Monthly Archives: September 2014

Best of September 2014: Traditional Homes

Valentino At the Emporer's TableWe took a glimpse inside some incredible traditional homes on the Letters from Eurolux blog this month. Some of those were in our series of Client Spotlights showing the home decor of our customers, with their EuroLuxHome.com purchase in place.

Others were in our Bookshelf series about new books on home decorating, antiques,  entertaining, gardens, and vintage living! Let’s look back at some of our favorite blog posts in September.

Antique Renaissance Buffet Kitchen DinerWe loved taking a little tour of Natalya’s California kitchen with our antique Renaissance buffet. The French antique Henry II Renaissance style buffet dating to 1900 is beautifully carved in walnut and it looks spectacular in Natalya’s kitchen. She also gave us the background on the gorgeous stove, decorative inlay on the wall, and cooker hood. (You can see more antique buffets on our website if you like the look.)

King Malcolm IV Johnny Cash ancestorEver since the new Johnny Cash Boyhood Home museum in Dyess, Arkansas, bought an antique table from us, we’ve looked forward to the opening of the restored house. It happened last month and Rosanne Cash said it was “completely restored to a most meticulous and historic detail.” My blog post on the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and his Royal Scottish Heritage shows photos of the house and table.

So who is this guy in the portrait? It’s the 12th century King Malcolm IV of Scotland. And what does he have to do with Johnny Cash? Read the blog post and find out!

painted checkerboard floor in a traditional home It’s hip to be square! That was my conclusion after writing about Checkerboard Painted Wood Floors.   The look works for lots of different room moods and color schemes, as you’ll see in the photos. Painted floors were also popular in traditional homes in America as far back as the late 1700s. You can use the tutorial in that post if you are feeling arty and you want to paint a checkerboard floor yourself.

French Country Cabinet with black wash finishSpeaking of arty, our customer Richard bought this classic French Country cabinet especially to go under a fabulous abstract painting in his dining room. The new cabinet with a black finish and a marquetry wood top is nicely distressed to give the appearance of age. You can see for yourself that the antique-inspired new French Country cabinet looks wonderful in Richard’s dining room.

Cat yoga!Finally, we never posted this photo of Squiggy doing yoga on the blog, but we did share it on our EuroLux Home Facebook page as one of our regular Furry Friday posts. I just can’t resist sharing it with you here too. Do you think that Squiggy is doing Upward Facing Cat pose?

I hope you enjoyed our short overview of our favorite ‘traditional homes’ moments this month. PLUS a kitty as a bonus!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Vintage Life: Our Renovation Continues Part 1

Many of you have asked whatever happened to the little 1920s bungalow we were restoring. Have we finished it? No, we haven’t yet – although we are now very, very close! We will move in prior to Thanksgiving 2014, whether it is completely finished or not. As you can imagine, we are currently in a race against time to get it done. Just to bring you up-to-speed, I’ll tell you how we started this labor of love.

1920 bungalow before renovation

Our 1920s bungalow on the day we bought it

Greg and I just love old things, and especially old houses. One crisp day in late September 2011 we were out with our dogs Jake and Rudy on our favorite dog-walking street. (Jake and Rudy like the street too, so that’s always a good omen.) The road is in a historic neighborhood here in Newberry, and as we wandered along we saw a “For Sale By Owner” sign outside a 1920s bungalow.

LeftSideWe had noticed this bungalow before when we walked past, and we always thought it had great bones, but we had also wondered why the owner didn’t seem to take better care of it. As I explained in my very first blog post on our 1920s bungalow renovation, the front yard was a mess and the back yard was literally a huge, overgrown jungle of poison ivy. Still, we were curious enough to want to see the inside.

DiningRoombefore

FamilyRoom2What a disaster! There were horrible paint choices, yucky flooring, ugly paneling, and nasty kitchen cabinets. There was only one tiny bathroom that seemed it would soon fall through the floor.Add to that a burned out fireplace, a dilapidated lean-to garage, and a stairway that lead to an uncompleted renovation project in the attic. You can see the full interior horror story in my Look Inside the 1920s bungalow posts.

Stairsbefore

Of course, our minds were racing. If we took out a fireplace here, moved walls there, added bathrooms, finished the attic to make a guest bedroom, added a charming, custom kitchen, and cleaned up the yard – it could be a showplace!

FrontDoorWe mulled it over for a few days and then, much like our decision to start EuroLux, we decided we just had to take the plunge. That little house needed some love! We planned to do much of the work ourselves, with the help of our cherished handyman, Frank. We planned that we would do it over time.  But when we stepped inside that front door, we just didn’t know the house would turn into a three-year project!

SecondBedroomDemolishedWe purchased our little money pit in October 2011 and immediately went to work ripping it apart. As part of the demolition work on the bungalow, we took it down to the studs and joists, and even survived a killer bruise and a few broken ribs. We pulled down the false popcorn-textured ceiling and found original beadboard ceilings. Wait until you see how beautifully they have turned out!

My post on Our Vintage Bungalow Renovations Part 2 tells you about some of the other renovations. Ready or not, we can’t wait to move in!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Checkerboard Painted Wood Floors for Traditional Style

Painted wood floors add such a lot of character to a home and a traditional checkerboard painted design can be a very effective way to cheer up worn wood floors.

Recently I mentioned that we were invited to join the Houzz marketplace. (We’re at EuroLuxHome on Houzz.) This means I’ve been spending a lot more time on Houzz answering customer questions, so I get to see all  the great home decor photos flying by on the screen!  Some of my recent favorites show how a checkerboard painted design on a wood floor gives a room an instant facelift. Doesn’t this neutral checkerboard design in a traditional bathroom look fresh and elegant?

Although painted wood floors might seem like a modern idea, they are actually a traditional choice. Painted floors featuring decorative patterns were popular in American homes by the late 1700s. Often they replicated tile designs, and the black and white painted checkerboard pattern remains a classic choice for painted wood floors. But you don’t have to stick to black and white and neutrals.

This smart red and green painted checkerboard floor adds a little color to the mix! The floor is in a restored 1850 plantation house in Texas. The bold colors might be slightly strong for a living room, but they are a good choice for a hallway like this as they create a sense of energy and movement as you travel between rooms.

This Charleston, SC, room is gloriously inviting! Notice how the softly distressed blue and honey-colored checkerboard pattern painted on the floor doesn’t go right up to the edges. The plain border around the edge gives the illusion of an area rug. The border also creates a breathing space for the eye – a brief transition before you pass into another room with a different floor design. Also notice the real Palmetto Trees in the bookcases! Crazy, huh?

If you don’t want to paint your floors, try a wood stain instead. This splendid entryway in Philadelphia has a diamond or checkerboard floor pattern, but in more subtle wood tones. The painted checkerboard floor look works for every style of traditional home and for modern homes too. If you want to try it for yourself, this helpful Houzz tutorial on How to Paint Your Hardwood Floors should get you started.

This Old House also has a detailed How to Paint a Floor tutorial with specific instructions for a painted checkerboard floor design.

I’ve got some more ideas to share for painted wood floor designs that are just as beautiful and just as classic as the checkerboard design, but that is for another blog post! If you have a checkerboard painted wood floor, please tell us about or (or even share a photo!)

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Client Spotlight: Antique Renaissance Buffet in California

antique Renaissance BuffetWhen Natalya S. emailed from Palo Alto, CA, about a very pretty antique Renaissance style buffet she bought from us, it had been quite a while since we’d been in touch. In fact, Natalya bought this antique buffet back in August 2011! So I was thrilled that she took the time to send a wonderful photo of it in her home.

Natalya wrote, “We want to thank you for the nice antique buffet we purchased from you a few years ago and all your help.”

This is the sideboard or hutch. It’s a very high quality French antique Henry II Renaissance style buffet dating to 1900. Elaborately carved in walnut with flourishes and fruit, it has an especially nice grain pattern and patina.

Antique Renaissance Buffet Kitchen Diner

Here is the antique Renaissance style buffet looking fantastic in Natalya’s kitchen! I guess that with her three lively young sons running around, a big sturdy buffet is just what you need in the kitchen. This is one more than 8 feet high and about 5 feet wide, so it provides plenty of storage space as well as looking beautiful.

waterjet inlay marble, onyxThe leafy artwork on the wall above the stove is waterjet inlay made from marble, onyx, and some other stones. “You could probably find someone locally that may do the design that you like,” says Natalya. She suggests a company like this that does inlay marble collections.

The stove itself is a CornuFé 110 from La Cornu and it is so gorgeous I browsed around the La Cornu website. The company is a family business like ours, and it was founded in Paris, France, in 1908. The CornuFé 110 that looks so chic in Natalya’s kitchen is also available in different colors. Here it is in a soft blue in another traditional style kitchen. Isn’t it grand? Traditional Kitchen CornuFe Stove

The hood above Natalya’s stove is made by Vent-A-Hood. Natalya found it in a store after another customer made a special order of appliances with silver trim, but due to an error the appliances were shipped in polished brass. “The store had to sell them half price,” says Natalya. “It was an incredible find for us.”

As regular readers of our antiques and décor blog know, we always love seeing photos of our customers’ homes for our series of Client Spotlights. No matter how many years have gone by, we are always delighted to hear from customers about how our furniture or home accents are fitting into their home and, we hope, enhancing their life. So thank you Natalya for sharing the photo of your beautiful and unique kitchen!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and Royal Scottish Heritage

Antique table for Johnny Cash Boyhood HomeEver since the new Johnny Cash Boyhood Home museum in Dyess, Arkansas, bought an antique table from us, it’s been great to follow the progress of the house restoration. My first blog post about the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Museum described the history of the table and of the Dyess Colony. The Cash family moved there in 1935 as part of a New Deal experiment and they worked hard on the land to pay back their debt to the government.

My second blog post about the opening of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home includes a quick video tour around the inside of the restored house. You get a glimpse of our 1890 antique Mechelen table too! Johnny’s siblings Joanne Cash Yates and Tommy Cash remember having a table just like this in their childhood home. That blog post also explained how the family might have come to own such a valuable antique Mechelen table.

Antique table from EuroLuxAntiques.com in Johnny Cash Boyhood Home

Now the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home has opened, it is getting rave reviews!
“If Dad walked into the house today, he would have been overcome,” said Johnny’s eldest daughter Rosanne Cash in a Billboard.com article. She praised the fact that the house is “completely restored to a most meticulous and historic detail, because my Aunt Joanne and Uncle Tom have such great memories. They remember everything from the pots and pans, the curtains, and the linoleum on the floor.”

King Malcolm IV Johnny Cash ancestor

King Malcolm IV of Scotland

Johnny Cash was very interested in his family history going back even further than his childhood. The country music star researched his ancestry and traced it all the way back to Scotland. The man who wrote “King of the Hill” discovered that he was related to a real king: King Malcolm IV of Scotland.

In the year 1160, Malcolm IV’s niece – who was named either Cash or Cashel – married the Earl of Fife. Johnny learned that many roads and farms in Fife still carried the Cash name, and he visited to see for himself. He even recorded a Christmas special show there in 1981. You can imagine how surprised the local Scottish people were to see legendary Johnny Cash wandering around their town along with singer Andy Williams!

Fife also had a big linoleum industry, prompting the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record to make the joke that Cash’s hit song I Walk the Line should be renamed I Walk the Lino!

You can find out how to visit the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess, Arkansas at this link. Don’t forget to admire our antique table in the family dining room!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

Client Spotlight: Dining Room French Country Cabinet

French Country furniture with a black wash finish is a popular choice for kitchens and dining rooms. We have a beautiful range of newly crafted but antique-inspired French Country furniture, and when the piece features a black wash finish it looks really authentic. The black finish gives the appearance of tradition and age, but it still allows the wood grain to shine through.

French Country Cabinet with black wash finishOur client Richard P. in Daniel Island, SC, seems to agree! He bought this new French Country cabinet with a black finish and a marquetry wood top for his dining room. The sideboard, server, or cabinet boasts raised panel doors and a scalloped edge which looks very decorative in a kitchen, dining room or hallway. It stands on French Country style feet and it is charming details like this that really give the winning edge to a nice piece of furniture.

French Country Cabinet detailThe distressed blackwash finish looks wonderful too, making the cabinet appear like a family heirloom… or at least an old friend of the family that has been enjoyed for years!

Richard thought that the classic French Country cabinet would look great in his dining room under a gorgeous abstract painting.

French Country Cabinet in Dining RoomThe black finish on the cabinet works great with the wrought iron light fixture. It pairs beautifully with the wrought iron legs of the dining table too. Richard had the dining table custom-made after he was inspired by marble-top restaurant tables he had seen in France. Joie de vivre!

French Country Cabinet Dining Room 2As you can see, the black wash finish turns the cabinet into a high-impact accent and it is utterly timeless… it’s like the perfect little black dress! The use of black in this dining room doesn’t seem heavy, because the black is lifted by the pale neutral walls and upholstery to a very elegant effect. Similarly, although that lovely marble-top table looks substantial and heavy, the pale marble keeps it fresh and graceful. I like the black trim (or is it dark gray?) surrounding the side chair next to the cabinet too. Little touches like that pull a room together.

It all makes a refined backdrop to showcase the stunning color of the painting.

If you like this look, then also see my recent post about the French Country counter stools in our client Stephanie’s kitchen, also boasting a black wash finish to beautiful effect.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Bookshelf: European Designer Decor

This month I’m stepping into the fantasy world of European designer decor for our round-up of interesting books. These books all look inside the homes of European designers and even when the style is not exactly to my taste, I can’t help but admire the joie de vivre!

Valentino at the Emperor’s Table

Valentino at the Emperor's TableValentino is best known as a fashion designer, designing glamorous clothes for some of the most famous women in the world. But the Italian designer’s new book goes behind the doors of Valentino’s own home… or should I say HOMES! He has five of them, in Rome, Paris, London, Gstaad, and New York. He also has a yacht. He entertains lavishly in all those places and the book looks at his dining rooms and table settings. It also includes recipes by his personal chefs. For example, Lime-Basil Cream Puffs with Raspberries. (Yum!)

The book isn’t out till October 1, but I bet it will be a big hit for holiday gifts among the fashionistas. As Valentino says in the introduction: “I am in love with beauty.” This photo from the book gives a colorful idea of what he means.

Valentino At the Emporer's Table
Robert Couturier: Designing Paradises

Robert Couturier Designing ParadisesFrench interior designer Robert Couturier likes mixing up Old World elegance with other influences. For example, he might bring together an antique French Louis XVI commode with a 1960s vintage lamp. He’s a man after my own heart!  The Paris-born designer opened his New York firm nearly 30 years ago and in the book he gives us a tour of his country retreat in Kent, Connecticut. As well as his own designer decor filled with European furniture and art, he also shows us some of his luxury projects for clients. Designing Paradises is a good title because Robert Couturier designed the tropical Mexican hideaway Cuixmala for tycoon Sir James Goldsmith. The lush 25,000 acre private estate is now a fancy eco-resort with guests including Tom Cruise and Madonna. It really does look like a romantic paradise!

Modern Originals: At Home with MidCentury European Designers

European Designer DecorJust as the name says, this recently-published book looks at the designer decor created by mid-century European designers for their own homes. Many of these houses aren’t open to the public so it’s great that author Leslie Williamson gives us an exclusive peek inside the private spaces of famous designers like Le Corbusier and Robin and Lucienne Day. Each chapter looks at a different house, from Studio Achille Castiglioni in Milan to Finn Juhl’s Scandinavian farmhouse. It includes all kinds of design styles from the era, not just Mid-Century Modern. For example, the photo below shows Italian designer Carlo Mollino’s sitting room in his Turin apartment.

European designer Decor Mollino

The elegant design transcends time, doesn’t it? You might be interested to know that one of Carlo Mollino’s furniture designs set a world record price for a piece of 20th century furniture. In 2005, a Mollino oak and glass table dating to 1949 was sold by Christie’s in New York for a staggering $3,824,000!

It was a simple and streamlined trestle style table and one of four glass-topped tables Mollino created between 1948 and 1950. Nobody knows where two of those tables are now… they’ve got lost somewhere along the way. So keep looking out, you never know where those two multimillion dollar tables might turn up!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

“I am in love with beauty,” he admits in the book’s opening. “I have always loved beautiful objects.” – See more at: http://www.assouline.com/9781614282938.html#sthash.0Ty74SaP.dpuf
“I am in love with beauty,” he admits in the book’s opening. “I have always loved beautiful objects.” – See more at: http://www.assouline.com/9781614282938.html#sthash.0Ty74SaP.dpuf
“I am in love with beauty,” he admits in the book’s opening. “I have always loved beautiful objects.” – See more at: http://www.assouline.com/9781614282938.html#sthash.0Ty74SaP.dpuf