Decorating with Wood Antiques

November 17th, 2011

Have you ever wondered how to decorate with those antiques you’ve inherited?  Those precious pieces beloved by a grandmother or aunt that have been in the family for decades and now belong to you? It’s a question I received last month from a reader and one many people have struggled with. 

Today Courtney from Courtney Out Loud is back with his monthly contribution and the topic of the day is decorating with wood antiques, specifically those vintage pieces handed down from previous generations. Please welcome back Courtney and his artful analysis on how to decorate with antique wood furniture:

“Mixing antique and modern furniture styles helps create an individualized and multilayered room that reflects the owner’s unique taste and personality. However, many people adhere to one specific style when decorating their homes. This approach is great if you are truly passionate about a particular era or genre of design, however, for the majority of homeowners they tend to be at a loss when they happen to inherit a family heirloom. How do you incorporate it into your home’s personality and style?  Case in point, Kate received this email from a reader seeking help:  

    "My mom has a vintage buffet that I convinced her to hang onto. I want to use it in my home, but how do you incorporate vintage pieces with your regular decor, without making it feel like grandma’s house?"

Great question! Exactly how do you incorporate vintage and antique furniture into your home without having it feel too dated ?  Don’t fret because it’s as easy as following one of these six simple rules.

1) Determine Your Design Focus  A room filled with nothing but antiques can quickly make your home feel dated and more like a museum.  Unless you are purposefully going for a "boho" look, then you need to decide the primary style of your space – modern, traditional, contemporary – whatever it may be. Making the decision on what style will dominate the room will allow you to make conscious choices on what types of antiques will work with your aesthetic.  You can then begin to layer in vintage and antique pieces that suit your particular design focus and also add character.

scot mecham wood

Scot Mecham Wood 

Judith Balis

Judith Balis via HGTV

The two rooms above are perfect examples of how to choose a design focus yet still incorporate antiques and vintage pieces seamless into a room without overpowering the space.  The antiques are combined with more modern pieces to achieve a balanced “collected over time” look. 

      

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My 25 Essential DIY Tools

November 16th, 2011

Today I was at my local True Value Hardware in search of a new Shop Vac. Our old one was going on eight years and suddenly died on me last weekend for no obvious reason and mid clean up job.  No matter what we tried to do to fix it (cleaning the motor, checking the circuits), nothing brought it back to life.  So today, in the back of my car sits a brand new Shop Vac and tomorrow I have a date with my sawdust covered garage floor.  

On my way home I remembered every year I write about DIY tools I consider essential and what better time than before the holiday rush to revisit the topic. Some of you new DIYers may be thinking of adding a few tools to your toolbox, so here’s a list of twenty-five I consider essential. This list is not exhaustive since it’s limited to only twenty-five, but these are my personal favorites and the tools I’ve found myself using the most over the past year.     

#1: Cordless Drill/Driver & Drill Bit Set

dewalt combo I have a 12 Volt DeWalt, but recently just acquired an 18 Volt Black & Decker with more torque.  I use my power screwdriver just about every week for everything from removing seat cushions to assembling furniture to drilling pilot holes with drill bits.

 

#2 and #3: Measuring Tape and Level 

Essential for everything you build or install in your home like molding, trim, or wainscoting.  Look for mini versions too at your home improvement store for smaller projects like hanging artwork on the wall.  

   

#4 and #5: Set of Phillips + Flat head screwdrivers & set of non-slip pliers.

Basic screwdrivers are a must have, but you can also buy an all in one. Three kinds of pliers (needle nose, side cutting, tongue and groove and/or flat head) come in handy for removing nails, staples, and upholstery tacks, among other basic DIY household tasks.  

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