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Monday, May 31, 2010

French Coffee Table Make-Over

If you're getting sick of reading about my love for Paris & French decor, come back in a few days. I promise I'll shut up soon. But if not, keep reading & I'll tell you about this little table I found at Goodwill for only $15. A perfect little piece to go with my new French sofa. (After I painted it, that is.)




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My first step was to lightly sand the entire table so that it would easily accept the paint. I wanted to paint it a distressed light grey, & it just so happens I have a few shades of grey in my garage left over from when we built the house, so I ended up using only paint that I already had, saving me even more money! I started with a couple coats of Sherwin William's Nebulous White, leftover from my laundry room.

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Next, I painted a coat of SW's Silver Strand, but it wasn't quite as grey as I wanted, so I made a "wash" with 1 part SW's Earl Grey & 2 parts water. This is what started giving it the distressed appearance.
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After a coat of that, I added the slightest hint of a light green on the corners. Then, I sanded it here & there to let some of the original stain show through.
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It turned out to be just what I needed for the piano room. This was super-easy! And because I was using a high quality paint, I didn't use a clear coat. But, I would recommend it for most paints. And here's another tip: Sherwin William's sells their sample quarts for less than $4! A project like this takes only a fraction of a quart. They will mix a sample quart in any color you want, including colors from other brands. They don't like to promote this because they say the paint is not the same quality as their high-end paints sold in the gallon (and because they want to sell you the $15 quart), but if you use a protective clear coat, it will work great. Hope this inspires you to try this!

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Sharing this project with some of these parties. Check them out!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Favorite Souvenir from Paris

Remember when I showed you this cute little (emphasis on little) shop in the fabric district in Paris? Well, I fell in love with 2 gorgeous silk damask fabrics from this place. See that blue one that my friend is cutting back there? Yes, he's cutting it right there on top of all the other bolts. There was barely enough room for a pair of scissors in there, much less a cutting table. I came home with 1 meter of the blue & 1 meter of the raspberry-colored one right beside where I'm standing.


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And they're both gorgeous...
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I must be honest, I had planned to use the blue for the pillows for my new french sofa (by the way, if you missed the big reveal, click here.), but once I saw the pink...well, how many times in your life can you pull off pink pillows on your sofa? And the girls in this house outnumber the boys 2 to 1.

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Don't worry, I have big plans for the blue as well. You knew I would.

{I'm linking to some of these Friday parties.}





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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

French Potential~The Big Reveal


I thought I'd give you a little break from the Paris vacation photos in order to bring you the big news that my French Sofa is now made-over & has found its perfect home in my Piano Room. And I just have one question for you: did you ever meet a sofa that made you want to cry? I can't express how much this sofa & I were M.F.E.O. (made for each other).
To read the fantastic story of how we met, click here.

And just to refresh your memory, here is how I found her:

And here she is today.

She came back from the upholsterer the day we left for Paris. The upholsterer did a fabulous job with everything--including all 74 tufted buttons.

If you remember, I had painted her before she left in a shade of white called Possibility. Well, Possibility turned out to be not one. At least not by itself. It needed more. So, when I got home, I went to work, painting again. This time, I used Sherwin Williams' Earl Grey. I literally used my smallest artist's brush to paint a gray wash over the white. Then, because I loved that so much, I rubbed on the tiniest hint of black here & there.


Then I sanded again, taking some areas back down to the stain.

And because I just couldn't seem to stop myself, I went wild & broke out my metallic silver spray paint, sprayed it into a cup, dipped in my brush, & highlighted a few areas with that.



And that is how I achieved the exact. look. I wanted.

Tune in soon to see how I incorporated my favorite souvenir from Paris!






I'll be linking to some of these parties. Check them out!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What I Love About Paris: Part 3~The Shopping

Of course one of the highlights of Paris was the shopping. You probably knew I'd get to this. But it wasn't always the merchandise that made it fun, but that the store fronts were so beautiful. I didn't make it to a traditional Paris Flea Market like so many of us dream of. And I've been told they're not as exciting as the American ideal of one, but I did love browsing the many different shopping venues that Paris had to offer. Here are a few of them...

A little shop where I bought my daughter a bracelet...
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The Diamond District. (I should've taken a picture of the diamonds.)
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This was a clothing store, but I loved that settee.
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This was one the few places I actually saw what Americans call the Paris Flea Market style...
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An adorable candy shop...
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Beautiful store fronts...
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Paris souvenirs...
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The artists at Montmartre...
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The Fabric District...Not as glamorous as one might expect.
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But, there were some beautiful shops with gorgeous fabrics...
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And a very cool trim shop...
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And the place where I found my favorite souvenir... I'll tell you all about it soon!
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And of course, a roadside find in Paris...No, I didn't try to bring it home!
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Monday, May 24, 2010

What I Love About Paris: Part 2~The Art & Architecture

Paris is every bit as romantic & beautiful as you've heard that it is. And even if you don't know a lot about different styles of architecture (like myself), the grand & glorious buildings & all their details will leave you speechless.

Here is just a little taste.


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The Louvre...
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Notre Dame
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I love the sign for this ice cream shop...Gorgeous!
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The Sacré Coeur
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Can't get enough of the Eiffel Tower... Hard to believe that most Parisians hated it when it was first being constructed because they felt it was an eyesore among the beautiful architecture. I think it's just perfect.
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