with their selection.  For a touch of rustic, I corralled the small gifts in this vintage wire basket.

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I like to put my favorite vintage Christmas balls on display in bowl.  I am always worried they’ll break if I hang them on the tree plus this gives the ornaments the opportunity to really shine on their own.  The un-silvered, glass balls date back to World War II.  They’ve always been my absolute favorite.  Of course, the vintage mercury glass ones are pretty too.      Christmas-337

The natural centerpiece was a breeze to put together.  It’s all about the layering.   Starting with the wood charger and fresh greens from the woods.  It’s best to do this just before company comes so it looks fresh.  The paperwhites are growing rapidly right before our eyes!  It’s the little things that make me happy this time of year…and the new sofa too.

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**Many of the pieces used to decorate my home are for sale through Circa Dee at The West End Garage and Serendipity.  Pictured are the wood charger, tree bark wreaths, lemon cypress tree, cotton, paperwhites, flannel bunting, grainsack stockings and we have similar vintage and baluster lamps too!**

Happy Holidays!

finding inspiration

November really brings a battle between Christmas enthusiasts and those standing-up for Thanksgiving from a decorating/shopping standpoint, doesn’t it?  I mean who doesn’t love Thanksgiving?  No one wants to skip the feast.  However, some are overlooking the cornucopia for the twinkling Christmas lights immediately after Halloween.  I’ve always been a fan of keeping autumn harvest decor fresh, until the day after Thanksgiving when it is game-on for Christmas decorating.

As I’ve ventured further into the retail world I can understand why Christmas comes immediately following Halloween.  It is a very glitzy, very short selling season.  A lot of effort goes into merchandising for the holidays yet the season is definitely shorter than autumn harvest.  Perhaps that is why we’re seeing it grow just a little more every year, annoying as it may be to poor Thanksgiving.  With that said, I may even be behind the eight ball in getting all of my holiday inventory on the sales floor.  Yes, I surely am.

For me, November is all about balance.  Autumn harvest at home with Christmas on the brain and in the store.  While looking for inspiration for the season, I found some of my favorite holiday themed signs that I’ve painted over the past four years.  Here are the highlights…

Santa on a barn door is definitely a favorite which I’ve replicated again and again.

rustic santa barn door

Holly Jolly Christmas is indeed available now at The West End Garage.

holly joll christmas sign

Believe is always a crowd pleaser.

handpainted believe sign on reclaimed wood

The deer is a favorite from last year and it ended up in the home of a family member.  I may just have to make another one for 2015!

oh deer

Probably not my favorite work but any reference to classic Bedford Falls is a winner!

wonderful life sign

I love the juxtaposition of the message and the rustic canvas here.

rustic joy to the world

Moose Lodge is another one that I’ve done a few times.  Not necessarily reserved for Christmas either.

moose lodge

How’d this one sneak in here?

Painted Signs on Reclaimed Wood - maryland crabs

And the original “On the Way to Cape May” sign!  This one started it all.

Cape May Sign

Well, we’re most certainly off of the Christmas track now and perhaps back on harvest.  The sunflower seed packet resides at my parents.  I didn’t have the heart to sell it.  It’s possibly my all time favorite.

vintage sunflower seed pack reproduction sign

I’ve got a thing for fonts and vintage inspired signs which led me to start a pinterest board dedicated to other handmade holiday inspired signage.  Check it out here.

Where do you stand on the whole Thanksgiving/Christmas decorating debate?

thoughts on pink

Sometimes pink is just that. Feminine, girly, frilly.  Pink!

arabesque french dresser-275

But sometimes it can be quiet, subtle and almost neutral.  I don’t dare say masculine because we are programmed to believe that pink is the opposite of masculine but perhaps in a room full of dark wood or ornate antiques it can balance out the masculinity.

salvaged baluster lamps arabesque french dresser-273

I’d like to think that the less-than-precious finish on this French provincial piece can lend to a variety of settings from the obvious choice in a little girl’s bedroom to a dining room sideboard stand-in or and entryway piece.  The latter is how I would choose to use it.

arabesque french dresser-278

The body is painted in MMSMP Arabesque while the eight drawers are layered in Marzipan which is a warm neutral in and of itself.  Between the layers of Marzipan is antiquing wax and light distressing for an imperfect finish.

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The body of the dresser chipped on its own revealing hints of brown.  After some subtle white waxing on the pink, the entire piece received a top coat of MMSMP Tough Coat for durability.

shells - arabesque french dresser-283

The inside of the drawers is undeniably feminine with a surprise pop of vintage floral wallpaper!  The original hardware is on six of the eight drawers with a hint of gilding wax to bring out the detail.  The smaller top drawers received a knob since one pull overall was missing when we found this dresser.  Since taking these photos I’ve since switched out the pink knobs for brass ones.

vintage wallpaper as draawer liner - arabesque french dresser-287

Here is how it looks staged for sale at The West End Garage.  I love that original tin wall.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before!  It is funny how Arabesque sometimes reads as a lilac and less pink.

WEG arabesque dresser

Also, did you see those lamps?  Another set of salvaged baluster lamps created by Ryan.  This pair is also less than precious with chipping paint and fractures adding to the awesomeness!

salvaged baluster lamp

I am not sure that I ever shared on the blog the pair of green salvaged baluster lamps that Ryan made.  These sold some time ago but were another favorite!  We opted to make the white pair a little bit more industrial with the hardware exposed since the top is where most of the detail of the white balusters lie.  Otherwise the lampshades would have covered those curves.

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And speaking of pink, here is a pink baluster lamp that Ryan made and we’ve decided to keep for our own living room.

pink salvage baluster lamp-159

Tell me your thoughts on pink.  Is it feminine all of the time?  Neutral?  Can it go masculine?

chicken coop coffee table

Our latest upcycled victim is a fantastic old crate which was once a chicken coop. I’d imagine that chickens were transported to and from auction in this coop.  Feathers flying as the birds were off to find a new farm to call home.

chicken coop coffee table-146

The coop is larger than most that I’ve seen in the past and a bit more rudimentary in construction. The wear and aging on the wood can’t be matched.  It has that perfectly weathered & washed out color that retailers like Restoration Hardware try to replicate.

chicken coop coffee table-148

We removed the door from the top of the coop as it was raised and not conducive to a new life as a coffee table.  Over the opening there is now a large piece of glass making it functional again.  We added casters to elevate the coop to coffee table height and, of course making it mobile.

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I always love a good coop coffee table.  We’ve transformed a few over the years!  This one is for sale at The West End Garage.

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Did you spy the Victorian pink baluster lamp?  Another new upcycle from Circa Dee!  This one might be a keeper though.  It’s still up in the air.  We’re working on this living space so we’ll see how things shake out.  That color & patina though…

victorian pink baluster lamp #upcycle #lighting vintage card catalog

 

Christmas is coming

 Aside from tree ornaments, there are very few things we pulled out of storage to create a warm, seasonal home.  Instead we opted to use everyday and season-less items with just a hint of Christmas ambiance in a relatively traditional color palette.

Organic Christmas 2014-Circa Dee

Our decor this year is very organic with the exception of the vintage chippy mirror and salvaged pillars.  The blooming paperwhites whimsically frame a live succulent wreath.  Why go for evergreens when you can have succulents?  You must ask yourself.

live succulent wreath

Preserved boxwood topiaries add a bit of formality as they anchor the ends of the mantel plus they will last for  years.

Christmas mantelscape with cotton & candles

I continue to obsess over cotton stems.  I simply laid them on their side to create a nice, full garland across the mantel.

cotton garland

Fresh holly from the yard nestles amongst the cotton.

cotton & holly Christmas garland

Firewood is accompanied by a nearly blooming Christmas cactus.

Christmas firewood

The firewood tea light candle holder adds just a bit of warmth to the holiday display.

firewood log candle holder

How are you decorating your mantel this holiday season?

Natural Christmas 2014-Circa Dee

Many of these items and similar ones are available at The West End Garage.

Bonus:  they can easily transition into the new year with the omission of the holly and ornaments!

makers

This week has been all about making.  And pricing but we won’t talk about the endless task of tagging holiday inventory.  Making, however, is one of my favorite things to do.  My second favorite actually.  Buying, sourcing, picking, whatever you want to call it…that is my very favorite task in this business.

When sourcing vintage inventory it is common for us to come across old wood, doors, trim and the related that can be used to paint a vintage style sign.  I can get lost for hours sketching, painting and conceptualizing these signs.  This week they were primarily holiday specific.

Ryan prepares the surfaces, cuts and secures boards and attached the hardware.  Some are simple but evoke the spirit of the season.

handpainted holiday "Believe" sign on reclaimed wood + driftwood tree

Painting smalls like these signs presents a great opportunity to use leftover milk paint mixed from a larger project.

handpainted vintage style Santa sign on reclaimed wood

The Santa is permanent chalk over rustic old boards with great texture.  I achieved the look by using a fine flat brush and grainsack milk paint applied over the initial chalk sketch.

handpainted Santa Clause sign on reclaimed wood

I think this board was part of an old cupboard door.  The green streak of paint was already there along with the texture and smudges.  I took a lead from those colors when choosing the aqua and brown acrylic paints for my design.  I painted a similar Moose Lodge sign a few years ago.  I always loved it so decided to replicate it with a different color palette.

handpainted holiday sign on reclaimed wood-Moose Lodge

I went over the moose with white wax to blend it into the old paint job on the door.

handpainted holiday sign on reclalmed wood-Moose Lodge

This Silent Night sign is a piece of scalloped trim.  Nothing fancy.  I like the muted color scheme provided by a wash of shutter gray and navy lettering.

handpainted Silent Night on salvaged trim #mmsmp

Another project on tap this week was turning a salvaged column into a clothes tree for retail display.  We’ve had a pair of salvaged white Cape May porch columns for several years.  They’ve made cameos a number of places including in our salvage style bedroom (which is currently getting a more sophisticated re-vamp).

salvaged column clothes tree painted with mmmsmp kitchen scale, retail booth display

I decided to paint one in kitchen scale and topcoat it with antiquing wax.  Ryan built a tiered support system on the bottom and secured a trio of iron hooks on top.

salvaged column clothes tree painted with mmmsmp kitchen scale-5064

The new and improved salvaged column clothes tree will be popping up in a retail display this season!  All of the vintage style signs will be available for sale.

linen stockings + salvaged column clothes tree painted with mmmsmp kitchen scale-5066

what a long, strange trip it’s been

Ok, it wasn’t long at all.  Ryan and I were gone for about 36 hours over the weekend.

vintage treasure haul

But it was strange.

where are her pants?

We decided to hit the back roads of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to quench our junking thirst.  We quite literally took the roads less traveled.  Passing rolling hills of farm land boasting the most perfectly dilapidated old barns.  Followed by the swampy marsh land dotted with the most perfectly dilapidated old boats.

barn door and concrete planters

We scored all sorts of vintage treasures hitting junk shops, flea markets and yard sales.

retro yellow porch chair

The junking trifecta if you will.

vintage aqua pots and pink trowels

vintage art

We even stayed at what seemed to be a trucker motel…

treasure hunting

I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about that experience yet.

vintage drexel nightstand

We had dinner in a swanky drape lined lair where men apparently wear fancy hats.

dinner

Ahh, yes, the things dreams are made of…

The wide open road, an empty truck and no real agenda.  I’m so glad we chose this strange career.

Perhaps it chose us.