Hello and happy Monday to you! It’s the last big week before the holidays, so I bet lots of you are running around trying to get everything prepared in time. Hopefully you are allowing yourself some blog reading breaks. :) I have something very inspirational to share with you today that came from one of my lovely readers who told me recently about Atelier Charivari, which is a blog but also a shop in Rouen, France that specializes in making old furniture new again and she right, I love the work of owner Soizic Menut! Wow! I feel really inspired seeing how he brought back to life pieces that would have otherwise been passed by at a yard sale, flea market or second hand shop — but when you have a good eye and can see the potential, and if you have the knack and patience for restoring things, then you can do anything.
The thing to really look for when you find old furniture is quality — I don’t mean surface scratches or even small dents or missing hardware — that is not a problem. Most of the time, it’s the dents and scratches that add charm but if charm isn’t what you are looking for, you can sand the item down and paint it to look new. What you have to look for, above everything else, is first do you like it (of course) but next, it needs to have good bones — it must be sturdy and made well. Here is a very helpful article that may help you when it comes to choosing quality wood furniture, How to Check Wood Furniture for Quality.
This above is exactly the dream cabinet that I am on the prowl for, I want this cabinet so badly because it has four doors and shelving inside so that I can store all of my fun crafty things in — I could get organized and finally empty my boxes — the ones that have been packed since June 2009. Oh yes, gulp is right! I wish they had another or that I could find something just like it and soon — because I want to get my work room finished so badly it really hurts at this point. You know that feeling?
Metal lockers, metal tables with exposed rivets, wood tables with metal tops, metal bookcases with wood shelves, these are all quite the rage currently, have you noticed? I love this look shown above – mixing metal lockers with old painted furniture. My husband has a wood locker with a metal base and hardware, all in black, where he stores his photo equipment in his office and I love it. It’s my favorite piece in his office in addition to the gorgeous old bookcase he picked up in Berlin that looks exactly like this (only his has ball feet) and the outside is black with a cream interior.
Another tip, when you paint a piece of furniture use the best paint that you can afford. Farrow & Ball is a personal favorite of mine. If you like what you see in these photos, choosing a color from this palette would help you to re-create the look on your own piece of furniture in one day or less!
I love Atelier Charivari and hope you do too! If you are interested in ordering from them and live in mainland Europe, you may contact them if you see something on their blog that you are interested in purchasing.
(images: atelier charivari)
I’m signing off for the weekend, lots to do and plan, but I’ll meet you back here again on Monday. I hope that you enjoyed your week visiting decor8, and that you go into your weekend feeling inspired and ready to work on those projects, decorate, clean, brainstorm, and whatever else busy little you plans to do! This time of year always makes me think about how thankful I am for my family, my friends, this community, the love, the energy, the support and how grateful I am to have my health and a nice apartment that took me a year of pounding the pavement to find. I feel so safe, at home and cozy here. And though I am still blogging from my coffee table until my desk arrives, I feel thankful.
Inspiration from Lonny Magazine
To leave you with a dose of positivity, I was researching quotes the other day, and I took my work to Twitter and asked what quote was a favorite and I’ve selected below a few of my favorites. I put them together to resemble those little papers you receive in fortune cookies. I’d love to know what is YOUR favorite motivational quote? What thought sometimes gets you through the day?
I wish you a wonderful weekend, I have many projects coming up for 2011 that I need to start planning, so most of my weekend will be dedicated to that though I’m definitely going to hit some more weihnachtsmarkts here in Germany — I plan to take the train to Oldenburg tomorrow to hit one there and HEMA, of course, and Sunday there is a party in the house where I live, I can’t wait to go upstairs and mingle with my new neighbors and enjoy some of their Danish goodies that they will make. Cheers!
Psst: Have you see the December issue of Lonny? It’s real nice.
Before I sign off for the week I must share the charming work of British textile and pattern designer Ellen Calvert who just wrote to me a few minutes ago to talk about her handmade things. I like her work so much that it simply can’t wait until Monday — I must share a glimpse now! These up-cycled home items are part of a limited edition collection and were created using both new and recycled products rejuvenated using several techniques such as screen print, embroidery and hand knitting. I like how familiar these things feel yet also how fresh!
I love her reclaimed 1930s school chairs. They are powder-coated and using her hand-knitted fabric, freshly upholstered so the chair is brought into the modern world though the frame still gives away its age. The fabric on the chair seats is made using quality British wool that is very sturdy and then printed and embroidered on top with original patterns designed by Ellen. She also creates complimentary hand-knitted cushions that you can see above, I simply can’t stop looking at them because I want to own them all! Each pillow has her knitted fabric on front and then the back is vintage cross-stitched table linens. Clever use of materials!
Aren’t these things lovely? You can find out more on Ellen’s website here.
(images: ellen calvert)
Pantone is THE global color authority for the fashion and home industry so I shared their Spring 2011 color forecast with Real Simple readers today (view it here) because I was so inspired by the palette. Here is a pretty little presentation that I’ve put together for you to view these colors — maybe as you look at them you can think of which ones you’d like to try in a room scheme…
Over at Real Simple, I also shared a few things in my home since it seems that rather unknowingly, I had a feeling for pink before it was predicted to be the color of the year. I guess when you work with interiors and are around products long enough, you just start to get a feel for things, don’t you? You must find this true of yourself, blogging and the internet makes us all feel pretty tuned in to what’s going on out there.
Did you know that Pantone has a gorgeous PDF to download each year that is filled with color inspiration for the season to come, from some of today’s top fashion designers? Oh yes. I’ve been downloading it for years. In it, you’ll read various expert opinions from a panel of fashion designers who talk about what inspired their color choices and overall collection and which ones they believe will work well together in your closet (my favorite part) — though you can also try the same suggestions in your living room.
Here are some colors that I think work together from the 10 shown above:
- For a mid century modern enthusiast: Mix Coral Rose, Russet and Beeswax.
- For a modern, contemporary home that is also warm: Mix Color Rose, Russet and Regatta.
- For a fresh Moroccan vibe: Regatta and Blue Curacao all the way! Add Silver Cloud, too.
- For a little cool sophistication try: Regatta, Blue Curacao, Lavender and Silver Cloud.
- For some spice why not go with: Coral Rose, Honeysuckle, Russet and Beeswax.
See a favorite or two? What colors do you see working well together in a room?
Looking for a few last minute presents? Leslie can help you! She has put together 12 holiday gift giving ideas for you. Care to see her finds? Of course you do!
Hello, it is Leslie here with a few favorites I have seen around online that may brighten your day. 1. A DIY snake kit by Banquet to block any door drafts. The colors are fantastic, the paints and everything else you need are included. 2. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is a gorgeous and very original cookbook that focuses on vegetables. I love cooking from this book! 3. The Dorm by Ferm Living is a fun piece to hang on your wall and display some of your little treasures. It appears to be out of stock on their website however, there is a store locator where you could see if a shop near you has it. I adore mine and am thinking about personalizing it a little with paint and paper. 4. Fun and very inexpensive tea from Pearl River that comes in some lovely tins. You can imagine some of these tins displayed on an open shelf in your kitchen or as handy containers for pencils or flowers on your desk. 5. A more extravagant but very functional and elegant mug from Royal Copenhagen. The silicone type base wrap protects you from the heat and it comes in an array of colors. 6. Baggu bags have saved me many times, for groceries, the beach, or as a extra shopping bag when I travel. A friend uses them as gift bags, you could get some red ones and add a striped ribbon –half the present would be the wrapping!
7. Geninne’s fresh and very pretty line of stationary for Gallison. There are lots of pretty gifts in the line for you to choose from. 8. Back to basics address file for your desk. A great gift to spruce up any office with some letterpress address cards. 9. Lovely crochet butterflies for a little ones wall. This is the sweetest idea and I like the pale wood frames. 10. Stunning and beautifully crafted earrings by Emma Cassi for Anthropologie. 11. A very useful J. Crew jewelry pouch for travel and safe storage of your pretty things. I received a similar one as a gift and have been using it for years. 12. A “Snow House” print of a watercolor painting by Anna Emilia for someone special.
What have you found this season to give to others? What is on your wish list? Care to share?
(images linked to their sources above.)