I’ve written about inspiration before, and for good reason. Paul and I know that inspiration can come from anywhere so it’s important to keep your eyes open.
A few weeks ago, during one of our Chalk Paint® 101: The Basics workshops, a participant named Barb added a little too much water to her 2nd paint color on the two-color wet distress. She was looking at it and feeling a little disappointed that it didn’t look like the finish created by another participant who used the same color combination. Paul however, was really taken with the finish.
Iconic graphic designer Milton Glaser said “There are three responses to a piece of design: yes, no, and wow. Wow is the one to aim for.”
For the past year or more, Paul and I have been leaning more towards bolder, more modern designs for our furniture. One reason for this is because our style has changed.
For me, Coastal Cottage has been replaced by clean Mid-Century design. Paul has moved from Art Deco to a fondness for bright color and a mix of old and new.
This week we finished a new piece and it’s generating a lot of questions…What paint color is that? How did you do the copper? What was it finished with?
So, in today’s post we’ll break it down for you and explain just how we created this look.
Just like the Paisley Piece, this buffet was something Paul and I have had for a very long time. In fact, when we purchased it, we didn’t have any immediate finishing plan (and it was too large to fit easily down the stairs into our studio space), so we decided to use it in our own dining room until we felt inspired.
We’ve owned this vintage vanity for quite some time.
We've had it in the store for a few months and while everything around it came and went, this vanity was still there.
Don’t get me wrong, it received a lot of love. Customers in the shop would look at it and love on it…but there it sat.
We sell on an upscale online shopping site and this vanity had an unprecedented number of followers…but there it sat.
It was over three years ago.
I know it was in the early days of our business.
In those days we were buying furniture with wild abandon. Looking back, I realize that was a smart move because as the business has grown, we’ve had less and less time to shop.
Anyway, one of the first pieces we ever purchased was a small vintage server that we both thought had a slightly Asian vibe. We added it to our warehouse inventory, assigned it an item number, and next to the number, we wrote “Small Asian Server.”
A few weeks ago our customer Peggy stopped by to discuss a console table that she wanted to have painted. She loved a table that Ethan Allen offered but it was crazy expensive. So she searched the internet and found the exact same Ethan Allen console table on eBay at a much lower price. The only problem - it was in a natural wood finish and not the distressed white finish that she loved.
Replicating another finish is actually very difficult but it was a fun challenge for us and Peggy was enormously pleased with the result and sent us these pics from the table in it's new place in her home. Enjoy! (we've also included a photo of the original Ethan Allen piece)
Customers come into our store every day because they have an outdated kitchen. They want to freshen it up and they know that the best product to use is Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.
The vast majority of cabinets that people are stuck with and want to paint are those builder’s grade oak cabinets with the recessed panel. Occasionally there are old pine cabinets and on very rare occasions, we see the type of cabinets that Jen has…
There were a lot of bad design crimes happening in the ‘80’s but these cabinets are one of the most heinous. Almond laminate cabinets and all that wood trim, it makes for way too much ‘visual clutter.’
So, Jen had a great solution. Since the wood trim is really the problem and she wasn’t excited about painting the laminate, she decided just to paint the wood trim and the frames.
So Jen and Mike dropped by the shop, picked up a can of Country Grey Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan and some Clear Soft Wax and they were on their way.
Jen explained that she thought this would be a nice solution that wasn’t too costly or time consuming. She was right and her kitchen turned out great. The Country Grey Chalk Paint® makes for a much more subtle contrast in a much more modern color.
It looks so much brighter and cheerier...and look at how cute she has it decorated! Jen changed out the drawer pulls and she even whipped up those cute curtains!
So, what’s the moral of this story?
Don’t be afraid to make a change, even if it’s a small one.
Home is the most important place on earth and you shouldn’t have to live with something that doesn’t inspire you.
Johanna and Paul
We're Paul and Johanna and we write about our life in the furniture business. The things we love, the places we go, and the treasures we find along the way.