Adding Industrial Style to Your Home Decor

A huge trend in all things home decor over the last couple years has been adding industrial style elements in with the other styles already present. The good news is that is very simple to do! You do not need to fear that your new industrial piece will stick out like a sore thumb because it adds a cute touch of character blends in seamlessly. We found some pictures for you for extra inspiration!


The easiest and one of the prettiest ways to add an industrial feel is with an old sign. It is always fun to go treasure hunting for this kind of thing, or even making a old looking sign out of some pallet wood and paint.


Old gates, or even screen doors can make a very stunning wall feature! Even just a simple letter can add interest.


Or if you want to add some industrial flare on a small scale, you can start with a serving tray or other small piece, but still get that great style impact.


{The first four pictures all came from homes styled by Joanna Gains from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Which is our newest favorite home renovating couple!}

Industrial stools are a personal favorite of mine! You can buy them new so they match if you need more than one, or go hunting for one to use as a desk chair like this one featured in Country Living Magazine.


And the good new is, we have a chair just like that in our store!

Industrial Factory Stool, Vintage Metal Chair

{you can see the Etsy listing here}

or come see it for yourself in our brick and mortar store!
So are you inspired to give it a try or add even more industrial goodness to your home?

DIY Succulent in a Teacup

Looking for an easy DIY gift for someone special or just to treat yourself? It does not get easier than this cute succulent teacup planter.

Succulent in a Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

All you need is:
– a sweet teacup {or mug if you’d like}
– a succulent plant
– a few pebbles or small rocks

All you have to do is place some pebbles or small rocks at the bottom of the teacup so that the water can drain somewhere.

Succulent in a Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

Then, just put your succulent in the teacup with some extra soil, if you need it.

Succulent in a Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

If your succulent is too tall like mine was, all you have to do it break off the extra soil until it fits snugly in the teacup.

Succulent in a Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

That’s all! Easy right? and oh so cute!

Succulent in a Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

I’d like to thank my sweet mom for this cute idea!
Doesn’t this just make you want to go hunting for cute teacups?
Well we have some at our brick and mortar store! Here are some of the sweet tea cups we have right now.

Vintage Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

We have two teacups with this pretty feminine detailing.

Vintage Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

We have only have one in this pretty Oriental pattern, which is my personal favorite.

Vintage Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

We have two cups with this unique orange, green, and yellow floral pattern.

Vintage Teacup | Vintage Hip Decor

Lastly, we have seven of these cute teacups – that’s enough to make a whole succulent garden!
They each range from $4 to $10 each. So not only is this project easy, its very inexpensive!

So who are you going to make a sweet little teacup planter for?

Vintage Picking at a 1700s Homestead and Barn

IMG_0941This past summer we were privileged to find and do some “picking” at a historical homestead and barn in our area of Sussex County, New Jersey. It is known as the Connor-VanHorn Homestead and is an Early American structure constructed in the period of the American Revolution – Circa 1780. It is located at the foot of the Kittatinny Ridge (Blue Mt. Ridge) and borders on the Delaware National Recreational Park. Read more about the history below.


The most recent owners were collectors themselves and have a fast collection of all sorts of vintage items. Karla and I had a field day of picking through some of the unique items that was stacked, mile high, in this old barn.

Karla picking through some of the many, many interesting items.

Here are some of the vintage and primitive doors and machine shop chairs, that we bought and absolutely love! Not all of them are original to this homestead, but they were part of the pieces collected by the owner on his picking ventures.

Most of our pickings are available for sale at our store in Newton/Hampton Township, but of course, we kept a bunch of items for ourselves. See here on Karla’s blog, some of the smalls she kept for decorating her space. Hopefully we can make it back there shortly to see what else we can find.


Country Living Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014

This past Sunday we visited the Country Living Magazine Fair in Rhinebeck, New York. We looove flea markets and fairs, so when we heard that Country Living Magazine {one of our very favorite magazines} was having a fair we knew we definitely wanted to go. We even closed down our store for one day so that we could go and shop for smalls and get inspiration.

We had a lovely time and saw so many beautiful things from really old furniture, to vintage smalls, and all kinds of unique finds. Having been flea market vendors before, we understand all of the hard work and energy that goes into setting up a lovely booth and then managing it all weekend! We applaud all the vendors who stepped it up and made such lovely displays and booths. Here are some of the things we found beautiful from the fair.


Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 1

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 3

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 6

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 2

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 4

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 7

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 8

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 12

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 16

Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 18
Country Living Magazine Fair Rhinebeck NY 2014 17IMG_9356

It is always so nice to take a day off and reconnect with the things that you love and the things that inspire you. We look forward to our next opportunity to slip away to another flea market or fair.

Which flea market or fair is your favorite?

Decoupage Images onto Painted Furniture

I’ve received a lot of questions about how I finished this particular piece of furniture by decoupaging images onto the drawers. Here are some before and after pictures and a step by step explanation of how I did it. Firstly, I have to say that I was inspired to do it when I saw Annie Sloan explain the method in one of her books. In her book she gives easy to follow instructions.IMG_9111IMG_9110This dresser looked like it had the lines and character that I was looking for, to start my project. It seemed like a country cottage, country chic, kinda piece, that I had in mind for the vintage post cards that I found at a yard sale before.IMG_4751vintage-post-cards-decoupage After I thoroughly cleaned the piece, I painted the body in a Behr Latex Paint called Slate and the drawers in Country Cottage. It was in the beginning stages of our furniture painting business and we wanted to experiment with less expensive paint. I can tell you there are latex paints out there that I love to use, but we naturally gravitated back to using the real Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. So far, for us, there is just no other product that compares to the ease of use and stunning effects that can be achieved with ASCP. It is expensive, but it goes far and absolutely worth every penny.IMG_5081 I simply used a printer to enlarge the images to fit the space that I wanted to apply the them to. It is regular printer paper and then I used a pair of scissors to cut out the excess paper around the images. They were printed in black and white. After I cut the images out, I positioned them on the drawers to see how it looks.

IMG_5083IMG_5082 Now I applied Polycrylic to the drawers with a paint brush and simply stuck the images onto the drawers. In Annie Sloan’s Book, she talks about using a Decoupage glue to stick them down with. Well, I did try that, but found it to be a little thick and gooey to work with. My glue might have been old or something, because it did not look good. Needless to say, I scraped everything off from the first drawer and started again. The only other “option” I had on hand was Minwax Polycrylic. I immediately liked the thinner consistency of this product! It dries clear, just like Modge Podge or Decoupage glue does. It dries fast, so you have to plan out exactly where you want your images to go, before you start applying the Polycrylic. polycrylicAfter I let it dry thoroughly, I colored the images a little bit here and there with water color paint. Just like Annie Sloan demonstrates in her book. You can probably use colored printed images, but I wanted very subtle color on the images.  Again I let it dry and then finally added about two coats of Polycrylic over the top. It has held up beautifully and I am very happy with the result.

How to remove old paint from Furniture Hardware

Do you know how easy it is to remove old paint from furniture hardware? I’m not a big fan of painting over furniture hardware in the first place. Sometimes we get pieces of furniture where the hardware has been painted with latex paint and I don’t think it is very attractive.  The hardware is the “jewelry” of the furniture piece in my opinion. Well, you can simply boil the hardware in a pot on your stove top to remove any old paint from it.


I use a stainless steel pot, but I’m sure you can use any old pot.

Just dump the painted furniture hardware into a pot, cover it with enough water and bring it to a boil. You can boil the water first and then dump them in. There is no right or wrong way. You have to let them boil for about 15 to 20 minutes or until you see some of the paint peeling away from the hardware. Now they are ready to be placed on a paper towel to cool off. Use tongs to remove them from the water or drain it all in your sink.


No need to cook them for a long time. You will see when the paint starts to peel away.

Actually, I take them out of the water one by one and start picking off the remainder of the paint with my fingers. You can use a tweezers or something similar, for the hard to reach spots.


Some areas come off easier than the others, but just use your fingers to remove the rest.


If there is stubborn areas, you can pop them back into the boil water.


Whalla…clean and ready to be buffed or “bejeweled”

They come out pretty clean and beautiful, in no time at all. If you want to paint them or “bejewel” them, as I like to call it, you can use spray paint, Rub and Buff or Martha Steward’s Metallic Paints.

For more tips and tricks of the trade, join us on the first Saturday of each month for a Milk Paint Workshop. Click here for more information.


Preparing for our First Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Workshop

After returning from our MMSMP Retailers Training Classes, we were so excited to present our first ever,  Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint workshop. First things first though. We had to plan and rearrange our studio to make room for a workshop space.  Karla did what she does best and immediately came up with a vision and idea board for our new space.

Karla's Idea Board and Vision for our Workshop Space. It is a work in progress.

Karla’s Idea Board and Vision for our Workshop Space

Then Bennie had to jump in and clear out all the unpainted pieces of furniture that was housed here before. We needed a blank canvas! Of course we had PLENTY of paint on hand and chose Cottage White to go on the walls. The walls are not perfect, but that is okay. We are not into perfect.

Our main "helper" always willing to do whatever we ask of him.

Our main “helper” always willing to do whatever we ask of him.

Now it was time to roll out the carpet, set up the table and bring back some of the pieces to line the wall (we need as much storage space as possible – many more unpainted pieces across the road in the storage unit, phew!).

Items are starting to be placed back into the space.

Adding items back into the space.

Adding items back into the space.

Layers of decorating are starting to happen.

I painted some vintage picture frames with the Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint colors and framed the pictures of each color in the appropriate colored frame. I plan on doing that for all the colors. On “game night” we added a Keurig Coffee machine, some snacks and water for our guests.

A Keurig Coffee Station and some snacks ready to roll.

A Keurig Coffee Station and some snacks ready to roll.


A Clipboard for notes, planks to experiment on and a small take home piece to paint, is ready and waiting for our students.

Karla set up the class materials and got everything ready before our guests arrived. This is our first MMSMP workshop and hopefully the first of many to come. If you want to join us for the next one, click here for more information and to book your spot.

This is all we had time to do before our first workshop. It is a work in progress.

This is all we had time to do before our first workshop.

I’m sure the look of this workshop space will change many times over the months and years to follow. Remember that all the pieces are always for sale and next in line to be painted. This is a small part of our inventory, with many more pieces in storage. Book a Pick & Paint class and choose any piece from our inventory. We will assist you to transforming it, from start to finish.  Click on our Milk Paint Workshops button, above,  for more details.

Karla did a great job explaining everything and answering questions.

Karla did a great job explaining everything and answering questions.

Our first "students" did everything right. From booking their spots online to arriving on time from and hour away.

Our first “model” students.

Our first “students” did everything right. From booking their spots online to arriving on time from an hour’s drive away. They loved all the colors and was excited about how safe and natural this paint is.

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, Retailers Training Workshops

During February of 2014,  we traveled all the way to Madison, WI, from Newton, NJ, to attend the Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint retailers workshops. Yep, a 1,799 mile round trip, all for the love of MMSMP! On top of the very long road trip, I was extremely sick with laryngitis, sinusitis and bronchitis. Thanks to my husband, Bennie, that drove my daughter, Karla, and me there, and made the ride very comfortable and bearable. We pushed through and made the best of it. Nothing was going to deter us from attending this training workshop at The Ironstone Nest, hosted by the lovely, creative owner, Laura Distin. I hope no one else got sick!

Karla posing at the Retailers Training Sign Board.

Karla posing at the Retailers Training Sign Board.

The Retailer Training Handouts, aprons and supplies, waiting for us to start the classes.

The Retailer Training Handouts, aprons and supplies, waiting for us to start the classes.

The creative workshop space at The Ironstone Nest.

The creative workshop space at The Ironstone Nest.

We have seen pictures online of this training venue and decided THAT is where we want to go for training. How can you not be inspired in a lovely space like this? Laura is currently in the process of moving to her own, larger space and we can hardly wait to see what she creates over there. This entire class was privileged to see the “before” space, in person.

Laura explaining some of the many important points to know about MMSMP.

Laura explaining some of the many important points to know about MMSMP.

Amanda improving her skills with MMSMP.

Amanda improving her skills with MMSMP.

We met a lot of awesome retailers and were excited to connect and learn from each one.

We met a lot of awesome retailers and were excited to connect and learn from each one.

Laura and her husband made it very comfortable and enjoyable for us to attend the MMSMP Retailers Training Workshops and we can highly recommend them and their store, if you are looking for a training venue. In fact, from what we heard and experienced, everyone associated with this brand of Milk Paint, are people of very high integrity and you can’t go wrong with joining this organization.

MSMP _ retailer stockist (424x283)


Vintage Buffet, Painted for a Custom Order

So, as promised, here is the story about the buffet that made the mark for our clients from the city. While the dresser in the previous post, did not cut it for them, we had this beauty in our inventory that we were able to renew to their liking. A gorgeous buffet from around the 1940’s if I have to guess. The glass knobs were obviously added at a later point, but does no justice to this piece of furniture. They will probably have to go.

IMG_7335We searched on Pinterest for new and fresh inspiration for this piece and stumbled upon (no pun intended), a lovely lady’s blog post about a custom mixed Annie Sloan Chalk Paint color. It consist of two colors. One being Graphite and in Annie’s own words – “a soft black made with purplish blues and brown and which is not completely black.” The other color in this custom mix is French Linen, “a cool neutral khaki grey, inspired by the bleached deep neutral of old pieces of French and Italian furniture.”  So, pictured below is two coats of the custom mixed grey Chalk Paint.

IMG_7379It kinda looked like it leaned more towards a blue grey, but the wax were to change and intensify the color as seen in the next pictures.
First a layer of clear furniture wax was applied to seal and protect the finish and also to make the dark wax go on easier.

After distressing, a layer of clear wax went on.

After distressing, a layer of clear wax was applied.

Now it was time for the dark wax to be applied. Just like explained on the Paint in my Hair Blog we dry brushed 3 layers of dark wax onto it.


This is it, with one layer of dark wax. Notice how one of the drawers has no dark wax applied to it yet.

The next picture is of the piece with two layers of dark wax and a “test drive” with the glass hardware. We decided it was definitely not fitting for this piece of furniture and the client opted for the vintage brass hardware instead. The distressing was a little heavy in some spots so we re painted a few areas.



Almost done at this point…

And here is the final outcome…

This is not the original hardware and the pieces are miss matched, but I think it came out stunning in the end.

The Lexington Green and Artissimo Blue French Provincial Dresser

Towards the end of 2013, we had the privilege of supplying a lovely couple from NYC with a few pieces of painted furniture. They just moved into a gorgeous apartment on the Upper West Side and happen to find our Etsy Shop, when looking for furniture online.

Well, after providing them with a changing table for their new nursery, nightstands for their bedroom and a dining room set, they commissioned us to paint a buffet or long dresser. This piece was to be used in their living room as a TV console.

A French provincial dresser that we had in our inventory came to mind and after they picked out colors and a vision for it, we jumped to work.

A long story short, but in the end the green was not Hunter Green enough and the Blue, not navy blue enough. We totally understood, because those were the only color options available to us from the paint lines that we like to us. We did not feel comfortable to mix our own colors to achieve just the right green and blue. Here are some before and after pictures.


During the process of painting it in Lexington Green Milk Paint and MMSMP Artissimo Blue

This is during the process of painting it. Here the client already started saying the colors are not what she had in mind.

The colors we used were Lexington Green from the Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company and also Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Artissimo Blue. I assured the client that the colors will dry much darker and the wax on the final finish will also intensify the colors. And it did, but again, not quite the Hunter Green and Navy Blue that she had in mind. Also, another thing about milk paint, it started to chip in random places and that was not the look she desired. We used bonding liquid on the first coat, but nothing kept this piece of furniture, from doing its thing!

And this is how it turned out.

And this is how it turned out.

Yep, this is how it turned out with all of its chippy deliciousness! I wasn’t too alarmed when the client didn’t like and want it after all. I knew that these French provincial dressers are very popular and someone, somewhere would love to have this piece as their buffet, TV console or bedroom dresser. It reminds me of Old World Charm with its lovely lines and gorgeous hardware.



Isn’t this hardware just gorgeous!?

In my next blog post I will tell you about the piece of furniture that did carry away their approval, but not without some more incidence…(lol, stay tuned). Never a dull moment in the furniture painting business.


Some of our hand painted, furniture pieces used as movie props in Black Nativity

I’ve shared about this on our Facebook page before, but allow me to write the full story here about how some of our hand painted, furniture pieces ended up as props for a 2013 movie, called Black Nativity.

During the beginning of 2013 we had a sale in our online Etsy Shop for this four poster bed. As a side note, the lady that purchased it, mentioned that it will be used as a prop in an upcoming movie, opening around Thanksgiving 2013. I was simply flabbergasted, but that is not all. She told me that they will visit our booth, at the time, located in Lafayette, NJ. She was looking for a chest and some more pieces to use as props for the movie.

Full Size Distressed Headboard and Foot Board.

Full Size Distressed Headboard and Foot Board finished in Coco, Chalk Paint. Details painted in Martha Steward’s Bronze Metallic Glaze.

Amanda busy painting the trim on the four poster bed, not knowing at this point it will end up as a movie prob featuring loads of well known actors.

Amanda busy painting the trim on the four poster bed, not knowing at this point it will end up as a movie prop, featuring loads of well known actors.

So, of course I was very curious, and I used Google to see what I could find about the movie, online. I found out that it is an adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, the holiday musical drama called Black Nativity. Directed by Kasi Lemmons with a cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Mary J. Blige. Watch the trailer and for a split second at 1:30, you will spot our four poster bed. Our 1800s chest of drawers should also be visible in the full length movie.


1800’s Dresser made with hand cut nails.

They also bought this lovely antique chest from us at the booth and supported the rest of the Antique Center with sales of pieces from many booths totaling about $7000. The next day they sent a large truck from New York City to pick up all the items. So, yeah, some of our hand painted, pieces of furniture is famous! How exciting is that. The movie opened in theaters the day before Thanksgiving 2013. Add it to your list of Holiday Movies to watch. I know that we are going to do just that!

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Color of the Month

We’ve met and posted about our “idol” in the furniture painting business before. It is the lovely and talented Miss Mustard Seed, as she is know in the blog world. She has quite a following online for her creative blog and for the work she has done in the furniture painting business. Her very own line of Milk Paint Colors was developed by her and is produced by the Homestead House Paint Company.

Marian aka "Miss Mustard Seed"

Marian aka “Miss Mustard Seed”

Both Miss Mustard Seed and Homestead House has impressed us with their integrity and excellence in conducting business and we are thankful that they crossed our paths, and that we can learn from them.

After some time of dreaming to become retailers for the MMS Milk Paint Line, we finally opened a small store and now are proud to announce, that we are fully stocked in this awesome line of milk paint. Coming in March of 2014, we will also be offering workshops in the use of MMSMP.

This line of Milk Paint currently has 18 vibrant color schemes to pick from with soft wax, clear wax, antiquing wax and hemp oil to use as final coats to finish furniture painting projects. The colors are Ironstone, Linen, Grainsack, Kitchen Scale, French Enamel, Shutter Gray, Mustard Seed Yellow, Boxwood, Lucketts Green, Tricycle, Flow Blue, Typewriter, Dried Lavender, Artissimo, Eulalie’s Sky, Trophy, Apron Strings and Curio.

milk-paint-colorsHere is the Schedule for Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint –

Color of the month:

  • January – Ironstone + Bergere
  • February – Apron Strings + Arabesque
  • March – Trophy & French Enamel
  • April – Dried Lavender & Lucketts Green
  • May – Eulalie’s Sky & Linen
  • June – Kitchen Scale & Grain Sack
  • July – Artissimo & Tricycle
  • August – Flow Blue + Layla’s Mint
  • September – Shutter Gray + Mora
  • October – Typewriter + Schloss
  • November – Curio & Mustard Seed Yellow
  • December – Boxwood + Marzipan

Here are some of Miss Mustard Seed’s handy work of projects that she has finished with her Milk Paint line. How gorgeous and inspiring…

collage-dried-lavenderCollage-mustard-seed-yellowNow, allow us to show off our hand painted, 1920s, tall dresser, named “The Little Old Lady”  We found her at an estate sale in a tiny, almost forgotten little town, on a windy road in Sussex County, NJ. It was finished in Boxwood and no bonding liquid was added to the milk paint, so that we could achieve this wonderful chippy look. Boxwood is the color of the month for December, for the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint line.

"The Little Old Lady" finished in Boxwood.

“The Little Old Lady” finished in Boxwood.


We thought that the “chippy look” was a perfect match for this gorgeous “old” piece.

Visit us at our small store in Newton, NJ to see the full range of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.

Our store, Vintage Hip Decor, is located at The Hampton Mini Mall, 89 Hampton House Rd.(Rt 206), Newton, NJ 07860. This is in Sussex County, Northern NJ.

STORE HOURS: Tue-Fri 10:00am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-2pm.

Closed on Mondays

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