Friday, August 7, 2009

A PASSION for the PAST - Romantic Decor in Creams and Whites

A PALETTE OF CREAMS

I have a passion for things made with the hands...especially those fashioned using the colors of cream and white. If I'm given the chance I will quickly purchase vintage lace, delicate embroidery, old needlepoint, keepsake linens and treasured millinery blooms...anything my budget will allow. As I've grown older, the seeking out of the best of aging white complements just calls out to me...demands my attention. Once an item is captured I just seem to fall in love with my second favorite color over and over again.

I've come to believe a house without things from the past...things once dearly loved and valued, is like a home without music. Whether it be a favorite chair passed down through generations or a neglected linen chest rescued from a crumbling curbside, it is easy for me to find the beauty in all things vintage.

I found this very old (circa 1938) Gentleman's Chest at a neighborhood Second Hand Shoppe a couple of months ago. Truthfully, I almost passed on it. The exterior had been painted and the cheap floral decals left me wanting. I also struggled to wrap my thoughts around the odd placement of the dresser knobs. They seemed strangely out of sorts, although original.

CIRCA 1938 GENTLEMAN'S CHEST

Still, something moved me to purchase the roomy find...for $30 I couldn't go wrong. I brought her home and she sat untouched for several weeks. I just wasn't sure exactly what to do with her. Desperately needing to find more room for clothing, I decided to whip this girl in shape...


WEAVING TOGETHER OF WHITES and CREAMS

After lightly sanding and having my Mr. AGPMan make a small repair to one of the drawer guides, I primed the exterior of the solid wood Chest (Zinsser Primer or ANY Bonding Primer) and then gave her a few light coats of my favorite Cottage White Paint (Behr Paint at Home Depot). Once thoroughly dry I lightly distressed the edges before carefully aging her with my favorite Gel Stain...

MY FAVORITE FINDS

Because my Master Bedroom is significantly space-challenged, I've chosen to decorate with only my very favorite of finds. This includes candles (a must have!), a pretty Sachet Pillow, a wedding photo of my beloved and I, vintage millinery from my bridal bouquet and a gorgeous old Milk Glass Lamp...

PAINTING OUR CHERRY WOOD BED...SCARY!

I shared with you a few weeks ago that I FINALLY got up the nerve to paint my cherry wood, 4 poster bed. I thought my man would faint! I had lived with that wood finish for 25 years and she looked almost exactly the same as she was on the showroom floor... she desperately needed a face lift. She remained the one thing in my home that wasn't painted~ Changing her looks was a bit scary for me, I can assure you! If my memory serves me correctly in 1982 we paid $300 for the headboard, foot board and rails (I would NEVER pay that now). I've had the bed almost my entire marriage and I was either going to paint her or buy a reproduction iron bed... I chose to paint and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the transformation. Wish I'd done it years ago!

CHARMING OVER SIZED KNOBS

I'm so crazy-silly over the over sized knobs on the Chest that I've even grown to love the fact they aren't evenly spaced...

For now I'll keep you guessing about how the rest of the room looks. I sooo hope to add a gorgeous chandelier and a pretty (but small) bench at the foot of the bed. Until then I'll continue to dream in cream...

Blessings to you as you find comfort and rest in the place you call home...Rebecca

29 comments:

Piney Rose said...

B-e-e-e-U-tiful!!!!

someplace in thyme said...

Hello Rebecca, anyone can walk into a store anytime of the day or week and purchase something new. Anyone can have a designer look out of a magazine. Like you, I prefer of lifetime of memories in the things once shared before us. History, life and love is what I like in my home. You did a fantastically beautiful job and it shows with love, give yourself a big pat on the back and sleep tight with nice dreams in your "new" bed. Char

Shelia said...

Hi Rebecca! I just love seeing the rooms in your lovely home! You put a more elegant touch on shabby chic! Every piece of furniture you touch turns out so beautifully!
Have a wonderful weekend, sweet friend,
Be a sweetie too,
Shelia ;)

Connie said...

Bec, I want to know EXACTLY where in the world you put all this stuff, sugar?!?! Jack would have to throw me out if I tried to cram one more thing into this "forever-till-I-die" house, chickee. In fact, I think he's ever threatened that a time or two, honey!!!
xoxo,
Connie

hpabate said...

Oh my word, you truly have a gift for decorating. This is the most beautiful room I have seen, it looks like something out of the Country Living magazines. You are so blessed girl this is great. Wonderful job.
Pat on the back and a high five :0)

The patience you must have to design and create these items you find treasures under all the rough edges, your eyes are blessed by the gift of sight for sure.

Hope you have a blessed day.
Take care.

Cheers,
Heidi

Marilyn said...

I vividly remember the small octagon table & the half-table & walnut carved rocker that was my beloved grandmothers. I vividly remember the tiny Oriental tea set & embroidery on all her tables. I now have them all... They are a comfort to me. I lost her when I was 12, it is amazing what can imprint your life at such a young age. I feel her warmth & love in some way in my rooms.
I also have many of her books... she was a collector as I am too.

"A room without books is like a body without a soul."

Wonderful Post... Your room is beautiful!!

Love,
Marilyn
xxoo

Carol said...

Hi Rebecca,
I love seeing your before and after pictures. Your furniture always turns out beautifully, you truly have a gift.
Hugs,
Carol
The Roseberry Cottage

blushing rose said...

The love that each piece you recreate radiates elegance ... who but you could do this! That chest is so wonderful, Rebecca, you vision what others (including me) would never see ... the true soul of each piece. Love it! TY for sharing. Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs, TTFN ~Marydon

Shabby Cottage Shops said...

Love the pictures and wonderful story of your beautiful "new" bed. Your room is just simply gorgeous!

Debra
Shabby Cottage Shops

ceekay said...

Before and after of the dresser is fabulous! I am always amazed at what paint can do to some old worn out pieces. Love that you have the wedding photo and candle....very romantic!

Deanna said...

Very nice and pleasant. A wonderful place to relax and call home.
Glad you shared.
Blessings,
d

Terri said...

It sort of takes on a personal relationship when you have touched every in inch of a piece. sanding it priming it painting it you know every about it.
I just got done painting a two piece cabinet. It is very hand crafted and not a "finished" piece of furniture. But it has charm and will serve me well.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Love the transformation! We have a similiar old chest that was given to us by an elderly aunt. Only ours is painted blue. My baby son used it for years, but now it is used as overflow (which we all have in our house). Love your "dream in cream"!

pamperedgirl38 said...

I love the bed! Very romantic! You have the touch with decorating. Traci

Sares said...

Everything looks so beautiful. I just may have to paint a little something in that cottage white. Gorgeous!

Tanza said...

Ooohhh ~r~,
Okay !! GORGEOUS !! Over the top sooo simply charming..cottagey..warm and inviting !! I just LoVe what you've done !! The bed is a Wowser !! That gentlemens dresser.. Sooo Sweet !! The decor..Ooohh my !! I want it all !! And, the door is in there too somewhere I KNOW !! The sewing machine table.. You are killing mee !! Such beautiful eye candy !! Your home is the quintessential "Cottage Shabby Chic".. Rachel would soo LoVe you !! You make me want to run out, and go shopping NOW !! You inspire me soo.. I get soo excited seeing everything you do !! You make it all seem soo easy !! Your transformations into beautiful simply amaze me !! Oooohh, why can't I be you?! hahahaha.. Have a happy cuddly evening tonite in your pretty bed !!
To the moon sweet friend
~tea~xo

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Rebecca, your chest is lovely and the creams look wonderful in your romantic home.

I love woods of any kind...painted, stained or whatever. There is something so precious about a piece of loved furniture, isn't there?

Miss you visiting with me....I have tried to concentrate on the Rooster Party. Wow, I never dreamed it would be so popular. Anyway, miss you dear heart.

Hugs,
Barb

Vicki said...

Hi, Rebecca,
An amazing transformation on that chest! Thanks for visiting me at Bunny Cottage. Your beautiful sign looks wonderful, don't you think? Hope your weekend is great! Vicki

HEATHER said...

HI REBECCA,
LOVE WHAT YOU DID WITH YOUR BED. IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL! AND THE DRESSER... THOSE KNOBS GROW ON YOU DON'T THEY! WISH MY ROOM WAS THAT PUT TOGETHER.... IT'S GETTING THERE. SORRY YOU ARE SOCKED IN WITH RAIN, MAYBE THE WEATHER WILL BE BETTER TOMORROW! LOVE THE STOCKINGS YOU DID THIS YEAR.. CAN'T WAIT TO PULL OUT ALL OF MY PRETTIES I HAVE FROM YOU FOR CHRISTMAS... MINUS ONE BOX OF ORNIES... DON'T WANT TO GO THERE AT THE MOMENT, STILL UPSET WITH MY HUBBY FOR THAT ONE! THANK YOU FOR THINKING OF ME. TAKE CARE, TALK TO YOU SOON- HEATHER

Lisa said...

Your bedroom is gorgeous! I love your adventurous decorating spirit!

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Sweet Rebecca, I will most certainly continue in my prayers for your brother in law and his family. Your husband is such a dear and kind man. I will pray for God to comfort you in his absence...I understand completely!

It was so sweet of you to look for a rooster. Everytime I see a white rooster, I now think of you and dear Tea! I just don't understand why there aren't more white and pink roosters out there....those stores get to get with the program! Ha.

Sending love to you this day,
Barb

Lee Laurie said...

Your bedroom is looking so beautiful! I love that you painted your bed to match everthing else. I use to have all cherry colored wood furniture and I still have some. I'm working on that! LOL My next big project will be to paint my highboy...I'm nervous about it too. Your bed does look a lot better now. I love the chester drawers too.
Hugs,
Lee Laurie

Bellamere Cottage said...

Ahhhhhhhh.......so pretty! One of my very bestest friends does one of her bathrooms all in cream....I LOVE it, it's so peaceful, isn't it?

Hugs!
Spencie.....

Have a wonderful weekend! I'll be trying to clean my sewing room...hahahaha....never going to be in a magazine! :-)

Secondhandrose said...

Rebecca, is the Behr paint called Cottage white? and what stain do you use over it and how do you apply it. Thanks so much for sharing all your ideas.
karen

Cottage Rose said...

Hi Rebecca; What a great find, so glad you took him home to give it a face lift... It is gorgeous, and love all the lovelies on top.. and a brave soul you are to paint that bed, we have an old four poster iron bed it was black, I used spray pain in white and gave it a beautiful look, my whole garage was a white film for weeks... poor hubby he was not a happy camper about that,,, but hey I was..... thanks for sharing ,can't wait to see the rest of your beautiful bed room.

Hugs;
Alaura

Elyse said...

hi rebecca,

thank you for the positively dreamy post and pics!

xo

Miss Gracie's House said...

That *white paint* was just what it needed! Don'tcha just love to rescue these sad old pieces?! And the bed-perfect. Can I ask, with the gel stain, what color do you use? Yours doesn't appear to be very dark...just a light covering. I'm having trouble with mine being too dark and too yellow.
Thanks,
Rene'

Sharon said...

I can't believe that's your bedroom! I thought it was a picture out of a magazine! You are very good at decorating! I love what you did with the chest, it is so beautiful! Awesome!

Hugs, Sharon

My Pink & Cream Cottage said...

Simply love the gentlemans dresser how original is the placing of the knobs... gotta love it huh. Your bed looks great just love the transformation another labour of love....

Lyn xxxx

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