Saturday, February 26, 2011

Some Behind-the-Scenes Changes

The past few days I have been working on several updates to Red Door Home – nothing major, just a few tweaks.

Many of the magazine posts (listed under the Press section above) contained small, badly scanned photos – making them hard to view. They have all been rescanned and are now bigger and clearer. To see a sample of the changes, check out this article which features three projects using Pantone’s color of the year - honeysuckle.

100 Decorating Ideas Under $100 / Photographer - John Bessler
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

Besides additional links to pictures of my house, the Home Décor section now includes a new category called “Inspirations.” This area will incorporate posts similar in content to my recent “Seven Ways to Add Vintage Charm to Your Home” article. Home Décor is also where you will find budget, holiday and seasonal decorating ideas as well as outdoor spaces.

Women's Day Budget Decorating / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

Finally, the Tutorial section continues to evolve. A few new tutorials, which somehow I missed earlier, have now been added – including the very popular “How to make a curtain from a vintage feedsack.” Future plans include organizing the tutorials into categories to make this area more user-friendly. As I have not posted a tutorial in a while, I am also working on instructions for sewing curtains with lining, how to hang curtains, as well as a fun spring tabletop idea. Look for these soon!

100 Decorating Ideas Under $100 / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

As always, if you have any suggestions on how to make Red Door Home better or have a tutorial you would like for me to create please let me know!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Snowball Effect

For some reason I have been struggling with how to decorate my new-to-me buffet – nothing I tried seemed to work. (Maybe the empty space above the buffet - which is supposed to be filled with my yet to arrive mirror – is the real problem.)

Anyway, I came across the picture below which I had saved to my favorites file.

Image via Cote de Texas

I noticed the two alabaster lamps and immediately knew I had found at least part of my decorating solution. You see I already owned a pair of similar lamps which were currently residing on my bedroom dresser.

So I did a test run and moved the pair to the buffet - loved it!

This left the dresser empty.

I liked having a matching set of lamps on the long dresser and decided to regroup the pair of painted brass lamps I had separated to two different bedside tables.

Now that my dresser was once again complete I was left with two empty bedside tables – one in my daughter’s bedroom and one in the master bedroom.

A trip to Target and my daughter’s empty beside table was filled.



A trip to the basement guest room and my bedside table was looking good again.



Needless to say, what started as a simple desire to accessorize a buffet snowballed into a few hours of lamp rearranging. Fun, but definitely more time consuming than what I had in mind when I started.

I am happy with the result but still need one more lamp for the guest bedroom.

I was curious to know if you have ever done this – moved or added one thing only to spend the day moving things from here to there. I am guessing we all have a similar story to tell. I would love to hear yours!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Simple is Better

This coffee table is not my first choice for my living room. In all honesty it is not my second, third or even fourth choice. It is however, what I have at the moment so I have decided to make the best of it.

You may remember this picture which was taken right after we repainted our living room.

Although the space looked considerably lighter, I received many comments about the table appearing dark. I totally agreed.

Since replacing the table with something new is not an option right now and I couldn’t bring myself to paint perfectly good cherry wood I settled on adding a new piece of fabric to the display drawer.

I kept the contents simple – three white ironstone dishes – and used a piece of vintage French feedsack cloth for the inside.

I guess simple really is better!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where are the Gray Silk Curtains?

Just a short post today, to finally reveal where the gray silk curtains have ended up (drum roll) - the dining room!

As soon as I hung them I knew I had found the perfect place.

The gray color complimented the blue and white of the rug and the silk was right at home in this slightly formal space. It truly was love at first sight!

In all honesty, I have been delaying this reveal because some of you had left such nice comments about the yellow checked curtains that I felt a little guilty taking them down.

Truth be told, the yellow checked curtains were one of my very first attempts at sewing panels – over 10 years ago - and the lining was not done correctly. (Not that you could really ever tell.)

So the gray curtains will stay in the dining room and I am now left with making eight more panels for the living room. What will I choose this time? I will let you know soon!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Seven Ways to Add Vintage Charm to Your House

Older homes exude charm. They contain custom details and design elements which for the most part are not present in the new homes of today. So how do you achieve this vintage look inside your new home?

Here are a few of my favorites - many of which I have incorporated in my own home.

Light Fixtures
Although there are many quality reproductions available at various price points, there is just something special about the real thing. A word of caution = be sure to check the wiring before installing as most vintage fixtures will need to be updated.

Cottage Style 2010

This vintage light fixture hangs in our living room –a great alternative to can lights.

Use them for their intended purpose, mirrors, headboards or decorative accents.

We found this pair while our house was being built and had the builder install them instead of the planned French doors.

A great design detail to use for headboards and folding screens. One of my favorite aspects of shutters is that they are usually found in a variety of colors.

House Beautiful 2010

Beautiful Homes 2004

Install them as a permanent fixture in your home or use them as a design element.

Renovation Style 2008

Cottage Style 2010

Architectural pieces
Old ceiling tins, corbels, windows – the list goes on and on. My favorite and probably the easiest way to add vintage charm to your home.


French Country 2009

Traditional Home 2006

Another vintage item which can be used for its original purpose or turned into shelving, headboards, and more.

Big Style for Small Rooms 2010

Cottage Style 2010

Counters / Bars / Built-in Cabinets
If you are lucky enough to have the space for these beauties, they undoubtedly become the focal point of any room.

Cottage Style 2010

An English Pub installed as a counter in this homeowner’s basement.

Beautiful Homes 2008

A built-in cabinet in our dining room which was removed from a local real estate office.

A grain bin from an old general store which we use for storage in our kitchen.

These are only a few of the many possibilities. What is your favorite way to add vintage charm to your home? Have you incorporated any of these ideas in your décor? I would love to hear your ideas!

Note: Always use caution when bringing vintage painted pieces into your home (especially if you have children) as they may contain lead paint.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Copying Bunny Williams – Well, Sort of

The most recent edition of Veranda includes a half page spotlight of three pieces of Bunny Williams’ second Beeline Home Furniture line of small scale tables and stools.

Although I loved all three featured pieces, it was the simple white painted stool upholstered in muslin called “The Pug Bench” which caught my eye.

I immediately thought of the footstool I purchased a while back for a few dollars at a thrift store.


Now I realize it is a very big stretch to compare the two as mine is a footstool and Bunny’s is a small bench and the lines of the two pieces are not similar at all. However, seeing Bunny’s bench was just the inspiration I needed to transform my formerly very dark footstool into something much more stylish. (I’ll explain the missing nailhead trim below.)

Here is how I accomplished this simple transformation.

Remove needlepoint cover. Lightly sand frame and paint with BM Paper Mache.

Use old cover as a pattern for new cover made of natural color linen.

Attach new cover using staple gun - same process as covering a chair seat.

Attach top to stool base using screws.

Add decorative nailhead trim.

At this point the project took a turn for the worse. I tried to attach the nails with a hammer and they just would not stay – this stool was not made for this type of trim.

Not one to give up I went to plan B – glue.

This did not work either. It looked exactly like what it was – glued on nail heads.

I regrouped, removed the mess-ups and settled on a plain top.

Much better!

Linking up to these wonderful ladies.

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