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Sunday, September 29, 2013


Took some time "out" yesterday
to hit our favorite antique shops and thrift stores

We picked up a gorgeous mirror
as well as a French tallboy

but really, we ended up with so many "smalls"

We're loving all things Chinoiserie lately
Asian-inspired pieces with a European influence

Interestingly, these pieces all came from different sources
yet they look like they all came from one home, don't they?

Most were made in England or France

The periwinkle blue shade on the vases and on the statues is so gorgeous
yet the white makes it crisp and fresh

Of course, THIS is the BEST find of the day :0) 

We haven't focused on smaller items since we left Summer House almost two years ago...
time to re-stock for the new shop opening!  

Speaking of the new shop...
the city is hosting an event to celebrate our street's new look!

We won't be ready for our "grand" opening,
but the front room will be complete and we'd LOVE to see you!

Kenny and Michele

Monday, September 16, 2013

White Out

We know, we know...
No Prep, No Prime...
chalk-type paints don't need it!


If you struggle with coat upon coat (upon coat!)
of chalk-type paint when you are using WHITE...
there is a super easy solution!


Check it out:

 Clearly, one coat isn't going to cut it!

 Two coats is better, but I'm still in for a third, maybe a fourth...
to get that opaque coverage I'm after

See that gorgeous, smooth, EVENLY covered center panel?
One coat of primer, one coat of chalk-type paint...

Applying a thin coat of primer doesn't take any more time 
than applying a thin coat of chalk-type paint does...
(and it dries quickly, too!)
and the coverage means less coats of expensive chalk-type paint, 
while maintaining the same look and feel

Give it a try next time you're struggling with white...
and let us know what you think!

Funktastic 70's Spanish Revival

If you follow us on FaceBook
you recall I mentioned buying a REALLY funky 
bedroom suite

We really love the IDEA 
of 1970's Spanish Revival...
Lots of great carved detail and wonderful hardware
just BEGGING for paint

The problem is that nearly every single piece we find
isn't solid wood
The gorgeous "carved" details are injection molded plastic

When we stumbled upon this set
we were THRILLED to discover
every inch is SOLID WOOD!

It's much storage!

See this chest?  It has a tallboy type piece that sits atop (not shown)

The carvings are just much detail
And the carved doors?  
They SLIDE to reveal hidden drawers!

I know, cool, right?? 

I have this "thing" about pieces that sit flush to the floor...
I prefer feet of some sort, and these pieces fit the bill

I suspect the hardware will be gorgeous once it's been gilded

The details are so gorgeous!

Not seeing the potential?
Look how well these pieces take paint

I'm leaning towards something classic but modern for this set...
stay tuned for the "AFTER"!

Kenny and Michele

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Smokin' Hot Copper

Sometimes, we pick up a piece (or pieces!)
that are SO stunning already,
it's a challenge to dream up something even more fabulous

It's like we have a RESPONSIBILITY to the pieces, you know?

This bedroom suite is a great example...
pretty fabulous, right?

 All that lovely detail?  It's raised (carved OUT of the wood, not in to it!)...AMAZING!

The shape?  
Bombe and GORGEOUS

Even the hardware is special!

 Solid wood, circa 1972
by Dixon Powdermaker
(Florida company!)

I struggled a bit...nothing was really coming to me, inspiration-wise
I actually started painting the pieces a sea blue/green
when I thought "really?  That's the best you got?"

So I stopped. And thought. And thought.
then, I recalled an AMAZING table I saw
all curves, copper, and silver...
I LOVED that table!

 ~I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do~

I tackled the nightstands first, as they had so much lovely detail work

Smokey grey metallic paint makes the curves on this set really shimmer
Highlighting the details, gorgeous silver leaf

Copper brings some warmth while still being so glam

Even the hardware is spectacular on this set!

What an amazing find this was...I hope we've done it justice!

You can find this in our Etsy Shop

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pickin' in Paradise

Spent the day looking for furniture
and chasing down paint...

At the crack of dawn, we went to Tierra Verde
to look at a bedroom suite and some other items

If you're not local, let me show you Tierra Verde

needless to say, a trip to Tierra Verde is always pretty pleasant...lots of beautiful scenery!

The home was 10,000sf inside, with another 2000 of outdoor living space, right on the water

My entire home LITERALLY would fit inside their master suite...

We ended up passing on the bedroom suite,
it was pretty but not spectacular,
and it was up three flights of winding stairs
(I REALLY have to want something to navigate winding stairs, in flip flops,
carrying a 100lb dresser!)

The owners were downsizing into a smaller home
(each in their 80's) and were parting w some other great things

We did buy this settee

It belonged to the owner's great aunt, then her mother
It's getting re-upholstered and refinished, of course!
We love that it has a wonderful family history

Next stop was for paint...
I've been stalking Amy Howard's One Step and Lacquer paints for a month
but NONE of the local retailers had product...until today!

The retailer had a limited selection of colors, so I had to compromise...

I wanted Easton Green Lacquer (crisp, grass green)
but bought Begonia (hot pink)

I didn't have a plan in mind...until I bought this chair

Guess what's going to be hot pink and lacquered??  

I bought some other neutrals and some Zinc solution...
looking forward to playing around w it

Back to the grind tomorrow...
the store isn't going to ready itself, and October will be upon us w a quickness!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cartouche Green

When put to task
choosing ONE color
from the 
One Step Paint collection,
we were stumped...
How to choose?
They are ALL gorgeous! 

We use a lot of greys,
but we wanted something different
Vintage Affliction caught our eye, 
as did Chinese Red
but we both really, REALLY
loved Cartouche Green
(plus, it's the same color as our logo!)

When I was in elementary school,
all things Egyptian were very popular
Our home had gold leafed Pharaoh heads,
papyrus art, and who knows what else...
but the item I coveted most?
A cartouche necklace

Sadly, I never got one...
but now I have Cartouche Green instead!
(and Pharoah's gold on the hardware in homage to the namesake...)

If you are not already familiar with Amy Howard's product line,
go, now...we'll wait

Amazing products, right?

Let me tell you a bit about our experience with the One Step Paint

It went on a bit thicker than it did the other day,
probably because the surface I was applying to was different

Two coats provided beautiful coverage

We opted to seal the surface with Amy's light wax
See that gorgeous sheen?

That's from buffing with a cloth, for about three seconds
Not exaggerating! 

Waxing and buffing this ENTIRE dresser took us less than 15 minutes
(and our arms were NOT limp spaghetti after!)

The light wax resembles pudding
and frankly, the color is a bit alarming in the jar
(fine, I'll say it. It reminded me of baby poop)

but FEAR NOT!!

it added the slightest bit of warmth to the color,
making it a tad deeper and more rich
without completely changing the color

Here's where we entered foreign territory...
using dark wax SPARINGLY and very lightly

Usually, I really love the look of dark wax settling into the brushstrokes
but in this instance, I wanted the color to remain true
and the piece to look fresh

We also used Dust of Ages over the dark wax...
on this color, it didn't make a tremendous difference,
but we'll definitely try it again with other colors

One of our biggest "peeves" if you will about most chalk-type paints
is that when buffing the wax or burnishing the surface, 
the high relief areas always distress slightly
If we were after that look,  great!
 Sometimes, however,  we don't want any distressing,
so it's annoying when the raised edges on the drawer faces 
or the sharper points on the lip wear away
with very little pressure

We're not alone here, right?  
Please tell me this happens to you, too!

Guess what?  Didn't happen with this product
Not a single speck of paint budged

Clearly, we did not distress this piece,
so we'll have to let you know how it distresses
in the future
(cause we are FOR SURE 
using this product again..
and again..
and again...)

It takes a lot to impress us...
we pretty much have "our" products we trust and love
so paint and/or wax has to be pretty great to hold our attention

This paint and wax?
Yeah, it's pretty great! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A day full of Wonder...

You know that feeling when your heart beats faster
and you're giddy with excitement and anticipation...

about NEW PAINT?  

That was us, today, cracking open a box of
goodies from 

Before Kenny even had the stuff out of the box,
I had a drawer in one hand, a paint brush in the other!

This line has some wonderful, exciting products 
and we had a hard time deciding which to try...
let alone which color! 

We settled on Cartouche Green
but you can check out ALL the colors here

Our experience so far?

It's thinner than what we're accustomed to, 
making it much easier to spread
and leaving the surface smooth without sanding
We typically thin down our second and subsequent coats
with water to make application easier.
Not necessary with One Step Paint!

You don't HAVE to seal the finish with wax or poly
but you certainly can if you'd like to.
The finish dried very smooth and satiny
(feel, not shine)
The look is still matte, but it doesn't have that chalky feeling
(does that make sense? I hope so!)

Dry time was lightening fast

Color is richly pigmented
(even this light green)
One coat might have been enough, but we prefer at least two
(just for good measure!)

The price point makes us HAPPY, HAPPY HAPPY!
It's $28/qt

The waxes (light and dark)
are a bit like thick pudding, I'd say...
very easy to work with.
The dark is much lighter than the dark wax we typically use,
 and is meant to be used sparingly, along the areas that might darken over time
(not on the entire piece)

That's as far as we got today...
but we're impressed enough that we are driving an hour tomorrow
to see the closest retailer with product
so I can purchase other colors
as well as some other products.

The Zinc Solution is a must-try for the tin ceiling in our kitchen,
and the Antique Mirror Solution looks like fun!
Oh, did I forget to mention the LACQUER SPRAY?

Someone pinch me...I think I must be dreaming! 
(I'll be honest...I sort of considered NOT sharing this w you...
so I could hoard it all for myself...but that wouldn't be very nice, would it?)

You can find Amy Howard at Home on FB, too...
be sure to tell them who sent you!