Isn’t mercury glass so beautiful? I’ve been eyeing gorgeous pieces for Christmas decor and tree ornaments, wedding decor, and everything in-between.
Today I tried my hand at a little DIY mercury glass project. Where was the first place I checked when I realized I needed some jars? The recycling bin! Luckily for me, tomorrow is trash day, so I had a great selection of glass containers. I worked with a small glass jar from grated cheese today, but this same technique would work with any glass container.
I love a whole grouping of glass together. Mercury glass looks equally at home in romantic vintage decor or a contemporary setting. These DIY jars would look great with a large group of them hanging at a party or wedding, grouped on a mantle, or on a tablescape. In fact, I love this easy project so much, I plan to make a set of mercury glass from everything I can find to upcycle!
Most of us would agree that a great kitchen occupies the top of our wish list when it comes to our dwelling place. I’ve seen a ton of the “chef’s kitchens” all over home improvement shows and real estate listings, but there is another way to go with a kitchen redo. An amazing vintage-style kitchen has a decidedly cozier vibe than the stainless steel and granite look that is so prevalent. Especially if you want to stay in character with your home’s architecture and build date, a vintage kitchen might be just what you’re looking for.
The kitchen really is the heart of the home, the place where you make your morning tea or coffee, where all those aromas of Christmas cookies, homemade soups, and weekend breakfasts originate, and where you sit around the kitchen table and catch up with the family after a day’s work.
I have fond memories from my childhood of hanging out in my family’s kitchen, laughing the night away with my sisters and mom, playing a game of yahtzee, or getting out my big box of crayons and doing an art project. I absolutely love the feel of a comfortable nostaligic kitchen.
If you’re looking to add some vintage charm to your kitchen, there are a ton of great ideas and products out there to help you achieve the perfect retro kitchen.
Ideas for a vintage style kitchen
With any interior space, color really sets the tone. This is especially true in a vintage restoration. Bright, cheerful colors dominated design choices in the forties, fifties, and sixties. Our first home, a brick ranch duplex built in the 1950’s, featured yellow formica countertops in the kitchen and aqua and black ceramic tile in the bathroom! Pink was a huge trend in the 1950s as a result of Mamie Eisenhower’s fondness for the color. In fact, like many midcentury homes, the 1950s home I grew up in had a pink-tiled bathroom. For color ideas for your kitchen, consider these great options:
Way before millenials discovered this fabulous color, pink was all the rage for decor in the 1950s. Once the shade was popularized by the first lady, everything was in the pink until the early sixties.
Black and white
Stark black and white are bold accents in a vintage kitchen. Often, black tile was used against a bright or pastel. Checkerboard and octagon and dot patterns in black and white are perfect.
Bright cherry red is an excellent choice, especially combined with chrome for a diner feel.
Turquoise blue provides a cheerful hue in a vintage kitchen. Lighter tones are gorgeous on cabinetry or appliances, and bold tones combine well with red.
In the 1940s and 1950s, jadeite glassware become popular, along with other lines of green dishware. Mamie Eisenhower also employed quite a bit of green along with her pink. Green is a terrific option for a vintage kitchen with shades ranging from spring green to muted jade.
The first two homes my husband and I lived in were both circa 1950s. They both had windows over the sink with small shelves and a decorative valence as seen in the top photo of this post. They both had really tall cabinets.
If you are lucky enough to live in an older home you want to restore, I would say try to keep the cabinets, or at least some of them. Cabinets can be painted, updated with storage features, or partially salvaged to add to the authenticity of your home. Sometimes you don’t need a whole new kitchen.
For new cabinets and cupboards, you can think about ways to make sure they are in keeping with your overall design. Consider going extra tall with your cabinets. On a plain door design, adding nostalgic glass knobs and drawer pulls provides a beautiful look and an accent of color. Cabinet manufacturers do carry pastel colors, or choose white and add color in accessories, walls, and flooring. Consider adding some glass-front doors as well.
Add some free-standing painted furniture cabinet pieces to continue the vintage charm.
Tile flooring is ideal for a kitchen restoration. If you really want to be authentic, genuine linoleum tile might be a good option and it’s also colorful and durable.
Ceramic tile offers limitless choices. I love the bold graphic tiles with a bit of black or an octagon and dot mosaic look.
Wallpaper featuring vintage patterns that brings together your color scheme is an awesome choice for your retro style kitchen. Solid painted walls can look great as well, especially with some amazing vintage artwork or advertising.
There are some truly remarkable vintage-style appliances out there that combine modern functioning with all the charm of a nostalgic kitchen. If you’re commited to the restoration of a period home, it’s definitely worth looking into these great appliance options.
Can you imagine looking at these every time you walk into your kitchen? It’s like being in that cool diner that serves great eggs all the time.
Small details make a huge difference, like choosing your dishes to complement the design of your kitchen. Consider pink glassware, jadeite, atomic designs, nostalgic florals, whatever suits your style best.
Display some dishes in a glass-fronted cabinet if possible.
Patterned dish towels and tablecloths that are genuine vintage or vintage-inspired will add tremendously to your decor. Aprons, oven mitts, and kitchen curtains are all elements to consider.
8. Lighting fixtures
Authentic lighting fixtures can really make all the difference in design. Consider what the overall theme is in your room. In a bold red kitchen, chrome may be a great choice. Schoolhouse lights are really great in any 1950s kitchen. Atomic fixtures can be awesome too if that goes with the rest of the decor. There are so many great reproduction lighting options out there to choose from.
A vintage kitchen is definitely an eat-in kitchen, so make sure to take a look at vintage-style kitchen tables. A cozy booth like your favorite diner or a built-in banquette would be amazing. Bar stools in a snazzy vintage design are also perfect.
This is the really fun part if you ask me. The possibilities for retro accessories are almost endless. Wall clocks, radios, old school fans, menu boards, lighted signs, rotary phones, it’s just all too much fun!
I think the time is right for designs drawing from the past. Young people are nostalgic these days, and many of us would just like to return to a simpler time, even if it’s just in our home. We’re craving peace, stability, and some comfort food. Yeah comfort food, that’s it. How about a nice meatloaf sandwich with a side of mashed potatoes? 🙂
Have a beautiful day, and add something fun to your life. 🙂
Hello and happy first day of October! Are you looking for a super simple way to add some fall cheer to your walls or classroom? These four fall printables remind me of a peaceful farmhouse and of simpler times.
I hope you enjoy them. Let’s be thankful for the little joys in life these days. 🙂
I don’t know about you, but I love Thanksgiving! The traditional recipes (in our house, that’s turkey, mashed potatoes, baked yams, juicy stuffing, and something we call seafoam salad, made from pears, jello, and cream cheese–trust me it’s delicious), the family, and of course giving thanks for all of our many blessings.
In the last few years, I have taken over hosting from my mother-in-law, which has actually been a lot of fun. I relish all the planning, and especially decorating the table creatively with a unique tablescape every year. This year, I’m not sure how many of us will be together because of the pandemic, but I’m still planning and we will definitely still be as thankful as always and celebrate as much as possible under the circumstances.
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I have a gorgeous quilted table runner made for me by my mother in law from beautiful Mode Rue 1800 fabrics that will set the theme for my table this year. From there, I’m going with a shabby chic farmhouse feel combining soft colors and various textures. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for a shabby chic holiday table.
Start with a subtle color scheme. My table runner is a blend of shell pink, taupe, ivory, and subdued sage green. While not traditional for a fall tablescape, the light colors shine in farmhouse decor.
Let your tabletop become part of your decor. We have a big distressed oak table that can seat a crowd. I like the look of the wood, so I often use seasonal and decorative placemats instead of a tablecloth that would completely cover the surface. As an added benefit, placemats make for easy cleanup.
Layer elements at each place setting. I love to use a few layers of decoration at each place. I have combined solid woven placemats with copper and silver cut-out maple placemats. I also love to mix up a couple of napkin patterns. Here, each guest has a metallic polka-dot napkin and a traditional turkey napkin.
Use pastel floral china for a shabby chic feel. I love the light pink florals with my other colors. Pink and Thanksgiving are not two words you would normally associate, but I love the combination this year!
Find a versatile Thanksgiving decorating piece. I love my white gilded turkey. My little gobbler goes with everything. No matter where I place him, he’s always at home. I remember the day my son with special needs picked this out at Home Goods (and he rarely wants anything from stores) and now I’m so glad he asked for it!
Bring in some natural elements. I love using twig spheres, cotton, pine cones, small pumpkins, and gourds on the table. They definitely remind us of the season we’re celebrating.
Add a showstopper centerpiece to the table. A gorgeous display of blooms at the center of your table will be the crowning touch to a beautiful table. Here I have used large floral orbs you can make yourself (see post here) as a focal point for my centerpieces.
Break out the good stuff. In our home, we have a ton of items that are especially for the holidays. For example, it’s our tradition to use stemware on holidays but it stays in the sideboard for the rest of the year. Everyone looks forward to seeing those special items each year, and I’m so glad we started these traditions many years ago. Crystal candleholders are another item we love for a holiday table setting.
Add some mixed metallic details. I love the look of the copper and silver leaves, rose gold orbs, gold-rimmed china, and gilded turkey all together on one table.
I hope you find a few ideas here as you begin your Thanksgiving preparations! If you are interested in creating a similar look, please see my Shop the Look on Amazon! Contains affiliate links; thanks so much for supporting my blog. 🙂
Click links below for details on my Thanksgiving table picks. 🙂
For our family, Summer 2020 has become The Year of the Patio. Any socializing we have done, even with family, has been in our outdoor space to minimize the risk of covid infection for our son with Down Syndrome. In a lot of ways, its been a fun year of discovering the birds, plants, and animals that inhabit our backyard and the simple pleasures of the sunshine and fresh air. But now that the season is coming to an end, we, like many others, are wondering how we can maximize our time in our outdoor space and make it more usable into the fall.
Here are a few ways to make your deck, patio, or backyard space more functional in cooler weather so you can continue to get as much use out of it as possible.
Upgrade outdoor lighting.
As the days grow shorter and shorter, I’ve enjoyed all the lighting we have on our patio. We have two sets of vintage-style string lights running along the pergola and amber glass lanterns in the garden and along the house. All this lighting provides enough illumination to comfortably socialize even when night falls. Candle lanterns are a great alternative for portable lighting.
2. Add an outdoor heat feature
Consider adding a source of heat to your outdoor space. This could be extremely simple, like a firepit built from landscape stones, or it could be extremely elaborate, like a whole outdoor fireplace. A nice cozy, warm spot will extend your backyard usability into the autumn months. Right now, we have a small portable firepit that gives us a little extra warmth on a chilly night. A fire table with a seating area would be a terrific addition!
3. Add comfortable furniture
An outdoor sofa with plenty of space offers lots of options for outdoor enjoyment. This patio features an outdoor coffee table to enjoy a hot beverage and snack or just put your feet up and enjoy nature.
4. Add a great outdoor cooking option
When you have a terrific outdoor cooking area, spending time out in the fresh air into the fall months is a lot more fun. Imagine taking a few steps outside your back door and cooking up something delicious on an outdoor griddle! My young adult kids recently purchased this amazing Cuisinart grill and have been raving about it ever since!
I’m seeing amazing hanging floral orbs everywhere these days, from stylish front porches to glamorous wedding receptions. What a unique, eye-catching, and beautiful way to display your greenery and flower arrangements at your event or in your home!
These hanging decorations can be used in any way your imagination can think up. In fact, the floral orb that inspired my design was a fall decoration containing mini-pumpkins and eucalyptus. The great thing about these is everything is attached to a piece of floral foam, and everything can be re-done again and again. I plan to use my decorative orbs as a seasonal decoration, with fall flowers right now, pine boughs at Christmas, and so on.
For an added dimension, I think it would be amazing to add wired fairy lights, and I’m going to give that a try at Christmastime.
These floral orbs make fantastic wedding decor also. The DIY project is easy on your budget too!
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Okay, if you’re ready to give these gorgeous decorations a try, let’s get to it!
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Here’s how you build the orbs. We made one large 18 inch orb and a smaller 10 inch orb using the plant stakes.
Step 1: Disassemble the rings and stakes from each other. Depending on how your stakes are put together, it can be a bit of a brain-teaser getting them apart, but they are separate pieces.
Step 2: Cut 2 24 inch segments of your 16 gauge wire
Step 3: Taking the four large rings from the plant stakes, put them together so they form an orb with equidistant segments, like an orange.
Step 4: Holding your rings steady in the way you would like them to be for the finished product, pick up a piece of wire. Fasten one end of the wire onto the hoops by wrapping it on with the pliers. . Use your pliers to take the wire up through segment 1 and down through segment 5 (see diagram). Weave the wire up through segment 6 and down through 2, up through 3 and down through 7, up through 8 and down through 4.
Step 5: Wrap the wire around the bottom, and tuck in any sharp edges with the pliers. Repeat the same weaving process with the second piece of wire at the other end of the orb.
NOTE: We made the smaller orb using the garden stakes that came with the hoops. They needed to be bent into a circular form first.
Step 6: Spray paint the entire orb. I painted mine with a coat of light pink and a very light coat of copper over top. This gave the orb a rose-gold to copper look. You could pick whatever color goes with your event or look.
Step 7: Cut off a piece of floral foam from your block. I used ¾ of a block for the large orb and ¼ for the small orb.
Step 8: Attach the piece of foam to the bottom inside of the orb using 10 greening pins. Hold the foam in place and poke the pins up from the bottom, making sure to anchor the foam to the orb frame.The advantage to attaching the foam this way instead of gluing is that you can remove the foam easily to replace it or to use the orb for something else, like lighting it up with fairy lights.
Step 9: Attach the rope for hanging. Our larger orb started with 3 feet of rope. I love the natural rope with the rosy metal. It gives the project a nice warm feel that’s really on-trend right now. We did an eye splice on both ends of our three-strand rope to give the rope a hanger and a decorative touch. You can see how to do that here, or you could hang the orb by simply knotting the rope to the top. I tied the looped rope to the orb using a tiny sheer bow.
Step 10: Using a hot glue gun, glue Spanish moss over top of the floral foam to cover it.
Step 11: Add floral elements. I started with a base of seeded eucalyptus and left some drape down. I added cream color roses for a simple and elegant display.
The orbs look great in so many different ways. I had fun playing around with a few different elements and created a pink and burgundy look. The flowers used in this arrangement are sweetheart roses, hydrangea, and sedum.
It’s hard to believe these flowery orbs started out as tomato stakes!
I hope you’ll give this a try and post a photo!
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Have a beautiful day, and try something creative 🙂
Each year the Pantone organization unveils its trendsetting color of the year. A complex mix of factors are considered, including global trends, travel destinations, lifestyle, and more. This year, Pantone felt the world needed a color that speaks of peace, tranquility, and comfort. Their choice of Classic Blue seems perfect for what we all need in the year 2020.
If you’re looking for a quick little decor update in Classic Blue and on a budget too, here are some awesome finds for a cozy and trendy space. Beautiful and comfortable decor doesn’t have to be expensive!
This art canvas featuring a beautiful equine motif will set the color theme beginning with the walls. $31.99
The air swirls briskly and the sunlight shines brightly as I sweep the summer cobwebs off of our little brick front porch today. What a gorgeous day to get ready for a new season! No matter what else is going on, the change in weather puts me in the mood to do something new and creative with our decor.
After a little arranging and re-arranging, our front door is now ready for fall and putting it all together was a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Most of the featured objects on the porch are DIY projects from earlier this month. Please see the end of the post for links to how-tos. 🙂
We have a huge patio in the back of our house, but our front door entrance has a really tiny brick porch. The small entryway offers a unique challenge for adding seasonal decorations. Working on this project, I found that adding varying heights was key to forming a balanced display in this small of a space.
Here are some decorating tips for a small front porch design:
Go vertical with your design elements.
Since there is no space for a wide display, stack your items by placing them at varying heights. Here I have used a large urn as the background tallest element with willow twigs added to the pot for even more height, a thrifted shabby iron plant stand to hold my painted pumpkin, and pots of different sizes.
2. Limit your colors to a few harmonious shades.
In a small space, your design will have more impact and cohesiveness if you choose a harmonious color display. I decided to include shades of purple, plum, and green in my fall display with accents of blue and white.
3. Add unique and personalized touches.
I brought in my love for blue and white ceramics and decor pieces for my porch design. I hand-painted this pumpkin based on chinoiserie patterns and brought other blue and white touches including damask ribbon, other small chinoiserie pumpkins I created, and blue and white containers for plants. I also added cottage elements such as the mission style lanterns and the DIY cement leaves.
4. Add decorative elements to the wall surface or doorframe.
The doorframe itself may give you a spot to add to your seasonal display. This acorn and oak leaf plaque is a subtle and elegant addition to the porch decor. It provides some texture and adds to the autumn theme without overpowering the door wreath.
5. Make the door a focal point.
With a small porch design, the front door is definitely one of the main surfaces you have to work with. Make the most of it by choosing a wreath that fits your color scheme and the overall feel you are going for. I was going for a cozy bungalow shabby vibe, so I used the autumn hue hydrangea wreath I created recently and added a blue and white damask bow to carry through my color scheme.
Bonus tip: have someone keep you company and provide feedback on your work. 🙂
Mr. Bingley the Cavalier King Charles enjoys some fresh air between naps on the sofa.
I also made some leaf castings using instructions from this great blog. I painted a couple of them to go with my fall display.
What a super fun project this was, and a wonderful way to welcome in the new season! Now when I go out the front door in the morning and it’s chilly and not summer anymore, I will have some cheerful cottage decor to put a smile on my face. 🙂
Have a beautiful day, and do something creative! 🙂