Celebrate Spring with a Chalkboard Vase

15 Apr

I love flowers. In the Spring and Summer I pick them in our yard, and in the winter and fall I buy $6 bouquets from our local grocery store.

For a beautiful Easter centerpiece, a Mother’s Day present, or a fun surprise gift for a friend, create a chalkboard vase.

1. Buy some chalkboard paint.

2. Choose your container: a glass Mason jar, empty wine bottle, or even a bucket.

3. Clean the inside and outside throughly.

4. Paint. Depending on the look you’re wanting you can choose to paint the outside or the inside of the container. You will probably need two coats for perfect coverage. (If you plan to write on the chalkboard paint, be sure to choose the outside of the container for your paint!)

5. Write your message-and enjoy!

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Spring Cleaning Lists and How To Clean Painted Walls and Furniture

8 Apr

Warm spring breezes are finally arriving, and many people are doing some cleaning and organizing around the house.

Lately, I’ve really been struggling to keep my children’s clothes organized. Or even just in their drawers! They were constantly spilling out. When I shared this with a friend she responded: “I find the less stuff I have, the less I need to do to care for it.” It was great advice.  I gave away all the clothes they had outgrown, or never wore and now their clothes fit easily into their dresser.

So consider doing a throw away/give away culling of your home this month- and enjoy less “stuff” to take care of.

Cleaning bucket

For the things you keep- I found two great lists of spring cleaning chores to guide your cleaning.

www.idreamofclean.net
www.rightathome.com

For cleaning painted walls or furniture:
1. Wipe off dust and dirt with a clean, damp rag.
2.Use a non-abrasive cleaner diluted in warm water to wipe off stubborn dirt and germs.
3. Keep a toothbrush and a few q-tips handy for getting into the crevices of furniture.

What are your best spring cleaning tips?

Have You Visited Houzz?

1 Apr

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the site houzz.com and it’s so fun, I almost wish she hadn’t! It’s a well designed site dedicated to interior and exterior home ideas. Oh the photos! The beauty, the ideas! (This is not a paid advertisement, I just really like the site.)

I did a quick search for “primitive decorating ideas” and got ten pages of photos to browse through. And when I like one, I can save it to an idea book that I can look through later.  You can flip through the photos I liked in the slideshow below.


 

 

One of the things about primitive decorating that I love is the sense of timelessness and the peace that I have when I am in these spaces. There is a lack of clutter and distraction, an absence of excess technology and unneeded items. Do you have that same feeling when you interact with these spaces?

I hope you enjoy houzz.com, feel free to share some of your favorite photos with us!

Stenciled Floor?

25 Mar

Floor stenciling? If you’re a history buff, or primitive decorating expert, you probably already know about floor stenciling. Let’s take a five sentence look at the origins of this in North America, and then see how you might use it in your home.

Early American settlers added beauty (without much expense) to their homes by stenciling patterns on their floors.  This started in the 1780′s and lasted into the nineteenth century.  Some of the patterns were painted to resembled rugs or floor cloths, others were geometric, birds, plants or American symbols.  The stenciling work was mostly done by itinerant artists, the most famous of whom is Moses Eaton and his son, Moses Eaton, Jr.

If you’d like to add a colonial or primitive touch to your home, floor stenciling is a fun way to do it!

There are many different stencil companies that sell stencils reminiscent of this period.

This floor cloth pattern is from yankeestencil.com

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This floral pattern pictured below was originally in a tavern in Sudbary, Massachusetts circa 1790.  You can find it, and other colonial and primitive patterns at www.farmhouse-primitives.com

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There is a wide variety of beautiful Moses Eaton floor stencil patterns on www.MBHistoricDecor.com

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There are so many ways to make your home your own- I’ll leave you with this photo of a colonial style room with a painted rug in front of the fireplace.

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Have you tried floor stenciling? We’d love to see a photo and hear about your process!

Bathroom Redo: From Coastal to Primitive

18 Mar

Meet Natalie.  She’s agreed to let me follow her bathroom redo.  (Her husband Rob is pictured with her as well.)  They constructed a new home in 1998 in North Carolina. Her home is decorated in neutral colors, with primitive decorating touches, all except for the upstairs guest bathroom.  The bathroom was decorated with seashell wallpaper and coral accents, and Natalie wants to redo the room to flow more naturally with the rest of her decorating style.

She’s painstakingly removed the wallpaper, and now her walls are white and ready for paint. She doesn’t have it in the budget to replace the blue countertop, so she’s looking for paint colors that will work with the countertops too.

Natalie

Natalie

Bathroom before pic.

Bathroom before pic.

So, she’s decided to paint her cabinets a deep brown (Philadelphia Brownstone) to contrast with the blue, and the walls a neutral, antique white (Steeple White.) I’ve included color cards for you to see, both colors she’s going to use are at the top right of the card. How nice!

I can’t wait to see this bathroom transformed with some paint.  I’ll post update photos as soon as I can. Is anyone else planning a room redo in their home now that Spring is almost here? Show us your before pictures and tell us what you’re planning to do!

Steeple White

Steeple White

Philadelphia Brownstone

Philadelphia Brownstone

A Match Made in Heaven

11 Mar

Kathy had dreamed of owning a store since she was a little girl. She remembers playing “store” in a cardboard box with holes cut out for windows and a door.

Chuck was always building things, and excelled in drafting and shop class in high school.  They met and married and when he built a beautiful shelf for their home- they started down a road that eventually ended in the opening of their own shop “Country Cupboard”. Located in Ligonier, Pennsylvania they’ve been serving customers for 12 years.

Chuck builds primitive/country style furniture made from solid premium pine, stained, painted, distressed and finished with a hand-rubbed wax.  Besides Chuck’s furniture, Kathy also stocks the shop with homemade nut rolls, cold Red Ribbon Soda Pop, and other fun country decorating items.

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Kathy behind the counter at Country Cupboard.

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Antique pieces add character and serve as display space at the shop. Cute!


Here’s a quick interview I did with Kathy. Enjoy!

5 Foot Farm Table

5 Foot Harvest Table

What’s one of the most popular items you sell at your store? Our Harvest Table.  Using 5/4 boards for the top and square nails, these tables can be made in different sizes up to 7 feet.  Tables are a great gathering place to create memories for years to come.

 Why did you choose to use Old Village Paints on your furniture?  We wanted a paint that reminded us of colors from the past but it also had to be a quality paint.  A local store, at that time, carried the Old Village Paint.  I remember the first color we bought was Village Tavern Blue.  After our first purchase of OVP we never used any other paint as you cannot beat the quality or colors that hold true to colors of the past.  

You can visit The Country Cupboard online here. Thanks Kathy and Chuck for spending some time with us!

New England Country Style

4 Mar

Roger S. Wright Furniture Ltd. is a furniture builder and country home shop located in Central Bucks County Pennsylvania.

They handcraft pine furniture at their shop, focusing on a New England country style. Look at some of their amazing creations!50921090

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Besides making custom furniture and reproductions, they have a beautiful shop filled with unique items for the country home.

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Including: chandeliers, pewter kitchen accessories, wicker baskets, colonial style lighting, yellow and red ware pottery, table runners, jams, jellies, syrups, soup mixes, candles, potpourri, pillows, place mats, tin ware, hand rugs, custom tables, hand made Windsor chairs, shaker style tables, braided rugs, old village paints, colonial paints, historic colors, country curtains, shaker beds, poster beds, custom kitchen islands.

Whew! Sounds like you could get lost in there!

How do we know about Roger S. Wright furniture? They use our paints for their furniture, and sell them at their shop.  We’re so honored that they have chosen us to grace their beautiful handmade furniture.

Here’s a tiny peek into their furniture making process.

“We produce sturdy pine and cherry wood furniture, reinforced with poplar where extra strength is required. Choose from past centuries’ favorites, or bring us your own custom-made design specifications! Every piece is made from start to finish by a single craftsman, and then finished by a specialist. Each is hand-planed with antique hand planes.

All moldings are handmadeand most drawers are dove tailed. When combined with our center-tracked drawers, the result is smooth and efficient pullouts. Backs and bottoms are strengthened by the use of solid pine. Our finishing process is elaborate featuring a six-step process.

The top three coatings are moisture and alcohol resistant lacquer. Between coatings, every piece is hand-rubbed for elegance. We offer the choice of four stain finishes or six crackle paint colors. Interiors are painted with Stulb’s Old Village paints.”

Visit their shop online at: rswfurniture.com

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