3 Swedish Must Haves – Decorating A Home Around Swedish Antiques

You love Swedish style but don’t know exactly where to start. Here are a few ideas for you to get going.

Swedish style is about simplicity, but it is anything but boring.

The look is centered around minimalism, but the furnishings can be very detailed.  Have you ever considered working with rub on transfers?  Use them on any sort of wooden item.  Think of a stackable set of boxes, or a tray for your ottoman.  Do up a showcase dresser.  Add in hand painted details to blend the transfers into the distressed painted look.

Rub on Butterflies – Do it yourself “painted looks”  – Amazon


Butterfly Chest – antiques-atlas.com/

 Floral Rub On Transfer – Amazon


1. Swedish Must Have’s – Wall Lights

Mirrors, gilt brass and crystal chandeliers have also been used for centuries in the northern countries to capture light as the winter nights were long. The reflections created light which extended the days.  Here is an exceptional light that looks like an antique, but doesn’t use candles, but real lights!

Distressed Wood 3-Light Candle Sconce – forget about candles. $192 Amazon


2. Swedish Must Have’s – Interesting And Detailed

Captivating Swedish interiors have their emphasis on texture. A few detailed, distressed or hand painted pieces can go a long way in creating this look.  Think about really worn wood looks.  How to do this yourself?  Beat up your wood, and paint over the wood, and wipe it away.  The painted glaze will settle into the worn and distressed areas giving you the look of a worn antique.


Cognac Brown Wood Office Chair – Amazon


19th century Rococo Painted Commode – 1st Dibs


3. Swedish Must Have’s – Natural Fabrics

One really easy way of adding in color is doing it through pillow throws, or blankets. If you are wanting a particular color in your house, – get bedding, add some throws on your sofa.

Velvet Cushion Covers In Sets Of 2 – Amazon

Linen Trimmed Tailored Edged Pillows Set Of 2 – Amazon


Jepeak Burlap Linen ThrowAmazon

Teal and Black French Bench – Amazon

Spectacular Teal Recliner – Amazon

Velvet Trimmed Pillows – Set Of 2 – Amazon

Notice the French pink upholstered bed above?  It wouldn’t look the same without the gold painted details. 

What a grand daybed – seen at digitaltmuseum.se

$12,057.62  Louis Xvi Style Bunk Beds/matching Pair Of Single Beds Made By La Maison London


Intricate wallpaper often is a classic Swedish look. 

Stunning Folk art styled antiques.  Burnt Red is a color seen amongst Swedish antiques

MÖSSBORD, Jämtland, daterat 1841. – Bukowskis


A Swedish cupboard dated 1807

Hand painted floral details stand out on this painted cupboard

What colors do you like the best?  If you were to invest in one piece today, what would it be?


400 Professional Designers Picked Green As The ” Color For 2022 ” In A Recent Survey

HomeGoods Style Expert Beth Diana Smith predicts that, in 2022, many will go green by decorating around green-hued decor.

“Green [is] definitely the color of 2022!”

the owner and principal designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design tells SheKnows. “Six paint brands opted to choose green for their color of the year inspired by the latest fashion and home trends. Additionally, green has been trending in wellness as greens are associated with self-care, nourishment and zen energy. So, as consumers continue to prioritize mental health, we’ll continue to see green throughout our spaces as we look to infuse calming colors.”

Look at this:

A recent survey from Sherwin-Williams, which included more than 400 professional designers, found that emerald green was the top prediction for the most on-trend color in 2022.

Interiors decorated around the color of green.  Do you see anything here you love? 

Darker Green Inspired Interiors

Gustavian Chest –chairish.com

Swedish Inspired Furniture

Swedish Inspired Furniture

Swedish Inspired Furniture




Gustavian Inspired Desk Reveal – Revisionary Life

At last, I can say it is finished! Painted and waxed on all sides. Of course things never go as quickly as I imagine…

But finally, I have a finished desk, and I love it! You remember, the middle one with missing molding pieces…

When I tried to pry off the other pieces, it wrecked the top layer of veneer – at least I think it was veneer.

Read more at revisionarylife.blogspot.com/

5 Scandinavian Interior Design Tricks – Megan Slack

Lighter Colors are used in this interior, whose picture appeared on the cover of Classic Swedish Interiors

1. Use large windows to emphasize natural light

Thanks to the nation’s famously dark winters, Finnish designers are experts at emphasizing light in the most effective ways possible, and Villa Lumi is certainly no exception. The home uses large window panes and no window dressings to ensure the home is illuminated as efficiently as possible. While all homes may are not designed in the same way as Villa Lumi, we can still the architect’s technique with any kind of window, as Helsinki based Interior Designer Helena Karihtala shares:

‘Due to long winters, the use of natural light is considered to be important, and we usually prefer large windows. Keeping the windows bare or using light curtains helps make the space feel open and full of natural light. The walls are also almost always a shade of white, making most of natural light.’

Read more at livingetc.com



Mirrors are another classic Swedish design trick to add more light into a room.  Face the mirror opposite of a window to bounce light off of.




Bringing The Garden In For The Winter



Chinoiserie Green Gold Late 1700s Gustavian Rococo Mora Clock – 1st Dibs

Swedish Long Case Mora Clock, Kramfors, Sweden, 1st Dibs

Swedish Mora Clock, In Texas – 1st Dibs

Beautiful distressing of old Swedish furniture

Louis XV Style Bergère Chair – $1250 Chairish


Light and Airy Sunroom  – Vibeke Design

vibekedesign.blogspot.com – Scandinavian Blog


Have you ever thought about these peg boards as full walls?  Its not a bad idea. 



Scandinavian Kitchens – Classic shaker kitchen in green — Nordiska Kök




Foxglove Sage Botanical Sage Wallpaper – Home Depot


Canvas Organizer – food52.com

Thifty garden storage – bhg.com,  Potato cleaner  – Grit Magazine,

PVC Pipe Trellis – remodelista.com, Shoe container garden starts – almanaquesos.com



Image Seen On gucki.it


7 Ways to Love Copper and Green



Rust on brown.  Isn’t this a fabulous way of showing off your tools?  –

Photo by JerBear2010 on Flickr



Isn’t this an interesting way of organizing your garden planting ? 

Must-Know Storage Secrets for Your Garden Shed – Better Homes And Gardens




Spectacular Dream 19th Century Swedish Green Panted Chest From Chairish



A pretty wallpaper with charming woodland creatures trees and toadstools. Swedish designer Hannah Wendelbo. – wallpaperdirect.com

Tones Of Green – johnderian.com


Slipcovers Have Always Been Popular Through Time – Swedish Decorating

Larsson, Carl (1853-1919)

Among the Swedish artist Carl Larsson’s many watercolours of the house he shared with his wife, Karin, and eight children, is one of their sitting room that radiates a pleasing sense of domesticity — a discarded newspaper and shoes, a sleeping dog, a rug hung nonchalantly over the arm of the sofa. But it is the blue-and-white striped loose cover of the sofa that does most to enhance the relaxed feeling of this elegant space. Larsson painted it in 1895, a time when Victorians, such as the family of another artist, Linley Sambourne, were living among buttoned, fringed and tightly upholstered splendour at 18, Stafford Terrace that remains a monument to the Victorian decorative exuberance (both artists’ houses are open to the public).

As with so many of the key ingredients in classic decoration, there’s a deeply practical rationale behind the loose cover: namely, that it can be washed and changed at will. In the past, they were often fitted to protect furniture or changed according to the season. They also soften the look of a sofa or chair by hiding its legs.

Read more – countrylife.co.uk

Get The Exact Pattern You Want With Stenciling Fabric – DIY Swedish Decorating

Fabric can be costly today, particularly when you are requiring a great deal of it. Not just that, it may be hard to find the ideal fabric with the correct color combinations.  Stencils could solve that problem. 

Stenciled looks have traditionally been found in and around the Nordic nations.  With forests vastly available, walls and furniture were often painted and decorated. 

In fact, some of the most beautiful painted furniture comes from the Nordic countries. We all love bows, wreaths and florals, and those elements have always been popular in Sweden.  Rosemåling was another style that started in the valleys of Norway.  Rosemåling first showed up around 1750 when the Baroque and Rococo styles were brought into the countryside of Norway. 

With having a second baby in July, I wanted to work with gray toned colors in our new baby’s room, but had some trouble locating fabric to go with it.  When Emily Rosas offered me some stencils from her shop Stencil Revolution.com it was an open door for me to experiment with stenciled drapery.  I want to thank Emily for sending such high quality stencils for me to try.  I ended up going with the dragonfly stencil in the 5×6 size


Having two kids, this was a daunting task for me, but as I got into it, I found that the stencil itself produced a clean image without a lot of effort.  I didn’t use spray adhesive, and honestly worked from one print to the next as quickly as I could.  Having kids, you simply don’t have a lot of time to spend being precise.  In the end, you really don’t notice the slight imperfections and it happens to be the key feature in the room.

Here is what I did:

I bought canvas drop cloths from Home Depot.  The 6 feet by 9 feet is the ideal size if you don’t want to do too much sewing.  I have used these same drop cloths for floor to ceiling curtains in my garage, in all my bedrooms and they have worked out terrific.  Most of the time only one edge needs to be sewn. 

One thing to take note of is…  when you are in Home Depot, they may have two slightly different colors with this brand of drop cloth.  One which is more gray, and the other which is slightly more creamy ivory.  If you are selecting more than one drop cloth, keep that in mind.

I simply laid the drop cloth on my kitchen table with a roll of paper under my drop cloth.  You will want to do this otherwise you will be scrubbing paint off your surface in the end.

I looked up DIY fabric paint online, and what they suggest is to mix white glue, shaving cream and your paint into one.  The paint turns into more of a puffy paint which works rather well for stenciling.  In fact, the paint doesn’t leak out of the stencil lines.  To be honest, I didn’t follow any recipe.  I put in mostly equal parts of white glue and shaving cream and it worked out quite well.   If you put too much shaving cream in, you may have a garment smelling like the fragrance of the shaving cream, (like I did)…  but it wears off in a matter of days. 

What do you think?  Would you consider stenciling fabric for your interior?  If so, what would you do? 

Thank you for visiting. 

5 Kitchen Design Lessons You Can Learn from Scandinavian Interiors

Picture Credit – ladyinspirationsblogg.se

Guest Post – Jason Phillips

Elegance and style along with a sense of simplicity and functionality, those are the words that describe the Scandinavian interior designs. More and more modern homes are seen to adopt this minimalist European design style mainly because of its modern and neutral appeal.

If you’re planning to renovate your kitchen or overall house, then choosing Scandinavian designs could offer you a vast and eclectic taste of design movement, unique, and minimalistic designs in your home.

Picture 1 – godsochgardar.se

Picture 2 – lovelylife.se

Picture 3 – antikochauktion.se

Picture 4 – antikochauktion.se

Maintaining the natural light is very important

Being in the far north, the Scandinavian designs tend to flood the interiors with light. This determined the Scandinavians to enjoy, cherish, and appreciate the important factor of natural daylight in their life. Light is very important for our well-being which is why being illuminated by the environment tend to create more positivity in your life.

To adapt to this design, during the winter season you can get rid of the heavy curtains or throw away the silly ornaments that block the light. If privacy is the main reason for those covers, you might consider using wooden shutters or sheer fabric on windows in your kitchen or any rooms in your house.

Additionally, Scandinavian designs are mostly focused on white, clean, simple, and pure color. This is because the color reflects light and encourages it to bounce around the kitchen spaces and brightens them. You should also add mirrors in your kitchen in order to let the light to stay.

Picture 1 – mydesignchic.com

Picture 2 – lantliv.com

Cosiness and warmth

As you can see in the different Scandinavian designs, coziness and warmth are important. To adapt this, you should add more natural wood into your home, whether on furniture, floor, or wall panels or kitchen backsplash. Wood offers a welcoming feel and adds more coziness to the kitchen.

You could also add candles to produces the Scandinavian feeling of warmth and coziness. As fire is the natural source of light, placing simple stick candles on the tea holders around your kitchen or even in the living room will create a fairytale-like atmosphere.

Picture 1- seventeendoors.blogspot.se

Picture 2 – feasthome.com

Picture 3 – snickeritallkotten.se

Picture 4 – linaostling.se

Lifestyle nature

Scandinavian designs also focus on nature as it is the heart of the design. Living the life with a healthy attitude is being cherished and practiced so to adopt this, you can add greenery and plants into your home to add more environment and natural feel. Plants are known to provide fresh air and it makes us feel better and beat the winter blues.

Rustic wood grain and interior plants and flowers is a great way to make the space more relaxing and vibrant. Remember, incorporating live elements into your kitchen space will make the interior look modern and fresh.

Picture 1 – detvitadarhuset.blogspot.com

Picture 2 – myscandinavianhome.com

Picture 3 – bloglovin.com

Picture 4 – lady-gray-dreams.tumblr.com

White wood floors

As mentioned earlier, the Scandinavian design focuses on white and pure colors from floor to ceiling. So, if you want to adopt this style, renovating your kitchen floor and change it with white wood floors can make the room seem open, clean, and airy. Grey color and wood (pine or birch) are also alternative choices for keeping the interior flooring design simple yet elegant-looking.

Simplistic yet artful Scandinavian kitchen furniture

Aforementioned, Scandinavian design focuses on the minimalist designs in both exteriors and interiors of the home. Modern furniture took advantage of the innovative textiles which can be seen via antiques and current designs. Amazing craftsmanship with the use of high-quality materials will always be seen in the Scandinavian furniture designs. It is well seen and being adapted by the different kitchen designs throughout the world.

Choosing simple yet detailed and artful kitchen cabinets or countertops based on the Scandinavian design is a perfect way to adapt to this European modern design style. Adding antique components or materials with clear smooth lines and organic shapes can defy a simple and minimal design which could also add an aesthetic look to your home.

It is no wonder why more and more modern houses adapt the Scandinavian interior design because of its simplicity, functionality, minimalism, love of nature, and elegance. So, if you’re planning to renovate your kitchen, living room, or any area of your home seek for professional home renovator’s help to do this.

Jenny’s DIY Wide-Plank Plywood Flooring Studio Renovation

Check out these absolutely beautiful pictures of Jenny’s studio space made over with plywood cut into planks:

I found the plywood I wanted, took a photo of the price tag, and walked up to the customer service desk. I placed an order for 25 sheets and I asked for each sheet to be cut down into 8″ planks, lengthwise (which meant there was no waste – exactly six planks from each sheet). I’ll admit that I did get a few funny looks, but for the most part everyone at Home Depot was incredibly nice and accommodating, given the huge ask. I was more than prepared to pay 10 or even 25 cents per cut, like one of the guys in the lumber department suggested they might charge me at the order desk. I think I paid for cuts when I did the wall planking project in our mudroom, but this time there was no charge for all those cuts! I’m pretty sure it was because I was really flexible on timing and let them take as long as they wanted to get the order finished. And even then, it was less than 24 hours before they called to tell me my planks were ready to be picked up.

Once we had all the carpet removed and all the wood planks upstairs to the back porch, it was time to start the only tedious part of this project: all the sanding. It was actually pretty easy work, but it just took some time (actually about a minute and a half or two per plank, which really adds up). I asked Heather to sand while I was installing the planks, and usually the timing worked out well and we were able to keep a good pace.

Read more at littlegreennotebook.com

How To Avoid Yellowed White Painted Furniture With General Finishes Products

Christine Adams

Wood Finishing Technical Writer at General Finishes

October 21, 2017


Many you may have noticed that the labels on our bright white paints, Snow White Milk Paint and Chalk White Chalk Style Paint now carry a warning label regarding the yellowing of topcoats. All bright white paint will yellow slightly with time, with or without topcoat. Water-based topcoat is reactive and more likely to draw out substances in the wood such as tannins or unknown substances in existing finishes causing the topcoat to yellow. This is an industry-wide issue. Don’t carry the cost of white paint yourself– pass the cost on to the consumer who wants it with a fair upcharge. White paints, even if they did not yellow, require more coats to achieve coverage.

Enduro White Poly

General Finishes background was originally on the professional side, and the incidences of yellowing topcoat over white paint were almost nil, and when our sprayable professional finish, Enduro White Poly, is used, there have been no incidences. But as the use of our paints has increased in the up-cycling and furniture refresh markets, we have heard more reports of our topcoat yellowing. Our response was to teach about prepping, testing you finish schedule and finally creating Stain Blocker, our stain blocking primer, but this is not enough. Just as we advocate prepping all finishes, we are now advocating NOT using a clear water base topcoat over BRIGHT WHITE paint.

General Finishes is in the process of developing a brushable version of our professional Enduro White Poly (available only in gallons), but that will take some time and rigorous testing before we can release the product. Here is what you should know to protect yourself and also some immediate suggestions to decrease chances of yellowing.

There is no way to reliably predict yellowing ahead of time. Sometimes yellowing occurs, sometimes it does not. Every existing finish is different and we rarely know the finishing provenance on an existing piece. Every tree is different and every piece of wood is unique. Wood can bleed tannins immediately after the topcoat dries or months later with a change in temperature that comes with a change in seasons. Oak, pine, mahogany, and Douglass Fur are particularly prone to bleed-through.

As is true of most “water-white” topcoats, our High Performance Water-Based topcoat is a clear drying finish over a non-reactive substrate such as plastic. When paint is used over something as unpredictable as wood, all bets are off. Yellowing can be caused by the top coat activating the tannins in raw wood or aniline dyes, stains or contaminants in a pre-existing finish. This is most evident when using BRIGHT WHITE paint and most prevalent in the sculpted details of furniture, where the topcoat can collect, intensifying the color change to an unacceptable level.

To add to this issue, all bright white paint will yellow slightly with time, with or without topcoat. You have probably tried to touch up white woodwork in your home after several and noticed that the new paint is brighter.


• Whites have a lower “hide” quality and are more transparent than most other colors. Most bright whites require additional coats to achieve the desired color and minimize color variation. This can increase cost of paint finishing. Always include a clause in your contracts addressing the need for additional coats to achieve coverage.

• Bright white paints can yellow over time with or without topcoat.

• The underlying finish or wood species can affect the final color of light paint.

• Details and inside corners are difficult to cover with any paint color, but this property tends to be more noticeable with whites. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon in paint application and does not necessarily constitute a defect in the paint finish or your technique.


1. Use a disclaimer in your contracts or recommend a softer white such as Antique White or Linen. Upcharge for the extra coats needed and ever guarantee a white finish over a piece that you cannot trace the provenance on. Here is a suggestion: Terms of Agreement and Warranties: ________ (Initials) I have been informed that more coats are required when painting with bright whites, reds, greens or yellow. I understand that white paint can yellow over time and that water based topcoats can occasionally react with the substrate or existing finish under white paints causing yellowing, even is a stain blocking primer is used.

2. If it is a low use project, use a premium white paint that is self-sealing and does not require a topcoat. A clear top coat is not required on our Milk Paint for increased durability, as it is a self-sealing, exterior rated coating with very high durability and performance properties. However, top coats provide a smoother surface that is easier to clean and boost durability for high use projects such as table tops and kitchen cabinets.

3. Get a spray gun and use a professional “white coat” such as our Enduro White Poly. It is a white paint with “increased topcoat properties”, is a stand-alone finish when 3 coats are applied and does not require sealing with a topcoat.

4. If you are still brushing, try adding 10-15% of the paint you are using to the first or second application of topcoat. The last layer of topcoat should not have paint in it, to maintain durability. We have had good reports of this technique from customers but have not tested in the lab over a long period of time.

5. Always test your project’s entire finishing schedule (from cleaning to topcoat) on an inside door or a more hidden area of the piece. This does not help if the yellowing occurs later but you will at least know if there is an immediate problem.

6. Always apply a stain blocking primer under white or light-colored paint such GF Stain Blocker or a shellac based primer. Always let any primer dry overnight. Some of the primers we have seen suggest a 3 hour dry time and that is not enough.

7. If you are working on period pieces such as a 1940’s serpentine mahogany desk which were often finished in stain containing aniline dyes that cast a pinkish bleed through under light paint, stay away from light colors. Not every piece of furniture is suitable for up-cycling with a light paint color. Pine, Mahogany, and furniture of the 1940’s and 50’s are a red flag.

8. Last, not all manufacturer’s topcoats are compatible with other finishes and may react with a color change. Always follow best practices by not rushing, and testing to your satisfaction first.

Hope this helps and wish us luck on our next paint endeavor- Chris

8 Brands Of Gold Spray Paint Were Compared To Find The Best Color

Let’s find the best can of gold spray paint

I bought a bunch of mini terracotta pots to use as the test vehicle and used my amazing Homeright spray shelter to spray each of the pots. I put the pots on a little piece of scrap wood so I could simply pick up the wood and move it out to dry while I painted the next pot.

This is the first time I have used Design Master’s and I have to say I was very impressed especially with the uniform coat and drying time. Design master’s and Rustoleum Metallic are pretty much identical in their “color”. I think they are the closest match to being “gold”. The Krylon Premium metallic which is on top has a very yellow almost artificial shine.

View more of her study at anikasdiylife.com

7 Places To Find Swedish Design For Toddlers

Children are gifts that need to be pampered every time. When you are expectant and planning to prepare your nursery, there are things that you always want. You keep looking for concrete furniture for children, you want a particular design, or mainly you are looking for décor that will meet your satisfaction. If your taste is the modern Nordic style, then the feeling gets more complicated. Scandinavian style has the best décor for a child’s bedroom, and it has its unique simplicity. However, the big question is where I get specific things for my kid’s bedroom. Take a look at some of the top shops around with furniture toys and interior accessories for children.

  1.    Nubie

Nubie is among the best shops in the UK for children’s interior. The shop has a great selection of the Scandinavian design and brands. If you want to decorate your child’s room with wardrobes and beds from the Oliver furniture Danish brands, this is the place to shop. It’s your one stop shop that has a wide selection for the entire family too. There are lots of toys for the nursery decoration, plenty of eating room accessories and of course the sleeping area. Once you are here, you don’t need to go somewhere else.

Picture Credit –Flickriver

  1. 2.    Lullabuy

Nursery room has so much than any other room. Therefore, while decorating the room, you must ensure you find the best items from a trusted brand. At Lullabuy, this should not be your fear. They stock the best accessories and decoration kits for the kid’s room. They have shared the best Danish brands to solve your numerous storage problems for your child. The shop has the best wallpapers, beddings, decorative wall display, Lamps, and cushions.

  1.    Molly-Meg

Unlike all the other stores, Molly-Meg is specifically designed for children selection. The shop is stocked with home decorations, toys, and edited selection of furniture and course gifts for the new family member. However, the designs for most of the items here are not Scandinavian but have the same functional, simple and modern design aesthetics, which is a traditional model for the Nordic decorations.

  1. 4.    Skandium

Although the shop only stocks a few selections for children furniture, it has the best and durable items. Rather than preparing the nursery for sleeping purposes only, here, you will have a selection of junior size design chairs to keep your child active with a matching tableware and lots of gifts for the child. Skandium provides you an assurance that your Nordic style of a modern home is complemented with some of the best brands.

  1. 5.    Kidsen

Kidsen is the place with all the small room decorations design furniture and toys. Here you will shop for everything made of the top Scandinavian brands. Mini, Rodini, ferm living, Brio, Isak, and many more. At Kidsen, you will find everything stocked just for you from toys, furniture, clothes and all other necessities for nursery decoration.

  1.    Lo and Behold store

Your child’s room needs to be colorful, decorative and attractive for the child to find quick rest and fun. At Lo and Behold Store, there is all this in place just for you. Talk of cool posters, beautiful bedding from Ferm living and Danish brands, furniture and all other accessories for interior design.  The shop ensures you get all you need to keep your child healthy active and physically fit.

  1.    Mood

Want to nurture your child’s in a design atmosphere, the mood is the right place to shop. Here there is an appreciation of the direct role of design in your toddler’s development. The store is carefully curated with all the latest and high-end brands from trusted designers to ensure you get the best items. It’s the only store you will find Leander in stock. It’s all about interior décor for the child and a modern family. Mood guarantees you perfection in every item you buy.

  1.    Smallable

Looking for Convertible toddler beds, shelves, cots, wardrobes, baby essentials chairs, furniture and baby desks, smallable has it all. The shop gives you a full selection of baby valuables for perfect decoration including night lighting, poster, lamps, rugs, garlands, mobiles, and bedding. The shop is divided into sections to ensure you shop faster. The beddings have designer fabrics prints for longevity and quality. This is the only shop with specified design to meet your toddler needs and save you cost and the hustle of moving from shop to shop.


With such shops in your mind, it’s therefore easy for you to decorate the nursery for your toddler and it the best crib. Additionally, you can make the best selections to ensure that the room is still right for your child when s/he turns teen.

375 Hours Of Machine Embroidery- One Woman Successfully Pulls Off Her First 18th Century Men’s Outfit

This post was featured in the 18th Century Sewing Group
Christine Yoo Millar with Matthew Millar.

After 375 hours of machine embroidery, 60 hours of hand sewing, my husband’s outfit for Versailles is finally done! I’m very proud of this outfit as I don’t think I’ve worked so long on one outfit before, and this is my first 18th century mens outfit.

Giant shoutout to the incredibly talented Carol Barg from Cabbit Corner Embroidery for digitizing the original Smithsonian embroidery sample from 1780 into a usable PES file for my Brother VE2200. This was done entirely in silk thread (Tire brand #50) on silk duchesse. Other than the embroidery, coat was sewn entirely by hand, machine used for the pants only. The pattern was modified from JP Ryan’s coat, waistcoat and pants pattern. Silk stockings from Jas Townsend and Son, and the shoes from Fugawee.

Mix Old and New Like the Scandinavians Do- Chloe Taylor

Picture Credit Quality Is Key On Ebay


Image 1 source: www.swedishinteriordesign.co.uk, blog.thehighboy.com,

Guest Post -Chloe Taylor

Scandinavian interior design has been on the very top when it comes to décor trends for years now, but this style, as we know it, is reflected in modern furniture, clean lines, functionality and minimalism; all of which are features ideal for a bedroom.

Has this design style always been like this?

Of course not.

Although it has always been characterized with light colors and natural elements, it hasn’t always been so clean-lined and minimalistic. The old Nordic pieces are equally as appealing as the new ones, and it would be a shame not to get the best of both worlds and times when decorating with this approach. Here are some things that will help you combine something old and something new, the Scandinavian way.

Know both styles

Image 2 source: Anthony Kalambet

To be able to truly know how to fit in two different design epochs, you need to be familiarized with both of them. Modern Scandinavian design is represented by light colors (usually white and grey), use of pale wood, clean lines, functional pieces and metallic accents.

Image 3 source: countryliving.com

As for the old style, its most prominent representative is Gustavian style, influenced by Neoclassical style, and it is characterized by white-washed or grey furniture, and pastel and golden accents.

Choose one dominant

You can’t just put bell-shaped matte black pendant lamps above each side of the bed, and then install a Gustavian-style crystal chandelier in the center of the room.

Image 4 source: blog.thehighboy.com

You must choose a style you consider to be dominant (old or new), and complement it with accents from the other one. For example, if the bed, nightstands and the dresser are of clean lines made of pale unpainted wood, you can score some oldie but goodie points with a crystal chandelier.

Pair them up

If you want to make sure that the piece you’ve included isn’t standing out too much you can always use two pieces and group them together or put them opposite to each other. Also, some more subtle pieces can be joined with an entirely different style.

The bed as the place where all comes together

Image 5 source: scandis.com

Bed is the focal point of every bedroom, and as such, it will draw all eyes, which means that it should be greeted with both styles in an appropriate measure. If you decide on an antique bed, you might have some problems with finding the right mattress, but the offer of various mattresses online is so extensive that you’re bound to find the perfect one. Make a style contrast on an antique bed with zig-zag patterned throw pillows, and other modern details.

Focus on a single color palette

Image 6 source: lushome.com

Whenever you want to fit in different styles into a single room, you should focus on what they have in common and which colors can be associated with them. Fortunately, regardless of the epoch, Scandinavian style is all about light neutrals, enriched with just a bit of pastels, and metallic shades. Matte black is the modern addition that goes well with everything. Choosing the same tonal family for the walls and the furniture will produce a soothing effect and make various different style statements whisper instead of scream.

Catch the eye with a statement object

Image 7 source: scaramangashop.co.uk

So, what can be a statement object in a bedroom? Well, everything, ranging from an area rug to the bed. You’ll want it to be instantly identifiable with one of the two styles you are mixing. Choose a gigantic crystal chandelier, a big white-washed dresser, a cowhide rug, a salvaged-planks headboard, metallic nightstand lamp, etc.

Image 8 source: scaramangashop.co.uk

Make sure you go full-Scandi and introduce at least one houseplant in your bedroom. Kill two birds with one stone, and choose plants that will help you sleep better such as Parlor palm, Snake plant, Moth orchid, Pothos and Cast-iron plant.

Mixing old and new design styles can be really difficult. In this case you have the mitigating factor of both styles being part of one unique design evolution, so they can be connected on some basic levels, such as color palette. If you find the harmony between the two, you will have the perfectly decorated bedroom that would put some of the most famous interior designers to shame.

How To Make Your Own 18th Century Trumeau Mirror

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to dress up your walls, this might be it. I happen to adore the 18th century style, but don’t want to spend a ton of money to achieve the look in my home.

Decorative carved plaques were quite popular in France, and eventually Sweden perfected the look. Musical instruments, hunting motifs, and florals seemed to be the most popular carved designs in the 17th and 18th centuries. These wood carved decorative elements were often seen framed within wooden decorative trim and commonly found above doorways, or fireplaces.

Today you can see these beautiful plaques on pieces of wood in some of the most beautiful interiors decorated after the European styles of the past.

I have created a few of these plaques for my house and I really love how they have turned out. They give me the look of a large piece of art, without having to complicate my interior with lots of colors. Best of all, this project is fairly simple to create.

Vintage Syroco

Rococo is a design most popular in the 1730s. The design heavily influenced architecture, painting, sculpture and eventually furniture and decor.

Mirrors made after these styles became popular in the 50’s by a company called Syracuse Ornamental Company who at the time produced ornamental carvings to embellish furniture. The company was founded in the late 1890’s by Adolph Holstein who was a talented Austrian woodcarver.

The opportunity for his business to expand when Holstein developed a casting technique which produced a high quality product without the laborious intensity and time of wood carving. Holstein used Syroco to create perfect replicas of their original carvings.

Many of their molds featured a wood grain within the mold, giving their overall product a higher end feel for less money. As the modern movement hit in the 1940’s their business turned from ornamental embellishments to novelty items which didn’t profit as well, so the company returned to making the highly ornate wall mirrors, sconces, and decorations in the 1950’s which became a huge sensation.

These very same items from the 50’s can be found on ebay, and made to look high end with layers of paint in shades of gray, white and beige paint for a higher end European look.

The Materials Used For My Project

The materials you need are plywood, decorative trim, a decorative element that you want to frame, a miter box and a compressor with a nailing attachment certainly helps.

The pieces that I have purchased for my creations are Dogwall plaques from syroco, and two large vintage burwood musical plaques.

I tend to make my projects as simple as possible. For this project I simply cut a piece of plywood, and made my own miter box to hand cut the decorative edging that was placed around the edges of the wood.

The decorative edging I used was from Home Depot. You can find a picture with the number of the product below. The edging was simple, and easy to work with.

I made my miter box by simply screwing a piece of 2 x 4 wood together with two wood sides. I then took my miter saw, and cut the wood to give me a guide. It was as simple as that. I found that using my saw was not only dangerous with thin wood edging, but also that the wood would be torn apart with using the fast blade. My advice, buy a miter box or make your own like I did.

Next, I used a compressor with a nailing attachment to add the trim and the decorative element. I used wood filler to fill these holes, along with adding wood putty to the sides of the plywood to give it a finished appearance.

In a previous article, I described using Durhams putty to seal the edges between the wood and the decorative relief. You can find more pictures of this project in this post there. The beauty of Durhams putty is that it dries in a shade of light yellow. When you paint your object, what I do is wash off parts of the motif with a damp cloth, and the putty appears to look like wood painted. Working with this product is a perfect way of faking this whole look.

I love this look and these plaques happen to be my favorite pieces in my house. What do you think? Do you love it?

More Inspiration:

  • A plaque made by Bliss Studio- here
  • Plaster medallions of Carl Michael Bellman & Ulla Hopken – here
  • Swedish Plaster Medallions- here
  • Wood Wall Plaques- here


How I Created My Own DIY 18th Century Architectural Plaques- Hersite Blog

Burwood musical plaques before they were painted

How I Created My Own DIY 18th Century Architectural Plaques- Hersite Blog

The molding I used from Home Depot

Continue Reading…

Swedish Furniture Design – What Makes The 1800’s So Obsessive

Pair of Late Gustavian Neoclassical Chairs

Pair of Late Gustavian / Neoclassical Chairs

Jason Phillips

The Scandinavians are known around the world for creating simple, stylish and functional furniture; its style reflects its origins, furniture and décor which maximized the available light and space. The look is minimal, yet honest with an earthy flavor. It is the perfect style to use when you are looking to revitalize an old, gloomy house and create a contemporary yet practical flare. To really get the 1800s Swedish feel in your home you will need to follow these tips:

Wooden Flooring

The flooring should be light and preferably wood, although a laminate will have the same effect. This allows the sunlight entering the house to bounce around the room and help to create a feeling of space, warmth and light. The bathroom is the only exception to this rule as a darker, warmer color will make the room feel more inviting.

Color Palettes Of Brown And Grey

The original Scandinavian design would be for white walls and a pale grey or light blue; either as a feature wall or as part of the design; the color of the furniture or the accessories. However, there have been several other influences in the Scandinavian scene and it is possible to introduce some bright colors through the accessories or even the flowers in the room. These will draw the eye and make the room feel friendly and inviting. It is also possible to opt for wood on one of the walls; it is a natural material and adds a layer of warmth to the property. If the wood is too yellow for your taste than it can be white washed or you can use grey oil to dilute the color.

Furniture Lines

The handmade designer furniture you use in your Scandinavian room must have clean lines. The majority of Swedish furniture elements will already have the lines you require. This simplistic approach will provide a calm, tranquil room in which to relax.

Functional Furniture

The Swedish pride themselves on providing stylish yet functional furniture. Every piece has a specific purpose and it is well designed for that purpose. This ethic should apply across the entire house; it avoids unnecessary clutter and encourages the simple, minimalistic style. Furniture may have been designed recently or may be genuine antique pieces. Either will work as the elements of design have stayed true throughout time; every Swedish piece has a classic beauty in its simplicity and will sit perfectly in a room today. The way this furniture has been designed allows it to blend with any room, creating a stylish, yet practical living area.

Corner Fire

Swedish winters are generally much colder than those in many other parts of the world. A fire is an essential part of surviving these winters. However, they are not the feature point of the room; they are seen as another piece of furniture. Swedish fires are often tiled and sit in the corner of the room. They are usually very simple in design and may hardly even be noticed with their doors closed. The corner approach also allows the heat to radiate out across the room effectively.

The Environment

The Swedish are well known for adding environmentally friendly features to their houses. This can be as simply as embracing the energy efficient light bulbs, to adding solar panels or a ground source heat pump. Insulation and triple glazing are also standard on new builds and help to create the warm, inviting interior of a Swedish house.

Less is more

Scandinavian design does not incorporate an abundance of ornaments and accessories. The approach is minimalistic in order to keep the clean lines and bright spaces that they desire. Among the few accessories will usually be a plant or bunch of flowers to add a touch of the outside to the décor. Blend your minimalistic approach with natural materials and you will have a beautiful house that you can
actually live in!

Embrace the Swedish home design and transform your home into a welcoming, truly inviting living nest. Choose a dominant color that best lives up to your expectations, and don’t be afraid to improvise. Oversized throw pillows, flower pots with seasonal flowers and custom-made furniture items are everything you need for a Swedish-inspired home.

A Swedish Early Gustavian Period Console Table circa 1770 1st dibs

A Swedish Early Gustavian Period Console Table circa 1770 1st dibs

19th Century Swedish Gustavian Pedestal Table

19th Century Swedish Gustavian Pedestal Table

Set of Four 18th Century Swedish Gustavian Chairs

Set of Four 18th Century Swedish Gustavian Chairs

19th Century Swedish Gustavian Style Bench

19th Century Swedish Gustavian Style Bench

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Trend Report! Decorating With Unfinished Furniture


Home Office Chair with Casters, Unfinished$130 (Affiliate Link)

Sidetable from International Concepts (Affiliate link)- $84 here

Swedish 18th Century Style- Miniature portraits of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Louis XVII and Marie-Therese, Madame Royal, late 19th or early 20th CImagine this in wood- ( Miniature portraits of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Louis XVII and Marie-Therese, Madame Royal, late 19th or early 20th C)

The raw rustic/industrial style they are showing in all of the magazines right now is not going away for a long time. The collection takes much of it’s inspiration from 1880′s old farms, factories & schools.

One of the key design features of this design you want to get correct, is the the style is raw untreated pine wood.  So this means, instead of using a satin varnish, consider using a completely flat varnish, such as “dead flat varnish, by Modern Masters”  This product will give you the look of raw wood, without taking the chance for accidental stains ruining your furniture.

Pine is back for sure! There is one difference, the polished/yellowish appearance is not how it is presented today. Trends show it newly cut, raw or white washed.

What do you think?  Could this fit into your home?

A-LARGE-PINE-BOOKCASE--500x525A Very large Pine Bookcase – Christies ($2,438)

3 Drawer Nightstand

This room shows another side chest painted.  This picture shows the Pemberley collection from Sanderson.  If you want to find a chest that looks like the one in the picture, consider The Home Accents Collection chest for $216

Swedish Style Raw Furniture

Others to consider :

  • International Concepts Table OT-91 $114
  • Cherry Sewing Table Kit– From Shaker Workshops $212
  • Mission Kids Unfinished Wood Chair – Set of 2-$128 on ebay
  • Set of 2 Natural Solid Wood Nightstands for $165 on ebay
  • Uttermost Agustin Light Walnut Stained Wood Accent Mirror – $358 on ebay

Capture 2 Capture

2 Salvaged Raw Finished Pine Tables-on ebay


Raw Wood- Source : Campagne – Décoration


The wood in this David Iatesta mirror started life as a tobacco barn in southern Maryland. The aged, reclaimed wood has been paired with a reproduction French trumeau; the mirror is also available antiqued. Available through Egg & Dart, Ltd., Denver, CO, (303) 744-1676; or www.davidiatesta.com

Swiss restaurant in St. Moritz

Suzanne Dimma, Contributing Blogger for House & Home, posted some stunning pictures of Milan Furniture Fair. Amongst all the photos, my favorite was the picture she took of a Swiss restaurant in St. Moritz. The raw wood paneling, paired with gold framed oval portraits centered in the recessed panels were a treat to the eyes.


This interesting one-bedroom apartment situated in central London is available for rent with or without the furnishings. See more about this unique home at the Modern House web site.

Impressive History Of Fine Swedish Table Linen

Volga Linen

Volga Linen

Guest Post, Jason Phillips

Linen has been a part of humanity for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used it to dress and as cloths. Pieces of linen have been found which date back to 4,200 BC although there are not many which have survived!  Swedish linen today is made in a very similar way to those original processes. During the 1500’s tablecloths were used by the wealthy, the cloths were made from damask linen which was imported by Flanders and Holland. The cloths were ornate and decorative; it wasn’t until the 1800’s that the use of tablecloths became a common item in many homes.

Linens In The 18th Century

In 1730 a man called Stephen Bennet set up a linen factory in Sweden; the business had approximately eighty looms and produced some of the best quality damask of the period.  The factory was operated until 1845 when it, unfortunately, closed down. During this time Sweden was building a reputation for producing high quality flax and linen; this is the origins of the fine quality Swedish table linen available today.

Volga Linen

The Production Process

Men were generally responsible for the heavier work; this mainly involved the carrying and lifting of the heavy materials involved in the production process. Women and children were used to create the actual linen. This was generally split between the ones who had a high degree of manual dexterity; these were the ones who made the fine quality table linen and used one of the looms. The less able children and women dealt with the more mundane work; which was essential to ensure the production was successful.

It was the women who were usually responsible for coloring the flax. This could be a time consuming and awkward job as the majority of the dyes were not colorfast. Most of the dyes were created from natural materials such as leaves, lichens, moss and bark.

A Sound Reputation

The process of weaving fine table linen may have been complicated but its quality was becoming known in many places around Europe. There are many stories of satisfied customers. One particular example which has been told many times over the generations is in regard to a gentleman called Calle Redhe who owned one of the weaveries in Sweden. He used to personally take some of his linens to Norway and the story tells of the summer he went to Norway and met an elderly lady.

The lady knew who he was and, upon confirming his identity, immediately asked for some napkins to go with a tablecloth which she had purchased nearly sixty years before. The tablecloth had been made by Calle’s father and was produced on the same loom; something which delighted the elderly women and ensured she told everyone she knew.

Modern Productions

The high quality linen produced today in many of the factories across Sweden utilizes the same methods as were used so many years ago. The overshot weave cloth is still patterned and is made to at least the same quality standards as the original pieces. The production methods may be ancient but they have stood the test of time and many people are able to purchase elaborate, ornate pieces of linen which look and feel like they should belong to royalty.  The industry today is proud of its heritage and works hard to produce items which will also stand the test of time and inspire those in the future.

Just as you can buy something today which will match something your grandmother bought; so too will your children or even grandchildren be able to match your purchase.  As long as linen making is a part of the Swedish culture it will be possible to purchase your own piece of history!

Whether you’re hunting for table linens or bed sheets, it is important to focus on quality. The best fabrics are Egyptian cotton and silk. While it’s true that these are more expensive than polyester or cotton blends, they last longer. They’re hypo-allergenic and they have a functional purpose too. Good quality cotton traps moisture and it protects your furniture. Used in the kitchen or dining room, luxury linen fabrics prevent dust from settling and they have an appealing design too; just make sure the set chosen for your bedroom matches with the overall appeal of your room.

Picture Credits, Volga Linen Styling by Simon Kämpfer, Photography: Yuki Sugiura

Volga Linen3 Volga Linen4 Volga Linen5


Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture

Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture- Martha Stewart's Furniture 1Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture- Martha Stewart's Furniture 1

Martha Stewart showed how her wool and silk covered wingback chairs were given a new look for the spring and summer months with slipcovers.  Slipcovers can save your furniture from being ruined over time, and give you an entirely new crisp look for the warmer summer season.   Work with lighter fabrics, and don’t be afraid of contacting a professional seamstress to make your slipcovers if you are not so talented working with a sewing machine.  A great slipcover should last you a number of years if it is made properly.  Photography by Sarah Maingot.

More great articles by Martha Stewart

Making a Slipcover | Martha Stewart

Summer Sewing Projects | Martha Stewart

Sofa & Chair Slipcover Ideas | Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart Home Collection – Macy’s

Our Favorite Sewing Projects | Martha Stewart

Sewing Patterns and Templates | Martha Stewart

Secrets to Shopping Flea Markets and Yard Sales | Martha Stewart

The Hottest Natural Looks For Slipcovering Your Furniture- The Swedish Furniture

Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture- Martha Stewart's Furniture 2Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture- Martha Stewart's Furniture 3Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture- Martha Stewart's Furniture 4Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture- Martha Stewart's Furniture 5Making Summer Slipcovers For Your Upholstered Furniture- Martha Stewart's Furniture 6

5 Styles Of Period Styled Cast Iron Radiators

The Chelsea cast iron radiator was originally commissioned for the Chelsea Barracks Officers Mess

Guest Post- Mike Smith, Woworads Ltd

Classic Victorian cast iron radiators have enjoyed a revival over the past few years, with decorators and interior designers incorporating them into many homes. Radiators add a certain feel to a room, adding a finishing touch to a chosen theme is such a nice way, and this is especially true of the many stylised Victorian radiators. Modern versions of these radiators are not only great aesthetically but they are also energy efficient too, which is another reason they have become so popular in many homes today.

There are some stunning collections of cast iron radiators around that come in a variety of finishes. Installing cast iron radiators in a bathroom adds that finishing touch and this is especially true of the more ornate designs. A bathroom is one of the most important rooms in a house where everyone loves to relax and soak in a bath. Creating a nice environment makes it that much more enjoyable.

The décor in a living room says a lot about the owner. It’s one of the rooms in a home where people like to have their prized possessions on display and where they can entertain friends and family in a relaxed, smart environment. Cast iron radiators in a lounge compliment the theme of the room perfectly and with so many designs and finishes to choose from, it’s easy to find one that fits in with an existing décor.

The kitchen is the hub of a home. It’s where families like to congregate at the end of the day and has become the “new dining room” in many a house. The whole household enjoys the time they spend together in the kitchen sharing the experiences they had during that day. Cast iron radiators can add a warmth to the room in such a stylish way. This is especially true of traditional classic Victorian 9 column designs which you can find in various finishes and which makes it that much easier to find the right one that’s into a chosen kitchen décor.

Completing a look to a room can be achieved in many ways. The right curtains can add that finishing touch to a theme. A beautiful fireplace in a study can add a visually pleasing effect and so can cast iron radiators – especially if the color scheme of the library or study incorporates darker walls to add to that overall relaxed feel of the room. After all, this is the room in the house where peace and quiet is guaranteed and where it’s warm and welcoming.

The great thing about modern style radiators is they are compatible to our modern way of life. The manufacturers and suppliers of these classic looking radiators can offer all the expert advice on which design would be best suited for the style of your home. On top of this, they will advise on size so the radiators offer the optimum warmth as well as style to a room. Once you have decided on the design, and finish the radiators will be expertly installed in no time at all ready to be used with the minimum of fuss or inconvenience.

With such a wonderful selection of cast iron radiators around, it’s easy to find one that suits the look and style of your home. There’s a great choice of finishes available.

The variety of styles makes it so much easier to choose one that fits into an existing décor if you are not thinking of totally revamping your home but would simply like to add a certain cachet by installing cast iron radiators to replace existing ones – it’s an easy option that works well and which is aesthetically very pleasing.

Woworads Ltd

+44 (0)1472 310795





The Art Nouveau is an exquisite cast iron radiator that demonstrates elegance, echoing a bygone era.

The Art Nouveau is an exquisite cast iron radiator that demonstrates elegance, echoing a bygone era.

A Traditional Art Nouveau styled cast iron radiator

A Traditional Art Nouveau styled cast iron radiator

Princess Cast Iron Radiators

Princess Cast Iron Radiators


Neo Classic Style -A very handsome and distinguished column radiator which compliments both the contemporary and period home.

Buy The Swedish Style For Less

Gustavian Gilt Cartel Clocks On Ebay

19th Louis XVI Gilt Wood Cartel Clock- $189+$88 Shipping From Arek631 On Ebay

Skalin Bell Chime Swedish Gustavian Gallery Wall Clock Louis XV- Starting bid $24 On Ebay

Hau Junghans Rare 19th Cartel Clock $199 From Arek631 On Ebay

Hau Junghans Rare 19th Cartel Clock $199 From Arek631 On Ebay

Porcher sells a terrific stone top black granite bathroom vanity that has a very attractive Swedish design. These doors feature beautiful reeded wood that bring texture and dimension.The cabinet is made from select veneers and premium hardwood construction. This cabinet is designed to resist moisture and warpage over time making it ideal for the bathroom.

Paint and distress this cabinet with an off white paint. Consider a black to match the black granite top, or consider a red for a country appearance. Distress the cabinet to show off the wood details and add classic Swedish key holes for an upscale antique appearance. Amazon has one for sale from $127.50

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75 Swedish Nordic Pinterest Pages! Oh Yes…More Eye Candy!

75 Pinterest LinksCannot get enough of gray furniture, Nordic style decorating and the lush interiors of Gustav III?  Pinterest can be your best friend when it comes to ideas for re-decorating, painting, and inspiration to get your creative juices flowing in the morning.  There are hundreds of pages that have to do with themes of the Nordic Heritage.  From decorating, to cultural costumes, to travel ideas; pinterest is rich with ideas.

Here are 75 Pinerest pages that have to do with all things Nordic.  Follow these pinterest pages I have listed, and if YOU have a page that fits with the Nordic theme that we haven’t listed, PLEASE leave a comment below in the facebook comments section, or regular comments section with a link to your page.  Share the love people!  You might discover a new friend.

So here we go:

1. Furniture: Gustavian – Meranda Devan here

2. Interior Design: Nordic – Meranda Devan – here

3. Interior Design: Swedish Meranda Devan –here

4. Poutres Blanches- Anne Magnier – Here

5. Jeanne d’Arc Living Magazine Photos- Here

6. Swede Blog- Swedish Antiques- Here

7.  Nordic Style From White Lace Cottage- Here

8. Gustavian Style and Inspiration Kristin Fägerskjöld- Here

9. How Swede I am- Judy English- Here

10 Sweden – WP- Daily Themes Group Board- Here

11.  Beautiful Pins From antiqbr.blogspot.com here

12 Marie Antoinette Vanna H- Here

13 Day Bed Love Jane Love Here

14 French & Belgian- Anna Tausend- Here

15. Swedens Red Houses Kristin Fägerskjöld- Here

16 Scandinavian Themes -Susanna Nykänen Here

17. Interiors Gustavian Cornélie Polderman –Here

18. Norwegian heritage, foods, crafts Bette Calderone Here

19. Mäster Henriks Blog Kristin Fägerskjöld- Here

20. La Maison de Mes Rêves- Hanna H Here

Continue Reading…

5 Ways To Add Life Into Worn-Out Furniture

White Painted Furniture, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Furniture, Updating Furniture, Swedish Decorating Ideas

Colefax and Fowler

Furniture ages just like everything else…and like with most other things, you don’t notice the small changes that happen to your furniture until one day, a few years (or maybe even a decade or more) down the line, you stop and say, “When did my furniture develop this natural patina?”

Obviously you love your furniture — you wouldn’t have kept it for so long if you didn’t — but loving your furniture doesn’t mean you can’t update it or dress it up a little. What’s more, you can make your updates and do your dressing up for very little cost (which should be a relief since it’s doubtful you’ve got a Steve Wynn-sized bank account to fund these projects).

Here are a few cost-effective ways to do just that.

1. Put on New Hardware

Consider adding a little bit of bling to that old chest that you want to fall back in love with.  Putting on new hardware is a great way to dress up old cabinetry and furniture. For example, maybe instead of having handles on the dresser drawers, you can put pulls on instead. New hardware can completely change (and update) the look of a piece and costs way less than buying a whole new item.

2. Refinish It

That chest sitting in the back of the garage may look nice in it’s all natural elements.  Consider sanding off the old layers of varnish and finish.  Maybe this time you can choose a different paint color, or maybe you’ll leave it all-natural.

Refinishing vintage furniture helps get rid of layers of gunk and grime. It can also remove dings and scratches that might have dampened the appearance of the piece. While it won’t often make the piece look brand new, it can help it look re-energized.

3. Paint

As someone who is undoubtedly into the purity of his or her furniture, the idea of painting over the current finish, stain, or varnish probably turns your stomach. Before you hurl, though, know that light paint colors are very “in” right now (and has been for a while). You don’t have to paint the furniture a garish color if you don’t want to. In fact, one of the best things you can do is paint it white. A coat of white paint helps it keep its integrity while also updating its look.

4. Reupholster It

The simple fact of the matter is that over time, fabric (in spite of your good intentions and good care) starts to rot. Cushions (even with minimal pressure) lose their strength. Reupholstering the seat, sofa, or stool helps maintain its beauty and structural integrity. You can even find antique-looking fabrics fairly cheaply online. Even better — upholstery is something you can easily do yourself, which saves you even more money!

Whatever you choose to do, know this: Updating is not the same as replacing. You can keep the same furniture for decades if you treat it well and give it a facelift now and then!

Erin Steiner is a full-time freelance writer and web content creator.

Country Swedish Furniture, White Painted Furniture, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Furniture, Updating Furniture, Swedish Decorating Ideas

White Table set ,White Painted Furniture, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Furniture, Updating Furniture, Swedish Decorating Ideas

Table With 4 Chairs- Live Auctioneers

White Table Set, White Painted Furniture, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Furniture, Updating Furniture, Swedish Decorating Ideas

Table With 8 Chairs- Live Auctioneers

Texas designer Joe Minton, White Painted Furniture, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Furniture, Updating Furniture, Swedish Decorating Ideas

Riverhills Game Room- Texas designer Joe Minton sought to create a space that would be well-used. Accordingly, he selected a durable outdoor fabric for the banquette. Its yellow-and-blue, slightly nautical stripe adds playfulness to a room rich in antiques.

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Get The Swedish Look By Installing Tongue And Groove Paneling

How to Install Tongue-and-Groove Paneling

Beadboard Kitchen Island Cottage kitchen Litchfield Designs


This wonderful picture was taken From House to Home

Tongue and groove paneling is a great alternative to drywall for a home which is decorated around the Scandinavian style.  These wood panels are inexpensive, and easy to install. All that is needed is a good nailing gun, wood glue, and a good miter saw, and this weekend project can radically transform any room in your home.  These planks of wood are quite thin, making them lightweight, practical solution for walls and ceilings.

The tongue and groove features of the wood make it really easy to put together, and with a surprisingly quick turn around time. The installation of tongue and groove paneling, compared to drywall, (which requires taping, mudding and sanding) is easier, cleaner and takes less time.

Installation Steps

1. Calculate How Much Wood You Will Need

Calculate the amount of paneling that you need. Amazon offers free shipping right to your door, making it easier if you don’t have a truck to transport the wood.

Determine if you want to do the whole wall, or half the wall.  Consider changing up your trim.  You can add layer on your trim to make it appear more bulky and architectural.  In the House to Home picture above, you can see the floor trim is built up giving it more of a presence in this room.  Calculate the amount of wood by simply measuring the length and height of each wall, and multiply the height times length to get square footage.

Tools and Wood

-Allwood V-Groove Knotty Pine Planking, 70 SQF Thickness: 5/16″, Width: 3-1/2″, Length: 96″ Package: 70 SQF (5 mini bundles x 14SQF) $110 + Free Shipping on Amazon

– Optional Buy For Walls of Half Pine Planking and half wallpaper – Allwood Wainscot Base and Chair Moulding, Thickness: 9/16″, Width: 2-5/8″, Length: 96″ $13.60 + Free Shipping on Amazon

-Henkel Power Grab All-Purpose Construction Adhesive (Recommended for molding, paneling, chair rails, plaster, concrete) $17 +$7 Shipping Amazon,or add on item for $4 with Free Shipping

– A Miter Saw – Buy re-conditioned saws on Amazon from $45 dollars

– A Nailing Gun and Compressor Combo.  Money worth spent.

– Senco PC0947 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Compressor Combo Kit $179 +Free Shipping Amazon

– Porter-Cable 6-Gal. Portable Electric Air Compressor and Finish Nailer $199 + Free Shipping Home Depot


Swedish Wall Paneling Ideas1st picture, white painted paneling shown in a bedroom, designer unknown, 2nd picture, Santa Monica home designed by Tim Barber Ltd. Architecture

2.  Remove The Existing Trim

-Before you start installing the wood paneling to the wall, remove the existing trim by using a hammer or pry bar. Be careful with your trim, so you can put it back into place once your wood paneling is up on the walls.

-Locating the wall studs and ceiling joists is a good starting point.  Mark them out on the wall using a stud finder.  This can be a tricky part of the job, but well worth your time. Decide how you would like to install the paneling. You can either run the planks vertically or horizontal to the wall.  As you put up the wood planks, nail them right into the 2 x 4 studs.

3.  When installing the paneling to the wall, leaving a gap of 1 /2″ at the edges for expansion.  Start installing the plank with groove closest to the wall, and secure the first row by nailing into the stud. Insert the nails into the tongue at an angle and use enough force to have the nail flush with the surface of the tongue. If this is done properly, the groove of the next board should slide easily over the nails on the tongue of your previous plank.

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My Favorite 216 Selections From Wallpaper Direct!

Woodland Chorus by Sanderson

Ella by Arthouse

Cielo Panel by Designers Guild

Take me on a road trip Now by Eijffing


Wallpaper Giveaway From Wallpaper DirectThere’s no question that Swedish style has been popular for decorating homes. The causal, yet elegant decorating style combines a bit of both worlds we seem to enjoy. There are a few things that are unmistakably Swedish – beautiful architectural design, furniture craftsmanship and wonderful wallpaper!

The striped patterns and florals which were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries are still some of the most popular designs to this day. While some of the retro patterns have dated themselves over the years, the large scale damasks, florals, and geometrics are indubitably still in fashion hundreds of years later.

Wallpaper Direct has offered a generous $200 dollar wallpaper give away for the readers of  The Swedish Furniture. The winner can then look through a large selection of wallpaper that meets the giveaway dollar amount.  If the winner is located in the US, they must pick from the US site.  If the winner is from the UK, Australia or Sweden, they must order from the international site. The comments will be numbered on December 1, 2013, and then a number will be drawn from Random.org .

Enter 2 ways- Leave a comment in the facebook comment box telling us WHAT wallpaper you like best, or what you plan on doing with the wallpaper.  We will then contact you through facebook if you win.


Enter To WinBelow I have selected 216 of my favorite designs that have a Swedish edge; both modern and traditional from The US Wallpaper Direct website.  If you want something modern with a scandinavian flair, there are several selections that will wow you.  If you have always longed for a classic Swedish design, such as those found in the 18th century, there are several beautiful wallpapers that will instantly transform your room over the weekend.

Duro Wallpaper From Sweden

Duro, for the first time is now offered in the USA.  Duro is a family-owned company and leading brand in Sweden, has been around since 1930, and is one of only 120 companies to be appointed to the Royal Court and has had this distinction since 1946.

The printing process used by Duro uses ten times the standard amount of ink to create a distinctive, rich look, similar to hand-printed papers. They also have started a green initiative during the 1960s and eliminated PVCs, developed their own water-based inks and uses only solvent free coatings.

Swedish Wallpaper From DuroDuro Wallpaper From Wallpaper Direct

Duro Wallpaper 2Duro Wallpaper From Wallpaper Direct

Make Your Own Folding Screens With Wallaper and Wood

Gammalsvenska Collection By Duro 8Gammalsvenska Collection By DuroGammalsvenska Collection By Duro From Wallpaper Direct

Thibault DesignThibault Design

Thibaut PiccadillyThibaut Piccadilly

House & Garden November 2013House & Garden November 2013

About Wallpaper Direct:

Wallpaper has been selling wallpaper online since 1999.  They carry over 4,000 different wallpaper patterns.  To understand the volume of their business, they have approximately 10,000 wallpaper samples on hand, and dispatch 40,000 samples per month through the mail.

Wallpaper Direct is a trading name of C. Brewer & Sons Ltd. and is part of the BREWERS group of companies. C. Brewer & Sons is one of the country’s oldest decorators’ merchants, established in 1904.  Brewers holds the Royal Warrant for the supply of decorating materials to The Queen.   Brewers is a family run business with more than 146 stores selling an extensive range of decorating materials.  Paint and wallpaper is what they specialize in.

Wallpaper Direct has two distinct websites.  One for their international clients, and another for the United States.  We’ve been supplying equally discerning customers in the USA from our UK site since we launched Wallpaper Direct online in 1999, and now we’re open for business with a new American company Wallpaper Direct Inc with a dedicated team in Tennessee.

Wallpaper Direct


Call Toll Free on: 1-855-823-9754
Email: help@wallpaperdirect.com
Wallpaperdirect Inc.
PO Box 1258
155 D-2 Durham Drive
TN 37807

Blue and white St. Antoine wallpaper by Farrow & Ball Keith Scott MortonSt. Antoine Wallpaper by Farrow & Ball Keith Scott Morton

Uses For Wallpaper Other Than Walls:

Do you want to create a wow factor with wallpaper?  Here are a couple of tips how you can transform your home and simple every day objects with wallpaper:

1. Mod Podge Photo Mats With Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be used as Artwork. Frame pieces of wallpaper and group these frames together to create a miniature art gallery. OR, consider covering picture mats with wallpaper.  Simply use mod podge which can be applied to empty mats.

-Craig Frames Collage Frame- From $20 on Amazon

-Accent Design Framing Mat Double 5″x 7″Ivory/Gold- Amazon

-Accent Design Mat 8″x 10″  4 Openings- Amazon

– Accent Design Mat- 2 Openings, – Amazon

 2. Wallpaper Your Closets

Consider transforming your walk in closet, pantry or linen closet with a statement of yourself using wallpaper.  Wallpaper the walls, and consider buying storage boxes, which you can then cover with the wallpaper for a unifying effect.   Closets allow you to experiment with bold patterns, and outspoken colors.

– Darice 8/9/10-Inch Paper Mache Round Box- New From $6- Amazon


Bryonie Porter’s Wallpaper Furniture
Bryonie Porter’s Wallpaper Furniture

3.  Mod Podge Wallpaper To Furniture

One of the best artists to site, would be Bryonie Porter’s Wallpaper Furniture.  You can see how wallpaper can go a long way on furniture.  Transform a vintage chest with wallpaper, or consider adding interest to glass display cabinets.  Add wallpaper inside a chest of drawers,  or inside of a wardrobe. Apply two or three coats of clear polycrylic  (not polyurethane as it will yellow it) to protect the wallpaper, sanding gently with a very fine sandpaper between coats of varnish.  Use wallpaper as drawer liners.  Line the inside of a drawer with wallpaper cut to fit. Attach with double-stick tape so the lining won’t shift when you’re rummaging in the drawers.

Additional Links:

 – Decoupage Is Simple! Update Your Kids Furniture- Kids Room Decor

– Decoupage Map Wallpaper Dressers & Kids Map Decor- Kids Room Decor

– 30 Mod Podge Project Ideas – The Painted Furniture

Previous Posts For Inspiration:

-Swedish Interiors: The Chinese Pavilion- here

-Swedish Styled Wallpaper- here

-How To Decoupage Furniture- here

Combining Swedish antiques with modern wallpaper, never looked so hot!  

Ben Dhong’s combined classic Swedish antiques in a residence for a finance executive in San Francisco’s Marina. Ben Dhong left the world of finance to intern with designer Martha Angus. He later launched his own design firm, Benjamin Dhong Interior Design, and today Ben works for clients around the country,and has his work published in House Beautiful.

The Gustavian Inspired Room:

This room is all about my love of contrasts and how to highlight what you love about something by pairing it with something that brings out that essence.”   The wallpaper sets an entirely different direction for the Swedish antiques placed in this room.  It goes to show you the power of wallpaper.

Combine the New with the Old:

The wallpaper’s field of gold blocks creates a modern backdrop.  The  plaster medallion of king Gustav pops like a piece of modern sculpture, and gives the room a focal point.  The polished silver Saarinen style base pops against the carpet, and the Louis XVI-style chairs bring in the rich flavor of Sweden into to the room.  Ben brings a very fresh approach to classical design.

1. Great Design Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

I play a fun game with people and tell them that in this room is something from west elm, ikea, restoration hardware and marshalls and make them try to find it….it all proves that chic doesn’t have to be expensive.”

2. Elevate Your Overall Collections With A Few High End Pieces

I like creating confident rooms in which everything is not shouting at you “look at me”. It’s a low-keyed confidence. The ability to pair the precious with the humble. One of my joys is to elevate the humble and treat the valuable as an everyday object

3. Just Focus On What You Like Rather Than Just “Expensive”

For years I couldn’t figure out if I’m a traditionalist that likes modern things or a modernist that has a strong sense of history. I’m now comfortable with dropping the labels. Beautiful design is timeless.”

4.  Layer In Points Of Interest

I love layering textures in the same color tones. It brings a richness in a very understated way“.

I adore contrasts. There is a wonderful tension between the contrast of a rough linen with a rich velvet, or a distressed wood with a silver bowl. I find that tension exhilarating.”

5.  Choose Furniture That Has An Edge Of Beauty

Great thought goes into the combination of a room. Some pieces must speak, while others must be sotto voce. The addition of a new piece may very well require removing something to keep it balanced.”

I like my rooms to have a bit of intellectual heft…A sense of history and erudition but never pompous.”

Furniture Credits:

Dining chairs: Vintage Louis XVI Style chairs, Tara Shaw Antiques

Wallcovering: turquoise and gold geometric metallic pattern, “Margot,” by Sandberg

Dining table: Hammered nickel table base by Julian Chichester and vintage Knoll top from Converso

Chandelier: white plaster from Donzella Gallery.

Statue: “Attitude” by Paul van Lith, Erickson Fine Art Gallery.

Relief: Plaster Medallion of King Gustav from Real Gustavian.

Carpet: custom turquoise and cream diagonal stripe wool carpet, designed by Benjamin Dhong.

Wallpaper Give Away Results

Wallpaper Give Away Results- WINNER- Debra Rodkey Lee!

Thank you to everyone who took part in the giveaway!  Thank you Wallpaper Direct for such a generous prize! 

Les Indiennes Fabrics

Elle Decor April 11

Mary Mulcahy’s designs, first developed for her block-printed textiles, now grace the wall with the Les Indiennes collection by IVM Prints. The 12 hand-screened wallpapers include Rayure, left, and Veronique, both in indigo; additional colors are offered, Seen in Elle Decor April 2011

The company Les Indiennes is known for their beautiful hand-blocked textiles. Founder, Mary Mulcahy had a desire to find naturally dyed cotton, with large scale single colored motifs, but was unable to locate fabrics close to what she had in mind, so she created her own.   Her concept started to take form after running into a craftsman in southern India,  who knew exactly what she was after.  In fact, the craftsman was one of the very few artists who still practiced the ancient art of kalamkari, which was an extremely complex and rare method of printing on fabric.

The Kalamkari Process:

1.  Fabric Preparation- Cotton fabric is initially softened and bleached.  This process needs to be done before any printing takes place.  The process involves bales of organic cotton which are repeatedly rinsed and beaten against large rocks, then laid out on the grass to bleach in the sun.   These steps ensure that the fabric will feel soft and luxurious, and so that the color application remains bright and vibrant.

2. Block Printing- After the fabric has been softened and lightened, printing begins.  Craftsmen dip hand-carved wood blocks in dyes and presses them into the cotton.  The dyes are derived from plants, roots, earth, and rock.  One can only imagine the great care, and measurements taken to ensure the patterns are straight and line up with one another.  Today we take for granted large printing machinery, when at one time, much of this work was done by hand.  At Les Indiennes, the fabric is printed by hand, and hours go into each fabric panel.  After the patterns are applied, the printed fabric is air dried for at least two days.

Continue Reading…

Swedish Styled Wallpaper

Stola Herrgård, Sweden

Wallpaper can make a tremendous difference in a room decorated around the Swedish style.  It has the ability to add historical flavor to a room, and infuse color on the walls in a way that is decorative.  Prints can be a remarkable tool for a designer or homeowner who wants to give an impression of a room based around a period theme.

Stripes are known to be particularly Swedish, and are often seen combined with a floral pattern.  See an example in this room. Floral patterns, or all-over patterns which repeat themselves are also heavily used in Swedish decorating. During the Gustavian period, damasks also became popular as many elements of the French Style were brought to Sweden. Castles and houses of the wealthy had contemporary
wallpapers imported from France to decorate the walls of their gracious reception rooms.

In the 12th Century, papermaking reached Europe, and by 1481, Louis XI of France ordered Jean Bourdichon to paint angels on blue background on 50 rolls of paper. It was then that the ruling class began to commission artists to paint paper for their walls. In 1599, a Paperhangers guild was established in France. Then in 1675, Jean-Michel Papillon started making block designs in matching and continuous patterns. He was considered the inventor of wallpapers. Come the 18th century, wallpaper products from London became popular. Wallpapers gained popularity because they were less expensive, than hand painted papers. Later, Louis XVI issued a decree that wallpaper rolls should be about 34 feet in length, in 1778. It was Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf of France who invented the wallpaper printing machine in 1785. Nicholas Louis Robert of France invented a way to make endless roll of wallpaper.

Duro, Gammalsvenska Wallpaper From Sweden

Since 1946, the past three Kings of Sweden have appointed Duro as supplier to the Royal Court. Today Duro shares this honour with only about 120 other companies in all of Sweden.  In addition, the fact that the Royal Family and Court are very restrictive with the distinction makes it all the more appreciated.Over the years, Duro has accumulated thousands of wallpaper fragments from castles, manor houses, and historical buildings throughout Sweden.Working closely with antiquarians and museums, Duro has meticulously recreated many of these beautiful patterns that can be found in their Gammalsvenska Collection.

Country Swedish

Country Swedish sells a variety of Swedish furniture, fabrics, rugs and wallpaper; everything you need to put together a Gustavian styled room.  Country Swedish makes fine reproductions are designed and developed by craftsmen with careful attention to scale, proportion and ornamental details. Many of their wallpaper designs can be paired with sophisticated interiors or country interiors depending on the furniture you select, and the coordinating accessories.  They have a wide variety of period style wallpapers with several colors to choose from which would aid in furnishing a Swedish country house or an elegant Gustavian city home.  Check out their wallpaper selections here, and my favorite picks are below.

The Gustavus Collection By Zoffany

Zoffany has turned to the restrained classical style of eighteenth century Sweden to influence a wallpaper collection that exudes character,elegance and simplicity. Core colours of creams, whites, blues and greys are warmed with the addition of earthy reds. The challenge for the Zoffany design studio was replicating the quality of the natural materials inherent to Swedish eighteenth century interiors for a contemporary market. By using modern printing techniques and rich opaque pigments the studio has captured the authentic textures of natural wood and rough plaster.

Noteworthy Posts:

Book Review: Jocasta Innes Scandinavian Painted Furniture- The Swedish Furniture 
Spare Room Before Wallpaper- Lily Oake
Master Bedroom Wallpaper Lily Oake
Swedish Interiors: The Chinese Pavilion Continued……. –The Swedish Furniture
Scandinavian Design- The Swedish Furniture
Love Affair With Blue and White Wallpaper – Lily Oake

Gustavus Collection – Albertine
Based on a Drottningholm paper from 1782, Albertine shows the influence of French 18th century silk,
with bouquets of roses set between striped panels, intertwined with leaves.   To create the original wallpaper, two techniques were used, the stylised background pattern was first block-printed, whereas the bouquets and trailing leaves would have been painted on afterwards.   Two different type of printing roller were employed to achieve a similar effect for the Zoffany wallpaper. Sold Through – The Best Wallpaper Place, or Living Interiors
Very little is know about this design, found in the Zoffany archive, although it has all the hallmarks of a painted Gustavian wallpaper   The single flower head placed within leaves, has naïve simplicity, set against a fresh lime-washed effect.   The original colouring on a blue-washed ground, is accompanied by three more natural shades.  Sold Through – The Best Wallpaper Place
Medevi- The Gustavus Collection By Zoffany Sold Through The Best Wallpaper Place
The subsequent influence of French classic style produced a fresh approach to Sweden’s established style of interiors. French brocades, arabesques and damask were transformed in the hands of the local
craftsmen and artists.
The combination of elegant formality with an unassuming simplicity has inspired these designs. The laurel wreath motif perfectly captures the combination of natural beauty and elegant
formality typical of the Gustavian style. ‘Gustavus’ is based on a design in the Zoffany archive with addition of marble textures inspired by painted panels in Swedish houses. The circular motifs, in contrast to the subtle marble veining, are printed with the application of an opaque ink, giving an almost three dimensional effect.- Sold Through – The Best Wallpaper Place
 Eleonora Wallpaper, By Gustavus by Zoffany
Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace, seen above.  A copy of this paper was given to Nancy Lancaster by the King of Sweden and it has since been duplicated by many designers over the years. 
Designer Timothy Whealon


Stenciled wall paintings based on 18th-century wallpaper in Sweden’s Drottningholm Palace The wallpaper  brings fresh air and drama into the foyer of a New York apartment. Designer Timothy Whealon extended the alfresco theme with a green lacquer David Hicks garden seat and lattice-motif Madeline Weinrib Brooke rug in Chocolate. Chairs are covered in Claudine in Chocolate by Les Indiennes.

Swedish Wallpaper Ideas

Swedish Interiors – Rococo Chairs – Picture Credit Master Henry Blog

Designer Timothy Whealon

Designer Timothy Whealon  – House Beautiful Magazine


“Châmbre d’Hélène” in Givenchy’s estate Le Jonchet.

Gammalsvenska Collection

Henriot Floral wallpaper by Quadrille Featured On House Beautiful Magazine

Duro, Gammalsvenska Wallpaper

House To Home Magazine- Pierre Frey

Eleonora, By Gustavus by Zoffany

A beautiful design of shaded birds amongst trailing leafy-branches on a
golden lime-washed effect background – ideal for natural freshness and
modern sophistication. Additional colourways also available. Please
request sample for true colour match.- Available Through Wallpaper Direct

Thibaut Piccadilly Birgitta

Country Swedish Wallpaper

Lillian August

Lillian August

Cathy Kincaid

Country Swedish Wallpaper

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Wallpaper Used In Svartsjö Palace

Zoffany’s Sophia wallpaper

Tiled stoves with improved heating – so necessary during the harsh
Scandinavian winters – were introduced in the 1760’s and with them an
opportunity for another area of pattern in Swedish interiors, The
inspiration for ‘Sophia’ was taken from flower patterns on painted tiles
and comes in a palette of eight colours, each reflecting the freshness
of Gustavian pigments.

Zoffany’s Sophia wallpaper- Sold Through – The Best Wallpaper Place

Swedish Interior- Picture Credit- Aged And Gilded Blog

Consider The Medevi- The Gustavus Collection By Zoffany Sold Through The Best Wallpaper Place

Swedish Interior- Picture Credit- Aged And Gilded Blog

Mixing Patterns Can Really Be Striking

Stylish Looks For Slip-covering Your Furniture

 Veranda May June 2012

When you think of slipcovers, you may have memories of the 80’s clunky furniture covered with slipcovers that were tied with over-sized bows and small scale stuffy florals with outdated colors.  Interior design took a tumble in the 80’s and 90’s, however, interior design directions haven’t ever looked so good as they do now. Today, we are seeing an emergence of the simple raw materials become exciting again. Old weathered barns, which were once eyesores, fetch quite a bit of money, as the wood is recycled and reclaimed furniture fetches top dollar. Simpler interiors and quality materials have become a new way of life, as people throw away the cheap products mass produced overseas and opt for natural, raw, rustic and antique goods. Those who follow the design trends for the home aren’t shopping at the big box stores for their furniture, but rather they  are after the unique looks which merge with their individual styles.

Slipcovers have a long history in interior design, because they offer change and functionality in the home. In the 18th century, the slip-cover had become a design tool for wealthy homeowners, who wanted a change from season to season.  Slipcovers were made for furniture,and often coordinated with drapery. Slipcovers have always posed some challenges, mainly that they can be ill-fitting and poorly made. Wrinkled seats and sagging backs produce a careless appearance that gives a lax impression in even the most orderly room. Making slipcovers can be complicated, as they need to fit furniture well, just as a sharply made tailored suit can define a beautiful figure.  If the slipcovers are made poorly, the lines of the furniture can be completely lost.

Slip-covers also posed some challenges with seasonal changes. Many would find the covers too tight, or too loose in different seasons.  To compensate this, linen covers were made a bit larger, which could stretch with summer’s humidity and heat.  The material would then have enough shrink for the change in the dry air for the winter. These difficulties are overcome by accurate measurements, and carefully following the lines of the chair when the pattern is made. Allowing several inches of material for tucking at the back and under the arms, a slipcover can be comfortable throughout the seasons.

Several Professional Tips

– One famous London upholsterer puts a strip of wood across the back of the seat before tucking the material in, to give added firmness.

– Elaborate detailing such as French pleating, cording, ruffles and special buttons add a customized look to any piece of furniture.

– Heavy linen, and cotton canvas have been popular as natural slipcover choices. The French tickings and cotton damasks make great bed covers, drapery and slipcovers. Consider using unbleached muslin with which also can be dyed in soft shades of blue, green, or yellow. Gingham and simple checks can give your room a Swedish, gustavian flair. Stripes lend a sophisticated touch to any room, and wear well, and are especially easy to launder.  Chintz florals are quite attractive to look at, and do a terrific job of keeping the dust out and soil out than other fabrics. Chintz is the most expensive by far, and the most effective material for slip covers. The bold patterns of birds, flowers, and medallions of contrasting colors make it a pattern that is lovely to look at year around.

– Gathers, and wide flat box-plaits add interest to the bottom of slipcovers. These details can be used just below the seat of the chair, probably on a line with the upholstery or seat frame. This style works particularly well with French chairs with beautifully designed cabriole legs which are so decorative in themselves that they do not need to be concealed.

– Consider combining plain fabric colors with a few stripes, and some delightful flowered patterns.

Pamela Pierce – Swedish Chair Natural Fabrics

Swedish Chairs With Linen Slipcovers from Biskops Garden

Dining room slipcovers by Donna Jenkins


Stephen Sills’s Holiday Decor – Veranda.com

Slipcovers From brucebarone.com

1.Stunning Wingchair Slipcovered –thebrownshed.com

2. Slipcovers From store.theseasidestyle.com


4. Slipcovers Featured on brabournefarm.blogspot.com

Slipcovers In Neutral Fabrics

1, 3, 4 Unknown – 2.  Slipcovers Featured on stylecourt.blogspot.com

1.Heavy Ruffling From nineandsixteen.blogspot.com

2. Upclose Detail Of French Ticking –michellefritz.blogspot.com

3. Stunning Louis XVI Chair in Pink From Rachel Ashwell


Classical Slipcovers At Monticello.  Photography by Charlotte Moss.

Thibaut Ad

Green Gingham Sofa –Tilly’s Cottage

1. Green Gingham Slipcover-  Country Home

2.Green Desk Chair Slipcover – flickr.com

3. French Ticking Slipcover- pinkwallpaper.blogspot.com

4. Slip-covered toile Chair – Cathy Kincaid 

Slipcover Your Headboard!  Martha Stewart  

A slipcovered chair, photographed by Russel Sadur.

Dropcloth Slipcover – The Twice Remembered Cottage

Image from Country Home

1.Tips On Making Slipcovers With Drop Cloths- missmustardseed.com

2. Checked Linen Gathered Slipcovers- cotedetexas.blogspot.com

3.Paula & Erika Table Covers etsy.com

4. Knife Pleats Around A Sink- countryliving.com

Jackie Von Tobel- Jackie Blue Home Blog

1.Slipcover With A Beautiful Large Bow- beekeeperscottage.com

2. Beautiful Mahogany Gray Painted Chair With A Toile Slipcover- whendecorating.blogspot.com

3. How To Make Slipcovers- honeybearlane.com

4. Pleated Slipcover- thecottagejournal.com

Slipcovers Over A French Sofa – peekingthruthesunflowers.blogspot.com

French Flour Sack Linen Tablecloth-Jeanne dArc Living Blog

Designer Kelley Proxmire

The Best 5 Websites For Purchasing Antique Hardware

Rococo & Empire Pulls- House Of Antique Hardware

Most do-it-yourselfers know that adding new hardware to new or existing furniture or cabinetry is a great way to dress it up. These seemingly small touches make a huge impact on the overall appearance of a piece.

You can create the look you want. Hardware pieces are available in a variety of finishes, designs, and styles. You can walk into any local hardware store and find shiny chrome and brass knobs and handles as well as modern sleek knobs that have clean simple lines.

The only time there seems to be real problems finding the right hardware and accessories is if you want antique hardware. However, the Internet has made it easier to find what you are looking for; this article offers a list of the top five online resources for antique hardware. It’s a list you can refer to time and again.

Antique Hardware & More

Antique Hardware & More provides a great selection of knobs and pulls for all types of furniture and cabinetry. Whether you are looking for antique pulls or knobs to add an elegant touch to your dining room furniture or to bring out the charm on your kitchen cupboards, this place is worth checking out.

The site includes a search feature to make finding what you need easy. Antique Hardware & More also sells the tools and other supplies needed for restoration and antique refinishing projects.

House of Antique Hardware

House of Antique Hardware offers a comprehensive resource of reproduction hardware. You can shop according to type, such as door hardware or cabinet and furniture hardware, and you shop by style and special collections. This online store provides a phone number for questions and assistance. House of Antique Hardware accepts credit cards online, and it is accredited by the BBB.

Kennedy Hardware

With more than 25 years in the business, Kennedy Hardware must be doing something right. This shop offers wholesale prices on restoration hardware. You will find a huge selection of all types of hardware. This includes architectural hardware as well as hardware for furniture and cabinetry. This company can provide skeleton keys, glass knobs and handles, furniture casters, and much more. If you are into antique restoration, Kennedy Hardware is definitely a site you should check out.


Rejuvenation has everything from doorknobs to window hardware and light bulbs. Shoppers can search and browse according to category, by room, or style. Styles include such classifications as arts and crafts, colonial revival, deco, mid-century modern, period basics, and Victorian. Rejuvenation provides a phone number as well as a live chat for questions and assistance with orders.

Signature Hardware

Signature Hardware offers a large collection of hardware pieces in a variety of styles. Shoppers can browse according to departments, and the search can further be narrowed down according to specific categories. Signature Hardware offers an online signup for a free catalog and an email newsletter. The site accepts a variety of payment options including PayPal.

Final Thoughts

A replaced hinge and a new knob or handle is all it takes to make an old piece of furniture new again.

This list is not complete. There are other online resources that offer quality products at good prices. If you know about some of those resources, please share them.

Restoring furniture is a fun and cost-effective hobby. It is a way of preserving our heritage and passing on history. And many times, the simple addition of new hardware is the magic that brings furniture back alive again.

If you have an old piece of furniture hidden in the attic or basement, why not give it new life? Add some new hardware and let it live again.

Debbie Allen is an online marketer and professional writer.

House Of Antique Hardware – Swedish Styled Keyholes

A Swedish Gustavian chest of drawers veneered with elm, walnut and amaranth

Antique Hardware & More

Louis XVI Style Matte Black Cabinet Ring Pulls 12 Pulls For $24 Dollars

Continue Reading…

A Nordic Design Staple- The Swedish Kakelugn Tile Stove- Part 1

Gustavian Interiors- Swedish Tiled Stove From Michael Perlmutter Photography

These beautiful stoves were first designed in Sweden in the 18th century, as a result of an economic crisis that pushed Swedes to come up with a better way of extending the life of their firewood.  It was then that the famous Swedish stove “kakelugn” was born.

Early versions of the tile stove date back to the Middle Ages, however, two clever Swedes created smoke channels beneath the tile, that held the heat for an extended amount of time.  They  introduced vents that controlled the burn speed, giving an additional 24 hours of comfortable radiant warmth. With the heat-retaining cast iron core and long multi channel flues, the kakelugns were able to retain heat, keeping rooms warm up to a whole day after the fire is out.

These antique stoves vary in shape.  They are often seen round, rectangular, or columnar, and positioned in a a corner or against a wall.  Heights range from about 5 feet 10 inches up to 9 and 10 feet tall.

In an article written by Stone Mason, they describe these amazing stoves:

“The period between 1500 and 1800 was known as ‘Europe’s little ice age’. In Sweden, where it was even colder than it is nowadays, it was clear that the constant use of fireplaces from morning till night would eventually lead to the total depletion of the nation’s forests. It was most fortunate, then, that in 1776 Adolf Frederik, the King of Sweden, commissioned Carl Johan Cronstedt to develop a stove that would make better usage of the country’s timber resources.”

“Cronstedt, an Earl, architect, inventor and scientist, was given the tall order of producing a design that would use much less wood while still heating Swedish homes efficiently. An interesting side effect of this commission was that not only was a model developed that accomplished the King’s request, but it turned out to have other unforeseen environmental benefits.”

“Very little smoke is seen coming out of a chimney where these stoves are being used. In the course of the year, a kakelugn regularly used will burn the wood of one medium sized tree”

“One main advantage of the kakelugn is that it burns very hot, typically 1110-1200 C, whereas a standard iron stove burns at around 650-700 C. However, you can safely touch it and feel only warmth”

Stockholms Lans Museum provides us additional information on these stoves:

“The decoration was initially cobalt blue but later extended with yellow, green and brown violet. First with the new colors were Rörstrand factory and from 1758 dominated the all colors. But it was rare for more than three patterns of colors in the same oven.”

“In the mid-1700s it was not unusual for dinnerware pattern was used for The Fireplace tiles. The tiles were decorated with repeating patterns where palm branches, Chinese patterns and blomrankor were common motifs. The designs were painted by hand on each tile, always against a white background. ”

“Gradually began to Swedish architects interested in the design of the stove. The workshops were to start from pattern drawings made by Swedish architects rather than making use of foreign models. Fireplace Manufacturing became a domestic crafts.”

“These fine stoves occurred only in castles, mansions and wealthy burgher.  But even in these environments were those in the representative areas, the easier rooms put you in the cheaper and plain tile usually green or yellow.”

Continue Reading…

A Nordic Design Staple- The Swedish Kakelugn Tile Stove- Part 2

Author of Lily Oake Blog, Paula Arndt has a taste for the Swedish styles. Her most current project is updating an armoire into a faux Swedish tiled stove. She needed a front entry “closet” for her c.1950 Cape Cod “Elinor Cottage” and found the perfect piece on Craiglist.

Unsure of what to do with the armoire, she tossed around the idea of hand painting swags, and wallpapering the armoire. She turned to her Swedish decorating books and the classic Swedish tile stoves caught her attention. The idea was perfect!

Paula’s Process:

Instead of hand painting every tile, she decided to paint the graphic once, and then scan the image into Photoshop, and apply the paper graphic to the armoire. Here is how she did it:

The process can seem a little complicated. To understand fully how Paula transfered her images, watch this video from Jackson’s Art Supplies, which shows how Golden Fluid Matte Medium works.

1. Due to lack of time, she decided to design a pattern and have it printed as wallpaper through Spoonflower, instead of hand painting every tile. The size Spoonflower printed ended up not matching up to the measurements of the armoire, so she decided to design the faux tiles in Photoshop and then use an old method of transferring the image to the painted surface with Golden Fluid Matte Medium and her laser printer.

Her method must be used a laser copy print paper. She uses 28# from Hammermil. The glue used is Golden’s acrylic transfer medium.

Simply copy off the image you want to transfer. The image needs to be a mirror image, as it will transfer backwards from what is on the print. Photoshop or GIMP, allows you to change the picture so it will present a mirror image.

Next, coat the surface of where the graphic is to be put with the glue and immediately apply. Place image face down onto the glue. Smooth down thoroughly. A craft roller will come in handy for this project, and can be purchased on Amazon for around $11.

It is important to coat the surface well or the image wont transfer. Once the image is placed into the glue, you cannot reposition the graphic. You must be very accurate in how and where you place it the first time.

Paula suggests letting the image dry over night. In the morning you can take a cup of water and your fingers to wet the surface and rub away the paper – the image will reveal itself on to the painted surface. Jackson’s Art Supplies suggests you can lift the graphic off of the surface after three minutes. Either way, the image is then embedded into the new surface.

Paula has a love for the Swedish styles, so do follow her website. She will be revealing the new tiled armoire when it is finished.

Here is part one of her armoire makeover-“Transforming An Armoire into a Faux Swedish Tiled Stove

-Lily Oak- Swedish Stove Mania

Paula’s Facebook Account

Other Links:

-Join Our Swedish French Decorating Group On Facebook

-Contemporary French Blue & White Tiled Stove with Cast Iron Hearth.

Master Henriks– Blue and White Swedish Stove

Faux Kakelugn Cabinet From henhurst.blogspot.com

Swedish Stove- Featured On Home Design With Kevin Sharkey

From Book “The Swedish Country House


Swedish Tile Stove –http://www.alltomkakelugnar.se/

These relics include the Rococo stove, and furniture by Karl Johan-From Book “The Swedish Country House

This enchanting enfilade in a Swedish Home-From Book “The Swedish Country House”

Close-up of the Tiled Stove

Blue and White Swedish Tiled Stove- completelytotallymadly.blogspot.com

This home was featured in Swedish Magazine Skona Hem

Blue and White Stove

Beautiful tile stove used in the interior design of a Houston home. Interior design: katrincargill.com

Lars Sjobergs house featured in Country Style by Judith Miller

Tile stove in Rundale Palace, the largest & most important baroque
and rococo period architecture & art monument in Latvia.visualtravelguide.com

Beautiful tile oven in the Rundale’s Palace. No two tiles are alike.

(Pilsrundale, Bauskas region, the Middle Latvia)

Lars Bolander’s Book Scandinavian Design

Russian tile stove- elledecor.com

Tiled Fireplace- interiorstyledesign.tumblr.com

Swedish Tile Stove- houseofturquoise.com

Better Home and Gardens Magazine

Katrin Cargill’s Bedtime Stories

Gigi Capone’s Ironing Board Wallpaper-riced by the 5 yard roll and sold by the 15 yard triple roll. One roll will cover 33.75 square feet or 3.14 square meters.

Ilse Crawford’s Ett Hem Hotel in Stockholm

Outstanding Blue and White Tiled Stairway

Wood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 1

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

Wood floors are one of the most recognized design feature of the Swedish Gustavian look. Rustic planked wood is a top choice for flooring in the design industry. Wood floors are easy to maintain, and they are associated with the utmost quality and taste. Hardwood flooring will outlast carpet in any competition making it a smart investment.

If you have children or pets, carpet gets dirty. Pets that come in and out of the house bring dirt back into the home, and over time, the carpets become soiled. In this situation, carpeting only looks good after they are shampooed. While I am not here to beat up carpet, as there are many styles of carpet that are elegant choices, wood flooring maintains better over the years. Even if you decide to go with one of the less expensive wood alternatives, you are assured that this look is easier to maintain than carpet.

It wasn’t until the Baroque Era began, that wood flooring became an option for the home. Before 1625, most European houses continued to have dirt floors. Wealthy families utilized elm or oak boards which were held on joists.   Once wood floors gained popularity, it became known as a more affluent design choice.   Throughout the 17th and 18th century wood flooring flourished.  Solid wood plank flooring, was  installed in many homes, and many trend setting homes painted their floors.  Upscale homes installed the richer designs such as parquet and marquetry wood patterns. Wood flooring today is still the most desired flooring, surpassing stone flooring.

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

 Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

Continue Reading…

Vinyl Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 2

See this option at Home Depot

If you’re a do-it-yourself type of person who isn’t afraid of tackling renovations, then this is an article is a must-read if you are planning on replacing your flooring. Every home is under a budget when renovations come into play. If are a few inexpensive alternatives for the rich look of hardwood flooring.

Inexpensive Options For The Wood Floor Looks

Vinyl Plank “Peel and Stick” Flooring.

Vinyl wood plank floor is a rather new idea that has become popular in the last several years. Everyone is familiar with the “peel and stick tiles”, now they have come out with a “peel and stick plank” that replicates plank flooring.  If you want to save some money and install the flooring yourself, this might be an option to consider.

Pros For Vinyl Plank “Peel and Stick Flooring” 

All that is required to install theses floors is a utility knife with a sharp blade and a tape measure.   Peel-n-stick vinyl flooring means the adhesive has already been applied to the back of the vinyl, and all that’s required to install the vinyl plank is to peel off the protective paper and firmly press the plank in place.  Unlike wood flooring, vinyl wood plank floors don’t require a miter saw to complete the cuts around the room. Vinyl planks can be cut to the appropriate size with nothing more than a good utility knife and a metal ruler.

-Lowes Style Selections put together a very simple video guide of how to install the Peel & stick vinyl plank floor.  These tips will give you a professional look- Here

-In this video, a customer makes a video of how to install plank flooring.  What I love about this video is this customer is an every day person who hasn’t installed flooring before.  If you are considering buying this flooring, and are worried about how to install it, this video will put your mind at ease- Here

-One Ladies Kitchen Transformation here

Many companies have mimicked numerous varieties of wood in countless colors. The reason vinyl has become so popular is the material is durable and easy to clean, and anyone can install it. You can spill almost anything on the floor, and not worry if it will stain the flooring like you would with wood.

Traffic Master Vinyl Flooring Colors

Our floor has a large sheet of vinyl flooring that is meant to look like hardwood and it has held up quite well since we have lived in our home.  I could drag a large piece of furniture across the floor, and it likely wouldn’t  scratch like laminate would.

Large sheets of vinyl are pretty complicated to install for the average DIY homeowner, where as the individual planks make it easy for any homeowner to install with ease.   You could easily do a room over the weekend yourself, and I suppose you could haul these boxes home in your car compared to rolls of vinyl.

Protile 4″ x 36″ Vinyl Plank in White Wash -36.-Square Feet per Carton $47

On the Voices Yahoo Site, One Customer gives this product an in-depth review, here are some of the comments I found interesting:

“Seeing our strong interest but still sensing some hesitancy, the Home Depot employee told us that WalMart had been installing this flooring in upgrades to many of its stores. In fact, he suggested that we go visit our own local WalMart to see TrafficMaster Allure flooring in use – they had installed it a year ago. We went, we looked closely, and we were impressed. Regardless of what you think of WalMart as a flooring reference, you know that they get lots of people through their stores and the flooring they use has to hold up. The TrafficMaster Allure flooring looked great in WalMart.”

“While on the carport, several hundred dollars worth of Traffic Master Allure was subjected to two bouts of heavy rain that flooded our carport and soaked our boxes of wood vinyl flooring. We were very concerned that we had lost our flooring but we opened the ruined boxes and let the TrafficMaster vinyl planks air dry. Surprisingly, everything seemed to be fine. The vinyl wood planks dried perfectly, the adhesive was still plenty sticky, and there was no warping at all.”


“Cost-wise, at $2.39 a square foot, TrafficMaster Allure is about the same price as the average floor tile, comparable in price to Pergo laminate flooring and half the price of hardwood flooring. Additional cost savings can be found because it is entirely possible that you can install this flooring by yourself – even if you aren’t an experienced do-it-yourselfer. It is also much quicker to install time-wise than a tile floor. My only complaint would be in selection choices at the store. There were several color choices in stock at Home Depot and no one mentioned that even more choices were readily available online”

Not For Concrete, One Customers Experience


Cons For Peel and Stick Plank Flooring:

Apartment Therapy did up a post called “TrafficMaster Allure Vinyl Flooring” where they posted comments from a Home Depot employee left on their website. Check out the post and look over the dozens of comments left on the article, before purchasing the product.

1.  Peel and Stick Plank Flooring IS Not for Concrete Flooring.

This style of flooring is meant to be used in rooms that are normally kept at room temperature, (65 to 85 degrees). If you are thinking about using it in a basement, or sun room that are rather cold, then vinyl plank flooring is not for you.

On the Buzzillions website, the picture above shows Traffic Master flooring installed over concrete, and it looks horrible.  “I installed my Allure floor in Oct of 2008 over concrete floors (30 year old house, basement, previously I had carpet down with zero water issues) . In the spring of 2008 the below started. I can scrap up the glue and clean up the floor only to see the same thing happen again within 2weeks…. I’m planning to go to them to see what they can offer as a replacement

2. The Pattern Wears Off

Vinyl wood plank floors cannot be re-finished and have a relatively short life-span compare to solid wood floors.

Depending on the thickness, manufacturer, and foot traffic volume, vinyl wood plank floors might only last a short amount of time.  After the floor has reached the end of its life, it will have to be removed and a new floor installed.

Solid wood floors on the other hand afford the homeowner the ability to re-finish them several times, even allowing for the ability to change stain variations and colors as they re-decorate.

One customer leaves this comment:

I put it down in my kitchen over a smooth surface (vinyl sheet over plywood), but after a few years the edges turned white as well as several areas where the “wood” surface wore off leaving big areas of white. We use gentle cleaners and there are only a few people living in the house so it doesn’t get tons of traffic.  I love the product for the ease and look, but now I have to replace my floor after only a few years!”

3.  Look Closer, It Does Look Like Plastic.

Vinyl hardwood has become quite popular, because people want a nice look for less.  In our modern society, almost everything is faux, and many people are perfectly content with it. Many people aren’t snobs about their interior, and aren’t particular about the style of furniture, color schemes, matching drapery and so forth.  If you are a person that is rather particular, vinyl floor may bother you because it is plastic, and not real wood.  Vinyl isn’t cheap, and yet costs quite a bit of money, and it doesn’t even compare to real wood.  So if you think the faux look might bother you, I would suggest getting real wood.

Zoffany’s Wallpaper collection, Gustavus 

 Check Out ALL the colors from Hangzhou Enzo I/E Trading Co., Ltd.



Laminate Wood Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 3

Find Durable Laminate Flooring Home Depot

Tundra Laminate Pine Effect Flooring From Ikea

Laminate Floors- Are They Worth The Money? Some would say heck yes!

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer, synthetic flooring product which simulates wood, marble, limestone and granite, using a photograph installed beneath a clear protective layer. This image closely resembles a natural material, but the difference becomes apparent upon close inspection. Common woods are available such as maple, oak and pine, and more exotic species, such as Brazilian cherry, mahogany and walnut can be purchased. Beneath the photographic layer is an inner core composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. Pergo® is the most popular brand of laminate flooring, although other manufacturers include DuPont® and Witex®.

Laminate can look nice as well, but also are subject to failure just like any product choice.  Here are a few disadvantages to the flooring.

– The biggest draw back to laminate is you cannot refinish it.  Dings add to the character of true wood floors, and often times people bang them with chains and gouge them to get the authentic feel of time worn wood floors.  One scratch in laminate floors and you simply cannot fix it.  You must be careful with high heels, kids toys, and moving of furniture to keep your floors in excellent condition.

– Extreme temperature changes can cause the boards to pull away from one another.

-Panels can push up against each other at the joints, creating un-level high points. This is common where the boards were not installed with sufficient expansion space.

– Warping and buckling issues are caused by high humidity or excessive surface moisture, or a lack of a sufficient moisture barrier. Hardwood floors, by contrast, are naturally more resistant to moisture damage, as they will swell and shrink to accommodate changes in moisture

-Mold will occur when excessive moisture is present. Mold is a serious threat to home owners and can cause permanent serious health concerns.

– Patterns sometimes don’t always match from package to package.  This can be very obvious and beyond the control of a consumer.

-The inner core can expand because it is made out of high-density fiberboard.  If you have any moisture issues, or even if you didn’t lay down a sufficient enough moisture barrier, your flooring will swell and fall apart.

-Formaldehyde-outgassing, which originates from the melamine resin in various laminate floors. Chemically sensitive individuals may have reactions to particular brands of laminate or vinyl flooring.

A customer leaves this comment about Traffic Master:

“My family got very ill after this product was installed in our house. Apparently it was off-gassing causing headaches, body aches, runny noses and more. When we called the manufacturer, they quickly arranged to have the floor removed and reimbursed us in full. Obviously we are not the first ones to have a health issue with this product. It should NOT BE SOLD!”

Laminate floors look great, and can be the ideal choice for nice exotic wood floors without the cost of wood  Many people want the high end looks, and this allows them to get the look for less than the real thing.

The glossy white “Markland” Flooring From Ikea has the glossiest, whitest, lacquered-look flooring you’re going to find.  Ikea gives you this look with no painting required.  The Markland lacquered rubber planks are more durable than a painted surface and will quickly freshen up your space in no time at all.
Swedish Interiors Using Oak Flooring

Kährs was granted a patent for a multi-layer wood flooring construction, producing the  world’s first engineered wood floor.  The construction has made flooring more stable and the raw material is utilized with greater environmental awareness.  Kährs features some beautiful Swedish Interior pictures using their flooring.  To obtain the classic Swedish style consider a oak flooring or ash wood flooring.  Ideally lighter woods are typically the style associated with Gustavian styled interiors.

Swedish Interiors Using Oak Flooring

Swedish Interiors Using Oak Flooring

Plywood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 4

Pine Plywood | Design Build Love

I stumbled across a DIY trend out there where people are cutting their own “planks” out of plywood.  It seems rather unusual at first, but the results really surprised me.  You get the look of real wood flooring which you can sand, paint, stain, varnish, or white wash, for fractions of the cost.

“We tore up nasty old carpet, then cut grooves in the plywood that was under the carpet to replicate plank flooring with a skill saw – and used a dremel to get closer to the walls. This worked better than the router which was recommended in the web article I got this idea from. We stained and then did three coats of poly. Everyone’s amazed that this isn’t ‘real’ plank flooring! We varied the width of the planks, using a 2×4 as a guide.”

There are a couple of links I want to share that might move you in the direction of considering this look.

1.  Layers Of Learning Blog Flooring Transformation

Layers Of Learning Blog posted absolutely stunning photos of a room that they used plywood cut into 6″ strips of wood.

They mention in their article that plywood floors allowed them to transform their WHOLE house because of the low cost of the materials.  This certainly a reason to consider this option. Many people can only afford a couple rooms with the other options.  Plywood is so inexpensive, that you can do it yourself, and it is affordable.

Plywood gives you the option to cut wide planks with real grain.  For those of you who want the REAL thing, this would be an affordable way of getting the look for less.

Buying plywood allows you to do one room at a time.  It doesn’t matter if your project takes you a couple months to a year to complete, because plywood is practically the same from store to store.    The finishing process allows you to dent, distress, and apply paint or stain which unifies the space.

Another plus to plywood floors is if something is spilled on the floors, which ruins several boards, all they would have to do is rip up the damaged boards, and replace them with the same finishing paint, stain or varnish!

PLY Wood Floors By Layers Of Learning Blog

Here are some of their costs:

Living room – 20′x13′ which equals 260 square feet.

$13.97 each on 9 sheets of 11/32″ “CD” grade plywood = $125.73, See the rest of the break down on their blog Layers Of Learning Blog

Here are some of their tips to consider.

Don’t Buy the Premium Brand Of Plywood

“There are different grades of plywood. “A” grade is the nicest, it comes with one very clean and sanded side. This is not what we went with because, as the guy at Lowe’s said, we can sand it ourselves and save big $$$. A sheet of “A” grade plywood costs about $28 in our market, but a sheet of “C” grade plywood is only about $14.”

Let The Wood Adjust To The Temperature Of The Room 

” After the plywood is cut, stack it in the room where you’ll be laying it for a couple of days.”

2. Quarry Orchard Blog

Quarry Orchard Blog also put together a beautiful floor made from Plywood.  In their “Plywood To Plank Flooring Tutorial

They decided to tackle a redoing the room above their garage with a square footage of approximately 533.  They decided to go with 6 inch strips that were all 8 feet long.  They were shocked that it only took them an hour and 45 minutes to cut the sheets into the planks.

A Couple Tips From The Quarry Orchard Blog

– They started with the first board and squared it with the wall, leaving a 1/16 inch gap between the first board and the wall.

– Be sure to use a nail punch to make sure that the nails at least flush with the flooring.

– Clean up the look by being sure the nails are all in line and evenly spaced. Have a helper that can measure and mark the wood. They measured every 16 inches for each nail. Consider making a jig to help with the measuring and marking for where the nails are to go. This will enable you to line up the previous board and mark rather than measure for every single nail.

Check out the final pictures of this room!  What a transformation! 

A Break Down Of Their Material Costs:

16 sheets of 15/32 pine plywood @ $16.49 per sheet
9 gigantic tubes of Liquid Nail @ $4.75 each
10 lbs of cut nails (ordered from Tremont Nail Company) @ $69.63 (includes s&h)
4 gallons of Varathane polyurethane @ $37.46 per gallon
2 quarts of stain @ $9.99 each

3.  Tidbits From The Tremaynes Blog

For their stunning transformation they used 4×8 sheets of plywood; cut into 8 inch strips, and laid it like a regular hardwood floor.  They used an old nailgun, some pennies to space out the wood, for the old  farmhouse-style look.  The cost was $60.  Fabulous!!

4.  The Picklee Blog

About to open a shop in Newport, RI, store owner Jordan decided to tackle the outdated carpet flooring that came with the shop.  Being that the shop was a historic home built in the early 1700′s, she wanted something more period appropriate.

She decided to go with the standard 1/2″ thick 4′ x 8′ sheets at a cost of just under $20 each.   In order to have zero waste, she chose to have the boards cut into 8 inch by 8 foot lengths, giving her six planks per sheet of plywood.

When she got back to the shop, she laid them out, and sanded all rough edges and splinters, and decided to white wash them before nailing them down.  She mixed up 1/4 CeCe Caldwells Simply White Chalk Paint and 3/4 water.  She then used a roller attached to a broom handle to apply a coat of the white washed paint to all of the planks.

After all the planks were dry, her fiance Brett, started working on nailing the planks to the flooring.  They used Bostik flooring adhesive to the backs of the plywood planks, which were then laid into place and nailed into the floor.  Brett used 1 1/2″ nails and shot them in on an angle.  The nails were spaced out about every 12″, placing two all along either side of each plank.  Brett used a metal straight edge for a spacing guide, which gave the perfect distance between planks.  As Brett went on nailing down the boards, he used a table saw to cut some of them into different lengths so that the boards would have more of a staggered look.

Continue Reading…

Painted Wood Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 5

Onni Hotelli Kuvia Picture Credit Ranskalainenpatonki.blogspot

Painted wood floors are making a come back, and we believe that painted floors will become even more popular than we see today. In the past, finer homes installed decorative parquet floors and inlaid patterns. In the 17th and 18th century paint also was the means to create these decorative patterns on the floor, many which mimicked parquetry. Painted wood floors made it possible for more light to enter into the home, as the winter season in Sweden was quite dark. Rustic unfinished wood over time, darkens, and painting the wood just seemed like a practical approach of having a brighter home without spending a bundle.

Raw wood accepts paint so much nicer, and allows the paint to distress beautifully over time. Sanding wood, allows the paint to soak into the wood, compared to painting over varathane floors which may scratch easier with foot traffic. Homeowners with existing floors often have to carefully think carefully about how they go about re-finishing their wood floors,because the process can be pretty involved.   Refinishing wood floors can seem more labourous than painting, and often times it is. Sanding wood floors can be a time-consuming task.

There are a couple steps that cannot be skipped and we list them out below:

1. Prep

This involves removing your furniture from the room. Once you start belt sanding the floors, there will be dust everywhere. It can be a bit time consuming sealing off the house with drop cloths, or plastic tarp, but it is necessary for a great finish.

2. Sanding

The most time labourous part by far is sanding. Using a belt sander will kick up a ton of saw dust, and cleaning up the dust, which ends up everywhere becomes a tedious job. Sanding an entire floor can take up to 4 hours or several days depending on the size of the room.

Renting industrial professional tools saved my husband and I a lot of time when we refinished parquet floors in a rental in Virginia. Drum sanders are large machines that can handle large floors, and are very easy to operate. Drum Sanders can be rented at around $40 to $50 per day. I would highly recommend it than using a small scale sander that you can buy from a Hardware store.

Most homeowners choose to rent the specialty equipment and then purchase the more standard tools at their local hardware stores. Edge or orbital sanders are terrific for sanding the edges of the floor that the drum sanders cannot reach. A handheld power tool lets you tackle the tight corners, and are worth purchasing outright from Home Depot or Amazon. They allow you tools for additional furniture projects in the future.

3. Staining, or Painting

While everyone in the design community has their favorite paint brands, I would highly suggest going with a oil based paint. Oil holds up longer and has a tougher finish than any water based brands.

I would highly suggest sanding your room down to its bare wood, before painting. Painting over an existing paint is always possible, but the extra work pays off when the paint naturally distresses over time, which shows the wood through rather than an unsightly under color.

Sanding down to the natural wood also allows you to pickle the floors. White washed floors in my opinion are much nicer than painting the floors, because the wood gives the room a bit of depth and natural appeal.

In this post I show a photo of the Behr Wood Stain that is highly recommended. The stain is available in a number of colors, and evens out nicer than just paint that is mixed with water. Behr has a number of colors available that are off white, gray, beige that would work nicely with the Swedish interior schemes.  Mixing paint with a bit of water or stain work rather nicely.

Many people suggest applying paint with a professional paint brush which gives a smooth finish, rather than with a roller, which creates a stippled finish. Today you can purchase smooth rollers which can be used with extension pole to apply paint. Rollers are inexpensive ranging from $4 to $7 per pack. A pole will be anywhere from $5 to $40, depending on length and material.

You can choose a variety of different approaches with your paint choices….

If you decide to work with an existing painted floor, a great oil based primer is “Coverstain by Zinsser” This paint can be tinted almost any lighter color, dries very fast, and can be mixed with most other oil paints. Coverstain is in fact a primer that will adhere to almost anything, and would be a fantastic choice for the floors.

One gals review of Coverstain -“Zinsser oiled based primer is like gold

(Please note that Kilz or Coverstain primers should never be used on concrete floors. Go to Lowes or Home Depot, and buy stain or paint made just for concrete floors. Concrete stain doesn’t flake off on concrete like paint does)

As a top coat on your wood floors, you can purchase a Water-based polyurethane clear varnish, to seal in the tinted paint, or purchase water based, or oil based paint for your top coat. I have tinted this paint many shades of gray, blue, green and yellow. It is marvelous on furniture. This primer dries flat, allowing almost any other paint to be applied to it. It serves as your primer and your base paint, allowing you to just then seal the color in with a water based sealant.

If you are working with a previous painted floor, floors need to be sanded for the paint to stick properly. The worst is when you skip sanding, and the first time you move a furniture piece only to have the paint come off in sheets, or scratch. You will have regretted not sanding.

Sand first, and then paint the floors with a paint formulated for the flooring. We had painted our deck with paint formulated for the outside, and we are so glad we spent the extra money, because rain or snow, the paint hasn’t chipped.

4. Sealing

Polyurethane is an oil based sealant, that is NOT suggested for lighter colored paints. If you use this over your floors, in a week or a matter of days, the floors will have a tinge of yellow. You might then have to consider re-painting your white floors.

Polyurethane works perfect on unpainted wood, or on darker paint colors such as red, navy, black and so forth. A water based varnish is required for lighter based floor colors such as light gray, white, or cream.

You’ll have to wait 6 hours for each coat of polyurethane sealant to dry. It is recommended that most floors require at least 3 coats to achieve best results, and many professionals suggest 24 hours in between each coat of urethane.  It also takes up to 3 days before you can move furniture back into the room and walk on the floors again.

Onni Hotelli Kuvia Picture Credit Ranskalainenpatonki.blogspot

Continue Reading…

An Amazing Design Secret That Professional Designers Use All The Time

Watch Jeffree Turney of Lone Ranger Antiques on Martha Stewart

Jeffree Turney from Lone Ranger is one biggest dealers who specialize in Gustavian antiques, and also happened to be on Martha Stewart and revealed some of his  refinishing secrets.  He recommends after initially painting and distressing your piece using milk paint, mixing 20 percent “Howard’s Feed ‘n’ Wax” furniture wax to 80 percent “Dark Walnut” Minwax. Wearing latex or rubber gloves covered with socks, apply wax, and use a paint brush for tight spots. Rub off excess wax immediately with a long plastic-bristled scrub brush.  The overall faux finish gives you an antique effect.

I always found this picture from Martha Stewart captivating. Matching furniture up with the wall color is a very interesting design concept. Adding a dark wax to your piece will allow your furniture to stand out from your wall color.

Here are some unique examples:

In this kids room wall storage is painted a bright red.  The design look appears minimal.

This room is painted a vibrant teal blue.  Wall letters on the wall and furniture is painted in the same paint color.

A matching set of Swedish chests are placed in a room where the wall color and drapes are designed to match.

In one of my favorite pictures a kitchen is painted in a mute blue.  The walls and the kitchen island and cabinets are painted in almost the exact shades.   The walls are 5 shades lighter and brighter than the cabinets.  It is one of the best kitchens I have seen.

Gustavian Designed Interior From Swedishinteriordesign.co.uk

Gustavian Decorating – Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart always seems to get color right. I believe she has an eye for historical colors palettes. In this photo we see a console table that is matched up to the wall color. The look is absolute perfection. See additional Martha Stewart interiors based on Gustavian influences.

Gray Paint Tones

A series of gray tones are paired together in this dark interior.  The bar table is painted in a lighter shade of gray with glass cloche’s are paired together.  Limed wood add to the gray appearance without loosing the detail of the wood.  Stainless steel also works with the gray interiors like no other metal.  The metal adds a richness and some light to dark room.  If you love this appearance, but find it too dark, consider the same elements with lighter paint tones.

Matching Wall Paint and Furniture

This photo takes the concept to the extreme, where everything is painted in the same shade except for the stool, and the accessories.  Furniture that may be an eyesore, could be given a face lift using this concept.  It allows the furniture to disappear into the room, giving other pieces the spot light.  This concept also gives a minimal look to a room, allowing a busy room to appear less cluttered.

Matching Wall Paint Up With Furniture

In this photo, we see a very interesting effect using two paint colors instead of one shade for the entire room.  We see a chair rail used to divide the wall.  A brighter paint color is used on the bottom of the wall, and the furniture is painted in the exact same color.  Using this idea, adding a brown glaze to the furniture which can be painted on and wiped off would give the furniture a bit of a distinction and less of a newly painted appearance.

How To Get This Look

-Use the same shade as your wall color on your furniture.  After your piece has been distressed (and dried), consider painting a thin coat of brown glaze to give it an antique appearance.  Ralph Lauren glaze works terrific.  You simply mix one third paint to glaze, or half glaze/ half paint in a cup. (The glaze is white, but dries clear with what ever paint you mix with it) Add brown paint to your glaze, and simply paint a thin coat on to your furniture.  You can either paint on a thin coat, and call it done, or you can wipe off some of the glaze with a rag leaving some of the glaze behind.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have discovered this secret for brighter paint colors.  Brighter paint colors automatically look antique when a translucent brown is added.  Bright blues become muted, everything looks better.

-Heavily distress your furniture to give your furniture more depth.  The natural wood will give more warmth in your room, and add to the overall look of the furniture.

– Add furniture ornaments to your furniture painted in white or in gold to add some detail to your painted furniture.  Cake molds often have beautiful designs that would look just as beautiful on furniture.  These designs can be made easily with plaster, concrete, or resin inexpensively.

Gustavian Swedish Decorating Ideas

Gustavian Pedestal- Neoclassical Decorating From Gift & Home Today

Eighteenth century Neoclassical style had made its way into Swedish style when King Gustav III of Sweden corresponded with Marie Antoinette about his decorating projects.  Scandinavia responded to the French style with even more elegance and sophistication.  While Sweden wouldn’t be able to duplicate the vast wealth of the French, The Swedes made it better with less to work with.

Swedish decorating is based around wood.  In order to get the look, consider basing your entire interior around wood.  Painted wood furniture, distressed wood floors, wood paneling, and painted wood accessories are all key elements to Swedish style.  If you have just one of those elements you are on your way to attaining the elegant Gustavian interior looks.

Pearl grey was the universally popular shade, and often accompanied by carved flourishes, ribbons, florals and bows.  These elegant carved details were very neoclassical in nature and often ornamented mirror frames, chairs and furniture alike.

One of the most common draws to Swedish furniture is the paint shades that were used.  Muted tones were used, and the pastel family was at the height of fashion through the 18th century.  Common shades found in Sweden were blues. pinks, pale green, and straw yellow.   Gold leaf was used less than in the rococo period, but were still used to add richness to furniture and decorating.

  • The lines of the Rococo period were still in style, yet more streamlined designs came into play.  Splayed legs become more straight, though finely tapered. 
  •  Fluted legs had the sophistication of something more classy while the tapered legs played to the country side of Swedish decorating. 
  • Chairs were designed with straight backs instead of curved, and long narrow sofas became very fashionable. 
  • Mirrors were a must have in the 17th and 18th century, and this was especially true for Sweden, as their interiors became darker earlier because of the early sun sets.
  • Candles were often placed in front of mirrors to magnify the reflective light.  for Mirrors became longer and rectangular instead of round or oval.

Gustavian Swedish Decorating IdeasSwedish Style Decorating Ideas From Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart has such a good eye for style and her impeccable taste shows in these photographs.  Here she uses her own paint- Drabware on the walls. One of the highlights of this room is the Wedgwood china on the wall.  Do you see how well they match with the wall color?  You have to wonder if the entire room was decided with those few pieces?  The china is a few shades darker than the wall color.  The Swedish check is chosen for the chairs, again matching perfectly with the wall color.  The white in the check pattern gives depth to these chairs.

In the next room, the perfect shade of blue is used on the walls in a saturated shade.  Look how blue is chosen for the ceilings instead of white. The floors are painted a darker hue than the walls.

These series of photographs has remained some of my all time favorite photographs out of the thousands I have looked at and compiled for our many blogs.
Swedish Gustavian DecoratingSwedish Gustavian Decorating Ideas From Martha Stewart

Again, another perfect example of classic Swedish style.  Orange has to be one of my favorite colors, and here you can see how that hue comes alive in this room.  The doors are stripped back so you can appreciate their details and patina.

In the past I have taken all natural wood (or faux painted) and painted an entire piece with plain light gray paint.  After letting the piece dry for 5 to 7 minutes I have washed with a hose (for bigger furniture) or running water (for smaller pieces) to reveal a more distressed look than pickling or white washing.  The overall effect leaves a very rustic painted appearance than your typical clean look of white washing.

Here, the floors are bare and rustic which is a classic Gustavian must have.  One of the best features in this room is the demilune tapered leg console table.  Look how the paint shade is within the same color family as the wall except darker?

Swedish Gustavian DecoratingSwedish Gustavian Decorating Ideas From Martha Stewart

Here you see in the picture above extremely elegant neoclassical chairs.  The right period style can really make a room look distinctively Swedish.  This room is very simple yet the architectural features are incredibly ornate.


Transform Your Home By Changing Your Walls – Interior Swedish Decorating Ideas


New World Wallpaper Design: Francesco Simeti Buy it on maharam.com/

Modern Wallpaper, Plastic Laminates

This Swedish Gustavian interior from Huset shows how marvelous a striped painted wall can transform a room from an ordinary room to an interior with a distinct Scandinavian flavor. 

Instead of hanging wallpaper borders at the edge of the ceiling, why not re-invent this look by hanging them vertical instead of horizontal?  Border prints could be combined with other raised paint-able wallpapers to create a unique period style look.

Brewster sells this wonderful paint-able Octagonal Floral Print which could be combined with a border wallpaper to create rectangular grids on your wall. This border pattern from Borders to Go is the perfect pattern to feature vertical.  Create rectangular spaces using wallpaper, or paint to frame in your most precious wall ornaments.  Frame in that wonderful gold Swedish clock or a set of family photos.  Customize your walls using tape, paint-able wallpaper, or just ordinary paint.

Here are a couple of my paint-able wallpaper choices which could be used in a Swedish decorating scheme…………… 

Paintable Wallpaper Border From Borders To Go $8.89

Paintable Swag Wallpaper Border From Borders To Go $9.89

Acanthus Leaf Paintable Border From York Wallcoverings $12.45

Rosettes Paintable Border From York Wallcoverings $12.13

Diamond Leaves Paintable Border From York Wallcoverings $12.13

Border Wallpaper For A Horizontal Surface. Drawer Fronts?  – Borders To Go $8.89

Create Your OWN Wallpaper From Victoria Larsen Plaster Stencils

This is one of the prettiest stencils I have seenRaised Leaf Vertical Wall PLASTER Stencil From Victoria Larsen $9.99  Check out this leaf stencil from her website.

Floral Stencil From Victoria Larsen $10.50

Art Deco Flower Stencil.  Perfect Vertical Pattern.  $22.99

Rope Border Stencil From Victoria Larsen $16.99


Paintable Wallpaper Border Ideas From Borders To Go, Paint-able
Prepasted Beadboard Wallpaper in White

Miles Redd

Miles Redd


Leta Austin Foster And Associates

Leta Austin Foster and Associates

Leta Austin Foster And Associates


Designer Nicky Haslam

How To Make Your Own Stenciled Grainsack / Burlap Pillows

Picture – Restoration Hardware

French Pillows From Overstock On Ebay

Grainsack pillows have gained tremendous popularity in the last several years that we are seeing them everywhere from Restoration Hardware to Pottery Barn.  These old world pillows have a rustic edge to them, with a bit of a classic 17th century French appeal to them.  Why pay a hundred dollars or more for one of these pillows when you can create your own for less.  With so many stencils available on ebay, it couldn’t be easier.  Ebay is one of the best places to find old antique French fabrics that you can create your own drapery, bedspreads, and throw pillows.  Get the genuine look and customize it for your homes individual colors.  Here are a couple ideas below to get the very hot grainsack and burlap pillows in your home for less……

Create these stunning pillows for yourself…..

Here are pictures that have inspired me……..

-Vintage and Antique Burlap on EBAY

– Bolster-shaped pillow with a wreath

Shabby Chic Charming Blog shows you how to do this yourself with a printer.

-Here we see an all natural pillow with a ruffle edge.  The stenciling doesn’t have to be clear in order for it to be very lovely. 

-A little bit of color goes a long way.  This antique German grain sack pillow by Melissa Neufeld shows how lovely these pillows can look on a bed, or on a sofa for a primitive appearance.

-If blue is your favorite color, you have to look at these pillows. The top right pillow looks to have the picture stencil in blue, and the vertical stripe in a different shade of blue.  Both colors combined with charcoal make such an impact.  Make Your Own Grainsack Pillows – From Doesn’t Cost The Earth Blog

-Kymberly Frasier has combined her passion for antiques, textiles and design into
exquisite one-of-a-kind pillows and upholstery for her company, 3 Fine Grains.

-These cushion slip covers simply sit on the chairs and provide protection to your upholstered furniture.  They could be very easy to stencil without committing to stenciling the fabric on your chairs and upholstery.  It is as easy to change it out if you want to go in a different direction in several months.

Walltogs (Stencils) On Ebay

Walltogs (Stencils) On Ebay

Plain Stuffer Pillows

Square Sham Stuffer Pillow – 18×18″ (Large) $5.50

-12×18 Cluster Fiber Pillow Form Insert $13.35

-Bolster Sham Insert Stuffer Pillow – 8″x24″ $19

-Decorative 100% Linen Pillow Covers (Gray Set of 2) $49

Decorative Stencils For Pillow Stenciling

Border Stencils In The Wind Border Stencil-

-167 – Classic Garland Stencil Library $31

Alphabet Stencils On Ebay

-AD7 – Adam Cartouche Stencil Library

-AD8 – Adam Cartouche No 2 Stencil Library

Tassels and Vines Stencil– Victoria Larsen

Alphabet Stencils From The Stencil Library

Victoria Larsen Architectural Stencils That Can Be Used in Other Ways

Martha Stewart Stencils On Ebay

-Round Medallion Stencil $2.49

Tulip Vine Stencil From Victoria Larsen Stencils

-Simply Stencils- Set of Three Foliage Stencils

Ring of Roses Pattern: 7.5″ x 7.5″ $12

-Designer Decorating Stencil Script Numbers $13

-ER40A – Garland Stencil Library

Wreath Stencils on Ebay

Country Vine Wreath Stencil

-TR20 – Gustavian Stencil Library, ALL Gustavian Stencils From Stencil Library

Borders Stencil – 3 Patterns Victoria Larsen

-Decorating Fabric: Print, Stencil, Paint and Dye Over 100 Fabulous Projects

Linen Fabric By The Yard

-56” Wide Vintage French Feedsack Beaudelaire Jacquard Black , BLUE, Charcoal Fabric $30

-56” Wide Vintage French Feedsack Duboise Script Jacquard Chocolate, RED, $30

-58” Wide European Linen Fabric Oatmeal By The Yard $14

-56” Wide Vintage French Feedsack Claudine Stripe Blue , BLACK Fabric $25

-58” Wide European Linen Fabric Cream By The Yard $14

-58” Wide European Linen Fabric Elephant By The Yard $14

-58” Wide European Linen Fabric Ice Blue By The Yard $14

-54” Wide Robert Allen Linen Duck Natural Fabric By The Yard $12

-9-Feet x 12-Feet Canvas Drop Cloth Perfect For Drapes $22

-46” Wide Stretch Linen Blend Stripe Ecru Fabric By The Yard $11

-46” Wide Stretch Linen Blend Stripe White Fabric By The Yard $11

Walltogs (Stencils) On Ebay

Chocolate Burlap Chateau Marmont Pillow Slip by TheLetteredHome on Etsy

Vintage Grainsack Pillow Triple Red Stripe by jillbent on Etsy

Dan Marty Grainsack Pillows Old World Grain Sack Natual Stenciled Pillows From Dan Marty Designs

  Dan Marty Grainsack Pillow with Laurel Design Seen On The Duchess Of Corbin Blog L.A.’s Dan Marty is often credited with helping fuel the feedbag/burlap decorative trend. Marty’s furniture was upholstered in burlap and feedbag instead of pricey fabrics.

1. Pillow Decor – Quality Guarantee Red, Brown $70

2. Pillow Decor – Cacao Bean Red Print Throw Pillow $70

3. Pillow Decor – 1907 Airmail 24×24 Throw Pillow $89, Postcard To Paris $89

4. Pillow Decor – Tulips 20×20 Decorative Throw Pillow $49

5. Pillow Decor – Wading Birds 20×20 Throw Pillow $70

6. Pillow Decor – Bird on Branch 20×20 Throw Pillow $70


1. Pillow Decor – Rustic Floral Green Throw Pillow $49

2. Pillow Decor – White with Green Spring Flower and Ferns $34, Green with White Spring Flower and Ferns $28

3. Tommy Bahama Designer Boutique Throw Pillow Covers $40

4. Pillow Decor – Rustic Floral Orange Throw Pillow $49

5. Pillow Decor – Fire Coral Orange, Blue,

6. Pillow Decor – Sea Coral in Orange, White, Blue, Red $40


Additional Interesting Pillows

-Dwell Studio Masala Bedding in Citrine Standard Pillows $60, Citrine Sheet Set Queen $208

Coral Red Scroll Print 22″ Wide Throw Pillow $60

-Judy Ross Textiles Vines Printed Linen Coral Pillow $135

-Outdoor Throw Pillow in Blue Coral – Frontgate $119

-Croscill Home Mikasa Italian Countryside King Pillow Sham $39

-Provence French Laundry Square Toss Pillow, Linen/Red $21

DIY Furniture Appliques From Architectural Depot

Furniture Appliques From Architectural Depot

Furniture Appliques From Architectural Depot

Architectural Depot has a number of simply beautiful appliques that could be used to adorn your existing furniture and walls with. They have a variety of hard-to-find historical materials for your architecture needs. This stunning frame featured on The Paper Mulberry Blog shows how lovely a frame or a piece of furniture looks with appliques.

This stunning ceiling has gilded rosettes with an ornate gilded border.  Creating a ceiling this stunning is a lot of work, although it doesn’t have to be.  Interiors can be as complicated or as easy as you want them to be.  Ebay has a number of stunning molds which you can create out of plaster saving you thousands if you decide to go after a look like the ceiling of Gumbo.

This plaster cement tile mold would be an ideal mold for the bathroom.  Tile your whole bathroom in this mold and gold leaf the rosettes.  The mold itself is $4 dollars, and you can buy plaster at your local hardware store.

This beautiful tile mold has a border around it making it very much like the ceiling of Gumbo.  Produce this look as a backsplash in your kitchen, and gold leaf the rosettes.

This lovely rococo inspired frame would be just beautiful above doorways, or even posted on pieces of wood for labeling your garden. Make dozens from a couple bags of plaster or concrete. The possibilities are endless.

In this picture, an over the door plaque is detailed with swags and laurel leaves. This can easily be created with molds.

One of my favorite pictures is this one from Barbro Grandeliuss’s Swedish Home, where furniture appliques are hammered on to a simple piece of wood.

Check out the yellow columns with gray appliques on this picture of Kay O’Toole in her shop.  Photos from 1st Dibs

Swedish Styled Decorating Fabrics


Consider Alaska Quilting Adventures on ebay for your next sewing project.

They have a number of absolutely stunning fabrics with patterns which would work in a Swedish decorated home. They offer competitive prices and personalized customer service.

They also offer a FREE gift for orders over $50. Shipping discounts on orders over $100.

They specialize in quilting fabrics which are often lightweight, than heavier fabrics used for upholstery.  If you find a fabric which is meant for quilting, consider also purchasing Decor Bond 809  for 6.75 a yard, which is an iron on backing which can be ironed on to light weight fabrics to give them a bit of a heavier feel.

Pellon sells the 809 medium weight backing which has the fusible backing.  Simply place the shiny side of the Decor Bond to the wrong side of the fabric.

For larger pieces of fabric, start at the middle of the fabric and work your way to the outside edges.  Fusible interfacing allows you to use lighter weight fabrics for what ever project you have in mind.

My Best Tips To Doing Upholstery Yourself

Do It Yourself Upholstery

Over the last several years I have jumped into upholstery without any experience, and through all the mistakes I am so glad I had the interest to learn.  It has allowed me to recover many of the second hand chairs and settes that I have found for an affordable price.  Swedish style is certainly a style that I adore, but there is no way we could furnish a whole house buying antiques. Thinking back to the first chair I recovered, I am sure it was sloppy, but I learned my mistakes and moved forward.  When it is your home, who cares if you make mistakes.  Learning can be a lot of fun, and you get better as you practice. I am in no way a professional, although I have learned a ton over the years that I would like to share with you.

At first, I had no idea what I was doing.  It would have helped if I took some classes as soon as I got interested in it, but I decided to take the long drive and learn on my own.  Upholstery isn’t something I particularly enjoy, and at times some of the projects I have attempted are simply out of my league, and it can get discouraging, so try something that looks relatively easy at first.  I don’t like looking at sloppy upholstery, so in getting it right, sometimes it takes me extra long.

One of the easiest ways to produce a nice looking product is to make sure your material is snug.  The last thing you want is loose looking material that isn’t tight along the seams.

When I first started upholstering I simply went down to the local hardware store and bought a T50 staple gun, which worked pretty well, until it broke.  I bought another T50, and it worked quite well, but just an hour of work would cause my hands to hurt so hard that I could only do so much upholstery every week.  I then bought another manual staple gun which was backwards and broke instantly.

I eventually ran down to the same hardware store and graduated up to a electric staple gun.  I sure saw a difference right away.  I didn’t have to force my weight on the chair in order for the staple to grip the wood and fabric.  It was rather –point, shoot, and it was done.  The brand I purchased was the Arrow Pro Electric Staple gun which loaded with the same staples I was used to with the T50 manual staple gun, so I was in my comfort zone.  This staple gun worked for the first couple projects, but because it was made out of plastic, then loading compartment broke.  It was plastic.  SO, again, I invested in yet another staple gun. In fact the exact same brand!!!  I knew eventually it would brake again, so I decided to look into getting something more professional.

A friend of mine had an upholstery gun which hooked up to a compressor, so I decided to look into buying a professional upholstery gun and see how different it was compared to the ones I could find at the local Home Depot.

EZE TC-08LN Long Nose Upholstery Staple GunI ran across the EZE TC-08LN Long Nose Upholstery Staple Gun on ebay, and took a chance on it.  When it arrived at my home, it sat in the living room for several weeks, until I got around to working with it.  I could’t figure out how the gun loaded, so I contacted the ebay seller, hoping to send it back to get repaired.  He told me, that these professional upholstery guns load much different than the regular electric guns.  You flip them over and they load through the bottom.  The first time I used it I couldn’t have been more excited.  I literally was jumping up and down, because of the vast difference in the staple guns I had been using up to that date.  With a compressor, the sheer power of air forces the staple out where there is no NO work involved what so ever.

I was so used to pulling my fabric as tight as possible and then stapling it, that this gun can do most of that work for you.  The ebay seller, said this gun would be so easy to work with, and that I would be excited when I finally saw the difference.

This gun certainly has revitalized upholstery for me that it has become a joy to upholster.

Getting that gun was one of my best decisions, and I would suggest you buy it for some of your upholstery projects.

In the last 3 months we just moved into our very first home, and I had a number of chairs that I have upholstered, although I am wanting to finish up the edges.  I have been experimenting with double welting cording, but I have had a really tough go at it.

Brass Plated Upholstery Tacks Nails Trim pack of 100

Brass Plated Upholstery Tacks Nails Trim pack of 100 From The Rusty Anchor

An upholstered sofa by Barbara Gray located at her shop -Etceteras 7503 Girard Ave La Jolla Ca.An upholstered sofa by Barbara Gray located at her shop -Etceteras 7503 Girard Ave La Jolla Ca.

In the past I have bought upholstery tack trim, which you can find on ebay by the yards for a very reasonable price.  I have done a number of chairs with upholstery tacks, and the results do look very nice.  They are a very easy way of covering staples.

In the past I simply sewed up a long strip of fabric which I folded and sewed down the center to create a nice professional appearance.  Then, I used hot glue, and glued it in place, and then hammered on upholstery tacks for that professional look.

The upholstery tack trim is very easy to work with and gives your chairs that antique appearance without all the effort of lining each tack up and hammering it into place.

I still use this technique with many of my chairs.  Here are a set of chairs I finished when I first started upholstering.  I had no idea how to upholster the back, so I left the original leather fabric in place.  Sadly the chair seats were torn to threads, so I recovered the seats and used upholstery tacks.

Another great tool that I picked up which I really enjoy is an upholstery tack spacer.  You can get one from Kennedy Hardware for just over 10 dollars, and does it ever do a nice job of spacing out the tacks.   I have done up my dining chairs with the spacer, and several other chairs, and it looks terrific.  I never could get that professional appearance in the past spacing the tacks on my own, and this took is worth the 10 dollars.

For my living room chairs, I really want a professional look with double welt cording.  I love the simplistic look that it gives to furniture, and it gives off such a nice appearance.  I had no idea how to get the look, so I decided to go to a local sewing machine store which the woman suggested getting a cording zipper foot.  At the time I was attending a class on making box cushions and so a cording zipper foot allows your needle to get right near the edge of the cording where a normal sewing machine foot would not.  When I discovered this, I again started cheering, because it seemed like I was battling getting as close as I could when I sewed pillows only to fail!!  The zipper foot allows you to sew those really nice corded pillows and drapery with cording.  It is a must have for sewing with cording.

Naturally I assumed when it came to double welt cording that you sew two cords separately with your zipper foot, and then sew them together.

I started looking on You tube for more instruction on this, when I came across a double welt attachment!  I couldn’t believe my eyes, contemplating how much fabric I have wasted!

I then ran across a really great article by Prudent Baby how to sew welting cord.  She does a great job of showing step by step how to sew welting cord.

Her article was just the very thing I needed!!  She suggested buying a 250 yard spool from Rochford Supply which turned out to be the best deal after looking on ebay.

A 250 yard spool came to $27.94, with about 19 dollars of shipping which came to about $46.97.  I purchased my first DOUBLE welting foot on ebay, and I am looking forward to whipping out these chairs, rather than having them sit in our garage!

The other thing I wanted to mention about the EZE TC-08LN Long Nose Upholstery Staple Gun was when it came to stapling on the final double welt cording, it was as simple as you can get.  You can pull the cording around the curves of your furniture with ease!!  The staples on this gun are so thin, that they can hardly be seen.  If you shoot them in the middle of the double welt, they disappear.  It truly produces a professional result, and with little time what so ever.

I am looking forward to my new welting cord and welting foot!!  ANYTHING to make our lives much easier!

6 Tips For Painting Plaster Wall Finishes


I was running through the Style Files Blog, and I stumbled across one of my favorite pictures, and until now, I didn’t know the story behind the photos.

An antique dealer Aurélien and his wife Pascale discovered a small chateau built around 1700 by an abbot who was knighted by Louis XIV.  The chateau has survived the centuries almost intact. With restoration, they re-created this old century styled home by filling it with antiques that would have been common through that time period.  A Louis XV daybed is covered with a a gold silk quilt and decorated with simple canvas cushions.  A large Florentine candlestick rests on the Gustavian style table.  You can find some more great photos of this home on the Inspiraci Online Blog.

You can really see how the right faux finished walls can make all the difference in a home that is decorated around 17th and 18th style decorating.  Shown in most of these photos is what is called a faux Venetian plaster finish on the walls.   These finishes are achieved using paint, and sometimes plaster. In the old days the paint was so semi transparent, that the walls appeared to have incredible depth in the paint, which created the wonderful finishes we see on the walls.  Their paint was probably much like mixing linseed oil and pigment, which is nothing compared to our modern day paint.  Today we can paint a wall in 2 coats or less, and call it finished.   There are a variety of Venetian plaster finishes that you can buy at your local hardware store that can be tinted custom colors.  Some look much like glossed marbled walls, and others take the form of plastered walls that you would find in Europe.


Venetian Plaster Finishes From Better Home and Gardens

As you can see this Venetian Plaster finish that appeared in Better Homes and Gardens magazine is a very advanced finish.   Working with lighter colors at the top is easier to combine than darker colors at the bottom of the photo.   As you look closely at the lighter colors in this Venetian plastered wall, the artist worked with a sponge to add some texture into the finish.

Working with lighter colors in your home will also open up the rooms, than the darker colors, and will be easier to live with as the months and years go by.  Consider hues of orange, peach, or beiges as undertones.  Always practice this technique before applying it to your walls, because in the case of rough plaster, you have to sand it off to have bare walls again.  Trust me, I had to sand down the walls of our old apartment, and it was messy and time consuming*

How to do this finish

You simply trowel on thin layers of semi-gloss paint using 3 different hues of paint.  You need some sort of pliable texture mixed in the paint to achieve the finish as just paint alone doesn’t work.  Many hardware stores sell this finish in gallon sized cans which can be mixed in with the color of your choice.  Simply using paint alone won’t work.

To best achieve this finish use AT LEAST three colors for this technique. 

  • Choose at least one pale hue, one medium hue, and one dark hue all in the same color for this technique to look genuine.  
  • Don’t wipe excess paint off the trowel; the randomness of the paint application is what creates the illusion of depth. 
  • Use different trowels to break up the flow of like size designs.

Most importantly in all faux finishes, apply a final, lightly tinted glaze over the entire wall to add depth and unite the colors.  Adding a final glaze coat to the walls in any faux wall painting is a critical step most people miss.  It is kind of acts like a blurring agent to your mistakes or your paint marks.  Glaze is simply a formula that is semi transparent, but softens the overall effect.

I would recommend buying the glaze that is NOT pre-mixed with a color. The reason for this is you are not bound by that one color.  I have three gallons of mixed glaze in my garage, which are all in one color.  I cannot use it for my random projects that require other colors. 

The general rule of glaze that I use is basically pouring half paint and half glaze together. It is as simple as that.  It is always better to add a little bit more glaze than paint.  With the final coat, I often just roll it on the wall for an even finish. 

Experiment to see what works best for you.  I have used Ralph Lauren Glaze in the past and have been very impressed.  The final glaze coat makes the world of difference.  How marvelous it is to decorate in the 17th and 18th century styles, and venetian plaster will pull your look together faster than anything else you can add in the room.



Swedish Antiques

I was searching through flicker recently only to stumble upon Avolli’s Photostream. For those of you who do not know who Avolli is, they are a Swedish, Danish, and Scandinavian antique furniture dealer who specializes in the decorative arts from Europe. They import their greatest finds to their showroom in Scarborough, Maine. Katy Elliott did a lovely post showing pictures of their vast showroom filled with Swedish furniture. Tricia Mitchell, owner of Avolli began her career in the interior design industry eighteen years ago specializing in the design of window treatments. After many years in the industry, Tricia went in different direction creating Avolli which allowed her passion for antiques to become a full time business. She focused on Swedish, Danish and northern European antique furniture.

A beautifully restored 19th century Gustavian style Swedish antique bench. This bench is elegantly shaped and proportioned upholstered sides accented with delicate scroll, pearl and floral carving details and sitting upon four square and tapered legs.

A lovely pair of French armchairs with an authentically restored warm white paint finish. Well proportioned and very comfortable, this pair of chairs has classic carving details along the frame with notched cornered back rests and turned, fluted and tapered legs.

Beautiful Swedish Neoclassical chairs in the Gustavian style from the second quarter of the 19thcentury. Expertly carved with egg and dart detail around the rectangular upholstered back rest which is supported by round leaf embellished uprights and a decorative X splat over a carved Griffon frieze. The upholstered seat is supported by egg and dart carved rails and four round and tapered legs surmounted with applied floral carvings.

A traditional Gustavian style dining table from the mid 19th century and restored in a traditional Swedish white/grey. Half moon ends form a round table, while the one or two new leaves provide seating for up to eight. The simple apron meets floral embellished square, tapered and fluted legs.

Swedish Gustavian Antiques From Avolli Antiques


In the February 2002 issue of Architectural Digest features an article on Emily Todhunter as she explores some of her favorite shops in London. One of the pictures features herself and owner of Talisman, Ken Bolan sitting on an 18th century Swedish Bench flanked by Swedish armchairs. The backdrop features a wonderful tromp d’oeil painting.

Todhunter Earle Interiors is a collaboration between two architectural designers; Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle. Emily Todhunter began her career as a specialist painter, which makes her all the more interesting as a designer.


Louis Philippe Chests- A Dresser Style That Can Be Made Over To Look Expensive

Holly's Louis Philippe Chest Makeover

I stumbled across a fantastic blog called Life in The Fun Lane the other day and I was pleasantly surprised.  Don’t we all want to be in the fun lane in life? Everyday armed with a smile and jetting on the highway of happiness? Holly Baker is the author of this splashy blog, which includes pictures of her home renovations in more than a few pages of her blog.

At first glance, you can tell she has incredible taste, but you will also notice that she also isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty as she includes several painted furniture makeovers in her own home.

After browsing through her home pictures I couldn’t help but notice the Louis Philippe chest in her home.  Being a furniture painter myself, I knew these chests didn’t come with industrial pulls, and the builders options for this chest are always white, and black and cherry veneer.

So it was a nice surprise to look at her version of this terrific chest.  As you can see, she took off the traditional bail pulls, and instead put on door pulls.

In the past, I have loved the way these industrial pulls have looked, but they never looked quite right on my furniture.  Combining the  rustic look of gray and steel just goes hand in hand.

The Louis Philippe furniture collection features good looks with lovely clean lines and a bit of detail.  If you are after a streamlined chest, this might be for you.  The first time I came across a (modern) Phillipe Dresser, I just had to get it.   I used to paint furniture and resell it.  I personally have had the chance to buy the 6 drawer Louis Phillipe dresser twice, in addition, I have also sold a pair of the nightstands. All three sets were painted black, as all of the furniture was bought used, so they had scratches that needed to be sanded out.   From my experience, let me tell you about these chests…..

The Advantages:

If you are looking for a really nice looking dresser, with classic looks, this dresser certainly pleases the eyes. It has very attractive lines, and a bit of detail in the molding around the top of the dresser.

The Drawbacks:

This set is made of selected hardwoods and veneers. The only draw back to these chests are they are made of composite woods, which means they are not made of solid wood. This dresser is good for staying in one place and not being moved around.  I moved the dressers that I had painted, and although they didn’t damage them, it wasn’t good for them either.

This dresser does not hold up well to wear over the years. In fact, if you were to accidentally drop the chest while you were bringing it into your home, it would dent it permanently.  This is what happened to one of the nightstands. We accidentally dropped it, and it bent the corners of the wood. While most chests made of solid wood would scratch, these chests would be permanently damaged.  In addition, you would NOT want to put these chests in moist conditions.  The wood on the drawers would expand.  These sets are heavy, but the quality of wood is not so great.

These dressers operate on sliders. If you have seen an Ikea dresser, you know what I am talking about. Vintage and antique dressers often have middle support sliders, and wood separating the drawers. The modern day dresser doesn’t even use plywood, they use something similar to cardboard. I cannot remember off the top of my head what separated these drawers, but I believe it was the metal gliders. The draw back to these metal gliders is the drawers slip off of them so easily. On another note, they glide in and out, and function with modern smooth cabinetry.

If you are the sort of family that moves around A LOT, forget about this set, because it will get damaged over time. If you are intending to buy it once, and keep it in the same spot, it really is a great deal for the price point. It is one of the nicer dressers around for the price, but the construction isn’t top quality. For a little more than $300, it is a very nice looking dresser, you have to agree~

A stunning solid wood antique

Antique German Louis Philippe Chest- Bonnin Ashley Antiques

Acme 25505 Louis Philippe Antique Chest –FlatFair.com

French Custom Louis Philippe Style Desk -WOW!! Fireside Antiques



40+ Ideas For Decorating Around The Swedish Look For Less

Howard Miller Red Mora Grandfather Clock

Having a Swedish Mora Clock on display in your home is just as prestigious today as it was back in the 18th century. Unless you shop Europe often, it can be impossible to find a genuine Swedish Mora Clock.  Believe it or not, when I was living in Virginia, and was regularly shopping on craigslist, and I ran across a stunning antique mora clock  that was listed for only $50 dollars. The clock was sold instantly. The sellers obviously didn’t know what they had.

Compared to the traditional English long case grandfather clock which is often designed in a straight manner with the pendulum swinging behind a glass window, Swedish Mora clocks have a curvaceous body with a round face above a case. The overall look is very statuesque and feminine.

The Mora clock was one of the most distinguished status symbols among wealthy Swedish peasants during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Mora clocks were often painted either in pastel tones to highly decorative red country colors with hand painted kurbits motifs.

Today you can buy a reproduction Mora clock for as little as $400. Check out my favorite reproduction Swedish Mora clocks which are affordable compared to the rare antiques.

Howard Miller Clocks

Howard Miller Clocks have been known for incomparable workmanship and utmost quality. The business was founded by Howard Miller himself in 1926 at the age of 21. He was schooled in the fine art of clock making by his father, Herman, in the Black Forest region of Germany.

In the early years Miller focused on the manufacture of chiming wall and mantel clocks, although he also produced trend-setting avant garde clocks that stand today in collectors’ galleries. It was in World War II that changed the direction of the company, and eventually the company turned its attention to grandfather clocks, eventually earning the company the title of “World’s Largest Grandfather Clock Manufacturer.”

Today they offer hundreds of items to complement any decor ranging from portable alarm clocks to desk sets to wall and mantel clocks to collectors cabinets to limited edition grandfather clocks, and in varying prices from $5 to $15,000. No matter the price of the purchase, you have the same assurance that Howard C. Miller offers incomparable workmanship and unsurpassed quality and perfection.


This Grandfather Black Floor Clock features stylings of antique Swedish mora clocks with a modern twist. The dimensions are 20″ x 9″ x 69-1/4″. This clock sells for $300 dollars.

This stunning shelf or desk reproduction Mora Clock is absolutely beautiful for any Swedish Style home.


The Madison Black Grandfather Clock is not found on Amazon, and I cannot locate it on ebay.  Google Product Search Shows this clock at the lowest $376

Howard Miller Hannover Standing Grandfather Clock, is much like a reproduction Mora clock.  The  Hannover-Chili Red Floor Clock by Howard Miller is finished in Chili Red on select hardwoods and veneers. Cream dial features black Arabic numerals and black spade hands.  The pendulum is brushed-nickel which can be viewed through glass.  The top of the clock features a decorative turned urn finial which can be removed.  The dual-chime movement plays Westminster Big Ben chime and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” which can be controlled by volume control and automatic nighttime chime shutoff .  Best of all this reproduction Mora clock is made in the USA

Trieste Grandfather Clock by Acme Furniture is a lovely Reproduction Mora Clock which sells for $559.



A reader wrote in and left a comment which I couldn’t help but to respond to in a post.


Do you have any recommendations on where I can find a reproduction Mora clock? I’ve searched on line and cant seem to find any for sale.

Thanks,…. Lynn

Hi Lynn,

There are really fantastic antique dealers that have genuine antique Mora clocks with all sorts of painted finishes on the web. One place that I love to look is 1st Dibs, as many dealers list their very best furniture on this site. Ebay doesn’t have a lot of Swedish furniture. In fact, I only recall one company, Scandinavian Antiques, that lists Swedish antique furniture on ebay. I am not sure why more Swedish dealers don’t list on ebay, because that is where many people purchase rare antiques.

Amazon is another outlet that sells a wide variety of furniture. Often times if you look hard enough many companies will re-produce the beautiful lines of Louis XVI furniture without the cost of a genuine antique. Although the downfall is they rarely give any indication to the general category of style it may pertain to. A good example of this is Uttermost, and Horchow; their furniture is amazingly beautiful, and usually from season to season they reproduce the French and occasionally a Swedish furniture look.

Although if you are on a tight budget, and cannot afford a $5 thousand dollar clock (like most of us,) consider a Coaster Clock which has all the beauty of a Mora clock for only $230 dollars and it even comes WITH FREE SHIPPING!!

Howard Miller also makes a Swedish Looking clock, which features the rounded belly that you see in most Swedish Mora Clocks in Chili Red For $1,182.30. The price is great, and you can easily re-paint it the color of your desire.

The La Rochelle Clock by Howard Miller LOOKS identical to the Coaster clock, but the price is $3,032.40 on sale. Why the difference in price? Why is Coasters clock so discounted? I have no idea…..

Coaster also makes a really modern version of the Mora clock in a black finish for only 236.84!! If you are wanting several Mora Clocks in your home, all with different faux finishes, Coaster certainly makes it very affordable. AND, that price includes FREE shipping! If you were to re-paint this clock, you could paint a base of gray, and then a lighter gray oil finish, and then a top coat of blue, or any color of your choosing.

We just moved into a new home, and found our clock in a local antiques shop, which I believe is Coaster. The purchase of my clock is what lead me to look up if reproductions existed. Lynn, you gave me a kick in the pants to finally put this post together~

My clock came with a glass panel, which I exchanged out with wood. Markus, a talented Swiss carpenter in our area made the front wood door which I think really makes the floor clock a bit more Swedish looking.

With the Mora Clock that I purchased, the bottom of the clock is entirely made of wood, although the rounded wood area that forms the clock face itself is made from a thinner piece of wood, and I cannot tell if the sides of the clock are particle wood or real wood. Although a person cannot complain at $200 dollars! I painted mine, as I am sure you may consider painting yours to make it appear more antique looking.

If you do paint it, consider getting a tint-able primer, called Coverstain at your local Home Depot, which can tinted the shade you are hoping to paint. I detail more of this paint on my Provence site. Of course, when it came to the one piece of furniture I wanted to do well, I didn’t use it. Go figure…. I wished I sanded mine better before painting, because the paint didn’t stick all too well. I sanded down the first coat of paint lightly, and re-painted it again with the same color and it turned out quite nice. I then painted on a brown glaze, (then wiped off the glaze with a damp rag) which took away the harshness of color. I may consider a lighter blue in the future, and the layering of blue, only creates more of depth if I choose to distress it.

I haven’t explored Chalk paints such as the ones sold from Annie Sloan. I hear they require no priming. If you do try a few Gustavian colors, do email me, as I would love to see how they turn out.

Another detail that you will not want to consider skipping is gold leafing the gold details of your clock. Spray painting just doesn’t do gold furniture justice. On my French site, I detail the gold leaf that I use, which makes gold leafing soooo much easier than fiddling with thin pieces of gold which often times gets lost in the air. Gold leafed details will make your clock look that much more expensive.

Swedish decorating can be soooo much fun. When furniture is this affordable, it can be a joy decorating!

Swedish Style Decorating – Ornate Candle Sticks

If you are looking for great set of candlesticks, check out Jack’s Candle Stands from IMAX. The candlesticks are made of turned aluminum and finished in black sheen. The candlesticks have a wonderful footed design with incredible shape. The set of three feature graduating sizes, and would look terrific paired together for an impacting statement. Candlesticks sold in sets should always be positioned togehter for a dramatic statement. Place them on a bed stand or console table for an impacting statement.

The dimensions of the candlesticks are 14-20H x 4.75-5.25D and have been discounted to $96 dollars from $175. Uttermost also sells a set of white washed candle holders that work perfectly with a Swedish inspired interior. The footed design features decorative details that you would see in an 18th century home. The lovely set sells for $217.

Another set of Uttermost candlesticks feature a carved appearance with a distressed painted finish. The set of three sells for $191. Add some ornate candle sticks in your home to get that primitive feel amongst your modern conveniences for that authentic appeal.

(Picture Credit by brocantegirl From Genuine Style )

Imax sells these set of three Candlesticks which could easily be painted blue, yellow or almost any color of your surrounding decor. The base of these candlesticks can be spray painted gold, and the cylinder area above it can easily be painted a blue while the rest of the candle stick distressed in gray. These candlesticks are selling for $104 making these candlesticks quite a deal!

This set of Uttermost Candlesticks SHOW a distinct Swedish Style. It looks like they have been discontinued. Uttermost 19103 Aneka Candleholders Set of 2 – 19103,

Three Piece Set for Only $90 Dollars. Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating

Buy this set for only $90 Dollars! 3Pc Finial Set – Stone Grey & Gold Leaf

Ornate Primitive Candleholder

Primitive Ornate Candleholder $42 Dollars

Hooker Furniture produces a lovely square back dining chair in a distressed off white finish which works perfectly with Swedish interiors and decor. While it may not be an antique chair, the look is absolutely stunning. The streamlined square back gives this chair the look of the Louis XVI styled chairs. The Sanctuary Collection by Hooker Furniture is designed with relaxation and serenity in mind, giving you a tranquil space that exudes a peaceful calm and grace, almost like a weekend retreat. The chair is painted an off white and distressed to give an aged appeal. The chair and backs are finished in a natural linen fabric. The chair is made from hardwood solids and the overall dimensions are: 40.25 inches H x 25.25 inches D x 19.5 inches W Weight: 30 lbs. Hooker sells their chair for $240.

Winsome wood sells a few fabulous pieces which would work in a Swedish Gustavian styled home. Winsome Trading has been a manufacturer and distributor since 1977. The company’s assembly facility is located in Woodinville, Washington, and their branch office and warehouse is up north in Delta, British Columbia Canada. There are a couple pieces which would transfer well to the Gustavian style. The Winsome Phone Stand is made out of Walnut, and would be an excellent night stand. The measurements are 14 x 17 x 29.5 inches. This stand could be painted a gray and whitewashed for a Swedish look. This stand sells for $76 dollars. Winsome also has a tall Hall Table in walnut featuring 3 drawers. The table has tapered legs and it would be another fabulous piece that could be painted. This table goes for $103, which is a dynamite price compared to antiques. While the antiques have some genuine features that most modern furniture makers do not carry over, the price point cannot be beat.

Winsome Furniture

Winsome has a wonderful Tea table priced at $32 dollars that could be painted to look like the table featured in Rhonda Eleish & Edie Van Breems book Swedish Interiors. They also have a wonderful bed side stand which is natural wood that gives a Swedish country look. Paint it up, white wash it, and change the hardware. This stand sells for $66 dollars. Their Walnut Finish Accent Hall Console Sofa Table would be an excellent base for a primitive saw horse desk. Paint the base a warm beige or gray and distress the edges, and order in a white marble top. Or simply get a very thick piece of wood cut for the top. Each table measures 29.5 Wide x 15.9 D x 29.5 tall. Would it surprise you that each table costs $19 dollars? OH YAH!! This company makes it very affordable to decorate in a Swedish style if you are willing to paint and use a sander.

Some of my other favorites from Winsome:

1. Winsome Wood Hailey 5-Tier Shelf Tower – Clean lines. Paint it, and distress this shelf for the perfect bathroom display. Display your towels and soaps nicely.

2. Their Saddle Seat Stool in Natural Finish gives you the opportunity to white wash this piece of furniture with your choice of paint. Simply add some water to your water based paint, and brush it on giving your furniture a semi transparent look. Much like staining furniture, you can wash off the extra paint giving you the control how dark you want the piece to look. This primitive looking stool comes in a natural finish giving you the opportunity to customize it. This stool sells for $36 dollars.

3. Their classic walnut finish Secretary Desk is simply lovely. Rustic in looks. Only $150, and the hardware looks fabulous!

4. Their 3-Tier Shelf Bookcase is really elegant. Again, view it painted, and distressed. The simplistic design fits right in with classic country Gustavian furniture. Don’t you just love the legs! WOW! This bookcase sells at only $105 They also have it in maple which would look nicer with distressing after you have painted it a gray or a beige.

5. I cannot help but love the drop leaf Breakfast Table in an Antique Walnut. It has all the stylings of a primitive piece from the 1800’s. Paint it up and station it against a wall. This piece sells for $178

Out of their 819 listings on Amazon, those are my best picks! So affordable, and I cannot get over the great lines of this furniture. If you are decorating in 18 century style, this is a company to consider.

This table from Winsome Furniture has all the looks of classic Gustavian furniture without the price.


I ran across an old issue of House Beautiful which featured a set of stunning Swedish furniture on the front cover of House Beautiful’s May 2002 issue. Since I don’t own the issue myself, I have been searching around to see who’s house was featured, sadly with no success. The Style Court Blog also had a picture of a settee which appeared in House Beautiful, May 2002 and credited Suzanne Rheinstein. High Beam research articles also reports of a story in the 2002 May issue of Home Beautiful that Suzanne Rheinstein decorated. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountain country, Terry and Courtnay Daniels hired Rheinstein to overhaul their home as their daughter Kaki was planning a wedding on their farm property. “The house is part of the farm, and we decided it should be open for the wedding,” she reasoned. “It’s just Southern hospitality.” I could only guess it is the picture on the cover of the magazine, but I really do not know. We hope you enjoy the pictures for your own Swedish planning and decorating. The fabric on the chairs is a perfect choice for a Swedish chair.

It is rare that I come across a piece of furniture with authentic good looks for a low price. Louis XVI furniture is often very hard to come by. Cross sells a modern set of three nesting tables in the price point of $60 dollars which have the lines of the classic lines without having to spend a lot of money. The legs are fluted giving you the look of the antique Swedish furniture. The set would look terrific painted in a creamy yellow, blue, gray, or beige accented in gold. This set could be given a distressed paint finish which would look stunning in any home which is decorated in the Swedish rustic styles. These tables could be the ideal makeover!

If you haven’t shopped Furniture Creations on Amazon, I do suggest you take a look. They offer exceptionally low priced furniture with some very nice overall designs and shape.

  • Their antique black finish wood cabinet has the overall look of a Swedish nightstand, and you wouldn’t guess this stand is ONLY $54 dollars. This nightstand comes in both black and white. They have an exceptionally designed footstool that has the overall look of a Swedish design for only $20 dollars. The stool isn’t as high as most of us would prefer, but who could complain at the price of $20 dollars!! It is the perfect buy to customize with some gray paint, a little distressing, and a new upholstery job! It could be a very nice accent in the living room. The stool comes in White, and with just plain wood. The wood stool might be a better choice in my opinion if you plan on repainting it, as the distressing will appear nicer.
  • They sell a pretty little white tall cabinet that measures 9 7/8″ x 7 1/2″ x 32 1/4″ high. For only $17 dollars it is worth getting two cabinets, which you could saw off the legs of the one, and stack them one on top of another for a taller cabinet in a bathroom. The legs are fantastic on this piece. They also sell a Baroque mirror set for only $13 dollars. The candle holders are quite good looking, and I see on Amazon, you can buy this set used for only $6 dollars. The sconces are very beautiful and would be lovely in any room. For 13 dollars, you get Free shipping with Amazon!
  • The Floral Footstools by Furniture creations is a very classic styled footstool with a bargain pricepoint. The Plain Wood Footstool gives you the opportunity to REPAINT it, or leave the wood as is. Buying the wood footstool allows you to repaint the frame and distress the paint finish producing a nicer finish than if you started with the white base coat. Any of these footstools would be very easy to upholster. These footstools are ONLY $20 dollars!

Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating
Marcia Treasures

Marcia Treasuressells a number of beautiful reproduction pieces with hand painted finishes and distressing. Amongst all the pieces, the birch wood accent dining chair sold through Marcia Treasures is has a very distinct Swedish look. The chairs sell for $600 each.

If you look at the paint, it seems to be a blue gray paint with considerable distressing. The orange color of the wood and the paint color really create a painted effect that is stunning. Designing around antiques can be very rewarding as they offer interest and intrigue compared to our modern day furniture. The beauty of painted or limed wood is that it is very easy to match to existing furniture or future furniture for that matter. With many hardware stores able to match paint with their computer technology it is easy to add to furniture along the way and having everything work together seamlessly.

Louis XVI Chair
French Louis XV and XVI Sofas
Red Chest- Swedish Styled Decorating – Country Swedish Decorating Ideas

Crestview sells a lovely distressed cabinet that makes for the perfect piece to dress up that unused space at the end of a hallway or at the bottom of a set of stairs. This cabinet measures 36 high by 43 wide and only has a depth of 12″ making it a very unique cabinet for narrow spaces. This cabinet has all the looks of Swedish styled furniture and could be left alone with the current hardware for a country distressed look or could be dressed up with brass hardware and brass keyholes. The color red can be very powerful all on its own, and needs to be well-thought-out, as well as the shade itself.

Replace The Rustic Hardware With Shiny Brass Hardware For A Nordic Gustavian Appearance


This cabinet fits perfect (hard to find 12 inch depth) in the small hallway leading into our Master Bedroom. Only wish the weathering was done more random, as in the picture. They evenly spaced the weathering on each drawer. But the cabinet itself is well made, and the color is the same as in the picture.” -Patti in Michigan

Country Swedish Interior From Buttercup Bungalow Blog

Country Swedish Interior From Buttercup Bungalow Blog

Primitive Metal Candle Holders 3 Different Styles Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating

Wilco also sells a terrific looking Metal Candle Holder. They sell it in three different sizes and it really gives a country impression. The overall look is very Swedish. It sells for $45 depending on the height you choose. Buy all three heights and group them together on a table for that Swedish country style.

How Easy Is This Design??? A canopy Bed With Red Striped Fabric From House To Home

Decorating doesn’t have to be complicated. Picking the right fabric can really be the hardest part of the whole process. House To Home shows us how easy it can be to create a lovely canopy. All you need is a ton of good looking fabric and ceiling rods, and some pipe from the plumbing section at your local hardware store.

Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating
Gustavian Looking Clock

The other clock I think is very Swedish looking is the Wilco Imports Distressed Black Table Clock. It would be a perfect night table clock or even a desk clock. It sells for $42 dollars

The one thing that makes my blogs different than all the rest is I try to do the shopping for you. I really enjoy searching out the every best furniture and decorating accents that will make your home and my home so much prettier.

Often times we look through magazines and are just blown away at some of the designs, but at the same time feel like the very design we admire is out of our reach. Antiques can be very hard to track down, and they can be extremely expensive making the possibility of decorating with them beyond a reach for most people.

Many people are unaware that reproductions are available on ebay and amazon and they vary in price points. The hard thing about tracking them down is many companies will re-create a period piece but then call it by an entirely new name, which defeats the point doesn’t it?

One thing I find particularly frustrating is many products will make their appearance on amazon or ebay, and then within a blink of an eye, they will be gone!!

I noticed the same very thing with a fabric I picked out for some Louis XVI chairs I have been holding on to for some time, only to realize when we purchased our first home, that the fabric had become discontinued, which can be very disheartening.

I have also noticed the same thing with wallpaper. If you find a wallpaper or fabric that you really love, consider buying it before it becomes discontinued. Sometimes fabric bolts are sold on ebay, and local fabric companies with websites can be found with a couple searches on the internet. Decorating is fun, and period decorating is even more of a thrill.

Neoclassical Wallpapered Neoclassical Chest With Brass hardware From Ruth Burts


Swedish Style Decorating Nordic Style – Gustavian Decorating Scandinavian 18th 17th Century Decorating

How to Decoupage Furniture 101

1. Make sure that your object is dry, smooth, and
free from any kind of imperfections. I would always suggest slighly sanding your
piece of furniture so that the glue has something to grab on to.

2. Cut out your image first. This is the most tedious and important part of the whole process. You want to be patient to get a great cut.

3. Submerge your print in water which will allow you to manipulate the print on your furniture with ease.

Avoid decoupaging with thin paper because it wrinkles and tears very easily. Many copy stores now produce beautiful prints that can be blown up to cover any large piece of furniture. Do not use ink-jet photo copies as they will smear in water.

4. Using a foam paint brush and glue, apply glue all over the furniture area you are covering. Work section by section. Align the paper with the furniture edges, and carefully apply the cutout to the surface of the furniture.

Keep your hands wet or the paper will tear. Use a wet paint brush sponge and work out excess glue, water, and air. Work outward from the center using a foam roller to flatten the surface and even out the glue underneath your print.

Avoid bending or crumpling the print, as it gives the finished product a bumpy, ugly look.

Within the first hour after the application, check your furniture piece to smooth out any air bubbles with wet fingers. Let your furniture dry overnight.

5. The next day after your piece is dry you will need to apply a sealer. It is extremely important that your first coat is a water based polycrylic. If you use an oil based polyurethane, it will leave spots in your collage, and potentially ruin it.

Modge Podge is another option which seals collages which dries to a rock hard finish. It can be used to glue your paper down and and seal your final piece. Modge Podge is available in Gloss, Satin and Matte finishes. Mod Podge also has an excellent line of fabric glue.

A water based polycrylic is always the very best option on white painted furniture, as an oil based polyurthane will always turn yellow overnight and keep getting darker in color over time. Polycrylic comes in a satin, semi gloss and gloss finishes. It also comes in a beautiful spray, which makes it much easier to produce a clean, even finish. The polycrylic or Mod Podge are excellent products to seal your furniture, but if you wish to additionally add an oil based spray lacquer, use it after you have applied 2 layers of polycrylic.

If your collage is lightly colored, I would caution you against using anything but water based. For darker prints, a polyurthane spray will be just fine after your water based crylic has dried.

Acrylic lacquer avoids the yellowing problems associated with nitrocellulose lacquer. Acrylic resins go on crystal-clear and stay that way over time. The most widely used acrylic lacquer is called CAB-acrylic lacquer, made with cellulose acetate butyrate and acrylic resins.

A 3 drawer chest painted gray cloth cover Braquenié with drawers wrapped in red velvet

This lovely chest features a touch of red – From Charles-Emile Moinat

Swedish Wallpaper Ideas From Anne Sage Blog

Swedish Wallpaper Ideas From Anne Sage Blog

Swedish Looking Wallpaper

It is always really exciting for me to come across a new richly designed Swedish home. If you love Swedish furniture like I do, you really cherish the photos of homes which are decorated in 18th century style, because they are so rare to come across. If you haven’t had a chance to look through Clare Fraser’s home featured inThe New York Social Diary, please look at how she incorporates both Swedish and French decorating. Everything in Clare’s home is hand picked, and not an inch of her home isn’t perfectly designed.

One wall is faux painted in a large scale marble. Among her fabulous accessories, her gilt wall clocks really shine. If you look closely at the bed in her bedroom, the upholstered headboard fabric matches up perfectly with the design on the wall. Nothing is left unnoticed. If you would like to re-create the sophistication of an 18th century wall, consider wallpaper which reproduces a classic historical pattern on a white background.

Most Swedish homes at that time were not rendered in silk like the French stylings, but rather in simple cottons. If cottons were hand blocked, motifs were generally printed on a white background. If the pattern was woven, checks or stripes were the typical print. In Claire’s home, you can see two lovely bombe chests on either side of her bed with gilt wall shelves which she features some of her favorite statues. The brightness of the gold really presents a richness against the white patterned walls. Adding a rich antique painting also can re-create an 18th century look along with gathering the right looking furniture that would be prevalent during that period of time.

Swedish Decorating Ideas – Clare Fraser’s home featured in The New York Social Diary

Swedish Decorating Ideas – Clare Fraser’s home featured in The New York Social Diary
Swedish Decorating Ideas – Blue and White Wallpaper


Swedish Looking Furniture For Less


AA Importing Sells this wonderful four Drawer Bombe Chest for $915

Swedish Looking Wallpaper For Less

Ashford Toiles Bird Toile Wallpaper, Blue/White

Get The Swedish Look For Less

Superior Furniture Co. Charters sells this lovely French accent chest for $1800

Swedish Looking Wallpaper For Less
Swedish Looking Furniture For Less

Fairfax Home Furnishings Antique Bombe Chest

Swedish Looks For Less

Williamsburg 5510043 Asian Toile Wallpaper , Blue, 20.5-Inch Wide

Get The Swedish Looks For Less


Black chests are often seen in Swedish homes, and look terrific against white and blue or white and red walls. Dara Bombe Chest by Jasper Cabinet – runs about $1500.

Swedish Looking Wallpaper

Key Wallpaper has this very simplistic blue design that would work perfect in bathrooms or pantries, or any room that is quite small.

Swedish Looking Chests

Crestview CVFYR922 Three Drawer Bombay Chest in Distressed Black with Cherrywood. Crestwiew has this really gorgeous chest priced at $660!!!

Swedish Stencils

Picture Of Elegance featured a number of stunning pictures on their blog of Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in Normandy, France. The chateau was built ca.1765, and reflects a French Swedish Rococo architectural period of style. The highlight of the pictures are the amazing stenciled walls. One can only imagine what it would look like in person! Trouvais featured some larger pictures of their home originally featured on World of Interiors in April of 1994. If you carefully study the bedroom you can see the amazing hand painted olive leaf stenciling on the furniture and the walls. In one of the pictures, it is very unclear, but it seems as though the french desk is stenciled. If you are considering stenciling furniture or the walls, finding the right pattern can be most of the battle. In the past I have resorted to cutting my own stencils with a stencil cutter which is very time consuming but extremely rewarding to get the exact design you have in mind. The first dresser I stenciled was a zebra pattern which I cut from the pattern of a bed sheet. All you need is a cutting tool that heats up that has a sharp rolled edge and some clear stenciling sheets. You can get interesting patterns from the books in your local library or order a book that contains age old stencil designs which you can copy from.

Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in Normandy, France Picture Credit Tweedland And the Gentlemans Club Blog
Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in Normandy, France Picture Credit Tweedland And the Gentlemans Club Blog

Tweedland And the Gentlemans Club Blog

Another way of getting a large design up on the walls or on to furniture is using an overhead projector. It is worth picking one up if you plan on doing a large design on the walls. For myself, I am not too good with free hand drawing, and you almost need to be absolutely great artistically to pull off a worthy design to go on the walls.

An overhead projector is a easy way of transferring a large scale design on the walls. All you need is the time to paint the details. It also doesn’t have to be too complicated either. Take a look at the navy and gold dresser I painted up simply by using an overhead projector. The design was large, so it took me no time at all!

Here is another french chest I painted using an overhead projector. The possibilities are endless! The best thing about an overhead projector is you can combine a number of different patterns to create a custom look much like Lillians bedroom. The design that is in Ted and Lillian Williams bedroom is an olive leaf design which can be collected from a number of different sources and then applied to the wall using the same paint, and it would all blend in much like something right out of the 17th century!

French Style Decorating From World Of-Interiors April-94 From Trouvais Blog

The book Repeating Patterns 1100 – 1800 is an excellent book for cutting out your own designs and stenciling them on to the wall or furniture. The stencils can be very easy to quite complicated. This book and CD-Rom set contains a stunning collection of repeating patterns from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque.

The book 2,286 Traditional Stencil Designs is a 128 page book containing designs in reproductions of two rare catalogs: ornamental borders, corners and frames with intricate floral and foliated patterns, and architectural ornaments.

800 Classic Ornaments and Designs contains 144 pages of ornaments such as decorated with flowers. This is a treasury of royalty-free art that includes classical columns, a rich selection of heraldic designs, and a variety of charming calligraphic alphabets. A priceless resource for artists and designers.

Painted By Lillian From World Of-Interiors April-94 From Trouvais Blog


This must be the same bedroom. As you can see her design isn’t too complicated. It matches the china, which must have been her inspiration.

This Quilt Bridal leaf stencil is as close I could find on Amazon of Ted and Lillians bedroom pattern. Depending on the size it could be shifted around and penciled in on the wall to create a design and then painted.

Look how Lillian matched the mirror to the wall. She did a terrific job!! All of your french furniture features the raised details that can be painted to match the colors of your room.

The Artful Stencil on ebay features a number of really large stencils that you can use as a pattern. They carry a fair amount of damask stencils.

Stencil Mania has a lovely Fleur De Lis stencil that features an elongated leaf pattern can be used vertically or horizontally on furniture.

The picture containing the french desk in the center of the room looks to be stenciled as well. The picture is rather dark and small to tell. I had a green painted chair I wanted to stencil except getting around curved edges can be a challenge. One way to get around some of the edges is simply to pencil in the design from the stencil and then hand paint it. Why didn’t I think of that before? Chinoiserie styled painting is extremely beautiful.

Designer stencils sells a really pretty cake stencil which you can use for your furniture. It features 5 different stencils for around $70 dollars.

If you look off into the distance in one of the bedrooms you can see a French chair covered in blue and white chinoiserie fabric. Chinoiserie fabric is really hard to find at a reasonable price point, although Ralph Lauren sells a wonderful blue and white chinoiserie porcelain print that would really make any room beautiful.

Williamsburg also sells a blue and white Asian Toile Wallpaper.

In addition York sells a lovely blue and white Bird Toile wallpaper.

York sells a wonderful detailed blue and white pattern called Ashford Toiles Old World Toile. It sure would look amazing on the walls. I can only imagine!!

If you are looking for something simple on the walls consider the Ashford Toiles Geometric Trellis Wallpaper, which gives a very Swedish / French look to the wall.

If you have been a fan of the gold tones, consider Yorks Neoclassical pattern in Yellow. It is really sensational. My entire living room is going to be based around blues with pops of bright yellow. Can you just imagine some bright silk yellow sheets? AH! So beautiful. Upholster some good Louis XV chairs in some bright yellow fabric with this wall paper, and be sure the frame is BRIGHT Gold!


Here are some ideas to creating century old walls……..

* York sells a neoclassical print that has a light background for $88 dollars a roll. The detailing is more delicate. This is a spectacular print. Here is the light blue version of this paper. They also have a green print on a white background as well.

* The Chelsea Damask Citrine by Ralph Lauren is a really nice bright print that can be matched up with some coordinating fabric to give an authentic french look in a bedroom. The sister print, Delamere Damask Jade is a light blue.

* Lights Forever sells a large 12 x 12 damask stencil that you can use for your walls. It sells for $14 dollars.

* Faux Like a Pro has a Faux Painting Damask Stencil Kit, which includes 1 gallon of GLAZE, 1 Bristle Block Brush to apply the paint with and the Damask stencil you see in the advertisement.

* Plaid sells a wonderful Stencil Decor Multi-Layer Border Stencils in a damask pattern

*Fabrics and Wallpapers for Historic Buildings is a volume for everyone involved in restoring or researching American houses built between 1700 and 1900. An interesting guide for those who enjoy researching authentic wallpaper designs.

* The Lancaster wallpaper by Ralph Lauren could be a really nice base print for hand painting. Paint over the design using 2 or 3 tones of colors. They also have it in a Navy and Pink. I think adding tones of gold, and two other colors would be extremely rich!

* Consider decorating all in red with the Champagne Toile Prepasted Wallpaper by York. Pair this wallpaper up with some simple white and red check fabric.

Swedish Decorating Ideas

Thomas Britt’s summer home is filled with memories of traveling to Ireland, Burma, India, Mexico, Paris, Portugal and Sweden. He was inspired by the Ekensberg residence in Sweden. His vision was based on an eclecticism of colors, forms and materials. In one of the rooms the floor is painted, the same as that in the summer palace of Rosersberg, the Swedish king Charles XIV. The inspiration for the living room was the library Chateaux de Groussay renowned art collector Charles de Beistegui.

Swedish Decorating Ideas- LOOK At The Painted Floors
Swedish Decorating Ideas
Swedish Decorating Ideas

Make Your Own Birdgage

Finding the right stand for your birdcage can take a lot of searching because they are not commonly found. If you are like me, you don’t want to wait years before you find a birdcage and stand set, so why not just combine two pieces together?

Plant or telephone stands tend to be taller, and would work better than a typical end table stand. Ideally you would like to match up the dimensions of the bottom of your birdcage to fit the stand, or vise versa.

Coaster sells a really upscale plant stand that would look sensational with a birdcage. At $133 if it fits a birdcage you have in mind, it would look extremely elegant. The stand could be painted along with your birdcage to create a matching set. Go with a painted Swedish blue and white, or a Swedish Blue and Gold. Yellow and gold is extremely elegant, and don’t forget Falu red and pastel greens which are also classic Swedish colors. Buy a detail paint brush for painting in the areas to be highlighted. Ideally gold and a paint color, or a paint color and white as an accent would be typical Swedish accent colors. There are limited choices when it comes to getting the right look together for a Swedish look. Swedish looks tend either to be Neoclassical in nature, or Rococo in style. Some of the neoclassical looks borrow from Empire furnishings which tend to be stronger, masculine styles, while the Rococo tends to be very ornate and curvy. Check out my suggestions below, and don’t forget ebay as another shopping outlet!

This is a very elegant tall stand, with Empire Stylings. This is a perfect stand for a smaller cage. Paint both the birdcage and stand the same color. Use the table lip to decorate with some custom ormolu much like the birdcage below. Look at the beautiful blue accented with gold.


Look at this wonderful Antique Birdcage with matching stand. This was a set made together. You can get this same look by just matching up a birdcage with the right size of stand.

Picture Credit A Secret Forest Blog


In the house of Barbro Grandelius, a very distinct style flows through the house.  From the rustic painted wood furniture to the light colored cabinetry, this house has the best of country Swedish Furniture.

International Concepts sells a primitive looking mission styled chair which is sold unfinished that looks almost like the old Swedish country dining chairs in these pictures.  Of course, these modern day chairs do not have the fluted legs or the tapered as the antiques do, but they are pretty close in appearance if you are trying to locate some country styled chairs for your dining room.

In our post Country Home Decor we discuss Judith Miller’s In Influential Country Styles, in which Judith Miller  reviews all the relevant looks across the world in the arena of country decorating and furniture. In that post, we show two examples of this antique chair shown with fluted legs to give you an idea of how close International Concepts chair comes to the antiques.  The chair comes unfinished giving you the opportunity to paint it, stain it or white wash it.  Working with the bare wood opens up a wide range of possibilities.

Another chair that comes close is the Jofran country chair in white.  If you look at any of the pictures of Barbro Grandelius’s home, the chairs are painted in a gray with tapered legs.  The chair by Jofran isn’t that far off.  The upholstery can be changed for a more authentic look, and the frame can be painted a egg shell gray to give the appearance of a Swedish look.

Another avenue to explore is the Jofran  Sonata Dining Chair. The chair is constructed with solid Asian hardwood and finished with an antique white paint.   This chair sells for $87.  The back of the chair has nice streamlined features that compare to old country styles.  Again, the bottom of the chairs are not the same as the fluted Swedish antiques, but the overall look can be considered very country.

Jofran also sells a 6 piece set in antique black which includes four side chairs, one bench and a table for $899  If you are looking for something smaller in size, consider Jofran’s set in a round pedestal table that includes 4 chairs.  The set is unpainted and stained in a warm honey.  This set comes in all natural wood which allows you the opportunity to paint the set and distress it in what ever color you wish.  If you are hoping for a different table, sell the table on your local craigslist.  The set is priced at $349 which is exceptionally well priced for both the table and chairs.

Jofran also has a 7 piece set for under $1000 painted in black, as well as a 7 piece set in white. These chairs also come in a country green.  Add some square cushions and you have a stunning set that looks primitive and centuries old.

International Concepts 265P Pair of Mission Side Chairs, UnfinishedInternational Concepts 265P Pair of Mission Side Chairs, Unfinished

We truly cannot even imagine how life must have been in the 18th and 19th centuries until we were to actually live it first hand. PBS created a series called Frontier House in which they took three families and put them into the Montana countryside and re-created the challenges the early pioneers and immigrants faced living off the land. In 1862 the Homesteading Act was created by the U.S. government, which declared that any citizen of the United States could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. Many jumped at the opportunity, including impoverished farmers from the East and immigrants from Europe. After a payment of a nominal filing fee, homesteaders were then to “improve” their land by living on it, building a home and planting crops. If the settlers fulfilled these requirements, and remained on their homestead for a period of five years, the land became their property. This was a great opportunity to start a new life for many people living in the cities and abroad. 270 million acres, or 10% of the continental United States were essentially opened up to private citizens.

Immigrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Yugoslavia, France, Italy, Spain, and Ireland flooded into the Territory. Over the 124-year history of the Act, more than 2 million individuals filed claims, but of these claims, only 783,000 — less than half — ultimately obtained the deeds for their homesteads. Life was rough. I couldn’t imagine the harsh winters in Montana without a furnace and how they could survive off of food they stored up from the garden over the months from the summer. Many homesteaders that took claims, came with little or no farming experience. In addition, Montana is quite cold in the winter with conditions comparable to Northern Canada. Growing crops in the harsh conditions of the West was a difficult task for even the most seasoned farmers. You tube has many of the episodes of this series up for free. Enjoy how these modern families equip to living in the 19th century. It might become your new nightly program!




How To Stain Fabrics With Tea To Get An Antique Appearance


Tea Stained Fabric From Country Living Magazine

Tea staining is one of the best kept secrets that designers use to distress and alter upholstery fabric to give an aged look when recovering antique chairs, drapery and linens.  Staining fabric can turn some of your existing fabric remnants into naturally aged material which could be a source of new accents for your home.   Tea staining a fabric doll could be the perfect centerpiece for your child’s bedroom, or create some vintage throw pillows for that room that needs a touch of old-fashioned character.

How to Naturally Stain Fabric with Tea

Tea staining works the best with natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, muslin, and linens.  Synthetic materials will not accept stain.  The very first thing you will need to do is wash the fabric which removes the chemicals and starch from the manufacturing process.  From the wash, you are ready to dye your fabric with tea. Your fabric is needing to be damp, than dry.  If you’re starting with dry fabric, soak it in water briefly, then squeeze out the excess water.  Utilize a pot big enough to hold your fabric allowing ample room for the water to move around the fabric and folds easily.  Bring the water to a boil, and add in the tea bags.

NEXT let tea bags steep for about five minutes in your boiled water, and then remove the bags from the water. Mixing both the tea bags and fabric together will result in darker stains which could be a detail that may look  horribly dirty than naturally stained. Remove after the color achieved is to your liking.

“Tea” comes from the Chinese who transformed this popular drink from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. There are six basic varieties of tea; white, yellow, green, black, oolong, and pu-erh. The differences are determined by how they are processed, as some such as green tea are dried, but not wilted, while others go through a enzymatic oxidation, which is called fermentation.  Standard black teas will give a soft brown or cream color to your fabric, while some of the herbal teas leave more of a red tone.


 Rit Dye Taupe, Rit Dye Golden Yellow, Rit Dye Dark Brown,Rit Dye Kelly Green
Rit Dye Teal,Rit Dye Liquid Cocoa Brown,Rit Dye Yellow
Rit Dye Tan, Rit Dye Pearl Grey, Rit Dye Apple Green,Rit Dye Tangerine

 Round Galvanized Tub Oval Galvanized Steel Tub

Other tips:

Your fabric will dry a shade lighter.  If you find that you have waited too long and the dye has turned out darker than anticipated, bleach could turn it a few shades lighter.

Either, 1- Fill up your washing machine with water with some bleach, and allow it to go through a cycle in the wash, or…….

2- Fill your galvanized bucket with water and bleach and turn your material around in the bucket until you are happy with the color.

WARNING- If you choose to use the bucket method, please please please cover your face with a mask and a exterior towel over the mask.   Proceed at your own risk, and always consider using this technique outdoors.

For additional Information on dying fabrics check out this article by Dawn Jacobson who gives some unique tips that I have found useful.

Dying textiles can recreate something quite ordinary into something with antique charactor.  It can transform a set of roman shades, a vintage stuffed animal, or a childs vintage dress.  Dying fabrics will never go out of style and could be a technique to add some historical character into a your home.

I don’t have a tremendous amount of time for projects, but every once in a while I am able to get in a painted chest, or a sewing project. We all have different skill sets, and for me, the quicker and easier the project the better! I love drum lampshades, but I find that the over sized drum shades don’t work as well with thinner lamp stands. I found some smaller scaled drum shades at a local thrift store so I thought I would try re-covering them. I removed the shade of its previous fabric, and hot glued a beige linen fabric to the outside. I didn’t glue anywhere except the top and bottom metal frame at this point in the project. I then measured the inside and sewed together an inside fabric and glued it to the top and bottom of the frame on the outside. Lastly, I finished the frame off by sewing a strip of the same fabric to the top and bottom of the frame to complete the look. If I were ever to do this project again, I would work only with very light linen, as I find when I turn on the lap the light doesn’t project through the fabric. Lighter fabric would illuminate the room better than thicker linen. This project takes a good days work, or for some of you quicker workers, perhaps half a day work. I would certainly do it again for the right lamp!