Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Auction treasures: Pretty French and Swedish items!


 I love pretty decorating. I always have~since I was a young girl I favored 
this style of decor and adored my french provincial bedroom set as a young teen.
French and Swedish styles are my favorite now that I am all grown up,
and currently at auction houses these kinds of chairs will go for a song, 
mostly because the decorating rave is all mid century modern right now.
Above is a wonderful french provincial tufted back chair with some elaborate
details.  The fabric is old and worn but has silver threads woven in an ivory 
background and faded aqua can be seen here and there.  I love it!
It is not in the best shape as far as the upholstery goes, so that may need
to be addressed, but for now its a nice looking piece of French sculpture.
 Another fun french provincial chair I got was this one in purple velvet!
 This was the big thing I was hoping to get at the auction! Can you tell what it is? The rounded head.....its a mora clock case with a Boston clock works inside. The yellow stickers show that there were left bids, and one was a phone bidder too. So I knew there would be stiff competition for this clock.  It was a miniature mora clock standing about 4 feet tall, and it had everyone oohing and ahhing all over it! There aren't too many times at auction that I am determined to get something regardless of price, and this was one of those times. You all know I have an obsession with mora clocks and that we sell mora clock reproductions at our shop, Maison Decor.  I had never seen a mora clock like this one, its quite rare I believe.  There was interest from a reputable Boston auction house on this piece as well as all the left bids.  Would I be able to get my mora?  How much would I have to pay? Would someone push me out of the bidding? 
 Find out by watching the actual video of me bidding on the clock!
 There were a pair of Waterford crystal lamps 
with their original price stickers on the bottom
priced at $455! How much would they get at auction?
 This wedding cake chandelier was another item 
I really wanted as this style is one I love.
I don't see good vintage chandeliers very often, 
so this one was on my wish list in addition 
to the clock and the fun french tufted chairs.
 Well you can see I prevailed at auction! 
My mini mora clock was headed to its forever home.
Upon close inspection I could tell that the original paint 
had been stripped. I could see remnants of white paint 
and aqua paint on the edges of the backside.  
I am pretty sure I will be painting this clock, 
but for now was just over the moon about having this wonderful little clock.
 Mr. Maison Decor offered to get the clock running.  
Mora clocks have simple mechanisms inside and 
with a bit of thinking you can usually figure them out.  
I will post more on this part later.
 I was victorious on the wedding cake chandy too! 
 It was filthy rotten dirty, as my nana used to say 
when looking at us kids after we played in the yard all day. 
 Each crystal was taken off its tiered mount
 and bathed in white vinegar and hot water.
 What a splendid looking chandelier!  
It is going to be installed for me 
by Mr. Maison Decor when we have a chance~
perhaps on our anniversary next weekend!  
 This was another item I brought home from auction.  
I have always wanted a fainting couch and this one 
is in rough shape, so it could be my initial attempt at reupholstering.  
Then it might get loaded into Mr. Maison Decor's truck and 
brought to a professional.  But first I want to see if I can figure it out.
  Maybe my friend Betsy Speert will give me a few pointers, 
as she has taken classes and knows how to do 
a lot of this kind of stuff!!! (heheh hi Betsy)
 I rounded out my Sunday reading some of my new magazines.  
What a treat~I never get much time to do this kind of 
thing anymore as I am always in the shop. 
 Or playing catch up at the house.  But I am just excited to see 
Pretty Decor coming back into favor. 
 Check out the French and Swedish influences on this cover. 
 I think its fabulous!
Oh...and that Waterford crystal lamp came home with me too.  
At one tenth the MSRP sticker.  Now that's a good deal.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Glamourous Dining Room Project


One of my latest projects is doing a glamourous dining room for a client.
This is turning out to be a lot of fun for me, as its a bit of a departure from
my penchant for rustic french cottage style.  Its a work in progress,
but I am excited to show you some of the elements we have put in place.
My client had the basic furniture and wall color chosen ahead of time,
so I got to do the fun part~the accessorizing!
I found most everything in the above photo at HomeGoods.
A high end designer mirror made from crushed mirror pieces mixes with 
a vintage silver tea service from her family.
It's interesting in a room to have old mixing with new.
The fur throws on the backs of the chairs adds a bit of over the top luxe
style.  Silver and charcoal pillows add the grey tones we 
wanted to mix with the camel colored upholstery and creamy wall color.
 The grey silk lamp shades on crystal ball lamp bases were the perfect
choice.  Silver, chrome, glass, mirror~all these cool finishes mix
together in a room of warm ivory and camel.
 We will be playing around with a group of these wedding cake rain drop crystal
chandeliers and cluster them above the table. 
 Its going to look amazing!
Still waiting on our custom silver leaf rods for the window.
 Floor length metallic linen panels in charcoal will hang on the silver rods.
We will also be looking to place a pair of chairs on either end of the console in 
a patterned fabric with grey and camel colors.  
Its all coming together!
The final reveal will be happening soon, so stay tuned!
Else where in the same house....
I was able to get these linen sheer panels from Maison Decor
 hung for her today in addition to getting 
the mirror installed in the dining room~
do you remember this
room? Its the Peacock Room!
 Its the family room belonging to the same client, Anna.
She had mostly neutral furnishings, and I added touches
of aqua in the accessories and warmed up her space with baskets
and interesting accessories and pillows from HomeGoods and Maison Decor.
This is where I last left off~we were waiting for the new wool rug in a 
pretty sea glass blue color and for the window hardware so I could
hang the oatmeal linen panels Anna picked out from my shop, Maison Decor.
 I got the linen sheers hung after our custom window hardware
arrived. The rods are a pretty sun bleached linen finish. 
Still waiting on the rug, but when it arrives 
I will photograph the room and share it here.

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Note: This post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods. All ideas and photographs are my own.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Floral Bookcase Backings and more


 Today my living room looks like this. 
 It is still a work in progress, as you read along you can see
my latest thoughts on where I want to take this room.
But first, let me show you how it evolved.
   My room three years ago was Shabby Chic in style.
Very feminine and vintage decor. 
Then I got inspired by designer Annette Tatum's floral
backed bookcases and her use of the pastels I favored, 
when I saw her room in a magazine.
 Annette Tatums living room just bowled me over! 
I had to try this with my bookcases!
So I cut up some pretty floral fabric and wrapped it around foam boards
 and started backing the bookcases. This way I could take it out if 
 I grew tired of the look.  Above you can see the first panel I
 added to the bookcases, and I was loving the look.
The funny thing was that Annette changed her living room not too long after. 
This version was in another magazine spread and now
 her pink floral backers were changed out to floral with cream and pink colors. 
 She changed her slipcovers and accessories as well. I loved this version too! 
 So for all of us who are constantly changing things around, this is normal!  
So my bookcases looked like this for awhile, 
and the room was still very Shabby Chic.
About a year later I did a total makeover towards Traditional style
 and took out the floral backers and painted everything grey.
Traditional style living room. However this look
 just wasn't me, and things would get changed up again.
I painted all the woodwork white and added a formal mirror. 
The floral backers came out of hiding in my storage trunk. 
 Books, baskets and framed family photos were added to the bookshelves. 
The baskets picked up the texture in the new sisal rug
 and helped balance out the feminine design.
I actually have a different backing in mind,
 but the floral ones were ready to go so I popped them 
in place and there they will stay til I get a few days 
off to try out the wallpaper I really wanted to use.
Its Laura Ashley's Summer Palace wallpaper. 
 I have two rolls and I want to use this on my bookcases. 
Its fun and modern and still has the colors that I prefer.
I think this will look perfect (for a year anyway)!
But for now, it is the vintage chintz that lines the shelves.
 Decorating bookcases is tricky as they can hold a lot of stuff. 
Of course they can be filled with books for a library look, 
but I like to add bits of flavor with home decor items.  
Picking three basic categories,
I will repeat them for a cohesive look.  In this case it was
 books, baskets and glass/ceramics. 
 I also added a few groupings of framed family photos 
to personalize our room.  
 Some of the items on the shelves, like this large mercury glass vessel 
as well as all the baskets were purchased at HomeGoods. 
 The other items were either gifts or family heirlooms 
with sentimental attachments.

Annette's bookcases had groupings of antique books 
in the same binding colors.  
Finding good looking old books is not easy.  
I am always on the lookout for nice old books that share
 the same color bindings so I can create groupings. 
 I am sure Annette doesn't read these books, they are just there to look pretty.
And pretty they are! she also mixed in a few decorative items.  
The books don't compete with the floral backings and 
the brown color minimized the femininity of the design.
 I would love to have beautiful old golden brown leather antique books in my cases. 
 But this is the real world, and these are books we read. 
 Lots of home design books as well as books on dogs and home repair 
sit on our shelves.  This is my favorite room to enjoy a good book 
with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.  The light streams in 
from the front windows from sunrise to sunset making
 this my favorite room in the house.
 I love natural light! Its a feel good accessory all by itself. 
This morning I added some tiny white fabric lampshades
to the sconces.  I love how they look.  I got them off of a vintage
fancy crystal chandelier out of a town house in Boston.
More changes are on the way.  I want to get some new chairs  for starters. 
 The other side of the room is still in process and when I figure that side out I will share it here.  Its got a piano, and I have been pushing it in different positions to see what works best.  This room is a relatively small square shape room that opens into the dining room and the front entryway, so its a bit of a challenge. Especially when you have lots of stuff, like we do.  But stuff makes a room have a personality, doesn't it?  
As I downloaded the photos from my Canon camera, 
I saw this "selfie" of Colin.  
I had to smile, although it was with a twinge of nostalgia
 as this was Colin's last day at Maison Decor.
Colin landed a "real" job with a firm in his chosen field 
of Building and Construction management.  He helped me start
 my little business from day one while he was busy getting his degree 
at University of Massachusetts.  He would drive home on weekends 
to help me move furniture or paint walls and clocks 
and really was such a tremendous help.  When he graduated he came on full time 
now joining me and my son Justin and what a team we made. 
 He started work this week and its been 
a major adjustment for me and Justin. We are sad to see him go,
 but happy as this is the right move for him and we know
 he will be a tremendous success! 
 Thank you Colin for being such a supportive son
and awesome employee.  
Wishing you the best that life has to offer~you deserve it!

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Note: Some of this post has items sponsored from HomeGoods.  All opinions and ideas are my own.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My living room



 My Living Room
I just finished a couple of quick projects....
It all started when I decided to carry this line of beautiful latex furniture
moldings or appliques.  They are imported from New Zealand and the line is
called Efex.  Anyway, Maison Decor is selling these now, and I have fallen
hard for how easily you can create a look by attaching appliques.
You can see an oval mirror I used after I finished the mantle.  I realized
I could make one to fit perfectly by adding some appliques.
This is the before shot of the mantle with its clean classic lines
painted in Paris Grey Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.
Bam! 
Pretty big difference right?
Look how I did it....
I got to work laying out Efex moldings onto an old HomeGoods mirror
I had hanging in a different part of the house.
It turned out really pretty!
 Not only did I do the mirror and the mantle with Efex moldings,
I went upstairs to my storage trunk and pulled out the blue chintz
floral fabric covered backing boards I used a few years ago to line
the bookcases. 
 Its a pale blue ground with lots of my favorite colors.
 Its a vintage chintz by Mario Buatta.
I found it in an antique shop in New Hampshire
and they were made up as pinch pleat draperies!
I ripped them all apart and taped them around foam boards
with some duct tape on the back after measuring each shelf.
Fast forward two years or so...this fabric 
is great with my antique painted coffee table!
 I guess its really a tea table or an occasional table or maybe a writing desk 
as it sits higher than a coffee table does.  You all know we have 
dogs in the house and to keep our white slipcovers from having 
to be laundered too often I have a simple white quilt laid across the 
seat cushions, so we can wash that in a pinch.  
 The floral hooked rug that used to be here 
is now rolled up and in the attic in favor of a sisal rug.
I love how it looks.  Maybe it balances out all of the florals in the room.
Its less frou frou, even though the room is still very feminine.
 So happy with the quickie makeover!
 Its fresh and pretty and it feels like spring.
I will be sharing more home projects with you soon
and one special Efex project coming up in a couple of weeks
that I am super excited about!!
I really enjoyed my day off from work and pulling it
all together today.  I hope you enjoyed this post from my home
as I often am told people miss my home! That is so sweet to think
that readers were enjoying the things I was doing and wanted to see more
Tomorrow I will be back in the shop however....
We got in a huge order today and will be 
adding new appliques online this week!
Maison Decor is located at 
150 Main Street Reading Mass 
or online at www.shopmaisondecor.com
For more information on Efex click here.

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