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Monday, June 20, 2011

A Low Cost Makeover For Summer

The thermometer here in Phoenix has already climbed into the low 100’s. Somehow the dark linen slipcovers and heavy silk drapes I had in my front room made it seem even hotter. After a trip to the coast of Brittany (France) I was eager to recreate the stripes and flowers that were so favored there.

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First up, four cream colored antique sheet panels I found in Paris replaced the topaz silk drapes. I brought in a sweet wagon I have had for years to hold my large collection of magazines and design books. I replaced the heavy winter artwork with scenes of French front doors. One item on my “must find replacement” list is a different light fixture. This one makes me groan.

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I have to face the reality that my camera is dying. I would love your input about what camera you use.

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In the corner, my winter sled now holds some happy red geraniums I had sitting in the garage.

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I repainted a frame I had on hand and popped in a postcard I purchased in France to create a very low cost table vignette.

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This was a hard angle to shoot. The china hutch is straight but the drapes look a bit wonky. Still it is easy to see that I just hung the sheet panels up on clip rings.

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For awhile I couldn’t find my third vintage Eiffel tower. So I created a simple solution to complete an odd numbered grouping. (I have since found the missing tower and it sits between the two in this picture.)

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Continuing on with the stripe and floral theme in the dining area I pared down the decorations for a clean look.

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I made a simple table runner out of leftover fabrics that match the pillows on the couch. It was my first time trying to create a pleated edge.

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A simple summery themed centerpiece included a sandy hourglass, petite bouquet, one starfish and a collection of antique spoons~ dessert is an ice cream parfait. Yum!

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Over on the sideboard, more silver, shells and the napkins I made HERE.

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I’ve been looking for a pretty pitcher for over a year. My patience was rewarded with this antique beauty. I found it at a garage sale for $2.00. The silver plate has completely worn off, but I like the patina.

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Wonder Woman Reality Check

This room took approximately three days to complete. The linen furniture slipcovers were all stripped off, washed and replaced with white canvas. The sheet panels required a heavy scrub in the tub followed by ironing and “hemming” the bottoms with a bit of stitch witchery. The table runner ran about three hours to create and several items received fresh coats of paint. Pillows were fluffed and other things were polished and placed.

A few things on this week’s do list~ create linen slipcovers for the chairs and take the silk panels to the drycleaners. 

How are you summerizing your home?


Linking to:

A Stroll Through Life


sissie said...

Hi Laura,
I love your living room changes. I've always loved mixing florals and stripes.
Everything looks lovely.


Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Very pretty, Laura! I like how you made the runner out of the pillow fabric and brought that over to this side of the room. The floral is really pretty. It reminds me of a Waverly fabric with the same colors that I have yards and yards of!

Debbie said...

Laura, I really like this! I'm inspired to lighten up my place more. I love the look of florals with stripes anyway, and yours with the canvas looks wonderful. Love it all.

And I have no good suggestion about a camera since I don't have an expensive one, just a point and shoot Kodak.

I do relate, though. It stinks when the camera will not cooperate.

Debbie said...

Laura, I really like this! I'm inspired to lighten up my place more. I love the look of florals with stripes anyway, and yours with the canvas looks wonderful. Love it all.

And I have no good suggestion about a camera since I don't have an expensive one, just a point and shoot Kodak.

I do relate, though. It stinks when the camera will not cooperate.

Vicki said...

I've been feeling restless in my home lately and after reading your blog today I think I know why... too dark! I'm an open window shade person and like a light, airy room. Today I plan to make some changes. Your room is gorgeous. Reading your blog always makes me feel creative.

Bloggymom said...

Very pretty!!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

It looks really fresh and summery. I have done nothing to change anything! Just still have my patriotic items out for decor. I have a fugi point and shoot and I love it. It is getting old too, and I may go a step up.

Chris said...

OH!!! Laura, your ticking and floral linens made me gasp. Since I just put the summer slipcovers on (we must shop in the same place) I can't wait to try your ideas.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

$2 for that beautiful pitcher!! WoW!!

love the stripes and florals. It does look brighter and so pretty.

Debby said...

I love all the white but with still natural wood pieces. Looks so fresh, clean and simple. A
nd of course, COZY.

Little Leslie said...

Geez Laura, I'd still be jet lagged from France. You are a wonder woman, and talented too. I can't believe you did all that in three days. Please, Please come to my house. My living room is dark.
Love that postcard. Looks like a real painting, and of course love all of the other decor.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh Wow Laura!
I love that combo! Your room looks fresh and pretty and frenchy too!
Great job on the tablescape too!

Linda said...

Everything looks beautiful. I always love shell/beach accents. I've been trying not to buy as many decorative items for my home. After seeing all of the Tornado devestation this year, I don't know - it's just made me think differently that I simply have too much stuff. It can all be destroyed in a second, and so I'm trying to pick up less. Though... as we were walking through Meijer on the weekend - the households/linen sale caught my eye and I nearly bought something. :)

As to cameras - I use a Nikon D90 SLR - it's a professional camera that my husband bought me. But the one that I carry with me in my purse also does a nice job at a fraction of the cost - it's a Nikon Coolpix S8100 (with a 10X zoom lens).

Hope you have a beautiful week,
Linda :)

Hollace said...

Great job on the pleats. Reminds me of learning to make a pleated skirt in 7th grade Home Ec. Yours is much cuter!

I really like your fabrics and the light, summer look.

bluebirdsandbutterflies said...

Hi Laura,
Thank you for visiting me at Bluebirds and Butterflies. So glad you like my Father's Day tribute to my dear Dad (miss him sooo!) and my hubby! I love your posting today. So many things I see that i love...Paris (oh how I want to go there!), the painted frame, the hour glass (great idea), the pillows, colors, the drinking glass on the table (I have one similar but it has bees on these type of glasses).... Based on your posting, there is a shop in Poulsbo that I think you would love... I'll have to make some photos of it sometime. Have a happy day! xoxo Kim

Shirley said...

Hi Laura,
I just bought the same camera as Linda, The Nixon D90. Right now I have to learn how to type as I have two broken wrist's. Finger typing my very first time..yippee. Sorry it's so hot where you are..I wore a sweater yesterday evening.

Auntie Em said...

Your home is so beautiful! I love the soft gentle colours and the pretty accents and touches you decorated it with. What a lovely eye you have for decorating!
Thanks for sharing and inspiring! :)

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, I love what you have done! Not sure how that white would stand up to the canines here, but I am definitely thinking how I can lighten my living room couch (brown - why did I get it - because I considered it neutral). You have given me some very good ideas to ponder. My camera is not fancy, but very good. A Sony Cybershot. It also takes very good video for such a small compact camera. Ann

P.S. question: I have a commemorative People mag and book that were sent to me detailing the royal wedding. They are very nice, I would like to send them to you if you don't have them and would like them. If not, no worries!

Dawna said...

Great job Laura! It is always fun to freshen things up. I have the Canon Rebel XSi and love it... I am also enjoying editing in Picnik. You can check out my blog to see some of the results...I am no professional, but am having fun! Have a great day!

Debbie Kay said...

Wow, beautiful. Thank you for the inspiration. I love your blog.

Debbie Kay

Craftymoose Crafts said...

The table runner came out beautiful! Your home looks so light and summery--nice job.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Sooooooooooooo excited that I won the dress!! OMYGOSH!! I am over the top excited!! I will be emailing you soon!! I loveeeeeeeee the way your home looks!! I have those starfish too!! I think i got mine at Kohl's on clearance :):):):):):) I recommend a Nikon camera! I loveeeeeeeee mine! :):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Susan said...

Laura, you home is absolutely gorgeous!!

Deanna said...

i luv the glass pitcher with the top with patina!!!
happy summer decorating.

Karena said...

Laura, I adore the changes and everything is light and bright!!

The table runner is gorgeous!! How much would you charge me to make 6 of the ticking napkins?

Art by Karena

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, everything looks so summery! I wish I could just whip out cute things like that. You are so talented.

I wanted to drop by this morning and thank you for your prayers, and if I can bother you for more, please remember Mr. Magpie as he is at Mayo right now. I have more on my blog, but he is facing another potential kidney surgery. It doesn't help that I am battling a couple of health related issues right now, but the Lord will see us through. Hence, your prayers are coveted. Thanking you in advance...



April said...

It's so pretty, and light. I adore stripes and florals in JUST THOSE colors. :)
I'm not summerizing. At all. I'm only trying to keep the dirt off the floors and the swimming towels clean.

Thanks for sharing your beauty with us!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Laura, Your changes are beautiful and I love the things you bought on your trip!

Jen said...

Laura, the changes look so calming and peaceful, which I am sure are welcome in the heat of summer. (My dear hubby has been in Phoenix quite a bit lately for work and the heat is brutal!) I know your trip to France has just left you with so many wonderful ideas, so I am looking forward to seeing what else you do!

As for camera suggestions, I went with a Nikon D-5000. It's a middle of the line Nikon and fairly affordable. I have had mine nearly a year and while I am still learning to use it, I have been very pleased with it. Hope that gives you a little help when you start camera shopping. =)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Laura, it looks so bright and fresh for the summer. Love the floral and stripes also. How neat to replace the drapes. I need to give that some thought. That would be great to do in my LR. Your home is gorgeous. I love the pitcher you found, it is so pretty and your silver tray centerpiece is beautiful. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

Love all of your vignettes!

Nancy said...

The ticking and floral pillows are to die for. Just the idea I have been looking for. Would you be willing to share the fabric details? who made it, name of pattern, etc.

While I am at it thanks so much for following the Monaco Royal Wedding. I was just a little girl when Princess Grace got married but I remember all the hoopla about it. It is fun to see the next generation getting married.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Hi Nancy,

The striped ticking pillows were made from an antique mattress cover I purchased in the Amish countryside of Pennsylvania last year.
You can find antique ticking on Ebay.
The floral fabric was purchased at Fabric depot 5 years ago for $2 a yard and alas the warehouse did not have its name listed. :(

Nancy said...

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Laura. I appreciate it very much. I have been looking for similar fabrics and will keep up the search.

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Laura- $2 for the pitcher? Amazing. My mother has one very similar - it has no silver top. I love to use it, it's very substantial and so pretty.

Lemonade is the best to fill it with!