Tres Belle Maison Decor!

Those of you who follow my blog know that I love to discover amazing local shops and then share that information with all of you. Yesterday I ventured to Malden, Ma (just a short “T” ride from Boston) to visit Maison Décor. I had read about this charming shop, owned by Amy Chalmers, from Steven Fuller’s blog, An Urban Cottage, so I decided to take a ride over to check it out. The lovely, welcoming exterior was a colorful contrast to the otherwise dreary gray palette we are calling spring this year in Boston.

Maison Decor Storefront

Inside, the shop has several vignettes showcasing Amy’s work as an artisan-her style defines the essence of French Country.

Candelabra Maison Decor

Filled with painted and refinished desks & dressers decorated with vintage accessories,

 Carrington Farms Sign

and an occasional vache (I mean, what’s French Country Style without a cow or two?)

Maison Decor Vache

plus secretaries and armoires that have been painstakingly transformed into showpieces, the shop is eye candy for anyone searching for that softly muted, elegant French Country Style.

Maison Decor Vanity

Using Annie Sloan chalk paints and waxes, Amy re-imagines and re-cycles old, dark pieces into fresh, fanciful furniture.  She shared with me the techniques used to transform this lace cut side table- multiple layers of paints, glazes and waxes will be used to achieve the desired (gorgeous!) effect. Painstakingly time-consuming, but well worth the time spent when you see the finished products.

Maison Decor Side Table

Also now offered in her shop, a new line of finishing products called Artisan Enhancements, a line of  “innovative, decorative mediums” that can add another dimension to your painted furniture.

Maison Decor Artisan Enhancements

This massive armoire, formerly boasting a peach poly finish is being reworked into a “vintage” piece worthy of any chateau, using both Annie Sloan paints and the finishes from Artisan Enhancements!

Maison Decor Armoire

You can read all about the transformation process on her blog Maison Décor- Using Transfer Gel, where she shares “how-to” tips. For those of you just a bit wary of attempting chalk painting and gel transferring techniques on your own, Amy offers Sunday Workshops right in the midst of her showroom where inspiration surrounds you. And for those of you searching for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplies, you have come to the right place!

Maison Decor Annie Sloan Paints

An authorized distributor, she stocks cupboards filled with paint pots, brushes and books that line the walls along with stacks and racks of lovely fabrics and sheer drapery panels that are available as well.

Maison Decor French Fabrics

Maison Decor Chair and secretary

While she does sell the furniture and accessories online through her Maison Décor Shop, the paints and waxes are only sold in her shops, both at the 50 Summer Street location in Malden and at the shop on  Harrison Ave in Boston’s South End. Which would be a great reason to stop in for a visit…just tell her that Susan from Country Design Home sent you!

 Busy Bee Bakery CupcakeHave a sweet Saturday everyone, and remember to shop local! This little gem of a cupcake was from the Busy Bee Bakery in Melrose, my next stop after Maison Décor…tres yummy!!! Susan

“Font”astic Furniture Fonts!

Recently, thanks to Coach’s fantastic rummaging abilities, I find myself in possession of several new wooden pieces that need some TLC magic. One of the design styles I continually admire on Pinterest are painted pieces decorated with French Typography. Like this one featured on The Graphics Fairy:

The Graphics Fairy Dresser

or this rustic little nautical dresser from Joss & Main

Joss & Main Dresser

There are so many brilliant DIYer’s out there who take old, junky furniture and accessories and transform them into beautiful decorative accent pieces for their homes or, in many instances, for sale. This sideboard, originally a dark and dingy brown, was painted and stenciled and turned into this beauty by the husband and wife team at Three Mango Seeds.

Three Mango Seeds Console

And check out the finish on this vintage table transformed by Red Hen Home! Love the dark stained wood with the black stencil-very ooh, la, la!

 Red Hen Home

So, how do they do this, you ask? Where do all the letters and graphics come from? And how do I use them on furniture? One website that I subscribe to, The Graphics Fairy, sends a daily email with new and interesting free graphics and fonts- that’s right, free! Great for fresh ideas, inspiration or perfectly easy how-to instructions.

Graphics Fairy How To

Included on her pages is how to download and print the graphics– obviously the size of the piece will determine the size of the graphic, and if it is a large dresser or console, you need an enlarged graphic, right?  Blockposters.com to the rescue!

Blockposters.com

You download your picture onto their website, add the dimensions you would like and it creates adjacent blocks of graphic to the size specs you enter.  Then you can print them right on your home computer and transfer them onto your piece. Click here for The Graphics Fairy Transfer Tutorial on all the ways transfer. So now, you have the graphic you like, where do you find all those fancy fonts? Again, The Graphics Fairy has many to choose from, but you can also check out azfonts or fonts for peas (super cute stuff for painting, scrapbooking, etc.).

Fonts for Peas

So, if you have an old piece of furniture, or spot one at a yard sale that you just gotta have because the size works but just not the style, think about painting and adding some graphics for a whole new look. Recycling, refurbishing, reloving is what country design style is all about! Have a fontastic

Thursday, everyone! Susan

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