French Farm Kitchen Almost Done!

[Edit: Check out the final result photos here and here! For more photos of construction, click here and here for the Vent Hood tutorial. This was featured in Romantic Homes September 2011 more info on that here.]

Here are a few more pictures of the progress of my kitchen! The hardware needs to go on the drawers and doors, some trim needs to be finished, and everything needs a coat of white paint and voila! C'est Fini!

I love the now open feel I have! I can't wait to fluff everything. I want a very French farm feel in here with utilitarian items displayed along with rustic items and fine china--alltogether. Sur la même bateau--as a side note, this is a wonderful song by my favorite singer, Celine Dion! You can find it on this CD--I highly recommend it, even if you don't speak French! 

I love it--my tole chandelier now really fits the room! I lost some cabinet space, but gained more usable storage, plus with everything ripped out I was able to add a dishwasher and garbage disposal!  

I love my new vent hood! The corbels were a last minute addition--I found them at the Habitat ReStore Monday during my lunch break! They were a dollar each! 

I love these shelf brackets! I've held on to them for about two years now. I'm glad I bought  them when I did! Similar antique ones on eBay are selling for around $70.00 a pair! I have about $25 in all of them!

Here is a close up of the brackets! I will break-down materials and sources if you'd like to replicate this look in your home! Check back soon for the completed project! This entire project was completed for just over $1,000.00! Page Davis would be proud!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Antiquing in Blackstone

Last Saturday, after I staged the house, I went with a friend antiquing in Blackstone, VA. Here are some photos of all the goodies we saw!

I love the dresser tray! Très chic! (punny, j'sais!)

All the beautiful china, linens, and silver were breathtaking! I can't wait to shop the house and pull out lots of things like this that are in cupboards and behind closed doors! With my new open shelving in my kitchen, I'll be able to display a lot of the lovely things that have been hidden!

All these roses! How beautiful. If I could afford it I would have bought up most of this booth.

Another pretty frilly lacy vanity.

I could really use this piece in my bedroom! I love the glass knobs.

White paint makes a cleaver re-purpose of an otherwise dated and ugly pine cupboard! Now it looks chic and French!

This was just one of the beautiful table settings they have! I love the simplicity of the white and gold in this pattern!

I love this gilded what not stand! So chic and French. The price wasn't too scary, just out of my budget!

They had tons of teacups! I'd love to have a Mad Hatter tea party with all miss-matched china and silver! 

These frenchy buffet markers were so tempting they had to come home with me!


Vintage horse ribbons were all the rage in a magazine I recently read--someone sure stocked up at the right time!

The amount of beautiful stained glass and other architectural items were astonishing.

This beautiful vintage wedding dress looks ready to wear! Or would look fantastic on an antique dress form lit from below!

Bottles are something else that I'm seeing everywhere in decorating! Urban Outfitters is even selling old bottles!

Get 'em local and save big money!

This music box is one of my more favorite things I've found recently. Sadly, I left it there for someone else to buy! I really enjoyed my afternoon out. We had Greek food for lunch and stopped in a 1950's themed diner for ice cream. That evening we saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat put on by Nottaway County Public Schools--Kindergarten through High School! It was fantastic!

Hopefully the kitchen remodel will be finished ASAP--look for photos this weekend!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Spring Flowers

I was staging a house early Saturday morning, so early in fact I went to a yard sale after I was done! The homeowner is ready to up and move as soon as she finds a buyer, this being so, she has gotten rid of most furniture and packed all her personal belongings away and put them in storage. While that sounds like a stager's dream, the Realtor I'm working for and myself are having to come up with the stuff to make the house look lived in!

The dining room was void of everything except a table, chairs, and sideboard. It needed some color to draw your attention away from the blah beige walls. Since we're working with a $0.00, yes a ZERO dollar budget for this job we pulled a rug from the garage to put in the dining room to ground the space, and pulled accessories and other rugs from mine and Wanda's house, along with items from other homes we had staged that were pending sale.

I saw the homeowner had a blooming tulip tree in the yard, so I took some cuttings and starting making an arrangement. I went around the yard and pulled some boxwood and other flowers--I don't know the names of all the varieties I used.

I've had the crystal rose bowl rolling around the back seat of my car for about six months (I had it wrapped in a towel so I wouldn't chip it).

I was amazed at the beautiful flower that were blooming this early!

I can't wait for my hydrangeas and roses to start to bloom. If I can muster the energy and the cash (the refund amount on my Lowe's gift card from the Tax Refund plus 10% promotion. . .) I am going to plant some peonies and holly hocks next week!

This is the house I staged. I will post before and after photos of this home later this week! For more information about this home or if you'd like a showing, please contact Wanda Bond at! This home is located in Chesterfield, Va. If you'd like your home staged and live in the Greater Richmond or Tri-Cities areas of Central Virginia, please contact me via email (link in sidebar).

Kitchen Sneak Peak

[Edit: Check out additional photos here! For additional photos of construction, click here and here for the Vent Hood tutorial. This was featured in Romantic Homes September 2011 more info on that here.]

If you didn't already know, I had a slow leak that caused the particle board supports of my cabinets to turn to sawdust. . . . Here are a few of the photos of the progress of everything. I'll do a complete before and after post as soon as the after is finished! 

I decided to remove the upper cabinets since I basically had to rip the wall apart. I will have classic farm-style open shelving installed for storage. I will be using antique Victorian cast-iron shelf brackets I bought several years ago that I have been holding on to. Being a pack-rat does pay off! I bought a lower-end dishwasher because I couldn't afford one with all the bells and whistles--actually I couldn't afford it at all, but it was almost the same price as the 24" cabinet that I would have to put there and gets the job done! I asked for a discount and low and behold I got 10% off  nearly everything I had to buy for this project, that plus 6 months no interest on my Lowe's card helped me finance this! On top of everything, they had a deal to purchase a gift card in the amount of your purchase, then make your purchase using the gift card and they would refund 10% of the price on the gift card at a later date to use on a future project--that alone saved me $90.00! Altogether I ended up getting 20% off on nearly all of the supplies!

To save money, I re-used my sink, faucet, and counter top. I purchased those when I moved here about 2 years ago. The extra deep sink was $5.00 at a yard sale! I opted to cover that wall in beadboard for a vintage feel. What makes it even better is it is the cheaper option when it came to repairing drywall! I got a lot of my trim at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore--at ten cents a foot it is 90% or more cheaper than the hardware store. I also used the same switch plate covers and fancy wall sconce that matches the chandelier in the room.

Because I wasn't replacing the upper cabinets, I had to come up with a cleaver solution to vent the stove--though not finished yet, you can see lovely cottage style vent hood I will have! It's amazing what scrap lumber and beadboard can do! I see these in high dollar gourmet kitchens and now I have one for next to nothing! Once everything is finished I will post the results! Stay tuned!

100th Birthday

It's not often one attends a 100th birthday party, much less one with such a sassy lady! My Great-Great Aunt turned 100 on March 12th 2011, I along with lots of family celebrated this day with her. I wanted to share this exciting day with all of you, too! Plus I'm sure my family that frequents my blog might like to see some of the photos I took! Check back later today for a sneak peak of my unexpected kitchen remodel! Hopefully the carpentry will be completed today, and all will be left is paint and getting things back to normal!

Here she is, our queen for the day at her coronation of her 100th birthday with a hat proper for the upcoming royal wedding! Even I'm stuck on William and Kate! After all we are distant cousins, that is William and Harry, with Queen Mary being our mutual ancestor.

She was so happy to see us all. It's not often we can all get together like that! Most of us live in southeastern VA, whereas she lives in Lynchburg! That's quite a hike. Lynchburg, VA is home to Liberty University, my almost alma mater. I say almost because I still haven't graduated.

I love the party hat she wore!

Here she is unwrapping gifts--check out the turquoise gator skin purse she received! In the photo with her are her niece and great-niece.

It looks to me she really likes her new sweater! I hope we all look this good if we make it to 100!

Check back later today for a preview of renovation photos of my kitchen! I'll have the after photos up soon. It has to get finished first!  


I recently posted on one of my new sponsors, Celtic Curves, this is the other half of Duncan's business--his wife's antiques business, Isabeau. She carries an array of shabby chic, romantic, cottage, and French furniture, jewelry, clothing, and home décor.

I'm trying to have her let me do a photo shoot at her beautifully decorated home! Maybe I'll get my way sooner than later!

The last time I was in her shop (about two days after I snapped these photos) a lady snatched up nearly all of her vintage clothes! Brenda really has an eye for selecting beautiful items in her shop. She follows the rule of only buying things she would have in her own home.

I love this horse clock.

She has it sitting on perfectly crusty white period Victorian cast-iron settee.

Her well edited choice of home accessories and wonderful prices make shopping easy! You can find just what you never knew you always wanted and not have to break the bank!

Hand painted floral china is one of her favorites.

This is one of the lamps her husband, Duncan of Celtic Curves, restored. Look at that silk shade!

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the beautiful items found at Isabeau. Her shop is located within The Oak Antique Mall, 400 North Sycamore Street, Petersburg, VA 23803. Open 7 Days a week 10 - 6 Monday - Saturday and Noon - 6 Sunday. Open until 10 pm on the second Friday of the month.

Check back soon for more pretties, including my unexpected kitchen remodel! Gotta love water leaks!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Disclaimer: Mutual Advertisement was received for this post. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Instant Foyer

I have a very small foyer--it's about 4' x 4'. Really, it's to small to function as a foyer. I really wanted a place to have right inside the door to kick off my shoes, temporarily house the mail, put my keys, etc. So I came up with this idea: 

I moved the china hutch that was here into the dining room and put the table that used to be in front of the picture window where it was. It had been in the attic since I bought the altar that I know have there. The domed silver serving dish is for my keys. I can put mail in the drawer on the old vanity table. FYI--I mixed silk and dried hydrangeas for this arrangement. I love using old champagne buckets for flower containers.

I snatched the beautiful French mirror from my bedroom (still haven't replaced it with anything) and a few accessories from around the house and came up with this. I can kick my shoes under the table--I will add a boot tray or something similar eventually. I didn't think the arrangement had enough height, so I put an old chippy metal porch column in the corner. The lamp is vintage Italian Murano glass. I picked it up at a yard sale estate sale two summers ago. Oh--it was $5! Yes FIVE BUCKS! I got the shade at Target. As a side note, they have really great lamps and shades! If you want a similar lamp to this, Lowes has one right now for about $20.00. It is glass and is the same color and has a similar shape!

I stuck with a blue, green, and grey color palate to make the area feel separate from the mostly white and pastel room. It works in the rest of the room because I use grey and teal as accents. By using my accent colors en mass, it clearly defines two separate spaces while keeping the overall look cohesive. I used a little pop of pink roses because there is so much pink in the room. Having no pink, to me, would have made it stick out.

These are roses I got on Valentine's day. I dried them and put them in a silver compote.

So for no money and about an hours time, I achieved the look I wanted. Don't be afraid to re-arrange furniture or move accessories around the house. It keeps everything feeling fresh.

Happy almost Spring! I'll be back soon with more goodies, including an unexpected kitchen remodel! Gosh I love water leaks!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

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