Monday, November 28, 2011

Marie Antoinette, Eat Your Heart Out! Art Room Reveal

I've decided that it's time.  Time to let you all in on what I've been keeping from you.  I started this project about six months ago, so don't say I didn't warn you.  This is going to be one monster of a post!

A recap of this project:  I wanted a room to be able to sketch, paint, create and brainstorm.  I wanted my very own art room, but not your ordinary easel and paint in the corner of the room by the window kind of art room.  I pictured this to be a place that would inspire me as well.  My first option was to renovate the third bedroom upstairs.  I needed away from the rest of the house time and this bedroom was right next to my daughter's room - Not going to work.  So I ventured down to the basement and rediscovered this hideous room.  I'm surprised this had not blinded me during our first walk through of the house.  It was so busy and oddly shaped!  Look at that paint!  *cringe*  Look at that back wall!  There was no purpose whatsoever for it to be shaped like that!  Anyway, I got passed it - Literally.  We tore the wall down and added five feet of space, tore out the carpet, painted the walls and even painted the floor with concrete paint.  If I was going to paint in here, I am not going to replace carpet or wood on the floor over and over again.  I told you before, I am on a much tighter budget now.

My inspiration for this room?  Pre-Revolutionary France, Patina Furniture and Eddie Ross.  Don't know him? I'll introduce you to his work later.

Butt Fugly

Very Frenchy Frenchy!

So what d'ya think?  You likey?  Me likey very much!  I don't think I'll ever be "finished" with the room.  I think this will constantly be added onto and changed around.  

Remember this refinished desk and chair?

My work space.
 As far as art goes, I have no rules to the type of art I'll be displaying in this room.  I do love Degas, Da Vinci, Van Gogh and Renoir, but I believe that ALL art is beautiful.  So if I'm drawn to a piece, I'm hanging her up!

I love Degas' work!

I still have so much space on the wall to fill in.  This will take some time because I want to add my own pieces to my little gallery.  Here's one that I worked on quite awhile ago.  I hung her up behind my desk.  Da Vinci inspires me so much because of all his sketches.  My tool of the trade is the charcoal pencil.

My wannabe Da Vinci portrait.

Like I said, France has its hand in my decor.  I found this painting in an antique shop in Brigham City and I made the other three framed pieces.  I found some fabric paper, duplicated Marie Antoinette's last letter ever written for two of the frames and stained it with coffee.  The third frame reads: Let them eat cake in French.  This was such a fun and easy project!

I love working down here!
 While this is a mostly kid-free zone, I didn't leave my daughter out of the planning.  I created her own art space for when she wanted to join me.  I found this desk on KSL - falling apart and for only $3.  My next door neighbor gave me the chair frame for free.  Perfect.  A little bit of paint and upholstery work and you've got yourself a sweet looking desk and chair combo.

I found these bottles, little by little at thrift stores and swap meets.  I never pass up a good looking bottle.  Especially if most of them are $1.00 and under!

I've also fallen in love with milk glass.  

Here's a dresser I refinished so I can store all my fabric in it.

I love hydrangeas
There were so many bumps in the road for this project and finding the perfect curtain pulls was one of them.  I never found them. Instead I used these great frames I bought from the DI for 50 cents each as the pulls.

I give myself two pats on the back for this idea!

Now, let me you introduce you to an idol of mine:  Eddie Ross.  I have been following his blog for quite awhile now.  I am a HUGE fan!  Check him out:

I was instantly *smitten* with this mantel display.

I didn't think I would ever get my hands on an Apollo sculpture for an affordable price.  Eddie Ross' design was nothing more than a pipe dream to me.  Oh how I underestimated the Swap Meet!!

Looky what I found!  And yes, I have a story about him.  I wanted to take my mom and my daughter on their very first swap meet experience.  It was in August, the sun was blaring down on us and our sweat was soaking our clothes.  It was time to go home, hands full of our inexpensive finds when I spotted him.  Grimy in all his glory, he called out to me.  I asked the vendor what his bottom dollar was and he told me in this smug way, "Twenty."  I offered $10 because his face and attitude annoyed me, but I was refused.  I said, "Well, good luck!  It's getting pretty hot out here." and started to walk away.  My mom was flabbergasted telling me $20 is a fantastic deal.  I tell her, "Don't worry, I know what I'm doing."  And in 3...2...1....  I hear, "Hold up, wait! Wait!"  I bought this awesome and very heavy piece for $10.  Here's a secret about swap meets: Don't go first thing in the morning.  You get your best deals towards the end of the day because most vendors don't want to have to go through all the trouble loading all their heavier items back up and back home.  Just remember, YOU'RE helping THEM out.

After my daughter so happily agreed to wash him off with the garden hose, here's what he looks like now:

I turned the mantel into a bookshelf - I still wanted it to have a purpose. I didn't want to insert a fireplace and chimney into this room.  Oh and PS - it makes your Homeowners Insurance premium go up if you have one.  Although I love the original design, I didn't want to see anyone's underpants if I installed a mirror - the sofa sits directly across from the mantel.

It took me about six months to find all of these books.  I searched high and low for the fabric bound, worn looking ones.  Most of these are over fifty to a hundred years old!  The others were just fillers.

Top of the mantel vignettes

I have no idea how old either set of figurines are, but I fell in love with the patina it wears.

Another angle of my favorite view.

Note to self: remove batteries from table before taking the picture!
Like those chairs?  I'll post a tutorial on them.  They're my prized over a hundred year old chairs.

I keep my favorite art books on the coffee table for easy access.

Phew!  This post made me hungry.  Time for a snack!  



  1. Hi lovely lady.
    I love your room so Beautiful !!! I also would love to have a room like this for doing my blog.
    I'm your newest follower on your blog now.
    I hope you come over and follow my tablescapes sweet lady. I also hope you have a great week with your family. Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my Christmas Tablescape so sweet for you.
    XXOO Diane

  2. This room is a work of art!!!

    Stopping by from the Tuesday Treasury blog hop.

  3. This room is just fabulous! Love everything you have done....your heart and soul is just beautiful.

  4. Gorgeous! Your room is so dreamy. Love every single detail. The chairs are my favorite!

  5. Simply lovely. It is a testament to thinking large and going about it one step at a time....

  6. What a wonderful room!! Great job and thank you so much for the shout out!!! Xox