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Showing posts from February, 2010

Antique Mirror Patina

Most of the projects I do are for others.  And that's fine, because if I were to use all of my ideas and techniques in my own home, it would look like a crazy-quilt!   Instead, I happily live vicariously at my clients' homes.
This weekend, however, I got the itch to do a small project for myself - freshening up the laundry room.  While this certainly isn't the most exciting room in the house, it is one that gets a lot of use.   And because of that, this room deserved some attention. Inspired by a magazine photo, I decided add some distressed mirrors to each of the cabinet doors.  I measured the inner portion of the cabinet and had a local glass shop cut new mirrors for me.   With a little research, I located a patinating system at
Ideally this chemical process should be done out-doors on a warm sunny day,  not a cold, grey February one.  Never one to be deterred, I plodded ahead determined to create some antique mirrors, today!
 The …

Country French Fireplace

If you enjoy design, color and home decor, you probably like seeing the before and after photos of projects.  Isn't that what intrigues us about those home-style shows on HGTV?  Seeing a major transformation from dull to dramatic all within a fast-paced half hour TV show!

Well, in real life we know that change takes longer than a half hour, but that doesn't make the fun of the reveal any less exciting.

Friday, I did a mini make-over for a friend as she prepared to move into her new home.  The painters had just finished.  Gone were the bold colors from the previous owner.  Now the scheme was neutral and sophisticated.

It was the kitchen fireplace that needed help.  Architecturally, it was fabulous, but the golden wood tones had to go.  Let's paint it white, and give it a "shabby-chic, French-country look.  Oh yes!

From this

to this

And finally to this!

And let's change the dining chairs from black to white, too.

Monday morning, the moving van arrives with the res…

Detour into the Kitchen: Valentine Creme Puffs

I'm not the kind of gal who makes a fuss about Valentine's Day.  But today was a quiet Sunday afternoon  and it seemed like the right time to bake something.  I found a recipe for Creme Puffs (Dearly Beloved's fave!) in an old cookbook that likely belonged to my Grandmother. 
More than a cookbook, it's a homemaker's handbook, offering instruction on everything from how to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables,   how to stretch the food dollar,  a primer on meat, to how to equip your kitchen. 
 There are entire chapters devoted to the "care of food in the home"  and the "diet pattern." 
Words of encouragement and advice are passed along to the modern homemaker.  Here are a few charming tidbits:
  Eat first what you need, then finish with anything you want.                 Use your own ingenuity, not your neighbors, when making salads!
All this is great reading!   And from the chapter entitled Dishwashing Made Easier: 
Dishwashing can be made practically pai…

Good Night and Sweet Dreams

This week was fun, with lots to do.   Let me offer a peek into an on-going project that just gets more interesting each time I visit.
The owner confidently mixes the clean lines of contemporary decor with classic European style ...and a dash of theater.   The main walls in the loft are painted dove grey and boast an eclectic collection of art.
However, in the spacious master suite, the mood changes.   Here the colors are warmer and muted.    My job was to wash the walls with layers of  sienna, dusty purple and olive.
The headboard is an old iron garden gate.  Isn't it lovely? Now why can't I find something like this when I go antique hunting?
Because the crisp white trim was too fresh for the vintage look the owner wanted to create, I painted them to look chipped and distressed..     Snippets of gold leaf were added for fun....and they sparkle in the evening.   I love these windows!

To further add to the illusion of age, I added stone-texture to the front wall and painted cr…

Back Door Guests are Best

Back hallways can be a challenge to keep looking fresh.   Not only do we tend to drop everything there,  but children's backpacks, bags of groceries, sporting equipment and trash going in and out the door. All take their toll on the walls.
Often, I am asked to paint the wall so that  the scuffs and dings of daily life won't show too much.
  That's a tall order for any paint!  But with a little ingenuity,  it is possible to perk up this busy part of the home. 
Here are a few ideas.
Because this back hallway led to a side porch, guests used this area as well as family.  The owner wanted something serviceable, but also stylish and neutral.   You can see that the inspiration for this space came from the owner's framed art.

The colors for the walls were chosen directly from the artwork:  taupe, beige and white.  They were applied full strength, straight from the can with an inexpensive chip brush.  The jagged bristles of the brush create the slubbed look.

And the red accents are cheer…