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

woodstove vintage living room-500

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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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!

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.

chicken coop coffee table-164

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.

chicken coop coffee table-157

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

 

yes, that’s a light

Last week I shared some updates regarding vintage in the kitchen.  We didn’t stop at the furniture and accessories but took it to the lighting too.

flea market style kitchen

The funnel-like object over the dining table started the recycled lighting movement in the kitchen.  This piece has been lighting our meals for over a year now.  I still love its quirk and charm.  And we still have no idea as to what it could have possibly been in a former life.  We assume it belonged on a farm but have no idea.  The mystery continues.  I love to hear guesses.

vintage SERVE letters

Ryan installed a new light where one didn’t exist.  This is essentially a foyer area where the door opens into the room.  We needed lighting to define the space.  We found this galvanized piece at an antique store and both instantly thought “light”.  I know, it’s as if a light went off!  Anyway, it appears to be the top of a cupola and that’s exactly how it was found.  Ryan wired it to serve as a pendant in this space.

cuppola top turned pendant light

Across the room, we replaced the light above the sink.  I love this beautiful rusty structure.  This is a wind turbine/air vent that more than likely came from a barn or commercial building.  It is large and in charge.  Light peeks out of all of the openings casting pretty shadows on the ceiling at night.

wind turbine air vent turned light fixture

Just for fun, the before pictures…

There are still a number of updates and DIY projects to go in this room like making use of the pesky space above the cabinets and replacing the hood.  In the meantime, we’re enjoying the vintage aspects so much more than the dated builder grade choices.  It is fun to push the envelope.  Why not?

wind turbine air vent turned light fixture

More out of the ordinary kitchen projects:

vintage in the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home.  That is certainly the case in our home.  We’ve never done a gut renovation to the space.  Instead we’ve tackled one DIY project at a time to make it feel more like “us”.  Regardless of all of the other projects we’re working on, we always seem to come back to the kitchen.  This winter Ryan redid the floors and closet doors.

vintage kitchen

When putting the room back together between every project, I find that more and more vintage accessories creep into the room which makes me very happy.  Occasionally we find something so unique or that it is deemed a keeper.  I’ve been hoarding some of these keepers for years just waiting for the right space.  Before I give you a tour of the vintage treasures in action, let’s check out a kitchen before and after from the same angle…for fun.

Milk Crate

I’ve had this milk crate for as long as I can remember.  It has been totally utilitarian.  It has served as a centerpiece filled with vases.  Now, turned on its side and mounted to the wall, it is a spice rack.  The openings are the perfect size for pint ball jars and smaller.

milk crate turned spice rack

Vintage quart ball jars work well as canisters on a rack in the pantry.

kitchen organization with ball jar canisters

Produce Scale

This scale is just divine in its vintage green paint glory.  I didn’t even have to think out of the box for its use.  Once again, it is a produce scale housing potatoes.  I love that the face says Philadelphia.

Potting Bench

The old potting bench is made from reclaimed wood and topped in zinc.  It is the perfect microwave cart with a drawer for linens and a shelf to corral cookbooks and cutting boards.  It frees up storage space elsewhere.  Plus, it’s so charming!

potting bench turned microwave cart

Copy Easel

The metal copy easel was a gift a few years back.  I find it to be totally practical as a cookbook stand.  It even has an arm that serves as a placeholder.

We’ve also added some fantastic recycled lighting. I’ll be sharing that soon.

How do you incorporate vintage into your kitchen?

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

a blanket rack

Fall brings out the nesting instinct in so many of us.  Definitely me.  I found myself pulling out all of my favorite cozy wool throw blankets.  Too many really.  Although they do all get snuggled up against throughout the season.  But still I have quite a stack of them.

vintage ladder blanket rack

The issue of too many wool throws combined with a corner begging for height and color brought about the idea of a repurposed ladder blanket rack.  The paint splattered aqua ladder is one of my favorite treasures.  I could have sold this ten times over but always knew it belonged with me and now, here as a blanket rack.  vintage ladder blanket rack

That corner is really shaping up to be my favorite, stacked high with vintage treasures.  The captain lamp on top of that desirable card catalog table framed by those blankets and ladders.  Yes, please!  I think that the introduction of aqua in the corner has saved the card catalog from the white paint job that I was contemplating.

vintage ladder blanket rack

Have you scored any new vintage treasures lately?

ammo trunk

Vintage Trunks are the best, aren’t they?  Clearly they provide storage as that was the intention in the utilitarian object to begin with.  However, they also lend an aesthetic appeal to a space.

Vintage Ammo Trunk

A few years back I scored this large vintage ammo trunk as part of a lot of trunks.  It was a WWII US Navy trunk. In fact, the shipping labels are still in tact which indicate that it was sent to the US Air Force in New York.  The trunk, overall, is in great shape.

Vintage US Navy Ammo Trunk

I have a soft spot for World War II memorabilia.  It is probably the least feminine thing to collect but there is something visually appealing to me about the army green, type fonts, rivets and brass details typically associated with the items.  It generally leads me to wonder about what our country was like at that time with women headed to work while men were at war; what my grandparents were doing; what technology was in play and so on.  It is also the era that my collections date back to.  I don’t really gravitate toward many pieces earlier than 1940’s.

vintage army jacket

Naturally I loved this green trunk although I did initially try to sell it but had no takers.  When that happens it is a sure sign that it is meant to stay with us…at least for now.

Junk in the Trunk! vintage trunks stacked

Over the past year it has lived a double life after receiving a set of casters on the bottom so it can easily be pushed around.  First, it made a fantastic window seat when covered with a thick, tufted cushion and pillows.

vintage ammo trunk turned bench window seat

The problem was that it simply wasn’t getting enough use beyond its storage abilities.   A few months ago, I pushed it into play as an extra long coffee table where it seems to have a more fulfilling life.  Plus, this made more room for vintage chair hoarding.

vintage nautical living room with army trunk coffee table

 You can do no wrong to it. Drink rings cause no damage.  This thing was in war after all!  And brass always looks good with army green.

vintage brass tray & paper weight

What is your favorite way to use a vintage trunk?

Vintage Ammo Trunk

P.S. Don’t forget about the upcoming milk paint demonstration at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown on Sunday!

come and knock on my door

Last weekend was wet and gloomy.  We’ve had fantastic weather all summer with very few rainy days so the gloomy weather was welcomed by me.  I found myself lounging on the couch and indulging in a Three’s Company marathon on TV Land.  If you know me, you know I never lay around and watch TV.  I can’t sit still long enough so this felt like such an indulgence.  Listening to the rain and giggling over the antics of the three “kids upstairs”.industrial pallet coffee table-4223

I completely forgot about Mrs. Roper’s style.  It is pretty fantastic!  She really pulled off kaftans and muumuus as much as one can.  I found myself wanting to wear a ridiculous amount of bright bangles and baubles.

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(BTW if you Google ‘Mrs. Roper’ you’ll see so many guys dressed as her presumably for Halloween.  Go ahead, try it!  It’s a great costume idea.)

We also finished up the industrial pallet coffee table.  I really love this quirky upcycle.  I know this look isn’t for everyone but it can certainly work in the right home.

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Industrial Rustic is how I’d classify this table.  Or Rustic Industrial.  To-may-toes, to-mah-toes.  I find my own style has been swaying more and more towards rustic & industrial lately based on the finishes and images I’ve been most interested in.

industrial pallet coffee table-4241

This industrial pallet came out of an old sewing factory.  Last you saw it, it looked like this.

vintage industrial factory skid

We gave it a thorough cleaning and sanded the top.  I had planned to stain the top but once it was sanded all of the beautiful age and wear became apparent.

sanded pallet

I knew this was the perfect job for hemp oil.  Oiling the piece made all of those scratches pop in the best way possible while darkening the raw wood just a bit.  It took three coats of oil until it reached saturation.

industrial pallet coffee table-4252

I didn’t stop oiling at the porous wood surface though.  I decided to oil the metal base as well and it really highlighted the faded blue paint.  Who knew that great color was under there?  The metal only needed one coat and took longer to dry.

industrial pallet coffee table-4237

In order to elevate the pallet to standard coffee table height (16-19″), Ryan created custom legs.  After much thought and consideration for aesthetics, he came up with legs consisting of a steel rod, caster, pipe and locking bolt.  He carefully drilled through the metal base of the pallet to attach the industrial leg.  I love casters on coffee tables.  I suppose it is the industrial influence again.

industrial pallet coffee table-4254

So there you have it.  From the sewing factory to our living room!  Trash to treasure.  This one-of-a-kind has sold!  And I am off to find a Mrs. Roper inspired kaftan…

Industrial Pallet Coffee Table by Circa Dee