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Posts Tagged ‘chartreuse & co’

I understand that many women are not good at spatial relations, that is, understanding how objects fit in and move through space. I offer myself as a case study:

Two days ago I made plans to pick up a large hutch that the owner told me was in two pieces, the larger of which was 5’3″ x 4’11” x 18″ deep. She didn’t think it would fit in my Suburban. “Of course it will,” I thought blithely.

But I was wrong.

So yesterday, upon returning without the hutch from her home, I ordered a rental truck from Home Depot. “I’ve got a 16-footer for you, mam,” replied the nice young man on the phone. “Oh, no. I just need a cargo van; I don’t want a box truck!”

Later that day, we made our second trip to pick up the hutch.  It took engineering and muscle power that, honestly, neither the homeowner, my daughter, nor I had just to get the thing out of the house and to the back of the waiting van.  With my dear daughter on one end, the very kind furniture-owner on the other, and me at the end, we realized that, in fact, I needed a box truck.

So, back to Home Depot we went.  I would like to publicly acknowledge my gratitude to the young man who helped us.  He was very efficient, and didn’t once say, “I told you so.”

On our third attempt to retrieve this hulking, impossibly heavy piece of furniture from it’s former residence, we finally succeeded. Plus, into that great big truck went an oak chest, a drop-leaf pedestal table, 3 wicker chairs, a desk, a vase and a can of paint.

Next time I’ll start with the box truck.

Here are some photos of what’s at Chartreuse & co right now (including the infamous hutch).

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Thanks for reading,
Virginia

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Believe it or not, I’ve never actually used chalk paint before yesterday.  I see the beautiful pieces come into the barn.  I see them online.  I really love the look and so many of the colors.  But I’ve been reluctant.  Partly because I’ve heard there’s a learning curve involved, and partly because it’s not easy to get.

So I’ve never tried it.

Until yesterday.  As I was looking at this piece:

It’s got such great lines, outstanding construction (it’s actually a solid oak Thomasville piece) but the yellowish, 70’s stain, with slate blue highlights,  just weren’t working for me.   Painting it was the obvious solution.

Some crazy thought flicked into my head that this piece, and this time (3 days before Market Days)  was right for trying chalk paint.

Common sense tells you to try a new technique on something small and unimportant.  Take a good look at this hutch.   It’s so tall that I need a step ladder to reach the top.  It’s about 6′ wide, and weighs more that a small elephant.  And I was planning it for the centerpiece of my Market Days display.  This piece is both huge and important.

Undaunted, I started in with my deep taupy paint.  Just the muted cocoa/grey shade I was looking for.  It was looking great, and going on so easily!  “Wow, looks like it really will cover in one coat!”  I wanted to squeeze myself.  You see a big part of the motivation to try chalk paint was that so many people had told me that this miracle is true:  chalk paint covers in one coat.  And it doesn’t chip, or need primer.

But when I climbed down off of my ladder and gazed back up at my masterpiece, I saw that the paint was drying at least 6 shade lighter than it went on!  It was almost cream colored!  Oh no.

I took a deep breath.  That’s okay.  I’d planned on the antiquing wax.  It’ll make all the difference.

Out comes the wax.  Now I’ve waxed before.  And I know that wax takes elbow grease.  So elbow grease I gave it.   Initially it was beautiful.  The happier I was with it, the more intensely I rubbed it in.  Until – oh horror! – the wax was pulling the paint off.  Throughout the piece I was looking at whole swathes that were just antiquing over the original finish.

I could have cried.

Instead I walked away.   In search of someone to whine to.  I found Fran.  Fran is a seasoned painter, and a master fixer-upper.  “Oh just dry brush some more paint in those spots.  It’ll look great.”  I wanted to believe her.  I wanted to have it all turn out.

My plan?  Abandon it.  Have a limoncello martini (an excellent solution to most summertime problems), a good nights sleep, and paint it with some Farrow & Ball in the morning.

But when I returned this morning, I decided to try Fran’s advice after all.  And look at how it came out:

I am so pleased with the finished product!  I really  love it.  And it did actually cover in one coat.

Turns out my problem was that I should have wiped the wax on gently, not so harshly.   Upon further investigation (and whining to everyone who would listen to me AND knows something about painting with chalk paint) the Annie Sloane paint has quick drying qualities that the paint I used does not.  Additionally, the Annie Sloane wax does not rub off the paint the way the wax I used does.  On the flip side, this wax is completely organic and natural and doesn’t smell at all.  The Annie Sloane wax (though much easier to work with) does reek.  So there’s the trade off.

What do you think?  Do you like the final effect?   You’ll have to wait to see the whole thing, as it’s so heavy, that I have to have 2 men to lift the top back on.

By Saturday morning it’ll be fully decorated, and you’ll see it if you drop in on Market Days.

Another Market Days perk?  Repurposed & Refined, one of the temporary dealers, is offering chalk paint demonstrations throughout the day.  I think I’ll be taking one in!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

 

August 12, 2014:  Here’s a few places to go if you’re interested in learning more, from real experts, on chalk paint and specialty furniture painting:

CeCe Caldwell Chalk Paint (http://cececaldwells.com/instructions-for-use/)
Annie Sloane Chalk Paint (http://www.anniesloan.com/)

And now my favorite paint company in the world, Farrow & Ball, has jumped into the game with some great insights into painting furniture with their extraordinary paint:

http://us.farrow-ball.com/find-it-paint-it-love-it/content/fcp-content

Have fun!!

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I was just in the Garden House today, and look what I found!

Doesn’t the painted furniture look amazing against the rough floors.  Rosanna of Bella Villa came in and magically transformed the one-time kitchen with her tiffany blue accents and pretty pieces.
Here’s some more of what I found, and you can see this weekend, along with the all the Market Days dealers and our full barns.

 

Lothar of German Favorite Antiques has also been working his magic, and here are some of the results:


Thanks for reading,

Virginia

 

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Between Tag Sales and renovating the cottage (a.k.a. The Garden House), we’re also putting on our fall Market Days this weekend. It’s a blast – dozens of temporary dealers arrive, put up their tents, bring out their fabulous finds – it’s like Christmas for me!  I mean, think about it – all this coming to your backyard.  You have to admit it’s pretty awesome.

I just loved how everyone embraced the grounds so creatively!

But, as I await the arrival of all these cool dealers, I (and the rest of the Chartreuse & co gang of permanent dealers) have to get the barn ready and picture perfect.

In going through the barn, I realize this time, many of my favorite things are objects I’ve seen many times before, but now see them used in a creative way.

Here’s some of my favorites today:

Love these glamorous chairs.  The textured, graphic fabric is spot on.

So amazing to find this hip, mid-century modern lamp with it’s original shade.  It’s a single object update for any room.

TThe carved details on this table got it on my list of favorites.

Mid-century modern pair – freshly reupholstered in a great basket-weave fabric.

Yup, it’s the birds on these bamboo rugs that got me.

I’m a sucker for channel-back chairs.  This one is spectacular in it’s new fabric.

Love these vintage accessories.  Turning a garden urn into a pencil cup is such a great idea.

The silver rims of this glassware set makes them so versatile and ready for the coming party season.

I just love vintage suitcases, and this little stack is just right.  The train case on top seals it for me.

What a cool, funky cupboard!!!  The window detail at the top, the corrugated metal back, the primitive details throughout – all these make this one a favorite.

I’ve seen vintage bowling pins as sculpture, or funky graphic detail, but I just loved seeing them as bookends.

This pine cupboard is just so cute with the vintage crates inside to organize all the goodies to be stored.

Red is looking so fresh to me right now.  Is it the season change?  The contrast with the neutrals I see so much of?  I’m really not sure.  But this piece is a knock out.

This pair of wing-backs is just so pretty.  The tone-on-tone, textured fabric in such gracious color sets them apart.

Love these bottles.  The deep green color, especially.  And I just love them lined up, popping out of the urns like little plants.  Just plain fun.

These funky little owls are just so cute!  The pale blue color, and their feisty expressions make me love them.

Another clever repurposing that I just love:  using bicycle baskets as file holders.  Adorable.  I also love using the hooks to hold a pretty pencil holder in a handy spot.

I really like the french provincial lines of this china closet/bookcase.  But paired with this swanky chair updates it and makes the ensemble a stand out to me.

And what is the fall without wine tastings, wine festivals, that oh-so-important glass after the homework’s done and the kids are in bed . . .

Possibly the coolest repurpose I’ve seen:  carburetor covers turned sconces.

So there you have it – my favorites today.  Tomorrow I’ll probably have more.  And I’ll be updating on our barn website, chartreuseandco.com

One more cool thing coming up this weekend:  we’ll have two of the rooms in the Garden House open!  If you’re in the area, drop in and see it.

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

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Actually, this should be titled, “Before & Now”, because while it’s technically ‘after’ pictures I have, they are not the magazine-ready kinda after pictures you may be hoping for.  Things happen around here in baby steps – mainly because we inevitably run into the unexpected.

So this post is really an update on the ‘cottage’ we’re working on.  And I can hardly express how happy I am to just be this far along in our process.

ROOM #1:

BEFORE

You may recall that all that wood is actually contact paper.  And those parquet floors are stick-on vinyl tiles.

ImageSo here’s what we had after removing the contact paper and vinyl tiles.  Yes, those are holes in the wall. But the hardwood floors had a great patina.Image

AFTER:

This is what we have today.  A bit of patching, a couple gallons of Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Gray, trimmed with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, and it’s worlds better.  Don’t you think? It makes me so happy to open the door now!ImageI just LOVE the old built-in cupboard!

ImageHere’s a detail of the colors.  So pretty and calming.Image

 

ROOM #2:

BEFORE

This room seemed to have the most potential because the lighting is so nice and the wainscoting has so much charm.  But this room had the stickiest floor tiles of all.  We tried everything, and finally ended up using a belt sander to sand the gunk off the floors. Image

 

AFTER

We had initially planned on staining the floors after sanding, but I really like the look of the raw sanding.  The patina would be totally lost when covered by stain.  What do you think?ImageRoom #2 BEFORE

(with the ‘parquet’ floor)ImageParquet floor removedImage

AFTER

And, voila!  The wainscoting did not disappoint.  Nor did the soft natural lighting of the room.  ImageDetail of the wall color in Room #2ImageIt’s the same Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray that’s in the first room, yet look how the lighting changes it.  I just LOVE that about the F&B paints.ImageRoom #3

BEFORE

Again with the floors.  And this wall color was almost like a trip to the Caribbean.  It was super intense.ImageThe ‘parquet’ floors removed.ImageAFTER
We’re still working on this one, but the walls are finished, painted Farrow & Ball’s Blue Gray, with F&B’s Old White as the trim.  The combo is like a softer, warmer version of the colors in the other two rooms.  A really comforting transition.ImageDetail of the wall and trim colors.

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Room #4

BEFORE

Moving upstairs, this room is directly above Room #2 with the wainscoting, so it has that beautiful natural light.  Even though it’s the smallest room in the house, it’s one of the prettiest.

Image

AFTER

And here’s what paint can do.  Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light, trimmed with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.  Upstairs we did stain the floors, using Rustoleum’s Kona stain.  Don’t you just love the deep, rich floors in contrast to the pale walls and trim?ImageBEFORE (Room #4)Image

 

AFTER (Room #4)

Another angle of this beautiful room.  You just want to stay in there it’s so pretty.

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ROOM #5

BEFORE

This is the room above the turquoise room.  It had the grungiest walls and trim of any room in the house.  It took 2 coats of primer to make them paintable.  And, like every room in the house, it had the vinyl tiles on the floor.Image

 

AFTER

And here it is with F&B’s Blackened on the walls and Cooking Apple Green on the ceiling, and Benjamin Moore’s White Dove trim.  We used the Rustoleum Kona stain throughout the upstairs.ImageAnother view with more of the ceiling showing.Image

So there you are.  We’re about to finish up completely with the renovating process and begin the decorating – my favorite part, of course.  I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

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It’s a annual ritual I’ve been through for the past 18 years, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

It always begins with the excitement of (my absolute favorite part of school) picking out the new school supplies. There is just something about those freshly sharpened pencils, brand-new pens, gloriously clean pads of paper. I’m happy just touching and gazing at it all.

And I have spread this little bit of wonder to my girls. We’re like kids in a candy shop when all the store roll out their aisles of supplies. Each girl would pick out her favorite things. We’d come home with bags brim-full. Gaze at them, love them. . . But then, what do you DO with all that stuff?

Here’s a few ideas:

I love these old card catalogs with all their cubbies. I especially love that they can be labelled so nicely. Put each family-member’s name on a column of drawers. Label the extra drawers with the supply it holds. For larger items (spirals, notebook paper, workbooks, etc.) place baskets beneath or on top. Organization of school supplies: done!

Another great card catalog.

Brass plate detail of card catalog. I just love brass tags, and find them even cooler when they’re still attached to the object they came with.

For textbooks and workbooks, consider an open hutch. This one is great because it has the ‘bar’ across to catch things before they fall.

An industrial shelf like this one (love the wheels and side bars!) works great as a compact school organizer. Give each child a shelf. Let them pick out a basket (or get a group that are identical to save on stress) to place on his or her shelf. Let each choose a heavy, flat-bottomed object to use as a book end. Fill the baskets with their small supplies. Stack the workbooks, and secure the textbooks with the bookends. Voila! you have all their school stuff in a personalized space that takes up less than 10 sq. ft.! Pretty sweet, huh?

Lockers are another great solution. They not only catch the school supplies, but they also give you plenty of room for sneakers, hats, gloves, and sports equipment. I love the cheerful color of this set, and that the doors flip up to open. Who wouldn’t have fun putting stuff away in this cool locker set?

This locker set is made up of shelving and a set of tough locker baskets. Each basket can be completely removed from the shelf, making it easy for everyone to access their baskets at once.

Next, we’re on to desks and some really clever ways to contain your desk-top supplies.
Thanks for reading,

Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m a dreamer. I see things and my mind just takes off, often spinning out of control, imagining what it could be. True confession: I mentally decorate nearly every interior space I enter. I mean wall treatments, furniture arrangements, lighting. The whole nine yards. I even do this in public spaces. Why should it be okay that they are dull and uninspiring?

So I draw inspiration from almost everything.

And then there’s reality. Which I’m facing right now.

We have a small tenant house on our property which we’re in the process of renovating for the first time. I see it as a cottage:

When in fact, it looks like this:

But even so. I see clematis growing over lattice on the porch, underplanted with hydrangeas. I already have the vintage porch furniture for it. And the real wood shutters to replace the horrible plastic ones. I even see shutters on either side of the front door. Isn’t it adorable!?!

And then we go inside. I’ll start with the kitchen, which i would see like this:

However, the reality when we first got in there was:

And, actually it’s almost worse than that. The ‘wood paneling’ on the walls (which I think can be adorable painted white, isn’t wood paneling at all. It’s contact paper. And the ‘parquet’ floor? That vinyl floor tiles.

So after working on it for a while, here’s what we now have:

But do you see the hardwood floors?! Turned out that under the vinyl were three more layers of plastic flooring, ending with old linoleum that brought all of the rest with it in one big sheet. Super lucky.

Condition of the walls? Not so lucky. I see walls of the palest grey (Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Grey), white trim and tissue-thin white cotton voile curtains to waft in the breeze. Marble counters, beaded board back splash, and sleek stainless appliances. And, of course, a fabulous 1920s French chandelier dripping with crystals for over the central island. Don’t you just see it?

The dining room to go with this fresh and charming kitchen? This is the one I imagine:

Pretty sweet, huh? The airiness of my kitchen flows right on through, doesn’t it?
But this is what I have:

Remember the vinyl tiles from the kitchen? They covered these hardwood floors, too. Pulling just half of them up took me over 6 hours. And cost me my favorite, chartreuse green flip flops. The stuff they put those tiles down with is like human fly paper! Chip had to come to my rescue and got the rest of this room, plus the living room finished in just a couple hours! No, I cannot explain it.

And this room has great potential. The wainscoting is lovely. I see carrying the grey from the kitchen walls into the dining room, and painting the wainscoting the soft white of the trim. The ceiling, naturally, must boast another equally stunning chandelier, hanging from a ceiling cabana striped in the grey and white. I’m thinking a sisal rug for texture, a large, round, limed-wood, pedestal table with french chairs. And a pretty daybed, upholstered in Belgian linen, under the window. Straight panels, hung from the top of the walls would frame both windows. Better, don’t you think?

And the powder room?
Imagination:

But what we found was this:

And with a little work, we accomplished this:

In spite the leaking pipes, twenty layers of contact paper and wall paper, seriously damaged wood floor and failing fixtures, I see potential here, too.
With the floors dried, cloroxed, sanded and waxed, they’ll be lovely. And here’s my one indulgence of wall paper. I just love it in small spaces. I’m thinking toile, but I’m open to what ever trips my trigger in the wall paper store. It’s such a tiny space that I feel it can be completely indulgent. Of course a white, pedestal sink and new white toilet. Inset plantation shutters for the window, so it can remain open in decent weather, while maintaining privacy. And in here, the smallest of delicate chandeliers, like a pretty jewel in it’s box. That’s what I see.

I’ll be shooting pictures as we go.   It’s a long slow process, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Thanks for reading,
Virginia

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Chip, me, Sasha, and Katherine, last month, at Sasha’s graduation from Chip’s alma mater, McDaniel College.

The love of my life, Chip, is turning 50 in August. Unlike his looming 30th birthday (couldn’t believe how he mourned his 20s!), he’s taking this one in stride. In fact, he’s even embracing it. (Though the AARP packet in the mail was not received with any enthusiasm.) And he wants to celebrate it. With a party. A big party.

Now this is music to my ears. I LOVE a big party. I love everything about it: the planning, the creating, the decorating, the prep, the event itself, even the cleanup has a certain charm for me. I just, plain love parties.

So you’d think we have them all the time, wouldn’t you? Not so much. My soon-to-be-50-year-old husband likes to keep his home and his family to himself. So my having a business literally in our backyard, with the public streaming in once a month is really asking all I can of him and his domain.

So hearing him calling for a party was pure delight.

And then the other shoe drops: “You know, a real kegger!” And he’s smiling so genuinely . . .

College memories of drunken frat guys, blaring hard rock, and beer bottle littered yards came to mind. My little bubble was burst.

You see my idea of a party begins with the perfect invitations to set the mood and theme of the event. My favorites are outdoor parties, so strings of lights, beautiful tables, flowers, upbeat music, flowing wine.

The decorating I had in mind didn’t involve wheeling in a row of kegs and bags of red Solo cups.

But I’m a creative person. And I love this man. There must be a way to marry these two concepts. We’ve been married for 25 years, after all. Certainly our ideas of a party can be melded.

So here’s what I’ve come up with – and I’m SOOO excited!

Chip loves cars. He loves fast cars. And he loves racing. The kind of racing they do around great big circular racetracks. And the mother of all these races, in his estimation, is the Indianapolis 500. Now I love vintage. This race has been run for over 100 years. So I think, “There must be some really cool vintage tickets out there – the perfect image for his invitations!”

I actually found a 50th anniversary ticket on eBay (similar to this one).

That’s the seed. Next I envision bunting hung from all our porches.

This is actually the home of President Harrison in Indianapolis, IN, but the volume of porches (and bunting) is like what I have in mind. (I’ve already ordered it!)

Little American flags interspersed with checkered flags in the flower arrangements on the tables.

Maybe I could even make little checked flags to go in the drinks!

An adorable double wash tub (yes, I already have one!) filled with little pints of milk (the winner of the Indianapolis 500 is traditionally handed a glass bottle of milk to drink in winner’s circle).

I know, you’re thinking, “Cute, but, YUCK! Who would want to drink milk at a party?!?!” But you see, I’ve got the cure for that, too. Sitting along side our cute little tubs of milk will be the mixin’s for mudslides. Another of Chip’s favorite things.

Add tubs of beer and wine (and maybe even a keg . . .), strings of lights (you see there are just some things I must have), pretty tables and chairs throughout the patio and lawns, highlight reels of Indianapolis 500 scenes showing on the side of the cottage, and we’ve got ourselves a party even Chip would enjoy.

Am I sounding a little too carried away already?

Wish me luck!

And thanks for reading,
Virginia

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‘Tis the season for yard saling. And for barnstorming. And this month I’ve been up to both.

Artists, history and architecture enthusiasts toured barns throughout the Buckeystown area last weekend.

 

Our barns were included on the tour, and our visitors embraced the opportunity to learn and enjoy.

 

Barns are beautiful.

 

At the reception afterwards, we were able to purchase this delightful oil painting, by Courtney Lee, of our beautiful barns.

And then on to this weekend’s fun: Yard saling! Chartreuse & co’s annual Yard Sale is this weekend, and we’ve all been rummaging through all our treasures, projects, and finds, marking them at irresistible yard sale prices.

Plus, we’re always bringing in fabulous new finds. Here’s a look at my favorites this month:

Silverware chimes. So simple and pretty.

 

This pretty french chair is one of a pair.

 

There’s a number of exceptional vintage cameras in the barn now. This one has to be my favorite.

 

Aren’t these just the cutest little owls, ever?

 

I just had to include this one. After years of struggling and coaxing, my hydrangea is finally not just surviving, but flourishing! I’m sooo happy!!!

 

That just-right shade of tangerine. And a matching pair, too!

 

If I had a beach house, this arrangement would be there.

 

I love everything about this console table. The bow-front. The carved details. The spot-on color. It’s just perfect.

 

These lamps (there’s a pair of them) are that perfect bottle green. And I love that the bottoms are open, so you can create vignettes inside them, and change them so easily.

And I’ve finally gotten some serious work done on my laundry room. Result? Tons of yard sale-priced vintage linens that I just can’t fit in my newly organized space.

I’ll be posting pictures -before and after – when the room is finally complete (I ran out of paint part way through . . .)

Thanks for reading,
Virginia

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I’ve been a bit paint crazy lately. The barn, the girls’ apartment, my bedroom, my laundry room. Chip, my husband, just doesn’t get why I’m so into it (or see the value of $85/gallon paint vs. $30/gallon paint).  But, frankly, I’ve become obsessed.

It should also be noted that we live in a 1898 farmhouse with some pretty spectacular wood trim that I’ve been itching to paint for 10 years. Chip is completely opposed. So I offer the following evidence of the positive power of paint. (from CuriousDetails.com blog)

BEFORE: an efficient, if uninteresting office.

AFTER: Add a little paint, and you've got WOW! I particularly love the contrast of the deep, rich blue doors against the clean white office space beyond. An inspired choice.

BEFORE: the broader view of the office space

AFTER: The amazing power of simple white paint. Wouldn't you love entering this office space each day?
Also note that by using the built-ins within arms' reach of the desk, a smaller desk became practical - allowing for the comfort of the pair of chairs in the room.

I hope this gives you some inspiration (it gave me loads!), and perhaps some ammunition as you carry on the to-paint-or-not-to-paint debate with your other half.

Thanks for reading!

Virginia

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