Building a beautiful life

Building a beautiful life
In a collected home

Monday, August 29, 2016

French Provincial

'noting, pertaining to, or resembling a style of furnishings and decoration originating in the provinces of France in the 18th century, derived from but less ornate than styles then current in Paris and featuring simply carved wood furniture, often with decorative curved moldings.'

On one of my three times a week trips to the Asheville Habitat Restore I spotted this the second I walked through the door.

Now, the tag said 'dresser'.

But I knew good and well this was not a dresser.  

This is a buffet.

Oh, how I have learned to flintch at the sound of that word.  I say that because if I drool over anything with the word buffet on it, I am guaranteed NOT to be able to afford it.  Where I come from, that word comes with a minimum of a $200 price tag.  Which accounts for the fact that I've only done four of these in my illustrious 2 3/4 year career.
So did I mind getting a buffet at a second hand dresser price ?
Heck.  No.
I have this theory on color when it comes to the size of a piece of furniture.  I feel like the larger the piece of furniture, the more neutral the color should be.  So on the buffet I chose Old White.

Ahhhh, the ugly stage!

The key here is not to panic.

I began by sanding the original finish off of the top of this buffet with my little orbital and 80 grit sand paper. Originally I thought I would find maple under the factory finish, but I was wrong.


We have a love/hate relationship.  
It tends to bleed through chalk paint.  I got kinda lucky on this one.  It only bled through the paint in a couple of spot.  I remedied that with some spray on shellac. 

Next, I refinished that top using Annie Sloan dark wax only.  Just get yourself a gob of the wax on a lint free cloth

And start rubbing it in like crazy. 
 The wax creates a beautiful finish that will look different on each type of wood.  I love  how it settles in to all the dings and imperfections.

Here are the results:

I am soooo pleased with this one!  

And apparently so are our neighbors.  Big Daddy was out of town when I came home with it and the sweet couple who live next door were kind enough to help me unload it from my jeep and get it in to our garage.

How about a little commotion for that top? 

Lets talk about the hardware.
I keep quite the stash of it.  
Mostly it's new knobs that I find on clearence or at a really good deal and I try to get them in sets of 6 or 8.  Most of the pulls in my stash are old ones that I've saved from salvaged or roadside finds.

These I've had for over a year.  I was just looking for a piece of furniture worthy of them.  My friend Wendy and I flew out of the neighborhood late one evening last Summer because I saw a free chest if drawers on Craigslist.  That's a good friend right there.  Anyway, the chest turned out to be a rat trap (the literal) but I saved the pulls!   The second I saw this buffet in Habitat I immediately thought the pulls were way undersized.  

Hardware is pretty tricky for these bow front pieces.  About the only pulls that will work are these bails.  I filled the original hardware holes and then Big  Daddy drilled new ones for me. 

The knobs came from Hobby Lobby for $2 each.  

I didn't go nuts with the sandpaper on this one.  I kept the distressing to a minimum.

I painted the rooster as well as the pair of lamps.  The rooster was my Mama's.  He was just about every color of the rainbow until I got ahold of him.  Now he lives in my kitchen.  

The lamps I scored off of a local Facebook yard sale page for $5 each.  Two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen and it's a whole different ball game.  I finished them off with dark wax and $10 white linen shades from Ross.  They look pretty sharp sitting on the buffet:)


Have a great week!


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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Rug Game

I have been agonizing over a rug for our living room for months.  To me an 8 x 11 rug is a big commitment.  I really just wanted to date or maybe shack up with one to make sure the relationship was going in the direction I wanted before making ANY kind of commitment.

Until I walked in to Ross for a pair of white linen lamp shades and walked out with this.


My eyes locked on that from across the store.  It was the tallest one in the rack of rugs so it immediately had my full attention.  Then I saw the colors up close and it was on.

Light gray, charcoal, 
navy and tobacco brown.  
The stuff a crazy girl's dreams are made of.
For $89 :)

So as soon as I managed to get this thing rolled out and straight ( all by myself) I moved the gray damask rug on in to our dining room.

Sometimes I do my best work when I have the house to myself!

Looks like a whole different room!

Huge rug. 
Not so huge price tag.
You gotta love that!


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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Chapel On The Lake

Almost 27 years ago I stood in an anteroom of a Gothic chapel in a long white gown watching heavy rain fall on the waters of Lake Junaluska.  It was a few days after Hurricane Hugo came ashore on the coast of a South Carolina and it was pouring rain outside.   

On my wedding day.

All I could think about as I stood very still in that cool, stone walled room was something Kate Brown had said to me a few days before.

Happy is the bride the rain falls on

And she was right.

Every Sunday since May 13th I leave my house at 6:30am and drive to my hometown in Haywood County to spend the morning with my Dad.  Most Sundays I cook lunch for my Dad and my Aunt Wanda.  Sometimes, we want pancakes and GOOD coffee so we head to Maggie Valley for breakfast.

This Sunday was that kinda morning:)
After breakfast we always take the long way back home.  That road takes us to the Gothic chapel on the lake.

This place is very special to me.  
Over the years we've been here more times than I can count.  The chapel takes on an entirely new life with each of the four Seasons. We were married in the Fall so naturally it is my favorite. 

The structure is amazing from an architectural perspective but this time of year the grounds are the real show.

Oh,  and if you are afraid of geese?

Just don't get out of your car :) 


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Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Little Bit Of Fall

I am ready for August to go 
bye bye
It's my least favorite month of the year.
The flowers are all spent, the heat and humidity are unbearable and it rains every day.
That sort of thing.  
Big Daddy has been out of town all week
so Ive had the joint to myself and I've been doing nothing but Paige Things.
Having cereal for supper
Binge watching Veronica Mars.
Ahhhh, good times :)

I've also been trolling Craigslist like a crazy woman and I'm here to tell you it has definitly been Paige's week .  I've found good, solid furniture at GREAT prices and also met some really nice folks.  My shop was once again picked clean so on my 'To Find' list almong other  things I'm always on the hunt for, like dressers, lamp bases and desks was some sort of dining table.  Right here is why you must read every single ad that is simply titled
Furniture. . . . 

For a handmade table.
I can't make this stuff up.

And a drop leaf, no less!  
That's my favorite kind of table.  They make great sofa or entry tables with the leaves down and they are really handy when you have a crowd for dinner.

This thing required very little work.  For one thing, that top was in really good shape.  All I did was rehydrate it with hemp oil.

I decided to paint the legs and apron white and then really sand it down good to highlight all of the knots and imperfections which to a nut like me makes this table just perfect.

I even got a little chippy action

Then I thought I might pretend for a bit.
Right now, I am really ready for Fall.

I walked in to my neighborhood Goodwill in the Spring and walked out with a box full of Johnson Bros brown transfer ware.  I've just been waiting to set a fall table with them.

I found these burlap acorns a couple of years ago at Michaels.  They have a little twine loop on them and I use them as napkin rings.  Between dinners I pile all of them in a wire bowl for display . 

Nice little spot for a dinner for two on a cool Fall evening.  

I'll have to remember that.


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