Décor-8-ing for the 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 days of Christmas cannot come soon enough. Christmas is one of the only holidays that I love to decorate for – and decorate and decorate and decorate! There can never be too much festive cheer and glitter and gold, glitz and glam and a little shabby cottage chic mixed in. One of the things I love so much about the holiday decorating is that there are virtually limitless options for decorating themes and schemes. While no rules can sometimes lead to utter chaos, I think it’s best to pick one theme – whether by color or figure –to focus on each year (or if you really can’t decide, you could do a different theme for each room.)

The themes I am obsessed with this holiday season are “Elf on the Shelf – Rewind”, a retro look at mid-century elves – remember those red and green felted, bendable pixies!?, white tinsel foil trees ; “A Very Victorian Christmas”, a mix of classic Victorian Christmas elements and more modern shabby cottage chic décor, including green pine trees decorated with pink velvet bows, roses, angels and teacups, vintage ephemera, rocking horses and pastel mercury glass ornaments and baubles; and finally the trend I keep seeing at all the big box stores: “Winter Wonderland in the Forest”, a natural take on Christmas, combining burlap, crochet lace and glitter, mostly in neutral tones, creamy winter whites, sparkling silver and gold, chocolate browns, faux fur and glistening white snowcapped forest animals and trees. But, alas, I don’t have that many rooms to decorate so I thought I’d share some of my favorite inspirational photos here. What are you planning to decorate with this season??

BedroomoForestXmas

Bedroom turned Winter Wonderland Forest.

ElfRadioFlyer

Too cute idea using a vintage toy wheelbarrow and doll sized reindeer, elf and ornaments.

fyf_tabletop_tree002

Woodland elves, gnomes, mushrooms in their natural pine setting.

ElvesinJadeite

A creative use for a Jadeite collection and mid-century knee hugger elves. This decorating idea would work well with Fiesta ware too!

ForestAnimals

These too cute woodland creatures are available at Targets everywhere! Only $3.00!!

Mercury Glass Mantle

Pastel mercury ornaments set against a white subway tiled brick fireplace and mantle.

OwlTree

Owls hooting in a Christmas tree.

PinkReindeer

Shabby cottage chic vintage pink reindeer and a putz church.

RetroElfTree

Little gnomes and mushrooms decorate this retro tree.

ShabbyChicTree

Gorgeous Christmas tree full of pink, silver, pearls and angels.

SnowglobeEpsomSaltDeerTreesHouses

A DIY Winter WOnderland with cloche jars and candlesticks. Find all the materials at your local Michaels or other crafts stores.

Victorian Xmas Display

My favorite shabby chic inspired display of Victorian vignettes.

Vintage Elf Wreath

Who says ornaments are just for the tree?

VtgElfDiorama

From Etsy – a retro inspired Elf Diorama using vintage ornament box, bottle brush tree, knee hugger elf and Herman Miller doll size chair.

VtgElfDisplay

New meaning to an old image of “elves on the shelves”.

VtgOrnamentsSuitcase

Vintage suitcase repurposed as holiday decor and storage.

VtgPutzHousesShabbyChic

The pink and blue snowman waiting in front of this vintage Putz house reminds me of the Narrator to the classic Frosty the Snowman.

VtgWhiteTreewElves

Retro kitschy fun tree!

WhiteVictorianTree

A Victorian cherub perched high atop a pink and white tree.

WingswVictorianEphemera Cones

A beautiful use of Victorian ephemera and angel wings.

WinterForestWhitetGold

Can you spot the wooded creatures hiding in this glitzy forest?

WinterWonderlandBedroom

This is by far my favorite Winter Wonderland transformation! I could sleep in this bedroom all winter long.

 

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Not Your Granny’s Crochet

What was once prominent in home décor and a fashion statement of the 70s, crochet is back in a big way and better than ever. It is shabby cottage chic; bohemian, romantic prairie style and of course, vintage. What used to be associated with ugly granny sofa covers and blankets, is now retro chic and gorgeous. Seen here in dresses, curtains, revamped sofa covers and more vintage style repurposed diy crafts, crochet fabrics are everywhere. Are you groovin’ on this hot trend?

 

 

crochet valance

A traditional vintage crochet valance lets plenty of light shine in creating an airy, romantic window dressing.

crochet tablecloth

This crochet tablecloth, updated with repurposed aqua mason jar vases each holding a single flower, proves that beauty is in simplicity.

crochetcurtains

Vintage tablecloths repurposed as curtains create a bohemian vibe as they welcome visitors into this home.

vintage-mexican-wedding-1

This casual crochet dress is very reminiscent of the 70s; All she needs is a flower tucked in her hair. Groovy.

crochetfashiondress

Crochet fashion isn’t just for the beach – paired with a tulle and floral veil, crochet takes center stage at summer weddings (Above and below).

crochetdressback

 

crochet runway

Crochet and lace – what could be more romantic on the runway?

crochet runway2

 

crochet bed

One of my favorite closet/bedroom pics – the crochet bedspread and tea stained crochet blanket draped over the bed sitting atop white washed wood floors, this bedroom is the ultimate in prairie romantic chic.

crochet basket

This DIY-er transformed a tablecloth or doily into a gorgeous basket filled with vintage photos and sheet music.

chenille crochet sofa

Gone are the days of crochet blankets hung on the back of sofas in 70s greens, yellows, oranges and browns. Gorgeous shabby cottage chic covers adorn this sofa and wing chair by sewing white crochet, chenille and floral fabrics together.

chenille  wing chair

Never Sacrifice Style No Matter What Size Space

I live in a small apartment so I am always scoping out ideas for spacious organization tips and chic decoration trends. I especially love vintage décor and anything with a French flair or Parisian influence that will make my studio feel more like a home.

Some of the best tips I’ve read:

– Divide and conquer. Divide your apartment into livable sections. With limited space, you really want to take into consideration the things you will do at home on a daily basis and the things you have aquired that you need to store or display (You know, the stuff you just can’t bear to love without. The rest should be sent to Goodwill .) For me, not including the kitchen and bath, this entails (1) a closet/vantiy area, (2) a living room area and a (3) bed(room).

– Do double-duty using multipurpose furniture and accessories. My favorite – an ottomon (any size, shape or fabric – as long as it has a lift up top) and vintage steamer trunks. Both can serve as an alternative to a coffee table, extra seating and storage.

– Monthly clean outs. If you love shopping, like me, try to shop by the motto, “buy one, discard three”. Sometimes easier said than done – but try (read:do) and you will live so much happier with less clutter. (I so much prefer the label shopaholic than hoarderJ)

– And NEVER sacrifice style – no matter what size space you have.

Here are some of my absolute favorite designs, layouts and inspiration photos! Hope you find something to inspire you!

SmallVintageStudio

Apartment Therapy – Small Vintage Studio

favoriteclosetclosetbehindbed

Apartment Therapy – Decorating without a “real” closet

oneroom

House Beautiful – Designer Decorated Studio

ShabbyChicLiving ShabbyChicOffice   ShabbyChic Closet  ShabbyChicKitchenShabby ChicBed

 

One of my favorite blogs! IHeartShabbyChic.blogspot.com

DressingOffice

Elle Decor

Flea Market Fix Up – Weekend Painting Project

Remember the sweet little French Provincial Nightstand I picked up over Memorial Day weekend? I have been pondering over whether or not to paint it or leave it as is; after some initial success with homemade milk paint on a demilune table and several frames, I have decided to try my hand at creating a matching bedroom set from the nightstand and an equally gorgeous vintage headboard. I bought several paint samples a few weeks ago from Home Depot, one of which a light grey, that I have been saving for such a shabby glamorous chic project; and with a tropical storm on the horizon, it’s the perfect weekend to put the brush and paint to work.Original

I have been trying to match up regular latex paints to those offered in Annie Sloan’s collection – because I just love love love her colors (and their namesJ) but I’m not so in love with the prices or the difficulty in finding them. I came across Behr’s Sterling (or as I like to call it, Glamorous Grey) – an almost perfect match for Annie Sloan’s French Grey – and I am ready to put it to the test on both vintage finds. Here are some inspiration photos I’ve been drawing on for this project (mostly from Etsy).HeadboardRedoGreyNightstandRedo

I hope to have some rehabbed and refreshed pix to post Monday!

What weekend projects are you looking forward to working on? Check out Miss Mustard Seed for more fabulous furniture fix ups at her weekly Furniture Feature Friday.

Flea Market Fix Up – Redoing an Antique Armoire

I found a fabulous vintage armoire circa 1930 at a local antique shop for $40 last winter. I thought it was such a steal! And a great project for cold and rainy days. I wrote last week about my new love affair with chalk paint – had I known 6 months ago that it did not require any initial sanding and priming, I’d probably already be done with the Great Armoire project – but alas, one cannot know the things one does not know and so I have made this project all that much more difficult. I first began by attempting to sand away the front doors –but I quickly realized what I thought was wood, was actually a veneer paneling made of particle board. It easily peeled off in some areas – and not so easily in others. I was able to fully peel off one whole panel for the left door but the right door continued to be a trying effort. Discouraged at how much time it was taking, I kept putting off and putting off the project. After my recent discovery about the miracles of chalk paint, I became more enthusiastic about scraping off the remaining particle board on the right door. To my surprise (and likely due to the recent humidity), the remaining pieces of particle board that wouldn’t budge all winter, came off completely in one weekend without nearly as much effort as I expected.  I bought two new pieces of particle board to replace the old pieces I’d scraped off and now after I glue on the new pieces of particle board to the door panels, I will be ready to paint (finally)!!

Now I just have to decide on color – green, blue or pink?!?! Which color would you choose?

Here is my armoire when I first bought it, with the paneling scraped off and below that, some gorgeous inspiration photos, mostly from the online shops The Painted Cottage and Forever Pink Cottage Chic.

armoire_originalArmoireNoPanel

armoireblue armoireblue2  armoirepink armoirepink2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA armoirewhite armoirewhite2

Weekend Thrifty Treasures

It’s that time of year again and flea markets, yard sales and estate sales are popping up more than ever. This Memorial Day I was driving to my local Salvation Army for their holiday 50% off sale to pick up a gorgeous brass and ornately detailed vintage Victorian style head and footboard when I spotted a tag sale on the side of the road. Right away my eyes were drawn to the two, too-cute Drexel nightstands that were parked right out front for all passersby to see. I couldn’t pass them up – but with my mind set on the vintage head and footboard I knew was at the SA – I decided that if the nightstands were still there on my way back (and the price was right), that I’d pick those up too.

As luck would have it, my vintage brass head and footboard was still available at the SA so I grabbed the tags to purchase. I looked around for some vintage frames I’d seen the other day, too, but they were long gone. However, to my great surprise, I stumbled across an excellent condition Louis XVI arm chair that was hidden by a monstrous pile of books that had been placed on its seat. When I drove around back to pick up my furniture finds, what did I see by the dumpster but the second, matching arm chair to my Louis XVI love! I asked the man working if they were throwing it away, to which he replied, “Yep, take anything you want over there.” My eyes lit up at the thought of not one but two Louis XVI arm chairs. The one by the dumpster was still in god condition but a piece of the wood that was supporting a leg had come unhinged from its screw – nothing a drill couldn’t easily repair! And so, I left the SA on my way to the tag sale with a car full of great vintage finds.

Check out my two new favorite finds (picture of headboard found online – very similar to the one I got; chair on right is my new Louis!)

brassheadboard4 035

Having only spent maybe 15 minutes at the SA down the road, sure enough, “my” two matching French Provincial nightstands, in their signature white and gold, were still there in their spot by the side of the road. I couldn’t pass them up! Now I just have to decide, do I keep them? Sell them as is? Or paint them in my newly created chalk paint that goes on so easily, so smoothly and so beautifully. What do you think? Is it time for another transformation? I think I’m going to try my hand at painting at least one of them in a paint that I bought from Home Depot, Behr’s Sterling, to match (as close as I could) Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.

FP NightstandSterling

Did you get to any flea markets or yard sales this weekend? Share with me any treasures you uncovered recently. I’d love to see them!

Not Your Kid’s Sidewalk Chalk – Painted Furniture

I have been seeing beautiful painted furniture for years now that is made to look like it’s vintage or “Shabby Chic” and recently I have been more and more curious about the paint people are using to make these re-habbed and re-purposed creations. Most notably, the brand name Chalk Paint from Annie Sloan is the primary material of choice. The paint is beautiful and comes in 32 vintage chic colors, with names like Paris Grey, Louis Blue, Provence and Emperor’s Silk, further evoking a feeling of a time past. (Photo of paint colors from Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint collection on her website.)

  Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan   

However, with a monopoly on the market (you can’t find Chalk Paint from Benjamin Moore or the like), the price is about double that of regular paint; but if you’re someone like me, who loves to scour for a bargain, the web is full of homemade recipes to make your own chalk paint in a very simple – and very inexpensive manner. My favorite recipe is only 3 ingredients: ANY can of latex paint (3 parts) + Plaster of Paris (1 part) + water to mix; and voila! You have a limitless selection of paint colors and minimal time in adding the plaster of paris (with water) to it.  Plus, one of the biggest bonuses about chalk paint is that you don’t have to sand or prime your furniture before painting it! That was probably the biggest attraction to me – that and the beautiful finish it leaves on flea market furniture finds.

Here is my flea market demi-lune table turned shabby cottage chic with my own homemade chalk paint using Behr’s Sea Sprite (baby blue).  (I forgot to take a before picture but found one very similar on the web – see belodemi lune 2 before030w).SeaSprite

Here are some great blog articles on mixing your own chalk paint:

http://salvagedinspirations.com/best-homemade-chalk-paint-recipes/

http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/02/diy-chalk-paint-review-update.html

http://www.iheartnaptime.net/chalk-paint/

http://www.thevintagefarmhouse.com/2012/10/homemade-chalk-paint-pros-cons.html

Have you tried making your own creations using either Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint or your own homemade chalk paint? Share them with me here; I’d love to see and hear about your experiences.