Le Petite Parlor

Hello friends, I hope you are enjoying the wonderful brisk air and the glorious scent of fallen leaves. Oh how I love fall! I have found myself involved in somewhat of a dilemma with my mudroom (of which I have renamed) these past two weeks and have not been able to enjoy the outdoors as much as I would have liked. What first seemed like a simple furniture swap turned into a full out makeover that had undertones of a nightmare. I actually have scars on my hands to prove it. I wonder if you can relate with me? Have you ever brought one piece of furniture in a room only to realize that while you love the piece of furniture it does not really go with the rest of the room? Most people would not proceed to do what I have done over the past two weeks when this circumstance arose. Those that are far more intelligent then I would simply move the piece to another place in the house. That is what smart people do.

Let me show you what I started with before I lost my mind.

The pictures are not going to be the best quality in this post because most of them were not intended to be seen (and were taken with my ancient ipad so that I could send them to my sister in hopes that she might pity me) but they happen to be what I have on hand. As you can see I started with an antique armoire, limed blue walls and a rug that matched the room perfectly. Nothing was wrong with this room at all. I actually liked it. I liked it a lot until I painted something I had intended to sell….

I had purchased this armoire over a year ago but had lacked inspiration for what I wanted to do with it. I always paint my furniture after European antiques. I guess you could say my motto is something like “if you can’t go to Europe then bring Europe to you.” I found a picture of an antique blue and gold cupboard and decided I would attempt the same scheme. I was not planning on liking it to the point of keeping it but of as you can see, there it sits. The problem was that it didn’t match the limed blue wall behind it. Or the white one. Or the blue one. Or tie dye one.

Let’s meet some of the failures shall we?

The white wall was bound to fail for many reasons. One being that it doesn’t look old at all, two being that it was so incredibly boring and three that the finish was horrid since it was painted on top of many coats of lime. I stared a this wall so many times thinking inspiration was bound to come to me. It never did. After a few days I decided I would not be able to tolerate this look and so I began looking through my old paints to see if I could maybe mix something up that was closer to the blue shade of the armoire. I didn’t want to spent another fifty dollars on a paint shade when I was not really inspired by anything.

Blue, a comforting color indeed, except when half of your drywall paper came off with the roller you used to paint it on. I was not feeling comfortable about the new strange textures I was seeing on my walls. I didn’t bother to take a picture of it so I can’t show you how positively unelegant the walls looked. I think because of all the lime that was under the paint there was some sort of reaction since I had not primed over the lime before putting the latex on. Who knows? I had placed the purple velvet cushion on the chair to see if I would like the blue oddly textured walls better after adding a bit of glam since I had more of the fabric. I didn’t…

Here is a very ugly picture friends of a tie dye wall in harsh lighting. This was definitely not taken for the blog! However, this was my reality. It stayed this way for a few days as my husband advised me to stop. Defeated by a neat armoire and hideous walls I agreed with what he said and stopped. But I have problems guys, major ones in fact. Because those days that I lived with the tie dyes walls my mind kept whispering the words lime plaster to me. A job that has left me with many scars!

Here is a close up of my plastered wall.

Lime plaster is made by mixing one part lime to three parts sand with about one part of water (usually a little less). Then with the strength of an ox troweling it onto the wall. I have used a plaster adhesive and I have also used wire mesh as a base. I like the wire mesh better other then that it’s incredibly sharp and hazardous and you have to cut it to size. However, you don’t have to work as hard to put it on and not as much falls off. The entire room took me about 12 hours to do and while it was not fun at all, I do love how it looks. This is the third room in our house I have plastered and I never regret doing it (except for when I am putting it on the walls).

I got tired of the name mudroom which we always called this room so I renamed it “Le Petite Parlor” because that doesn’t sound like a room you would expect to see gross muddy sneakers and boots lying around on the floor. What could I expect when we called it a “mudroom?”

In the one corner resides this sweet English pine corner cupboard that I bought at an estate sale this summer for thirty dollars. It seems quite happy in front of the plastered walls.

The room still has some things that need wrapped up. I took a pair of green shutters down that concealed our window bookshelf so I will have to figure what type of doors to use to cover it. I also need to finish painting the trim as the picture above reveals. At this point I’m just thrilled to be done with this room.

If you’ve ever experienced a decorating/painting disaster comfort yourself that you are not alone, there are those who can be a shoulder to cry on like myself.

Until Next TIme,

Melissa

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