DIY

Oak Mantel Makeover

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

We have some great friends named Tony and Mia, and our girls go to kindergarten together.  Mia is a busy mother of three who runs her own salon four days a week.   By the time she gets home from work, the last thing she wants to do is start a home improvement project.

What I love about Tony and Mia’s home is that every time you visit, you feel the warmth within, from the spice colors on the walls, to the rich and rustic wood pieces, to their doggie wagging her tail to greet you.  Their house definitely feels like a ‘Home Sweet Home’ and that’s why we love to visit.

So when I was in her family room the other day, Mia asked me what to do with her oak fireplace surround.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted to replace it or stain it, but she knew she didn’t care for the natural oak finish.  The wood’s tone clashed with her dark wood floors and furniture, but overall it had really classic lines and was in great shape.

As I leaned in, I could swear I heard the mantel whisper, “Paint me, I beg you.”  So I recommended we paint it white to coordinate with the trim and lighten up the wall.  Plus, a white fireplace mantel is simply timeless.  So in less than four hours, I gave her fireplace wall a fresh new look with just some primer, paint, and accessories.

Here’s Mia’s Before:

mia before

Here’s Mia’s After:

fireplace after from right

Splendid, right ?

The difference is all in the details !

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Going for Gold

Friday, May 14th, 2010

When it comes to decorating my own home, I’ve always been a traditional gal.  I adore French style, but despite my affection, I wasn’t really into decorating with gold.  I believe my objections can be traced back to all those bright brass fixtures the late 80s and 90s – they made me fearful to ever go golden again.     

But I eventually got over my phobia and I realized that gold is truly timeless !  You can see from my latest attempt at displaying art in our living room that I’ve come all the way around on my anti-gold stance. 

cg art and vase

 

This experiment began with the new wainscoting, and my desire for a gallery wall having seen so many of them in magazines and around blog land.  Of the few pieces of fine art we’ve collected over the years, all of them had been framed in gold.  It was not my decision, rather it was the original artist’s choice.   But instead of painting the frames, or paying a hefty sum to reframe all the art, I decided just to roll with it. 

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Easy and Elegant Craft: Jeweled Stemware

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

You knew I was going there.  You knew when I spied those jeweled wineglasses at Chateau St. Jean winery last weekend that I would be forced, literally forced, to recreate the look for less.  Just cause it’s in my DNA. 

cg jeweled stemware

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