Month: May 2017

Alameda Point Antique Faire Favorites – Part 2

Are you ready to see and shop for some amazing European and Farmhouse finds?  I love finding new {to me} places to shop and I like it even better when the owners are friendly and passionate about their work!  Last week I introduced you to Art of Salvage and the amazing work on Michael Avila {post HERE}.  Today, I want to introduce you to two more vendors whose booths really caught my eye.

First up is Napa Antique Wine Artifacts.  Chris has a warehouse located in Napa, CA and brought a few of his goodies with him last weekend.  Here are some of my personal favorites:

This demijohn with metal crate.  I almost scooped this one up but decided to wait until I actually had a place to put it.


What about grain sacks?  Love them and Chris had a stack!


Right next to the grain sacks was something that I love and actually use in my own home – an antique bottle drying rack.  I have a smaller version of this one on my kitchen counter holding my coffee mugs.  I also have a wall-mounted one in my dining room, displaying my teacups.


And last but certainly not least, dough bowls!!!  This was one of the best selections I saw at this show.



For more information on these types of items, their history, and how to decorate with them, you can check out my terminology post {HERE} and my vintage decorating series of posts {HERE}.


If you plan to be in the area, you can visit Chris’ warehouse for a personal shopping experience.  You’ll need to make an appointment in advance, though, so I’ve provided his email address below.



Very popular right now are farmhouse signs, thanks in part to shows like Fixer Upper.  I couldn’t help but be drawn to Nikki’s booth, Fountain Antiques, where she showcased all of her custom-made farmhouse and vintage-style signs.  Cute, right?


I love this Meats & Poultry sign framed in an old window:


And in the background, you might have spotted the Apothecary sign.  Nikki chose to use the vintage spelling.



Cute frames with custom designs and sizes available, too!


Neither Napa Antique Wine Artifacts or Fountain Antiques have websites listed on their business cards, so here are their email addresses in case you want to get in contact to inquire about something you saw here:

Napa Antique Wine Artifacts – wineartifacts at g mail dot  com

Fountain Antiques – nikki dot crowe at g mail dot  com









Decorating with Furniture Appliques and Onlays

Have you ever had a piece of furniture that is lacking in detail and you wish you could give it a little personality, a little oomph?  I mentioned onlays the other day when talking about the table that I refinished {post HERE}, and so wanted to share a bit more about onlays, how you can use them, and where to find them.

What is an Onlay?

An onlay, also sometimes referred to as an applique, is a decorative architectural that is used to embellish an object.  They have a carved look and are three-dimensional, but flat on the back so that they can be adhered to a surface.  Actually, they get their name because they are being laid onto another surface.  They are relatively inexpensive and so easy to use because all you have to do is glue them on!  Here’s an example of how onlays can transform a plain piece of IKEA furniture into a glamorous dresser.

via My O’Verlays


Types of Onlays

In terms of materials, onlays can be made of either wood or resin {polyurethane}.  Wood onlays are most often made from Rubberwood, Oak, Alder, Cherry, or Maple.  Resin onlays are typically less expensive than wood, but are only appropriate if the piece you are using them on will be painted.  If you plan to use wood stain, you’ll need to purchase a wood onlay, but know that the onlay might accept the stain differently that the piece you’re using it on depending on the type of wood.

In terms of styles, some of the most common categories are Rosettes {square, round, or oval}, Swags, Vertical Drops, Acanthus and Leaves, and Decorative Centers.  There are so many shapes and sizes to choose from!



Why Use Onlays?

Onlays have been used on furniture, doorways, mirrors, mantels, and more for centuries and adding them instantly changes the look of a piece!  If you have a flat surface that could use a bit of embellishment, an onlay might be the answer.

Where to Buy Them?

You can usually find a small selection of appliques/onlays at craft stores, but these are made of either balsa wood or resin.  You can also find them in millwork stores and big box home improvement store, but the best selection can be found online.  Below are some affiliate links for purchasing onlays online.



While companies to manufacture appliques and onlays, the truth is that you can really use anything that has a flat back.  I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted for my console table, so I used backing plates for knobs.  Since I was painting the entire piece, the material and color were irrelevant!


So if you want to add a bit of va-va-va-voom to something you own, consider overlays!  They are easy to use and really customize the look of a piece.





How to Virtually Decorate Your Home {for FREE}

Isn’t it funny how sometimes things happen at just the right time such that it makes you think, “This was meant to be!”  That is exactly what happened to me when Jenny, a sweet Facebook follower, contacted me and asked for my thoughts about what she should do on either side of her fireplace.  I had been wanting to post a tutorial about a free online site that allows you to virtually decorate your home, and Jenny’s request gave me the perfect opportunity.

So today, let’s learn how to use Olioboard.  Why?  Because you can take a picture of a room in your house, and then virtually decorate it so you can see what works and what doesn’t!  Most of us have a “problem” area somewhere in our home where we just can’t figure out what to do, and this will be an easy way for you to try out different styles, furniture placements, etc.  And let me be honest with you….I sometimes use Photoshop when I’m doing a virtual makeover because of its limitless options for designing; however, I realize that most people probably don’t own Photoshop unless of course, you are in the design field.  It’s also quite pricey and not very user-friendly, so not really the best virtual decorating option for most people.  But you know what is?  Olioboard!  And no, this isn’t a sponsored post.  They don’t even know I’m writing it {but if they read this and want to contact me, please do!}.

I’ll be using Jenny’s room as my example and stay tuned because at the end of this post, I’ll reveal how her virtual makeover turned out!  And yowza!  It turned out amazing, if I do say so myself. ;)


Okay, so here’s the picture that Jenny sent to me.  She asked me for some ideas as to what she should do on either side of the fireplace.  Great space, right?!


Thankfully, Jenny also gave me some inspiration that she’s Pinned to give me an idea as to her style.  Clearly, the girl’s got great taste. :)




So here’s a step-by-step tutorial for making a virtual design of your own room using Jenny’s room as an example.


1. Go to  You will need to create an account for yourself, which is how the site saves all of your designs, so it’s a good thing!

2. Once you have your account and are logged in, click “Create” at the top.

3. From there, click on the My Items tab on the right.



4. Click Upload Item and follow the onscreen instructions to navigate to the picture of your home and add it to the site.  Once uploaded, your photo will appear in the top left of the My Items tab.  Here you can see I added the picture of Jenny’s room.  Why is this step important?  Because this allows you to use YOUR room as the backdrop for the design.


5. Thankfully, from here on out it’s just drag and drop!  Put your cursor over the picture you want, click and drag it to the white canvas on the left.  In the lower left corner, you can scale your canvas so that it’s smaller and fully visible on screen.  Then just size your photo to fit the canvas as best you can.



Once you have your room set as your background, you’re ready to start designing!  Jenny asked me for what she should put on either side of her fireplace.  As much as I love a tall cabinet, I didn’t think it was right for her room because tall cabinets would compete with her lovely fireplace.  Instead, I opted for shorter cabinets.  Here you can see I navigated to Cabinets from the Categories – Living Room – Bookcases – Cabinet.  There are TONS of items already available on Olioboard, from furniture, to rugs, to decor, and even plants!  But if you can’t find what you want, you can always add it.  If you need to add an item from somewhere online, just save the picture and then follow the same steps you did to add your room as the background.


Now for the fun part!  Let’s start trying out different furniture pieces in Jenny’s room!  On the left side, I tried a  dark cabinet closer to the color of her mantel.  On the right, I tried a lighter wood tone.  I like the lighter one better, but it’s not THE ONE just yet, but at least I’ve started to narrow down the color family.  Again, everything is drag and drop.  You can search by Category or you can look for a specific item.


A few more tries and I finally settled on these beauties!  These weren’t already available on the site, so I saved the picture online and added it just as I did when I added Jenny’s room.


I could have “hung” art above the consoles, but I opted to try some mirrors instead.  Square?  Round? Oval?  It’s easy to try them out.  I like the real estate that the rectangle takes up but the softness of the curved one adds…still, neither is THE ONE.


After trying out a few different options, I decided to get the best of both worlds with these wood-framed mirrors that are rectangular on the bottom but have a delicate curve on the top.


Technically, at this point, I’ve answered Jenny’s original question, which was what to put on either side of the fireplace.  I could have sent her this photo, but I didn’t think she’d really get a sense of my vision for this room and I feared she would open it and think, “Hmmm…’s okay I guess.”  Well, that wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for, so I decided to finish “decorating” this room.

Are you ready for the transformation?  Remember, this is Jenny’s BEFORE:


And here’s her AFTER!



What do you think??  While this program doesn’t tell you whether something will fit in terms of size, it gives you a great idea as to what works and what doesn’t in your space and allows you to try things out before you make purchase decisions.  So for example, if those particular cabinets don’t fit in Jenny’s room, she at least now has a vision in mind as to what she should look for!


I hope you’ll give it a try with your own home and see how you can put your decorating skills to work for yourself.  I sometimes get a little addicted….  And it’s not just for creating 3D rooms.  You can also create Vision Boards {or Mood Boards} for yourself of what you WANT a space to look like.  Then just save the image to your phone {or print it out} and bring it with you when you’re shopping to help keep you on track.  Here’s one that I made for my living room some time ago.



So now I’d like your feedback.  Would you be interested in having me make more of these BEFORE and AFTER designs using pictures of your homes that you send to me?  Let me know via the Comments and if enough of you are interested, I’ll make it a regular feature on the site.






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