Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's Old Is New Again

Meet Michele.  A stay at home mom of 3 active kids.  She was kind enough to let us have a peek into her world and share some photos and ideas about how she makes her house a home.  I love how she so effortlessly incorporates purchased antiques and family heirlooms into her home and achieves a wonderful look. 
First a little about Michele in her own words..
Like most stay at home moms I do it all; garden, cook, clean, shop, help the kids with their school work and drive them to and from their activities.  During the school year, if I have the opportunity, I volunteer at the elementary school.  Over the summer, I work with my children reviewing math so they don’t regress and supplementing where I think they could use a little something extra.  This past summer we completed a few science experiments using the scientific method and worked with Latin prefixes, suffixes, and root words.  My 14 year old son is now in high school and is considering taking Latin, so I hope my little introduction sparked an interest for him.  My 7 year old daughter is serious about her dance and takes classes five days a week.  My 11 year old son plays the saxophone, started karate last year and has set his sights on a black belt.
My monthly stay at home mom indulgence is breakfast out with the girls after we all get the kids off to school.
My decorating philosophy:
It’s no secret that they don’t make furniture like they used to.  We have lovingly taken whatever hand me down furniture our parents were willing to part with and put it to good use.  Fabric covered pieces take a little visit to my upholstery guy and “bam” it fits right in with our décor.  We have also bought antique furniture on Ebay.  I like being able to shop on line and find exactly what I’m looking for in a short period of time.  For me it beats traveling to multiple stores.  In the end our dollars go further with good quality used furniture, we love the look and those family hand me downs have sentimental value. 
I’ve taken inspiration from magazine pictures or internet photo galleries and tried to mimic the look to achieve the same feel.  Other times I have taken an item like a rug with extreme sentimental value and decorated a room around it.
One of my favorite decorating tips is to take calendar art and frame it for an inexpensive yet coordinated look.

Antique twin beds found on Ebay paired with Great Grandpa’s trains.

When my daughter was born, I used a picture from a pottery barn kids catalog as inspiration for her bedroom.  Painted the walls to match the picture in the catalog, picked out similar bedding and used my grandmother’s dishes for decoration.

Most little girls want that pink and frilly bedroom, but I was pleased that my daughter wanted to decorate her bedroom to match this lovely silk rug from her Uncle Bill.
Of course this is the second time I have decorated my daughter’s bedroom and our master bedroom has not been painted since we moved in 15 yrs ago.  Close the door when visitors come and nobody knows.

My livingroom with recovered wing chairs from Grandma, Great Grandma’s leather topped end table and Great Great Grandma’s wooden shoes as a decorative accent. We added the crown molding and paneling around the windows and fireplace and painted it sage green.  My husband is the woodworker and I’m the painter.

Great Grandma’s lamp with a new mica shade and Great Great Grandma’s plates on the wall.

Antique block front desks were made for handwriting letters and were not very wide.  We were looking for the same style, but something a little wider to accomodate a laptop computer with a note pad on the side. This desk is an antique reproduction by Pulaski Furniture, inspired by a
 desk circa 1765 presented at the Antiques Roadshow in Boston.

Here is some of Michele's great calendar art.  I think this is such a great inexpensive way to decorate around the home.  

Thank you so much Michele!!!  Such a gorgeous welcoming home.


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