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RE: Settee vs. sofa? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: magnaverde on 02.04.2008 at 07:22 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Harriet, I have the exact same exposure you do, except that I get the sun even earlier--about 7 till 8:30 AM this time of year, right about the time I'm scrambling around trying to get out the door and have no time to appreciate the beautiful light streaming in my windows. Well, on days that it's not foggy or snowing in Chicago, anyway. Regardless: the chronic lack of direct sun didn't stop me from painting my walls a dark Canned Spinach green.

Since I can't see your actual room in person, I never recommend specific paint brands or colors, but with your existing furniture, a dark bluish grayish green--think of the dark areas on a piece of bronze sculpture exposed to the weather--or the dead green of a slice of avocado that's been exposed to the air for a few hours : either one of those murky tones livened up with a deep cream or a saffron yellow or the pink of a piece of poached salmon; or maybe the deep grey blush that's overlaid on a ripe plum, accented with celadon green or a Wedgwood blue mingled with copper. Of course, you won't find any of those combinations on anything you can buy right off the floor at the local Home Center store, but then you won't find them in any of yur friends' homes, either.

To find interesting & unusual color effects, don't bother looking in catalogs or shelter magazines ("Oh, look! It's brown & blue! How 2007!")but try instead, say, leafing through early 20th Century children's book illiustrations. I'm not talking about vapid nursery rhymes or alphabet books or even the Oz books, with their solid blocks of pale pastels, but the rich & incredibly moody artwork of guys like Arthur Rackham & N. C. Wyeth & Edmund Dulac & Maxfield Parrish, guys who illustrated tales of adventure & romance,

and whose pictures, despite the limitations of early 4-color printing, managed to convey the gleam of pirate treasure in shadowed caves, the infinite blues of the wine-dark sea at sunset, and the fiery glitter of banked rubies & opels on a sorceress' dusky arms. Now that's inspiration. OK, so that's the color thing.

If your existing pieces are as sturdy as you say, it makes even more sense to redo them rather than replace them. It won't cost any less to remake them than to buy brand new pieces, but here's the thing: they'll cost a lot less than new pieces of similar quality, which is the part the Buy New crowd always forgets.

And if you do decide to buy new because of that settee's comfort, maybe there's a way you can squeeze it all in there. And if there's just not enough room for everything and the old stuff's really gotta go, be sure to keep enough of the old tapestry to make big pillows. It's handsome stuff.

Magnaverde Rule No. 12: If nothing's in style, nothing can go out of style.


clipped on: 09.20.2010 at 02:59 am    last updated on: 09.20.2010 at 03:05 am

RE: Cleaning old wood furniture (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: cattknap on 02.03.2008 at 04:32 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have lots of antique mahogany furniture - I posted this process several years ago on HGTV Decorating forum and lots of people have tried it and had wonderful results - there was a recent thread with pictures.

1. Wash piece with Murphy's Oil Soap, thoroughly dry

2. Use finest grit steel wool and rub in the direction
of the grain of the wood - you will be removing
old wax not the finish. Go over every inch of the
wood with fine steel wool until you feel you have
gotten the old dirty wax off.

3. Wash again with Murphy's Oil Soap & let dry.

4. This is the most amazing of the steps - Use
Howard's Restor-a-Finish in Mahogany stain on
your piece - it will transform the wood.
Follow directions on the can. It will fill in
water stains and other imperfections - the patina
of the old wood will be intact, and your piece
will just glow.

5. Use Howards Feed N' Wax as a final step following
directions on the bottle.

I guarantee you will be amazed by who well this regimen works. Make sure you don't wax your furniture more than a couple times a year - otherwise, you end up building up wax and dirt. Just dust and buff lightly with a soft, dry cloth.

Here is a picture of a really horrible old chest I bought years ago - the wood was completely dead and dull looking - it was filthy and my husband could not understand why I bought it....after following the process listed above, here is how it turned out.


Good luck!


clipped on: 09.20.2010 at 03:03 am    last updated on: 09.20.2010 at 03:03 am

RE: Good places to buy botanical prints? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: johnmari on 01.09.2008 at 10:07 pm in Home Decorating Forum

You don't need to spend the money for professional framing unless you really want to. I get custom-cut frames and mats online and assemble them myself, which is ridiculously fast and easy (they provide instructions if you need them), and it saves a LOT of money. For wood frames I really like Franken Frames, for metal and composite frames and mats I order from Graphik Dimensions. Both companies offer free sample cuts of frames and mats, which I strongly recommend you order before making your final selection.

As for the prints themselves, I've been very happy with purchases from Global Gallery. (They're having a 35%-off sale until 1/14, too.) Their prints are nice quality IMO, not "posterish".


clipped on: 09.20.2010 at 02:09 am    last updated on: 09.20.2010 at 02:09 am

RE: Trim color to go with blue green walls (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: my3dogs on 07.06.2009 at 02:10 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I'm no color expert, but when I painted my tiny front entry BM's Wythe Blue last year, I stuck with my very old SW color called Jordan Almond. It's a warm off white that I have used through out the house. My house is an old Cape, and I prefer the off-white here rather than a true white.




clipped on: 07.08.2009 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 07.08.2009 at 12:50 pm

RE: Source for Heavenly Blue Ceiling Paint? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: funcolors on 07.05.2009 at 05:52 am in Home Decorating Forum

What I know and can remember about the color called "Heavenly" blue is that it is different from "Haint" blue.

A common reference for Heavenly Blue is the Virgin Mary's robes and its use for painted auras around statues and images of deities like Buddhas.

What most people refer to and expect Heavenly Blue to look like has origins from lapis lazuli which is the raw material for the color known as ultramarine. Versions of sythetic ultramarine that don't use lapis lazuli exist as well. Same color different raw (or maybe not so raw) materials.

Most would expect Heavenly Blue to be a royal purple, or royal blue just on the verge of being a royal purple all the way to a very close rendition of the darkest and clearest of blues you see in a lapis lazuli stone and, of course, the actual color called ultramarine.

It's similar to Haint Blue in that it has a range and there's not any one specific color that can carry the label Heavenly Blue, but the creative license for the color isn't limitless. Time has a way of keeping color records and structures and works from the past are the archives.

I hadn't heard reference to the blues typically used on porch ceilings as Heavenly blue instead of Haint blue. Actually, I haven't heard the term or thought about "Heavenly Blue" for a really long time. It's an interesting twist to the spiritual slant often associated with blues.


clipped on: 07.05.2009 at 02:09 pm    last updated on: 07.05.2009 at 02:09 pm

RE: Anyone have any pictures of Farrow and Ball Fawn? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bellaflora on 03.04.2009 at 06:27 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have fawn in my family room. It change from taupe to cream to green. I will take a pic tomorrow for you. It isn't dark at all. I have mixed F&B color before, but sometimes when you mix w/ their white the result isn't merely a lighter shade. The color may alter a bit.

The upper cabinet in this pic is Fawn. In my house it's more creamy parchment like in the morning, and very greyish green in shadow.



clipped on: 03.05.2009 at 12:43 am    last updated on: 03.05.2009 at 12:43 am

RE: How to display crystal glassware and china? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: ronbre on 02.14.2009 at 11:54 am in Home Decorating Forum

i think the suggestions you have are wonderful, there are however some other ideas to think about as well. First, glass should go up high and near lights if you have lights so the light can shine through them, If you want a really interesting display and you have the room, consider putting some other things in the cabinet that will remind you of your grandmother..In my cabinet I have things that are antique, such as an old sifter, hand crank mixer, and other things, a few old bowls, a photograph of my husbands mother and grandmother (old sepia), some pretty bottles and jars of food like balsamic vinegar, jellies, olives, tins would also work well, i have a few cookbooks, some antique, and also you could soften it with bits of fabric or lace, even an antique potholder or doily it is a bit less formal and gives the diner some interesting things to look is mine:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


clipped on: 02.16.2009 at 02:28 am    last updated on: 02.16.2009 at 02:28 am

RE: any designer out there willing to answer some questions? (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: deborahnj on 12.04.2008 at 08:03 am in Home Decorating Forum

Meg, I am an intellectual Property Paralegal working in the field of trademarks, copyrights and patents for over 25 years. I am considered one of the top experts in my field. I think I know what happened based on your postings and as someone else outlined it here"She's basically stealing their designs, getting them made for less at some shop, and claiming it's from their manufactuer" You also said "In all her emails, she said that she bought this furniture from the manufacturer who supplies Kreiss."

I think this is the nail on the head, she took Kreiss' designs and gave them to someone else to knock it off.

So I did a bit of research on Kreiss. The company is Kreiss Enterprises and I saw from one of the specimens they submitted that it is the same mfg of the Kreiss furniture you wanted. Here is what you do. Write, call, fax or email Marvin H. Kleinburg, Esq. at Kleinburg & Lerner, LLP, 2049 Century Pike, Suite 1080, Los Angeles, California 90067. His telephone number is 310-557-1571 or fax number 310-557-1540. He is the Intellectual Property Counsel for Kreiss.

I would specifically tell him about the designer and the fact that she told you that "In all her emails, she said that she bought this furniture from the manufacturer who supplies Kreiss." and more importantly that you have pictures of the specific Kreiss furniture that you wanted and the furniture that you received. Tell him that you suspect that she took the designs for the original set you wanted to someone else and had them copy the furniture. Tell him that when the furniture was received you could immediately tell from the quality and construction, it was NOT Kreiss furniture at all. Also explain that the furniture is inferior and give all the additional information that you have.

IP owners take their proprietary rights very very seriously and actually appreciate consumers reporting such acts to them.

If you can I would call him today and speak with him to give him an overview of what is going on and then would follow up with details and pictures via email or fax.

When you call if you mention that you believe that you may have been a victim of copyright, design, patent and possibly trademark infringement, trust me he will listen.

Just so you know the way I found his information is that I went to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, looked up the trademark Kreiss and then found out the name of the IP lawyer and firm handling their trademarks. Quick two minute search.

If any of you ever have a problem such as Meg's and you want to get past the generic general telephone #'s or contact information just go to and do a quick search. It is very easy to find the information.

I take this stuff very very seriously and it burns me to no end! Meg if you want to contact me privately, send me an email through GW and I'll get you my contact information.


clipped on: 12.04.2008 at 12:07 pm    last updated on: 12.04.2008 at 12:07 pm

RE: Magnaverde (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: magnaverde on 11.10.2007 at 12:36 am in Home Decorating Forum

Moonshadow, this is the time of year I always think about my Jeep, and how cool it was--and, actually, 'cold' is a better word--chugging around the streets of Peoria in a vehicle--and I use that the word in its broadest sense--with no doors, no top, no heater, no keys, no speedometer, no odometer, no gas gauge & no windshield wipers. I was lucky to have a windshshield. At any rate, it was NOT a car. One of my pals called it 'a slum on wheels."

It got ten miles to the gallon, and with no gas gauge I never knew I was low on gas until I heard the metallic sucking sound that meant the tank was already empty and that there was about 50 feet of forward momentum left before it stopped dead in its tracks in the middle of traffic. I never even had time to pull over. It was all very embarrassing. Thanks for reminding me.

And threedgrad, there's no news, but no news is good news. For a while last spring, I thought there might be some news but it was a false alarm.

A pal persuaded me to enter my place in Apartment Therapy's contest for the "Smallest, Coolest Apartment" designed for places under 6OO square feet. I figured that since the AT website is geared to an audience that's hip & young & into things like bright colors & uncluttered spaces & IKEA & Target & tons of Mid-Century stuff, I & my dark & very traditional apartment full of antique furniture & rugs & art would have no chance at winning a prize, and so it would be silly for me to even enter. But said pal kept at me, so to shut him up I sent in a few shots, the same-old-same-old ones you've all seen a zillion times because they're the only ones I have.

Well, there were tons of small, cool apartments in the runing and mine was the only one that looked a little lost, but somehow, even though I was right about not winning, I did manage to get an Honorable Mention (which, when I went down to the party at a hip, cool furniture store here in town to hear the announcement of the real winners, my HM turned out to be the only award given to anybody in Chicago. All the other awards went to people living on the coasts or in Europe. Since nobody else got anything--and some of their entries were great--I was kind of embarrassed when they called out my name, and especially considering that I was by far the oldest person there, although at least I was embarrassed in a better way than when my Jeep ran out of gas in downtown Peoria. Anyway, my enetering didn't get a real prize but it did lead to amessage from an editor at O @ Home magazine, who said they were interested in seeing more pics of my place for the magazine, and that was cool.

So I sent the guy a few more photos that hadn't been in the contest, and sort of explained my approach to decorating, and after seeing the other shots and reading what I wrote, Jonathan said they were now REALLY interested and said that the photo editor was very excited, and wanted to know if I had any pictures of the other areas of my apartment, like the kitchen. And of course, I didn't because I had never bothered taking pictures of my kitchen, so I had a pal come over and take some pictures for me, mainly because he has a flash, which is critcial in my windowless kitchen & my windowless hall & my windowless book room. So I sent those in, and they loved those too, and they loved the explanation I sent along with some of them. He said "We've never featured an apartment like this, but we love it! Love your essays, too! Do you have any exterior shots of your building, and of you?"

So I wrote back and said that no, I didn't but that I'd get some if they were interested, and he assured me they were VERY interested. That was cool. I figured these wouldn't be the pictures that would go in the magazine anyway, these would just be like scouting shots, so it didn't really matter if someone else didn't take as good a picture of me as I would have taken of them. After all, it was my apartment that they were really interested in, not me.

So I took a few shots of the front of my 192Os building with the lobby's leaded-glass casement windows open & the window boxes full of geraniums & petunias, and the sun raking across the face of the mellow old bricks, and I had another friend take a picture of me against a background of the 192Os skyscrapers along the Chicago River. Then I mailed off the building photos & the ones of me and waited to hear from Oprah. well, OK, from Jonathan, Oprah's editor.
By now I was starting to get excited.

Well, it took a few weeks to hear back this time, and when I got my answer it was short & businesslike, more like a form letter than any of the previous notes I had received:

Dear Mr. Magnaverde. Thank you for your interest in Oprah at Home. We are reviewing your submission. There may be some time before any decisions are made. If there is any further interest, I or someone else at the magazine will be in contact with you.

In other words, Don't call us, we'll call you. But of course, since then, I haven't heard anything. The only thing I can think of to cause the sudden change in tone from friendly & encouraging to distant & impersonal is that because Apartment Therapy is young & cool, and I won an award from them, that they must have assumed that I must, therefore, also be young & cool. Sort of, you know, like Nate.

Then they saw my picture: Ohhhhhhhhhh, he's.........old: gray hair, glasses, a seersucker jacket--from Brooks Brothers, no less--with a tie, for pete's sake. No tight, sexy t-shirt, no cool jeans, no raffish 2-day beard stubble, no carefully tousled hair, no sexy grin, no crinkly bedroom eyes, no gym-toned body, no tan, no tatttos, no nothin'. NEXT CANDIDATE PLEASE!!!!

Since then, of course, I've found out that this dude has played hot-&-cold with lots of people, and I decided I didn't really want to be in Oprah's magazine anyway, I wanted to be in House & Garden, and that if I had already been seen in O @ Home then I would probably lose any hope of a chance at H&G anyway, so it's all just as well that I didn't mess up my chances to be in a much better magazine anyway.

Of course, as it turns out, H&G is now out of the running anyway, Oprah or no Oprah, because last MOnday, Conde Nast announced that, after 106 years, they were shutting House & Garden down, and that the editorial offices would be cleared out by Friday--today.

Anyway, I was disappointed that my place didn't make it it into print, but even though I lost this particular chance at fame & glory, at least I didn't lose my job today, like a whole bunch of talented people did. Kind of puts things into perspective, you know?

At any rate, threedgrad, that's the news. Thanks for asking.


Here is a link that might be useful:


clipped on: 11.10.2007 at 01:20 am    last updated on: 11.10.2007 at 01:20 am

Cookbooks can be considered accessories, can't they? Cross post

posted by: kitchenkelly on 07.14.2007 at 09:30 pm in Home Decorating Forum

OK, here's the deal: So, I am getting closer to the end of my remodel....sick of looking at a kitchen that isn't finished after 20 weeks... and decided to look for accessories for my kitchen. Shopping will help me get in a better mood!

I thought I would go to the bookstore and get some cookbooks. So, I as I am browsing, a sales clerk asks me what kind of cookbook I am looking for. I say that I don't really care.... I am not a big cook.... I just want them to match this granite. I show her my granite sample and she looks at me like I am crazy (and so does the other customer (apparently a cook or chef?) next to her.)

What is up with that? Am I crazy? Do accessories need to be functional, too? So what if I want to buy a cookbook in Spanish. So what if I don't speak spanish? The color of this book compliments my kitchen and will really pop!

Just when I think I am getting better at this decorating stuff....this was a big setback. Did someone say happy hour?


clipped on: 09.17.2007 at 02:05 am    last updated on: 09.17.2007 at 02:07 am

preview of my dining room

posted by: kgwlisa on 12.02.2006 at 06:19 pm in Home Decorating Forum

As some of you may know, my dining room is a looooooooong time in coming. It's limping along at a snail's pace with two things going right and then one thing going wrong. One of these days I will finish, maybe in time for thanksgiving next year! Who knows.

Anyway, part of the reason is that I found this great set of antique chairs at my friends' antique shop. So, I brought one home to see how they'd go with the table of my existing set and the concensus was YUCK. Here is what THAT disaster looked like:

So a bunch of ideas were tossed around and I believe that someone pointed out a nice banded table that was on ebay and I suddenly got it in my head that I NEEDED a banded table. Anyway to make a very long story a little bit shorter, I found this guy not to far away that sells tables and chairs on ebay and he was close enough to drive to. We found a table we LOVED there and talked to him about polishing and reupholstering the chairs (we brought one to see if it would match). The table color was still richer than the chair color and he said that he could tone the chairs to match by custom mixing some pigment into the shellac he'd use to polish it and showed some examples of stuff he'd treated that way. We left the chairs and some upholstery fabric I found on ebay for a song in his capable hands, and just picked up the results today. All I can say is WOW.

I was a little nervous about the whole thing but everything came out better than I expected. The seats needed to be completely rebuilt and they are SO comfortable, plush and thick. The guy who did the upholstery (some guy in NC, he sent them down to have them done after he did the frames) did a beautiful job laying out the pattern too, the kind of thing that would bug me if it wasn't done right.

The frames are gorgeous, tinted a bit more on the brownish red side than the pale gold side. The age-worn patina still shows through (I was afraid they would end up "too new" looking or something) and they are not too shiny (although the flash picked up the sheen and makes it look shinier than it is, they just really have a warm glow). I could not be happier with the job he did and with everything (including buying the original chairs, buying the fabric, the cleaning, polishing and reupholstering) they still ran me under $300 a chair.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words (though I have probably already said a thousand words here) here are some pictures (excuse the under construction look of my dining room, floors, trim etcetc, like I said, it's a work in progress).

And here's a sneak peak of the antique china cabinet I found. As long as I sold the old table and chairs, I decided to sell the china cabinet too (even though I originally planned to keep it)


clipped on: 01.06.2007 at 01:47 am    last updated on: 01.06.2007 at 01:47 am