Monday, June 30, 2014

Still Working...

It has been a while since I have posted.
As you know, I am a 1st grade teacher and that takes complete priority. 
However, does that mean I have stopped decorating, designing, demolishing and painting? 
No way!

My husband and I have been working hard at updating more of the house.
We have been landscaping the front yard,


painting some floors,


and updating the bedrooms.


I will post about all of these projects very soon. 

As we put the finishing touches on all of these projects, I will be sharing some of my favorite previous projects on my facebook page.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 10 Furniture Pieces of 2013


It is always interesting to go back through my list of projects when trying to come up with this list. I always have pieces that I love, there are many pieces that I enjoy but there are always a few that I am glad to put behind me. 

I spent 2013 playing with new colors, new furniture shapes and even a new kind of paint. I hope you enjoy my Whimsical Perspective Top 10 of 2013.

10. The Graphite Desk -Painted in Graphite Chalk Paint®- This was a custom piece for a client. She had a vision and it turned out beautifully.




9. The Mustard Seed Dresser - Painted in Mustard Seed MMSMP® - I LOVE this piece and really thought about keeping it for myself. One of my first attempts with Milk Paint.



8. Napoleonic Blue Dresser -Painted in Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint® - This was something very different for me and I am glad I tried something new. It really paid off.



7. The Bronze Buffet -Painted in Custom Mixed Chalk Paint® - A custom order for a special client. It was so fun mixing colors and finishes to create a beautiful bronze. Click the link for the color recipe.



6. Grandma's Cabinet... Again - Painted in Primer Red Chalk Paint® - This is a piece with an amazing story. It now sits proudly in our living room.



5. The Graphite Dresser - Painted in Graphite Chalk Paint® - This piece is so amazing that is has inspired our office makeover for 2014. 



4. The Napoleonic Blue Buffet - Painted in Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint® - A true combination of talents on this piece. I did the paint and finishes, my husband worked with the butcher block top. 



3. Upholstered Bench - I should have kept this one. The scrolling on this is amazing and the fabric added the right pop to this piece. This piece helped me get out of my upholstery comfort zone.


2. Our Antibes Night Stand - Painted in Antibes Chalk Paint® - A beautiful piece for my husband. We are now redecorating our master bedroom around this piece. 



1. The Old Ochre Dresser - Painted in Old Ochre Chalk Paint® - This is the piece I am most proud of in 2013. It came out exactly as I hoped it would. The staging in the photo is perfect too. This piece was done in partnership with Annie Sloan Unfolded.


To be honest, I am not sure what 2014 brings for Whimsical Perspective. I have slowed down quite a bit since August and don't see that changing for a while. I miss painting and crafting but I love spending more time doing other passion projects like school related activities.
I am sure I will keep painting and decorating and I can't wait to share our bedroom makeovers. However, I will be focusing more on quality than quantity. I may not post often but I promise it will be great. 

Stay tuned for my favorite posts and personal projects of 2013.

To see my full portfolio, visit my Whimsical Perspective Pinterest Board.




Monday, December 23, 2013

A Holiday Gift for Myself - New Dining Set

It is no secret that my dining room is my favorite room in my house to photograph.  

So much light.

So much potential to play with colors.

I love this room.

However, my husband and I were not on the same page. He feared that the dining room was getting a bit girly. 


I could see what he was talking about. So when the time came to purchase a new (old) dining set, I let my husband voice his opinion. 

Something darker and a little more "farmhouse" were his thoughts. 

So that is the route we took. 


We were lucky enough to come across this amazing Robbins table during our search. It contains 4 leaves and easily sat 10 of us at Thanksgiving. We love the versatility of this beautiful table and my husband loves the natural wood. We won't be painting this piece. :)

Our previous set is now on our back porch and it looks like it was meant to be there. 

This set came to us the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So on the Monday night of Thanksgiving week, Ron and I were madly dashing to reupholster 10 dining chairs. The 6 that came with the table and 4 others that we have had in the basement.


We picked this beautiful fabric from Joann's Fabrics. I love visiting the store in Geneva because their selection is amazing. This pattern has colors that seemed to jump right off of the shelf and call my name. I feared that it was going down the "girly" route again but Ron loved it as much as I did! Score!

So, now with my new dining table in place, it is time to top it off with a winter centerpiece.


For more of my winter decor, click here.

Stay tuned for my Year in Review and a look at our 2014 projects to come!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Little Bit of Christmas

It has been a while...

I have missed it a bit but, to be honest, it has been nice to focus on other areas of interest.

To see what I have been up to, click here.

However, I did want to share a bit of my holiday decor. 

Enjoy a glimpse at some of our Christmas decor:

I added a mix of fresh and "forever" greens to the dining room. They compliment the penguin nicely. I love handmade Christmas. The vintage ornament garland looks great draped across the burlap wreath.



Our crazy tree... I love our tree. I have saved my ornaments since I was a little girl. Some of them I made. Some of them came from my grandparents. Some of them were made or given to me by a student. They don't match. Some are not pretty but they all mean something and that is powerful.


I tossed a few other touches of winter into some hidden corners of the house. 


My mantel will be the showcase next weekend. Here is a quick glimpse:


The front porch has received the most recent makeover. It is colorful and beautiful. I might have to wait until the weather perks up before I show it off.



I have a few other things that I can't wait to show you. See you next weekend!

Laura

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An Announcement: Redirecting my Focus

Two and a half years ago I started this blog. It is such an amazing outlet for me. It is calming and exciting at the same time. 

This blog led me to an amazing adventure that started with my friend, Christie, of Carter's Cottage. I heard she was opening a new store in Dekalb, we talked and the rest is history.



Christie and I have gone on adventure after adventure. From our first Na-Da Farms event to our Kane County shenanigans, we giggled the whole way. 

Carter's Cottage is a gorgeous store with unique finds and knowledgeable painters on hand.
Here are a few of my favorite photos I took of the shop:






Through my connection with Carter's Cottage, I was introduced to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints®. 



My love of this paint and my desire to share it with you made this blog and my house come alive. 


It has been a crazy ride. 

However, all rides must end.

I will be taking a leave of absence from Carter's Cottage. I am not sure when I will return. 

I have loved my time at Carter's Cottage. However, Christie needs someone to depend on and fulfill their side of the bargain. Currently, that is not me.


I am knee deep in 1st grade and loving every minute. This is my 10th year as a teacher and I have never been this energized and excited about my job. 


I can honestly say that I jump out of bed in the morning, excited about my day. 

My job as a teacher is the most important thing for me and I take great pride in being really good at it. 

I eat, sleep and breathe education. 

I have tried to keep up at Carter's Cottage over the last few years but I have finally worn myself out. 

A couple of things...
1. Christie is a great friend of mine. Nothing is changing there.
2. My blog will continue and be more house focused.

Thank you to everyone that visited me at Carter's Cottage when I worked. Thank you to all of my customers that made me feel so valued and appreciated. Thank you to my husband who helped me drag over 100 pieces of furniture in and out of my house for the past 2 years. 

This is not the end of Whimsical Perspective... but a redirection of focus.

If you are interested in what I am up to now, visit Mrsbrightsclass.blogspot.com

Thanks for checking in...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Fall Tablescape


 I love Fall. 

I love the anticipation of beautiful weather.

I love the colorful leaves blowing down my street.

I love snuggling up with a warm blanket on the front porch.

I love the colors associated with Fall. 

Building a tablescape to transition me through the fall season was easy. 

A bit of burlap here... A dash of gourds there... sprinkle on some dried hydrangeas...

Done.




Pumpkin Fest is a major festival in our town so Fall is a big deal here. I can't wait to share more of our Fall decor. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Just a Little Antibes

One of my favorite Chalk Paint® colors is Antibes. However, it is nowhere to be found in my house. It is a striking color but one I find tricky to decorate with. 

So you can imagine my excitement when we started discussing our upcoming master bedroom remodel and my husband specifically requested this color for his nightstand. Yahoo!

A good friend of mine found this nightstand/dresser at a church rummage sale. It was covered in gloppy, shiny white paint. Great bones but terrible appearance.
You know my philosophy... embrace the imperfections.

That is just what I did.




This piece was painted with 2 coats of Antibes Chalk Paint® and sealed with Clear Wax. I thinned down the Dark Wax for the final touch. 

I love the way the old white paint is popping out. It lightens the appearance of the piece. 

My husband loved it and now we are even more motivated to get going on the remodel of the bedroom. We are planning a rustic/farmhouse retreat. Neutral surroundings with pops of color. 

Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Few New Additions and My Favorite Space

If you are a regular viewer of my blog, you are aware that I love to photograph my dining room. 
It has just the right about of natural light and beautiful windows.
 It makes photographing a room easy for a novice like me. 

So when I received a few more suitcases for this space, I was delighted to have a reason to photograph it again. 



You can't go wrong with a stack of antique and vintage suitcases. They look lovely here but will probably become a night stand in our guest bedroom soon.


I also gave a mini-facelift to my antique tea cart. 

I posted a question on Facebook a few weeks ago, asking for thoughts on how to refinish it. Should I paint it? If so, what color?

I received so many amazing ideas but decided not to paint it. A house should have a nice mix of textures. I needed more natural wood to balance out my painted pieces. This allows both kinds of pieces to stand out. 

I tried something new for me. I decided to refresh the finish just by using Annie Sloan's Dark Wax. I wasn't sure how it would work out but I knew it couldn't go badly. 

I applied it as I always do and it turned out beautifully. 


The Dark Wax refreshed it beautifully and sealed the old wood. It not only looks better, it feels better too.


We are currently working on a few projects in the house. I am also painting a few new pieces that will be for sale very soon. I can't wait to show you.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pretty in Pure White


I recently had the pleasure of painting this amazing dresser for a custom client. She was searching for something, just the right size, for her son's nursery. After a bit of searching, she and I found something that would be the perfect fit. 

After a brief consult, we decided that Chalk Paint® in Pure White was the perfect match for the nautical inspired bedding. 


If you are a Chalk Paint® lover, you know that Pure White is one of the trickiest colors to work with. It goes on much thinner that other colors and can have a high bleed though probability. 

That said, it is one of the most stunning. 
It is hardly ever my 1st choice because of my style. However, it always amazes me by how beautiful and clean it is.

Since she is having a boy, I added a bit of fun and whimsy to the drawers.


This dresser will definitely be in my top 10 for the year.

Thanks for checking in. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Fall Centerpiece - Junk Inspired

I am always searching flea markets for unique finds and a little bit of junk.

Well, I came across exactly that at the last Kane County Flea Market. 

I think it might be a lamp shade...

But is has a bell handle glued on top...

That's not important. All I knew is that it was cool, junky and I wanted it. 

I even knew what I would be doing with it. 

Dining Table Center Piece!


It is filled with beautiful fall flowers from a local prairie and some almost dried hydrangeas. 
I love the way the flowers pop through the cloche/lampshade. The details in the shade were what drew me to it.


I have a thing for "junky" centerpieces.


Enjoy the beginning of fall and start looking for junk!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A "While the Paint Dries" Project: An Easy Wall Hanging Tutorial

So... Today I needed something to do while waiting for paint to dry. 

I am working on a custom dresser for a client in Pure White. It is going to need several coats so I have a bit of time on my hands.

I chose to start a fun project with prints that I got at the flea market this morning.


These lovely mushroom prints are to compliment a recent purchase at Carter's Cottage.
I normally don't go to big box stores to buy frames. That makes displaying my art a bit tricky when I can't find antique frames in the sizes I need. 

So I decided to make my own out of the sides of old drawers.

First, I sanded down the dovetailed edges because they were a bit sharp. 


I wanted them slightly darker so I grabbed my trusty can of Dark Wax.


The dark wax makes it dark like stain but is ready to use quickly. I didn't want to have to wait for stain to dry too.


Once all were waxed, I laid my prints on them to see how they would look.


Love! I also burnt the edges a bit to age them and make their lines a bit less perfect. Once they were centered where I wanted them, I used upholstery tacks to secure them in place.

Here is the finished product:


 

I am working on a wall collage with these prints. I will share the full reveal in my next post.

Stay tuned!