Category Archives: Furniture

Yesterday Was Busy

A few odds and ends from the May list were accomplished yesterday.

From time to time my good brushes need a few hours in brush cleaner to loosen hard paint near the ferrule.

From time to time my good brushes need a few hours in brush cleaner to loosen hard paint near the ferrule.

Early in the morning before I went to work I  cleaned one of my favorite paint brushes which I had allowed to harden beyond use.  It had been rinsed but the paint stiffened the brush too much.

I pour the brush cleaner into a metal can and suspend the brushes in the liquid with an aluminum foil cover. After the brushes are removed I put the can's original lid back on to reuse next time.

I pour the brush cleaner into a metal can and suspend the brushes in the liquid with an aluminum foil cover. After the brushes are removed I put the can’s original lid back on to reuse next time.

I used the last of my brush cleaner to soften the paint and then cleaned it well with a wire brush and running water.

I was happy to peel the tape and paper from the seeded glass it had protected.

I was happy to peel the tape and paper from the seeded glass it had protected.

Then I took my almost finished bathroom light to give it one more dab of spray paint on the areas that had been missed.

Coventry gray by Benjamin Moore should look good with the marble tile in the master bathroom.

Coventry gray by Benjamin Moore should look good with the marble tile in the master bathroom.

I’m hoping to hang it in the master bathroom this weekend after I paint the walls with Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore a gallon of which I purchased yesterday.

Even the first wet coat of Metallic Charcoal over the lightly sanded TV tray looks better (to me).

Even the first wet coat of Metallic Charcoal over the lightly sanded TV tray looks better (to me).

I also got started spray painting the TV trays that I think will end up looking a lot like Pottery Barn’s Carter tray table.

Charlie laid out all the tile for the conservatory bathroom to check for breakage and color differential.

Charlie laid out all the tile for the conservatory bathroom to check for breakage and color differential.

And the conservatory bathroom floor tile which I ordered on Sunday from Home Depot was delivered yesterday.

Each 10.5" by 10.5" mosaic was wrapped in plastic and came 10 per box.

Each 10.5″ by 10.5″ mosaic was wrapped in plastic and came 10 per box.

That was really fast.

The  hose bibb tucked into the niche near the bump out had begun to drip and build up an ice dam in winter.

The hose bibb tucked into the niche near the bump out had begun to drip and build up an ice dam in winter.

One more thing: our contractor came back to switch out the outdoor hose bibbs which had begun to drip. In the last week they had stopped dripping so we’re just going to keep an eye on them.

Charlie went down the road to collect bamboo for his garden trellises.

Charlie went down the road to collect bamboo for his garden trellises.

So lots of projects were meddled with yesterday.  That’s what I like to see.

Are you a morning, afternoon, or evening DIYer?

Psssst!

I don’t have a secret.  I finally spent the day spray painting.

Here are the frames separated into individual pieces of our vintage patio set.

Here are the frames separated into individual pieces of our vintage patio set.

The weather was warm (above 50) and although it was a bit breezy I worked my way through 5 cans of Rust Inhibitor and Metallic Charcoal to cover my vintage patio set.

Coat after coat of Rustoleum Metallic Charcoal -- until it gleamed in the sun.

Coat after coat of Rustoleum Metallic Charcoal — until it gleamed in the sun.

I also used my rug cleaner recipe to clean the cushions. I squirted it on, brushed it in, and rinsed it off.

Most of the stains (see photo) came out after a good scrub and rinse.

Most of the stains (see before photo) came out after a good scrub and rinse.

The cushions are much cleaner.

I stood on the back steps and threw the pillows up to the roof.  One flew over the other side and landed n the mud.

I stood on the back steps and threw the pillows up to the roof. One flew over the other side and landed n the mud.

I was able to toss the cushions up to the bedroom porch from the conservatory steps.

After on the left, before on the right.

After on the left, before on the right.

I still need to get the last two chair frames up to the porch but at point everything is painted.

The cushions are drying but I plan to make this porch my 3-season headquarters.

The cushions are drying but I plan to make this porch my 3-season headquarters.

Everything aught to be dry enough to sit on tomorrow.

Two more pieces are waiting to be handed up to the master bedroom private porch.

Two more pieces are waiting to be handed up to the master bedroom private porch.

Woo hoo! I thought it would never get finished.

Inside — outside, where are you working (playing) this weekend?

I Cannot Keep a Surprise to Myself

I wanted to wait until the entire master bedroom private porch was ready for occupancy.

Entrance onto our private porch from the master bedroom.

Entrance onto our private porch from the master bedroom.

Unfortunately I just can’t keep a surprise. Actually, I can but it takes all my concentration which I have precious little of these days.

This area gets morning sun and afternoon shade which will be appreciated on warm summer days.

This area gets morning sun and afternoon shade which will be appreciated on warm summer days.

The furniture has been stripped but still needs to be painted.

Charlie finished stripping the old chippy white paint from our aluminum furniture.

Charlie finished stripping the old chippy white paint from our aluminum furniture.

But the rug has arrived.

Charlie hoisted the 8 and a half foot tube up onto the conservatory roof from the back steps.

Charlie hoisted the 8 and a half foot tube up onto the conservatory roof from the back steps.

I asked my readers to help me pick the one that would go best with my vintage furniture and you chose:

The rug was tightly rolled so the ends need time to relax.

The rug was tightly rolled so the ends need time to relax.

Ta-dah! Shasta

The black roof is brightened up by the light and bright rug.

The black roof is brightened up by the light and bright rug.

It’s the one I thought would go best, too, but I was a little leery of so much white.

I can't wait to actually arrange the furniture on our porch.

I can’t wait to actually arrange the furniture on our porch.

I decided that I’d be brave and go for the one we all liked best.

Can't wait to get some seating in place to enjoy the scenery.

Can’t wait to get some seating in place to enjoy the scenery.

Thank you, folks, for your wise participation.  And for those who chose a different rug be assured that I considered each carefully because I like them all.  The other ones just didn’t seem to go with my furniture (which I’m keeping) quite as well.

How do you decide among 3 equally tempting choices?

I Forgot to Mention

On our way back from Richmond, Virginia, a few weeks ago we stopped at Ikea to buy a sink and faucet for the conservatory bathroom.

The faucet fits on the Ikea sink and faucet.

The faucet fits on the Ikea sink and faucet.

I forgot to mention that I bought something else.

Our Ektorp works well in the living room.

Our grey Ektorp works well in the living room.

When we bought our Ektorp sofa I chose the grey (Svanby Gray) cover.  It’s been a sophisticated yet cozy look all winter. (My son came over the other night and swore the sofa was blue until he actually looked at it.)

Blekinge white

Blekinge white

Now I’m ready for something lighter since the south-facing living room actually gets more sunlight in winter than in summer.

A corner against the still-unfinished curtains.

A corner against the still-unfinished curtains.

I almost didn’t buy this creamy white cover because at the Ikea store it is lit with lighting that makes it appear bright, stark white.  But actually it works very well in our warm grey living room.

It looks good with the blue pillows, too.

It looks good with the blue pillows, too.

I might have other summer changes in store if I can just find the time.

Do you make seasonal changes in your house? Big changes? Small changes?

The Trash on My Street

As I was driving out from my house last night I spied a pair of chairs left by the side of the road.

A neighbor has clearly had enough of these Victorianesque chairs.

A neighbor has clearly had enough of these Victorianesque chairs.

I live on a dead end street of about half of a dozen houses so I know these chairs are not meant for some passer-by to snatch up.

If these were truly from a Victorian set there would be both a masculine and feminine model of the chair -- similar but not exactly the same.

If these were truly from a Victorian set there would be both a masculine and feminine model of the chair — similar but not exactly the same.

Their Victorian feeling  is not my (current) style or you know I would have dragged them home.

Pretty details that could easily be enhanced in a theatrical paint shop.

Pretty details that could easily be enhanced in a theatrical paint shop.

I also know that some theatre company would love to have these in their prop closet.  I remember designing Harvey (the play about a six-foot invisible rabbit) years ago and having to borrow some stock Victorian furniture from another theatre company with more storage than we had.

I'm guessing the vacuum cleaner doesn't work.

I’m guessing the vacuum cleaner doesn’t work.

We have some wonderful university and regional theatres here in Maryland.  Don’t overlook that avenue if you’re trying to get rid of items that might be valuable for props and costumes. (I donated some hats here.) Theatre artists and artisans are talented at renewing your cast-offs to fit their plays. And, of course, you can usually take a tax deduction if the theatre company is not-for-profit.

Do you have specific advice about passing on unwanted items? Furniture? Clothes?

Pick a Rug for Me

Although our house is not brick I love the look of the Chippendale railing on the second floor porch.

Although our house is not brick I love the look of the Chippendale railing on the second floor porch.

Source

Our private porch off the master bedroom is really supposed to have a deck and railing.

The barricade is to keep us from falling off the deck until we get a railing out there.

The barricade is to keep us from falling off the deck until we get a railing out there.

That’s why our contractor barricaded the French door to this porch.

The master deck is just above the conservatory.

The master deck is just above the conservatory.

But it’s my house and so I unbarricaded it because I want to use the porch.

The grey area to the right of the bedroom is a roof deck accessed from the bedroom.

The grey area to the right of the bedroom is a roof deck accessed from the bedroom.

After it’s painted I plan to use my vintage outdoor furniture on this porch.

Classic porch furniture

Classic porch furniture will be painted charcoal metallic and moved to the upstairs porch.  The green and white stripes are remaining.

In order to give some protection to the roofing material when we’re out on the porch I need a big outdoor rug. The porch measures approximately 15′-8″ by 15′-11″.

Left to right: Medallion, Shasta, Watercolor.

Left to right: Medallion, Shasta, Watercolor.

Grandin Road has relatively inexpensive outdoor rugs the largest being 8′-6″ by 13′-0″.

Medallion

Medallion

Shasta

Shasta

Watercolor

Watercolor

Which do you think will go best with my vintage outdoor furniture which has large green and white stripes?

Using a Color Wheel

Lots of people on the internet wonder about color schemes and there is no limit to helpfulness in that loads of compatible color combinations are represented.

This is the current house palette.

This is the current house palette.

I generally just use my intuition as to whether colors go together or not.

A simple and traditional color wheel.

A simple and traditional color wheel.

If I want to be sure I go to a traditional color wheel where I can check out analogous schemes, monochromatic schemes, etc.

I know Pottery Barn put this on their Spring cover to attract my attention.

I know Pottery Barn put this on their Spring cover to attract my attention.

On the front of a recent Pottery Barn catalog is their new-for-spring bedding featuring koi.  I have a thing for fish as I posted here and here.

The current linens include a charcoal grey duvet cover and navy-timmed pillow covers.

The current linens include a charcoal grey duvet cover and navy-timmed pillow covers.

The thing is that this duvet cover is orange and I’m generally not a fan but this is so fresh that I want it for the master bedroom.

I don't know how to "make" the bed with the koi sample but it looks good to me.

I don’t know how to “make” the bed with the koi sample but it looks good to me. (The sample on  the cover appears to be a lighter orange than the online catalog.)

What does this have to do with the color wheel? Our bedroom walls are painted Virtuoso which is a medium periwinkle blue. (The walls are not at all purple except they sometimes look that way in photos.)

Blue is the complementary color of orange (and vice versa).

Blue is the complementary color of orange (and vice versa).

Directly across the color wheel from this color is orange — orange and blue are complementary colors, they complete each other, one gives the other zip and zing.

Something like this.

Something like this.

I think this duvet cover would be a lively and light expression on our bed until we remove the heavy down comforter for summer.

How do you choose color combinations.