Ga Ga for Florentine Furniture

It has been a dreary, rainy (tropical storm-like) June. This time of year I usually walk around on my break at work, taking in the sights, admiring the Victorian houses in the area – one of them, my new favorite, freshly painted in a light grey with turquoise shutters and trim; but I digress. Not feeling so spring-y out lately, I decided I needed to do something to perk up the mood in the form of a little “retail” therapy. A new antique co-op popped up on Main Street very recently, and I thought it’d make a great lunch hour retreat.

I had only been in the shop once before but already much of the inventory had changed (i.e. sold) and more great finds put in their place. My favorite area was the front of the shop where there is some painted furniture, Parisian inspired vanity accessories and some gorgeous beaded and needlepoint handbags. I tried not to linger too long so that I could get back to work, but I still wanted to make a quick loop of the booths and I am so glad I did because that was how I stumbled upon my newest treasure.

Sitting in the front of the store but tucked behind a standing screen so as to not be too obvious to passersby was a trio of vintage Florentine nesting tables with one extra table of the smallest, square table – all 4 being sold as a set. Circa 1960, each table was in the Italian signature white and gold with ornate scroll and floral carvings detailing the top tray and long, lean, Queen Anne legs bowing out. Very Paris apartment and absolutely gorgeous!

nesting3  nesting1nesting4nesting5

Funnily enough, I had just been drooling over a Florentine table featured in an issue of Romantic Country magazine and day dreaming about how gorgeous it would look in my apartment. Not only beautiful, but practical, with the three tables nesting, each one fitting perfectly under one another, they are a great space saver to be pulled out and moved around as needed.

I picture a stack of vintage books and a flowery coffee cup with mismatched saucer on the tallest table. Do you go ga-ga for Florentine furniture? What would you place on your table?

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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.

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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!)

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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.

What’s Old Is New Again

Right now I’m obsessing on the two new china collections from Royal Albert at Macys, Polka Rose and Vintage Pink. PolkaRosePinkVintageRose.pngFirst made in England, Royal Albert’s beautiful Bone China collection Old Country Roses is truly an original Shabby Cottage Chic staple in fine and casual dinnerware. I found a beautiful small scalloped plate from the Original collection at a local thrift store; it almost looks like a star with curvaceous points all around the plate; but I haven’t been able to come across any more from the 1962 set. It is no longer made in England (but made in China and Indonesia) so the originals are truly special. scalloped candy dish

However, now Old Country Roses is available in hundreds of different patterns and shapes in dinnerware as well as in fabrics, soft furnishings and linens. And as I mentioned, you can even buy it at Macys!

You can find the old staple pattern of beautiful bright and light multicolor flowers against a white background and gold trim; and now you can also choose from their recent expansion on the design, Royal Albert’s new vintage inspired collections called Polka Dot Rose and Vintage Pink Old Country Rose.

PolkaRoseOldCountryPinkVintageRoses

Polka Dot Rose is a beautiful soft, minty blue-green with white polka dots; and Vintage Pink Old Country Rose is a beautiful pink rose pattern on your choice of a pale pink background or white. Shabbylicious and ultra-gorgeous! Even the hot pink box with the white crown it comes in is beautiful.

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I am loving that Macy’s online allows you to buy a mix and match assortment of each – that way I don’t have to decide between all the pretty plates.

Do you have any favorite vintage items that you have been scouring for? Have any of them been remade for sale in modern day retail stores? Share your pix and stories with me here.

Welcome to Tres Chic Decor! I am so excited to announce my new venture in the flea market/antique business, having moved my online business to a brick and mortar store! I am currently sharing a booth with a friend who is an artist and creator who paints with oil, knits scarves, sweaters and makes jewelry. My inventory is made up of vintage home décor treasures and finds with a little of everything, from smaller items like china dishes, painted frames and vanity trinkets to small furnishings, like lamps, rugs and chairs.

We added a sampling of our inventory into the booth this past Sunday and with much more inventory to be priced for sale and brought to the booth, I am currently seeking ideas for ways to organize the booth to optimize our inventory and selling potential.

I don’t have too much furniture yet; namely a Full/Queen head and footboard, a large 12 light rococo chandelier, a hanging pendant milk glass chandelier, a Victorian heart back chair  and several “to be refinished” projects, from tables to footstools. Among a wide assortment of home decorating accessories, I have lot of frames, mirrors, fabric curtains, books, wall sconces and more.

This is a picture of our booth when we were beginning to set up.

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Based on what I have in stock and what my partner has displayed, these are some of my favorite inspiration photos for organizing the booth. Think Shabby Cottage Chic meets Paris Apartment!

 Booth Ideas

Do you have any great organization or display ideas for antique and/or flea market booths? Let me know. I’d love to hear your ideas and experience.

I Heart Vintage Finds

One of my absolute favorite things to do in my spare time is go bargain hunting around for fabulous vintage finds. Timeless treasures that never go out of style. I have only been doing this for a short amount of time but I am amazed at how many antique shops are in every town that I never noticed. My favorites are multi-dealer antique shops, flea markets and thrift stores. It’s like an endless sea of treasures and I feel like if you look hard enough, you just might find that diamond in the rough you are looking for. (And sometimes, I really do mean rough. But sometimes that can be the most fun, turning something special into a project and making it your own.)
In my blog, I hope to share with you more of my adventures in treasure hunting, who has inspired me to go on the hunt and some of my favorite vintage finds.
There are so many things that have been my “favorite” at one time or another and right now, I think it’s safe to say they can all be tied under the umbrella terms of romantic vintage chic. For instance, look at these gorgeous vintage chairs I found. I can be quite literal when I say “I heart these two chairs”.

The greenish gold one is a Victorian Wicker/Rattan Chair and the white wooded chair is a French provincial silk brocade tufted heart back chair by Victorian. The ones I got are an olivey sage green wicker and the other is a gold and white tufted silk brocade with white wooded queen anne legs. One I found at one of my very favorite multi-dealer antique stores outside of Boston and the other I found in my local Craigslist listings. I am so incredibly happy with my finds! These ones are just for me…for now…that is until someone else comes along that just has to have them even moreJ
Let me know what you think of my two picks for the day; and if you are interested in purchasing them, please contact me through my profile or a comment on here.
Check out more of My Ebay Items for Sale  – I have been a member of Ebay since 2006. I started using Ebay more as an outlet for my own personal garage sale and semi-annual cleanouts.
Please note: I do not have an official Ebay store as of yet, but my goal is to open up a few stores on the Web, through Ebay and eventually Etsy. Very shortly you will see my treasures listed here as a page on this blog. One day hopefully I will have my own store but for until then, I hope you check out some of my items online and check back often.
Enjoy my blog!