Two mantels, two different looks

Mantels are one of the best places to decorate for the holidays and if you are like me, you love looking at different ones and different styles to get some ideas for your own.

I’m lucky enough to get to do two totally different ones every year, just for me.  Here’s my cottage mantel that I keep pretty minimal and rustic, totally appropriate for the country setting that it is in.

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS FIREPLACE

 

Photo credit: Justin Frost

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL

 

I used lots of fresh local greenery, some pinecones in a vintage apothecary jar, some antique encyclopedias (which I have sprinkled around the entire place), some sparkly grapevine balls, a birdcage and of course some candleholders. Honestly, this mantel took me all of half an hour to do. Quick, simple and rustic, just the way I like my country Christmas mantels.

Now for my city house, I went with a more sophisticated style.

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

Some similar elements here, fresh greenery and some dried magnolia leaves (they do last a few years, if you are careful when you store them), some fairy lights and of course candlesticks and candles. I may just tuck in some white and clear christmas balls amongst the leaves, at some point.  Pretty, simple and classic, perfect for my home in the city.

Merry Christmas!

Lisa

 

 

Making over a piano stool

After a long and somewhat restful holiday, I’m back.  I hope you have been enjoying your summer, even if you have been having rather questionable summer weather, like we have in Ottawa.

I didn’t entirely rest during my holiday at my cottage, as there is always lots to do there, but we did get more down time in this summer, as compared to previous years.  And I’m excited that we will be continuing the three year long process of replacing the rustic log deck railing (that is literally falling apart) with more of the modern aluminium and glass railing that we started last year.  It’s part of my quest to have pieces that are less maintenance,  I’m sure it will eventually pay off 🙂

Hubby spent most of his time working on some exterior plumbing and yearly roof maintenance and I was happy to get a few more painting projects done.  I even managed to buy another item that needed some love, as if I didn’t have enough items already around to refinish or repaint.  It all started when my daughters came up for the weekend and we made a little trip to Renfrew. We popped into Pick-it-fence, which is such a great store,  and managed to find ourselves in the second hand area at the back of the store. I just couldn’t resist this adorable little piano stool.

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I just can’t seem to resist a little stool, as I always see it as double duty piece, a stool and/or a side table.  So, home it came.  My daughter immediately said it had to be the same happy colour as the small china cabinet that I recently refinished.  Read about that makeover here.

And so with those instructions, I was off.  I didn’t even give it a sanding as it was in good shape and I think the white paint was pretty recent.  So out came the latex paint (I didn’t transform it into chalk paint this time) and with a soft brush I gave it two thorough coats of paint.  Easy as pie!

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For it’s first job it got to hold my cup of tea and the last of the cupcakes from our weekend celebration 🙂

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I love that it can be either a stool or a little table, and predict that it will be well used.  A pretty and practical piece, in a bright and happy colour!

Lisa

Exterior cottage love going on

Well, now with the warmer weather finally here, at least in my neck of the wood, I hope you are enjoying it. School is almost out and I’m sure that is a relief to end all the lunch making, homework checking and routine. Here’s to a great summer for everyone!

I have a bit of progress to report at the cottage.  Hubby has been determined to get the fire table finished, so here’s where we are now, and by we I really mean him.  I’ve done nothing, except help with the design and the finishes…of course 🙂   Can’t wait to try it out.

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And I received my fabric order from a few weeks back, so I’ll be sewing up a storm, whenever I can get a second.  These will be exterior cushions for the cottage deck.   Can’t wait for them to liven up the wood chairs, wood deck and log exterior of the cottage….you get the idea…so much wood…and so0000 much brown.

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And kind of another exterior update, Hubby got the terracotta tile laid in the sunroom, right at the entrance to the deck.  It still needs to be grouted, I’ll share the progress once it is completed.  He’s been a busy, busy, boy.

While he was working away, I kept myself busy making over this lovely little china cabinet that a neighbour gifted to me.  I know it’s not really related to the cottage exterior theme of this post, but I’d thought I’d share it anyways.  It’s a perfect fit in this somewhat dark corner of the cottage, so I decided it should be a nice bright colour to liven up the corner.  This is how it looked:

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And in the process:

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I told you it was bright….and quite lively.  I used homemade chalk paint (Cyan Sky) and I will be giving it a going over with some antique wax (which will tone it down a little) and then of course, some clear wax to finish it properly.  I love, love, Fat Wax in case you are looking for a recommendation. Check out their website for locations near you.  I’ll post a picture once it’s completed, hopefully soon.

We also went to the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour a few weeks ago. I posted about it last year, when all the TBBs went.  Hubby got an adorable candy dish for his office (sorry forget to snap a pic before he went off with it) but I did get this great shot of an old barn on one of the properties.  There is just something about old, timeworn barns that appeals to me.

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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and an

early Happy Fourth of July, to my American readers!  

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Lisa

And we have a Refinished Table!

Happy New Year! Hope you had a restful and fun filled holiday! Mine was great, very relaxing, spent a lot of time with family and definitely ate and drank too much. But then, that’s what the holidays are all about.

We spent some time at the cottage and I managed to finish my table makeover, finally.  It was more of a job than I thought, but isn’t that usually the way.  I had to make a compromise or two on the way but I still am very happy with the way it turned out.  It’ll be perfect for our card playing evenings come summer time.

So to refresh your memory this is how the table was looking. It was in pretty rough shape.  To read my original post, click here.

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I sanded slightly and painted the base in chalk paint (made by myself – click here for the recipe) in this bright green. I wanted to bring some lightness and freshness to the sunroom.

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 Sherwin-Williams – Dancing Green 6716

Next up, I sanded the top which was much more arduous than I originally thought. The original finish kept gumming up the belt sander and then we tried the palm sander, which unfortunately due to our over zealous sanding caused many ripples in the surface and horror of horrors, went down to the plywood base…so much for it being a solid wood top.   Luckily, most of our boo boos were in the leaves of the table which I usually do not leave in place, as I prefer the smaller footprint in this room.

So after finally getting the top sanded, it looked like this.

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I had originally intended to sand the apron by hand and stain it the same as the table top, but after trying to do just a small area, I was totally discouraged and decided on the simpler and faster route of painting the apron the same as the base.  I know a bit lazy, but I really don’t have that much patience.

So I painted the apron and then stained and varnished the top (with a satin polyurethane) and here’s the finished result.

refinished table

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I love how by painting the base and apron the details show up so much more than just staining the wood.  Sorry to all the wood lovers but there is definitely enough wood in this home!

Lisa

The 613 Holiday Special | Holiday Decorating

Welcome to the second instalment of the 613 Holiday Series.  This week’s topic  –  Holiday Decorating!

613 holiday special

Holiday decorating should reflect the style of home that you live in.  So with that in mind, I’m showing you how I seasonally embellish my two very different homes for the holidays.

First up, my city home, where I try to keep everything sparkly, elegant and simple. I do this with natural and faux greens…particularly magnolia leaves, pearls, crystals, mercury glass together with silver and snow white pieces.

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I found these little birds last year and love the little touch of whimsey they give the mantel.

 

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Here’s how it looks in the evening with this year’s addition of the new type of wired LED light strings.  I love how the wires are barely visible.

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I’m still looking for this year’s addition to my mercury glass tree collection.

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After seeing birch logs wrapped in these LED lights in the Pottery Barn store in Miami last year, I was determined to do the same in my home.  I so love the look they may just stay past the Christmas season.  And you can see here the ornaments that I hang in the window above the fireplace. I do the same thing for the transom window over the front door.

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Now, at the cottage, which is a log home, I use natural elements, like pinecones, evergreen boughs together with vintage pieces and a few touches of red.

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My adorable Santa seagulls nestled among my vintage encyclopedias.  They make me smile, every time!

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Vintage pieces, such as this sap bucket are the perfect touch for a country or rustic home.  It literally took me a few minutes to put this display together.  Some fresh evergreens, birch branches, a few frosted faux stems and berries and you are done!

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A vintage green glass jug with some faux branches and cotton stems help to add some height to the top of my dining room hutch.  Loving the jingle bells!

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This chalkboard banner was picked up while shopping in Almonte a few weeks ago.  I’m thinking it has found it’s permanent home here and I’ll be just changing up the message per the season.

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Well that’s it for me but be sure to follow five Ottawa bloggers as we set our tables, deck our halls & try to survive the holiday season with style & cheer. Grab your eggnog and toast to the season with us every Monday until Dec 23rd. Happy Holidays!   Check out their holiday decorating below!

NewberrySykes

The Sweetest Digs

Just Settle Down

Keep it Beautiful

Oh yes, stay tuned as next Monday’s instalment is Oh, Christmas Tree!

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