Thursday, August 6, 2015

It's SOOOOOOO Pretty! Dining Room Reveal!

Ok, so I have teased and taunted and now I am 90% done with my dining room so it's time to share. Honestly speaking, it will never be 100% done because I am always changing and moving things around but here's where it stands right now (and will stand for quite some time).

And drum roll please . . . . . . (WARNING: LOTS of pictures ahead!).
One more look at the Before , , , 
and now the After!!
I absolutely love it!
It may be a little too "old school" for some
people but it's right up my alley!
Ant notice the beautiful dark floors.
The black cabinet in front of the window will
hopefully be replaced someday with a small vintage church pew.
I figured that would be perfect for extra seating and look great.
Sorry pictures are dark but my camera died in Belgium and this
is the best I've got!
The ceiling Before  . . . 
and the ceiling After!
Note the gorgeous chandelier a friend G.A.V.E me!
The during, covering up the ugly walls and A/C ducts.
Here you can see all the red chalk marks we did trying
to figure out the best way to lay out the beams.
Not one wall, one opening, any of the windows or doors,
were proportionate to each other so we decided to use the two sets
of windows as the center marks.
Trying to make the coffers equal squares would have
simply been impossible.
Here you can see how we went off the windows for the beam layout.
Here you can see where the beams don't line up with the doors
but actually OCD-me can live with that.
I used the Command Picture Hanging Strips
to hang all the silver platters.
Seriously, they are the best thing since boxed wine!
I had several older ladies sneer at me when I purchased
some of these at the thrift shops saying it will take
a lot of elbow grease to polish them up.
I replied back that I liked them tarnished, which I do,
and that quieted them down!

The windows are really old and definitely have that
wavy window look, which I absolutely adore however
they are blurry here because it's freaking hot outside
and menopausal me needs the A/C low, low, low!
My mom slapped some paint on an old Home Goods piece.
I would love to have an antique sideboard here someday
but this will do for now.

I took some old gravy ladles and
glued them to some old pieces of silver
to create candleholders.
When lit, they look beautiful lighting up the silver.
Note: I did look up the pieces on-line first to see if they
might have any value - alas, they did not.

I painted the inside of the built-in cabinets a beautiful,
dark gray which really makes the pieces inside pop!
I framed the original skeleton key that does
still work on the dining room French doors.

Just some cool antique-looking
Mercury glass knobs I found in a local shop.
Knobs for the doors at the bottom of the built-ins.
The curtains are from Pottery Barn. While I do
love the pattern and colors, I really have my heart set
on a beautiful silk pattern I picked out.
The wholesale cost for the fabric alone was $700
so I am on hold, probably indefinitely,
on that pipe dream.

The candle tube sleeves are made from real wax
and look like they are melting.
While having this rewired, the sleeves were literally
melting when the store tested the light with normal lightbulbs.
We switched to the new LED, which I was uncertain about but
now I love them and the glow they give off.
The chandelier is pewter but I love how some areas look silver
and some look gold.

So there's my beautiful dining room. I have started sitting in there to work on the computer and write my blog because I just enjoy being in the room. We are back to eating dinners there, and in my opinion, it makes everything taste better (the kids may not agree!).  I am sure I will continue to play with the items in the cabinets and on top of the sideboards until I get the styling exactly the way I want it but for now, it works. I have been super, super busy getting the carriage house renovated, adding a Butler's Pantry, creating an Appliance Closet (yeah, no more crap on the counters. Ok, there is a little but not as much!!), and painting pretty much everything that doesn't move. The dog constantly having paint on her tail is SO not my fault! More reveals to come but that is for another post!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Inexpensive and Practical Wall Art

Ok, as you know, I have been busy, busy, busy renovating and making over my dining room. I'm down to the last blog post before the big reveal. I'm being a bit generous here because the dining room is really only about 90% done but the "missing pieces" are pieces I am going to spend my time looking for and choosing exactly the right piece at exactly the right price (and you know I love the thrill of the hunt)!

Here's my latest up-cycle -

Aren't these a beaut? They were actually marked $29.95
on the back - for each! Seriously, who would pay that?
I didn't. I got them for $1.99 each and then half off!
I always feel bad when I get something SUPER cheap
when I buy it on-sale at a non-profit
thrift shop but I know I will be back giving them
my money many, many more times, so its all good!
I liked the frames (not the artwork)  because they were simple
and were long enough for my project.
I sprayed painted the frames matte gold and then
did a "sloppy" paint job with the silver leaf paint.
Just a real thin coat over the gold.
I didn't want them to be real sparkly so I lightly
wiped the antique wax over them just to
make them toned down a bit.
Wax on the left, no wax on the right.
Insert your "wax on, wax off" joke.
I covered the back with a neutral fabric with a slight sheen to it.
I used small, white-tipped push pins and put them
tightly around the edges of the silverware.
The silverware hangs inside the frame but can
easily be lifted out to use at any meal.
Aren't I freaking clever?!?
The pins for these went through the decorative slots.
Easy enough.
These are vintage family pieces.

These are "vintage" Pottery Barn pieces - LOL!
So that's it. I already had all the paint, the fabric and pins, and the silver pieces so all I spent on this project was $2 for the sale-priced frames. Yeah me! That might be a first. I'm very happy with the way these turned out and they look great hanging on my wall. The dining room reveal is next, but that is for another post!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An Old Soul Deserves an Old Mirror

Ok, so its pretty much been established that I am an old soul, or at least a vintagey-type of person (no old age cracks please!). My entire life, I have always had a passion for thick moldings rimming a room, peeling cornices revealing generations of paint choices, old wavy windows that slightly blur the view outside, doors with intricate details, and of course, colorful and painstakingly-made stained glass windows. Something about flinging open a pair of heavy, old wooden pocket doors that take you from the long, symmetrical hallway into a room with high coffered ceilings, creaky wood floors, a fire roaring in the fireplace, just makes me feel perfectly at peace in the world.

So, one of my goals with my new-old home was to try my hardest to bring only vintage, authentic pieces into it. Items that have a history and simply make me happy (while I profess to be authentic, its not fully true for me when it comes to toilets and plumbing, appliances, or A/C, though!!). As you know, I have been scouring flea markets, antique and salvage shops, Craigslist, eBay, etc… (side note: I am currently waiting to hear back from a fellow Craigslister to see if he accepts my offer on a vintage Victorian fireplace screen, it's really pretty!) but I can't afford all vintage so in some cases, I have to either accept it or alter it. In this case, beautiful antique mirrors are a small fortune so I found the following gem in a little thrift shop in Ocala (via Facebook). It's old but more like 50s' old, not early 1900's old but that's no problem for me!

I love the lines of this mirror but would love
for it to have an "old mirror" look and not be gold
and thanks to Pinterest, I can do that!

First I removed the mirror from the frame.
Look at the "wonkiness" of this glass cutting!
Do you also like the sneak-peek of my dining room ceiling?
In my opinion, its swoon-worthy!
I decided to paint the frame a matte black first.
Ahhhhh . . . much better but not there yet.
I wanted the frame of the mirror to have a silver-leaf look
and this little bottle was able to do the trick
(and two more frames!).
Thankfully, I wanted the mirror to have that streaky silver-look or
at least that's what I told myself.
I also wanted parts of the black and gold to "peek" through.

I also very lightly sanded off some of the silver
and in a few spots, some of the black to let the
layers of color shine through.
I decided I wanted the silver toned down just a bit.
I very daintily (because those who know me know how dainty I can be)
dry painted the deep nooks and crannies
of this mirror with the antique wax and then wiped 98% of it off.
I love it!
Next step is to "age" the mirror.
In order to proceed with the aging,
I needed to remove the outer layer of paint.
I sprayed on the paint remover and left it for about 30 minutes. 
The first coat didn't work that great so I sprayed
another layer of paint stripper and waited.
The second time worked like a charm and was a bit fun
to peel! Then I sprayed muriatic acid to make those
old dots and it went everywhere and looked like crap!
No pictures available because I was busy cursing.
I then stripped all the mirror and started over again
because now basically I have a piece of glass!
Gee, thanks Pinterest!
So I ran to my local Ace Hardware to buy some
of the Mirror Effect spray paint but they didn't have it.
I then headed to my home-away-from-home, Home Depot,
and bought a can (I didn't know it at the time but that was a mistake!).
I did like the way the spray paint layered the layers of silver.
HOWEVER this is after another trip to Home Depot and
2 more cans of mirror paint because the muriatic acid
was a F.A.I.L again. Cue more cursing and now
we are on day 3! I finally decided to just man-handle
the paint and rub away a bit. I added a layer of black spray paint
over the mirror paint and finally,  I am somewhat happy.
I put the mirror back in the frame and voila!
It's not what I started out going for but it's not too shabby
or actually, its just the right level of shabby! 

After three days, three cans of Mirror Effect Spray Paint, several minor burns on my hands from the acid, the investment in a pair of heavy rubber gloves, and my time, I probably could have flown to Paris and found a vintage mirror but I am very happy with the results. Knowing me, I will probably pull it down in the near-future to make some adjustments to it but for now it will hang. Wanting to show off my handiwork, I called my youngest in to admire my oh-so pretty mirror and in a teenage girl way, she mumbled something about it being ok. She then proceeded to ask me if I planned on cleaning the mirror. Hand to head! Ahhhhh! Guess I'll need to keep my day job. I head to the kitchen for a bottle glass of wine. Put a fork in this one because I am done! I have another super fun, and much easier, project to share next but that is for another post!