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

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Apartment Therapy – Decorating without a “real” closet

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House Beautiful – Designer Decorated Studio

ShabbyChicLiving ShabbyChicOffice   ShabbyChic Closet  ShabbyChicKitchenShabby ChicBed

 

One of my favorite blogs! IHeartShabbyChic.blogspot.com

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Elle Decor

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Designer Digs – Shabby Adds Some Celebrity to its Chic

One of my favorite designers and interior design entrepreneurs on the West Coast is Rachel Ashwell – best known for coining the décor trend and brand Shabby Chic. She grew an empire out of creating homes that were “comfortable, cozy, vintage and pretty” according to an Inc. report on her rise to retail fame. Her handpicked furniture, linens and accessories are predominantly white mixed with soft blues, greens, pinks. As the name suggests, Shabby Chic exudes an unexpected juxtaposition – in her collection you can find a mix of old with new, florals with stripes and the refined with the slightly tattered – but everything is beautiful.  I adore the feminine elegance she brings to every collection yet at the same time it is not so feminine that a man wouldn’t find comfort in it as well.

I recently saw an article on a Beverly Hills home on the market, currently owned by reality star Jessica Simpson and football hubby, Eric Johnson.  Its recent renovations, designed by the Queen of Shabby Chic, Rachel Ashwell, are absolutely stunning!

ShabbyEntryShabbyLivingRoomShabbyPorchLights

Here are some of the pics I grabbed from the Sotheby’s listing. There are countless chandeliers and oh so chic french inspired furnishings!

ShabbyNursery ShabbyHollywoodBedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would love to sleep in that bedroom (I would even sleep on that pink day bed in the nursery:))

This was the article I saw that had the shabby designs first catching my eye: http://hookedonhouses.net/2013/06/06/jessica-simpsons-shabby-chic-house-in-beverly-hills/

If money were no object, who would you have design your home? And what would it look like? Share 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.

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armoireblue armoireblue2  armoirepink armoirepink2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA armoirewhite armoirewhite2

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.

RoyalAlbertBox

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.