Succulent Inspired

I have a had a paint brush in my hand nearly every single day since the kids went back to school! It’s very much my favorite place to be…on the floor in grubby clothes with paint splattered on my face and in my hair. My projects for the past month have not been my own, however. I’ve been immersed in custom projects for so many different people (which I can’t wait to show the pictures of soon) that my own creativity has been waning. I took a brief break from the custom jobs that I’ve had this month and went far outside my creative comfort zone (don’t get too excited or anything, it’s not like I painted something hot pink) 😉

I found myself drawn to our most popular Cavallini poster and tea towel of vintage looking succulents for inspiration.

I’m not much of a succulent person, but I will admit that as they have saturated the marketplace for the past few years, I’m finding myself more appreciative of their simple beauty and easy maintenance (what can I say? I’m easily persuaded). And, this poster is by far our fastest selling, most popular of the 50+ prints that we sell so why not show it in a slightly different and unexpected fashion?

So, for the past few weeks, I’ve sent Gina on a scouting mission for plastic, toy dinosaurs and animals (for, yet another super fun project that we have in the works). As she’s frequented the many thrift stores around town, not only am I getting loads of new toys but tons of pictures from her the fabulous furniture out there. I’m not on a furniture finding mission….AT ALL. In fact, I don’t have room in the store or room in storage to put them. But, sometimes I just can’t help it. If I don’t allow myself an outlet to express my own creativity and hone my craft, I think that I would, with time come to resent doing custom work and executing someone else’s vision. When Gina sent me pictures of this seemingly mundane buffet while she was out “picking,” it felt like a good, blank slate for me to be creative with.

Solid oak, golden wood, blah, blah, blah. But, at under $40 and well-made, it was a pretty good buy. Plus, it was in darn good shape. Like, an oak purest would cringe at the thought of slapping paint on it. But, back to the succulent inspiration, I decided to use that poster as my starting point for color. On the Annie Sloan color palette, you have hints of Olive, punches of Antibes, the subtle green of Chateau Grey plus highlights of Primer Red, Burgundy, English Yellow and Arles. Oh..and Amsterdam  Green which is where I started. Heaven forbid I just paint from the can…I didn’t want the green to be a spot on match. So, I mixed Napoleonic Blue and added a dash of English Yellow to brighten the shade.

I thought the green/blue shade would be much too heavy for the entire piece, so stripped the honey color off the top and sealed the raw wood with clear wax.

I used a single sheet of Cavallini Succulent paper on the drawer faces orienting it so that the three largest cactus’s are front and center.

Finally, I sealed the entire piece with clear wax then added a mix of dark wax and black wax just in the detail of the cabinet doors and around the edges of the drawers and on top in the corners of the wood.

 

Because this piece of furniture was in such good shape to begin with, I left it with no distressing for a cleaner, more contemporary finish.

Sometimes, the hardest thing about finishing a project can be the most unexpected. I knew the old knobs had to go and I thought I was going to use some bright yellow and/or reddish pink ceramic knobs for the body. But, they just didn’t look quite right. I must’ve tried a dozen different styles of knobs before I settled on the off-white bone knobs for the drawers and the wood resin knobs for the doors. And, I think the knobs are what makes this piece (you’d think so too if you saw how stupid all of the other ones looked)! The flower shape of the wood knobs compliments both the succulent design on the paper and the colors of wood on the top. And, the bone-knobs match the background of the paper but have a pretty flower shape carved in the front giving it symmetry with the door knobs. Frankly, I think they are just perfect!

Right now, this piece is for sale! Hear ye for actually getting a before/after piece posted while we are still in possession of it! Woot Woot!

Even if you don’t like the style of this particular buffet, I hope that you are able to be inspired by and unafraid to try something different. Whether that be by using ephemera in an unexpected way or just playing with color, you might find that it is a balm to your creative soul to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. Afterall, I painted something green for the first time in like…I don’t know…three years! (And, just because I threw some blue in it, doesn’t count!)

 

 

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