Renew. Reclaim. Repurpose.

July 18 2015

Best Shops in Ireland Nomination

We are delighted to have been nominated for The Irish Times 'Best Shops in Ireland' award this year.  And The Irish Times would like to hear from you as well.

Now in its fourth year, The Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland awards highlight independent retailers with inspiring stock, new ideas and friendly service.

As the business climate improves, they’re looking for shops with great stock and attitude, and the ones you admire for getting it just right. We are confident we fit this description perfectly.

Last year they received more than over 27,000 nominations for 2,700 shops from every county in Ireland. If you feel so inclined, do nominate Twenty Six Eclectic Mix. Here's the link for you.

We are deeply grateful for all your support throughout the years and look forward to many more years of giving you the best service and products in Ireland.

 


June 05 2014

Mad Men Inspiration for Retro Chairs

Enthused by blankets being used as  upholstery I was on the hunt for old wool blankets much to my sisters joint horror! So it meant I was kind of half hearted doing it and thinking how difficult it may turnout out to be, so I stopped looking for the blankets and starting browsing around for chairs online. I was amazed by the amount of people looking to emulate the current popularity of Mad Men and how it has filtered down not only into fashion but also interiors with interior designers, shops, boutiques and https://www.pinterest.com/ awash with Mad Men fever......

I came across two check/ tweedy looking chairs that I thought were a possibility for my own private Mad Men look especially as from far away they looked "brownish" but upon closer inspection I could see they had a couple of distinct threads running through them which coincided with my next project I had in mind which was to find an opportunity to mix a few of the Chalk Paints™ by Annie Sloan to see what colours were possible.

(image courtesy of the Chair Depository http://thechairdepository.blogspot.ie/2011/10/inspiration-blanket-upholstery.html

So now my challenge was to turn my original pair of chairs into something Mad Men, vibrant and fun ( a tall order!) and to do this whislt exploring a new choice of colours which I would mix. The two colours I liked in the fabric were a deep pinky/purple like an antique fuchsia and a coral colour. 

(photo taken on the street when I first saw the chairs outside a antiques/vintage store in Dublin city centre)

Mixing Paints, Time to Explore..

So I started to mix 

(mixing Emile and Emperor Silk to make the Antique Fuchsia colour I was looking for and then mixing Barcelona Orange with Emperor Silk to make the Coral toned colour )

Its best just to take your time and I added literally spoon by spoon until I had the colour and tone I had in my head. If you are nervous about doing this then it is time I directed you to an Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan veteran and expert who has come up with a fantastic tool whereby you can input the colours you want to mix and you get to see how much you need to add of each percentage wise in order to achieve your colour of choice. 

http://www.thepurplepaintedlady.com/paint-mixer/

It is trial and error and if you are worried, to save you, read this fantastic post by The Purple Painted Lady,

a shining light in the world of Annie Sloan and a true innovator http://www.thepurplepaintedlady.com/2014/05/emperors-silk-chalk-paint-tell-me-all-about-it/

So I painted the first chair in my Antique Fuchsia colour and my second chair in the Coral colour and I am really happy with the result. I then sanded both chairs off, and I applied a lot of wax and then repeated the process. Then I used a brush to buffer them off. 

If you are still looking for that Mad Men Inspiation, read below: 

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/14393727/list/Why-We-Love-Midcentury-Modern-Design

 

 

 


June 02 2014

Pretty in Pink Dipped Stool

Another project I have wanted to try for ages was the “dipped” trend that has been making waves since 2013 with designers worldwide. Inspired by http://www.pinterest.com/dianasamper/trends-dipped/  and the colour pallet from a well worn and loved T-shirt that I wanted to use in an upcyling project. The image below is an upcycled stool I found for sale online and was exactly what I was looking for but I couldnt decide if I wanted the lines masked or running into each other.

I had a bedroom stool that is kind of depressing, heavy dark wood and yet very useful but I just wanted to give it a new life.  I had decided that the more masculine the piece looks the more feminine approach I should take to the colour so I chose Henrietta Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan and started with that.

(Give A Boring Old Stool A Beautiful Makeover by Lisa Tisle, see Full Blog below from crafts.tutsplus.com)

I loved the end result but wanted to be more adventurous and explore this new “dipping “ trend. So I got out my trusty Emperor Silk and mixed it 2:1 with Old White. Then mixed it equally with Old White.

(image courtesy of silverhue design, Full Blog below My New DIY Obsession)

So I did the bottom section first (which I will not repeat as when I did next section it dribbled a bit as I hadn’t let it dry in my impatience to see the end result). Whilst it was drying I got out my sewing machine, stitched up my old t-shirt into a rectangular shaped cushion, sewed on a button and the transformation was complete.

( photo courtesy of BY  ON 

 

I then very gently sanded off the stool and then waxed it with clear wax.

A Big Thank You to All the Inspirational Blogs out there:

http://www.silverhuedesign.com/blog/my-new-diy-obsession.html

http://crafts.tutsplus.com/tutorials/give-a-boring-old-stool-a-beautiful-makeover--craft-3651

http://www.brit.co/color-dipped-stools/?utm_campaign=pinbutton_hover

Next Blog we will be using a mixing tool to help us pick colours and try a few new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint mixes....


May 29 2014

Geisha Cabinet

I had been lusting after a dresser of some description to encourage me to display and use my china collection. I had chased up a few but due to woodworm, wear and tear, broken glass that was too expensive to replace I wasn’t having much luck.

 

( I had hesitated about this cabinet above, it finally went down to €10 and as market was closing I said Deal and went off happy, priced one piece of broken glass, came back next weekend having decided colour etc to find it had been "disposed of", I suspected it had wood worm but was disappointed nonetheless as I was going to treat it eitherway)

 

(as I had been envisaging something like this gorgeous Yellow makeover above cortesy of 

http://www.kiki.net.nz/gallery/item/120-upcycled-leadlight-china-cabinet.html )

Then I heard about a little village sale, as I pulled in I saw somebody pulling off with a gorgeous antique dresser on top of their car and I abandoned the car and started running. Not much was left and a lot of big pieces I could not take, hidden in the corner I spotted this sad cabinet, upon closer inspection I quite liked the detail and the silk lining, upon asking about it I realised there were two shelves to go with it. I said “Yes, I’ll take it, now” then proceeded to get the car, remove two car seats, and force the cabinet across my back seat much to my husbands chagrin when I arrived home already late with seats removed etc...but it’s a passion!

I had also inspired by some gorgeous upcycled cabinets and dressers I had seen on https://www.pinterest.com/.

(image courtesy of Sawdust and Embryos go to http://www.sawdustandembryos.com/furniture/ to see this fantastic couples before and after photos, it will certainly get you into a creative mood)

(image courtesy of www.restyledvintage.com which has a gorgeous array of pretty hand painted funriture)

 

I went through all of the options on colours then I had a good look at the silk at the back as I had planned on reupholstering then I decided I would give it a “stay of execution” in the true spirit of upcycling and I instead cleaned with a fabric soap and lukewarm water very gently sponging it sparingly, let it dry and gave it a few generous sprays of Febreeze and decided it would be a shame to rip out.

(Jewlery box https://www.etsy.com/shop/TreasuresbyMarylou  and this reconfirmed that I would try Old Violet on the cabinet)

So now I was more restricted in my colour choices and finally I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to use Old Violet as I had wanted to use it as I keep seeing very attractive furniture making statements with it but I had tried it and hadn’t been convinced. So I painted the cabinet with two coats of Old Violet Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan and then for a bit of contrast I painted Louis Blue on the inside to set off the Chinese Silk interior.

I left it for a few days after I had sanded and waxed with a brush. Then I decided it could take a little livening up, so I went onto http://thegraphicsfairy.com/old-japanese-photo-geisha-lady/ and decided this Geisha was going to glam up my cabinet with her Kimono in complimentary colours. Graphicsfairy.com inspires me and has so many graphics to choose from I am always spoilt for choice! So I was back out with my decoupage kit and pasting on my Geisha. 

After a few more days I was very happy but then thought okay it’s time to bite the bullet and start using the Dark wax on other colours as opposed to just Emperor Silk (as always looks great on this). Lavishly applied, and then wanted to cry as it made it too dark, so I have applied clear wax, then very gently some white spirits and removed a lot of the dark wax and I keep rubbing in clear wax so that finally I have something I will cherish and is providing a sumptuous home for my Grandmothers’ China set.

That’s the benefit of Annie Sloan’s paints and waxes, it’s all trial and error and so no big deal you learn as you go along. Next week I will be highlighting blogs where Annie Sloan veterans give their mistakes, tips and advice for more complex transformations.

For a selection of beautiful cabinets, take a look:

http://www.foreverpinkcottagechic.com/cabinets.html

I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to www.graphicsfairy.com for all the unbelievable graphics they upload for anyone with a passion for crafting and upcycling and it has made it so pleasurable and I am spoilt for choice with the images as well as truly inspired


May 26 2014

Red Hot Chairs

Influenced by the number of designer chairs reusing tweed and wool patterns in the fabric of their chairs and having had a good root around some vintage shops in London I was on the lookout for my own pair of fireside chairs. Originally I was thinking I would pick an unusual shape with a low seat and then choose a fabric and have them recovered.

(Vintage Inspiration found online)

Finally, I came across two that attracted me but the fabric was putting me off and they were fairly shabby looking. It was the shape of the arms that attracted me; I just couldn’t resist those curves. I tried originally with a medley of greys, then greens, all of it looked a little insipid and lost and did nothing for the chairs, even if I was recovering. 

(Before Image and after I had tried a paler green option..)

I needed something that would really provide a “pop” and accentuate the curve of the arms as this is the most unusual aspect of the chairs and something we do not see in mass produced furniture today. So it was back to the old reliable, Emperor Silk who can always transform a piece and cheer up a room. So I repainted the arms and legs with two coats of Emperor Silk Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan and touched up again on anywhere that looked patchy when first two coats dried.

(Final Outcome)

I then sanded again, as I had originally sanded more than usual as the varnish on the original arms was worn in patches and I didn’t want that to show through. Then I generously applied clear wax, left it and went back, buffed it off and repeated the process. At this point I had steam cleaned the fabric and sprayed it with a fabric cleaner as well as leaving it outdoors when it was not raining (difficult recently!) to air as much as possible, so much so that I decided I would keep the original fabric for now.

(Courtesy of RescuedRetroVintage on Etsy, if you are feeling more adventurous

https://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/164886690/original-soviet-cold-war-overcoat?ref=shop_home_active_5 )

 

ps: I had originally picked a very unique green wingback chair from the same second hand furniture dealer but he went ahead and delivered when I was not home, deciding that three chairs would be safe in my front garden. When I got home the green one and the most unusual was missing! It looks like somebody thought as they were second hand/preloved ! that I was putting them in my garden enroute to the skip, so they helped themselves, which brings me onto “Skip Diving Etiquette”. There is a plethora of articles online about the etiquette for helping yourself to skips, roadside finds etc but if it i actually in someones garden, it is expected that you knock and ask as you are on their private property and cannot be sure they are actually dumping it !

 

For some really funny and interesting blogs on dumpster diving and buying used furniture, see below:

http://mywhitsend.org/2011/07/01/the-art-etiquette-and-rules-of-dumpster-diving/

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-ten-commandments-of-buying-used-furniture-184689

http://kissthefrogagain.co.uk/shop/vintage-tweed-mummy-chair/


May 21 2014

Grecian Inspired Bedroom prompted by sleepless nights

So it all started with sleepless nights and big Italian bed jealousy I decided! As every night I heard two sets of footsteps and a bed that started with two ended by morning with four! When asked the next morning, I am always told “ your bed is cosier”, “Bigger” “nicer” so we decided the Thomas the Tank and the toddler cot bed had to go and went bed shopping as the experts say “include them” in the decision process if you want them to stay in their own bed. Finally we realised they also wanted to share a bed, so I said fine and we started off sensibly looking at all childrens beds.  I spent 3 weeks ringing dealers, checking salvage yards and auctions looking for a replicate of my bed brought home with me from Italy. Finally at 4 o clock on a wet Friday I got a call back, a mahogany bed had been sourced matching the dimensions I had given. It was a trip to an antique dealer in North county Dublin, I decided I had to go, I had that “feeling”.

First he showed me a beech bed I was horrified then he said well I have this one its a lot dearer ( dreaded words) so it was a mahogany poster bed with a lot of intricate designs, not exactly “my thing” but I tried to stay focused, it was perfect size, I had Chalk Paint™  b y Annie Sloan that can miraculously transform things you think you don’t like so I bargained. Then as the posts very long and not “child friendly” rang my husand who said “NO”.

(Image above was my inspiration and when I found this online at Billy-Hustace.Getty I realised that I was looking to achieve a similar look with my Greek Blue, Coco and mixture of frames in complimentary blues)

(part of my wardrobe search that had to be abandoned)

Bargained anyway and discovered posts could be unscrewed at a certain height so somewhat safer.... Negotiated for an hour till we got a price we could both live with a 6pm on a Friday. Organised delivery and I was smiling all the way home to now get rid of Thomas Tank and toddler bed. Tried in vain to source antique wardrobe that would need to be dismantled and then customised to fir around hearing as existing wardrobe is, after estimating costs and work decided little by little and decided instead to use Coco to fade out the current walnut wardrobe.

Decided to upcycle chair in room as desk is also in the bedroom, so painted the legs Coco to match and made a slipcover to match from a remanant picked up in France four years ago. For the black out blind, went to Ikea and sourced a complimentary fabric to remanant and sewed so black out curtain in vain hope this would keep them in their new “large cosy bed”.

Complimentary fabric for all Annie Sloan Colours can be sourced and ordered at Twenty Six, to view 

http://www.anniesloan.ie/collections/annie-sloan-fabrics

It took a lot more paint, elbow grease and a lot of space to dismantle bed and paint but was worth every minute, as both boys I decided to go traditional for once and chose Greek blue to give a Mediterranean feel to the room, the new vibrant colour meant we then had to repaint the walls white as colour had made them a little faded looking! So sewing done, painting done, took three coats as was a dark mahogany and kept showing through, then waxed with a lint free cloth and brush in the carvings and it was time to erect.

(first selection of suitcases for upcycling I found, otherwise in lovely shops but €100 so had to search harder)

 

In my enthusiasm, I painted two old suitcases, one in Aubusson blue to match existing colour and a more faded one in Greek Blue and with some maps varnished on for detail to help hide childrens clutter. Then added in a vintage leather suitcase picked up in Italy more than 20 years ago. And it was ready for the first nights sleep....................

Greek Blue painted bed and Coco chalk painted wardrobe

 

Chair legs painted in Coco and suitcase in Greek Blue and wallpaper

And so for the next project to grab my attention...


May 18 2014

Revamp some Twin Lamps with some Farrow and Ball Wallpaper and Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan

So it started with me being inspired by my new creative flair....so I thought okay I am on a roll and I always wanted to do lamps, I have two matching ones in my bedroom, they are fine, they are not vintage, not old but they could be my test....So I removed shades, got out my masking tape and decided to paint them with  two coats of Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan as decided a tranquil colour that could lend itself to blending with others and also it was a complimentary scheme I was looking for and I had decided that Duck Egg Blue and a stripe of Old White would match perfectly with the new 2014 Farrow and Ball Samphire wallpaper.

http://eu.farrow-ball.com/samphire-bp-4002/2014-new-wallpapers/farrow-ball/fcp-product/204002

So I painted lamps, stripe and then had to buy a glue gun to attach the wallpaper onto the lampshades and realised its harder than it looks! Also it would have been easier if I had chosen lampshades that are the same size top and bottom as paper was quite stiff...

http://www.bravenewhome.com/diy-wallpapered-lamp-shades/ 

 

Also heat guns really burn and I may not have any fingerprints left...and last lesson, it looks really easy with the online tutorials and the finish neat and beading an option, mine didn’t look like that and even worse I needed to go back when dry and start all over with glue gun to reattach beading ribbon finish to top and was so hard to get straight decided the bottom could do without.. you win some you lose some, it is something I think practise makes perfect would apply to....now hoping doesn’t melt off when lamps on for a long time.....

The final result

I have learnt that these things are not always as easy as they appear!!

 

If you are looking for more information on how to upcycle your own lamps, I found the ones below the most useful

http://www.housetohome.co.uk/articles/how-to-cover-a-lampshade-with-wallpaper-country-craft-ideas_523973.html

http://eu.farrow-ball.com/10-ways-wallpaper-lampshade/content/fcp-content

http://www.homelife.com.au/decorating/living+dining/how+to+re+cover+a+lampshade,4973

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8ne-ZXMnO8


May 14 2014

Wall Art with Vintage French Porcelain Plates

Inspired by an exhibition I saw in the Northern Italy, I had been on the lookout for an opportunity to emulate it. Finally, I found an antique frame that had gotten damp in my parents garage. So I ripped out the print as ruined anyway and then asked my very obliging brother-in-law to help me by cutting a sheet of MDF to fit the back of the frame as the current one was warped. He did and so now I had to find my art inspiration, so I went to my own “Aladdin’s Cave” where I keep all my treasure as I cannot fit in the actual house and after a lot of humming and hawing decided I would try with my “Vintage plates” I had bought in Italy after I had seen the exhibition, which are actually French made.

http://theardentsparrow.blogspot.ie/2011/03/monday-design-inspiration-wall-art.html

The site above is inspirational and it where I sourced a lot if ideas from, including the next two images which cheered me up no end.

 

The MDF I then painted with two coats of Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan in Old White and then I waxed, buffed a lot as I was afraid adhesive my not stick and I had visions of my vintage side plates crashing to the tiled floor beneath.... Then for the frame itself I painted it with two coats of Greek Blue, waxed it with a lint free cloth and then sanded sections so the original gold frame would show through.

I then tried every layout scheme possible for the plates and enlisted the help or my reluctant husband to measure it with his tape and a pencil as I am always too impatient and try to do things by eye and when they are up I realise I must be a Cyclops because they are never spaced correctly! I was back to my trusty brother-in-law who told me yes “Tec 7” would ensure the plates are stuck till well after I am gone anyway....it can be sourced at small local DIY stores and all of the big ones. I am happier with the end result than I thought and everyone that enters the kitchen cannot help but compliment it and its simplicity.....

So get rummaging...... and you too can have some of your very own wall art like above or below

Wall Art with Annie Sloan Greek Blue frame and Old white background

If this blog inspired you, please look at Inspire Bohemia below which is fantastic and are the source of the two photos used in blog above.

http://www.inspirebohemia.com/2010/11/beautiful-wall-decor-and-art-plates.html

 


May 11 2014

Nesting with upcycled tables, ideal for small spaces and entertaining....

A very strange thing has started to happen, when my sister or I happen upon something we fancy painting the other seems to pick up the same or similar style of piece, in the same week in completely different parts of the city..sometimes country. But this little nest was the strangest of all, I picked up the biggest one in a local charity shop and a few days later my sister arrives, as we store all at my “Grenier”, with the two smaller ones, so I immediately started painting as I have had it in my head to pick three of the colours from my favourite oil painting, it’s an Irish beach scene of course, being "Irish" its very dark blues/greens/teal/turquoise. I also had taken this photo from a bathroom supply shop in a little town in Normandy as I liked the look of the colours together

and so I had it noted in my Annie Sloan colour inspirations as a possible combination to use together.

So you might ask why a nest of tables, do people really use them these days?

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/48818/list/Nesting-Tables--Function-and-Style

I am also trying to decide on a new colour for the walls and so now I’m using the nest to help with the depth of colour I want to achieve. I find the colour wheel very helpful, especially deciding if it’s to be harmonious/complimentary or a complete clash. With the nest I decided I wanted a good sheen from the sides of the tables so I did two very thin coats of wax and really buffed on the last one with a lint free cloth. The great thing about the Annie Sloan paints is the little tester pots so if you are unsure its inexpensive to try them out on a small item or even a patch of the piece you are going to paint, you can always sand it lightly off so it will blend when you paint over.

If you are looking for inspiration there are loads to be found online here is a few that attracted me to the possibilities

I used Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan and decided that Provence, Aubusson  & Florence were the closest match of  the colours from the painting. I used Annie Sloan clear wax. Of course the colours might have to be tweaked a little when the walls are finally finished to get it to match the image in my mind. The  fabric was sourced in Ikea but Annie Sloan has some gorgeous options in her Ticking and Stripes section that compliment all of the Annie Sloan colours.

http://anniesloan.com/acatalog/copy_of_copy_of_copy_of_copy_of_Ticking.html

But it’s close as when I was painting them I could feel that childish sense of excitement building up, when you have had an idea and then see it coming together.

 

PS The walls have just been redone in a Teal and the tables really stand out against it.

 


April 15 2014

Calamity Jane Tames Wild West with a lick of Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan

Calamity Jane Oak Chair with “A Womans Touch” from the Wild West

The Calamity Jane movie  may have been filmed  in 1953 but now more than 60 years later lots of women in a backlash to the recession and the “buy, buy, buy” mentality are looking at existing pieces in their homes, family and friends homes (if they are lucky) and second hand or vintage pieces to assess how they too can “make the lamp appear like a crystal chandelier” and by using Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan perhaps we too with “a touch of paint, a magic nail, can turn a kitchen chair into a Chippendale”

 

 

I certainly cannot pretend to have been a girly girl and was more of a tomboy but I remember looking at the scenes in the film with Calamity and Katie sing "A Woman's Touch," and magically transforming Calam's cabin into a dream house and thinking “Oh, so you just need paint and an idea and I also recall being amazed at the speed of the transformation. I think then when I tired lots of stripping and preparation work it meant I couldn’t easily transform a piece on a whim. Now I literally plan the transformation in my head, root through my fabric and decoupage image collection and I can transform an item within a timescale that could compete with Calamity.......

I had been looking out for a sturdy chair, ideally in oak for a while with a back panel that would allow me to hone my spray painting skills. I came across one online and although I didn’t initially find it attractive it ticked all the boxes and I decided that items previously upcycled has shocked me as usually I manage to blur the bits I may not originally like as so I no longer notice them.  This time I decided to stick with one colour and I wanted the fabric and the spray paint to be the focal point so I decided to go with Old White as the colour. I cleaned down the chair as it had been kept in a garage for a while, painted it with two coats of Old White Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan and let it keep drying. Below is the text on an IPAD that designer copied onto stencil and cut. 

Then I cut to size my two decoupage image prints from the movie and I had an Artist cut the two stencils for me so that I could add on the text. I deliberated a lot about the fabric and ended up spending days with different fabric sitting atop the chair as it looked different as the chair evolved. Then it was time to remove the old material and to cheat and instead of tacks, I used a staple gun to do chair. (see below for upholstery tips). Finally, I settled on the yellow and white gingham as it added the most pop of colour to the Old White Chalk Paint™ . It was time to sand off the paint a little bit for a smooth finish, then two applications of wax to seal it.

I hope you like the end result,  and to finish on a Calamity note “So never underestimate a woman's touch!" and for die hard Calamity fans heres the words to sing along to while you choose what you can get working on next..

 

"A woman's touch can quickly fill 

The empty flower boxes on a winder sill.

One smile from her and zoom  Little buds begin to bloom...

A touch of paint, A magic nail, Can turn a kitchen chair into a Chippendale.

Even make the lamp appear,

Like a crystal chandelier!

With a tack tack here and a tack tack there 

And a hand around a hammer 

With a mop mop here and a mop mop there 

You can give a cabin glamour.

The pies and cakes a woman bakes, 

Can make a fella tell her 

That he loves her very much... It can?  ..

So never underestimate a woman's touch!"

 

Thanking the sites below for their wonderful ideas:

For some more inspiration, especially if you can sew or quilt

http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/posie_gets_cozy/2010/05/patchy-pad.html

How to upholster chairs

http://debbie-debbiedoos.com/2013/04/how-to-reupholster-chairs.html

Gingham and colour choice inspired by

http://www.damasklove.com/a-basket-of-birthday-wishes/

So now its over to you to make a chair in honour of your old film star or favourite film, then post on our facebook page with your star story attached and we will have our "AnnieSloaners" vote on the most inspirational..... and you will win a little something that will help you get started on your next project....


April 13 2014

Chalk Paint® Brightens up RDS Ideal Home Show 2014

So we headed off for the RDS full of enthusiasm and with a van load full of Annie Sloan delights to test the response at the RDS Ideal Home Show. For the stand we had relied on all the AS fanatics to tell us what they would like to see on the stand and we hope we delivered, according to the feedback we got over the three days you were all thrilled to get to see the selection of colours available and the huge amount of “interesting” objects that can be upcycled or repurposed with a lick of Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan. We spent a lot of time looking at what is popular and upcoming in trends worldwide and what the Irish twist on this is, we went through a lot of mood boards and came up with a stand we hoped you would love and you did....

We are also using it as an opportunity to launch the new Annie Sloan fragrances which are receiving rave reviews and seem to have scents that our Annie Sloaners are keen to wear..

So it’s been a hectic few days at the RDS Ideal Home Show as we met with some of our Annie Sloan fans that were buying from the day the paint was available in Ireland and have been “invigorating” their homes ever since, we have also met with some people who have never come across Chalk Paint  or Annie Sloan and kept demanding to know what the catch was!!! They were won over when they came back for the really popular on the stand demos. Bravely undertaken by all Irish Annie Sloan stockists , these demonstrations gave non-believer a chance to see with their own eyes that “there really is no need to sand, remove or prepare” the furniture pre-painting once it is a clean surface.

Then they got to see how quick you can transform a piece of much-loved or in some cases “hated” furniture turning it into something you really love.... when softly painted in one of the dream like opaque shades of Annie Sloan it conveys a different era and often shades out a feature you may not like or highlights a shapely table leg much better than its previous mahogany shade....

Ideal Home show attendees were delighted to get their hands on a real “upcycling” piece after a couple of years of being teased with these pieces at the show house but not knowing how or where to get their hands on the equipment or paints to transform something for themselves.

The Annie Sloan fabric wad displayed lovingly on an old ladder and the upcycled sofa was so inviting that people sat down to flick through the Annie Sloan sample books and watch the world go by.

The demonstrations covered were One colour distress, Transfer image, Two colour distress, Stencilling, Gilding, Colour wash and Decoupage and proved to be a big hit with attendees asking where they can learn more (Annie Sloan workshops with Twentysix at http://www.anniesloan.ie/ or through any of our stockists http://www.anniesloan.ie/pages/annie-sloan-stockists-in-ireland 

Also the Annie Sloan books can be purchased online at http://www.anniesloan.ie/collections/chalk-paint-accessories

What was shocking from the show is how many people got genuinely excited at the prospect of not having to prepare, sand or prime pre-painting their project of choice. Admittedly, loads of women found this to be the most attractive selling point as well as the time and money saved and the selection of colours and the fact that you can mix all your own colours for an individual touch.

Everyone on the stand were delighted to hear so many positive and complimentary on the stand design and to hear from well seasoned exhibition attendees or even other exhibitors that the stand won hands down with its upbeat, quirky and eclectic look which seemed to brighten up people as they approached the stand.

A couple of comments we overhead while painting at the stand:

“Oh yes this chalk paint, I’ve been hearing all about it, it’s supposed to be very easy to use”

“Oh yes now I see they do have a gorgeous range of colours”

“Hi, yes I am painting a tea chest and I am wondering how much would I need and how will I learn how to apply it, can anybody do it”

“Oh there’s that Annie Sloan paint, you know that’s become really popular here”

“Its called chalk paint, funny name for it...” (teenager)

“Oh there’s the Annie Sloan stand you know the one you can do all the Shabby chic stuff with”

“I live in Clontarf, which stockist can I go to and would they be able to tell me how to use it”

It took a huge amount of hard work behind the scenes to prepare for the Ideal Homes Exhibition but it was hugely enjoyable to exhibit and get to talk to the real people who are using Chalk Paint and a big THANK YOU to all the stockists who showed off their talents in a restricted space with lots of onlookers and questions and did us Proud.....

Keep up with us on at Twentysix Eclectic Mix on Facebook for updates and get posting your upcycled pieces to be in with a chance to win a prize on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TwentySixEclecticMix

And for those of you who are seasoned “Annie Sloaners” check out the latest techniques on Annie’s own blog at  which recently covers techniques “From wash to white stripes to watercolour” , “Sgraffito" and "Frottage"or if you are feeling up to a challenge and inspired after the Ideal Homes Show......http://anniesloanpaintandcolour.blogspot.co.uk/


December 16 2013

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas ... Romantic Bedside Locker Revamp Your Boudoir In A Day

This photo was taken in Burgundy, France and was the inspiration behind this locker. I had been toying with a combination of Emile Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan and Henrietta Chalk Paint™ and decided in order to achieve a dreamy multi-layered effect, I would require more colours to layer as I was looking for someting to remind me of the colour of lilacs and lavender evoking light hearted, whimsical, romantic and nostalgic feelings as it was to be placed in a bedroom.Emile the colour of I finally chose as the anchor colour is inspired by the “Adams style” identified by complex pastel colour schemes which evolved in the 1750’s and then underwent a revival after furniture was exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1867.

I found this little wooden locker standing forlornly outside a secondhand shop that normally sells very little furniture, so it was all the more desirable... I wanted to try blending and I did not want a block colour as in my head I wanted a piece that was dreamy, muted and very soft on the eye. I decided I would use four Chalk Paint™   colours ,Old white, Emile, Old Violet & Henrietta. So I started with a coat of Old White, let it dry well, then Henrietta on the outside of the door ( its a Lourve on the front  so slow going and takes patience and a good selection of different shape brushes to get all of the corners and edges but I also really liked the Lourve shape as it tied in with my idea to repurpose an item of furniture that would encourage romanticism).

I continued on applying the paint to the front and sides of the drawer and down the sides of the locker. When I was absolutely sure that it was dry I slowly added some Emile to the top and sides. The inside of the drawer I did in Old Violet. I then left it to thoroughly dry over night and the following morning with the advantage of clear daylight I was able to examine the locker in detail and I then gave the whole locker a light sanding with glass paper. I then waxed the locker with clear wax and it was then buffed off with a lint free cloth. The paper design I chose for the decoupage on the top is a Louise Body design that I thought perfectly uplifted all of the various four colours used in the locker and complemented the style I was looking to eminate . When applying the paper, I simply dampened it with a sponge then laid it on and gave it about five separate coats of Annie Sloan Decoupage glue and  varnish allowing time to dry between each application.

As you can see a very staid boring piece of furniture can be lovingly repurposed into something that brings a smile to your face everytime you pass it in your home. Time to take stock of what you have or need in your home and if you are “putting up” with furniture that you dont love the look of its time to overhaul it with Chalk Paint....


December 16 2013

Shaken Not Stirred - Bring Back some 1950's Nostalgia with your own Repurposed Drinks Cabinet

A door which I took a photo for my Annie Sloan Notebook where I keep everything that inspires me so that when I am due to paint a piece of furniture I can flick back through it and decide what grabs my attention. Some people keep them online and others do both to save them printing photos and just keep pieces of fabric or cards in their Annie Sloan notebook. Do whatever suits your lifestyle but always gather what makes you happy, smile, you will be influenced by changing trends around you none of us are immune but also you will find when you go back through your notebook themes of colours, styles, periods that you keep finding yourself attracted to.

This drinks cabinet isn’t particularly unique or antique for that matter and I have seen them in a number of Irish homes looking a little sad and jaded. This little drinks cabinet I picked up as a project item but I found that it has grown on me over time, I wasn’t  sure about it until I came across the cute tiny Swedish coloured glasses at an antique stall in Italy recently and decided to paint this drinks cabinet in a vibrant and fun colour as all good drinks cabinets should be… ours will have dust & cob webs before long as when you have small children who has the energy for drinks… but I think we will get back to it and in the mean time it cheers us up just looking at it and fills you with hope on dreary Mondays that you might have the energy to indulge by the weekend……a little Aperitif to reminisce over your holidays and escapes from the mundane.

The two Chalk Paint™ decorative paints by Annie Sloan I chose for the cabinet are Chateau Grey and eventually Emperor Silk, but as you can see I had started out wanting it a dark pink but it clashed against the Chateau Grey. We find when you paint a piece if it feels wrong just leave it for a day or two and keep looking at it with different light on it and a different times of the day. Then you can lighten/darken to get the colour just right, that’s the beauty of using Chalk Paint™ it is all very simple and stress free.

I had thought I would find a contrasting shade by using Old White mixed with Emperor Silk and then after a few days we decided it was a bit sickly, so back to Emperor Silk on its own. Then I sanded very lightly all over and then waxed in a clear wax to finish.

The little dollies under the glasses was another find in an Irish flea market, its 100% Irish linen 13 piece Luncheon set, it had a Cleary’s sticker for 13 punt that looked about 40 years old. We bought the wine opener in a market in and it was a bargain as when we showed to French friends they fell about laughing and showed us that they had nearly identical but it had been handed down generations and was cherished by the family! Either way part of the fun is the learning curve and the exploration, Annie Sloan paints are easy to paint over and start again and so there is no need to be afraid of ruining a piece when you can easily go over it until you get something you really love.

To find your inspirational colours, view

 

http://www.anniesloan.ie/collections/chalk-paint

 

 


November 25 2013

Roman Holiday with a Vintage Twist..

Some people think Rome may be one of the most expensive destinations to shop for antique furniture and collectibles but I find it is all relative, it is definitely not cheap in Ireland. It is certainly worth a visit and investing the time to peruse what is on offer if only to stimulate you for repurposing an item of furniture or in the selection of colour or styles of pieces of furniture. There are several good outdoor markets, flea markets, and places to buy antiques in Rome. As they say “When In Rome”, so get planning for a delicious lunch and some Flea market shopping ideally between October and June as the summer is just too hot.

Porta Portese

Porta Portese, which opens on Sundays from 7am until 1pm, is the most well known flea market in Rome and is allegedly one of the largest flea markets in Europe. At Porta Portese, you'll find everything from antique furniture, second hand furniture, housewares to used clothing and music to original art, jewelry, posters. This is a pickpocket paradise so hide your well earned cash and be careful when purchasing. Enter at Piazza Ippolito Nievo if you are shopping for antique furniture, lamps, curiosities, rugs, furniture old lace and embroideries. Enter from Piazza Porto Portese if you're in the market for pots and pans, clothing, shoes, housewares. It gets extremely busy so to avoid the crowd and to bag the best bargains try to have a delicious early coffee and pastry to fortify yourself and get hunting.

Via Portuense from Piazza Porto Portese to Piazza Ippolito Nievo, Every Sunday, dawn to 2 pm (Trastevere)

Via Sannio

Via Sannio is another flea market worth a visit and is located just a few blocks south of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterno. The downside is that this market sells mostly clothing and accessorie but you can be lucky. It opens in the mornings Monday through to Saturday. 

While you can find many good antiques in Rome's flea markets, there are several streets and districts that are known for their antiques sellers. Via del Babuino, near the haute couture shops around the Spanish Steps, is renowned for its antiques, particularly antique furniture and paintings. An incredibly picturesque street on which to do your antiques shopping is Via Giulia, a street which runs almost parallel to the Tiber just west of Campo de' Fiori. You will also find a handful of antiques dealers on the warren of streets at the curve of the Tiber between the Via Giulia and Via del Governo Vecchio. One of the easiest ways to approach this antiques district is by starting at Castel Sant'Angelo and walking south on the lovely Ponte Sant'Angelo (Angels' Bridge).

Ponte Milvio Market

If it is real antique furniture and old objects this is a popular place for Italians and people in the know to search. It takes place on the first Sunday of every month. Lace, undergoing a current revival, unusual fabric and cushions fine materials can be sourced at the "Paradise del signor" which is held in the rooms of the Grand Hotel Beverly Hills in Largo Benedetto Marcello. Enquire before for exact times.

Il Rigattiere Flea Market Here you can visit as it is a permanent fixture and search for furniture and various items, you will never come away empty handed and all vendors open to reasonable haggling.

Viale Ignazio Silone VII Ponte (Ignazio Silone VII Avenue Bridge)

Via dei Coronari, (Campo Marzio)

The perfect destination for  art collector's and it is also home to more than forty antique shops and studios selling a wide selection of rare examples of refectory tables, chandeliers, urns, vases, pedestals, You will not be disappointed! *Beginning in mid-September and running for approximately one month, there is an antiques fair in Via dei Coronari

Via del Babuino, If your looking to spend real money then this is the place to head for and find yourself the proud owner of a unique print or engraving.

Via dei Sediari,If its original furniture your looking for this is the street to aim for.

Via dei Cappellari, is worth visiting just to see the craftsmanship and artisans at work, you will find traditional carpentry and antique furniture renovation.

Via dei Gigli d'Oro is the street to go to if you are looking to purchase reproductions of ancient mosaics

Mercato delle Stampe(Largo della Fontanella di Borghese) if you are in quest of old maps, books, postcards, stamps and magazines to add allure to your home.

Via Ostiense, is an "Eco-Solidarity Market" which sells second hand clothing and antiques

Villa Gloria  There can be up to 100 stalls here and you will be spoilt for choice if shopping for collectibles, antiques, handi-crafts, clothes.  Villa Glori along Viale Maresciallo Pilsudski , Second Sunday of the month. (Parioli)

Maffetone Design for lovely old tiles.

Via Margutta,Campo Marzio

This street is bursting with vitality full of art galleries, restaurants and antique dealers. An association known as Cento pittori Via Margutta hosts an open-air art gallery in spring and autumn, and is worth the visit if only to sip a Prosecco and to people watch.

Piazza Verdi, Parioli This Piazza is a treasure trove of antiques that fit perfectly if well wrapped into your carry on luggage: dishes, candlesticks,ornaments, jewelry. Some of it may not be very chic but its worth the perseverance and rummage to find rarities at affordable prices. Piazza Verdi tel 06 855 2773,Fourth Sunday of the month

Borghetto Flaminio

Dont be put off by the appearance or the €2 entry fee. This market is held in a former bus depot, and has never let me or any of my “sources” down when looking for something different in Rome to take home, be it a gift or souvenir of a wonderful Roman sojourn. The selection is so varied that beer to champagne budgets are catered for once you are willing to roll up your sleeves and rummage with the best of them.

Nardecchia 

This Aladdins cave sells everything from 18th-century etchings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi to more affordable 19th-century panoramas. It is not cheap but you get what you pay for.

Animalier e Oltre

Set in a basement and presented in a quirky way you will find bric-a-brac, curios, antiques and unique. Well worth a visit if only to see what it on offer. 

Lumieres

If you are seeking out a statement chandelier, lamp or light fitting you will be spoilt for choice of antique lamps, ranging from Art Nouveau and Art Deco to 1950s.

Restaurants

Tucked away behind Piazza Navona, Via del Governo Vecchio There are a number of good restaurants and enoteche in the surrounding streets -  among them, Cul de Sac, a comfy winebar in the nearby Piazza di Pasquino with a delightful wine list and and proferring a selection of classic Italian dishes with a twist

Pitstops

Located near Ponte Milvio in northern Rome, Mondi is the pastry shop You can either stand up at the bar, drink a coffee and eat the pastry with your fingers, or grab a table and be treated to proper silverware and plate

Via Flaminia,  

Regoli

Founded in 1916, this pastry shop is located in the Esquilino neighbourhood just a stone's throw from Piazza Vittorio, if on the run this is the place to grab a pastry to die for.

Via dello Statuto 60, 

AerLingus and Ryanair fly to Rome, check online for best rates

Buone Vacanze...


November 25 2013

“Vintalogue” – London Calling.....

So a lot of people have been contacting us asking where and how we source our pieces, so we have decide to do a type of “Vintalogue” where you can combine a city break with the opportunity of picking up some unique and very reasonable pieces that are longing to be repurposed and given a new lease of life with some Annie Sloan paint to turn them into a key statement piece in the right space in your home. So for the first in this blog “Vintalogues” we are going to London as it is bursting with fantastic shops, markets and fairs with furniture that will appeal to your taste and budget.

Alfies Antique Market

Is a bustling and lively centre for decorative and unusual antiques. This chic and cheerful market has a little more spunk than your traditional antique thoroughfares, boasting some 75 specialist dealers, spread over five floors. 

 

Fadango

 

A treasure trove of beautiful furniture, lighting and unusual decorative items. From rare 19th century sunburst mirrors to Murano glass apothecary jars and sets of antlers, all majestically restored.

GOLBORNE ROAD, W10

Head here on any given Friday and Saturday and you are sure to find a bargain at the bric-a-brac stalls, its where all Londoners in the know go!

Kokon To Zai

This old butchers shop is on Golborne Road and is crammed full of fantastic accessories to cheer up any vintage home.

Annies

For that one off reupholstered piece, head to Annies for a vintage textile that will make a statement along with vintage ribbons and trimmings to complete the look.

Atelier Abigail Ahern

This is an interior designer’s secret stash with vases, cushions, throws, candles and quirky one-off pieces.

Tann Rokka

This is a hoard of antiques, homewares and bespoke designs in a former ticket office of the train station and it provides a backdrop for classic pieces with a twist.

Ben Pentreath

This shop provides something for every budget whether you are looking for a decorative cup or a mahogany side cabinet, you will not leave empty handed.

Columbia Road, E2

Here you will find a strip of independent shops which are well worth a good rummage through the busy crowds at weekends who are drawn by the amazing flower market.

Beyond Fabrics

If it’s vintage fabric you are after you will find it here along with all other items to help style an upcycled piece of furniture.  This shop is a veritable treasure trove of unique materials for all patchwork and quilting needs.

Brick Lane Market

This a large flea market with stalls selling antiques, clothes, bric-a-brack and all sorts of other weird and wonderful things.

Portobello Road

This market became particularly famous for its antiques in the 1950s. Now there are numerous stalls offering everything from fruit and bread to posters, clothes, ceramics and music. Seems to have lost some of its former popularity but you can still soak up the atmosphere and you may find something you think deserves a new home.

Camden Lock

This market is located at the heart of Camden Town's thriving markets area. Open 7 days per week, Camden Lock Market comprises stalls and shops selling everything from vintage clothing to hand-made jewellery and artwork to gifts, music and more.

Lassco

If you’re prepared to do a bit of scavenging, then Lassco could be a good option. With two outlets in Vauxhall and Bermondsey, it’s a comparatively well-kept secret amongst the trade industry. If you don’t mind a bit of lifting, then you are guaranteed to find an array of original features for your home, including some of the more unusual but desirable pieces you might need, including chimneys and doors.

Little Paris

With an obvious Gallic bent, you’ll be able to turn your two bedroom flat into a Parisian apartment circa 1968. There are lots of lovely little curios for the mantelpiece too.

Rainbow London

If you’re all about illumination then you will be spoilt for choice with an array of Vintage chandeliers and antique lamps to choose from as well as glass and antique ceramics.

The Old Cinema

The Old Cinema is just that: a picture palace dating from the 1890s which has been refurbished to become London's only antiques, vintage, and retro department store. From American dream to English kitchen sink, period antique to 70's Danish, hardcore industrial to French decadence, there is a vast range of stock sourced from around the world, to inspire and delight.

Tower Bridge Antiques Market

Over 2000+ Antiques can be seen under one roof at the number one place for Antique Furniture in London with Georgian Tables, Georgian Chairs, Victorian Desks and all other periods at Tower Bridge Antique Furniture Warehouse, where you will find everything for your home. The largest collection of Georgian, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian furniture anywhere in London

 

If you are looking for more inspiration London Style Guide by Saska Graville is out now, priced €23.40 can be bought online at Easons

 


November 19 2013

Italian Marble Cabinet Gets A Stunning Makeover

Beaune, Burgundy, France

 

Inspired by this doorway colour in France I decided it was time to offer up something I loved to an Annie Sloan upcycle. After a lot of dithering I decided it would be my cherished Italian cabinet which was sourced and purchased in Liguria, Italy over 15 years ago and has been with me ever since. It is a simple design but I love it as it is topped with Italian Rosso Verona Marble and it always gives it a little perk, it is also an ideal size for storing items inside. The reason I finally chose the Italian cabinet was because after a lot of deliberation with the colour wheel and all the options of colours I decided the Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan in Aubusson can be quite dark and so the marble would brighten it up as well as focusing the eye on the depth of colour in the marble.

I applied a coat of Chalk Paint™ Emperors Silk firstly as I wanted to have a tiny glimpse of this in patches when in close proximity to the cabinet to add to its allure. When I completed the exterior, I decided to go to my old reliable Emperors Silk again as it always cheers up a piece and gives an unexpected surprise when you open a drawer or door and see it popping out. I did the top and bottom shelf with the Emperors Silk and then I applied a coat of Aubusson Blue to the exterior. I left it to dry overnight, checked the colour the next day and reapplied a final coat of Aubusson Blue and then sanded off a few preworn sections so the Emperors silk could be seen and giving it a preloved worn effect. For the drawer, I used a Louise Body design of birds which perfectly complemented the two colours.  In the attached photo you will see I also decided to upcycle an old magazine rack with beautiful tapestry like all the designer carpet bags en vogue in 2013. It had a mahogany colour and isn’t a genuine antique so I decided it could also do with a touch of glamour with a dash of Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue it perfectly sits with my Italian Blue Cabinet.

To view other inspirational upcycles search “Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue” on Pinterest and look at Annie Sloans Facebook page....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


November 19 2013

Vanity Stool Masquerading as a Piano Stool

Inspired by this gorgeous wing backed chair I had seen whilst browsing through Annie Sloan’s website, I was originally looking for something much older and more appeasing on the eye but I also wanted something of an easy project to practise on when I was deciding to do a piece to complement pre-existing furniture in my home. This was a very unattractive piano stool (in my opinion) it was a light teak with a velour covered top, nothing notable about it.

When I examined it at the flea market where I found it, I decided that perhaps it was striking with its straight lines and simple design. Also, I knew it would be pretty straightforward to paint and reupholster and it was at purchased at a haggled price I could justify for a piece I didn’t actually need.  The owner told me it was a piano stool but when I got it home and showed to my husband he informed me that if it was a real piano stool it would have knobs on each side so the pianist could adjust the height and in fact what I had purchased was a vanity stool that perhaps has been the right side for its pianist….

I had purchased my husband an oil painting for his birthday, full of very vibrant colours so I started to search for material with as many of these colours as possible. I found it in IKEA and that’s when I decided to paint it in Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan Annie Sloan Provence and to do a pop up colour of Emperor Silk when you open the lid as it’s a storage box for music sheets (or whatever one stores in their vanity stools if that’s what it is..). I have this in the hall just under the painting and for the first few days I just wandered out to the hall to gaze at my work I really love the colours. The surface on the stool was very smooth so I just removed the cushion part of the stool which was screwed on and painted away. I did two coats, and then waxed with Annie Sloan clear wax. I did the same for inside the storage area of the lid with the Emperor Silk. I used the staple gun to attach the material and slotted in the lid replacing the screws and as always you get that feeling of having created something beautiful from a preloved piece instead of buying something new that anyone else can have.....the uniqueness of the piece you end up with and the speed this can be achieved is the part I just love about Chalk Paint™. 

If you are looking for inspirational fabric for reupholstering your cherished finds, take a look at Annie Sloan fabrics.
to order and if you find it easier to plan a whole piece before starting as you want to complement a pre-existing colour scheme it is well worth browsing through the Annie Sloan site where all the fabrics are accompanied by their corresponding Annie Sloan paints.

Get to your next Flea market or Brocante Event find an item you love and make it your project for Christmas....Bonne Chance


November 12 2013

A Vanity Stool Fit For A Queen….

I was trawling through some of my favourite inspirational sites online when I spotted a vanity stool that I really coveted at a price I could never afford on www.1stdibs.com  It stayed in my mind bugging me I am not exactly a princess but something about bedroom furniture covered in majestic colours always seems to catch my eye, so I was on the hunt. It took nearly two years in salvage yards, flea markets, antique stores and charity shops until I finally found one I liked and within budget.

My search was further inspired by a visit to the Domaine De Chantilly, outside Paris and the absolute luxuriousness of the bedroom of the Duchess of Aumale and I was dying to get home and get out some of the similar muted Annie Sloan colours that  I saw in the Domaine that remind us all of a bygone era. 

As the space was limited in my guest room, I had no vanity table but I felt this little statement piece would add a lit bit of desperately needed glamour in the guestroom at the foot of the bed. Even if only to sit down and put on your shoes…. I found it in the rain on a very slow day outside an antique/curiosity shop in the midlands and finally got it for the price I was happy to pay. The original upholstery was in excellent condition, without smells, stains or any off putting wear and tear. It had been heavily painted with a black lacquer which gave it a very gothic and dreary look and dated it.  It needed a heavy handed sanding to get rid of that before starting just enough to smooth the surface out. Due to the intricate carvings on the wood I had to equip myself with different sizes of sanding paper and different strengths. The material is corded velvet and very luxurious. I painted it with two coats of Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan Old Violet, and then I waxed it with Annie Sloan Clear wax.

To help keep track of your inspirational ideas, you could invest in an Annie Sloan workbook 

 

 


November 12 2013

Repurposed Foot Stool With Quirky Feet

Looking for another simple item on which to hone my painting and re-upholstering skills and after searching through inspirational photos of repurposed chairs and footstools I was yet again ready to tackle an easy straight forward project with limited time. I decided a footstool would be a worthy project and so off I was on a quest to find one.

This I picked up at a car boot sale, it sat in the middle of farm machinery parts and car parts and the guy that was selling it seemed to want to be rid of it... The original upholstery was padded pink velvet which had not stood the test of time too well and could not be salvaged. Also, I wanted it to be a quirky fun stool and not to look like an antique so I decided to go for the cheap and cheerful option on this one and chose a vibrant IKEA fabric to cover it which left me with loads of options on the colour to paint the legs which I wanted to enhance as they are a charming shape and have a pretty little design going on.

The addition of the fabric was straightforward with a few neat folds and my staple gun. There were so many of the Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan colours in the fabric I really could not decide on which one, I nearly did each leg a different colour! In fact it had three Chateau Grey legs and one Louis Blue for a couple of weeks while I tried to decide.  I am thrilled with this foot stools transformation from a pitiful little stool past its sell by date to an eclectic footstool which has been put to many different uses in its new repurposed form. (although getting it back off toddlers can be tricky as it’s the perfect size for them!

 

 


November 09 2013

You Can Leave Your Hat On - The Hall Stand Rescued from a Barn.....

Following my visit to Domaine De Chantilly which I will go into more detail in a future blog I was desperate for an opportunity to try out a few shades of Blue. I chose Duck Egg Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan to use on this Hat Stand as a statement piece but I wanted it to evoke a moody atmosphere and be tranquil in the room. I decided an unusual piece of shaped furniture would perfectly complement the “je ne sais pas” Duck Egg Blue evokes. After browsing through Pinterest and Annie Sloan’s site and Facebook page I was suitably energised to take on a new project.

This lovely old hall stand was found in an old barn during a refurbishment and although hens had claimed it as their chill out area I decided it could with a bit of tlc and Annie Sloan paint be made beautiful again. The original wood was quite weather beaten as it had been neglected for so long. It stayed in a shed for a long time before I dragged it out and had a good look at it to see what its potential really was and what colour would do it justice. After talking to a few people with more specialised knowledge in the area and some online research I discovered that it in fact was an antique hall stand circa 1900 and had been crafted in Oak.

The vanity mirror needed to be cleaned and reattached and one of the hooks needs to be glued. It also has a very cute glove drawer, hat hooks and brass stick and umbrella storage rings which I was ecstatic with as I needed a place for my collection of walking sticks. The styling is brave and quirky with both heart and fleur-de-lis scroll work. You never know what treasure you might discover in yours or someone else’s attic or barns and do not be put off by its current use (hen perch!) or the state it is in if a good cleaning and Chalk Paint™  will restore it to its former grandeur with a modern eclectic twist.

After a thorough cleaning and a light sanding to remove hen droppings and cob webs and God knows what else I decided it was time to get started. I gave it one coat of Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint™ and then I decided for a little bit of accent colour to paint the glove drawer on the inside in Provence Chalk Paint™. I applied a light sanding and a second lighter coat to deepen the tone. Then I gave it a very gently sanding in places and waxed it all over with Annie Sloan clear wax and buffed it with a lint free cloth.

I am enthused with this Hall Stand as it cheers me up when I think of the life it has had, what it has seen and now it’s been given a new lease of life. I hope you like it too.

For your own inspiration, browse through Annie Sloan’s Facebook page and Pinterest until you find something that ignites a flame in you.

 

 


November 04 2013

Easy Project for a Wet Afternoon - Asian Inspired Chair

I had been viewing online a lot of beautiful Asian antique furniture in an array of red shades with hand painted images and I was longing for my own version. I just wasn’t able to find the right style armoire to try it something out on. Then I picked up this bistro style chair and decided I would see how easy it would be to apply Chalk Paint ™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan to a piece of very unloved furniture with layer upon layer of heavily chipped gloss paint. I decided whilst waiting to find the perfect armoire I would experiment with this chair picked up at an auction in Rathmines, Dublin.  I decided Emperor Silk would be the colour and I would decide upon the finish when it was complete.

I also wanted to do a simple and straightforward decoupage to try the Annie Sloan 2in1 glue and varnish. I picked up and copy of a Chinese Art History book and chose an image from it as the paper was an ideal weight for applying the glue underneath and up to five coats of varnish over it.  I did two coats of Emperor Silk and although the initial plan was to apply dark wax for a more antique look I decided the final product was better with the first coat of clear varnish and so I will keep the dark varnish for when I find that armoire......

To stop the image from bubbling on the curve of the seat, I used a Stanley blade to slightly score the top and bottom of the image to ensure it stuck on flat. To complete, I painted a little phrase in French across the top in Chalk Paint™ Graphite by hand.  To compete I applied another layer of clear varnish and then buffed it all off.  I hope you like the chair as much as I do.....


June 04 2013

Upcycling a charming console table

Since opening Twenty Six and running Annie Sloan workshops I have been repeatedly asked to start a blog on pieces I paint, what inspires me, how I source items, how I source my international pieces etc. I have finally responded to this request and I will do my utmost to keep my blog simple, lighthearted and I hope inspirational. If there is anything you would like me to blog about, let me know and I will certainly try my best. As the Annie Sloan blog is wonderful with universal appeal, I will focus on localising the content to suit our community in Ireland. For my first blog I am going to explain in a step by step process how I sourced and upcycled a charming console table.

This mahogany console table caught my eye outside a second hand store just outside Clane, I was attracted by the curved feet on the legs, the simplicity in design, the neat little drawer and the detail added by the brass back rail.  These reproduction tables usually have a high gloss varnish finish and although not necessary I gave it a very light sanding with glass paper before starting to paint. I wanted this console to become a statement piece and to contrast with the neutral background - I decided Provence from Chalk Paint would be suitable as a vibrant contrasting colour. I decided it needed a mirror to reflect light and to create a focal point, adding more allure to the space in the hall. So as not to compete with the console I decided to match the mirror in exactly the same colour - Provence.

To contrast with Provence and to add a little unexpected surprise, I painted the interior of the drawer with Barcelona Orange, mixed with a little of Emperors Silk - both from the Chalk Paint™ range - to deepen the colour and to contrast even more with the exterior of the console. I also decided to paint the back bar in the same colour so it would stand out against the wall as a detail in such a contrasting colour.

 

To complete both pieces, they were softly rubbed with a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax to protect the exterior. Then to complete the look, a simple knob was attached to the drawer.

You too can achieve this look by ordering Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More or Quick & Easy Paint Transformation, which is an easy step-by-step guide. 

What do you think of our finished piece? A hallway transformed!


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