Remember how I said that I am a little superstitious about photographing a project? That if I want a project to turn out, I don't take pictures for the blog because that ensures it will be great? Well, I should have listened to my own advice.
After reading about Jenny's success doing a gold leaf project, I decided I wanted to try one, too. I bought this tole wheat table base a while back. It is a fabulous piece and just needs a glass on top to make it a gorgeous Hollywood Regency coffee table.
The gold paint finish had long faded over time, so I thought it would be a great gold leaf project to start on.
I went to Michael's and bought a gold leaf kit. Or what I thought was a gold leaf kit.
After bringing it home, I realized that it was just the sheets of gold leaf and that they would also require adhesive and sealant. So back to Michael's I went.
At this point, I had invested over $30 in gold leaf supplies in addition to the cost of the table, which was not insignificant since I bought it "retail."
I decided to start on this sad little leg.
I applied adhesive. The directions aren't very clear, but they state that it takes 20-40 minutes for the adhesive to become tacky. I assumed that meant to wait 20 minutes before applying the gold leaf so that it would adhere properly.
Here is where I must say that Jenny was smart to start with a flat surface (picture frame). Gold leaf comes in sheets and is thinner than you can imagine. It is so much thinner than tissue paper. So trying to wrap it around a very ornate table base is no small feat. And definitely not for gold leaf beginners like me.
After about 30 minutes of messing with it and a few choice words (my children were napping), my fingers looked like this:
And my table looked like this. And I had already used half of the sheets of gold leaf.
That meant it would take at least another $50 worth of gold leaf to finish the table.
Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and throw in the towel, so that is what I did. I gave up. It pains me to do that, but I can't invest any further in a project that isn't going to work out.
Not wanting to be a total pessimist, I'm planning to scrape off the gold leaf and just paint it with gold leaf paint and a paintbrush. That is what it was originally painted with back in the 1960's. But I will save that for another day when I have more patience.
Have you had to give up on a project before because you knew it was going to cost you more than it was worth?
Slowly but surely, our playroom is coming together! Here is a quick update on our progress so far:
I decided on a color palette that uses my current favorite color combination, navy and coral. The colors are cheery and neither too feminine or too masculine.
I already had my sofa, which is upholstered in this navy and beigey-gray fabric (like Lulu DK Chant but upholstery weight(!) and significantly cheaper):
I knew I wanted to do navy and coral but hadn't found the right fabric to tie the two colors together until I spotted this fabric. It was love at first sight, so I decided to splurge on it for my windows. I justified its expense because of my inexpensive sofa fabric. The fabric has both warm and cool tones, which is necessary since there is also a camel leather sofa in the room (it came with the husband, as leather sofas tend to do).
63-inch repeats always make fabric buying more fun.
The walls were previously painted a tan-ish neutral that just dragged down the space. So after testing lots of samples, I found the perfect color. It's gray but warm, which is necessary with the leather sofa and beige carpet. Worth noting: don't chose paint colors on a whim. Take the time to try different shades on your walls and see what happens to them with each hour of the day. It is remarkable what can happen as the earth rotates. If you feel stumped with paint colors, I'd recommend learning from Maria Killam. Her book is such a great resource.
Bookshelves are hung (more on that later).
Baby berts are already beloved by two little children. They are the perfect size for a high gloss white Ikea Lack end table-turned-desk.
Stay tuned for more progress!
And if you live in the Charlotte area, I would love to help you design a room in your home! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been doing lots of shopping for MoS Marketplace! I'm going to be adding fabulous vintage furniture and accessories to MoS Marketplace once a week. I'll share them here on MoS every Tuesday, with a MarketWatch report.
Here are a few of this week's new additions (but be sure to check out MoS Marketplace for even more):
Because I have so many new pieces coming in the door, I have done some MAJOR mark-downs on MoS Marketplace. If there is something you have been eye-ing, now is the time to grab it up before someone else does!
Using large amounts of black in home decor is risky business. It takes an exceptionally well-trained eye to do it well, and candle-turned-fashion-executive Harry Slatkin (with the help of his designer brother, Howard) has that eye. The new Harper's features the UES home he shares with his wife and 13-year old twins, and while gray and black are prevalent throughout the apartment, the result is glamorous and comfortable.
In studying his home, there are a few things that jump out as keys to using black successfully. One of the keys to using large amounts of black is to pair it with lighter walls and with gold and brass accents rather than silver or chrome. The gold instantly adds warmth to offset any coldness from the black and gray. You may also notice the prevalence of (live) plants and trees in his home, adding color and vigor to the home. Finally, black is more sophisticated when it is used with antiques rather than pieces that are shiny and new.
Let's take a look.
Photos by Douglas Friedman
And if you care to see black done not-so-well, check out the photos of Nicky Hilton's LA home that is for sale. Yes, of course I love the kitchen wallpaper. But the rest of the house feels cold to me, despite what I imagine is a large decorating pricetag by Faye Resnick (warning: if you google her, the images may not be appropriate for work!)
I welcome emails from readers, retailers, publishers, and everyone in between. If you are interested in advertising on our blog or offering a product giveaway for our readers, please drop me a line for more information.