Rustic goes glam

Look out Summer Cottage, there’s a new rustic, right in the city.



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A few years ago, homes with barn doors were something you would only see in a barn conversion in Brit Home Decor mags. Fast forward and barn doors are a hot new trend, along with weathered barn boards used on everything from accent walls to coffee tables. Antlers of all shape, size and colour and creamy white sheepskins. I had a sheepskin rug on my bedroom floor as a teen. It was chic back then and just as fresh a look today, adding some softness to a masculine look.




Wood wall paneling is back in style  but with a twist. Rustic paneling features wide planks and a rough-hewn look, a far cry from “ugly basement” faux wood panels. Think hunting lodge meets city loft. Functionality meets creativity in some of the most charming and whimsical accents.





The right floor can transform your entire room. Bare wood is beautiful, and fits the style perfectly, but it’s not your only choice. Stone or tiled floors softened with shag rugs, a dappled cow skin, or a classic sheepskin from a local source,  Australia or New Zealand can be the perfect backdrop for rustic furniture and collections.



This trend is livable and family friendly. Natural wood always softens a space and it’s back in a big way in flooring, furnishing and home decor accents. Introduce gradually with wooden bowls, vases and furniture, new or vintage.  Add softness with textiles. There are some fabulous cushions and throws in faux fur, graphic wildlife prints and plaids in stores right now to accent this look.  


A great way to bring the outdoors in for the cold , dark days ahead.

Chalk Paint 101

Chalk Paint 101


There is no escaping the buzz in the crafting and diy world right now, everyone is talking about chalk paint. This amazing product has been around for quite a few years across the pond. Annie Sloan in England wanted a paint that would be fast, easy and cut out the prep work of painting furniture. Smart woman. The arduous task of sanding and prepping a piece of furniture has been eliminated. You just slap it on, I kid you not. I recently picked up some of this fabulous paint at Rusty Hinges  at the Hydrostone in Halifax. If you have never been to this lovely store you are in for a treat. Reclaimed furnishings, linens, soaps, mirrors and of course a rainbow of Annie Sloan chalk paint colours.




You can take a curb side find and transform it into a customized piece for your home, with very little effort. The furniture piece I made over recently was a Bombay Company buffet passed on from my Mother. It was in great shape to start with but I wanted a new look for my dining room. No sanding or prep needed, just wipe down to ensure no dust or sticky fingers and start applying, any which way. No going with the grain, you want brush strokes to show, that’s part of the rustic, shabby chic look.




I chose to use 2 colours. Greek Blue on the top and Paris Grey on the base, one of the most popular shades. One coat of blue and move on to the base. By the time I had finished the base the top was dry, that’s how fast the process is. Once the piece has dried do a little bit of distressing with sandpaper. Around the corners, top of the drawers, edges, handles, anywhere you would normally see wear and tear. You can remove the hardware before painting or just paint right over them as I did.




An absolute must is the wax. This is applied after the paint has dried. Available in clear or dark finish, the wax protects the piece and gives a wonderful sheen and smooth finish. It can be applied with a brush or a lint free rag ( I raided husband’s t shirt drawer) It takes a little bit of elbow grease but is so worth it.






Here is the finished piece. It took about 4 hours from start to finish, so so easy and it really changes the look of the pieces. I also made over a small hall table and bench that was in really rough shape. Same technique, Paris Grey and dark wax. I added the new fabric and it makes a great place for keys in my entry way. This smaller project only took a tester size of the paint, a great way to try it out before you commit to a larger can. Here is the before and after.

table before & after


Rusty Hinges also runs chalk paint workshops at their store, give them a call for details, the ladies are so helpful.


Annie Sloan Stockist Halifax