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.

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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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Comfort in a Cocoon – Creating a Romantic DIY Canopy Bed

               I have always loved sleeping in closed quarters. It feels like I’m in a cocoon, safe, serene, comfy and in my own personal bliss. Exactly the kind of feelings I think one should associate with their bedroom. I tend to defy the traditional philosophies of feng shui, often preferring to have my bad smack dab up against a wall in a corner of the room. Even more so in my current “bedroom” of my studio apartment, my bed is sandwiched between two windows, not centered, not equally distant to any one side or another, but more of in a zig zag formation, one at the left foot of the bed and the other at the top, right of the bed – like a Z. But my bed added to this corner of the room, creates the perfect nook for sleeping, far enough away from the door and hidden by a wall from the kitchen, so as to seem like its very own space.

                To make my bed(room) even cozier, I created a DIY canopy out of floor length velvet plum drapes attached to the ceiling with magnetic curtain rods that frame the long side of my bed. The curtains plus the three walls envelope my bed on all sides and serve to create the feeling of a separate room in what would otherwise be a one room studio. The look is elegant, chic and very Paris apartment style.

I am always looking for ways to make it even more dramatic. These are some of my favorites interior design ideas that I have gathered from the Internet, below.

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  shabbychicbed frenchbedcanopy2BedroomWhiteGold6

 frenchbedcanopy

How do you make your bedroom romantic or serene? Share your ideas here!

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!

Shabby Rococo Chic

Decorating in Shabby Rococo Chic? I am definitely a girly girl at heart – I may wear a lot of black, but there is usually something pink on me at all times, too.  In my love of shopping, vintage and home décor everything, I’ve been reading a lot of Rachel Ashwell books lately to see how she’s mastered her craft from thrifting to decorating and designing. She coined the décor term “shabby chic”, infamous for its pale pinks, blues and greens (think, painted furniture) paired with crisp clean whites (especially in slipcovered sofas). While I love everything about her style, I, personally, still need a little sparkle, a little brightness, a little bling in my space. While I love the traditionalism of certain décor elements, like a curvy Queen Anne leg, a French Provincial dresser and ice cream color palettes, I also love the ornate scroll detailing of a gorgeous gold, oversized mirror and those decadent glass dripping with crystals.   Think Betsey Johnson (the ultimate Queen of Black & Pink – with a lot of blinged out gold) meets Rachel Ashwell. Pair them together, and it’s definitely my design dream come true. I believe the best fitting term for this style is Rococo. You see Rococo in the architectural details of Victorian décor as well as in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood Regency and even in the color palette of Shabby Chic.

          The word Rococo itself comes from the French; rocaille, or stone, and coquilles, or shell. Not surprisingly, shells are one of the signature decorations in this style’s architectural details and designs.  With its 18th century origins, it is also known as late Baroque, encapsulating the curvaceous lines of Louis XV and the beginning of the architectural fluted posts of Louis XVI. It is famous for its mixture of pastels with gold, beautifully decadent painted murals, and curvaceous S lines in all its furniture and ornamentation. I think it is so elegant, so inspiring and fun all at once. For me, when I think of Paris Glam, I think of Rococo.

Check out some of  the Rococo style home décor goods in my Etsy store. From Mirrors to clocks, wallpaper, fabric  and more.

                Do you have a favorite decorating style? Are you drawn to any particular artifacts when you’re out treasure hunting? Share it with me here.  Happy decorating and happy thrifting!

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!