Every time I work on a new magazine (in this case FRENCH COUNTRY STYLE) I get the urge to make changes around my house. There is nothing like practicing what you preach, oui?
However, these changes did not happen overnight. Between working on 3 magazines and being away on shoots I have not had the luxury to indulge all my rooms makeover fantasies. Though I only recently announced the upcoming FRENCH COUNTRY STYLE, I began to work on it several months back. So, the changes in the house have been ever so slow!!!
Of course, ROMANTIC PRAIRIE STYLE is still my first love but it actually mixes well with FRENCH COUNTRY because they are both simple and share the same elements of rustic refinements. The options are numerous and the results depends on how you marry them.
I finally took some quick snap shots this morning but keep in mind that this is still a work in progress. Take a peek.
Hope this might inspire you to to expand your decorating horizons without spending a fortune.
You already saw the kitchen bench but my sister made the pillow with French fabric and "Take a Seat" crossed-stitched by hand (not machine made). I gave her the dimensions (she makes them to order). They can be shipped (from France) without the filling (I bought mine at JoAnne's). The pillow is fastened to the bench with velcro ties so it can easily be removed for washing.
I was very fortunate to find an old church pew but it too needed a pillow. So, again, I gave my sister the dimensions and: voila!(The bench is in the DR).
I repainted my old bed black, moved it, and changed the bedding. I already had the blue shams and comforter cover (from Target), the sham with the little flowers, the blue and white throw (have had it for 20 years!) and the mustard color throw (from last year Pottery Barn--Daisy is quite fond of it too) but I bought the white and blue sheets (Home Goods) and the great bedskirt (online from One Kings Lane--don't try to find it. It was the only one. Sorry!)
You will recognize the embellished horseshoes I made as one of the DIY projects for the premiere issue of ROMANTIC PRAIRIE STYLE. I am still looking for the proper way to "frame" them but for now they are OK as they are. The pillow with the boots is hand painted by a friend (and washable!) I moved and repainted the narrow armoire, which fits perfectly on that side of the bed. The basket is from Home Goods but lined with an old French tablecloth. The "plants" in it come from EKSTER ANTIQUES in Virginia.
The haunting woman portrait was painted by my friend Lou. I bought the little chandelier at a flea market about 15 years ago (it used to hang in the kitchen. The (fake but so real looking) mimosa comes from Pottery Barn (a recent acquisition during their sale).
I found the aqua pot (ceramic) at William-Sonoma and though it's meant for other uses (I think it's supposed to be an ice bucket...) I bought it because I love the mimosa and pot colors together. It's so happy and fresh looking.
The terra cotta rosary was another gift from LAURA. She sells them with many other wonderful items so go visit her (http://verbenanestedtreasures.blogspot.com)
I painted mine with acrylic paint but you can also keep them natural.
Still had to indulge my girly side as well............
As any self-respecting PRAIRIE GIRL knows BOOTS and BELTS are a must (as you can clearly see). I gave up trying to hang belts in the closet a long time ago because I always had to search for them. I hung a wooden drapery rod (with the brackets it came with and everything painted white) low enough on the wall so that I could locate them easily AND make them part of the PRAIRIE bedroom mood together with the boots.
Except for the rustic pink table (which has been in every room over the past 12 years---even in the guest house) I pretty well sold every piece of the living room furniture. With the money I bought 2 new armchairs (the beige and red from Pottery Barn when they had their floor sample sale) and the red one from Ethan Allen (also a floor sample sale). I made the paper mache clock many years ago. The basket (under the table) is an ordinary basket from Marshalls (or Home Goods---by the way they have some fabulous baskets right now) but is "dressed" with another French table cloth and filled with, what else? Magazines! The "OUI" and "NON" pillows (hand crossed-stitched are also made by my sister Sylvie).
I got the cowhide from my friend LAURA a couple of months ago. Love it. Please remember that the cows are NOT slaughtered for their hide but for meat and the hides end up being a by-product. You know how I feel about animals (and I do not eat meat).
I know you are going to ask me about the cool French market basket so here it is: my sister made the lining for it (and the other as well---see below). They are part of my PRAIRIE PRETTY line of accessories that I am working on and hope to offer soon. I would so appreciate if you did not copy this. They will come with different lining colors and patterns. Thanks for respecting my work.
The sofa is a used but cool piece I bought from my friends SUSIE & MARK lovely POSH ON PALM shop in Sarasota. It's upholstered in painter's cloth and perfect for my kitties.....
Got the cool candelabra several years ago from WISTERIA catalog. The coffee table came from an antique store in Sarasota and the mirror from a garage sale. The piece holding the candles on the table was another garage sale item. It's brass but I painted grayish.
The red and white pillow is from Home Goods. My sister stitched the "Place Reservee" and the one with the heart. The beige and white is a pillow case from a set I bought in France many years ago.
These are just dried and painted stems
You have already seen the kitchen table (this was taken before the new bench) but I also painted the dining room buffet and moved it in the kitchen (and that was not an easy move by myself!!)
Also bought this fabulous enamel pitcher from JANET SHABBYFUFU last September when Mark and I shot her Miami home. Took me a while to figure out where to use it as it is pretty tall but it finally came together when I got the kitchen table.
That's it for today. Next time I will post the guest bedroom and dining room redo but neither is quite ready yet.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!