Friday, January 30, 2009

Chez Moi - My Dining Room Completed

Well here finally is a completed room in my house. I say completed very loosely because I am constantly tweaking and I'm sure I'll redo that hutch any day now. But the paint, Svelte Sage by Sherwin-Williams is not changing any time soon. The curtains are ticking inspired, the hutch, table and chairs are all vintage or antique, as is the chandelier. I have vintage and new dishes and silver displayed in my hutch. The botanicals are repro from Ross and were a gift. The shag rug is from Target. The corner chairs are borrowed from a friend {who doesn't want them back} and everything else was bought second-hand, at Ross, thrifted, or found. Hope you enjoy!

My vintage farmhouse chairs

Centerpiece - books on entertaining and a cookbook/memoir of Van Gogh combined with topiaries (faux of course) and a great finial and vintage transferware covered bowl.

My teastained upholstered corner chairs. For instructions on tea-staining, click here

A little French Gilt.... a vintage frame from a cast-off oil painting and a vintage french postcard turned backward to see the french handwriting... circa 1920's

Ironstone platters on the wall
A shot looking into the kitchen

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Update and An Award

First things first. I received this wonderful award {last week, yikes!} from a very sweet blogger Renee over at Cottage Lifestyle.

What the Award is About..."This Blog invests and believes the Proximity- nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming...these kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self- aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!"

What you have to do...Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

This award is being passed on to...
1. Lisa at Coastal Nest
2. Wendy at The Shabby Nest
3. Kasey at Lola B's
4. Miss A La Mode
5. From House to Home
6. Kathleen at Musings From A French Cottage
7. Joy over at Joys of Home
8. Hill Country House Girl

Whew. That was a lot of work, but I am so honored to have received the award.

Now onto an update with me and my paint and furniture. We had the foyer/living/dining rooms painted this last weekend {my bro-in-law is a painter} and I am now putting everything back in place. It is a carmely tan color with some gold undertones and surprise! my dining room is Svelte Sage... the color I found from The Nester. I really was tired of the red although it was beautiful and I was craving a gray green. We also moved in the new old table from my Dad and it is GRAND. Beautiful.

I actually stopped in a favorite local haunt today Room With A Past and happened upon 4 vintage creamy farmhouse chairs yet to be upholstered {oh yeah, we moved the old table into the family room so kids will be eating in there, which means I can have TOILE upholstered chairs in the formal dining room. Yay!} so I was able to get them all for the bargain price of $165 and was able to select a cream and brown toile as the upholstery. I think they will look really good, hope they're not *too* farmhousey for the sort of heavy antique table. Well, that's my favorite look anyways so I guess it will be fine. I pick them up Friday so I will share pics when I do. Thank you for all your hard analyzation and comments about those other chairs. I hope I made the right decision. I kept thinking: old table, old hutch, old chairs.

In other news, while in the shop I mentioned above, I found a treasure! This darling chubby little countertop dresser!!! I have been on the hunt for one since seeing Heather's at Present Past's kitchen remodel. How I longed for her little chest. I even thought of emailing her to ask where she got it. Now I have a very shabby, farmhouse inspired one all of my own! I am really excited about this, can't you tell???

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Your Opinion Needed

Good morning ladies. I need help on something, and since your opinions are so trusted by moi, I thought who better to ask?

My Dad, a Real Estate Broker for 25 years, is semi-retiring and moving his office home. He offered me the antique oak table that he used as a conference/desk table for the last 25 years. I think I should take it as
1. it's a lot nicer than my dining table
2. He sat and it for 25 years and conducted millions of dollars of business at it so it's sentimental
3. It's a lot nicer than my dining table.

Here's a {very small} picture of it. Please click to enlarge.

Problem is, there are no chairs to match and my current chairs are way too country. So I'm chair hunting. In my dream world, I would buy chairs like these without the worry of PB&J getting smashed into their crevices:

Or these lovelies.... which would be stained and ruined within minutes of putting them in my house:

Or even these, whose sublime striped padded seats would become plaid, with ketchup being the other stripe:

So basically, I need solid wood chairs. And I need them cheap. Like no more than $60 per chair, max. Kind of limits your options, you know? But, I found these at Each style comes in antique black or antique white. I think black might look better against the table finish, but I have an antique white hutch, seen here, in the same room. So what I am asking is, do either of these chairs have the character or shape to compliment the table? And what color should I do, black or white? I am not into getting wood to match the table... I like the mismatched eclectic look. If neither of these chairs look like they would work, feel free to tell me that too. But I haven't found any solid wood chairs anywhere else for this price {2 for $129 on sale} so I think I should try and make it work. Also, I could possibly repaint my hutch black {would look really cool with all my white dishes} and then get the black chairs. Not sure... Here are your choices:

#1 Montclair - Sheaf back chair. The turned legs are nice counterpoints to the turned trestle legs of the table. Remember, antique black or antique white. Here's the link to the chairs

2. Bedford chair. The slight urn shape in the back panel would also reference the turned legs of the antique table.... not sure if the top horizontal bar would look as good, but to me these remind me of Pottery Barn chairs.

Thank you so much for your opinion!!!

**Edited to add: the dining room wall seen in the hutch post {linked above} is now going to be Svelte Sage. Don't know if that makes it more clear with the chair choices or more confusing. Just thought I'd tell you we reached a paint conclusion and the red wall is no more. It will be lovely in a deep sage.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Great Paint Debaucle and an Award

**Warning: bad flash photography ahead!**

Have you ever been so tired of looking at paint and paint samples and colors on your walls that you feel like dumping every quart you own into a big bucket and mixing it up and painting your walls that color? Welcome to my world.

It started off honest enough. "Let's find a wonderful golden neutral" says I. "It will be so easy. I have it narrowed down to 2 colors. No problem." "No, you know this is not how this works" says patient husband. "You know you will go through 15 quarts before you find the right color, and NO, I do not think you should aim for Monday to paint. You will not find a color you like by then." {emphatic and irritated} I say "I will too. I have been doing this for years now and I know what I am doing." After all, I had studied these colors in different types of light, different times of day. I'd googled the heck out of them and discovered very popular colors and looked at oodles of pictures of other people's homes determined I could copy that look into my home. Shouldn't be too hard reasoned I.

Famous last words. Golden and neutral became icky greenish and baby poop and goldenrod and weird orange creamsicle. Then it morphed into bad tan and oatmeal and then one night I declared we should give up on neutrals and paint the room green.

2 quarts of famous green paint {Grassland and Svelte Sage by SW} used by so many infamous bloggers later, and I declared green out. Too dark, too cold, too something. Back to the goldy-neutral-nightmare. Sigh.

So here I sit. I have now custom mixed my own colors, thankyouverymuch. I think I have an idea what color I am going to paint my foyer and living room/dining room. Take a wild guess.
Hmmmm... could it be the color in my family room that I posted about here? O.M.G. Do not tell me I bought 9 quarts of paint and custom mixed those 9 into 23 more colors only to discover that I should have tried the color I had in the neighboring room???

Out of pure spite I am mixing that color with some of the other samples I spent too much $$$ on to make a slightly different shade just so I can say Malton wasn't the answer to my problems after all.

I think Benjamin needs to hook up with Ralph and Martha and Sherwin and step in and do an intervention here and start an HGTV show about paint psychos. For now, any blank spot of white wall is sure to fall victim to a new color concocted by moi, and family members are now blocking my calls, refusing to drive over and give me their opinion anymore. I'll let you know when I am in the clear and out of the scary paint woods.

In other news, I was so happy to receive this darling award from Wendy over at The Shabby Nest. Thank you Wendy, it made my day!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Birds of a Feather

I spent some time cruising around blogland last night after I put the kiddos to bed and as always I found some great inspiring stuff. Here are some highlights:

First up is Hill Country House. Just the name alone inspires me. I dream of going to Fredericksburg, Tx {home of such fabulous designers as Carol Hicks Bolton} and antiquing my way home with my Mom and a Uhaul. A dream vacation, and notice there was no mention of husband or kids. OK, that's pathetic. Anyways, she has a fantastic blog and she recently featured her friend Debbie Phillips, a renowned seamstress, and her lovely home. Here are some of my faves...

How darling to put your daughter's tea set or another collection of special little dishes in a big jar?

Love these vintage prints/paintings above the couch.

What a fun way to decorate a bathroom!

And something about these linens makes me nuts!

Next, I discovered a great design blog called Marley & Lockyer.
She has great taste, as evidenced by her posting of lots of Sue Balmforth designs, and other dreamy interiors:

But even better, she makes those grain sack pillows we all lust after and sells them on Etsy! Check this out:

Plus, she is super thrifty. Check out her $5 {!!!} buffet and how great it looks. Anyone that has a $5 buffet is a friend of mine. 'Nuff said.

Then we have some great giveaways to mention.

First up is a friend of mine, you probably already know her - she could practically be a spokesperson for Anthropologie - Kasey at Lola B's.

Her giveaway is a great one: a $150 surprise package straight from her boutique to you, or a virtual consultation to have her put her mark on one of your rooms. You can't beat either one of those - I would take either in a hot second. But, I do not *ever* win anything. Maybe your odds will be better? Tell her I sent you...

Also Kara over at Inspired Kara is hosting a 101st post giveaway. She will be giving away a $50 Etsy shopping spree! How fun is that!!! Please if you go to register for her giveaway, tell her I sent you. I have somehow overlooked her blog and it is truly great. She has so many inspiring, easy ideas that will have the wheels turning in your head big time. And she's a loyal poster here. Gotta love that! Look what you could buy from Susie Harris if you win her giveaway! I would absolutely love one of these by my front door. But, like I said above, I don't win anything, ever, so you go and win for me, OK?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Loving This... plus a question

What could be better than a leopard/nailhead/shabby crackle combo? Would look cute so many places in my house.

I am really really lusting after these birdcages. But at $50 on Ebay, I doubt my husband would understand the need to get them.


These would be so fun to drink *real* hot chocolate out of. Very French, plus they would match my vintage restaurantware.

And now for the question. I know one of my favorite things to see in a blog post is someone's home. All of it. Every room. Is that something that interests (all 9 of) you? I am thinking of starting to post full rooms in my home for the heck of it.... once we paint the entry hall, living room and hallway next week and then I scrub the heck out of it, then you can see it. Would it be a waste of time or is it something that you would find fun to see? Even if you're lurking, please come out and give me your opinion. Pretty Please! Just curious...

And lastly, if you haven't already, please check out Heather Bullard's kitchen redesign. It is so inspirational... I've already stared at the photos several times today then tweaked my counters accordingly. And if anyone has any idea where to get a little 2 drawer organizer like the one on her counter (on the right, and I do not know the proper name for them) please please please let me know. I must have one. And I have no idea what they're called (a miniature dresser or chest of drawers?) nor where to get one.

**The last 2 photos are from Posh Chicago. Check out their website, it's fab!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Spring Dreaming

Why is it that just weeks after entering one season we are ready to embrace and welcome the next one? Didn't we just enter winter in late December? Logically then we should just now be putting out our pinecones and snowflakes and faux-snow (if you're in CA or another semi-warm climate like me) and yet we are ready to pull out birds and seashells and bunnies?

It's so interesting to me. Is it because retail is always one season ahead so instead of fighting it we have just given in? Or is it because we are already sick of the cold weather and are dreaming of longer spring days, laundry drying in the sun, gardens reawakening and birds chirping in green budded trees?

Either way, I guess I'm guilty. I'm pulling photos from some of my very first posts, because they are that inspirational and I feel like it. There.

Let's take a little trip down a country lane. The foggy, misty weather with beautiful azaleas blooming is so up my alley...

Oh look, we've stumbled upon the vegetable garden of my dreams. LOVE those galvanized troughs. So looking into those on Craigslist this spring.

And there, my dream entrance to a dreamy cottage bedroom...

I would love to dine alfresco at this rustic wood table sitting at the bentwood chair. How european with the crushed limestone or gravel. Aaaahhhhh.....

Let's not forget to bust out the ironstone for the occasion...

And now for a dreamy white living room, french and rustic and fabulous all rolled into one:

Hmmm, how about going back to the dream garden? If you want to read more about the following three images and the *amazing* place the pictures were taken, click here.

And of course, these images from Curious Sofa needs no words. Okay, one. Perfection.

Let's end it all right here for tonight, shall we? Could you just imagine taking a bath in this rustic outdoor bath? I would be all over it.