Monday, June 4, 2012

Keeping an Open Mind

“Seaside Cottage” she said, “I think you should paint it to suit a happy little cottage by the shore”.
“But it’s French Provincial” I protested. “Do you think I can pull that off?”
“Just go with it Mama, it’ll work, you’ll see”. ..
So went the conversation with my daughter Mindy on the French Provincial yard sale find.

I had my doubts. For months I have been envisioning this nice little chest done up in Paris Gray or even Provence Blue, maybe a dark wax, a little distressing, not too much, maybe a little gilding, dressing this fine little lady up in the French style she was born with. But Mindy had other ideas, and being open to other ideas is something I need to work on, so I set my mind to it, Seaside Cottage, NOT French Flair.

I cleaned the chest of drawers from top to bottom in March. In April I put some primer on the laminate top. The little chest of drawers taunted me, day in and day out, as if to say “is this it? is this all I get?” Beachy, cottagey, time worn, seaside, I had to find a starting point. Two days before our trip to Tybee Island, Georgia I found in my supplies a lovely blue paint. No name on it, no label, not sure where I got it from, but it was a lovely clear blue, kind of like a blue bird, and I decided that would be my base coat. It wasn’t exactly pretty, that first coat, but it was a start. I knew I would build from there, but it would have to wait until after vacation.

Upon returning from Tybee I had lots of color inspiration. Color abounds on this lovely little Island, every home is trimmed out in bright cheerful colors, and the home we rented, Under the Tybee Sun was colorful both inside and out. Happy is the word I would use to describe Tybee!

 A lovely greenish blue color kept popping up on signage around the island. After taking a moment to read the signs I realized they were in conjunction with The Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project through the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.  What an incredible effort to protect the Sea Turtles down there on Tybee, by employees of the museum, volunteers, and regulars citizens alike! You can check out the project here: 

Upon returning to Maryland I kept thinking about Tybee, about the turtles, and about the many lovely colors. Completely refreshed and rejuvenated I went to work on the chest of drawers and it just flowed, it really came together without even having to think about it. I applied a lovely blue green chalk paint that I mixed up myself, two coats of Annie Sloan Clear Wax, and then I started distressing.  Sanding here, rubbing there, I was beginning to realize Mindy’s original vision for this piece! The original drawer pulls were the finishing touch, and I’m glad I painted them the true blue color of the base coat, I think they really pull it all together. So what do you think? Was I able to take her from French Provincial to Seaside Cottage?  I’m so glad I kept my mind open to Mindy’s vision, this little dresser is absolutely charming. I can picture her with seaside d├ęcor sprinkled across the top (sea glass, shells, candles, etc.), used to store beach towels and swim suits, or for clothing storage in a fresh and breezy cottage bedroom. I hope you like the vibe of this chest as much as we do. It really does say “Seaside Cottage”!

1 comment:

  1. i love this! what a beautiful clear color! well done.