Monthly Archives: March 2015

Vintage Life: Time to Tile!

Greg's FancyTileSawIn the continuing story of our 1920s vintage bungalow renovation project, now that the walls were up and painted, we needed floors! Greg and I have completed several tiling projects together so we knew we could tackle this project too. Besides, Greg really likes to use his fancy tile saw.

We started with the largest area first – the kitchen, sun room and utility room – which would all have a pretty Mexican tile that complements the warm Creamsicle color on the walls.

Kitchen and Sunroom before the tilesThis is the kitchen and sun room before the tiles are down. AimeeTileFirst we lay out all of the tiles and I mark where the cuts need to be made,
while Greg cuts the tiles.

Greg applying mastic for tilesGreg then puts down the mastic in sections….

Greg laying tiles…and spreads it evenly.
Yep, we’ve got to be extra careful to keep all our cats and dogs out of the room at this point!

Tiles with spacersFinally, I lay the re-lay tiles on the mastic, press down firmly and get them aligned with spacers. It isn’t difficult work but it does take time to get it right. We spend so much of our time in front of the computer on a daily basis that it is actually fun to work on a project with your hands that requires your total concentration.

Grouting the floor tileIt took three full days to put down all the tiles in the kitchen, sunroom, and utility room, which we did over a long holiday weekend. The next step is to fill all the spaces between the tiles with grout, which makes a great big mess. I actually think cleaning up the grout at the end is the worst part of tiling!

FinishedSunroom

But it’s all worth it in the end. Above is the finished sunroom floor.
And below is the “before” photo of the utility room…

Utility room before floor tileAnd now here’s the “after”…

Utility room with tiling floor finished

Quite a difference, huh? After the tile was finished in the kitchen, sunroom and utility room, we hung two vintage chandeliers

Vintage chandeliers and new tile

One has a brass finish and the other is a Flemish chandelier with a copper finish – to give an interesting mixed metals effect. I recently wrote a blog post about the trend for mixed metals in home decor so it seem we are all the rage!

Next up is tiling in the master bathroom, guest baths and the front porch. I’ll tell you about that next month. If you love vintage penny tiles then stay tuned…

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 EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Easter Table Decor

Hand-painted easter eggsWith Easter approaching I’ve been looking for some Easter table decor inspiration. After the long hard winter that many people have endured this year, it’s so uplifting to see traditional Easter table settings with all their color and pretty floral arrangements and even chicks and bunnies.

The design on these sweet hand-painted Easter eggs would be easy for anyone with an artistic eye to copy! They are larger wooden eggs, the ostrich size, and they are perfect to scatter across a tea table not just at Easter but for a wedding or mother’s day too.

Victorian Easter Table Decor

This Easter table setting looks very Victorian style to me. A tall glass vase (this is a hurricane vase) is filled with decorative faux eggs and then placed inside a vintage birdcage.  More eggs and chocolate bunnies are sprinkled around the table. The green table cloth and plates, as well as the large palm plant in the back, add to the ‘natural’ backdrop.

Easter flower glasses

This is another simple and fresh Easter table setting that reminds us that spring is here! This look could also work well on a bathroom shelf or window sill or on a console table in a French Country bedroom. The glass tumblers are filled with pebble-sized fake eggs and the center glass has a candle too. Four sprigs of flowers are tied to each glass with a white ribbon, and each glass is placed on a colorful saucer or glass coaster. How easy is that?

At the other extreme, here’s a lavish Easter table setting with every bell and whistle imaginable! We’ve got bunnies and eggs and butterflies and birds in nests and fancy cut crystal and decorative plates and placemats and ornate candelabra and twisting candles and big pink flowers and colored glasses and… It’s one of those brilliant designs that works because it is so over the top. If the designer had held back on a few things it could risk looking merely cluttered and fussy. But they went ALL OUT with springtime exuberance, so the table looks whimsical and feminine and fun.

Along the same lines, this glamorous Easter table in Los Angeles celebrates with bright color and bold pattern. Who can go wrong with a riot of flowers? The table setting avoids looking too messy because each bouquet is a single color, taming the wildness with a tailored look.

If you prefer a softer look, this Easter table also relies on flowers to create a charming springtime mood but everything else is kept very stripped down. A pure white table and bistro chairs are teamed with white linen napkins and humble Mason jars to create a dreamy-clean canvas so the daffodils and lilacs can star! Wispy chandeliers add to the delicate mood.

If you will have your Easter brunch or dinner outdoors, candy-colored Chinese lanterns keep the Easter feeling. They look a little like Easter eggs floating in the air and the pretty paper lanterns are usually easy to find in the Chinatown area of your town or online.

I hope that these Easter table decorations have give you some ideas! And if you are looking for an Easter gift for yourself or a loved one, check out our vintage and antique religious treasures, from holy water fonts and Madonnas to crucifixes and standing crosses.

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 EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Client Spotlight: Antique Chinese Altar Table

Our customer Richard S. in Ft. Myers, FL, bought an antique Chinese altar table from us last year and boy, does it look great in the hallway of his home!

Antique Chinese altar table

This is the antique Chinese altar table from Shanxi Province, China. It dates to the year 1900 and it is carved in elm with a scrolling cloud design on the apron. The symbolic scrolling cloud motif is probably the most typically carved decorative accent in antique Chinese furniture. The pretty carved flourish is intended to convey good fortune.

Antique Chinese altar table in hall

Richard used the antique altar table as a console table in his Florida home. I think it looks fantastic. The ceramics on top of the table and below it also have an Asian feel. Hmm, that carved wood chair just sliding shyly into the right of the photo also looks interesting. I’ll have to ask Richard about that next time he is in touch with us!

Antique chinese altar table

This shows more detail of the Late Qing Dynasty altar table and how nicely Richard accessorized it. The elm wood looks gorgeous against the marbled floor. Elm is one of the most frequently seen woods in antique Chinese furniture. It was popular due to the attractive grain and because it is very adaptable. It works beautifully for so many purposes. Elm was also valued because it is resistant to decay. That’s why we’re still enjoying this baby more than a century after it was made!

Antique Chinese altar table

This side view shows the slenderness of the antique altar table, which makes it a perfectly elegant fit for the narrow hallway. I’m also admiring the floor rug and the dining area beyond! The altar table is typical of antique Chinese furniture from the Late Qing Dynasty era when the growing merchant class starting having more money to splurge on fine furniture. They liked hand-carved decorative pieces to show off their status and wealth. They also loved the symbolic blessing of the carvings, like the scrolling cloud design on this table.

I’ve written other posts about Chinese symbols on antique furniture if you want to learn more about the meanings of these decorative carvings. Thanks Richard for taking us inside your home. We hope the scrolling clouds on the antique Chinese altar table truly do bring you good fortune!

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 EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Home Decor Trends: Mixed Metals

Mixed metals are “particularly hot right now” according to an article I read in the Wall Street Journal on the Top 5 Interior Design Trends for 2015.  LA designer Jamie Bush thinks it looks  “too staged” to match every metal finish in a space. London Designer Kelly Hoppen especially likes mixing warm-toned metals with cool ones.

Vintage Copper Coal boxI agree that mixing metal tones can make a room more interesting and personal. I’ve never been a fan of matchy-matchy furniture, as I said in my blog post on Eclectic Decor. Many of our customers feel the same way – which is why they are such fun to chat with. Our vintage home accents show that people have always mixed metals happily, like this 1950 French vintage coal bucket which blends brass and copper beautifully – plus Delft ceramic handles!

This tasteful house in Boston mixes metals elegantly with various gold and silver tones. The generally neutral furniture and walls (painted with Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige, 975) create a subtle canvas for the metal elements to shine. The old re-gilded mantel mirror is traditional for 19th century homes in the area.

Antique Renaissance Buffet Kitchen Diner

Our client Natalya S. also mixed metallic tones in her kitchen to create great visual texture. Natalya bought the carved antique buffet from us and you can read more about her kitchen furniture and decor in my Antique Renaissance Buffet in California Client Spotlight.

This Florida house built in 1926 is on the Historic Register. It was renovated, right down to the bathroom with mixed metal finishes. The gold-framed mirrors look wonderfully opulent against the chrome/silver faucets, cabinet hardware, and what looks like a silver-toned chandelier. If the entire bathroom were gold… it could be a bit over the top! Too much silver or chrome might make it too cold. The gold mirrors warm it up. These gilded mirrors were custom made but they look similar to some of our gilded antique-inspired mirrors.

The layering of different metal tones can create many different effects from a welcoming glow to sophisticated chic. Play with the cool metal tones of silver, pewter, chrome, nickel, aluminum and steel, and mix in the warmer metal tones of gold, copper, bronze and brass. Black wrought iron works neutrally to befriend any metals.  I hope you enjoy mixing your metals, whether it’s a trend or not!

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 EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Bookshelf: Nantucket Cottages and Florida Style

This latest crop of books on home decor and house design takes us on a quick jaunt around the country! From Minnesota to Nantucket to Florida, these books give a glimpse into the architecture and home decor styles of each area, showing what makes them so great.

Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes

Minnesota's Own Grand HomesThis coffee table book takes the reader on a tour of 22 grand old homes around the state of Minnesota. It tells you the history of the houses and the interesting characters who built them.  It also shows how the houses have been preserved and restored. The authentic decor in the 200 color photos is very inspiring. For example, the book describes a restored Frank Lloyd Wright property, including recently-made furniture and rugs that Wright originally designed for the house but that were never made before.

Classic Florida Style: The Houses of Taylor & Taylor

Classic Florida Style HousesI’m from Florida so I’m looking forward to seeing this book! It’s not actually published for a couple of weeks but I’ve taken a ‘look inside the book’ online and it seems great! Taylor & Taylor is a Miami Beach architecture and interior design firm. (The fact that the firm is run by a husband-and-wife team just like ours makes the book even more appealing to me.) The couple looks inside 10 Florida houses and of course there is a strong nautical feel with homes on the coast and on the gorgeous island of Key West. Some houses also draw on Spanish decor traditions while others take their cue from the Art Deco architecture of South Beach. What a summery treat!

Nantucket Cottages and Gardens: Living Large in Small, Charming Spaces

Nantucket Cottage style Nantucket cottage style is so beautiful and fresh. Apparently there are around 1200 ‘typical’ cottages on the island of Nantucket. Although this book can’t visit all of them, it does show how we can all enjoy the classic design features of the traditional Nantucket cottage home and garden. The compact space doesn’t mean limited style. Details such as weathered wood furniture and hand-crafted pieces and textiles all give character to a cottage home.

The author Leslie Linsley lives in Nantucket and she has appeared on TV shows including “Oprah” and “Good Morning America,” talking about her 60+ books on crafts, home style and decorating. So she should know what she’s talking about! Happy reading!

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 EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Traditional Irish Home Decor

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on March 17. Rather than tell you how to make green beer :-) I thought I’d share home decor inspiration from some beautiful traditional Irish houses.

Montalto House Irish Renovation

This is Montalto House, a mansion in the lovely green countryside of County Down, Northern Ireland. The house was built in 1760 and it sits in 600 acres of parkland. (I wouldn’t want to have to mow THAT lawn!)

In 2010, architects finished a major restoration on the house interiors.

This is the library – doesn’t it make you want to curl up with a good read? The burnt umber wall color creates warmth and sets the tone for the room. A roaring fire and lighting from the table lamp and wall sconces add more atmosphere. I also spy a brass or copper chandelier overhead. This room proves that good lighting from several sources makes a big difference to the feel of the space.

Here is the kitchen. It looks just as you’d think an Irish country house kitchen should look! I love the old metal chandelier and the deep farmhouse sink, also known as a Belfast sink.  Montalto House is now a venue for private events like weddings and it is full of Irish and European antiques and art.

A little more modest and more realistic for most of us, this is a very nicely designed Arts and Crafts movement house just outside Dublin. Once again we have a blazing fire! I guess it is chilly sometimes in the Emerald Isle. Heavy wood furniture, barley twist legs on the coffee table and William Morris fabric all add to the sense of traditional comfort in this period home.

Upstairs in the bedroom of the Arts and Crafts house, the rusty red textured wallpaper has only been applied below the picture rail. It was the same with the olive green walls in the living room photo. Keeping the bold color below the picture rail means that it isn’t too overwhelming. It also visually lowers the high ceilings to make the rooms a bit more cozy.

Here is another traditional home in Dublin – it welcomes us in at once! The dark brown wood style wallpaper gives an Old World feel and shows that dark walls don’t make the room itself dark if the actual lighting is good! This living room seems to enjoy tons of natural light, as well as a handsome chandelier to add a glow in the evening.

Woodbridge Irish pedestal tableLooking at the wood furniture in the Dublin living room, I think that this Woodbridge Furniture Company drinks table that we sell would fit in very nicely! The new Howth drinks table is inspired by original 18th century Irish antique furniture designs.

The patterned table top is crafted with a swirl mahogany veneer and English brown oak burl. With the fluted pedestal column too, the table looks incredibly authentic.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If we can’t make it to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day, at least we can all dream by looking at these amazing traditional Irish houses. Have you been to Ireland? What did you like about the decorative styles there?

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 EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.