The China Cabinet Transformation

I’ve had this great French Provincial china cabinet sitting in the garage for awhile, just waiting for it’s transformation.  I bought it about 8 months ago at an estate sale and knew that it would fit perfectly into an inset area in the den, once that room was renovated.

Here is what the cabinet looked like when we brought it home from the estate sale.

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And here is my inspiration photo.  I have loved this painted cabinet featured in Annie Sloan’s book, “Color Recipes for Painted Furniture”, and knew that I wanted to try to duplicate the look with just the right piece.  The china cabinet fit the bill.

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And here is what she looks like after her transformation!  Not exactly like Annie’s piece, but close!

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I am loving the way it turned out!  In case you haven’t been following along, we have been completely renovating a 1970’s French Country Ranch home, room by room.  As we breathe new life into each room, we are lightening everything up with neutral colors of white and gray.

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I love adding pops of color against all the neutral background colors and blue is one of my favorite colors to do that with.  Plus it works great with the gray tones we are using on the walls. 

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The den {final reveal coming soon} is just off the kitchen and it has a small inset area next to the patio doors.  I wanted a “frenchy” style cabinet that I could display some of my French religious collectibles in.  I think this piece worked out perfectly!

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I painted the inside ASCP Aubusson Blue.  Annie used Greek Blue in her piece, but I didn’t have that color and really didn’t want to go buy any.  I painted the French buffet in the kitchen with Aubusson Blue as one of the base colors and loved how it turned out, so I went with that color on the inside of this cabinet.

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Aubusson Blue is a strong blue and since the cabinet interior will be in shadow during different times of the day, I wanted a strong color on the inside.

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The base coat on the outside is ASCP French Linen, another favorite color of mine.  It’s a gorgeous darker gray.  I ended up doing two coats of the French Linen and once it was dry, I added a coat of clear wax.

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Once the coat of clear wax was dry, I mixed up a thin wash of ASCP Paris Gray and Old White.  I thinned it with water and taking one section at a time, brushed on the the thin wash, then taking a rag, I dragged it through the paint to create a washed, dragged, and distressed effect.

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I then took a fine sanding sponge and did some light distressing to the edges.

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The top coat was a mix of clear and dark wax.  I like to mix a bit of dark wax into some of the clear wax, keeping it in a separate tub.  This mixture gives me an antiqued look without dealing with full strength dark wax, which can be hard to manipulate sometimes.

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After letting the cabinet dry for 24 hours, I buffed it with a soft towel to give it a wonderful sheen.

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It fits perfectly into the inset in the den and I love the colors.  I’m slowly getting some of the French religious pieces placed inside.  At some point, we may add interior lighting to the cabinet, but for now, we will leave it just as is!

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The den is nearing it’s end in the timewarp renovation and is just about ready for it’s final reveal.  I just need to do a little tweaking first!  The dining room will be next and we have already started on it.  It’s another room that is directly off the kitchen, so it will be nice to see that one completed.  The popcorn ceiling is already scraped and we are working on removing the avocado green flocked wallpaper!  Fun times! 

Blessings, Cindy

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A French Buffet in the Kitchen

We are coming to the end of our kitchen renovation…..thank goodness! It has taken longer than we expected but we are finally in the end stages of it all coming together and now it’s the fun part of decorating the space! Many months ago I picked up a very large French dresser at an estate sale and knew that it would be the perfect size for a large empty wall in the kitchen. It is now a gorgeous French buffet!

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When we found it , the finish was an ugly yellowy color.

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Because the kitchen is white and very neutral with white and gray cabinets, Carrara marble countertops, and white subway tile, I wanted to bring in some color with accessories and furniture.

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So out came the Annie Sloan chalk paint! I used layers of five colors beginning with a full coverage base coat of Aubusson Blue, then layered and highlighted with Provence, Duck Egg, French Linen, and Paris Gray.

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I wanted it heavily distressed so that the layers came through and I had planned on adding some gilding highlights with gold leaf wax. However, I didn’t need to. Once I started distressing, the original yellowy paint came through and against the blues gave it the gilded look I wanted.

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I finished her with clear wax and dark wax to highlight the details.
The original hardware had wonderful patina and I loved how the old ornate pulls looked against the blue.

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Topping the buffet with a gorgeous antique mirror and some of my favorite finds were the perfect finishing touch!

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A vintage cement birdbath with Spanish Moss and blue, gray, and white velvet pumpkins tie in more of the blue color and helps to usher in my favorite time of the year, Fall!

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Gilded French clocks with a religious theme and a pair of wrought iron lamps featuring the Greek symbol for Christ topped with burlap shades.

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A couple of gilded French crucifixes, old plaster sheep, a small chalice, and a pair of old tattered books by James Fenimore Cooper…….a distant ancestor of mine.

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It’s slowly coming together and hopefully we will be doing a full kitchen reveal in the next few weeks! I have just a little bit more painting to do and then it’s finished!

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We are taking a few days off from the renovation to head to the South for a few days of treasure hunting! I’m writing this post in the car (no, I’m not driving!) on my IPad so fingers crossed that it comes through ok!

Hope you like the addition of the French buffet……or as my Southern hubby likes to call it, “boo-fay”!

Eucharisteo,
Cindy

Vintage Finds

DSC_0717We just returned from a brief trip to the South and we were able to do a little treasure hunting for the shop while we were there.  We didn’t find the mother lode this time but we did bring back a few very nice pieces that will be going into the shop soon.  One of the things that I always search for is antique religious pieces and I was thrilled to find several things that fit into that category, including some gorgeous antique Gothic church altar sticks. Known as “prickets”, these are huge and heavy.  One pair is solid brass, the other pair is from the mid to late 1800’s and have the most beautiful, ornate tripod base.   They would be stunning on a mantel or sideboard.   I’m going to have a hard time letting them go!

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DSC_0759Another item that is always on my top 20 “wish list” when out picking is vintage trophies.  At one time, they were very plentiful and easy to find, and relatively inexpensive.  Interior designers using them in home decor has made them pretty scarce and the prices have gotten high.  Prices can be determined by subject matter and age and we have found that any kind of farm related trophy cups are much sought after.  We were so excited when we found two very large trophies, one for “best turkey”, and the other one was awarded at the Virginia State Fair in 1913 by the Holstein & Friesian Association.  

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DSC_0758French chairs are always on my list and I was lucky enough to come home with three beauties.  Two are cane backed and in very good shape.  The other is a lovely French arm chair with the original creamy white paint.  These three will be staying with me.  I have been looking for two more dining chairs and these cane backed chairs will be perfect as soon as I repaint them in ASCP Old White and recover the seats in antique grain sacks to match the other four that I have.  The arm chair will get recovered as well and it will be perfect for an extra chair in any room.

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DSC_0718Cherubs are something else that is always on the “search” list.  I usually can’t keep anything “cherub” in the shop so I’m constantly looking for vintage stock. Luckily we found a fantastic old salvaged piece from a wall fountain that features two precious cherubic angels.  It would be lovely hung on a garden wall or inside the home. We also found a stunning 1800’s French cherub candelabra (it is gorgeous!), and a wonderful carved wood putti that is quite large!

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DSC_0723A pair of spectacular French altar candelabras with porcelain flowers is probably the most exciting treasure that we found.  These candelabras once graced the altar of a French church in the late 1800’s. Sometime in the early 1900’s, they were made into lamps.  I think I am going to convert them back to their original state of being candelabras before we list them them in the shop, which will be very easy to do.  They are very difficult to find and I was a little shocked when I saw them sitting on a table at the estate sale.  I couldn’t get to them fast enough!  I grabbed them off the table without even looking at the price (which turned out to be very good, thank the Good Lord) and I’m glad I did because as I lifted them off the table, I heard a gentleman behind me say, “Those are what I was coming for.”  Oh well…….sorry……..well….not really!

DSC_0720We also found a wonderful old carpenter’s trunk in the original old chippy paint.  It has layers and layers of crackling paint on it, the inside is lined with cardboard and it has the most interesting old latch on the front.  And it also sports those old antique castors that I love so much!  Among the other finds were a beautiful marble French bust of a beautiful lady, a French processional flag that came from Paris, French books, a wonderful framed French print, an Italian tole chandelier with crystal prisms, a lovely blue Italian Florentine tray, and an amazing Victorian garden planter made of wire.

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DSC_0760I thought I could sell the Victorian wire planter, but I’m afraid I can’t let this one go, so she will be staying with me along with the French chairs!  Sorry, Mr. E&E, I know you hate it when I say things like that!

DSC_0764Blessings,

Cindy