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!

the winemaker’s table

One morning a few months ago I set out on my treasure hunting route feeling extraordinarily optimistic.   You know when you know there is a good treasure waiting for you and you just have to uncover it.  Yes, that feeling!

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The morning was off to a slow start though.  I hit several garage sales not turning up much more than then 1970’s ceramics.  But I knew the show stopping piece was out there.  The next stop was sort of barn sale at the end of a grassy lane.  I felt this one had promise until I got inside the dusty building and found nothing more than tools.  No cute wooden toolboxes but nails, wrenches and the like.  Not my thing.

I did another lap around the building feeling dissatisfied but not quite ready to leave.  It is like a game of hot/cold and I was getting warm.  I knew it had to be there.  That’s when I spotted a wine-press off to the side.  An antique, oak wine-press!  It was dusty, dirty and smelled acidic but I knew this was the treasure waiting for me and it certainly had potential.  It was screaming table to me.

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Then that thing happened when someone expresses interest in a one-of-a-kind piece.  Suddenly everyone is interested and a near bidding war ensues.  As a buyer, this is extremely irritating but as a seller it is wonderful.  Being the buyer in this scenario, I found the other shopper to be in poor form as he elbowed in on my negotiation insinuating that he was going to use the press as intended to make wine.  Of course, it was evident that I wasn’t and merely loved the rustic patina.  I’ve always been a form over function girl.  I quickly handed the seller my cash and rolled it down the lane before anyone could change their mind.

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After a thorough cleaning and the perfect 48 inch glass topper, we have ourselves a beautiful table.  A swanky, rustic table fit for sipping cocktails and noshing at while admiring the craftsmanship of the press.  I have to admit that this one was almost a keeper.  We really love how it fit in our little dining nook.  But I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, “We can’t keep them all.”

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This one of a kind beauty is up for sale at The West End Garage.

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.

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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.

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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

 

the chair bench evolution

Once upon a time we took 3 cast off yard sale chairs and upcycled them into a custom bench that is a perfect fit in our dining nook.  Bench Seat

You can review the bench tutorial here.upcycled chairs turned custom bench (4 of 38)

As the space evolved it was inevitable for the bench to evolve too.  When we updated the kitchen, the colors took on an earthy, neutral palette with lots of texture.  The kitchen continues to be the room that changes the most frequently around here…

flea market style kitchen

When the floors were redone this winter, I updated the bench by giving each chair a coat of MMSMP Grainsack over the bold colored chalk paint.  The milk paint resisted the chalk paint in a few places giving just a subtle distressed look.

Also, I came across 3 neutral toile printed pillows that were perfectly sized for each chair.  They were only a buck for each pillow cover.  I found some inserts and boom!  upcycled upholstered chair bench

It’s like a new bench for little cost (again)!  What have you upcycled lately?

dining nook upholstered chairs

 

 

 

the bubble gum table

Ryan put together a fantastic one-of-a-kind table last week.  He topped the base of a former bubble gum machine with a live edge cross-cut of a tree.  It makes the perfect petite side table.  Check out the original fire engine red paint on the cast iron base.  We’ll be bringing this one into the shop soon!
upcycled bubble gum machine table-6785

 

P.S. Follow us on instagram and facebook as we make our way through Brimfield this week!

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

Cape May magazine

The spring edition of Cape May magazine is now available.  Aside from featuring everything we love about this town, the regional magazine also offers a regular decorating column called Interior Motives.  Earlier this season, I was asked to contribute to the current column’s theme of refreshing the bathroom.

Bathrooms?  I can talk bathrooms!

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I met with the editor and we discussed redecorating the bathroom for the upcoming season using new paint, fixtures and accessories.  Naturally I didn’t stray far from the themes of repurposing and styling with vintage.  The cottage bathroom that we completed last year in our home was mentioned in the article (as well as one we’re currently working on using that pretty brass fixture).

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Here’s how that cottage bathroom looks today with the addition of sconce lighting that we recently added over the sink.  For months I was on the hunt for just the right vanity light fixture.  Then, at the flea market, I came across a pair of gooseneck, task lamps.  Thinking outside of the box, it was clear to me that these lights could be the finishing touch that we needed in this bathroom.  Insert light bulb pun here.

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Ryan worked his magic dismantling and reconfiguring these task lights into sconces.  He took off the switches and exterior cord and hardwired them to work on the light switch.  We also sprayed them glossy heat-resistant white.

And voila, a custom vanity light for our bathroom.  I like how the lights have a gallery vibe to them as if they’re illuminating the heirloom mirror like a piece of fine art.  If you’re curious, you can see how we constructed the vanity out of a dresser here.

Bathroom task lights turned sconces-6332

The magazine article also references ways to use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the bathroom. We talked about using tough coat as a protective top coat to preserve wood surfaces around water and humidity such as the mirror.

Check out the magazine next time you’re in Cape May.  You can always purchase online too.

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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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