Flea Market Finds with Matthew Mead {Book Review}

Hey all,

Now that the summer is winding down, I’m trying to quickly tackle all of my design books before I return to the daily grind of teaching. This week’s read was Flea Market Finds with Matthew Mead. He’s written several holiday decor themed books, but Flea Market Finds presents more as a bookazine than an actual decor book. It contains work completed by Matthew himself, but also his designer friends. Though there are not many fleshed out DIY projects within the pages, there is plenty of eye candy to fawn over.

 

The cover even pulls you in. Look at that milk glass and the greens/blues. Aren't you already in love?

The cover even pulls you in. Look at that milk glass and the greens/blues. Aren’t you already in love?

Each tip is given as a vignette, explaining different ideas and color schemes that work well in rooms. Each section has a main theme (like Mid-Century Matthew) and includes some description of what you’re looking at in the pictures. He also includes tips for how to place different pieces and collections to showcase their true beauty. Here are some of my favorites from the book:

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Okay, so brass and gold are slowly returning to my repertoire. I’ve always been leery of using it in different rooms, but this spread explains how to use gold leaf.

 

Shock of the century? I picked the page that is all green and blue. Plus, who can really say no to a vintage globe. That set of drawers was a thrifting find that was painted and updated!

Shock of the century? I picked the page that is all green and blue. Plus, who can really say no to a vintage globe. That set of drawers was a thrifting find that was painted and updated!

 

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Is that coral? WHY YES IT IS. See? It doesn’t have to be overtly beachy but can still have a relaxing vibe. I love the monochromatic tans and browns. But really, keeping that room clean seems nearly impossible. I do adore all the seaside finds though…

 

So, this book was great for a quick look through, a wetting of the palette you could say. It only gives you basic ideas for your own DIY. I would consider this more of an inspiration board type of book, rather than a how-to guide. I loved the ideas and the colors, but it wasn’t completely what I expected. However, if you need some inspiration or just want to oogle some lovely interior pictures, pick this sucker up!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

Bringing the Shore Back Home {Updating the Office}

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the delay but…

I did it, I finally did it! Now that we’ve gone on our summer trip for the year, which of course included a beach and water (and of course, shelling), I finally had the time to get to work on my home office.

My final color choice was the lighter of the two, Beach Glass by Pantone. It had a calming tone but was still very beachy. It definitely reminded me of a happy shore house. The color, because it was Pantone, had to be the highest end paint by Valspar, which included primer as well (this ran about $31 a gallon). This was great for getting the paint on smoothly and for covering the awful color and stains from the previous owners.  I didn’t need multiple coats because the color was so vibrant and it was so easy to apply. It also was low-VOC, which is great for painting a small room in the summer heat.

 

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See? What a lovely swatch. The perfect, shade of NOT seafoam. 

 

I taped, like you ALWAYS should, and ended up only needing one full day to get the paint on the walls and dried. I really didn’t need a full gallon, because I only needed one GREAT coat. I also only needed one roll of tape to get the window, doors, and ceiling/moldings. So this is was a minimal supplies needed project. Just for your information, you should always make sure when painting that you have the following (because it makes your life WAY easier):

Paint Roller

Angled Paint Brush (for corners and cutting-in)

Paint

Paint Tray with Removable Liner (makes clean up easy)

Tarp/Plastic Covering

Tape

The brush, roller, tray, and liner all came in a great kit that I picked up at Lowes. Saved me a ton of time and money, and now I have these supplies for future projects! So little stress, low cost, few supplies but a definite re-do! Whether or not I’m totally satisfied with the color is yet to be determined. It required a lot of trust on my part. When I got two of the walls painted, I quickly realized just how bright the color was. It’s shockingly aqua, a lot less beachy than I expected.

 

See the difference? Holy moly! It almost pales the original green because it's so bright.

See the difference? Holy moly! It almost pales the original green because it’s so bright.

 

Once I finally got through all the walls, it took all my patience to not start hanging my shadow boxes and framed prints right away. I was hoping that with things on the wall, furniture in the room, and drapes on the window, the color will be a bit less abrasive. This proved to be MOSTLY true and I’m just going to live with the color for awhile and decide my next steps. But here, for your enjoyment, my nicely staged home office with the new colors, hung pictures and shadowboxes, and furniture in place. Thoughts?

 

See how small this room is and how intense the color can be? This is an ALMOST 360 of the room. I've got space for my sewing cart (next to my desk), my high back chair, and all my shells on the floor...ignore those.

See how small this room is and how intense the color can be? This is an ALMOST 360 of the room. I’ve got space for my sewing cart (next to my desk), my high back chair, and all my shells on the floor…ignore those.

 

I made those matching canvas pin boards with just canvas and beige/metallic polka dotted fabric. We've had them since our first place and because they're a neutral, they can always find a home somewhere. I also took my old, white spray painted cork board and covered it in burlap for a more beachy cork board.

I made those matching canvas pin boards with just canvas and beige/metallic polka dotted fabric. We’ve had them since our first place and because they’re a neutral, they can always find a home somewhere. I also took my old, white spray painted cork board and covered it in burlap for a more beachy cork board. I’m using my flea market find to file my design magazines (see left of desk) and my colored mason jars for supplies that need to be right at arms length. 

 

This is one of my favorite spots in the room. That piece of furniture is NOT a chest of drawers. It IS however, a mini-murphy bed. My office will always have to do double-duty and include some form of guest accommodations.

This is one of my favorite spots in the room. That piece of furniture is NOT a chest of drawers. It IS however, a mini-murphy bed. My office will always have to do double-duty and include some form of guest accommodations. The mirror was a clearance find at Homegoods, and with its capiz shell pattern is perfect for the space. It even matches our little frame and lamp. Oh, and of course, my apothecary jars filled to the brim with shells.

 

My reading corner...sans books. I finally did my last purge of college textbooks and now have plenty of space for my design books!

My reading corner…sans books. I finally did my last purge of college textbooks and now have plenty of space for my design books! The bear has made it ten years, and hopefully if I can keep it away from Truman, it will make it ten more! It’s sitting on the chair that I received from my grandmother earlier this year. The wall is now full with a collage of my shadow boxes and personal photography. Plus, I hung my shell covered “F” in the perfect place. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk into the room. That little box next to the chair is an unfinished project, but I promise to update you on its new life very soon!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

A Little White Pop {Adding to Our Living Space}

Hey all,

For awhile, we’ve been living with a big hole in our lives. You know, we were sans couch table! After we got our much larger TV for the bedroom (to match the massive bed and massive art piece from this post), it needed a home. I moved our lovely IKEA console table up to the bedroom for the perfect fit. But this perfect fit left a perfectly large hole in our living room. Now, let’s have some honesty time. When I decided to move that table, I kidded myself thinking that we wouldn’t need anything behind the couch. This proved to be very wrong. Because of the layout of our house, and the minimal space for our formal living room, we can only have one side table with out couch. So if you want to rest your glass somewhere, or god forbid a plate (YES WE EAT ON THE COUCH), there isn’t space to do so without that lovely console table. So, while rummaging through my parents basement, I eyed this lovely little table.

Okay, so it needed some love. But it was acting as minimal storage in their unfinished part of their basement. I figured I would offer to take it off their hands.

Okay, so it needed some love. But it was acting as minimal storage in their unfinished part of their basement. I figured I would offer to take it off their hands.

Yes, it looks a bit sad. Yes, it’s not typically our style. It has these beautiful carvings on the the side and the legs are a bit more ornate than I would traditionally lean towards, but something grabbed me. Plus, I’m a sucker for family history and this piece was one of my great grandmother’s. Knowing this made me need to have it even more. I took it home, plopped it under our deck IMMEDIATELY, and got to work. And as a spray paint junkie, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I had not only two cans of primer for this little lady, but also a full can of white, matte paint. I originally thought that I would paint it black, or a glossy white, which makes it much easier to disguise the ugly notes and quickly revamp the piece. But you know what? The black would have been a mistake. We don’t have anything else painted black in that room and it would have looked like I was trying to hard to mask problems and match it to the existing pieces. The gloss also would have been off putting, making it stand out way more than we wanted it to.

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Look at those legs! This is the perfect little table. So happy to have it.

So after the two coats primer and a good coating of the white, it was ready to go into its new home. And then I realized, maybe it was too big! Ah! Would I actually like it there? It was wider than I really expected. I left it there, let it grow on me, and just today accessorized the little lady. And we’re in love again. She’s just perfect.

I moved the lamp from the side table to the new table. Now our engagement scrapbook has a proper home and there is still plenty of room for several coasters for drinks.

I moved the lamp from the side table to the new table. Now our engagement scrapbook has a proper home and there is still plenty of room for several coasters for drinks. If you look really hard to you can see that I finally added the gold accents to those tile coasters. A little gold is always good.

 

So overall, a great decision. She’s happy, I’m happy, so we’re one happy household. So what have you been up to? Spray painting pieces? Accessorizing the house? Let me know!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

Never Take Martha’s Name in Vain {Sea Shell Wreath}

I’m baaaaack!

This post is aptly named for one specific reason. I had wanted to make a beautiful seashell wreath for our front door, to enjoy during the summertime. I found a great, and seemingly simple, tutorial with a video on Martha Stewart’s website. It seemed straight forward enough. Seemed is the keyword in that sentence. Here is my interpretation of the steps required:

Step One: start with a metal filled, straw wreath base. This was my first mistake. I can see why it would help, in Martha’s tutorial, but for me it just made a huge mess. My straw wreath base left bits and pieces in its wake. I rarely have to vacuum post-crafting and I had to do it twice. This could have been the wreath that I purchased, as it seemed to molt as soon as it left its packaging. It did provide a great amount of support and flatter surface for the shells, though. So there’s that, right?

Step Two: using crafting tacky glue, begin placing your shells on the wreath form. Here’s where I lost it. I began this project the week before, creating a first layer of shells. It was a sticky mess and I lost interest pretty quick, considering that though tacky glue holds a bit more permanently than other types of glue, it also takes longer to dry. They aren’t immediately bonded to the wreath, so keeping them in one place and not sliding around or falling off was nearly impossible. I left the wreath half-completed, like the picture below, for a good week or so. I just didn’t have the willpower to glue and hold, while still trying to add more shells.

This is how the wreath stayed during that week, until I finally gave up with the tutorial directions and went out on my own!

This is how the wreath stayed during that week, until I finally gave up with the tutorial directions and went out on my own!

Step Three: Try again a week later with failed results. Continue to try to add layers of shells on top of the original shells. Fill in the creases where you can. When I started out, I thought that maybe my patience level had returned and I could take on the sticky mess once again. But as I continued, I realized this wasn’t so. Which leads me to my next step in this tutorial.

Step Four: Take the good lady Martha’s name in vain. I should have never said it and I paid the price. I wrote a caption for the above picture, before continuing with the project. It doomed me. I said, “Dear Martha Stewart, I tried your way, and it’s a sticky mess. Now this sucker will be done my way.” And with several sticks of hot glue and my trusty hot glue gun, I did finally complete this project. It took several hours and there was something harmed in the process.

My poor thumb. This sucker stuck with me all week, what a frustrating place to burn yourself on your low-heat, hot glue gun.

My poor thumb. 

 

This sucker stuck with me all week, what a frustrating place to burn yourself on your low-heat, hot glue gun. Right at the end of the project, I dripped a healthy gob of hot glue directly onto my finger. It hurt so badly, I realized immediately that it was dear Martha punishing me for speaking poorly of her tutorial. But there’s always a silver lining, right? The wreath did get finished, it is a million pounds heavier, and is just waiting for summer to be hung on our front door. What’s also funny is, that about the time I was finishing this project, a friend of mine was sending me some awesome info on a place to pick up some beachy items. She knows me so well!

Perfect summer door accessory.

Perfect summer door accessory.

 

So, overall, this project only cost me about $5 with the wreath form and the glue sticks. The shells are slowly decreasing my large collection that was going to waste. Was it worth my thumb being burned? I think so.

 

XOXO,

Ashley