Friday, April 23, 2010

Oh-So-Incredible Steamer Chest


Put this knock-out on my wish list-


Of course it's just a skosh beyond our itsy budget at $2295, but hey, a gal can dream right? What do you guys think?

I love the rustic brushed steel and the hammered brass nail heads. This chest is functional and stylish.


Mayfair Steamer Chest Brushed Steel

Gorgeous leather-bound corners, and leather-wrapped handles!!!

I know what you,re thinking ?? It’s not a real antique!! Do you reeelly want a real old-fashioned rickety steamer chest anyway??? This one is handmade, and according to the product info, no two are exactly alike. Besides reproductions are more affordable!


I saw a HGTV “Candice Olson”episode where she used a pair of these chests side by side as part of a built-in. TO DIE FOR !!! If you would like to get a visual of this

design, set your DVR’s now!!! This episode is scheduled to repeat May 8, 2010 at 3:30 P.M. and June 14, 2010 at 3:30 P.M. (Pacific Daylight Savings Time)

For more information about the steamer chest, Restoration Hardware.




For design inquiries,  write to Laurie at



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who Loves Container Gardening ?!



To start I used this LARGE appealing pottery bowl, with a  slightly distressed patina.

I managed to snag a pair of these beauties at a garage sale in a very affluent neighborhood… :-)


A client was kind enough to donate her succulent trimmings for this container project.  You know I can’t just plant, I have to turn this into a “another PROJECT” as my husband would say. Chuckle

Sooo, fill your container half way with cactus soil. Install wire mesh with large holes, shaped into a dome. The dome I now realize should have been a bit higher. hmph

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Succulents can thrive out of water and soil for a considerable period of time. Once planted they are happy in a bright sunny location!

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Arrange them in a cluster with the petite blooms towards the bottom.

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Notice the spectrum of blue-gray, green and purple hues.

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You can use bowls, trays, troughs, or saucers to display succulents. They look lush and vibrant even on a dry, hot summer day.


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My interior and exterior designs are natural and organic. I love to use living plants in unusual ways, succulent displays are quite the trend. When several are grouped together, they have a substantial impact. You can use them where everything else dies for you, you will love them.



water and sunlight

Sometimes, the simplest methods bring the most satisfying results. This handsome pot was soaked in a tub of water until algae grew on its surface.  Algae grows

best in the sun,  so be sure that vessel sit in bright locations and that water is replenished as it evaporates.

 Do you like the patina on this pottery ??

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Or do you like the distress on this pottery ??


This method provides instant gratification, and quickly tones down the harsh orange of many new pots. Try to emulate the subtle streaks of old pottery.



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Use a brush to apply lime solution to the pot, employing random strokes to paint on solution thickly in some areas, thinly in others.

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Fill spray bottle with water, set it on “stream” setting, and coat pot in various spots while lime is still wet. This thins the coating for a more natural look. Let dry.


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Sand pot in random directions, wiping dust off frequently, until you have achieved the desired look.

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Happy Thursday! I hope your day brings happiness and creativity.

For design inquiries,  write to Laurie at


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Planning a wall of Pictures

T his vintage postcard is a  photograph of a Sir Lankan orchid. It is float-mounted so it’s edges are showing-on a linen-covered back board. It is then double-matted and offset by a faux-bamboo frame. A mat protects as much as it enhances,the life span of a photo from roughly ten to upward of a hundred years

“hmph”.  A single, continuous strip of tape hinges front and backboards together so they open like a book. The art work is secured with minimal adhesive so

that, if and when it has to be removed, it need not be ripped. Fashioning your own can save you a great deal of $$$$$. 


At Last, a fullproof way to “yes you have to PLAN” a display of framed pictures without leaving a wall of misplaced nail holes( that's me). Because low tack drafting tape is used to hang these templates,  you can move them around until you find that perfect spot.  First, trace the picture frames on kraft paper,  and cut out the templates. Pull the hanging wire on the back of each frame taut,  and measure from top of the wire’s arc to the top of the frame. On the matching template, measure in from the top edge this same distance,  to mark where the picture hook should meet the wire. Lay the picture hook on the template so that the bottom of the hook is on the mark; make another mark where the nail hole will go. When you are satisfied with the placement of each template, hammer the nails through the picture hooks into the wall,  right over the marks in the paper. I can’t wait to try this! Rip the kraft paper off, leaving the nails and hooks in place,  and hang your perfectly arranged pictures.


wall of pict retouch


This wall of picture design seen below is quite unique and different. Keeping this design in mind you could use any frame style you choose.


For a more professional product I’ve found ThePerfectPictureWall a sophisticated system for hanging pictures. This product is used frequently by Candice Olson the host of HGTV’s “Devine Design”. :-)

This photo wall is quite a wonderful focal point!


photo wall

For design inquiries,  write to Laurie at



Monday, April 12, 2010

Pick of the week

I love this Blake lounge chair from Crate and Barrel.  It's handcrafted of solid teak and natural rattan.  The teak has a beautiful worn gray finish making this chair feel vintage.  The back and arms on this chair are a handwoven natural rattan which adds a nice texture juxtaposed against the teak wood. 

Blake Lounge Blake Lounge 2




I Will Follow You Anywhere

My sweet friend Jennifer was kind enough to invite me to join her for her weekly antique shopping excursions.   As we walked around the flea market, I noticed Jennifer down on her knee inspecting this wonderful antique. “That Jennifer , she knows her stuff, she likes things that are old and "have a story." At first glance I fell in love with the vintage markings, and wondered what story goes with this container???Jennifer graciously allowed me to purchase the container for a mere $20.00. Once I brought it to it’s new home several friends and family said, “ My grandmother had a container just like that!”   My mom confirmed their recollections,  “Could be a storage container for misc food items.  I remember my grandma had these and she put olives, pickles, etc. in them - in the days before refrigerators, these thick crocks helped to  keep the food cool, especially when stored in a cellar or basement.” Wow this crock is reeeeally old!   I had my story!


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Vintage markings I fell in love with! Since pickles are now stored in the refrigerator and I don't have a cellar. I have other plans for this crock.

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The clay feet seen below are available at most nurseries and Home Depot. Aren't they cute ??

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These useful clay feet are little ledges for outdoor pottery. I just love them, thanks for the tip, mom!!!

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Here I am all dressed up in my new high heels!!!!

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I absolutely love my new outdoor planter, it has tons of character!!

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Happy Monday! I hope your day brings happiness and creativity.

For design inquiries,  write to Laurie at



Monday, April 5, 2010


T he charm of these sturdy chairs is amplified by timeless linen fabric.  Linen is a show stopper. . . . besides being pretty it’s elegant!!! Who wouldn't  love to have these beauties displayed in their home? excitement!!!

Excuse me is this seat taken???

The linen sheers with interlocking pattern exude tranquility.

The chairs are so versatile they can be played up or down depending on your personal design style. Paired with this large-scale wallpaper for a more elegant look.

There’s strength in neutral pallets !!! I love the dramatic texture of de Le Cuona linen :-)

Curtain in Antique Silver backed with Rural Stone LINEN

contrasting textures. . . a visual feast

Linen Throw with self knotted tassels in Charcoal an unexpected touch.


Happy Monday! I hope your day brings happiness and creativity.



For design inquiries,  write to Laurie at



Friday, April 2, 2010

Did you miss my Giveaway ??

M any Thanks for participating in our wonderful giveaway!!! It’s been so much fun getting to know all of Jennifer’s peeps!!! Thanks a bunch for all your heartfelt sincere comments, shout out to all my new followers!! Your arrival is a cause of joy, and I will greet you all!!!


I bet you can’t wait to try me out in your lovely dining room!! Lucky you!!!



Congratulations to BJ Conkin. . . Lubbock, TX

She was the lucky winner!!


Additionally, for the next two weeks to all OPC readers, all orders over $50 I will take an additional 15% off, and for more information about our giveaway please be sure to visit The Old Painted Cottage HERE