Monday, February 28, 2011

Decorating Help

Confession:  I am a closet interior design lover.  Some family and very few friends know that I recently started this blog, but I haven't shouted it from the rooftops.  I'm kind of shy that way. 

But my sister, who didn't know that how I felt, put a link to The Vintique Object on her Facebook page.  A mutual  friend saw it and contacted me for some decorating help with her bathroom.  I'm a total amateur, so of course I felt flattered.  So I said, "Yes, absolutely, I'll help you!"

At my request, here are the inspiration pics she sent me from Houzz.

Orinda residence contemporary bathroom
contemporary bathroom design by san francisco interior designer Home Systems , Wendi Zampino
She describes her style as simple, clean-lined, zen.  I'd say this picture fits that bill.

Bluff Plantation traditional bathroom
But she doesn't care for sleek, cold ,and super modern, preferring a more homey feel.  In this pic, she liked the green color on the walls and the round mirror.

This is how her bathroom looks now. 
She wants to keep the vanity, toilet, and possibly the shower doors.  She wants to change the vinyl flooring, lighting, paint, update the medicine cabinet, and add accessories.

Here is the mood board I created for her based on the pictures she sent and the description of her style.

The medicine cabinet would be taken out and replaced with a round mirror.  I suggested floating shelves in a light wood above the toilet with natural looking accessories and baskets to hold items formerly in the medicine cabinet.

She'd keep the existing towel bar on the wall opposite the sink, but I used this towel bar to show how to add white frames with the accent color above.  The fabric on the shower curtain could be used to cover the sliding shower doors, or it could be used as an accent in the picture frames, but I wouldn't recommend both.

A neutral stone, tile, or wood could replace the vinyl.  Baskets and other wood accessories along with plants allow the bathroom to take on a zen but natural, homey feel. 

If you you need some decorating advice, I'd love to help!  It's fun and gives me some experience.  Just email.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Awning

I have a thing for awnings.

They can look sophisticated and chic.

Private Residence II mediterranean patio

Or bright and cheery.

An awning brightens up the inside of one of my favorite coffee shops in Berkeley and inspired me to write this post.

Imagine how plain this building would look without the awning.

Provincetown Shop by Becky Harris traditional exterior

While not necessarily my thing, I can appreciate an awning in the kitchen.
Bistro Style Kitchen traditional kitchen

Marielle  kitchen
This fabric reminds me of my aunt.

And they are darling in kid's rooms.

It's not an awning, but the idea is the same.

via Spearmint Baby

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Small Vintique Objects

Here are a few more things I got from my grandmother. 

Two enameled pewter bowls and a small marble cheeseboard with brass handles.  The cheeseboard always sat on the counter in her kitchen.

I love the handle design and particularly the pattern on the turquoise bowl.  

18th century petrified banana in green glazed bowl.  Haha.  This is a joke. 
 It's my girls' snack and was sitting next to the other items on my coffee table when I took the picture.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finally Finished



And with chairs.  I added drop cloth to get an idea of how it would look would look with  rug underneath.
Hubby doesn't seem to love it.  He said nothing, which is a sign that he's not thrilled.  This may need to be relegated to the playroom as soon we can turn it back into a kitchen nook. The good thing is that since the base folds up, the entire thing could slide right under a bed.

The table was put together with thrifted/craigslist items.  Click here and here to see details in previous posts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lighten Up and Protect

I've wanted to cover a table top with fabric and nailhead trim ever since I saw this photo of a desk made from a old door. 

It's covered in Scotchguarded linen to which nailhead trim was added.
 Look at that gigantic computer!  

It's from this book published in 1996.  (When I was in college and just getting really interested in interior design.)
Gotta love Martha. She has classic taste, and despite plenty of pictures of outdated technology, the interiors still look great.

Anyway, I recently got my grandmother's coffee table (which was once a full-sized table that she had cut down to make a coffee table).

When I saw what my girls had done to it in a matter of two weeks:


I decided to cover the top to protect it and to lighten the room up a bit.  So much dark furniture in my house...

This picture from Horchow was also inspiration.
Crocodile side tables via Horchow

I bought this faux ostrich skin (ok, it's pleather -- don't judge I need something durable) on sale for $5 a yard at the fabric store today.

And used a staple gun to "upholster" the top of the coffee table.

It took about five minutes.  One of the easiest projects I've done it awhile. And it's completely removable.

Eek!  That's a large expanse of pleather!  Quick, cover it up.
A little better.  It would probably look more finished with nailhead trim on the sides, but the whole point was to protect the table top and remove some of the dark wood from the room.  Nailheads would add a bunch of holes to the table, which was not the point.

If I were really crazy, I'd buy a bunch of nailheads, cut off the tack, and glue them to the edges.  I wouldn't put it past myself...

It definitely lightens things up, but the color is a bit too strong, but didn't come out in these photos.  It's closer to this:

Which goes really well with my new oil painting. 
But I'm still undecided.  I  wish I had done an off-white color.  We'll see how well it stands up to the barbarians before it gets replaced.  Good thing it was an easy project.

Update:  This is an excellent project for those of you with small children who worry about your kids hurting themselves on corners of coffee tables.  You could even add a layer of batting for extra protection.  Sure beats those foamy corners you can buy at Babies R Us.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I sold this set of vintage barware at our last garage sale before we moved seven months ago.

There were six of each kind glass.

The set was inherited from my great aunt and uncle, who owned an antique shop in the later years of their lives.  I claimed these, knowing in my gut that they would be chic again someday. I remember picturing a nice little bar cart or butler's tray set-up in the living room.

But back to the point. I was overwhelmed with the task of moving with twins who were about to turn two at the time and a husband who works more than 60 hours a week.

The amount of stuff we had seemed insurmountable, and we had been through a move less than a year previous to that. My goal was to get rid of anything I hadn't used in a year, and these glasses made that list.

The original intent was to take pictures and sell them on Craigslist, but I never got around to that. And who was I kidding? We don't have a cocktail hour at my house.

And with toddling little girls who got into everything I just couldn't picture using these in a bar any time remotely soon. So out they went on the cardboard table the day of the sale.

I could see the gleam in the eye of the lady as she spied them and too casually asked about a price.

I sold the entire set for $30.

Tsk. Tsk.

That's what I can hear my mother say as she reads this post. She thinks I throw away everything. (And she could be right. I once threw away an antique, hand-made 18th century basket that was stored with other worthless Easter baskets in a house I rented from my parents.)

You win, Mom. I was wrong to do it.  I'm sorry and feel awful about it.

Then and now.

Update:  I wrote this post several days ago and saved it.  Since then, I read this post by The Nester entitled "How to Cure Thrift Shopping, I Hate to Pass Up a Good Dealitis Disease Syndrome."  I don't feel so bad about getting rid of my glasses anymore.  I do still feel bad about the basket, though.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Round Table Sneak Peak

In Northern California, we've finally gotten a break in the rain that's plagued us for the last week, which means that I could get back to work outside.  I'm painting a round table top that I got on Craigslist for $20.

It got its final coat of paint today and is drying outside.

I bought the table top to go with this metal base that I found at a junk shop for $15.

It even folds up, which I love. 

But the center section is a little plain and looks kind of cheap.

So I decided to add a little extra something.
I used brass nailheads and cut off the tack part with wire cutters.

Then I glued them into the holes in the middle section and now it looks like this.

The whole point of the project is to be able to center the dining room table under the chandelier to allow easier flow from the living room through the dining room and into the back of the house.

After the table top cures overnight, I'll bring it inside and post pictures.

P.S. If you've been following the Vintique Object, you may remember that after I found my wooden table top, I came across this granite one and bought it. 

It probably would have looked better on the base, but it turned out to be way too heavy for it.  
C'est la vie...