Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Front Door Refresh


 I love porches and doors that are full of charm and character and lots of vintage details.
They just seem friendly and welcoming and invite you to come on in  and sit for awhile.


Our front door faces the East and the sun brightens the front patio each morning
and floods the house with it's warm sunshine.


When we first bought our home I envisioned a red door and so I painted the front door
 a dark, cherry red. 
It was fiery.
It was bold.
It was a little sassy.
I loved it.


 But when we put new siding up and painted the house a different color the red just didn't fit as well anymore
and so the door became a matte finish navy blue color. It has stayed that way for probably 5 years.
This months Lowes  project was a mini front porch refresh to welcome Summer and 
I knew just what I was ready to freshen up :) so I made a list and headed to Lowes.
 I started in the paint section where I picked up a can of Valspar Gloss Black
 and also a can of Valspar exterior white.

Our front door went from navy blue matte finish

to a fresh crisp gloss black. 
I love it.


 I also gave the window boxes on our house a fresh coat of gloss black as well
(I'll share more about how we made the window boxes and their new look in a separate post)

 In a crazy inspired moment
 I made the dentil moulding that lines the fascia boards to match the moulded trim
above the door.  They were so simple to make- but yes- it was very time consuming for sure
 and I think my husband thought I was a bit crazy
as I sat there cutting all the dozens and dozens of 1x2's  at 2" intervals until
 I had enough to go around the.whole.house.
 But the addition of that trim made a huge difference in the look of the house for very little cost
and a fresh coat of crisp white paint was all it needed to make it stand out even more.


I'm not usually a brass girl, but brass & black? 
I have to admit that I love it.
 I wanted to put brass finish house numbers on the door to match the brass door handle.
I found tons of options in different finishes and sizes 
but these numbers were perfect in size, shape, etc.- they just weren't brass.
But I had an idea of how to fix that and now- they have the look of brass and I LOVE them!
 I love the simple but elegant look they add.
I purchased several extras of them for another refresh project that I am working on as well.


I also picked up a new door mat with a charming monogram in the center (love it!)
 and a cart full of plants for the front porch pots and window boxes

Our patio is has two concrete areas separated by several coved steps- it's nice but it's a lot of concrete.
A lot of concrete means you need A lot of pots and containers of plants to soften the area up.

I love topiaries by the door and these little boxwood are perfect
I love boxwood and especially in topiary form.
 I have several of them actually and love them to put them in urns just about anywhere.

 We  brought home a lot of flowers for the window boxes.
Depending on my color mood, I plant the window boxes differently each year
but one of my favorite flowers for them are geraniums.
 Several different shades of red & hot pink geraniums from the garden department were perfect
 and we filled in the gaps with bacopa and trailing verbena.

Lowes also had the most gorgeous red geranium hanging baskets 
and I also used a hanging basket for the front door decor as well. 
 I simply took one of the baskets and bent it flat on one side to make it into a door basket
and then hung it on the wreath holder.


Such a simple refresh for our front porch area but I'm loving how it turned out.
Now if I could just talk the husband into wiring for that second porch light for me...
yep... I'm working on it
 ;)
Stay tuned for a little something fun for you with Lowes coming up very shortly!



I was compensated for this post as a member of the
 Lowes Creative Ideas Network of Creators and Influencers  but the designs and opinions are my own.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tarnished Silver & Roses

The palest of pink roses...
gathered up and set inside old tarnished silver... 
inspiring 
and simply beautiful.


I have a little obsession with vintage silver
and have been collecting discarded and forgotten pieces of it for years.
Any kind of old monogrammed treasures are my favorites.


Some of it is not perfect- it's finish is worn and dull...
but I don't mind the tarnished and mottled look.
As much as I love polished and shiny new silver- 
I love that old finish too.


A trio of tiny bouquets on the mantel


or an overfilled bouquet in a trophy cup...
I love the simple charm.


These pretties are climbing roses from our yard. 
I believe they are called Cecile Brunner roses
They start out pale pink and fade to white and they smell absolutely amazing. 


A soft breeze yesterday carried their scent through the air
and inspired me to gather a few of the roses up for a bouquet


These are delicate roses 
and as I was photographing them, their tiny petals were falling 
and collecting on the tabletop


 Simple & beautiful


I have been working on taking better photos and getting to know my camera a little better
 over here and have been thinking of posting once in a while with just a simple subject for my photos
This week... these pretties inspired me.


Hope you all had a wonderful blessed weekend!
Don't miss the fantastic giveaway I have going on right now

3 signed copies of VINTAGE BY NINA
 Click  HERE  to enter to win or to find a link to
pre-order the english text version of the same book

Happy Tuesday!






Sunday, May 27, 2012

Vintage By Nina ~ Giveaway!

A package arrived the other day all the way from Europe.
It looked like any regular cardboard box when it was picked up at the post office
but it was far from regular.



This package was filled with gorgeous inspiration... 


Beautiful serene and charming interiors


Lots of creamy whites, gorgeous antiques and lovely patinas.

(all photos in this post are property of Nina Hartmann and Maria-Isabel Hansson)

The absolutely beautiful book 

  Vintage by Nina


When I opened this book and saw the gorgeous inspiring photos and designs...
 I was in love.
 Even though it is written in a language that I don't read or speak...
  the pictures speak volumes for themselves  and I was mesmerized page after page


Here is a little information that Nina sent for me to share with you:


Vintage By Nina 
 The interior stylist and antiques dealer Nina Hartmann takes the readers on an adventure trip into her universe filled with wonderful collections of rare findings, old furniture, recycled building materials, charming interior solutions and beautiful details.  






Nina Hartmann is an interior stylist, writer and columnist. 
Over the past eight years she has run the vintage and antiques shop  which you can find online at 
VINTAGEBYNINA.COM 
 and with a showroom in Sweden.

 Her creativity, artistic talent and passion for interior designs and styling with vintage and antiques
 has made her one of the most famous stylists in Scandinavia.


The book VINTAGE BY NINA is a result of the close cooperation between 
Danish Nina Hartmann and the Swedish photographer Maria-Isabel Hansson. 
Their work is seen in international interior magazines through the entire world.


Ninas soft, warm, light, feminine and highly personal style is characteristic
 for the book containing 160 beautiful and inspirational pages.
 This book is meant to inspire and create ideas, creativity and dreams for the readers.



Vintage by Nina in it's original Norwegian version 
is sold right now in the United States by
Atelier de Campagne
As well  you can now  pre-order your English version  which will be available in September  

Atelier de Campagne are Pre Ordering right now 
in order to get the book to you by mid September.

Those of you who may be interested in acquiring this book for resale should 
e-mail infoatelierdc@gmail.com for details. Title your e-mail Wholesale VBN

Those who are interested in purchasing a copy or two for themselves send an e-mail to infoatelierdc@gmail.comTitle your e-mail Retail VBN


But that's not all...
Inside that little cardboard box 
there was also something special for my readers.
Not only is Nina extremely talented & inspiring-
she is incredibly generous and sweet as well 
and she included

 3 copies of
VINTAGE BY NINA 
to giveaway!!!

These 3 books are in the original scandinavian version
and they  are filled with more than 300 dreamy photographs.
 Absolutely inspiring!

oh and did I mention that the 3 copies are 
signed by Nina?
:D
Whoo Whoo!!




*If you would like to order your copy of Vintage by Nina right now to secure it's spot 
please email Trinidad at Atelier de Campagne *


To be entered to win an autographed copy of 
Vintage by Nina
here's all you have to do.

1. 
Be a follower of my blog 
and leave me a comment letting me know

2.
Share this Giveaway
 on your Blog,
on your Facebook,
 or on Twitter 
&
 leave a separate comment.

That's it!
The 3 winners will be announced the first week of June
Good Luck!!

Feathered Nest Friday is going on through Sunday!
Scroll on down to the next post to join in the fun!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Feathered Nest Friday

French Country Cottage

Happy Thursday everyone! 
It's Feathered Nest Friday time again!

Here's what I shared this week~

I shared a beautiful green and purple bouquet on the living room mantel
HERE


I also shared the double chandeliers
 (and double the bling!)
 in the dining room.

If you missed it you can find the post HERE

We also have a winner in the French Bleu Vintage giveaway~
Congratulations to:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Little Bit of Bling

Well, you know me enough to know that
 I love a little bling...

If that bling happens to be a chandelier that is covered in strand after strand of crystals draped all over,
 oodles of sparkly glass drops, lots of beads and facet cut crystals...


yep...
 I love it.


I am one of those people who think chandeliers belong in every room 
(yes, I drive my husband crazy)

To me, a chandelier brings a sense of romance and elegance
 to an otherwise  ordinary space.



When we started out in our cottage-
 we didn't really have a 'dining room' ~  we had a space in the kitchen.
Our kitchen is  large enough to allow a dining space
 if we decided to keep one there  but I craved something more dedicated 

Our cottage was built as a vacation home in the 1940's for a pretty well known family...
 you might associate them with bubbly bathtubs or even wine now
When they built their vacation home- it was informal and relaxed in it's layout and style.
 We purchased the property after years of it sitting... and sitting... and renovated just about 
every
square
inch of it
and  I knew I wanted a little more ooomph and pizazz
 than the relaxed and informal style that the cottage lent itself to.

 Here's where we started with this space:



Yes, that would be the lovely unfinished ceiling
(with a lightbulb dangling from it's wiring for the light)
no crown moulding, dark orangey stained knotty pine walls and a very very small window.
I almost forgot about that old air conditioner - it was also on the back wall.



Well  I had a lot of plans in mind... and a lot of PAINT in mind too.
:)

Our knotty pine walls are now creamy white
and a perfect backdrop for the farmhouse table and french style chairs.
We put bead board and beams on the ceiling
french doors leading to the back yard
refinished hardwood and oh yes, that light bulb was replaced with...

a little bling.


okay
 ;)
maybe a lot of bling.

Originally we had one large chandelier in here- but when
we brought the over 8' long farmhouse table in- that one chandelier just didn't fit
the whole table very well- and so I decided to go with two smaller ones.

I am loving them.

We also recently added the huge chalkboard on the wall
  It was such a simple project and I love the versatility of writing a message,
a favorite quote, the menu, etc.
Right now, it is set up for a wine tasting party listing the different wines available to taste



One of the things I tell people I am working with decorating and designing a space
or looking for an element for a room is that you should find what you love
 and what makes you happy and go with it-
whether it fits the so called 'rules' or not.


A lot of people think that chandeliers loaded with crystals
 just don't belong in a little old vacation cottage in the country with knotty pine walls...



yeah, well...
I think I told you before that I am kind of a rebel when it comes to decorating
(and maybe a couple other things too ;) )


Chandeliers make me happy when I see them
and I just like what I like and so that's what I go with.

Though these...


 I am actually loving.






Monday, May 21, 2012

A Fresh Bouquet for the Mantel


I absolutely love soft shades of purple and chartreuse green together...
it is such a delightful combination.


 Together they feel vibrant and energetic
and even a small bouquet of them fills the room with that feeling.


 The mantel in the living room got a fresh bouquet of flowers  picked from our yard last week
and several of you asked to see more when I shared a little peek of it earlier.


It's a simple bouquet...
in just a simple white pitcher  that I found at Home Goods.


The purple & green blooms fill the vase with charming cottage colors
and the room with a delightful fragrance.


I love bouquets of fresh flowers in my rooms
and fresh from the yard flowers are even better.


Since the lilacs and snowballs have since dried, 
the mantel is getting it's Summery look on
 and I'll be sharing it soon.


A little party planning and end of the year wrap up going on over here.
My daughter is getting ready to graduate from 8th grade in a couple weeks...
*gulp*
She is my baby baby.
She has been at the same school since kindergarten with almost the same class 
of about 30 kids the entire time (there is only 1 class per grade)
 Both of my boys went to the same school but when they went to high school, 
 my daughter was at the charter school for a few more years...
 so it didn't seem that different yet
Now she's heading off to high school too...
sigh...  
can. not. believe. it.

More on the graduation stuff and party plans soon
and a little peek into the dining room.


Happy Sunday everyone!

sharing at

Friday, May 18, 2012

Feathered Nest Friday

It's time for  Feathered Nest Friday!
French Country Cottage

I'm working on a few projects over here and enjoying the beautiful warm weather we have been having.
Here's what I shared this week~ 

I have been loving those lilacs we picked and took just a couple of the blooms
 and placed them in a little antique bottle for a simple bouquet in my office


I also shared how I created the arched open shelves in the upper cupboards in my kitchen

  HERE


French Bleu Vintage
 is also having a giveaway on my blog ~ if you haven't entered yet you can find the post
  HERE.


Commenting problems

Thank you so much for your kind emails about how you haven't been able to leave comments on my posts.
I don't know what changed a couple weeks ago but am guessing it is some kind of a blogger glitch again ~ 
 I have had issues with commenting on other blogs as well.

I went ahead and changed the comment settings and format to hopefully fix the problem that
some of you have been having with it- I am leaving my comments moderated though
which means they won't show up right away- but they will show up when I get them.
 From the threads in the blogger forum- it seems like a lot of bloggers are having similar problems.
 Hopefully, changing the comment setting will help and blogger will get it fixed.

Any local Northern California bloggers out there?
We are planning a bloggers meet up at The Vintage Bricoleur
in the Roseville area next week~we are talking about blogging
and more!!
 Would love to see you there!
Drop me an email for more info or head over to
The Vintage Bricoleur

Okay~ 
let's get on to the review!


The North End Loft shared a tutorial on how to add lettering to this bucket- so cute. 
Going to have to try it sometime! 





Loving Fox Hollow Cottage's open cupboards and with liner from the $ store- awesome!



Awesome diy harlequin rug from Serendipity~  I love this idea and it came out so cute!

The Blissful Bee shared her awesome DIY knockoff cart coffee table.


Primp shared the darling chicken coop they built~
I love it. 

If you were featured~ please feel free to grab a button if you would like! 
French Country Cottage

Onto this weeks edition of Feathered Nest Friday!! 
Welcome to new partygoers, welcome back and thank you to all my party animal friends
for taking the time to come over and share your wonderful
links each week!
PLEASE SHARE
decorating, flea finds, designs, transformations
crafts, table settings, etc.
ANYTHING related to feathering your nest!

**PLEASE BE A GRACIOUS FEATHERED NEST FRIDAY GUEST**
Make sure you post a button or a link back to the party on your post.


I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO BECOME A FRIEND/FOLLOWER
if you aren't already.
The Follow button is on my sidebar at the top
Thanks so much!
Sharing with these great parties!