Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer of 2013 Chapter 1

Olive would like to welcome you to our home here on the charming central coast of California.  My summer has been crazy fun with friends, art and home improvements. Let me share what I have been up to….hopefully I won't bore you with a volume of photos….they will speak greater than a lot of words. 

My husband, Olive and I live in a humble home about 60 years old.  For the last many years I have wanted to do almost a total revamp of my decor, work on repairs and renovations.  We finally decided to take the plunge about 5 months ago and do just that.
Through a friend, we found a fabulous contractor who became a part of our family for about 2 months as he and his associate tore out cottage cheese ceilings, painted, updated baseboards, replaced all interior doors, completely replaced a bathroom, laid new flooring, and painted, painted painted.  

And I just couldn't just stop at the renovations, oh no….I visualized a entire new decor as well.  Since dabbling in the mixed media world, I have religated all of my art supplies, creations and pieces of art to my studio. That was going to change…. I wanted to surround myself with these little beauties throughout my home to be constant inspiration and joy.  My home had not reflected my heart and style for a number of years.  It is amazing how we change isn't it…..our likes, dislikes.  I no longer enjoyed things that I liked in the 70's!!!    My love of soft, peaceful neutrals and texture; nostalgic and forgotten objects;  shabby chic/ cottage and Parisian chic now greet me everyday. 

During the last several months I have spent my time hunting for new antique pieces of furniture and decor; the perfect shades of paint to apply to the walls; selecting new sinks, faucets, baseboard, flooring, light fixtures, etc.  I have painted numerous pieces of furniture and played with stencils, architectural elements and paints.  I have gone through every single closet and drawer and purged everything we no longer use or need.  What a freeing experience it has been as well as a fulfilling renewal. To live more simply and to unclutter my environment has enriched both my relationship with my home and internal self.  Does that make sense to you?  I am more at peace.

Welcome!  Let me share a few changes we did here in our living room.  The wall behind the sofa was paneling (you know from the 70's).  My husband finally gave me his approval to paint it (it only took 33 years) and what a difference it made in brightening up the room.  I purchased a Christy Repasy painting as the focal for that room.  In my home redo I transferred a lot of furniture and wall decor to different rooms which changed things up tremendously as well.  We painted our brick fireplace white which also brightened the room.  Exchanging white pillows for the darker green ones on the sofa and using antique lace as a skirt added to the shabby chicness I love.

Jeanne d'Arc Magazines and books gave me a lot of ideas.

I am limited as far as antique stores are concerned in my area and found a lot of my new treasures on Etsy like this fabulous antique Italian lamp with original silk shade and porcelain roses ….that pick up the flavor of the Christy Repasy painting above.  And those of you who know me know I LOVE JoAnna Pierotti's art and am so blessed to own several of her creations.  They now greet me in almost every room….love this sweet doll.

JoAnna, love, love this piece!

Love texture!

Dark shelves and picture frames were painted with coats of fresh white paint…and art supplies now lay on display in crystal jars and silver trays.  No longer does my mother's crystal and sterling silver stay secluded in closets never to see the light of day.  They now grace me and bless me as I can visually enjoy them every single day.  

Favorite treasures were given reverence under glass.  This darling Royal Doulton angel was given to me  by my mother when I became engaged to my son's father….her mother gave it to her when she announced her engagement to my father. Got to love Traditions!

Supplies that usually remain hidden in containers in my studio, now sparkle in new collages of texture and yumminess.  Now when I am designing in my studio, I must take a cruise throughout my home gleaning the inspiration I need. 

One of my latest creations….more about her in a later chapter.

Two more of JoAnna's dolls…showcased on a collaged piece of canvas with antique hardware surrounded by stunning old frames. 

A repurposed metal tool box embellished with forged iron legs and  crown now resides in a nook in my dining room.  This box was designed by the talented Ludmil Marcov of Willow Nest.  I, of course, had to adorn it with bling and touch of softness.

 The Vintaj Guest Room

Antique linens no longer hide out in the linen closet but are out for everyone to enjoy and touch. An old wooden drawer coveting Miriam Haskell pearls and strands of antique beads become part of this room's nostalgic decor.

Old, tired paint brushes  have taken on a new life as they have become pieces of art graced with torn strips of silk fabric and rhinestone buttons.

A child's antique garment hangs on the linen draped closet.

Wonderful hand work is displayed on a sweet 1800's night shirt.

Welcome to The Rose Room.

I have fallen in love with charming, antique statuary….can you tell?

My husband and I refinished this antique armoire a few years ago.  

Margaret's Room (My room named after my mother)

Painting a 1920's nightstand and highboy dresser was my biggest job in my room in addition to shopping and finding all of the romantic elements I wanted to fill this room.  Refinishing the furniture took about a week to sand, prime, paint, stencil and sand again.  I was very pleased with the results.  Loved using Martha Stewart's stencils.  The Dicken's plaques were also an addition.

The details in these pieces are amazing….such sweet feet don't you think?

My dresser

My grandmother on her wedding day.

Hand stitching a pillow for my new antique wicker chair was also among my decorating pleasures.  Finally all of those fine pieces of old laces, linen handkerchiefs, millinery and bling can be appreciated.

Love me antique chalkware statues and Syroco pieces.  The paint I used in this room is "Station Flat" found at Sherwin Williams…a great neutral option.

Several years ago my hubby gifted me with a full length mirror which I no longer cared for the style.  Not wanting to get rid of it, I gave it a facelift.  This mirror was stained in a dark oak.  I began by applying an ornate architectural element I found at the Architectural Depot store on line.  It is wood and I adhered it with Quik Dap (found in your hardware store).  Then I started experimenting  equipped with gold spray paint, white and raw umber acrylic paints, stencils and baby wipes.  As soon as I sprayed the gold paint, I went to town removing it here and there with the wipes.  And did the same with the white and raw umber paint until I achieved the patinaed look I wanted.  The beautiful Art Deco rhinestone dress clip was given to me by my friend, Diane Cook.

My bathroom was completely torn out … it is difficult to really appreciate what we did.  All of the wood you see was dark….it was painted white.  I draped a lace panel across the window to diffuse and soften the light.  Sterling silver tea pots became planters for my white phaleanopsis orchids. 

An orate, antique Parisian metal shelf now graces one wall along with a pedestal sink.


A cozy farmhouse style table and chairs now fill my little kitchen. It took several coats of white paint to cover up the bright colors the chairs were painted in a past life. Together with the white paint and black stencil touches, the Parisian flavor I was yearning for was accomplished.  (Thank you Charlene for giving me the idea for all of the black touches)  A sweet antique table lamp from Paris adds that intimate ambiance.  During my search for old lace tablecloths, I learned to truly appreciate the workmanship in the Quaker Lace cloths ….so beautiful and easy to care for.

I will leave you now with a little something to ponder….for those of you who are still with me. … A thought that greets me every morning as I enter my kitchen.

 I hope that by sharing my home redo…I was perhaps able to share a few techniques and ways to make inexpensive changes and updates in your home.  I love my home now, it fits me, it reflects who I am in this moment, it embraces and nurtures me.

Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of my Summer happenings.


gail said...

Hi Diana,

Your remodel is lovely. Just beautiful, plus you live in Central California... My favorite place:) I just remodeled my perfect little apt this summer and you are right, its the best feeling to declutter and have all new! Happy creating in you new home!

UPON A HILL said...

Loved the tour of your beautiful home & talents! Thanks for the tour. Look forward to Chapter 2!

UPON A HILL said...

Enjoyed the tour of your home, talents & all the lovelies throughout your house. Look forward to seeing Chapter 2! Thanks for sharing!

Irene L. said...

Diana , love the way you incorporated your lovely treasures throughout your home....enjoyed the tour & looking forward to chapter 2!.... Irene L.

Romancing The Bling said...

Diana, Your remodel is just beautiful! I can see the many touches from your photo's that say Diana Frey! I also adore your JoAnna Pierotti Dolls showcased in vintage frames <3

You have inspired me to do some long over do projects in my Victorian home that showcase my art and the romantic side of me :)

I hope you don't mind if I share the link to your blog to share on Facebook...I know there are many who adore your style and would love to see your beautiful images!

Thank you for sharing and I can't wait for Chapter 2!

Take good care my friend,


Kadee Willow said...

So what are you charging a night to stay here and drink up all this fabulousness??!! I know how much work and stamina it takes to redo a home... my hat is off to you! Loved the way you changed up the full length mirror. Wonderful patina!! Thanks so much for sharing.. maybe I will see you soon as I'm visiting my son in SLO. Wouldn't that be fun!!

Aleta said...

Wow! that was absolutely amazing. I enjoyed every tiny little touch! JoAnnA Pierotti is my favorite artist too :-). I love what you have done and appreciate that you shared

carol in ca said...

I loved the tour. You have a wonderful sense of style that is obvious in your art and home. thank you for sharing. Now, I have to go ahead and paint an old dresser that my parents bought when they were married 63 years ago. I have the chalk paint & wax just waiting.

Charlene said...

Everything looks beautiful! And I've seen it in person girls.... Stunning! I can't say what is my favorite. Do love the plants in you silver pots, Momma's angel & the new "vintage" room. Glad you renamed it.

Thank you for letting me spend so much time with you & Daddy D! I think Elle is really missing Olive. Just home tonight. Good to be in my own bed but, I miss all of you!

Hugs! Miss you

Vickie Orlando said...

Wow Diana! I didn't think it could get even better after seeing you last, but your attention to detail and blessed with all your lovelies makes for such a beautifully e to live. Glad you got some wonderful time with the Grays, we did have a blast this summer! My little Olive is so cute!!! I miss her. give Dennis a big hugs. Hugs

Sandy Navarro said...

Beautiful, serene and so inspiring! Just like you my friend. The photos are stunning but seeing it in person is truly an experience. Thank you so much for once again welcoming us into your home and your heart. So wish I lived just down the street so I could come over and play more often. Hugs

bumblebee said...

I'm sitting in my Vermont Kitchen, Ready your blog and drinking coffee. It's a cold, rainy day. I am warmed by your charming renovation. You can help decorate my house anytime. I feel like I was in every room with you. Olive looks fabulous. my how she's grown. Thank you for allowing us in to your beautiful home. I cherish every moment. Joanna P's dolls look like they have been living with you for ever! Honey Hugs bz

pamelahuntington said...

Lovely post Diana.. so much fun to read and see your lovely home!

pamelahuntington said...

HI Diana,
Loved reading your post... your home is delightful and enjoyed your summer stories, too..!!

bead inspiration said...

I really love your handiwork on jewelry, liked the color and the designs of your jewelry.
oakland jewelry making classes