"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "otherwise you wouldn't have come here."
~Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland
I have contemplated changing my name to the Cheshire Blogger in honor of the way I fade in and out of Blogland. It reminded me of the conversation between Alice and the Cat...then it dawned on me that we are all mad here...
and that you would understand.
Wait until you see what I have been up to, though!
This post is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg!
The chairs were actually rather simple to finish.
Let me walk you through the technique...
One of a set of four Queen Anne chairs found on Craigslist. Though not Swedish, the shape is very similar to my inspiration chair.
Inspiration: Gustavian Rococo chair found on 1st Dibs
Step 1: paint entire chair with Annie Sloan French Linen
You can see the shape much more clearly...the similarities to the inspiration chair are more evident.
Step 2: Sand and distress chairs
All chairs painted with French Linen and sanded.
It was nice to be outside after such a harsh winter!
Step 3: Paint chair with Annie Sloan Old White then remove majority of Old White with wet cloth. Keep a bucket of clean water nearby and rinse cloth often. You can actually use less Old White. I have never done this finish before so I was experimenting.
I didn't like the way they looked. I sanded them too much so...
I repainted the chairs with French Linen to cover the overly sanded spots. When I distress furniture I usually end up using my bare hands to manipulate the paint into just the right places.
I decided not to wax these. I love them the way they are!
However, I may add a bit more Old White wash to the splats (chair backs).
Here is one "Gustavian" chair in the Dining Room!
$2,500. vs $25.!
Not exactly the same, of course...but I'm happy!
Detail of patina...
The patina mimics years of use...
I reupholstered the seats in a grey, cotton velvet.
I am in love with this room!
I don't think I showed this to you yet. It is a plaster frieze salvaged from a hotel in Germany. One of a pair.
These friezes have a very interesting history.
I found them on my local Craigslist!
The empire wall sconces in the reflection were actually cheap reproductions that I repainted and aged to mimic antiques.
The painting was my first ever attempt at art many years ago. I dug it out of the basement because the colors are reminiscent of the robin's egg blue taffeta curtains.
Detail of painted table leg...
We replaced the chandelier with one from...Craigslist!
This chandelier was never used. The owner was formerly employed at a high end furniture store and won it in an employee raffle several years ago but she never hung it.
It still had the $2,300 price tag on it!
The wreaths on either side of the mirror are actually drapery tie-backs that I found on ebay for $10 for the lot. They had their original price tags on them as well...$50 a piece!
I painted them gold with acrylic craft paint then aged them with burnt umber craft paint.
I found this epergne at a local antique mall for $2.50. The pair of silver candelabra was a Christmas gift from Handsome Husband. There are two. Trust me. I just take lousy photos.
The almost life-sized angel was purchased several years ago at Homegoods after Christmas. It was part of a large manger scene originally sold at Horchow. The finish was bright, shiny gold. Very bright. Very shiny.
I painted it with acrylic antique gold craft paint then went over it in green craft paint. I left it outside for two seasons and it "aged" very well. The crown with the candle in it was purchased at Hobby Lobby. The base was purchased at a local discount furniture store and I used the same paint treatment.
I ordered new candle sleeves from ebay for the chandelier.
Aren't they perfect?
Have you noticed that I am fond of this chandelier?
It really completes the room!
Though I also love the former chandelier, it was too small for the room.
So much has changed in this house since last October!
This is a view from the Dining Room, looking out into the hall.
The orange doors are gone too...
Mabel always manages to photobomb blog shots. LOL!
Still love these chairs too...but the profiles were a bit too low.
This image was taken at night with the flash. You probably had not noticed until now that the tabletop is silver leaf!
The flash certainly has a way of distorting the colors. Doesn't it?
I wanted you to see the chandelier all lit up, though!
However, the topic is...
Here is the image of the original chair and the inspiration chair from my last blog post...here.
I am very happy with the result!
Don't you love it too?
Sharing with Kim, at Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesdays!
Kathryn, at the Dedicated House, Before and After Wednesdays!
Pamela, at From My Front Porch to Yours, Treasure Hunt Thursday!
Courtney, at French Country Cottage, Feathered Nest Friday!
Hi, Andie. I thought those Queen Anne-style chairs were very lovely just as you found them. I even liked the upholstery, because the pale yellow, green and rusty orange in the leaf pattern are some of my most favorite colors, but you've done a marvelous job giving them the Swedish Baroque-Rococo (Barococo? ;-) appearance you sought to evoke, and yes -- much as I liked it before -- your dining room has a much more sophisticated, unified style now that's uniquely you. Wonderful!ReplyDelete
Tell me, please, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR DISCARDS (the old-too-small chandelier, and the wheel or cobweb-back chairs for instance)? Do you turn around and sell them on Craigslist, or do you store them for future reference in some appropriate barn or vault?
I STILL say, you ought to open your own shop. With your eye, youthful energy, boundless imagination, and insatiable appetite for acquisition, I think you'd be a TREMENDOUS success. Because of the internet, we now have the chance to sell to anyone just about anywhere in the world. You could become a much-sought-after source for major dealers with expensive shops in the great capital cities of the world. Think BIG. The sky's the limit -- if you want that kind of success.
In order to settle an estate I had to set rid of a Steinway grand several years ago. An ad in the local paper posted for three weeks accomplished nothing -- not even one inquiry. However, it sold in less than a week in ebay for $12,000.00 to someone who lived 1,500 miles away in the mountains of Montana. That paid for most of brand new car.
Wheeling and dealing! Ain't it great? ;-)
Thank you so much for your kind sentiments, Freethinke!Delete
I don't keep what I don't use. It all goes on Craigslist! So far it has worked for me. However, I am tempted to rent a space just to sell the smaller pieces...the ormolu antique chandelier crystals and the like.
I always look forward to your input!
YES! It's perfectly beautiful and you did a great job on everything...and the chairs, Andie. BTW, you need to buy a LOT of those electric candle bulbs before the government does away with them totally. While the government is saving us from...what, perxacatly? who is saving us from them?ReplyDelete
Good point about the candle flame light bulbs. I have the same concern. It would be too much even to hope the government would sensitive to our aesthetic concerns, of course. Communists are militantly anti-Beauty. They think of it as "Bourgeois Decadence." I've known a few of these self-styled leftist "revolutionaries," and invariably they live like pigs and chickens in a barnyard. They would stop all of "us" H&G folk from enjoying ourselves as we do, you know. What I think of them can't be printed at Andie's beautiful blog.Delete
Thank you, Birthday Girl! I love my incandescent bulbs...no one is going to take them from me! LOL!Delete
You would LOVE my friend, Freethinke...I hope you follow each other!
oh andie!!!!!! remember if you fill up, would love you to be a picker for my shop, you have the eye girl!!!ReplyDelete
chairs are amazing.
you would enjoy the amy howard decorative finishing event i am having. it is learning authentic european techniques made easy. but then again, you are already good
Let me know if you need anything! I have more than I can use in three lifetimes! LOL!Delete
I cannot respond on your blog because I don't have google plus...but I read it faithfully!
I wish I could go to the class...would LOVE to meet you and give you a big HUG.
i saw your chairs on pinterest last night and hoped a blog post was to follow - LOVE these and the room and all your transformations. I think the scale is much improved on everything and you can always find a new home for other pieces. Buy things you love and find a way to make it work -thats my motto. I bought some antique gilt Italian brackets this weekend that you would LOVE at my favorite antique/junk store and mounted them this weekend - I'll have to show you pics (maybe I can post it on my blog in the next few days). Totally thought of you....ReplyDelete
I love your brackets! Wanna trade for the foyer table? LOL!Delete
GORGEOUS ROOM! the chairs turned out great! and that chandelier, WOWZA!!!!!!ReplyDelete
My husband used to be one who only liked can lights in every room. Can you imagine?!?!?
Now we have a chandelier in almost every room.
You find the best things. Our Craigs list is not up to par.
PRETTY PRETTY PRETTY ~ your house!
I am glad to see that beauty prevailed over utility! I always love your visits!
I LOVE to visit your blog. So much eye candy! Wow, I just love everything you've done!ReplyDelete
Thank you, thank you, thank you! It always gives me such a rush when other people share my style.Delete
Exquisite, Andie. Some magazine is going to come calling you soon to showcase your house and finds. Hear that all you editors out in blogland?ReplyDelete
Thank you! Your compliments mean a lot to me. I admire your style as well.
Woman, you are amazing. I love everything you do. I could just spend days at your house looking at every nook and cranny...I mean it as a compliment in the least creepy way, I promise. : ) I wish I could go antique shopping with you!!!ReplyDelete
Before the internet we had to walk past people's houses at night and hoped they had the lights on so we could peek inside! This is MUCH less creepy! LOL!Delete
I do love them too! You are truly amazing. Not only to you have the art of shopping Craigslist down, but you have the vision and talent to transform each piece masterfully. Love the dining room!!!!ReplyDelete
Happy Easter, Dear Sarah! I am off to visit you!Delete
Beautiful transformation on the chairs, the room is gorgeous and everything is perfect scale. Very impressive. So envy your CL's finds, still no success for me in Philly.
Just for kicks I am going to visit Philly Craigslist...see what I can find! LOL!
It's always so nice to see you!
I don't think you have enough angels in your home......
Wish you had done more close ups of the final finish. Is that a contrast painted detail on the back?
Thank you for sending me the picture of your vacation home, is the cost of maintenance a lot?
It looks like it would be exspensive.
I posted new photos...more close-ups.Delete
Yes, the vacation home is pricey because we have to bring it to the laundromat and use the huge machines...those aren't cheap! It doesn't fit in our washer at home!
Since you're so into angels.....Passover starts tonight. Don't forget to leave a cup of wine by your front door for Elijah!ReplyDelete
Andie so miss coming here....you never ever disappoint! Having issues with my blogroll, the switch from blogger to wordpress has been NUTTY. Still much to iron out.....working on trying to get you back on my blogroll do you by chance know your RSS address?/?? Your chairs are exquisite and your eye is just amazing....you should seriously turn this into a business, you are gifted.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Tina! I hope you are able to get everything sorted out! It can be frustrating!Delete
I think my RSS is http://divinetheatre.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
Andie I don't mind if you go missing for a bit because I know you always come back with something(s) amazing! I love your chairs much better than the dream chairs and that chandelier, well my jaw dropped in awe! Bravo as always!ReplyDelete
Andie I'm visiting you from the Before and After Wednesday Party. Love your Queen Anne Chair Makeovers, they look gorgeous with that stunning table. Oh, and I want that fabulous sideboard please ;) You've been added to my Must Follow List!ReplyDelete
Marie @ The Interior Frugalista
I always get so excited when someone new wants to be my "friend"! Thank you for stopping by! I am off to visit you!Delete
They look gorgeous, Andie!! Surface looks like old layers of paint. So when am I coming over for dinner? :) Can I bring Panda and Mocha? Ciao, LReplyDelete
That means so much to me, Loi! Considering that I was attempting to mimic your style (with my own twist). Some day I will be able to afford the real thing. Until then, I study the patinas on your pieces and dream...Delete
Ooops, Tom wants to come over as well :)ReplyDelete
Any time, my friend!Delete
Wow Andie those chairs are fabulous!ReplyDelete
I have a set of 4 mahogany Queen Anne chairs that I would love to transform like you did but don't have the courage!
I love reading your posts. You are so inspiring!!!!
I wish we could team up!
We would find all the best treasures together!
Please move to Cali!
You feel like an "autonomous partial object" (Cheshire Cat)? This is the lamella aka "death drive"... an "immortal".ReplyDelete
Nothing is more powerful!
btw - The only way to get rid of the autonomous partial object is to "become" it. (Zizek, "The Pervert's Guide to Cinema") ;)ReplyDelete
In "Why is Wagner Worth Saving?", Zizek also noted... identification is, at its most radical, identification with the lost (or rejected) libidinal object? We BECOME (identify with) the OBJECT which we were deprived of, so that our subjective identity is a repository of the traces of our lost objects.ReplyDelete
oh i think i started to salivate when i saw you had posted on gustavian chairs....yummy!! so i just drank it all in. I loved your chandy pics, and your silver pics and your chair pics, and your angel pics...and all the pics!!! I love that you live in such a place~so gifted to turn your ideas into reality. i am having the decorating bug again and things are changing. i have a big FP china cabinet I need to paint and I was eyeing yours in the background with the heaps of silver on top. I might just go back to my shop and take all my vintage silver out of there and pile it on!! By the way do you know how to fix broken silver on a candlestick? It needs to be welded or whatever the process is. How can I fix it, as it is an amazing piece, kind of like yours...a serious candleabra.ReplyDelete
Oh my Word sweet lady...you did an amazing job with those gorgeous Gustavian chairs, your house looks more elegant tan ever! You are also very talented...me, I don't think I could be painting chairs by my lonesome, wow! Your buffet with those 3 fowl covers is awesome; I only have one and I love it, they make such statement! Hope you are having a lovely Easter Sunday Andy, along with your hubby and your cutie!ReplyDelete
Awesome job on the chairs. The new chandie....is absolutely fantastic!ReplyDelete
I am in love with this chair too and I am so thankful to you for showing us the "how to"! Beautiful job and the gray velvet is perfect! By the way, your things are gorgeous and so why haven't I been following you? I'm on my way to do so now!ReplyDelete
You did an amazing job on your chairs! Who needs high end when you can finish yourself! I love all of your "finds", I wish I could find treasures like that! Your room is beautiful.ReplyDelete
Simply divine, dear Andie! Thank you for sharing. You will be one of the features tomorrow at The Round - Up from the Before & After Wednesday party at The Dedicated House. Pop back in tomorrow to check out your feature. Hope to see you again on Wednesday at the Bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouseReplyDelete
Leather Dining Chairs wow very very classic, supported by thick wooden and nice furnishings. You are very creative, successful for you;)ReplyDelete