When designing a room, I find it essential to create a “mood board” containing all of the elements: styles, colors, fabrics, etc. This helps to create some cohesiveness in the overall design (at least, in my scattered mind…). And, I always need a “jumping off” point, some piece of furniture, architectural detail or fabric design that inspires the design for the space. In this case, it is this beautiful iron changing table I mentioned in last week’s post.

Nana Nursery Changing TableThe color is a dark pewter/bronze, so I’m working my color scheme around it. With changing table in place, what I needed next was an accent rug, something soft underfoot for baby to play on. But, since this is a guest bedroom as well, I needed to find something that wasn’t too “baby-ish”. After quite a bit of online shopping and a few trips to actual stores (that happens less and less these days it seeems…) I discovered this Sorel Rug “old world style” beauty online from Jerome’s Furniture in California.

Nana Nursery Changing Table and Sorel Rug FurThe colors are spot-on…a perfect blend of creams, grays and beiges, and the style of the rug is that “worn down, well-loved” look that is so popular today (without the scratchy exposed backing of rugs that actually do have worn-out spots). Now, a lot of the neutral nurseries I looked at online had pastel rugs, which were quite pretty (but we all know that pastel really isn’t my calling card…), and since I knew I was going to have darker furniture elements in the room, I wanted something with “weight” to anchor those pieces. What absolutely drew me to this gorgeous rug was the circular pattern with the floral and scroll inlays…

Nana Nursery Diaries Rug Detailwhich has now inspired the overall design of the room: vintage, old-world travel (I have maps, I have globes, mommy & daddy-to-be love to travel…perfect!) Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of a pattern to hide spills and stains…after all, this is a baby (and I’m sure…Bartlet the Frenchie’s)#Bartletthefrenchie room! This rug certainly fits the bill and more, thanks to Jerome’s Furniture , a family-run business based in southern California.

The Nana Nursery Diaries Sorel Rug Jeromes FurnitureThey have loads of furnishings and rugs and decorative accents to choose from online…very reasonably priced…believe me…I had a tough time deciding! So, with rug and changing table now in place (I know, amazing, right?!)…

Nana Nursery Diaries Sorel Rug and Changing Table…I need some help from you! Time to choose a paint color for the walls above the wainscoting-which will remain a soft, creamy white. Can you take a look at these Benjamin Moore paint samples and tell me what you think? The top three are Harbor Gray, (more true gray) London Fog (more beige) or Revere Pewter (slightly darker taupe undertones). I love them all and they are all in the rug!

Nana Nursery Paint ChipsSo many colors, so little time…I will update again next Friday…and every Friday until we are done! Have fun Friday everyone! Susan

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It all started with a changing table. Well, it actually started when our daughter and son-in-law announced that they’re expecting their first child in May! Which means that Coach and I are going to be grandparents for the first time. Beyond excited! So, since Bartlet the Frenchie

Bartlet the Frenchiealready knows us as Nana and Coach, we’ve decided to stick with those nicknames for the new baby, (no, we don’t know the gender, they decided to be surprised : ) With our kids grown and gone, Coach and I are empty-nesters, which means we have two spare bedrooms to use for other purposes. One, our son’s old room, is a guestroom/office (which is where I do most of my writing),

Nana Nursery Diaries Office Study Logothe other (our daughter’s childhood room)

Pink Girl's Bedroomis simply the ironing board/spare closet room for me. Initially, my intention was to just keep a pack ‘n play handy for baby visits, never intending to transform her old room into a full-on nursery, until I found the changing table…THIS gorgeous changing table…

Nana Nursery Changing Tableon a Facebook yard sale page…for next to nothing. It is a heavy pewter/bronze tone wrought iron beauty that happens to be the same shape and style as the wrought iron daybed she slept in as a child…so I guess it was just meant to be. When our children were babies, I didn’t have the time, or the means, to decorate a space from top to bottom…but here we go! So, what was once going to be a spare crib tucked in the corner has now become a “nana-nursery-to-be”… presently in the planning stages. And, since gray is the new pink and blue for nurseries this year and the changing table is pewter gray, I am going with a soft, gender-neutral palette of grays, taupes and creamy whites…

Nana Nursery Diaries Paint Chips…once the baby boy or girl has arrived, we can add in some color. I happened upon these neutral nurseries while doing some online searching/shopping- each one-although soft in palette…has such an impact that it is difficult to choose the design focus for the space…country, whimsical, nautical, old world charm…but one thing for sure, it all starts with the changing table.

This one from Pottery Barn Kids is whimsical…

The Nana Nursery Diaries Pottery Barn Kids NurseryThis one from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child is so elegant

Nana Nursery Restoration Hardware NurseryThis one from the Blog Sharps Farm is simply lovely

Nana Nursery Diaries Sharps Farm NurseryAny and all of these would be perfect for the nana-nursery, but this one is going to be special, created just for our newest family member! To see what I have pinned so far…check out my Pinterest page. There are only a hundred or so…It will remain a guest bedroom as well, so the decor needs to remain somewhat neutral. And, it goes without saying that I will be doing this on a budget, using craigslist finds and re-loved pieces from other sources.  I will be updating as I go along, painting and shopping and sewing…essentially transforming the entire space, hopefully in time for our new love’s arrival in May! And, I will be asking your for help as well…so many decisions to make, so little time, so much work to do….time to clear out the room! Have a super Sunday everyone…Susan

 

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Coach picked up an old (sort of) trunk from a friend who is selling their home and moving away to warmer climates (so lucky!!) The trunk was in very good shape, it just needed some sprucing up....

Nautical Trunk Makeover Finished Country Design HomeCoach picked up an old (sort of) trunk from a friend who is selling their home and moving away to warmer climates (so lucky!!) The trunk was in very good shape, it just needed some sprucing up. The inside was near perfect, so I left that alone.

Nautical Trunk InteriorThis piece is solid pine, with these medallion cutouts on the front panel that were just screaming for some pretty decorations.

Nautical Trunk Makeover BeforeEnter, the maps. You know, they seem to keep multiplying (can maps actually produce offspring? its appears so…) so I just have to keep finding ways to use them!  The soft honey pine color was still quite nice but a wee bit too light, so a quick sanding and a coat of General Finishes Antique Oak was all it took to bring it back to life.

Nautical Trunk Makeover General Finishes Antique OakFor the three medallions, I pulled a map from Coach’s stash with some gorgeous nautical colors in greens and blues,

Nautical Trunk Makeover mapso I grabbed some paint cans and started mixing until I got just the right colors to match the map.

General Finishes PaintsSince the wood was so nice, I just couldn’t bring myself to paint the entire thing. So I just did the front panels to complement the maps, keeping the edges clean so they would create a wood “frame” that matched the remainder of the stained wood.

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wiping edgesRealizing the that medallions were hand-routed, so they would not be identical, I made patterns for each one and labeled them,

Nautical Trunk Makeover Paper Patterns for Mapsthen used them to cut the medallions out of the maps. Perfect fit! I have had difficulty in the past getting a nice, smooth surface with paper adhesion using modge-podge type products. They always seemed to buckle and pucker, no matter how much I smoothed them during the process. A tip I garnered from Hometalk.com worked perfectly! Prior to attaching with the glue, I sprayed the map pieces, both front and back, with a couple of coats of this Krylon matte finish, then allowed to dry.

Krylon Low Odor Matte Finish SprayNow on the can it said “low odor- safe for indoors”, and since it is still winter here (even though it was 60 degrees yesterday-amazing…) I gave it a try, using my dining room table, windows slightly open for ventilation. Well, I am here to tell you that, even though there was some odor, it was significantly less than anything else I had previously used. And it dissipated super quickly! And, now, you ask, did it work for its intended purpose? Did it eliminate the wrinkles??? Yes, indeed!! When I painted the glue on the panels and placed them on the surface, they laid super flat and smooth!!!

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wrinkle Free Maps(hmm, do you think it could eliminate my wrinkles??)  Once in place, I added a final coat of the Krylon Spray just to secure them into place and protect them. I kept the shiny brass hinges and added these nautical arrow handles

Nautical Trunk Makeover Arrow Handle Detail PMthat I picked up at Hobby Lobby-love! So here is the final project top- the colorful maps and the brass hardware are a nice contrast to the glowing wood finish. This trunk is the perfect “coffee-table” size, and provides quite a bit of neat storage. 

Nautical Trunk Top ViewNow I am off to find another “map-it-out” project! Have a great first day of March everyone. Let’s hope it stays like a lamb...Susan

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Vintage Grocery Sign Completed Gold LogoThe other morning I woke up dreaming about how to make my own gold leaf for little to no $$$. What, that’s not a thing? Doesn’t everyone wake up dreaming about DIY projects? I had been working on a vintage GROCERY sign and had decided it needed more pizzazz than what a plain cream background could provide. So, I thought that since gold leafing

Paris Inspired Gold Leaf Table Top clear coatwas simply some hammered paper-thin gold sheets that you glued on the surface,

Applying Gold Leaf to Paris Tablewhy not use glued, thin textured paper that you painted gold? I know it’s not 24K…I mean, after all, I’m not going to be wearing the darned thing, so I am pretty sure that its OK for a wood sign, am I right? For those of you not familiar with “gold-leafing”, suffice to say that it has been used for gilding and decorating for centuries…click here for a little Wikipedia history lesson.

So I grabbed this antique oak dresser panel

Vintage Grocery Sign Dresser Side Panel(yes, this is the side panel from a vintage oak dresser that was beyond repair…I broke it down and am using the wood and salvaged pieces) and began the sign-making process. Here is the How-I-Did-It:

I cleaned the panel, then rubbed it down with some steel wool just to remove any surface stickies and smooth it out.

Vintage Grocery Sign Cleaning Old Frame with Steel WoolThere were two little dowels that were protruding from one end-they had attached the panel to the top of the dresser in its original form. I was in the kitchen so I didn’t want to drag out the power saw- enter the Ginsu Knife!

Vintage Grocery Sign Ginsu Knife CuttingThe ad says “cuts through a log, and then slices pineapple perfectly”. Well, I didn’t slice any fruit with it after I sliced off the dowels, but it worked great!

Refreshed the entire oak frame areas with some General Finishes Antique Oak Stain.

Vintage Grocery Sign General Finishes Antique Oak StainPainted the inside of the frame with a coat of chalk paint to lighten it up and create a bonding surface for the glue.

DecoArts Americana Chalky Paint PrimitiveCut out two pieces of wrapping tissue- this was in a gift box I saved from Christmas-so it was free!! But you can buy a whole package of it at the dollar store for well, $1. The thinner and cheaper, the better.

Vintage Grocery Sign Tissue Paper Cut To SizeSpread “Wunda Size”, a water-based glue which I use for all of my paper-adhesion projects…

Vintage Grocery Sign Wunda Size Glue…all over the surface-my original intent was to do 1/2 at a time, but the bottle spilled out a little more than I needed.

Vintage Grocery Sign Spilled GlueSo I scooped up what I could save (this stuff is like liquid gold…every drop counts!) and spread the rest out across the entire surface. Waited about 10 minutes until the surface was tacky and sticky (NOT dried!) Remember, wherever you put the glue, that is where the paper is going to stick! You can use any type of glue-even watered-down school glue- for this, but I would not use a “Modge-Podge” type product, as I think it would be too thick.

Laid the tissue down onto the tacky surface, beginning at the corners and then working along, smoothing it with my fingertips as I moved down the length of the board.

Vintage Grocery Sign Smoothing TissueIt is OK to have the creases and wrinkles, that’s what gives it the gold leaf appearance. (this stuff is really sticky-thankfully it washes off with water!)

Vintage Grocery Sign Sticky FingersI used two pieces, so there was a seam down the middle, but I just tore off the edge of the overlap piece and then smoothed it down.

Vintage Grocery Sign Tearing Tissue along edgeNow, tissue paper is not quite as fragile as real gold leafing, so I had a few seconds to reposition and move the paper until it was properly placed. However, once it touches the glue, you cannot slide it or it will tear-just lift it and move it along. But if it does tear, just smooth it back down with your fingertips and keep going. That is part of the look you are trying to achieve anyway. Once I was finished smoothing, I allowed it to dry completely-about an hour.

Vintage Grocery Sign Drying Tissue Paper with GluePainted with two coats of this gold paint

intage Grocery Sign Gold Metallic Paintyou could use any gold paint you have on hand-as long as it is metallic. I found this one in a mark down bin at AC Moore for like, 50 cents. As the paint went on, it enhanced the wrinkly surface, creating the veining effect of real gold leaf.

Vintage Grocery Sign Gold PaintFinally, using a stencil,

Vintage Grocery Sign StencilsI spelled out GROCERY,

Vintage Grocery Sign Gold Leaf Closeupthen painted it free-hand with some black chalkboard paint. See how pretty the black lettering looks against the glowing gold?

Vintage Grocery Sign Stenciled and PaintedFinished with a coat of spray matte acrylic sealer.

Krylon Matte FinishAdded two vintage hooks for hanging. Done. But this one’s not staying in my kitchen…

Vintage Grocery Sign in Window…it is just one of the many projects I’m bringing up to the Barn at Todd Farm this weekend! The total cost for this project? Zero. Zip. Nada. (well, except for my very valuable time and expertise : ) Everything I used I had on hand. If I had to purchase a large package of gold leafing, enough to cover this project, it would have cost a pretty penny (hmmm, now that I have this leafing thing down, I could definitely try coppering something, or even faux leathering…) So there you have it…gold leafing on the cheap. And speaking of gold, its Oscar weekend! Hope your favorite movie wins! Susan

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This past week I discovered a new documentary called The Kindness Diaries...One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World…have you heard of it?

The Kindness Diaries Amazon.com book Based on a book of the same name, the author, Leon Logothetis,

Leon Logothetisdecided that there were enough good people in the world to help him on this remarkable quest around the world. Traveling penniless, he is solely dependent on the kindness of complete strangers, who, expecting nothing in return, provide him with food, shelter and gas for his (somewhat) trusty vintage yellow motorcycle known as “Kindness One”.

Leon Logothetis Kindness OneHis 25,000-mile “kindness journey” begins in LA, where he encounters the first of many individuals who go out of their way to help him out on his quest to discover the goodness in everyday humans. After the first episode, I was hooked, so I set my DVR for a series recording. In the few episodes I have already viewed, he has traveled across the US and into Europe,

Kindness One Mapintroducing his generous hosts along the way, who oftentimes give him not only a place to stay, but an insight into the struggle of their daily lives. Sometimes, he also gives back in powerful ways…airfare for parents who otherwise could not afford to see their son be married in England…a new cow for a family in Eastern Europe…an apartment for a homeless man in Pittsburgh. In a TV world populated with with TLC drama,  macabre crime shows and the latest ugly politics, it is refreshing to view a show that speaks to the goodness of mankind.  On Verizon, the AWE channel is 669, but you’d have to check your local listings in your area. You can also follow Leon’s adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter Leon Logothetis or one of his many other social media outlets. And, following in his footsteps, I will take today, this beautiful, sunny, warm Thursday in Boston, to #GoBeKind (and I hope you will too : ) Susan

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Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.
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