Sunday, October 23, 2011

Malibu Master Bedroom Retreat

My brother and Lisa are  sporty, active,  on-the-go types. During the day, Lisa is a busy sales representative and real estate agent. Jim is a United Parcel “lifer" (and former real estate developer).  In their spare time,  the two often play golf ( Rumor has it,  they’re going to tie the knot soon! Yay!) Oh,   and did I mention Jim surfs daily before work. Needless to say,  they don’t have much time to relax.


They recently relocated into a contemporary style home in Malibu, CA. But when it came to designing  their master bedroom . . . Lisa knew she wanted a relaxing retreat where they could unwind after a long day.  So to start the update they purchased  two velvet espresso colored drapery panels (seen to the back of the photo)  at Cost Plus World Market. As we all know, one thing started in design always leads to the next,  if you know what I mean ???

Sorry about the photo folks,  I know it’s hard to see the panels. :-(



They fell in love with their stylish new drapery panels ($40.00 each), now the smaller window above the bed seemed awkward and cold.  To tie two windows together in this space, we discussed several possible options. Finally settling on a slender cornice, repeating the espresso colored  fabric, with nice large brass nail details to highlight this bad boy!

Now we just had to enlist Jim to build it and hang it, Oye!!

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The cornice was built using 1/4” plywood and 1” x  2” backing for support ( $20.00.) He used spray adhesive as the glue to hold the batting in place,  then stapled a third drapery panel on top and around the sides of the cornice. 

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An attractive custom cornice like this could cost you a quite few bucks.

They used brass nail head details ( $40.00) for the real WOW factor – and created a gorgeous cornice,  all done on a budget!

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Simple and tastefully done,  it really enhances the space don’t you think? 

Seen below is one of our lumbar French design pillows,  you can go here to take a better look at our full Bella Inspirations  collection.

After . . .

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A  restful refuge for two.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

French Inspired Cabinet Reveal

Good morning, Hope everyone had a great Monday. Mine was actually quite nice, and really relaxing. Had time to take nice long walk, enjoy beautiful weather, it was a good one.

  I am so thrilled to present my newly styled sun-washed,  slightly distressed patina treasure.  What a show off I am, lol?

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I love finishes made from nature,  rather than something that has a high lacquer finish.

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I had some fun with this project and can’t wait to try my new faux painting technique on another piece!

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To finish off my project,  I’ll be on the look out for one of these old ladders :-) to give my little cabinet a more substantial base trim.  Wonder where I got this idea?

Who would have known this itsy cabinet had such a hidden charm!


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It’s now a functioning storage cabinet filled with a vintage wire basket and wound bundles of burlap and cloth.  Which emphasized all of its vintage beauty.


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Dore Callaway at

The super talented blogger extraordinaire and my sweet friend,  has an affinity for rural French style.  Her fitting design philosophy is to recycle and restyle found objects of desire.  Ultimately,  they find their way into the hands of a new place to rest. She is an artist in trompe l'oeil and faux painting.  Her free spirit allows her to paint in her imagination with a dramatic artful passion for European flea market style. Her favorite time of any day is to be able to fit in time to create.

Her designs are natural and organic,  and they reflect the textures,  patterns,  silhouettes,  and finishes of her stunning artwork.  I heart her faded grey palette it truly inspires me!

If you want to shop for some of her handiwork,  visit Burlap Luxe Etsy Shop. I cannot recommend it enough! You won't regret it.

Her uncomplicated designs are all hand done.

Lastly, for any of you folks who are interested in more painting fun,  have you tried working with  milk paint yet?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Provencal-Style Slipcover

Perhaps you folks might remember Melissa, my dear friend and neighbor.  She is still in the process of  pulling off the vanishing act with a lot of her furniture that has become outdated. Since she knows I'm always up for a good repurpose project,  she asked if I would like her 1990’s style love seat?

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Since that day I had been reading Veranda Magazine May-June issue.  Designer Pamela Pierce had done a magnificent interior reconstruction. This fabulous room really speaks for itself, outstanding color palette with French textiles and linens, antique stone walls, reclaimed limestone flooring. This room calling out to me with a soft place for my eyes to land.

Veranda Magazine 2011


As a textile and interior designer, I was especially intrigued by the outstanding generously cut linen slipcovers! This was the first time I had seen a ruffle placed on the outside of the slipcover seam,  as opposed to sewn inside the seam. My insane though and vision was,  I’d like to try and make this slipcover sometime. So when my neighbor offered her loveseat,  I thought,  oh that’s just the perfect piece to practice my newly found Old World look!


My next task was to figure out a way to give this older piece a new lease on life. Since enormous rolled arms are a thing of the past they would have be modified,  hmph . . .

YAY another new project! :-)

 miss love seat bf

As you can see I made quite a few design changes, I fashioned this hand-me-down love seat with Giorgio Armani 100% Italian linen. That I snagged downtown wholesale for $16.00 per yard. “No one will ever know that it’s not from France.” I used down back pillows and one long  8” thick seat cushion,  instead of two cushions for a newer look,  artfully modified the arms,  to a more functional size,


and added this feminine inspired ruffle,  for a true vintage feel.


Come on folks let’s be real, this loveseat has a very specific look and would only appeal to a certain client and decor. It really doesn't match my decor style. So everyone confusedly asked, “Laurie, what are you going to do with it?” Not really sure myself, but passionately wanting to bask in it’s beauty for a while,  maybe a day. lol I took the custom designed French loveseat to our local antique mall and sold it, romantically skirted ruffle on the floor and all! :-)



Next time I think I’ll slipcover an itsy foot stool, this was quite an undertaking.  It took some patience. But it was worth it!


Just wanted to let you folks know I am receiving your comments,  even though there not showing up. I’m having a blogger issue,  hopefully will be fixed today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

French Inspired Cabinet

 My friend Dore at Burlap Luxe is an outstanding artist and author. Through her blog I have been inspired in so many ways! Now let’s just say I’ve refinished furniture before,  but always tried to make it look new. Dore expresses herself through her outstanding distressed works of art,  she calls “French inspired.” Very excited to try this new aging technique,  I decided to start small and move up to bigger pieces later.

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I snagged this itsy cabinet at a yard sale for $15.00 ( isn’t she sweet?) I  immediately took a few snapshots and sent them off to Dore. I knew the wheels had to go,  and she recommended removing all the drawers and cabinet door. . . . Yikes . . . Pump the brakes . . . . . . This would leave just it’s shell? Only a little reluctant,  I gutted this!

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I’m super stoked, and ready to do this thing!


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Once the cabinet was gutted,  I decided in addition to our cabinet having a French vibe,  why not throw a little industrial vibe into the mix? :-)

Now that were so knowledgeable with zinc . . NOT!

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A few things you will need are,  clamps, mallet, tin snips, large T-square, gloves,  and a willing hubby. Oye!

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Mark your raw sheet metal with a t-square first. So, that means we’ll have two marks. One mark for the cutting and one for the bending. Were going to wrap ours down onto the lip of the cabinet top. 

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“Come on honey, can we do this a little faster? It’s taking forever!!” He responded, “slow your roll there hot shot.”

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Carefully snip your corners at a 45 degree angle,  and bend one side of the snipped corner under.

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Use clamps to secure metal top while bending around cabinet top.

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Robert taking five before I spring the next project on him . . . . :-)


Dore, thank you for inspiring and motivating me to try something new.  I am grateful to have you as my new blog friend! I can’t wait to start the painting process!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to build a zinc top table?

Have you heard about all the industrial vibe decor going on these days?   A few months ago while I was shopping at our local flea market, I stumbled across four hand craved solid wood legs formerly attached to a table. Hummmm . . . .  although they were heavily varnished and stained with cherry wood color,    I concocted a design in my head, and purchased them for $20.00! 

Now I just had to convey the idea I’ve concocted to my master carpenter & loving husband. Ya know,  kinda get him excited about this idea, too,   if that was at all possible? lol Unfortunately folks, I neglected to take any before photos. You have my promise on the next one,  scout’s honor!

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I asked Robert if he would take the reclaimed legs to his sandblaster. grumble grumble . . . . PLEEEEASE . . . . . more grumbles anything for you honey!     Once they were sandblasted it really got the ball rolling. He could see the amazing potential in the distressed salvaged wood legs. YAY  He built the table sides by attaching 1” x 4” pine lumber,  and the console top with 1” x 18” pine lumber,  that will be covered with our new zinc top.  I will later stain the side panels  to match the balusters natural antique finish.


Zinc top:  Since this was our first time working with raw metal,  I turned to the internet. I learned zinc is really just raw sheet metal that has oxidized. Okay this isn’t rocket science . . . .  The net recommended 1/16th” gauge metal. Well um . . . lets just say this . . . We could have built an airplane with this metal,  it’s as solid as a Boeing 747  :-).  The raw sheet metal console top  $75.00 big ones! The fabrication $75.00 bigger ones!                                                                  


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Next time we’ll choose a much lighter metal for a table surface. To seal the industrial antique zinc top,  we used a wipe on ( love it) clear MATTE polyurethane. Robert attached the zinc top and  finished off the corners with industrial concrete nails. I purchased four old caster wheels from EBay for a truly vintage look!

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After we moved our new console inside,  I decided to play with my new toy!!!! YAY

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Since it’s October,  I gathered a few things I had around the house,  gourds, velvet pumpkins, curly raffia,  vintage lantern, wire bird cage, and more flea market balusters that I will use on another project later. :-)

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Our handcrafted console really complements the chunky carved rococo mirror in our dining room.

Wouldn’t this make a DYNAMITE center island in a kitchen!!!

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I used this tall lantern filled with curly raffia and velvet pumpkins.  It provides balance for the wire bird cages height.

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For design inquiries,  write to Laurie at