Create an antique silver finish

I designed a gray, black, white, coral, teal and silver space for an e-design client in San Diego (reveal to come in a couple of months). She had a lot of blank wall space in her front room, and I wanted to eat that up with a large mirror. We already had a lot of rectangles in the room, so I opted for a sunburst mirror, but I couldn’t find one that was large enough that I liked in silver, so I had her purchase this one.Melissa's_mirror
And told her I would teach her to create a faux antiqued silver finish.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Tape off the mirror part. Start by priming the mirror with a silvery paint. We used Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Gulf Winds. You can just get a sample size of this at Home Depot and apply it with a brush.

2. Spray several light coats (at least three) of Krylon’s ColorMaster silver spray paint. Follow the directions on the can for dry time between coats. Spray evenly and stop when you have a nice silvery finish.

3. Use Behr Faux Glaze. Buy the smallest amount that you can. You will also need a bit of black paint. I would get a small acrylic black paint. You will need to tint your glaze, but you want total control over this process. Therefore, start with less, and you can always add more black until you have the color you’re after. Apply the glaze with a dry-brush technique. Dip your paintbrush just slightly into the paint and get off any excess by dabbing it on a paper towel. Then use short back-and-forth strokes to antique the mirror. Don’t worry if you put too much on or don’t like your first attempt. You can wipe off the glaze while it’s still wet.

4. Apply two coats of Minwax Paste furniture wax. Apply a light coat of wax with an old paintbrush. Let the wax dry to a dull finish and buff it using a cotton cloth until it shines. This step will protect your finish.

Innovative decorating with collections

When I was in London, I visited the Camden Lock Market. While I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without, I was inspired by a small hallway where two different collections were displayed.
Books on the wall
Books on the wall serving as frames for old pictures. These vintage tomes are painted white, have a colored satin ribbon glued in as a bookmark and old pictures pasted inside. Really, there are two collections here–vintage books and old photos. Both totally collectable. Other ideas for displaying books or photos? If you’re an avid reader, collect colorful versions of the classics and style them within a bookshelf or on a desk. If you’re not an avid reader, buy books in complementing colors and style those on a shelf or desk.
Closeup of book
As for photos, another option might be to think about framing a collection by subject, location, etc. and mixing them in on a gallery wall with modern art too.
These skeleton keys were dipped in paint and strung from a grate suspended from the ceiling.
Closeup of keys
Try hanging them from ribbon and stringing them in the window, or group them as a display and hang them on a wall (from just a simple nail).

The individuality seen in these collections is what I love most. Rather than simply collect figurines, glassware, books, etc., think about how you can make the collection uniquely you. Paint, ribbon and display gave these vintage finds a personal touch. This got me thinking. What collection do I have in California that I could throw my mark on?

I have a small collection of milk glass–maybe three or four vases–and I am inspired by this photo to gild them.
white and gold vases
My mom has a collection of buttons. I’m thinking of taking her jar, sifting through it to find some fun colors and shapes and making a one-of-a-kind artwork like this.
Love button artwork

What is it that you collect? How do you display it?

How to make drip art

Top Design’s season two winner, Nathan Thomas, created original art for the season finale. The concept was simple: One canvas painted a creamy white and several paint colors to drip down the side of the canvas. It seemed so easy on TV; I decided to try it out in a client’s living room.
A better bachelor pad
I picked up three canvases from a thrift store for 50 cents a piece. True, they were a bit yellowed and dirty, but one coat of flat white paint (paint all four edges too), which I already had on hand, did the trick.

Once the canvases were dry, I stood them up in cardboard boxes so that the left edge of each of the canvases faced me. I used oops sample paints from Home Depot, which I shook vigorously before starting. The small containers made it very easy to control the amount of paint coming out.

Concentrating on one canvas at a time, I slowly started to drip paint down the canvas, making sure it started on the left edge and dripped down the canvas towards the right edge. The key here is to do this part slowly, moving the jar methodically along the edge so you can control how much comes out.

I repeated this same process with each jar of paint until the entire edge of my canvas had paint on it—and streaming across it too. I didn’t touch the canvas after that. My advice: Don’t mess with the drips. Let the paint do its thing. Trying to control the flow with tools or brushes is just going to look messy rather than organic.
Closeup art
After completing all three canvases, I let them dry completely (the edges take a long time to completely dry), then hung them above the couch.

Add instant warmth to a room

I don’t believe in changing out decor and furnishings with each season, but I do think it’s important to cozy up a room for fall and winter and delayer come spring and summer. I also don’t believe in spending buckets of money for a seasonal switch or addition, so here are five easy–and quickish–ideas to cozy up your place.

I always say that the quickest way to dress up a look is to paint your pout a classic red. And the easiest way to warm up a space? Red. It’s a statement but one that comforts. Santa Clause, hearts and nostalgia-creating Radio Flyers all share the shade. I wouldn’t advise letting the bold hue samba all over your home but start with the entrance. Paint the front door. Try any hue from a soft orange-y Nantucket red, like Farrow & Ball’s Blazer 212 to something bold and flaming, such as Benjamin Moore’s Moroccan Red.
Farrow & Ball Blazer 212Moroccan Red







Quick. Think of your fondest memory? Does it take you to a warm safe place? Is it from your childhood? Use those memories as inspiration for your home. As a kid, I loved playing games with my family. We’d have family game time on every vacation and on all holidays, and it always created lots and lots of laughter. To incorporate this fun into my home, I might frame and hang a series of vintage board games, fill a small glass bowl with wooden game pieces or take a whack at these mallet hooks from the very creative KariAnne at Thistlewood Farms.
Vintage game boardsVintage game piecesMallet hooks






Leather is fantastic for summer but can feel pretty cold in the fall. Add lots of comfy textured pillows. Some of my favorites for fall include off-white knits , dark turquoise velvets and a jacquard weave.
Comfy sofa
Fill space with favorite tomes. For me, cold, rainy days mean curling up with a good book. Stack novels or decorative books on nighstands, entertainment centers, even entry tables (like I did here).
Styling the entryway
Fixing drafty windows, doors and fireplaces can be a costly endeavor. Keeping several throws in easy reach is way less expensive. Fill this graphite tweed bin with throws like this coral one and this woven stripe.

new bin shotcoral onewoven one








Another chair makeover–this time with tufting

The same day I bought the cane-back chair with the hole, I found this little gem for $17.50. It was in perfect shape but needed to be painted and reupholstered (it had a chartreuse velvet fabric on it before–even on the arms of the chair).
2013-02-19 16.24.23
After removing the seat and yanking the fabric from the arms with a screwdriver and pliers (it had been stapled down), I followed the same process to paint the chair that I used on the cane-back chair but did this one in Krylon’s ivory gloss paint. I cut new foam for this chair as well and covered the seat cushion in a Sultana jute burlap but before securing the fabric on the back of the seat frame with staples, I recovered the old buttons and used the original holes to tuft the recovered seat.

The pillow is actually an old throw cushion covered in a tea towel and secured with Stitch Witchery.

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