Get the Elle Decor Look

Get the Elle Decor Look

Elle Decor…great style ideas!

 Elle Decor this month has fantiastic two articles that caught our attention.

First is this lovely, but sort of funky Victorian in London that was once owned by Monty Python’s John Cleese. The current owners have redecorated and it’s brimming with a fresh,  vibrant feeling.

John Cleese Victorian

The striking cover photo is of the library in the home. The combination of the antique table and the modern sculpted walls is just stunning. The entire room is done in shades of white and beige with a few black accents for a high level of contrast.

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The table, one of a pair, is from the 1940s and fits the overall French Art Deco style of the home. The plaster wall is done in a geometric motif based on the bias relief from a men’s store in Paris.

The walls in the living room are done with faux painted parchment panels that would be relatively easy to replicate with frottage techniques and decorative paint.

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This library shows us that modern style and antiques can, and often should, sit side by side. They make the room feel both stylish yet contemporary – not your grandmother’s style.

It also shows that embellishments can feel at home in any space. The table’s embellishments are historic designs, all of which we have in our Efex collection. The Greek Key has small gargoyle-like characters on the corners. Below that are stars and then the shell and drop motif on the legs is from the Robert Adams catalog of the late 1700s.


The second article of interest was an interview with Gary Freidman, the CEO of RH Modern, formally known as Restoration Hardware. Like many of you, we have watched the transformation of RH over the years, while not really understanding where it was going. Yes, we still love most of the styles and have even been know to knock off some look-a-likes,  similar to the table below.

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One paragraph in the interview made us sit up straight and really think! “The design world is going to massively evolve. There has been a lack of accessibility in the high-end home market. The trade design centers are like an iron curtain. You need an interior designer to even go look at the goods.”

He is right you know, elegant decor shouldn’t be hidden behind the showroom doors.  We see it every day in magazines and online and it truly should be available to everyone. RH really has made high-end design much more open and accessible. Reading the massive 2,500 page catalog, called The Book, you can actually learn something.

With modern blogs and online sites which provide you with more information than ever the mystic is gone, and in its place is a new and ever growing since of empowerment that “You Can Do It”. Just as Gary Freidman is changing the face of retail, the face of DIY is ever changing too.

Old fashion DIY is all about getting the look, and with modern paints and embellishments that has never been easier. It is easy to imagine how you could take a simple sturdy farmhouse table, embellish it, paint it, and then do something modern on the walls to get the same feeling.

But more important than the look is the feeling, the essence of what you see that you can add to your home. What we are all “looking for” is really a feeling and that is beyond simple DIY.  It is stripping back the curtain on the hidden design centers and giving everyone, especially you  – our customers and fans, the opportunity to affordably have that feeling in your home.

xoxo Lydia

From Havana With Love

From Havana With Love

Hemingways Cigar Box!

Do I have your attention?

Often when we see an antique we like to imagine what the story was that goes with the piece of furniture. Kind of a little history that tells where the piece was from and who owned it before. This little trunk box sent us to wondering…

The year is 1940, Martha and Ernest Hemingway have just arrived in Cuba. The city at night is a spectacle of sounds and lights with tourists flocking to the island for it’s weather, rum, and jazz. While the tropical is in full swing, down at La Floridita Hemingway is having a rum and a cigar. Contemplating what he called “the most beautiful women in the world.” As he reaches for another cigar, it comes out of a small box trunk.

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The trunk was owned by the proprietor of the cafe. Music played at night and the socialites that flocked to the city partied the night away surrounded by stars and samba. Idyllic.

Enough of the fantasy, back to the present.

It’s not a trunk, it’s a cigar box.

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Did we have you there for a second?

This little cigar box is the latest from Stacey Christensen from Faux Studio Designs in Alabama.

She took a simple cigar box and made it into a trunk. Using Efex and her latest Faux Finishing Recipe, in less than two hours she created a masterpiece. One look and we were dreaming of old Havana.

The way she used the Efex was just so darn clever.

The center is one of our escutcheons E5, but the rest of the straps are really pieces of  a T14 trim.

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She went from this elegant trim to straps on a trunk. Who would have thought?!

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Then to add the authentic rustic, rust she used Modern Masters Metal Effects in Rust

Instead of a simple little box, she painted a story.

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We think that we all have a story inside waiting to come out with our creativity. So if you want to tell your own story we highly recommend Stacey’s Paint Recipes for Furniture and Cabinets. Just grab her monthly subscription and start dreaming up your story.  From Stockholm to Havana and everywhere in between she’s got you covered.

Don’t forget to add an Efex or two to really make your next project unique and customized!

Oops…gotta go, Havana is calling! Off to visit Hemingway’s home to see the trunk in full size.

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Shopping…New Orleans Style

Shopping…New Orleans Style

Escutcheons from New Orleans

Stacy and Virginia, two of our friends and fellow Efex retailers have been at it again. You may remember them from the story of M.

Last week we all met up in New Orleans for a conference and of course a little fun, food, and shopping.

They had arrived early to go to Jazz Fest so they had a two-day head start on the shopping part. The minute we hooked up they said, “Look, what we found!”.

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Two of the greatest escutcheons we have seen in a while. Both are petite around 2” long and 1” to 1.5” high. Unlike our other escutcheons they run length wise, not vertically.

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Wow, what great friends and great finds, they are now “On the list” to become bendable Efex.

And speaking of escutcheons, we see them everywhere. They come in all sorts of finishes. Often they are gilded with gilding wax or foils. Yes…the bling is nice.

Some are finished with dry brushing a complementary color like Janet’s armoire makeover with E3.

Efex Escutscheons

But, for a really aged look, Stacy hit it out of the park with another one of her great finishes. This time on an E5 escutcheon.

Stacy Rust

It’s a rusted patina that we just love and what a great way to have an old piece with that aged worn patina look stand out in a crowd.

You can join the Faux Studio Designs monthly finishes club and get new ideas in the mail every month. It’s a great idea filled with great recipes for finishes.

Ciao for now – Lydia

Elevate Your Garden Style

Elevate Your Garden Style

9 easy ways to elevate your garden style with Efex Moldings

It doesn’t matter if your garden style is herbs in your kitchen, or a full vegetable patch outside. Big or small, using Efex bendable moldings and a little paint can elevate your garden’s style. You can even use our moldings for flower vases, to add a little unique touch to your planting table, or flower display.

You can use any old pot, terracotta, plaster, fiberglass, plastic, all work for a redo. It’s a bonus when the pot is big and you’re still able to lift it!

Here are 9 great examples we’ve seen over the years on how to Efex your outside world.

When we first began distributing Efex, we did a series of small clay pots, and then the windows boxes in front of the store.

decorating clay pots

We followed up a few weeks later on the clay pots and they were still in great shape. I am happy to report that two years on they are still in great shape. Our T36 trim is just perfect for the window boxes.

colorful window boxes

Down under our Australian and New Zealand distributor did the same thing in her garden with a stunning effect. They have lived outside full time through a raining New Zealand winter and are still perfect. The one on the right has shells from the Coastal Collection and the one on the left has just one simple T30.

how to dress up plastic pots

And speaking of down under, we can not forget these stunning elegant planters from New Zealand using P15 and D4s.

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My friend Margret Wolley has had this pot outside in the New Zeland weather for about 5 maybe six years and it’s still going strong. She used elements from the Country Collection for a layered look.

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Back here in the USA our good friend Matthew Mead has done some great outdoor work with Efex.

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From this fun Adirondack chair,

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to these fabulous pots. Matthew always adds style to every project he touches.

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This lavender pot was a great success. Using a fine stone additive and then painting, she really added to the total authenticity of this project. It really did look like an old clay pot when it was done. One simple T9 made all the difference in the world.

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One of our all time favorites is from our recent mention in This Old House magazine.

this old house planter

This project which recreated federal flower boxes using R39, D8, and SW21 was just terrific.

Which one is your favorite? We would love to hear your comments, or if you like share on Pinterest.

To find an Efex style for your garden pot just download our new catalog today by signing up below!

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DIY Trumeau Mirror with a twist

DIY Trumeau Mirror with a twist

DIY Trumeau Mirror

DIY Trumeau Mirror are all the rage and in this case, we can see why. We are totally smitten by this elegant Trumeau.

This one was done by a very clever customer in Florida. She loves French style decor and has a wonderful eye for style. This mirror sits between two lovely antique armoires.

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The centerpiece of the mirror is our very own M1, the newest large French medallion added to the collection earlier this year.

M1 Medallion from Efex

To frame M1 she used D8, SW3, and B4 at the top.

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Also, to draw the eye to the base of the mirror she added two R39 urns down in the bottom corners of the mirror.

She painted M in French Linen and Old White with some superb layering techniques and then clear waxed the entire project. A little gold gilding to bring out the details becomes the icing on the cake.

And let’s talk about the styling for a minute. Do you think she’d come and do all our houses? That rustic metal cage, and the two candlesticks to add height, it all comes together seamlessly to accent the fabulously French aesthetic.

Voila, c’est magnifique.

So tell us, which Efex would you use to makeover a trumeau mirror?? Leave us a comment with your ideas!

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This Old House magazine

This Old House magazine

This Old House

Exciting news! Efex has been featured in this month’s edition of This Old House as part of their #DIYDare Challenge.

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Staff members were given a box of odds and ends which they had to make something out of. We were thrilled with the outcome of the team that was given our bendable moldings, check it out!

this old house planter

A cool planter made out of PVC, dressed up with an urn, swags, and drop moldings, and painted to look like cast iron. Very cool! You can see the instructions here, and there’s a good video too on the This Old House website.

this old house diydare

Perfect spring project! Easy, quick, and big impact.

You can join in the fun too! Post your own projects using the tag #DIYDare on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join in the fun! Full details below, be a part of the challenge!

#diydare