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Archive for March 2012

Passez le biscuit!


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I picked this title not because I have any biscuits to share (sorry), but because it's the only French phrase that I know. :)

I found a very ornate French-styled coffee table at one of my local thrift stores and couldn't wait to get my hands on it! I'd been waiting for a piece like this to pop up so that I could play around with layering techniques -- and she was just perfect! Take a look at the final product:

The piece had these beautiful marble-styled inlays with grey tones, so I instantly knew this was going to be a grey table. Here's the before pic when I found her in the thrift store:
The table has lots of detailing, which is what made this project so exciting! First layer: I used one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) in Old White to highlight the detail work and the edges of the table.
Second layer: two coats of ASCP mixture. I didn't have any Paris Grey on hand, so I mixed some Pure White with Graphite to achieve close to the same color -- and it worked! Once dry, I used a medium-grade sanding block to distress all the detail and edge work. This was fun because both the white layer and the wooden base started to show through!
Third layer: one coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax buffed to a light shine. Fourth layer: AS Dark Wax! Working with just one area at a time, I lightly brushed a tiny amount of the dark wax into the detail work and the edging then wiped off and buffed with a dry clean cloth. I just love this technique! When looking closely at the final result, you can see all the layers. It has the appearance of a perfectly aged French antique!


Lots of love,
Mary

Wentworth - An office desk with personality


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First things first... no baby yet. We're expecting our little guy any day now. I think he just wants to keep us waiting a little longer. We're dying to meet him and know what his little face looks like! Does he have a lot of hair? Is he tan like my husband or fair-skinned like me? What about his personality? We'll soon find out. I must be patient! :)

In other news, I've been busy! Projects have been completed, but I've been slacking on writing about them. Honestly, I need to hold myself to a better schedule to keep up with things. I'm working on it :)

Let me introduce you to Wentworth. He has personality and a certain "cool" factor that I'm in love with.

This is what he looked like before his makeover:
Yes, I did start painting before remembering the 'before pic,' but you get the idea, right? Old 60s/70s wood grain-printed MDF. Lots of dings -- or what I like to call "character." :)  But I chose this piece because of its solid construction and the fact that I liked the straight lines. Despite the wood grain print, it's a surprisingly very heavy desk with wood side gliders on each of the drawers. Something to note, when shopping for pieces to paint, I always look for wooden gliders opposed to metal. Wooden gliders will stand the test of time and show the piece's overall quality.
Stripes are ever so popular in design lately and I've been waiting for just the right piece for a wide stripe landscape. I knew immediately that this was the one when noticing the vertical grooves that were already present on the drawer fronts.
I started out with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) in Graphite. Then using my trusty Frog Tape, the stripes were mapped out and ready to paint. I used two coats of ASCP in Old White to achieve the bold stripe design. When dry, the piece was lightly distressed with a medium-grade sanding block. I was able to use the original brass hardware, which was one of the reasons I loved this desk to begin with. The light distressing compliments the hardware to preserve the "vintage" feel of the piece -- something I always try to do if possible.
Wentworth was finished with a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax and buffed to a light shine. I really like how an element of sophistication was brought out in this piece. He is handsome and oh so trendy!
If I had the right place for him, I would soooooo keep him! But thus my rule, it has to serve a purpose in my home or it has to go (whimper). Only if my kids were older, this would be a perfect homework space. Nonetheless, I've posted Wentworth on Craigslist here. Hoping he finds a Went-worthy home!


Lots of love,
Mary



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Baby Boy's Room - Planning & Inspiration


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Better late than never! :)  Now that the girls' room is almost complete, I can turn my attention to my precious baby boy's room. I've been gathering inspiration and I'm super excited to share my plans with you!

I knew as soon as I saw him, the sock monkey! His cozy fabric and textures mixed with the handsome color pallet, this was going to be my handsome boy's room theme. I'm not really a "theme" room type of person. To me, themes can easily go way overboard and you find yourself surrounded by toy trains, or bears, or mickey mouse. It's a fine line to carry a theme and keep the design flowing properly. Rule #1, just because its a sock monkey, doesn't mean it gets automatic clearance into the room.



The good news is I already have all the furniture pieces needed. When we purchased Gabby's crib set, we thankfully chose a gender-neutral design. Other than that, it's a blank slate. This is going to be fun! Check out the before pics -- this is how the room looks today:

Yes, I still need to take down Gabby's drapery panel. :)  I'm thinking about keeping the brown wall colors and adding a wide stripe design using a red color. I found this stripped wall on Pinterest and just love the scale.


 I've just got three questions: #1. Horizontal or vertical?  #2. Do I bring in white to brighten up the space?  #3. What about stripes on the ceiling instead?

Turning my attention to the walls, I saw this graphic and originally wanted to use the idea for the girls' room. But thinking about it more, wouldn't this look spectacular as a pop out graphic above the crib? I would be painting either wooden or cardboard letters.


Also loving this print found on Etsy! Could I pull it off myself? Or maybe just purchase this one? It's fab! 
Source: etsy.com via Mary - on Pinterest




Adding a rustic element would be nice. I'd like to create a version of this on three scrap plywood boards...but maybe more modern/pop art styling.

Source: etsy.com via Mary - on Pinterest

I don't think I would ever take the time to try and make my own sock monkey -- not my forte. But I still love the tutorial graphic as wall art!







Now onto fabric and textures. I want to pickup the warm coziness aspect of the sock monkey. This fabric is a must!



And how do you NOT love this blanket?!


I really like the balance of this room. Very well done! The draperies are amazing and oh to get my hands on one of those little red bicycles!
Source: google.com via Mary - on Pinterest



And last but not least, the red shag rug is a must! :)

Source: google.com via Amber on Pinterest


I'm really excited to see how this is all going to come together! Stay tuned! :)


Lots of love,
Mary

The Girls' Room Progress 1.4 - Toddler Bookshelf Wall


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Before I get to the goods, I wanted to share with you that baby boy Spitzer should arrive any day now!!! Lately, my days have been filled with last-minute Baby's R Us runs, putting the swing together, washing and putting away all his clothes, etc. Who knows, maybe my next post will be introducing our little guy. :)

When tackling the toddler bookshelf, I had a couple different options before me. I thought about constructing and painting the shelving myself -- the cheapest and most time-consuming option. Then I remembered a couple Pinterest options I had seen where IKEA spice racks or picture shelves were used for this purpose. So, I went to IKEA and really liked the picture frame shelving. And I REALLY liked the no-wood-cutting, no-painting, and no-assembly-required part!

On a normal day, I may have penny pinched and spent the time to try and make something myself. But since I'm 8+ months pregnant, $15 per shelf didn't seem like that big of an expense. And all I had to do was open the package, level the shelf, and screw it to the wall. Done!
The girls LOVE it! Adi keeps bringing me books and telling me that she found a new one that we didn't have before.
I love that the bookshelf doesn't take up valuable floor space, and it creates a nice visual for the wall. It's like artwork and storage in one! :)
I have just a few more elements to finish in the room before I show you the complete reveal. If you missed the design planning and inspiration for this room, It can be seen here.


Lots of love,
Mary