Thursday, April 21, 2016

vintage lamps and side tables

Recently, I was able to redo some thrifted finds for our living room. I love how they turned out and what they add to our space. It's a huge feat for me to complete any sort of project these days, so that makes this one all the more sweeter.

I found two vintage Ethan Allen side tables which I bought for a total of $25 dollars. Then, I found two vintage metal lamp bases for a total of $20. They were in great need of some care but I loved the size, shape and prices of all these pieces. I knew I could figure out something that would work. I had great success with some products by Amy Howard which I was able to get at CAPPEL'S ACE HARDWARE in West Des Moines.

Here's how the pieces came together...

The tables looked like this before...

The lamps looked like this...

For the tables I went with Amy Howard's One Step Paint in "Ballet White". This is a specialty paint very similar to Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint. No stripping, sanding or priming is required and it has that "chalky" look and feel to it. It was great to work with. Coverage was excellent. I brushed on my usual two coats and then sealed it with Amy Howard's Clear Wax. Glad to find another paint option to work with and her color line is just beautiful. Definitely plan to try some new colors with this line of paint.

I got a recommendation to try Amy Howard's High Performance Furniture Lacquer (a.k.a- spray paint) for my lamps when I was looking for helpful suggestions on Instagram. This spray paint is awesome! I went with "Golden Egg" which is one of her metallic options (several other color options are available). I love the color and the quality of this paint... great new product for me to be able to work with.

Now for my DIY friends, I have a few lamp spray painting tips for you: 

1. Clean your lamp off thoroughly (I just use a little bit of Dawn soap and water).
2. Prep your lamp for being sprayed with paint...

tape off a portion of the cord and then put the rest of the cord in a plastic bag:

then I just tuck a paper towel over the light socket...

3. Prime. This is what I like to use...

4. Spray paint. When priming and spraying the paint here's some recommendations...
 ~have your lamp set up where you can circle around it as your spray
~follow directions on the can for shaking/mixing
~I spray in straight lines going up. Start at the bottom of the lamp and go all the way to the top in one smooth spray. Then slide over a little and start the next smooth line of spray paint going from bottom to top again. Work your way around the lamp in this way. (my husband taught me that trick and it is a great one. you can easily avoid drips doing it that way).
~Light coats and keep moving (I did two coats of the "Golden Egg".
~Allow the recommended dry time between coats

Hope that helps and gives you some ideas on how to fix up those big, ugly thrift store lamps that you want to buy :) Head on over to Cappel's Ace Hardware and get what you need. Tell them that Mimi sent you!
245 50th St. West Des Moines, IA 50265

Thanks for stopping by! 
You can find me on Instagram as m.vintagecharm

Linking To:
The Inspiration Gallery 
Rooted in Thyme 
French Country Cottage 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

cottage updates and our pine plank floors

It's been such a long time since I last blogged. I wanted to jump in and share some updates on our little country cottage and offer some info. on our pine plank floors which I often get asked about. The photos I'm using in this post are the ones I've posted on Instagram. It's just so quick and easy to share on IG so I do a little better over there. Feel free to follow along with me as m.vintagecharm .

Although our home will always be a work in progress... I like how she is coming along. First things first, I purchased the sweetest little tufted sofa. It's the Watkins Sofa from Home Decorators in natural linen. I absolutely love it. It works great in our space.

I wanted to move forward with the sofa and beadboard on the lower level with the money I saved from the two markets I did. It was a good decision. The beadboard is up but still only primed at this point. I can't wait till it's all painted! It will be painted "Westhighland White" like all our doors/trim. I think it's the perfect off white color... not bright white but not cream either. That perfect middle ground. We also decided to go with a different paint color for the main level. I chose "Modern Gray" by Sherwin Williams. I love this color with all the natural light we get in this home. It's beautiful.

Here's a few photos (from warmer days) of our living and dining room...

I love this little french style table that I bought from a local vintage shop, JB Knacker .

Now that we are back to cold winter days... our wood stove is back in use. Brett got the large plank beadboard up on our open staircase wall awhile ago (again only primed at this point). I love how much character and charm it added to our living room space.

For those of you who are wondering about our flooring, here's the info on that. We did pine planks, grade 3 (1x8's) shiplapped. I wanted a whitewash look so we chose Sherwin Williams "Pickled White" oil stain which we brushed on. 

For the finish... here's what we used. A water based formula was important.

We are really happy with how they turned out. They have a great rustic farmhouse feel to them. Pine is a soft wood so the wear and tear is just part of the look and it's really cost effective as far as flooring goes. Hope that helps.

So, I guess we are making some progress over here :) Home sweet home... we are so thankful for this little place. Oh how I wish we could plow ahead with many more projects but life is demanding right now. Here's one more photo... the last one I took of our dining area shortly after Christmas...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Our stay at the Historic Four Mounds Estate

It's been far too long since I shared anything on the blog. I don't have a house or furniture project to share with you today, but I do think many of my readers will appreciate seeing pictures of a beautiful B&B. Brett and I were finally able to get away, just the two of us, on a little vacation and we had no idea how special it would be. Best of all, it's right here in the great state of Iowa... land that we love :)

Have you heard of the Historic Four Mounds Estate in Dubuque, IA? I hadn't until I recently starting searching online for our little get-away. The place captured my attention and I am so glad it did. If you care to read more about it after seeing some of the pictures from our stay, you can click on this link and find out more.

This gentlemen's farm was bequeathed  to the City of Dubuque in 1982. Later a foundation was formed to manage the estate and over time new life has been brought back to this amazing property. It's nestled high along the bluffs of the mighty Mississippi River and the views are spectacular. It felt magical. We booked the Master Suite of the White House for our stay. There is another home with several rooms and a cabin on this property that can be rented as well, but I had a feeling that the White House would be perfect for us. I was right... it was absolutely perfect.

This is the White House and the side that has the view of the Mississippi River. The home was built in 1924 and she is charming in every way.

This is the front door and main entrance to the White House...

Here's the great thing about this B&B... no one lives in the houses or the cabin that you rent. Brett and I went during the week and we had the whole house to our-self. It was so much fun... and a little spooky at night which made it even better :)

This is the living room of the White House...

I loved the white trim and built-ins. The furnishings fit perfectly with this elegant and refined Colonial Revival style home. 

Just off the living room was a porch. I found this to be the perfect setting to enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon.

The formal dining room was also on the main level...

The upstairs of this home has a total of four guest rooms. As mentioned before, we opted for the Master Suite and I have some pictures of our room and bathroom. When you first open the door to the suite you enter into a very large sitting room...

Off of the sitting room is both the bathroom and bedroom. The bedroom was in the sleeping porch and I loved it... so did Brett. These windows were fabulous and so was the king size bed. I think I may have to upgrade to that someday in my home.

Last but certainly not least for the suite is the bathroom. You know me and my love for the simplicity of white along with vintage fixtures... this bathroom has it all in my book.

Each morning we walked over to the Grey House for breakfast. This Craftsman style home was built in 1908 and features seven guest rooms. It has a very masculine feel to it and is a bit rustic as well. We were able to take a peek at the guest rooms and the Majestic River Suite in this home definitely lived up to it's name.

A plate of fresh fruit, hot tea, juice and blueberry bread awaited us. Then shortly after we sat down and started in, a delicious hot breakfast was served. That was a highlight for me. I'm sure all of you young mothers can relate to what a treat that is. Add to that a 20+ week pregnant mama and it's as close to heaven as one can get on this earth. Marie, who cooked the amazing food for us each morning, snapped a picture of us enjoying our feast. Thanks for the wonderful food Marie! We so enjoyed our morning chats with you as well.

The view outside the Grey House was picturesque as well...

We enjoyed exploring the grounds with the hiking trail and all the old buildings. I will leave you with the photos I snapped while out walking around the estate...

A special thanks to then hens who provided the farm fresh eggs each morning...

There were two of these charming yellow cottages on the property. Originally they were the chauffeur's house and the gardener's house, but today the grounds-keeper and the manager call them home. Quaint and charming indeed.

I posted this photo on Instagram while we were there. I was sitting outside the White House enjoying my view of the river. I am so thankful for the time we had there and I can't wait to go back. Our goal was to catch up on some much needed rest, enjoy each others' undivided attention and figure out a name for our baby girl that is due in October. I am happy to say we accomplished all our goals! I hope this gives you a taste of what you can find there. Visit the link I posted earlier if you want to see more of this place. If you've ever wanted to try a B&B but have been hesitant or reluctant... try this one! It is truly a gem.

Thanks for stopping by!
Hopefully soon I will have some house and furniture projects to share again. I'm ready to get back to work and tackle some projects before baby #4 arrives!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Master Bathroom

The new year has started off with lots of cleaning and organizing around here. Since the master bathroom has been freshened up a bit, I thought I should share a few photos here. Hopefully these photos are a little better than the last time I took some of our bathroom :)

Here's my vintage inspired bathroom all fresh, clean and organized...

I bought this little shelf with white baskets years ago at Target. It's been so handy. I love having it in my bathroom now...

The clawfoot tub that my husband refinished is so great. She was a Craigslist find and I just love her. I painted the outside of the tub the same color as the wall which is "Site White" by Sherwin Williams.

I've been sharing photos of our home on Instagram lately... feel free to follow along if you wish. You can find me here at m.vintagecharm .