Monday, April 20, 2009

Hydrangeas. And a Decorating Suggestion.

We waited too late to prune the giant hydrangea bush, so we must have snipped off some buds. It's not blooming with the totally crazy profusion of last year, but there have been plenty of big snowball blooms to bring into the house.

Playing with the mantle.

I never get tired of that shape and that creamy color. When they first bloom, they have a greenish tint. All the blooms that had long enough stems for clustering together in big containers have been cut already. The short-stemmed flowers are left, but I like how these look put in tiny bud vases. I'm playing around with my mantle, changing it up for summer. I'm going with a silvery and white look, except for that Voysey clock, which stays around. I am a little obsessive about the mantle, and my sister will attest to the fact that I have emailed her photos of the whole tableau, and even once, yes, webcammed her, live, into my living room so she could weigh in. Also the Easter chick needs to go, but it's so fuzzy!

Hydrangea Time!

Speaking of white, this brings me to the Suburban Matron decorating Tip o' the Week: get some tacky crap, spray paint it white, and enjoy the transformation to total chic. For example, that white clipper ship up there. Here it is again.

A Thing I Spraypainted White
It was made by Syroco, which made metric tons of terrible "home accessories" during the 80's and before. If you were a kid and your mom went to a Home Interiors party or some such, chances are there was a lot of this for sale. I got alerted to Syroco by the crafty Nicole at Making It Lovely. Go look at her finds. She gave me the idea to buy this awful plastic junk off of ebay, if it's in a shape you like, and then coat it with glossy spray paint. It is cheap, cheap, CHEAP, and then you see Anthropologie selling the same thing for ten times the cost.

So "syroco" is a good search term on ebay, and it will bring up similar things that aren't necessarily by the same company. Here's another piece that I love.

Another Thing I Spraypainted White

This little Federal mirror was originally a terrible faux bronze-colored plastic. But it is perfectly lovely in white, over a little table in my entryway. It works in part because of the scale. Which brings me to another tip: if you are going to have an obvious reproduction or adaptation of an iconic piece of design, play with the scale. Have it be either tiny or huge. That way it's kind of witty and interesting, and not just ersatz. You dig? Just one matron's opinion.

I paid about ten dollars for the ship, and I think $12 for the mirror. That is a steal for a convex mirror. A search of ebay right now brings up some interesting things. There are some sconces on there that would look truly expensive if you painted them--it's a set of four. They'll be sold by the time you click, but take a look.

I'm torn about what to do with these babies. They are from 1966, and the finish is in excellent shape. But I can't decide if I love or hate them.

I got them thinking I would paint them and hang them in the kids' bathroom. But then I thought it would look too cluttered. I can envision a room in which these would look great, just as they are. But I do not have that room in my house. Do you see a future for these? Either painted white, or some other color, or just as they are? The finish is so mint that it pains me to paint them. Maybe. They're just not quite. . .right.


Anonymous said...

Firstly, I love the hydrangea in the little bud vases - they look great. You should keep the chick too. He's cute.

Your decorative talent is impressive. I love the clipper and the mirror - plain but beautiful.

I'm not really good at putting things together visually so you probably want to do the opposite of what I think! I think you should keep those flowers the way they are. I think they're lovely.

Michele said...

I would leave them as they are, kind of retro chic. That sounds better than too lazy to get out the paint can. We all know which I am.

Anonymous said...

I see them antiqued. I don't know how to do that, but you know what I mean. Not just shiny white, a little roughed up somehow.

Becky said...

I think they're lovely too, they just don't quite work anywhere, and I wonder if painting them might make me feel like they work? Or maybe it's not meant to be.

Mrs. Smith said...

I love the matte white. I lean towards the more retro/bright colors. I have taken to buying 1970's sculpture on wooden bases and painting them with this super glossy spray paint - imagine "The Thinker" painted bright yellow on an oak base. I like your idea as I see Syroco things at the thrift stores all the time but never thought of painting them. Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

Nate and I love the little chick! Oh--and how dare you rearrange your mantle without consulting me first? Hello!! It's ONLY a 15 hour time difference.

I didn't know you spray painted that mirror. I love that piece! (Don't I sound all decorator-y when I say "piece"?)

As for the flowers...I can't decide. I like them the way they are, but antiqued would be pretty, too.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

You totally made out on that mirror. Damn you. And the bud vases . . . come from where, pray tell?

Becky said...

Ooh, Mrs. Smith, I love the sound of your sculpture re-do's. Instant pop art!

The little bud vases are from Tarzhay, of course. Little mirrored glass things. I'm hoping as they age, they'll look like mercury glass. Ha!

Amy, Laura bought that little chick with her own money at the antique store in Dillsboro.

Casey said...

Beautiful hydrangeas, we had those in our centerpieces for our wedding and they were perfect.

I went through a phase in college where I painted everything in sight silver. White is much more toned down..

Drama Queen Jenner said...

I'd say I'd paint the flowers solid green, but I wouldn't. How about a flat black so they look like wrought iron?

Fantastic Forrest said...

Happy birthday! I will be back later to read all this goodness. But I wanted to be sure to let you know that I've taken out some Ritz crackers to celebrate on your behalf.


Becky said...

Ooh, I like the wrought iron idea!

However, this just in. . .my mother-in-law saw them and told me that she NEEDS them--she typed in all caps--for her birthday. And they'll go beautifully in her house just as they are. They have a home!