Great news from Washington D.C. yesterday, and it has nothing to do with the upcoming elections! A new baby Panda Bear was born at the National Zoo! A four-ounce bundle of hairless joy, (who shall remain nameless for 100 days, bowing to Chinese culture) was born to Mei Xiang (pronounced may-SHONG), her second offspring born at the zoo. So, in honor of the panda, a few inspired black and white interiors to share with you today. Black and white decor can be clean and modern, like this bedroom from Zack Benson or a little softer and romantic, just by adding a yummy toe-scrunching carpet and a touch of bling from The Decorholic
Black and white makes for a dramatic entryway, such as this one from LDa Architecture and Interiors
Don’t you just want to come in this sun-filled space and sit awhile?!? From Kim E. Courtney Interiors and Design, Inc.
Black and white makes for dramatic dining spaces as well. These chairs from Ramsey Interiors…oh my!! One bright accent color such as pink, pops off of a black and white background and adds a touch of drama…
Which I love, along with this fabulous chair, also from The Yellow Cape Cod!!
Black and white can be dramatic and bold: this striped room from Usona
or simply charming like this bedroom from Pur Style Home
or a newborn panda cub (awww!) For additional photographs and black and white inspiration, check out my ideabook on Houzz.com Here’s hoping you have a “beary” nice Tuesday! Susan
Since my decorating point of view is simply country style, I am always drawn to interiors and products that help me create that look. I realize that many folks appreciate, but don’t necessarily decorate with that homespun, down-home casual look, but I believe that one “countrified” piece can fit into any room, into any decorating scheme. It is all about blending and mixing pieces to come up with the perfect eclectic design for you; a style that stands the test of time. More importantly, a style that makes your house your home, whether it’s Refined Rustic
or Mid-Century “Mad Men”.
Each week, on Features Friday, I am hoping to share a couple of items/ideas/recipes: anything that might inspire you to add a touch of country to your space! I will provide you with links to the sources we have used and the products that we love. First up: Lt. Willard Moses Lighting from The Great Windsor Chair Company. Located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Great Windsor Chairs sells a huge selection of country-style farm tables, chairs, clocks and lighting. When Coach and I were remodeling our kitchen, we needed the perfect chandelier, as it is the focal point and centerpiece of our space. We found and purchased this one online, hoping that the quality and style were right for our room, since we had never seen this brand in a local store.
Hanging from the vaulted ceiling, it instantly conveys that “country” feeling we were looking for, and it provides elegant ambiant lighting. LOVE. Another company, Urban Chandy, creates these uniquely rustic chandeliers from re-claimed lumber and vintage-look bulbs. Fabulous! These rustic pieces would work just as well in a country setting as in an urban, modern design. You can shop their stylish lighting on Etsy.com
If you have something to share, whether it’s a recipe, furniture source or design idea, I would love to share with my Country Design readers! Send a photo along with the link and information to firstname.lastname@example.org. T.G.I.F. everyone!!! Susan
Since my last blog, I have had a bit of wrist re-furbishing, and typing left-handed is proving to be quite slow and tedious. So in the interest of my patience and sanity, the next few blogs (until the cast comes off) will be short, sweet and photo heavy. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Since my D.I.M. capabilities are severely limited at the moment, I am going to share a few recent projects that you might like to try. Since Coach and I are forever working on some home-and-barn improvement project, tools and supplies are constantly being moved around. It seems like whenever it’s time to hang a picture or sand a piece of furniture, the necessary tools are nowhere to be found. SO FRUSTRATING!!! How many of you out there in cyberspace have a junk drawer? Well, we do, and its so stuffed with junk I usually can’t find anything!
So, rather than going out and purchasing a fancy tool chest, I found some old plastic bins kicking around in the basement, and decided to use them to create my Home Improvement Command Center– HICC for short.
In each labeled drawer there are the tools specific for that task. Stick: glue, duct tape, masking tape- anything that sticks-get it?
Cut and Scrape: razor cutters, blades, paint scrapers, chisels.
There are many more, including POUND, WRENCH&PLY and BRUSH- all pretty self-explanatory. Right after I completed this project, Coach came to me and said “Hey, I was looking for a hammer and found it right away- in the pound drawer!” HICC complete. Mission accomplished. Now if we can just remember to put them back! Have an inspiringly organized day! Susan
Over the weekend, Coach and I made another road trip back to the Brimfield Antiques Show to see what we had missed the first time around! Many of my favorite vendors were there, like “My Sister’s Garages”, but there were many new vendors (or perhaps just new to us-that place is just so huge you could easily walk right past some great stuff!). Since my decorating point of view is “country” style, my eye is always drawn to vintage and rustic, which is more popular than ever. Creating lights out of anything but lamps is definitely trending in design. If there was a grate or a pulley or a pipe or basket
someone attached a bulb and a cord and lit up the joint.
Thomas Edison would have been proud. And although he did not hold the patent for the moonshine still, he may have enjoyed a shot or two from this beauty! Since it was the third and final day of the fair, the owner was trying to “move it” and was willing to part with it for $2500! I can see it now…The Red Barn Distillery…
Tin alphabet letetrs. Didn’t know what letter to buy, so didn’t buy any! Regretting that decision.
In a nod to Halloween, piles of tin pumpkins in a patch. Cute.
The Textile Trunk tent was filled with “antique and vintage European textiles”. I don’t know about you, but me in a fabric shop is like a kid in a candy store. (well, I like candy too, but vintage fabric is just so yummy, and better for the waistline).
There are always hand-made tables and benches for sale. I love these old farm trolleys turned coffee table. But it took 4 big guys to put one on the back of a pick up truck! How the heck would we get it into the house?!?
and roosters- where would you put this larger-than- life-sized bird in your yard?!?
Coach and I have been to the fair a number of times, and have never ventured inside this tent. The Pandora de Balthazar is all about European Luxury Bedding, and luxurious it was! White, pressed, polished, love. Sooo country pretty.
Coach, being a coach and all, is always looking for sports paraphenalia. He spotted this rack with dozens of vintage baseball bats. Curious, not to purchase, but to assess the worth of his own Roberto Clemente signature bat.
After three+ hours of meandering through the rows of tents, we overheard the chatter on radios and walkie talkies of an impending severe storm and a possible tornado! Coach was none-too-happy about missing the entire second half of the fair, but let’s be honest, where does one seek shelter from a twister in a sea of white pop-up tents?!?
Time to head back to the car for the long drive home. Next time we will start on the opposite side of the street. I have this little sign hanging in my daughter’s childhood bedroom. Great advice.
Hope you find joy in your journey today! Susan
Another trash to treasure redo for the 3R’s: Recycle, Refurbish, Relove! At a not-so-recent yard sale, Coach and I came across this coffee table…
it was a little yellowed, scuffed and dinged, but I knew it was the perfect shape and size for my family room. The cost? It was a free “throw-in” because Coach was buying a “new” set of golf clubs, since the set he previously owned could have been used in the filming of “The Greatest Game Ever Played”.
So for $80, he got a nice set of clubs with a bag and I got the table! We lived with it for awhile until I figured out how best to refurbish it. That was the before, this is the after:
Here is how I did it. Coach lightly sanded the whole thing, I added the dark blue paint coat to the base- this is the color you want to see when the crackling does its magic.
I wanted the top to remain a natural wood finish so I left that alone. This is the crackling medium from Plaid Enterprises. You can get it very cheaply at any local craft store. A little goes a very long way.
This is a liquid you apply wherever you want the topcoat to “crackle” to show the undercoat paint color. I applied it sparingly, to give the piece a more natural cracked finish. Paint the surface with crackling medium. Allow to dry. Paint over that with your top color.
Be careful to only brush in one direction. Do not go back over where you previously brushed as it will smear the crackled look!
Alow to dry. I added a coat of water-based matte polyurethane prior to brushing on the antiquing glaze, since I didn’t want the finish to be too dark. The poly blocks the glazing from being absorbed too deeply into the painted surfaces. This is the glaze I use, but you can also use any clear glaze with your color mixed in for a custom look.
then wipe off, leaving as much or as little as you like. (make sure you use gloves- this stuff stains-well, because it is stain!!)
At this point, I glazed the top as well, since I wanted it to be a bit deeper and richer color than the original unvarnished look. Allow to dry.
Final step. Annie Sloan soft paste wax. Available in light and dark finishes. I probably could have skipped the glazing part if I had used the dark.
I had been hearing a lot about this product, and I was anxious to try it out. Very smooth application, you literally smear it on in a smooth coat (I left it lumpy here to illustrate, but you need to make it smooth) with a soft cloth…
What a finish! Glowing and warm. Kind of like a freshly polished and buffed pair of old leather shoes. So country pretty. Family room table project complete. Total cost? Coffee table: free! Glazing: was $10 but it was from the Whale Table Project, and I only used a tiny amount, so lets say $1.00. Wax: $28.00, but only used 1/4 of the can, so $7.00 for that. Paints, brushes and water based poly are all stuff I had on hand from many previous projects, so we will say $2 tops for all. Total cost? $10.00!
Do you have a project you have been working on, and need some help with the finished look? Send questions or photos my way @ email@example.com. Can’t wait to get out to Brimfield for some new 3R’s projects!! Susan