Thursday, October 31, 2013

One Room Challenge Week Five

Where has the time gone?! Can you believe next week is the final reveal of the Calling it Home One Room Challenge?!?! I'm delighted to be serving as a Linking Participant. Please click here to get up to speed on my progress thus far:
  • Week One 
  • Week Two
  • Week Three
  • Week Four
  • Last week, I was engrossed in a DIY attempt to faux gold leaf my $120 vintage Craigslist mirror. Thank you all for the wonderful tips, they helped sooo much! Many of you weighed in that the Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic spray paint I used looked great, but I wanted just a tad more "oomph" so I bought a jar of Martha Stewart's Metallic Glaze Specialty Finish in Medallion. I feel it toned down some of the yellowy-gold that was bothering me with the spray paint, providing more of a rich gold finish. Maybe it's just in my head, but I'm pleased with the results and the mirror is ready to hang!

    Mirror before.
    I must confess, a bit of panic is starting to set in, as I've been procrastinating just a tiny bit with my final zushing. I have just a few more accessories to buy, but I'm concerned that my wallpaper "Band-Aids" are not going to arrive from China in time. You may recall from Week Two that I had a few tiny glitches with my "faux Gournay" custom hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper, due to user error. The talented artists at Silk Castle in Shanghai are graciously solving my problem - free of charge! - but art takes time, and mail from China takes time. Either way, it should not affect my final reveal! Please stay tuned.

    And don't forget to check out the other Linking Party participants' progress, along with the 20 ORC participants.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Art or Interior Decor Horror?

    Halloween is just a few days away, and what I am about to show you is certainly appropriate for the occasion. This month, two of my favorite bloggers - Jennifer at The Pink Pagoda and Albertina at Mimosa Lane - featured the incredibly talented decorator, Philip Gorrivan. I am a huge fan of his work. One of my favorite examples from his portfolio is this gorgeous Victorian town home, located in Toronto, Canada.... I'm sure you have seen it before, but do you know what happened to all of that fabulous yellow Clarence House "The Vase" wallpaper in the formal living room? I have actually been having nightmares about it ever since stumbling upon its fate via Peppermint Bliss while stalking researching David Hicks' The Vase (one of my all-time favorite patterns).

    First, let's take a look at what the living room looked like before, in all of its former glory....

    Gorgeous!! Absolute perfection in every way, n'est pas?! Now let's take a look at the "art installation" the home owner selected to replace The Vase wallpaper...


    Aaaaacckkkk!!!! Scary, right? Now I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and art is subject to interpretation, but I seriously cannot even begin to imagine covering all of that gorgeous and pricey wallpaper with THIS... Click here to see a video interview Canada House and Home conducted with the homeowner, where she discusses the "art" and gives a tour of the otherwise gorgeous home... It is truly worth watching. You can also see more of this home via HGTV.

    On a more positive note, let's take a look at more of the gorgeous (and unmarred) rooms in this home, as featured in Philip Gorrivan's portfolio...

    Note the Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper peaking out from the powder room... Swoon!!

    The dining room is incredible! It took twelve coats of paint that had to be completely hand sanded in between coats, and three coats of gloss and a car buffer to achieve this smooth-as-glass lacquer finish. 
    I'm crazy about this "Island Ikat" fabric and wallpaper by Quadrille... the same Mary McDonald used earlier this year to refresh her kitchen!

    I absolutely love this house... especially in its former state. Do you think the living room art installation is frightful or delightful? Please weigh in!

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

    Designer Spotlight: Betsy Burnham

    I was flipping through the November issue of Coastal Living today, and this Q&A with Los Angeles-based designer Betsy Burnham piqued my interest... 

    Her quote intrigues me... "I can define a client's design goals by looking in her closet."

    I absolutely love Betsy's eclectic mix of color, vintage, and Chinoiserie elements. (I also love that she has two Chihuahuas named Lola and Nina Garcia.  How cute is that!?) Here are a few of my favorite rooms from her portfolio....

    Now back to Betsy's intriguing quote... Is your décor a reflection of your wardrobe? Does our sense of style in fashion go hand-in-hand with our decorating tastes? I am interested in exploring this concept further.

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    One Room Challenge Week Four

    Welcome to Week Four of Calling it Home's One Room Challenge! I'm delighted to be a part of Linda's Linking Party. To get caught up on my powder room makeover, here are links to the past three weeks:
    This was a dreaded week for me... the week of the DIY! You may recall, I got a fantastic deal on this mirror from Craigslist, but I'm not fond of the crackly gold finish... 
    I wanted to gold leaf it. But after reading this gold leaf DIY post over at Little Green Notebook, and then this post at vmac+cheese, I quickly realized that with all of the carvings and detail of this mirror, traditional gold leaf was not the answer for my DIY.   

    So I found this Sophisticated Finishes Gold Metallic Surfacer from Michaels, thinking it was a liquid leaf. But unfortunately, it left my mirror with a dull/matte gold finish, and I want more of a metallic/gold leaf finish.
    Next I tried Rust-Oleum's Specialty Metallic spray paint, reviewed and named the best gold spray paint by this blogger.  I think this just might just do the trick.

    It is a close match to the gold plate of our Sherle Wagner cherub faucet... but not exact.

    I might try this "Classic Gold Liquid Leaf" from Hobby Lobby... Or leave it as-is. What do you think?  Third time's a charm?

    Stay tuned for the finishing touches over the next two weeks, and don't forget to check in on other Linking Party participants as well as the 20 ORC participants.

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    A Glamorous Palm Beach Home

    Not all Palm Beach homes are decked out in the bright Lilly Pulitzer colors that have become synonymous with Palm Beach Chic. Ironically even the late Lilly Pulitzer's own home featured a relatively subdued palette! Last week, I wrote about a beautiful home in Palm Beach, traditionally decorated with exquisite antiques. While a bit too formal for my taste, this glamorous Palm Beach home, decorated by Gary McBournie and showcased in House Beautiful, would suit me perfectly. The 1940s neoclassical home combines a bit of "European style with American sensibility, and creates a soft and romantic glow." 

    Images and captions below via House Beautiful...

    "Entertaining is what Palm Beach is all about," says designer Gary McBournie. Everything white, including a sideboard from Lars Bolander and vintage Chinese Chippendale chairs, makes a crisp contrast to custom-glazed duck-egg-blue walls. Though new, the Dennis & Leen chandelier was found in a Palm Beach antiques shop: "It was probably too large for someone's house. But here, it fills that void at the center of the room and gives it character."
    A Paula champagne flute by Moser.
    Gracious comfort was what McBournie aimed for in the living room. Simple curtains are in Henry Calvin's Gaelic Linen. On the pilasters between French doors, McBournie mounted Baguès crystal sconces from France for a bit of sparkle. Baker's Chatham club chairs are upholstered in Bergamo's Tuvalu, a polka-dot cut velvet that can't decide if it's fancy or fun. Chosen for its Venetian silveriness, the mercury glass gourd lamp is from Walker Zabriskie.
    To reupholster a pair of antique Biedermeier armchairs, McBournie concocted his own strip from three fabrics: "Besides getting exactly the colors I wanted, I like the added texture." The 1950s Italian cabinet is lacquered with an automotive finish, "the kind they use on the interiors of antique racing cars."
    The cut velvet on the living room's club chairs, Bergamo's Tuvalu, has colors you see throughout the house — aqua, pea green, grayed-down lilac.
    Citrus colors in the family room are a modern take on old Palm Beach. Wall color is Benjamin Moore's Lemon Meringue. Rug from Stark.
    Brown Jordan furniture, from the Venetian Collection, is casually placed at random angles on the loggia. Cushions are in three harmonious Sunbrella solids. Pillows from Crate and Barrel; lanterns from Period Furniture Hardware.
    The master bedroom's Loire iron bed is by Niermann Weeks, and the pink, brown, and white linens are from Restoration Hardware. "They look and feel like Italian linens," says McBournie. "It's nice when a large retail operation can create something unusual, wonderful, and so accessible." A Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Thad sofa is covered in the softest color imaginable — Groundworks' Academy Weave in light pink. McBournie gave his clients the needlepoint shell pillow from Louis in Boston as a Christmas present.
    McBournie helped design the clean, classic swimming pool:"We didn't want one of those over-the-top Palm Beach pools that Esther Williams might step out of."
    The "carving" on the guest room headboard is trompe l'oeil.
    The elegant guest room is rich with "whiffs of Venice": an antique gilt seahorse bench, mirrored 1950s Italian furniture, a 1920s Italian gessoed mirror. "The mirror was too small for the space, so we added that sash to help the scale."
    I would describe this home as Palm Beach Chic meets Hollywood Glam... with generous sprinkles of Jan Showers-esque sparkle and glitz, I am positively swooning!
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