Friday 29 July 2011

Smart Casual in the Dining Room

It's YOU!

And how are you today?

These photos I've taken sum up the feel that I want in our dining room. Firmly linked to the kitchen but with a relaxed formality. casual...
{.....that made me laugh when I thought of it!}

A place where I can sit and chat 
with my bestest friends 
over a pot of tea and 
my some of my favourite
Emma Bridgewater mugs.

Oooh, look at those mugs.
Do you like them? 
Do you want them?.......

I have a secret for you, my pretties. 
You're in luck!
Boogie on by on Monday. 
I think you'll have a big smile on your face....

All images: Mine

Enter your email address:

to subscribe to Modern Country Style

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Dining Delectability....

Hey there yummies,

I had the most lovely weekend away. 
I spent much of Saturday in Brighton by the sea
with some of my best friends from school. 
I came away feeling so relaxed and refreshed.
{Thank you, gorgeous girls.}

Now....I do believe I promised you dining scrumptiousness.
How's this for eye-candy?
I'd say it just about hits the mark, don't you?

I realise that not many mere mortals have kitchens quite like this.
But please don't be disheartened in any way at all.
You see, it's the feel of this dining space that I love.
I want to capture the essence for myself.

The family dining room can be a hard space to get right. 
I want to spend a bit of time looking at spaces that encapsulate the feel I'm after. Not necessarily the whole look. But particular details that catch my eye. Or that evokes the atmosphere I want in our home.

I hope you'll excuse my dining indulgences.

Images of Annabel House via 1st Options

Enter your email address:

to subscribe to Modern Country Style

Friday 22 July 2011

Paint, Please link party....oh, and my table reveal.....

Hello there, honeypops.

Welcome to my 
Paint, Please link party. 

So....where were we?
I've taken you through the whole process this week of painting a piece in 
My Beginners' Guide To Painting Furniture
If you've missed any posts, then you can find the whole series by clicking here.

And today, I do believe I promised you the big ta-daaaaaaaaaaaah! 
So without further ado, let the big reveal begin!

Here's what I started with. 
An extending oak dining table in a baaaaaaad way.

I've created a weathered white oak finish on the top, using Annie Sloan paints.

And a mixed-by-me paint on the base.

I've called this colour Modern Country Grey. 
{It's a perfect cool grey-green and I am in love.}

I want to paint our entire house from top to bottom in this colour and then 
walk around in a haze of bliss. 
{Mr Modern Country has vetoed the idea.}

I'm really hoping that this Beginner's Guide To Painting Your Furniture is showing you that there's NOTHING to be scared of. Because there really isn't. If you make a mistake you can wipe off and start over. 
Easy as pie.

Did I ever tell you that I LOVE throwing parties here? 
I absolutely LOVE looking through the posts you link up. 
I LOVE finding new blogs to ogle. 
I LOVE seeing what you have to share.

You can link up anything to do with paint....

favourite paint colours,
room redos,
painted furniture,
plus anything you'd like paint advice about....

Let's get this linky party on the road, shall we?
It'll stay open for one week.

 Here are two things I'd love you to do:
1) Follow Modern Country Style 
if you like what you see here.
2) Link back to me in your post 
so other people can come and find the party. 

Then everyone who comes over to Modern Country Style from other blogs who've linked back will be able to see a link and picture from your blog, and they can come and visit your fabulousness.

Not rules, exactly...but I'm hopeful. ;-) 

Oooh, and one more thing....
next week, we'll be having a good look at eating spaces. 
How to make the space inviting, warm and cosy.

Sounds good to me.

Enter your email address:

to subscribe to Modern Country Style

Thursday 21 July 2011

Beginner's Guide To Painting Furniture Part 3: Painting

Hey peeps,

Only one more day until my 
Paint Please link party! 
Swing by tomorrow from noon (GMT) to link up your paint-related posts:

favourite paint colours,
room redos,
painted furniture,
plus anything you'd like paint advice about....

I hope you liked the White Weathered Oak look I showed you yesterday. 
I love it on the dining table I've been sharing with you.

This is what we're doing today: 

Once I'd completed the table top, 
it was time for the very pleasurable task of 
choosing a colour for the table base.

A quick aside: 
I haven't bombarded you with a million products. 
Only the ones that I've tried out that not only work but work WELL.

As you get better and more confident then that's the time to branch out and try different things. But when I first started I wanted someone to hold my hand through the whole process.

And that's what I'm here for.
Hand holding.

I gave the table a base coat of Annie Sloan's Old White.
Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint DOESN'T NEED SANDING OR PRIMING so I was able to paint straight onto the varnished base, and the plastic-coated table collar.

So quick and so easy.

I painted quite thickly and with brush strokes in lots of different directions, creating texture, to which the top coat could cling.

Remember I said that Annie Sloan's Chateau Grey caught my eye?
This is how it looks unmixed, so you can see its components.

I mixed one third Ch√Ęteau Grey with two thirds Old White. 
And then I added a dribble of Graphite to produce 
a GORGEOUS gentle grey-green.

Paint it on in a normal back and forth motion. 
It will pick up the texture of the base coat gorgeously.
{For a smoother finish water down your paint slightly.}

I LOVE it!

I gave the base a coat of clear wax, which will protect it, and enriches the colour slightly, as you can see in this photo where I am halfway through.
(Right half is waxed).

Isn't the colour incredibly beautiful?
Farrow and Ball eat your heart out!!

And with a full coat of clear wax:

I wanted a slightly rustic-looking top of the table with quite a clean looking table base so I kept the dark wax to a minimum.
A perfect mix of Modern and Country.

Once again, because I'd used clear wax first, 
any readjustments along the way were easy-peasy. 
Just wipe as you go to get the finish YOU want.

A bit too much dark wax?

A quick wipe and it's just right!

Don't feel that you have to go along the 
Shabby Chic method of painted furniture.
Painted furniture works for a whole range of looks: 
Modern, Eastern, Country, Scandinavian, Vintage, Classical.

And, of course, Modern Country...

See you tomorrow with 
all your paint-related goodness.
{Plus the full and delicious table reveal!}


Enter your email address:

to subscribe to Modern Country Style

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Beginners' Guide To Painting Part 2: Weathered Oak

While stripping isn't my favourite afternoon activity, 
it does give me the chance to show you the GORGEOUS finish 
{White Weathered Oak, anyone?}
that I've created for the top of the dining table.

I've given you the tutorial here but I'm going to wait until
this Friday, at my Paint, Please link party
to do the full reveal.

Oh, and remember my new idea? 
If you have any piece that you're wondering about and would like some advice on, 
then do link up on Friday, 
among all the room transformations and other paint magic.

The finish that I'm about to share with you 
looks great AND is hard-wearing
{my favourite combination}.

This is how to achieve a weathered white oak look.

Mix up a wash of Annie Sloan Old White with water at a ratio of 1:1. 
{A little goes a long way.}
Make sure you mix the paint well before you pour it. 
This is how the can will look when first opened.... 

...but it mixes easily to a very slightly creamy white.
Paint onto a medium-sized area at a time.

Before the paint has had an chance to dry, 
fold a rag so there will be a smooth surface in contact with your piece 
(wrinkles in the rag will make streaky marks in the paint).

Rub the paint with the rag 
so that you'll be left with a thin translucent coat. 

It will leave this kind of finish:

It's a vital part of the end look.

When it's dry, which will be very quick, 
rub in a layer of thin clear wax all over.

This will give a rich glow 
but, more importantly, allows you a lot of flexibility, 
as I'll explain in a mo.

Then place some dark wax on the piece with your rag
and rub that in over the top of the clear wax. 

The dark wax clings to any grain lines in the table, 
and leaves its colour behind. 
I rubbed it around until I achieved this kind of look:

Just to show you how completely flexible working with Annie Sloan paints and waxes is, 
I want to demonstrate what to do if you make a mistake.

Simply smear on some clear wax over the top of the dark wax and rub. 
The dark wax will come away. 

If you want a slightly heavier feel with the paint in a particular area then you can add a bit of paint to the wax and the two magically combine to produce a coloured wax.

Then you can start all over again 
until you're THRILLED with your end product!!
There's SO much freedom to play around.

And if any marks do get scratched into it at any point, 
you can simply wipe over a little more dark wax and 
'Marks, begone!'.

I'm thrilled with this finish. I hope you have fun with it too.

See you tomorrow with a post I'm calling 
'Farrow and Ball: eat your heart out'.....

Enter your email address:

to subscribe to Modern Country Style

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Beginners' Guide To Painting Part 2: Stripping

Not all pieces are suitable for painting all over.

I didn't think a straight painted finish would be tough enough for the constant scrubbing and wiping and stabbing with forks that my table top will receive. 

Just keeping it real.

I also thought it would be a good place to slot in a stripping lesson to
The Beginner's Guide To Painting Furniture. 
The top of the table had peeling-yet-curiously-stuck-on remnants of varnish. 
The rest of the table will be painted so I didn't have to bother stripping that.

The day you've all been waiting for.
Your Personal Stripping Lesson.
Um, yeah.

You will need:
Chemical-Proof Gloves
Paint Stripper
A Paint Scraper
Sand Paper

You can buy special varnish strippers but paint stripper strips varnish just fine. It will also strip your skin, which is why I've included the gloves in the list. 
You need 'em. I've tried to make do without and it's S.O.R.E..

 The instructions on the back of your tin of stripper should tell you more precisely what you need to do.
Each varies slightly but here are basic instructions:

Pour some stripper onto the area you want to strip. 
The stripper will dry out too much if you strip a huge piece all at once so stick to medium sized area at a time. 
{Plus that way you can get better as you work along the piece so start with an inconspicuous part if possible.}

To give you an idea, I did this 2 metre table a third at a time.

Use an old brush to spread the stripper out thickly. 
It needs to be a good thick layer so that it doesn't evaporate off before the chemicals have a chance to do their dirty work.

Wiggle it into any awkward corners.

Wait for the time specified....don't wait longer thinking it will do a better job, it'll only dry out and be much harder to remove.
The paint or varnish will lift and look a bit like this...

...which means that you can start the next step. 
I find a paint scraper the best tool for getting the paint or varnish off. 
The best scrapers have slightly curved corners so that they don't gouge the wood.
Push the scraper over the wood and the paint or varnish should come away fairly easily. Some stubborn areas will need harder scraping but the stripper will do most of the work for you.

Wire wool can also be used for delicate areas
.....but you'll need MUCH more elbow grease......
and a thick pair of gloves. 
{That stuff is like evil cheese wire. Ouch.}

You may need to repeat the process 
several times to get rid of every last bit.

Wait for the table to dry then give the whole area 
a gentle sand to get rid of any remains.

There! That's the hard bit done.
The rest is plain-sailing and quick!

If you're looking for an easily-sustained good-looking finish for table tops then swing by tomorrow when I'll be sharing what I've found that works a treat for happy family-mealtimes
{Fork-stabbing and all}.

Enter your email address:

to subscribe to Modern Country Style

Related Posts with Thumbnails
01 09 10