Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A 'new' French piece............

This collage gives you an idea as to how I decorate my modest cottage-style home. Nothing is really precious in dollar amounts. Nothing has come from a high-end furniture store in many, many years. The sofa is thirty plus years old but dressed in custom made slip covers - a bit of a splurge, but so worthwhile when giving even more life to well-made furniture which is hard to replace these days. Also, it fits the space, it's still solid.......and it's comfortable!

If, like me, your decorating tastes have changed over the years, you know what I mean when saying 'use what you love'. If you have the basics in place it's then quite easy to add the accouterments that give you the look and feel you love. You never have to throw everything out and start over. Accessories can be new, antique, hand-crafted or thrift shop finds.......just as long as you feel they are now yours to care for, that they bring good feelings as you cast your eyes around your home, you truly love living with them......and they didn't cost you an arm and a leg!

...and of course there's always paint!

So what do I have new to share?  How about the authentic French table you see here when it was in my booth at SuzAnna's Antiques last year. When I closed the booth I left the table on consignment but it never sold. A couple of weeks ago, Vanessa helped me get it out, took it to her 'White Barn', and with Annie Sloan's wonderful Chalk Paint and waxes, gave my table a brighter, cleaner, much nicer appearance. She also fixed the boo boo on the rear panel. We decided to add medium distressing after painting as the table is old and wouldn't look quite right without some visible wear showing.

Vanessa worked wonders on the table here.
We chose ASCP in French Linen, a great greyed-beige 
neutral to work with off-whites, creams etc.

Is it for sale still? No way, it's now in my living room and has become my 'new' favorite piece in front of the window looking out into the back garden. 

 Using both light and dark Annie Sloan waxes after distressing has given the table the perfect finish I was after. Vanessa, I'm thrilled.

I'm still playing with accessories. Needless to 
say they will be French inspired! I love the potboard 
on the bottom - this was probably a table 
used in some simple country French kitchen - and calls 
out for large items.

So this is what's new at the cottage. Next up, and awaiting authentic Chalk Paint love, is a pine armoire (don't worry Bob, you really will love it once it's done!), and a few small tables in need of refreshment. 

Any plans to pick up a paintbrush around your place soon?


  1. Dear, you always have the best way of accessorizing your home. I love how the table looks in your living room, definitely a keeper! I have also just realized I only took before pictures of the table! Please, allow me to make a post using some of your beautiful pics? I still want to see you before I leave, let see if we can plan on something. Love and thank you, always! ~ Vanessa

  2. It turned out wonderful Mary. I love the color. Vanessa did a great job!

  3. Goodness Mary, what a great make over! The table looks like it's made for your home, no wonder it's a keeper. Love the displayed items, and of course how you'e displayed them.
    You ask if there are plays to pick up a paint brush? Well, yes I really NEED to decorate and change things, and just as soon as time allows I will!
    Have a great week:o)
    Rose H

  4. Okay, okay, okay I give up! You have convinced me that I need to get off my butt and freshen up the pieces in my home I am getting sick of. And also, to try chalk paint! Because of you, I am excited to get to it! Thank you so much!

    Question for you tho... I've been following your blog for I can't remember how long. It's been a while tho. And I guess I am surprised that you chose to decorate in the french style, when so much of your travels are to other countries. Have you been to France? Just curious:)

    1. Great comment, thanks so much for visiting.
      Yes, been to France several times - my brother and family have lived there permanently for about eight years (we're from England).
      One year when visiting Provence I stayed in an amazing house where I fell head over heels in love with the decor and knew I had found the style I loved - nothing formal and stuffy, just beautiful ordinary country items painted in greys, blues, and creams, antique crystal chandeliers, lots of old linen for upholstery, pillows draperies etc. I was hooked.
      I love not only French country but also the Nordic/Euro with similar colors and styles. Throw in some English and American farmhouse bits and bobs and guess it ends up as quite eclectic, or whatever the latest moniker is for a mishmash, ha! ha!
      Hope you stop by again.......I'll be off next month, not France, no shopping, and no decor styles I'll fall for, but it will be an awesome trip!
      Best wishes, Mary

      P.S. You can't go wrong with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint - it's so easy to use and results are awesome.

  5. What a gorgeous table Mary-I love, love, love the color!! Enjoy it! You have put it in a perfect place.

  6. The only painting planned at my house is the outside of the house. We have wanted to change the color for several years, but not been able to agree on the colors. We have swatched at least 10 different colors and I think we have come up with something we can live with. Now the work will soon begin. In the meantime I am loving your table and the chalk paint. Love also the transferware plate and other accessories. I totally agree about buying what you love. Our loveseat and chairs in the living room were purchased about 30 years ago also. I am thinking they need reupholstered, but not quite ready yet.

  7. Mary and Vanessa, I love it! The color is gorgeous too. I am in the process of stenciling "see-through gold" fleur de lis in my bathroom and having so much. Miss you ladies...Mary Ann

  8. Just love it Mary - it's my style too - French/Nordic.
    Beautiful makeover on your table - Vanessa is a treasure you want to hold on to!
    I've got an old kauri chest of drawers I would love to 'chalk and wax', but am I brave enough??
    My husband is very 'old school', appreciates old timber and just doesn't get the distressed look!

    Mary, thank you for your lovely note - I do appreciate it and knowing that you understand how empty I feel really helps me...
    Things are getting easier each day, I'm back with my Mahjong girls on Friday, and most of us have been away in the last two months so there will be lots of travel chatter!!!
    Looking forward to hearing about your African sojourn - how wonderful for you both - I can't imagine I'll ever see it, but how amazing to see the 'big 5+' in their natural habitat. Great stories for your grandchildren - shades of Rudyard Kipling's Just So stories which are great favourites in our family!
    Do keep in touch

  9. I would love to be painting for fun! I know that there will eventually be time, and I'm keeping notes from posts like this. I love what you've done!

  10. Mary, it's stunning and I love the pieces you are displaying above & below. I have several pieces of brown country French furniture that I would live to give this treatment to but the Senior Partner doesn't agree. I'm going to show him this post and try and change his mind.

  11. Just found your blog through A White Barn and love it!! The French table is darling and I love what you did with the books on top. I'm your newest follower. Great pics!

  12. Your new/old table is so pretty. I recently painted our china cabinet and hutch and am eyeing other pieces. I like the mix of painted and wood pieces - a good thing because my husband doesn't want me to paint any of the furniture he's made and slaved so long over finishing.

    French-inspired accessories are so much fun. I hope you show us what you finally end up with.


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