Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rough Luxe Style

 Rough Luxe.  
This decorating term might be getting overused lately
and for those of you who haven't heard about Rough Luxe, it simply means
combining two styles~luxury with rustic.  
Its a winning combination in home decor as it is an easy
way to have your fancy things in a room without having the formality.
We love antique mirrors and chandeliers to add a little glamour
and sparkle to a room. We are all for great reproductions as well.
The chandelier above came out of a Boston estate on Marlborough Street,
while the starburst mirrors are reproductions.  
These elements are both on the "luxe" end of Rough Luxe.
 To add a little "rough" we paired our mirrors and chandelier 
with a jute rug in a chic herringbone pattern,
underneath a linen settee with an aged wood finish and metal nail heads.  
A French gathering basket sits on the settee holding a bunch of dried lavender.
 One last accessory is the reclaimed wood beam end tables, custom made for our shop
by a Maine craftsman.  Putting it all together gives this shop vignette Rough Luxe style.
Look around your home to see what rustic elements you can mix with your fancier
pieces, and you too can be at the head of the decorating curve.
This wonderful mix of Rough Luxe style 
is taken off of one of my Pinterest boards. 
 If the table was a traditional style finished wood table, 
it would be a lovely, but standard room of nice looking pieces.
But by adding the big distressed table, 
it creates a feeling of excitement and style in a big way.
We are excited to offer these wonderful 100% premium jute rugs
 in different sizes in our store in Reading Mass and
 online in our Home Decor section at
 From 4x6, 6x9, 8x10 and runners too with value pricing from $85-$265. 
Create your Rough Luxe style starting from the ground up!
 Roll up those oriental rugs and refresh your living spaces. 
You will love the result!

Chandelier, Settee and Starbursts all found in both our
store and online as well. 
To read more about our stenciled wall click here.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An amazing light and giveaway

Lighting is so important to the ambience of a room.  
Lamp light is the best way to create an inviting atmosphere. 
 I use a lot of table lamps and floor lamps in home decorating, 
as well as in my home.  At home I tend to have lots of vintage lighting,  
like this tole and crystal lamp on a marble base that that has a clip-on style lamp shade. 
 This post is about light~light bulbs in particular!  I was asked if I would like 
to review a new kind of light bulb and if you read my blog, 
you will know that I do not do reviews very often.  
However this particular light bulb is LED 
and is a new product that has a lot going for it, 
so I wanted to check it out myself.  I am picky about the light a bulb 
will throw in a room.   If the light is nice, and if it can save oodles 
on my energy bill and the bulb itself will last ten years, then I am all in!
Its the CREE lightbulb, and in fact it just won 
Home Depot's Innovation Award for 2013!
If you think LED bulbs are screaming bright and harsh light, think again.
Cree has created the first LED light bulb that looks like a normal light bulb
and gives off a soft warm light just like a normal old fashioned bulb.
What is amazing is that it uses 82% less energy because most bulbs spend 
their energy creating heat, not light. Did you know that home lighting uses
13% of all the energy used in the USA?  If  Cree bulbs were used, the amount saved
in energy dollars would be $50 billion a year.  And one more stat~
they last 25 times longer than a normal bulb, and they have a 10 year warranty.
Its also priced under $10, which is amazing for the return on the dollar.
These bulbs are shaped light a regular light bulb, so my clip on style shades 
work the way they are designed to work.  The bulbs are really sturdy and shatter
resistant, as well as good for indoors and outdoors use, which is nice for 
not having to get on the ladder and change out those outdoor fixtures beside the
garage or front door.  I have a burnt out light right now, and since its winter, its 
going to stay that way until spring comes. Then I plan to install these Cree lights
and not worry about it for TEN YEARS!
I had even put in the ugly swirled florescent bulbs in the outside fixtures
 to save energy even if they did look ugly, but I figured we were saving energy 
so I would sacrifice looks for doing the right thing.
Now I won't have to! 
Can you see why I am not asking hubby or 
getting outside myself to change a light bulb right now?
Its snow-maggedon up here in Boston.
These bulb are also dimmable, which is nice if you have dimmer switches. 
They contain no mercury either, like CFL bulbs do. 
Ok, I am totally excited about the boring old light bulb now!!
I am offering a give away on the blog for the bulbs, and if you win you
will receive a 75 watt and a 60 watt bulb by leaving a comment on this blog
post if you would like to be entered to win.  One comment only, please.
This giveaway is for US residents only.
If you have a no-reply blogger address make sure I can contact you via email.
I will post on Facebook and the blog who is the winner.
Contest starts today and ends February 28th!
For more information you can check out Cree light bulbs
here at their website:

One more thing about lighting~update your older lamps with 
a simple switch out of a lampshade like I did.
·                 I find great looking shades at various places, including HomeGoods,
and have seen nice ones at Lowes and Home Depot too.
Sophisticated grey linen shade with a gold metallic thread was just the ticket
for these vintage brass candlestick lamps.  This is an easy DIY project anyone
can accomplish without much trouble, and you will update your living space in a jiffy.
Thats it from me~I am loving the new lightbulbs, and you won't be
disappointed.  This review was truly my opinion, and I was not 
compensated in any way other than to test out this new award winning Cree bulb.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Potpourri

We have been busy lately unloading tractor trailers that have delivered
home furnishing and accents to us from our trip to the Atlanta Market.  
Lots of moving stuff around and creating new vignettes in the shop.
Same thing happens when we sell a large piece of furniture.  The area
gets a makeover.  I find that very fun, and what has been really more fun
than me doing it, is watching Justin do it!  
He is just a natural at display.
(and yes his eyes are really that blue!)
This photo above Justin's pic is the after photo when he finished 
incorporating all the new goodies and the photo below is a recent before.
Both are nice, but then we got more product delivered, and he was the 
guy who put it all together.  Its just like doing your own house,
when you want to freshen it up  occasionally with new accessories,
but here at the shop, we have to reinvent things all the time.
See how there is less stuff here?
More stuff looks good in a shop, not so much in a home.
Justin whipped up our antique gilt frame chalk board with some chalk art.
The chalk boards have drawn a lot of interest, 
and I think its because they are the real deal.
We plan to offer these oversized antique chalkboard frames so if you are interested
let us know and we will put you on a list as we will be getting these oversized frames
from various sources (the big ones are hard to find).
 You can have first dibs on refusal or right to purchase when we get
these fabulous pieces in the shop.
With all the snow recently it has given me time to take on another
paint project.  This is a drop front french desk that I fell in love
with despite its need for a little TLC before painting.
Normally I don't pick pieces that need fixing up, but this one
was calling my name~so I added a little wood filler to repair some surface
issues to the drop front section of the desk.
 Its gonna be a custom job all right!  Lots of ideas in my head, 
and I decided to go for a rustic look based on a desk image 
I saw online. After painting a base coat of 
Graphite Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, 
I did a coat of Artisan Enhancements Easy Crackle.  
This would create texture and work to 
create the old world finish I had in mind.
We sell both Chalk Paint and Artisan products online and in our shop
if you are looking for them.
You can see the Easy Crackle drying up 
after I applied it with a stippling motion over the paint. 
I didn't put it everywhere, just a bit here and there.
 After it dried I did another coat of Graphite, followed by some washing with a 50/50 mix 
of French Linen and Old White. That is when the Easy Crackle texture started to appear
and I was well on the way to that glorious rustic Gustavian finish I was trying to achieve.
Next would be the interior....
source unknown
This is the inspiration photo that made me want to make it nice and rustic.
Its still beautiful but its rustic painted finish makes it stand out in a nice way.
This was the desk I recently finished for a client in not such a rustic way.
It has the antique look achieved with dark waxing, but it is more polished
looking than the French desk I am currently working on.  Now sorry to leave you
hanging, but I will be back with the finished result soon.
I posted a during photo on Facebook and was contacted by someone
who may be interested in purchasing it and they would like to 
select their own color for the interior.  So if the sale goes through,
the interior will be as much a surprise to me as it will be to you!
I hope you all had a nice Valentines weekend.
It was also my birthday weekend, as it falls the day after Valentines Day.
My hubby took me out for dinner on V-day and we had a bit of fun
dressing up in our cowboy stuff on this cold and blustery night.
I am lucky to have found this guy~he is truly the best partner for me
and I try to never take him for granted.  We will be marking our tenth
year together this April!  That coupled with a mid milestone birthday for me
has me trying to make the most out of every day.  Not sure why that is~
a big birthday or a big event just makes you more aware of what is 
special I think.  I spent part of my birthday at an auction, which is
one of my very favorite things to do! 
Check out this Empire table!
 It would be wonderful in a hallway or a living room as
a library kind of piece.  Piled up with books and magazines, 
a basket to catch the daily mail, and then put a cool lamp on top!
  Wow! I can see it in my minds eye!
 It has a drawer that blends in with the
 top molding so you can hide papers inside.
 It is solid as a rock with great chunky lines.
 You will see a few other neat pieces of 
furniture coming into the shop as well as a big french piece I bought for 
our house!  I will have to paint it and do a big reveal~so stay tuned!
I am also trying to do a bit of a living room makeover, but 
am not finding the time to get as many changes as I would like.
Some new pillows and some art prints have been added,
as well as a new sisal carpet, which I really love.
However our room is a bit too small, and it is giving me a challenge on
the floor plan.  So just like anyone, decorating can be fun but 
it also can be frustrating.  Thinking  now I might need to purchase a pair
of matching arm chairs to sit across from the sofa.  But all of this
decorating dilemma will be addressed in upcoming posts, so you can 
chime in on what you think works and doesn't.
I love getting free advice!

For paint and home decorative accessories,
Annie Sloan workshops and more click on our link below.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Creating a Feature Wall the Easy Way!

 Here is a sneak preview of the finished feature wall 
I created in the entrance of our shop. 
The guys built a wall for us to have more interior display space 
and it has been really wonderful in that regard. 
We can create little vignettes showcasing different things on every 
side of the new wall, which is an L shape.  
And just like in your home, sometimes you have an area where 
you might want to make a statement using wallpaper or a contrast paint color. 
 Its a great decorator trick, and whats nice about it is that you only have to do one wall!  
 I have a way of making the feature wall even easier without losing any panache. 
 Check out how I transformed this entry wall in a matter of minutes, 90 to be exact.  
 When you enter the shop, there is now a nice taupe colored wall 
that we display one of our pieces of furniture.  Nice, but kind of vanilla, right?  
As I often do, I kind of mentioned to Justin one day during 
work that I intended to do a stencil pattern on our front wall, 
in anticipation of some of our new furniture we purchased at market. 
 After my announcement, I showed him my idea, and he said, 
well its not exactly my thing, but if you wanna do it~go for it.
  He stayed in the back working on whatever he was doing as I set up the ladder.
 Besides the ladder, all I needed were a few things: 
 A big wall stencil, some tacky repositionable spray (at Michaels)
 to hold the stencil in place, a sample of Pearl Plaster, 
a brush for stenciling the pattern and a level. 
 I did not use the painters tape as the spray worked great holding it in place.
 I used a level to put the stencil in the center at the top of the wall. 
Before I placed it into position, I found the center point of the wall 
and then held the level up to draw a straight line North to South. 
 Since this was clearly a one woman job with Justin staying out of it,
 I wanted to make sure I got the stencil straight. 
Using a level is a necessary step and it takes two minutes.  
You can erase the pencil line when finished with the wall. 
 Do not eyeball this part! Trust me. 
Your stencil pattern can start going off kilter 
as you continue on with each placement.
 This shows the second time I stenciled the pattern, 
lining up the tracing marks that are on the plastic of the stencil.  
This is a large stencil, and the pattern is large too, 
without a lot of intricate cut outs, you can get the paint or in my case,
 the Pearl Plaster applied to the wall quickly.  
Pearl Plaster is great for stenciling as it doesn't drip, 
and it gives a luxurious look without being too over the top.
 See my little sample of Pearl Plaster on my ladder? 
I would lightly add some pearl to the brush and then rub
 it off inside the lid so I didn't have too much material on the brush, 
and then I stenciled the pattern.  It was moving right along!
 AFter I had my center row finished, 
I did the row to the left and then the right.
 Finished result was this~you can see Justin still hanging 
in the back while I was snapping away and loving the new wall!! 
Whats the old saying? Mother knows best!? 
Yup, I was pretty sure this was going to look 
fantastic with our new Linen Settee in front of it.
You can easily do this project in just a few hours 
and with just a sample of Pearl Plaster.
Our beautiful stencil was done with the
 Large Acanthus Trellis Stencil by Royal Design Studios.
We carry both products in our shop and in our online store!  
Of course you can use any stencil, or paint for that matter, 
if metallics are not your thing. 
And how about that settee? 
For lowest prices online for Chalk Paint
 and for our Home Accessories check out our website

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Maison Decor Guys first video!

Hope you enjoy our first Maison Decor Guys video.
Colin sneaks up on Justin with a camera and starts  
making a movie while Justin is finishing a custom 
Chalk Paint® project.  When Justin realizes that Colin
is not taking stills, the fun ensues.
Hope you enjoy our behind the scenes action at our shop!
Press the arrow in the center to watch,
and the brackets in the bottom to make the video play full screen.

Other news at the shop is our new Global Village collection.
Look for these items to come to our online shop soon.
Breadboards, seltzer crates, olive baskets, barrel stave pendants..
its all cool stuff!

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