To paint or not To paint

I purchased this gorgeous dining set on craigslist for a song and while functionally it was a fit for my space, stylistically it wasn’t working.  The idea of painted furniture amongst the design community seems to be a polarizing topic.  After fighting the urge to paint the credenza for years, I finally surrendered to my desires and out came the paint brush. I suppose I broke a few unspoken rules regarding the custodial responsibilities of antique ownership but I couldn’t be happier with the results. Secretly it delights the rebel within.

Details: I made my own chalk paint by mixing plaster of paris, water and Benjamin Moore’s paint color Geranium. I then used Olde Masters crystal clear paste wax to seal and protect the finish.

Magical Tidying Tips

Probably because I bought the book, my social media news feed has been blowing up with posts about the “Life Changing Magic of of Tidying up” , have you noticed how often you’re marketed products that you have already purchased? It’s like “hey dumb-ass I already bought that, so you can save your money and try to sell me something new”, am I right?

Anyways, after reading on Apartment Therapy how life changing and miraculous  these tidying tips were, I downloaded a copy of the book and got to work. Because, let’s be honest, I am in a hopeless pursuit to be, thinner, richer,  and tidier.

The premises of the book is that you basically throw away everything that doesn’t “spark joy”. So basically after completing the first step of her 5 step series I am probably going to be walking around in the same two outfits that I have left. I feel like “spark joy” is a pretty high standard to live up to. How many socks do you own that actually spark joy? I am far from a hoarder and make frequent donation runs to the thrift store, but with this new criterion for evaluating whether  an item stays in my life or leaves it forever, I was rampant with the disposal process.

You get the sense very quickly that the author has a major case of OCD. At one point in the book she references her nightly routine which entails completely emptying her hand bag, and then placing her hand bag into its very own appointed bag, if that’s not OCD folks, I mean come on, she’s got a purse for her purse!

Regardless of her mental state, the general take away from the book is this; don’t hold onto a bunch of crap that you don’t use, treat your belongings with respect, find a place for everything and put things back where they belong.

Now if she could just help me evict the homeless tweaker that apparentlylives in my car, that would be real progress.

A $0 makeover

Before
After

My entryway has been sorely neglected as you can see in the “before” picture above.  Once you get settled into a home it’s easy to stop seeing things for what they are. One would think that since I own a vintage furniture shop and am admittedly obsessed with interior design and styling, that my house would be beautifully furnished, one would be wrong. Not to say that it’s all horrible, but there are some areas of my home that are just a little more desperate than others. I think the thing that holds me back from making little changes is that I really want to make big changes i.e new flooring, windows, paint and so on. So rather then bothering to make the place as good as it can be, I end up settling  for blah. So today’s post is an example of how little changes can be effective and fabulous even if you still have ugly beige walls and hideously gross carpeting. The reason that I am evening sharing this mini-makeover is not because I think it’s totally awesome and a perfect representation of my style, but rather because, I didn’t spend a single dollar or even leave the house. I simply worked with what was available, and while the improvements were subtle, they were improvements non the less. So here is a quick summery of my styling goals: A. Bring in a consistent color pallet. According to fung Shui, my entry way falls into the career and life path section of the bagua. This bagua belongs to the water element meaning I should incorporate things that represent water. For example, round objects, undulating shapes, colors blue and black and mirrors, are all important for insuring that I can continue to succeed doing the the work that I love. B. Add  texture. I was able to incorporate texture by introducing the sheepskin and the basket C. Bring in some pattern. Admittedly I would like to bring in more pattern, perhaps by replacing the throw rug, but here we see pattern in the armadillo, and the framed print. D. Greenery. I have a rather large plant family, it was pretty easy to relocated a few to the entry way to infuse it with some life. E. Shapes. When styling a space it always helps to showcase a variety of shapes. In this little vignette, you’ll notice that the rectangle shapes of the books and the mirrored tray contrast nicely with the round shape of the vase and planter. In addition to round and square we have the the little black and white armadillo to add a sculptural shape and introduce much needed pattern. F. Introduce personalized items. It makes me happy to see the the  the arrow that we brought back from our trip to the Amazon river in Brazil has found a home. The armadillo was a gift from a dear friend who purchased it for me in Nicaruagua after we spotted a baby armadillo while we were hiking on a volcano in the middle of a lake.

Close up
Close up

 

My kitchen

Her she is folks, the ugly ’90’s kitchen. Yes, there is no denying this kitchen is bad, and I do live here and cook here all the time (poor me). This shot was taken 4 years ago, right before we moved in. I would love to follow this picture with a shot of a gorgeous kitchen, like the billion I have in my pinterest file and say “tada, check out my brand-spanking-new fabulous kitchen”. But the truth is it is even uglier then this before shot. It has more clutter and looks more used and lived in. Sad I know, but I am working on it folks. My pile of floor, counter and back splash samples is growing, changes are coming……

The kitchen below represents the look and style that I am aiming to achieve. Copious amounts of white, open shelving, brass accents and even herringbone pattern flooring making it just right.

Here is another shot of a beautifully designed and perfectly styled kitchen that will some day be mine!

Chalk paint and other fun home projects

Yesterday was a wonderful spring day. The weather was warm, the sun was shining, in a word it was flawless. I was confined to the house as my truck was spending some quality time with the mechanic. I love being home, painting and doing DIY projects. Luckily I have a never ending supply of furniture pieces that are begging for some lovin’. So with paint brush in hand I tackled a few projects yesterday. I was dying to makeover this dresser below. I had painted it this deep charcoal color but was not at all happy with the end result.

Before shot of dresser

This is the result of 3 coats of my homemade chalk paint and a little wax to seal and protect the finish

After shot of dresser
Vintage vignette

After painting the dresser I styled it with some fun accessories.

And there we have it, a fun fabulous day at home with a paint brush.