Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Tables

Proving once again that one man's trash is another man's treasure,
I searched though a nearby second-hand shop l
ooking for a table that would fit into a corner of my living room.

Nothing on the main floor of the store caught my eye,
but in the back,  where items patiently wait their turn
to be priced and placed on the sales floor,
 I spied a round wooden table. 
The simple, uncluttered style appealed to me
 -- it was classic yet modern. 
 And, it seemed to be the right size - large enough to hold a lamp,
some books, cup of tea and the occasional lounging cat.

Smiling happily, I took my new friend home with me.
   Just for a moment, I considered keeping the blonde wood,
but soon decided it would look better as ebony. 
The next day I sanded and painted.

As I worked I kept thinking about other things I saw at the store. 
 There was an authentic 1930's telephone
 and a sterling silver tray with years of patina on it. 
Should I run back to the shop and claim them?

No, because while these were interesting,
 what really tugged at my imagination was another table. 
 It was a solid mahogany with vaguely Vicotria styling,
 and it was painted just the way I would have done it myself. 
It could go into my room without any work on my part. 
 I gave myself a stern talking to about being frivolous.....
but a purchase is only frivolous
 if you neither need it or use it, right?

So within an hour I had driven back to the store,
and returned home with the second table and had it neatly tucked into a corner opposite it's companion.

 2 days + 2 tables = One happy woman!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Paint it Red!

Red is my favorite color. 
Sassy or classy, red always commands attention.

And red never goes out of style. 
 Regardless of the latest trend,
some form of red will always be in fashion. 
While finding the shade of red
that works best for a room's decor can be a challenge,
using this exciting color
 is guaranteed to bring drama and style to any space. 
Its worth the effort!

Not long ago, I met with a designer
who asked for my help in creating red walls
to complement the red and gold drapery fabric
she planned to use in the room. 

The wall color is Brick Red (Benjamin Moore).
The ceiling color is  Ponytail (Pittsburg Paint),
which is the same color 
used on all the walls throughout the home.
Repeating this color on the ceiling
 established a visual link with the rest of the home.
 Another benefit of painting the ceiling
was to feature the crown molding in the room.

An oversided damask design was stenciled onto the wall. 
  Damask is a traditional wallpaper motif,
but using it on such a large scale made it "fresher." 
A 'dirty' brown-black glaze
 was pounced over the entire surface
 to bring some dimension and character to the walls.

The result was a comfortable,
but elegant room where guests will linger.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cracked Up

One of this week's projects
was getting a bathroom ready for guests. 
Earlier, the designer chose stylish wallpaper
for the vanity portion of the bath. 
It was a perfect fit for this masculine room. 
My assignment was to create
a companion paint design
for the adjacent shower area.

We decided upon lightly cracked, stained walls
that looked like old leather. 
The background of the wallpaper was similar,
so the wallpaper and my paint
would work well together.

I started with fresh paint--
Smokey Topaz (Sherwin Williams 6117).
  Wet, the paint was the color of a Halloween pumpkin
(oh dear!), but dry it was just right.

The beginning stage of this project isn't very pretty,
 in fact it looks like bizzare leopard spots. 
It's frightening! 
Thankfully the owner was gone
for the afternoon and never saw this.

The clear crackle medium was applied
over the black spots. 
 A thin coating yields small cracks,
while a thick layer makes big ones. 
 I opted for one thin coating. 
When the crackle was dry, I rolled the wall color
 over each black patch
and waited for the magic to happen. 
The cracks are small, but they're there!

The final stage was to stain
 the walls for an aged look.

To get a heavy antique, crinkled effect,
I pressed a sheet of crumpled plastic into the glaze,
 then daubed and pounced it
 until satisfied with how it looked. 


The result is a wall that looks like worn leather,
 and a happy homeowner
 who now could welcome her guests
with style and comfort.



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Second-hand Rose

My friend and partner in Hungtington House Designs, Miss Sherry, is an avid scrounger!  She combs second-hand stores, resale shops, antique stores, flea markets and estate sales for treasures of all descriptions.  Usually her bounty is glassware and porcelain, but sometimes she returns with something inspiring for me to paint.

One of her excursions turned up this vanity and chair.  Of course they looked different then!

The vanity was a real bargain.  Miss Sherry purchased it for a mere $10!  No repairs were needed, just a lot of sanding priming and painting.  Because this vanity was going to our shop at the Tea Party Castle, we chose a pink and white color scheme.  What little princess doesn't like pink?

The drawer posed a small problem.  It was drilled for a handle with screws 2.5" apart, but all the replacement handles I could find were spaced at 3" or 4".  A trip to a nearby shop that sells specialty wood trim helped solve the problem. By adding a few decorative pieces of trim, I was able to switch from a handle to a knob.
The crystal knob was my little treasure find from the wood shop.  It had been a special order, but the client decided on a different style.  That change of mind became my good forturne.  This is a beauty!

                     Keeping the painting simple, I added some pink roses to the corner of the vanity.

  I painted roses, using those in my garden as inspiration, while Miss Sherry recovered the cushion with pink dotted fabric.  She finished it off with a bow of pink tulle.

Didn't it turn out nicely?

So off to the shop this vanity went, to await its new home!
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