Category Archives: Antique

Trend watch: reverse stenciling

I’m always hunting for ideas and inspiration. And since I have a garage full of furniture to reinvent, I went hunting today! Reverse stenciling is trending, and I really do love the look of bare wood peeking through a painted piece. If you look through my home, you’d probably be surprised to know that most of my furniture is pure, unpainted wood. I think wood naturally warms up a space, especially when using a cool color scheme. When painting or updating my furniture, I love to keep a little of the old, while at the same time breathe new life into it. Take a look at these reverse stenciling techniques that inspire me!

Lots of love,
Mary

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Garage truth

This is my garage stash: five desks, two dining tables, two dressers, two headboards, two accent tables, one coffee table, one armoire, and one decorative screen. I’ve got some work to do! #truth

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Found this on Instagram and just had to share! I was literally laughing out loud!

The good news is that I have something ready to show you tomorrow!

Lots of love,
Mary

iQuilt

Do you sew? I don’t really consider myself a seamstress, but I like to play! I don’t have the patience for patterns or perfection. A few weeks ago, I had the urge to make a quilt. Something cozy, colorful, and really, really BIG! And the kind of quilt that is so comfy because it’s been washed so many times over the years. Maybe you have something like this passed down from your grandmother. Or maybe you found one at an estate sale. So I thought to myself, “Why not make a quilt that I can pass down to my children?” Something they will always remember…warm memories of snuggling on the couch as kids on movie nights or sitting on the big quit during park picnics. So off to the fabric store I went!

I picked 16 of the most colorful fabrics I could find. Do you ever look through the aisles of fabric and drool over all of the amazing patterns, but then stop yourself from buying them because you realize you don’t have any use for them? I’ve done that for years! But this time, I got to pick all of my favorites and actually put them to use! And for all of you at home that want to give this a try, I purchased 1/3 yard of each of the 16 fabrics I chose, 6 yards of fabric for the backing, thread, and the thinnest/cheapest batting I could find.

I sew flat things  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

Why do we place so much importance on perfection when it comes to quilting? I only have two questions when it comes to a quilt: 1) is it pretty? And 2) is it cozy? Does it matter if your squares are perfectly aligned? No. If you can sew a semi-straight line, you, too, can make a quilt! Imperfection is what makes quilts beautiful, timeless, and treasures to be passed down for years.

Once all of my squares were sewn together, I added a fun, teal home decor fabric and a brown pattern with gold flecks from my scrap bin (to caption the sides of the quilt).

quilt3


For the backing fabric, I chose a super-soft linen/cotton mix from the clearance section for a steal of a deal — $1.50 per yard! The fabric had a hole in it, but I thought that was the perfect opportunity to sew in an “on-purpose” patch — this only adds to the cozy factor!

I sew flat things  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

I sew flat things  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

I hope this inspires you to make one of your own! Don’t be scared of messing up — that’s the romance of creating such a treasured keepsake. We totally love our new quilt and I, myself, am inspired to make more! I’ll write a more detailed tutorial in another post. Stay tuned!

Lots of love,
Mary

The lost art of pressed flowers

I have fond memories of my mother pressing and preserving flowers between the pages of old books, in hopes to one day create a beautiful piece of art. My mother was an artist, too, and she had an eye for beauty! She passed away when I was young and one of the few things I have from her is this handmade creation that was done by her mother, my grandmother.
Pressed flowers  I  A lost art

It endured quite a bit of damage along the way before I received the artwork and had it framed. But I like the torn leaves and missing pieces. I think of its history traveling all the way from England to the U.S. many years ago. And I’m so grateful that it’s still here today.
Pressed flowers  I  A lost art

I’m in love with the attention to detail. I like to imagine my grandmother working around the kitchen table, deciding which pieces to use.
Pressed flowers  I  A lost art

Pressed flowers  I  A lost art

Next time you stumble upon a beautiful flower… save it. Preserve its beauty in the pages of a book and create something timeless.

Lots of love,
Mary

Charlotte – a child’s desk

I’m back home and loving the norm! Laundry. Diapers. Dishes. And DIY! I don’t have all of my photos from the trip downloaded and sorted, but I do have a lovely child’s desk to show you.

Meet Charlotte :)
Charlotte - A Child's DeskCharlotte is a vintage waterfall child’s desk that had some major exterior damage. Her bones are good, including solid dove-tail drawer construction which makes for the perfect piece to paint and bring out theĀ scratches character.
Charlotte - A Child's DeskThe color is a custom mix somewhere between an apple red and cranberry. Two coats of paint, distressed, and finished with Annie Sloan Dark Wax makes for a perfect pop of color! A little polish on the original hardware and she looks like she was meant for this color.
Charlotte - A Child's DeskCombining the right distressing techniques with the dark wax finish makes this piece look like she was painted 50 years ago and aged with time.
Charlotte - A Child's DeskThis little desk is cute as can be! She could easily be used as either a work desk or a vanity with a mounted mirror (which I believe was it’s original purpose).

If you’re interested in this piece, she’s available for purchase in the shop.

Lots of love,
Mary

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Furniture Feature Fridays

Caspian Blue

Today was a fun day! Movies. Forts. Snuggles. Baking. Blogging. More Snuggles. And all the in-between. Sometimes a mom’s life is a whirlwind. I couldn’t tell you what all I did today… but it was a lot! I did take a few moments to snap some photos of a project I did for baby Jude’s room – A painted dresser/changing table. This was my very first experiment with High-Gloss paint!

I introduce, Caspian:
Caspian, blue dresser. Vintage HenredonCaspian is a Vintage Henredon Dresser that I picked up for a steal at one of my local thrift spots! The quality of this piece is remarkable and it was in excellent shape, save some deep scratches on the top of the dresser.
Caspian, blue dresser. Vintage HenredonThis piece is one of the few things I’ve painted where the original wood is so beautiful. <Don’t shoot me!> Trust me, I had a very hard time deciding. To paint… or not to paint, That is always the question. Once I decided that it was going into Jude’s room, I had my heart set on a bright teal high-gloss finish! There will be others to show restraint with.
Caspian, blue dresser. Vintage HenredonThe color is “Intense Teal” by Behr. I chose their Hi-Gloss Enamel for a super durable shiny finish. To help it adhere, I began with a coat of Glidden Gripper Grey. Gripper is an amazing primer that will literally stick to anything without flaking…even glass!
Caspian, blue dresser. Vintage HenredonThe choice to paint the hardware was an afterthought but really completes the look. Although this piece has a classical style, the paint has really transformed the look to more of a sleek modern or transitional feel. Perfect for my baby boy!
Corbinbluedresser4Photo bombed by a little cutie in the corner! My baby Gabby likes to be in front of the camera. (I wish you could see the smile on my face because this little one melts my heart to pieces!)

Sidenote: Nope, I’m not ignoring the fact that this dresser is standing in front of an AMAZING wood wall that I haven’t told you about yet! Thought I’d give you a little sneak peek. Truth is, it isn’t finished yet. I’m a little stumped on how to finish the wood. So maybe you guys can help a girl out!

Should I…
A. Keep the natural unfinished wood look?
B. Use Teak oil for a natural slightly darker finish?
C. Finish with a honey toned stain (Which would coordinate with the crib)?

Lots of love,
Mary

Victoria – My first upholstery project

When you think about upholstery, it sounds very overwhelming. Like something that you should leave to the pros, right? Well, if you know me, I’ll try anything! And upholstery is no exception — although this little chair did sit in my home for about a year before I mustered up the courage to tackle it.

Meet Victoria:
#upholstery, #vintagechair, #becauseiliketodecorate, #chic, #pink

This job was a part of a custom design project that I was blessed to be able to do. Hoping to show you the entire room soon!

The first step to upholstery is to remove the old fabric. It’s helpful to pickup some upholstery tools from your local craft store to assist with removal of staples, etc. The best tip I can give you is to take lots of photos as you are taking apart the chair. That way you know how everything is supposed to go back together once you’re ready to staple on your new fabric.
upholstery3 upholstery2

Once everything is removed, this is your opportunity to paint or refinish the base of your chair. I chose a custom-mixed bright pink, distressed it, and finished it off with Annie Sloan Dark Wax. The dark wax really helped bring out the detail and beauty of the frame.

When you’re ready to put your chair back together, trace and cut your new fabric from the old fabric pieces and start putting each piece back the same way it came off. You will need a heavy-duty staple gun and a pair of strong, steady hands! Each piece will need to be stapled first at the top, then bottom, then each side — pulling the fabric snug as you staple around to make sure it fits evenly.

Once the fabric is complete, you’ll need to cover all those staples with something. If you choose nailheads, use a rubber mallet (also found at your local craft store). This takes some practice and I would say was the hardest part of the project! Another option is to hot glue fabric piping or trim.

If you take it slow, it’s not as hard as it looks. Victoria is a vintage beauty and she’s just perfect! Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet (so to speak), I’m anxious to try something a little harder next time.

Lots of love,
Mary

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Furniture Feature Fridays