Sunday, January 15, 2012

Office Update with Paris Map on a Budget

I have been working on staging the office off the entryway.  I have a wall that I really don't want to put furniture on the map wall, but I didn't like a blank wall.  My solution was a $69 map.   It is a map designed by Turgot in 1739--so it is pre Hausmann.

It comes in 25 pieces that you have to tape together.  I've read on the internet how to print them out and trim them--but for $69, this seems like quite a deal.  You can read about it on Pigtown Design's blog, and even download the map.

The detail is quite nice.  It is nostalgic for me as we went to Paris quite a bit when my husband was working.  I think he was there every other month, although my daughter and I would join him once a year.   When my nephew was 12, he went with us.  He would scare me by standing too close to the trains.  We still giggle about him sawing his pizza in a Louvre restaurant with a plastic knife.  He wore out the blade, so we finally let him pick it up and eat it with his fingers (much to the amusement of the french lady at the next table).  What fun we had!

Back to the subject at hand....

Some of my other projects in the office were:  covering books with script paper, and I got some moss balls which looks great with the pale green walls of the office.   Confessions of a plate addict  wrote about some great deals on moss balls from the dollar store.  Alas, none in my town.

Moss ball is sitting in a lovely old piece of Moore Bros porcelain.  It is from the 1870's.  Moore is very distinctive because the porcelain is very fine, and (fragile) tends to have cherubs with some kind of fauna/flora.  Cactus are the most common, but I have one with hydrangeas.

The office is off the entryway, and we had a second office in the basement.   This really didn't look like a functional office, but a great collection of antiques.   The downstairs room need the modular furniture removed so we could strip the wallpaper.   Below is a "before" photo.
Office "Before" the great furniture move

Office "After" the big move

Moving the modular office furniture took a day.   We had to unload it and figure out how to get these units up the stairs.   Unfortunately, we spent quite a bit getting nice, solid cherry.   Being married to an accountant and being a computerholic myself, purchasing modular furniture seemed like a great idea years ago.  It really is very functional, but not my first choice in decorating.  The great part is you can have it installed without a carpenter moving in, building a custom library.  THAT would have been my first choice.  Wouldn't this look great as a built in library?  Oh wait, that's what the owners had in here when we bought the place...except it was a complete nightmare with amateur cabinets.   We tore it all out in 1985......  My husband says someday the house will look just like it did when we purchased it.  (Except I don't think I'll ever own the fabulous Astor breakfront that was sitting in the dining room!)     I didn't put all of the modular furniture in the new office.  I had desks all across the window, but decided I like to walk to the window, and other people might like that too.

I've added a center table, which is actually quite handy in addition to looking good.   There is a swedish mirror to the right, which I wrote about here in November.   I have an oil painting next to it, but I'm not really happy with it there.  I feel like I want a set of 4 prints next to it--I just need to find the right prints.   (That will be my next mission.)

There is a second door-to the right that goes to the kitchen (and garage, and staircase)
Almost all of the accessories came from estate sales, with the exception of the mirror and a chair, which came from an antique shop and show, respectively.  Below is a bronze camel lamp with some green antiquing or patina.  That was $45.  I added the riser and linen shade.  The shade was probably that much.

Estate sale lamp
The drapes in the room are my favorite, even though they are years old.  They are done in a chintz fabric by Mario Buatta.  I wish I could still get this fabric.
Mario Buatta chintz fabric drapes and
an estate sale staffordshire cottage $150, and fancy bracket $65
For some reason, I love portraits.  I don't know why.  Instant relatives?   Someday I'll share my favorites.  I notice that portraits of women and children are more expensive than men.  Ugly people don't cost as much either, hee hee.
Estate sale painting $300 is a copy of a famous painting.  The face is nicely done, but look at those
spider hands!  The hands always give it away! I suppose I should have that hole repaired...
This edwardian chair was found at an antique show.  The needlepoint above it is one I made.
The chair was expensive, I can't remember how much, maybe $4-500?
I love painted and inlaid furniture.  This chair is 1900-1920.  That ribbon with swagged flowers,
who can resist?
The needlepoint is a copy of an antique beaded piece I didn't win on Ebay in 2003.
I thought it was an interesting subject, so I decided to do it myself.  I used an interlocking mesh canvas, 12 stitches per inch, with Appleton wool.  My favorite wool, a great value compared to all the fancy yarns available today.  The frame was from an estate sale $65.  I didn't put glass on it, because I don't like the glare.  

This is the original photo that I copied.  The entire piece was done in beaded needlepoint.
Wish I'd bid higher.  The piece was from Germany.
Victorian needlepoint chair.  I love the color and thought it was an interesting design--not to typical.  It came out of an estate sale less than a mile from my house.   It was $250, and I complained that I overpaid.  It's very sturdy and comfortable as a blogging chair!
I hope you've enjoyed my office redo.  The very pale celery green wall paint is Sherwin Williams 6414 Rice Paddy. I'd strongly advise you to do samples.  That was my third color.  We live in the NW where it is cloudy and dark every day, so color is important.  This shade really is quite lovely, even Mr. Antiquestyle loves it.  The room faces north and needs lights on most of the time.  The color couldn't be better!  I don't say that too often! 

The estate sale items were "shopped" from other rooms in the house.  If it had a hint of celery green, it came to the office. I should go to more estate sales, but with the price of gas, and horrible traffic, I've been preferring Ebay.  I hope I've encouraged you to do some antiquing to add something interesting to your rooms.

Now I'm off, I have wallpaper to strip out of the old office!
OMG, isn't this scary!  I've loved my red office, but it's been about 20 years.   I hunted for photos and  this was the only pictures I could find of the old office. The glass went  to auction, we had too much and lost interest in it.  One of these days I'll have to do a post on displaying a collection!

Wish me luck.  Dif wallpaper remover is my best friend.  Our realtor should be happier with both rooms.  Have a great week and .... Happy Antiquing!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Updating the Bedroom - Antique Textile & New Quilt!

It's been a few weeks since I've last posted.  Most of the decorations are put away, and I'm thinking about other things.  When you grow roses, there are several hundred that have my name on them...calling to  be pruned back.  The weather in the NW is not cooperating, so I've turned my attention indoors.

So I'm continuing to work on updating the Washington house.   The paint redo last month in the kitchen is growing on me a bit, but I'd still like it a darker color to complement the counters.   The office is almost done, but this weekend I did a quick fix in our bedroom with new bedding.  I got to thinking-- I purchased the bedding for an apt. in Philly in 2004!  How time flies. I think it's time to splurge for something new.

 I hunted around for old photos of our bedroom, pre "moving all the clutter out", and found this:
Excuse the sloppy made bed--must be the lousy maid service...
the towel on the bed is for  our cat who liked to sleep on towels.
We moved the highboy out of the room as it "takes up valuable visual space" (per stager, house is for sale).   Post-stager, the room looked like this:

How did I miss the messed up dust ruffle?   

We kept all the seafoam bedding.   The bedding is lumpy because of those down comforters--it really looks too sloppy.

Added a new white quilt.   I'm liking the fresh look, and introduction of a neutral.  There was too much  color before--the walls, dust ruffle, drapes....Should I replace the dust ruffle with a neutral check? Hmm.
I also removed the lumpy comforter.  I remember Bunny Williams wrote about using something that is heavy enough to make a nice smooth bed.   She's definitely right on that one.   I like to use antique matelasse or  trapunto coverlets, but king sizes are hard to come by, so this one works.  I really wanted to make this room seem more spa-like, and not scare anyone who is looking at the house.    It looks inviting to me!

(So what to do with the pile of "dead" lumpy down comforters in the attic?   I wash old down pillows in my washing machine & dryer, and then cut them to size for comfy throw pillows for the sofa. )

I have 3 rows of pillow, plus a lovely aubusson "snake" pillow.
The "snake" pillow.

The aubusson pillow is a reproduction.   Antique textiles are wonderful, but they are expensive and fragile.  Using a reproduction is perfect for my needs.   The antique here is the framed embroidery fragment over the bed. I swapped it out for the oil painting that was more of the same color as the walls.   This fragment has the perfect antique patina the room needed.
French metallic embroidery fragment
This is one of my favorite pieces of embroidery.  I framed it in a period frame, mounted on silk.   I suspect this was on the back of a chair at one point.  As with all silk, it is fragile and has splits in it.   It is really tough to use for pillows given the fragile condition.

You can tell I'm nuts about antique textiles.  I have two over the nightstands that have to go now.  Maybe I'll move the bigger one on the right to be over the bed.  I'll share the closeup of that one soon.  I should move those now that the room has been "emptied".  There's always tomorrow.