venturing into mid-century modern

Do you ever try out a new decorating style only to detest the very sight of it shortly thereafter?  I have tried so many different trends/styles hoping I would have that “Aahh Haa” moment and guess what…NOPE!  (Bear with me, I just need to ramble as usual for a bit).

Shortly after move in day at our new house I got busy trying to make this house a home that reflects who we are.  Sounds simple.  But if you’re someone like me who second-guesses every design choice and gets bored easily, not so much.

SHABBY CHIC:

My first design love affair was shabby chic.   Great style if you don’t over do it.

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I thought this was the direction I wanted to go with our house so I purchased an old oak claw foot dining table from a sweet lady who had one for sale on craigslist.  I purchased some AS Chalk Paint in French Linen and got to town.

Here was my first attempt at shabby chic:

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I really do love the way this turned out, especially knowing how it looked (and smelled) when I bought it.  While I still have this table in the exact same spot I’m having serious doubts about it now.  Something is just “off” when I look at it paired with our cobalt blue sofas.  Once I start to second guess something you bet your sweet booty that it just wasn’t meant to be.  Always listen to your gut.

TRADITIONAL / ANTIQUE

Boy, this trip to traditional was the shortest lived.  My husband grew a few gray hairs when I started bringing antique relics home.  [He’s a modernist all the way].  I don’t even remember what inspired me to venture here, other than testing it out to see if it stuck.

Back to craigslist again!  I found these beautiful antique (huge) end tables for sale and dragged my kids along to purchase them.  I should have known to trust my gut and not purchase these.  I think my daughter even knew these things weren’t really my taste because she said, “You’re gonna buy THESE, Mama??!”

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I was also never in love with them because 5 minutes into our drive home my kids and I started complaining that they stunk of cigarette smoke!  The seller never disclosed this and I never bothered to give it the smell test while I was at her house.  Lesson learned.  I went through box after box of baking soda to try and rid these poor guys of their odor.  Cigarette smoke is a nasty, clingy, unforgiving odor, but I eventually was victorious.  I had the same feeling about these end tables as I do with the clawfoot table…something is just off.  So I sold these to a sweet friend!

I scoured and trolled craigslist, eBay, garage sales, you name it to find the perfect end tables.  Nada.  During one of many late night Pinterest binges I stumbled on these beauties and had that “Aahh Haa” moment.

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Hmmm….something just felt right when I made two of these end tables all by myself.

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Things were starting to click at this point, but it wasn’t feeling 100% like me (I mean, us) yet.

CONTEMPORARY

The turning point for me venturing into this design style was those end tables.  They can go with modern, rustic, shabby chic, eclectic, you name it.  I liked the simplicity of the design and loved the clean lines.  Hmmm…this feels right!  I decided to embrace contemporary design wholeheartedly and pushed myself to tackle an entire room makeover.  Holy crap!!  What safer place to experiment than my youngest child’s room!  Mean Mama.

By this point I had a nice collection {hoarder’s paradise} of contemporary fabrics on hand and incorporated some into his room.

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 That “chipper” ikat fabric is still one of my favs.  Things were starting to feel comfortable and I liked the way his room turned out.  The only thing nagging me was that I felt like I had seen this style and look on countless blogs.  I have always had a rebellious streak in me and the last thing I want to do is be like everybody else.  This brings me to my last design stop….

MID-CENTURY MODERN:

I have never been drawn to mid-century modern, much less know just exactly what the hell it is.  While in a design slump/block, I decided to scour the blogosphere for some pick-me-up.  Don’t ask me how, but when I landed on this blog I finally had my “Aaah Haa” moment!!!

It was this image that stopped me in my tracks

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YES! YES! YES!  I still refer to this room as one of my all-time favorites, mainly because there is a cobalt blue sofa staring you in the face.  I have never known how to decorate with our blue sofas until I found this picture.  I mostly love the mid-century modern chairs paired with a modern b+w rug and oh-so-done-right gallery wall.

Here is a recent picture of the family room after finding my inspiration

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The eclectic mix of this room is perfect and I am now venturing into the mid-century modern world.  It’s a very foreign and intimidating style for me as I think it can look too theme-y if over done.

So, I made my first trip to a cool vintage store about 30 mins from our house this week and purchased a few things that I had my “Aahh Haa” moments over.  I will be posting about them very soon.

I guess my point to all this rambling is it’s perfectly normal (and quite healthy I think) to test many different styles.  Who knows how long my love affair with mid-century modern will last, but it’s fun trying out new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  It’s what keeps life interesting!

hugs

CRAIGSLIST Makeover: using chalk paint

We have a huge empty space in between our living room couches and my dream purchase would be something like this from Restoration Hardware to fill up the space:

RH table

 These tables start at $995 on sale!  Not gonna happen in my world.

So my craigslist scouring began and I kept coming back to round oak clawfoot tables (I guess everyone is trying get rid of these as there are a TON for sale).  My husband thought I had completely lost my mind when I told him I was going to purchase one.  Honestly, I thought I had lost my mind too!

So I took the plunge and purchased one for $60.  The sweet woman I bought the table from threw in two chairs for free (more on those in a minute). 

I forgot to take a before shot, but this set is pretty much identical to what I purchased:

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I might have mentioned this before, but I am pretty impatient when it comes to projects.  I am great at starting them, but finishing is another matter.  So, when I found out about chalk paint I was hooked!  You do NOT have to prime or sand your wood furniture beforehand.  You just slap it on, wax it, buff it and you’re done!

I bought a sample jar of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen from Perfectly Imperfect.  A 4 oz jar only costs $11.95 and I painted the entire table with it and still had some left over!

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Source:  Perfectly Imperfect

You also need wax to permanently bond the paint to your piece of furniture so I picked up both the clear and dark waxes.  I wanted the dark wax to bring out the details and lines of my piece and to also add some character.

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Once my paint and waxes arrived I have to admit I was a little nervous.  But, my motto is “it’s just paint!”  So I painted the entire piece and let it dry overnight.  Next I applied the clear wax, let it sit for about 1 1/2 hours then buffed it to a satin shine.  After that, I added the dark wax in places I wanted to add that “extra something.”  So after two days, this is how my table turned out:

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Again, here is the BEFORE:

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And the AFTER:

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And just for fun, a side by side comparison of RH and mine:

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I used chalk paint in Provence on the two free chairs I got and this is how those turned out:

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BEFORE  & AFTER

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Have you ever used chalk paint before?  If not, would you consider it on an outdated piece or one that is headed for the dumpster?

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