Shannon Berrey

Nature inspired dining chairs: Golly Bard

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have had a few emails about the fabrics that I used in my dining room, so I thought I would share my wonderful sources today. I first was introduced to the talents of artist Golly Bard on Poppytalk. Her family gave Holly this nickname as a little girl and it's stuck. Her studio is in a beautifully restored church in Virginia that she shares with an interior designer.  



She works directly from nature; more often, she simply starts painting from memory or her imagination.  Her influences have a certain obsession with natural history, nature science and anatomy, but, not in a harsh, educational style. Her paintings are light and sweet, with a whimsical feeling.





Show me a slice of wood and I am a happy, happy girl. The variations of the colors, the repetitions and explanation of it's age in the rings...I find them simply beautiful.

I knew that I wanted to use her mossy logs somewhere in my house and when I found out that she had created fabric on Spoonflower with her designs, I was thrilled! I sent off for samples of several designs:



I am saving the delicate fern fabric {middle} for another project. I wanted to use both the nests and the logs in my dining room -- I know it's crazy to use both, but it works. Because these are big, bold designs, I wanted to find a smaller coordinating fabric.




I love this Helicopter Herringbone {zoomed image} by artist Rachel Gilbert Cornish {babysisterrae} also on Spoonflower. I remember playing with these little seed pods as a child in the backyard. We would throw them up as high as we could and watch them twirl softly back down to our sandpile. They are so sweet illustrated individually, but the way she designed this fabric, it made the prettiest herringbone pattern. I knew this would be the perfect compliment to the mossy logs for dining room chair slipcovers.

I found my vintage end chairs about a year and a half ago. I love their silhouette and they were in fairly good condition. So good, that they sat untouched all this time. But, the vintage fabric was starting to shred on the seat and finding the Golly Bard fabrics inspired me to recover them.




The mossy logs went on the exterior of the slipcover.



   And the helicopter on the inside seat and inside back. I love the way the green in the helicopter fabric pulls out the mossy greens of the wood slices.



 I don't have a slipcover tutorial because I make a pattern specific for the piece I am covering. I first make a pattern out of another inexpensive fabric. *tip - for my pattern fabric, I always try to use a fabric with stripes or a plaid because it makes lining up the pieces so much easier. Then, I pin, snip and mark as I go.  



 Then I transfer the pattern to the 'real' fabric. Cut out the pieces, sew them together and pull them over the chair, tucking into the seams for a nice snug fit.






On the other 6 chairs {that I painted green last year} I recovered the seats with a staplegun using the Birds Nest fabric. I love the green paint with the green eggs. 




I think all of the fabrics are so pretty together! A huge shout out to Holly and Rachael for creating such beautiful fabrics. You inspire me!




Gold {copper} leafing = easy peasy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I shared my new pillows with you yesterday and today we'll discuss those puppies above the pillows.



I found 4 framed hunting dog paint-by-numbers on this trip with some blogger friends. When I first spied them at Screen Door, I was a little hesitant. But, Angela was quick with 'Are you nuts??! Buy these this second!!' {I may be paraphrasing a bit} and therefore they became mine. As you may know, I have a bit of a crush on paint-by-numbers {remember this room??} and dogs...

They hung on my dining room wall 'as is' for a while. Until I decided to give the frames a little brassy, gold, goodness. Here's where they started au naturel.




I loved them like this. But, there is a lot of wood in this room, so I thought a little sparkle would be great. I popped out the painting and sat it aside. I cleaned the frame with a damp papertowel and then sprayed it with adhesive.




This is not what the directions say to use. They want you to buy a special paint-on-for-leafing-adhesive, but I kinda thought 'sticky is sticky' and didn't feel like buying something just for this purpose. I had spray adhesive, so thats what I used {outside} and then let it sit for a minute. 



Then I opened my package of gold leaf...ummm... copper leaf? ...dang it. I thought I bought gold leaf. Well, let's just roll with it and see what happens.



I started laying the sheets onto the frame and then working it with a soft brush into all of the cracks.  Overlapping slightly until the whole thing was covered. Now this jazz is really, really thin. Like Housewives on Bravo thin. If you miss a section, no problem, simply place another piece of leaf over any missing areas. 



It looks pretty rough at this point. You have to keep working the brush over the frame allowing all of the excess to fall off or float off. Then, I burnished it with my fingers by rubbing it until it was completely smooth.



It's hard to tell from the picture, but it was really rosy -- the undertones were very pink.  Yuk.  But, this is to be expected when you buy Copper instead of Gold, right?



So I trekked down to my paint area and grabbed some Raw Umber glaze and Pure Gold acrylic paint. I mixed them together and painted the frame with it. It knocked off a lot of the shine and added a layer of brownish-gold that killed the pinky tone perfectly. It added a layer of richness that I loved.  



I popped my dogs back in and hung them in place, 2 on each side. 



It took a package and a half to do all 4 frames. I bought mine at Michaels and I think they were around 7$/pc but, I used coupons {of course!}. A pretty inexpensive project that makes a dramatic change. Have you ever tried it?

 {I've had a few emails about my new fabric on the cushions. stay tuned--I'll share the artist behind the fabric as well as other fabrics I used on my new slipcovered end chairs}

Laundry redo: Part 2

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Like I said yesterday, it's a tiny room so it's not a big 'wowsa' before and after project. But, I am so happy with it's functionality! Yesterday I showed you where it started:



And then I showed you how I got to here:



To hang the curtains, I bought an inexpensive cafe curtain rod at Wal-Mart.



I didn't use the finials and instead just had the rod simply butt into the wall. I bought 3 support brackets and mounted them to the ceiling. I made 2 curtain panels and hung them with simple cafe rod clips.



My washer/dryer are on pedestal drawers so all of the detergents and cleaning supplies are kept there. And there is still room on top to put a basket of odd socks and some cut greens. It is so fantastic to have a home for everything!



Now let's move down to the floor. The wonderful company, FLOR, allowed me to select tiles to use to give my ugly stick-on tiles a face-lift. I loved the sisal look of 'Look Both Ways' in Moss.




I have always loved their catalogs and the simplicity of the install so I was excited to finally try them for myself. 



There is no prep work--they go right on top of whatever you have. You have the option of changing the pattern depending on how you install them. I liked the subtle basketweave pattern created by alternating them parquet style. Their directions are simple to follow and they cut easily with a carpet knife and ruler.  



What a difference! I love the texture and it has just enough cush to really make a difference when I am folding clothes. I vacuum them just as I do my other floors and if I were to ruin one, I have extras to pop into place. If you are on the fence about purchasing FLOR tiles, I highly recommend them.

Moving up the wall..


I spotted this laundry art that Jen had pinned {from a Boden catalog} and thought it was fantastic! I knew I wanted to incorporate this into art for my room. I had a blank wall opposite the washer/dryer that gets sun all day so I didn't want to invest in anything that would cause me to tear up when it eventually fades.  I used a 30" x 40" canvas and painted my mantra.




It's a small room so it's hard to get a good shot!



  Jen has made her own laundry charts available in several colors if you want to download them and use them yourself. Cute, right?




See the artwork on the right?



That's my special piece from artist Amy Rice. I painted the frame with the same SW 6439 Greenfield paint that I used on the shelves and my laundry art canvas.    



I love that I get to enjoy it everyday {sometimes many times a day...}.



I still want to replace the light with a chandelier and add a cute roman shade, but I am loving the new fresh look. 


{FLOR provided me with the tiles but the opinions are all mine and all honest!}


Laundry re-do: Part 1

Monday, January 07, 2013


So this is how my laundry room looked last year. Exactly the way it appeared when we bought the house minus the washer and dryer.


It's a very small room but it has great natural light! It's hard to tell, but those tiles on the floor are a glue on linoleum type with pretend grout lines on the edges. These same tiles were in my entrance and in my guest bath and they were replaced years ago. This room is right off of the kitchen and in between the guest room and guest bath so it's got a prominent spot in the house. And the door is almost always open.



I knew it wouldn't take a lot to make it pretty, but what I really needed was to make it functional. If you have been reading this little blog for a while, you know that I am the mom of 2 athletes. Our games can be hours away so each mom fixes dinner for an away game. Each time it's my turn, I am forever looking for my stash of cups, napkins, plastic silverware, etc. Some items would be in the hall pantry, some would be in the drawers in the dining room, some in the kitchen cabinet...frustrating. Not to mention that my baking items, my tablecloths, my Christmas dishes, were also stored here there and everywhere.



These cabinets were only inches deep and I couldn't reach the back. They just were not practical to hold all of the big things that I needed to store in here. These are actually the same cabinets that are in my kitchen. if you want to see them all painted up, visit this post. I wanted to take these off and use them in the garage to store tools. Then I could use the entire height and depth above the washer and dryer to create a 'pantry' so everything would be in one spot.










I painted the walls with one of my very favorite whites - Natural Choice. It has a touch of gray and is just warm enough.  



At this point, I searched for baskets to line the shelves. I needed specific sizes and cheap they were not. I was not willing to drop $100+ on baskets. So, I searched through old plastic storage bins that I had once used in my store. 












There were lots of these plus others. They were the right depth, there were plenty of them, and they were free! Because they aren't the prettiest things to look at, I decided to hang a curtain that could be pulled to cover them up. This way I could leave the door open to enjoy the great sunlight and not be embarrassed!



The curtains are a cute coordinating little green check number.  Tomorrow I'll show you how I hung the curtains and a break down of the ton of everything that is now being stored here. Oh, and did I mention that there's a new floor up in here AND that I did a little big painting for the opposing wall?? 


Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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