Chinoiserie Chic Living Room

Our living room has evolved over the years. Here’s a look at some of our latest additions, including the color block drapes and these pretty turquoise chairs from Article (formerly Bryght). I have to admit I was pretty nervous when the intense color showed up in my living room, but I am so glad I took a risk!

Over on the other side of the room, I have a little bar set up next to the dining area:

I recently moved this painted Chinese screen over the bar area when I was rearranging our art. I really like how it brings the eye up and emphasizes the tall ceilings.

And here are two paintings by my mom that I recently added to the living room. These remind me of De Gournay wallpapers and add an authentic bit of Chinoiserie to our home.

Hope you enjoyed the details in our living room!


A Few of My Favorite Chairs – Whimsical Chippendale Makeover

I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have a bit of a thing for chairs. I picked up a set of Chippendale chairs off of craigslist a while ago. I’ll admit that I didn’t even know exactly where they would go, but I could not pass up these beauties.

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

There were three armchairs, and you may remember I painted these black and reupholstered the seats with a complementary lattice print. They make beautiful side chairs in our living-dining room.


Next up were the four side chairs. I originally thought I would use them for an eat-in area in our kitchen, but when we renovated, we ended up with seating at the island, instead of a separate table.

Not to worry, though, the side chairs have found a home in our family room. This room is decorated with lots of white, as you can see in our “built-in” fireplace wall, and blue, as you can see in the new graphic pillows, so I found a print for the seats of the chairs that would connect to these colors. I love how the modern print makes these traditional chairs feel more contemporary, and the circles complement the angles of the lattice.
A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

Here’s how the new chairs fit in to the kids’ study space in our family room: A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

And a final look to see how all these chairs were transformed from stuffy to stunning!


A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

So fun! So fun! Funny story. Some of you know that Steve is an avid runner, and I honestly believe I get the same endorphin rush from completing a fun makeover project like this one. Isn’t that crazy?


Antiques Faire and Sunday Streets

I usually complain about my kids getting me up too early, but this morning, I voluntarily (more or less) rose before the rest of the family to head to the Alameda Point Antiques Faire with a couple of girlfriends. As I mentioned at the end of the rummage sale post, this is a huge flea market-style event that is held the first Sunday of every month. There is an unbelievable number and variety of finds, and it’s even a fun place to “window shop,” since you’re out in the fresh air by the San Francisco Bay.

Click the picture to go to the Antiques Faire website.

Click the picture to go to the Antiques Faire website.

It was a beautiful morning turning into a hot day as we wandered around exploring. There is definitely something for everyone there – every style from shabby chic to mid-century modern, and price from pennies to thousands of dollars. I can’t say I’m not a little sad that we didn’t find anything fantastic like a Henry Link Bali Hai dresser or Faux bamboo armchairs (which are my two current obsessions), but I also realize that it’s not a sustainable habit to bring home major pieces of furniture every time I go, so I’m not completely disappointed. It was also great to have a little time to chat with my friends when we are not running around busy with kids and work.

I did find an old wooden tray for $5 that I’m going to dress up with some paint and/or decoupage, so keep an eye out for that project.  My friend picked up a cute pair of trays, so we’ll transform them together and post the results.


Wooden tray with metal trim for $5. Waiting for a project!

And I also found this Japanese sake jar that makes a great vase and display item for the living room.


Sake jar for $20 makes a pretty vase for the living room. Hubby says he wants to use it as a cup.

After the antiques fair, our family went to Sunday Streets in the Mission. Through the summer, San Francisco closes some streets to cars and opens them to pedestrians, bikers, musicians, and other entertainers. It was so fun for the boys to be able to bike down the street, and there were many great spectacles, including elaborate bicycles with bubble blowers, pianos, and more.


Such a cheerful afternoon, with this lady spreading pink bubble joy and music, biking up and down Valencia.


Well, it’s a good thing this guy was moving very slowly with his piano-bike, as he was playing as he went!

I’m just finishing gathering some details for the post on upholstering chair seats, so that should be up in the next day or two!

Hope you had as lovely a weekend as we did!


Rummage Sale Finds: The Pleasure of the Hunt

There is hardly a finer feeling than being outside at a flea market or rummage sale on a beautiful day and finding a great deal on something lovely to bring home. Finding used items is not just about saving money – though that’s wonderful, too. It’s also about the personality and dimension that a mix of old and new things can bring to your space.

Today is one of those rare and perfect San Francisco Saturdays, when the sun is bright and hot, and there’s just a gentle spring breeze in the air. We took a family walk out to our neighborhood rummage sale. They call it a “collectibles” sale, but I think that’s a bit generous. The older boys brought their wallets, dreaming of a great Beyblade (if you have no idea what that is, just ask any five- to ten- year old boy!) or Lego find in the toy section, so we all felt the anticipation! We stopped at a fountain along the way, and our oldest shared his pennies, so they could make a wish.

When we arrived at the park for the sale, the boys were in and out quickly, after determining there were no Beyblades to be had. They did indulge in some muffins and lemonade from the bake sale, though. Our oldest later reported that he felt very grown-up, purchasing his own snack and that it was a very satisfying outing for $2.02 (the $.02 having gone into the fountain).

Hubby spotted these vintage board games in the toy section for $1 a piece, and they look ultra cool. They’re dated 1960 and 1958. Here they are on the game table in our den. Can’t wait to try them at a family game night!

vintage board games

Game of the States from 1960 and Gettysburg from 1958 for $1 each! Looking forward to playing these!

Now to my treasures! Nothing big, but I’ve been looking for accessories for our living-dining room, and it was a great place to pick up a few inexpensive items that feel like they have a story behind them.

old wooden box

$5 for this decorated wooden box with a little key.

painted silver box

The metallic spray paint gives a great glow very quickly!

spray paint

I used Krylon grey primer both for priming and a very light dusting over the silver, to give it a more aged look. The silver paint is very shiny!

side table styling

The new-old silver box on the nesting side tables in our living room. Not sure how long this vignette will stay safe from toddler curiosity.


Total of $11 for these five plates. They will hang on the wall in the dining room.

Today was a ton of fun, but for serious treasure hunting, you cannot beat the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, held the first Sunday of every month. It’s enormous, with row upon row of serious antiques vendors. I went on January 1 this year with a friend, and it was a wonderful start to the year, wandering in the fresh air, enjoying the view of San Francisco, gnoshing on Jamba Juice and kettle corn, and striking bargains! We plan to go back in May, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

Click the picture for the Alameda Antiques Faire website.