Today, we have a fabulous giveaway hosted by a new sponsor, Cross Bottle Guy HERE.
Cross Bottle Guy sells antique bottles, topped with crystals and other unique finds in the shape of a cross.The man behind Cross Bottle Guy is the popular blogger, Color Outside The Lines, Artie Vanderpool.
Artie and I are design soul mates – we go way back to the beginning of blogging when we discovered we had the same taste. Back then, Artie, a fellow Texan, had just moved to Buffalo by Niagara Falls in upstate New York to be with his new partner. They lived in a wonderful cottage filled with French doors.
Artie spent his entire time while living in the house redecorating it. The problem for Artie was all the molding and French doors were a dark, orange colored wood and Artie craved light and bright. Oh, the discussions we had!!! I would endlessly say “just paint the woodwork!!! Scott will get over it!!” And Artie would say “I can’t! Scott loves the dark wood!”
And oh…the changes in decorating he made. No one changed their decor more than Artie as he tried to make the house his vision.
Artie started out with four leather chairs (I had forgotten there were once FOUR!) that he brought with him from Texas. The four were forever the bane of his existence because he knew only two fit and even that was stretching it. The walls were painted green and you can see the French doors with the dark orange woodwork. The room looked good arranged like this and it was photographed for the newspaper design section!
Of course, right after the article was published, Artie moved the chairs all around. He eventually moved two out and left two here. Oh those chairs! They tortured him!!! One night he sent me picture after picture – as he moved things around, asking my opinion. That is what is so much fun about Artie! He always posts pictures of his decor and asks his readers for advice and comments and help.
Here, the sofa from the sunporch was moved in the living room, while the two extra chairs were moved out.
But, the house was dark and the dark paint and the dark molding made it all that much darker. Eventually he decided to paint the green walls a much brighter cream which changed everything.
He added white slipcovers and even made this trumeau mirror, himself!!! I loved this version, but Artie felt it was now TOO light and too feminine…so he changed it yet again.
Here, he got a new slipcover, in taupe, not white – and added the zebra rug. Looking back on this version, it really looks good! Very chic. Very put together and finally, very Artie!
But, of course, he had to change it all, yet again. Artie – have you thought about talking to a professional? Nah. He’s just an interior designer!!
Finally, Artie faced the facts that the house called for warm, autumnal colors and he bought this antique sofa and covered it in a persimmon velvet. Two arm chairs in yellow linen slips took the place of the oversized leather chairs that were never the right scale for the room. The rug over the seagrass added more warmth.
The adjacent dining room added more color and textures while a smaller, round skirted table replaced a large rectangular wood one.
At one end of the dining room, Artie added a daybed in front of the silk curtains.
And in the front sunroom, taupes and browns, velvets and linens, continued his new more edited, warmer look.
Finally, after so many starts and turns, Artie had truly listened to this house and gave it what it needed. The problem was, what the house needed wasn’t what Artie needed. He wrote that he craved light and bright and the house just seemed dark and old – and not in a good way. It all came down to the orange hardwoods and all that dark woodwork! Again!
As luck would have, Artie experienced major changes in his life. In 2014, he went on a diet and lost about 100 pounds! I didn’t even realize he was overweight! He went from being a bit chubby, (I always thought he was a cute chubby) to fit, cut, slim, healthy, athletic – gorgeousness!
I love this picture of the new skinny Artie – sitting on an oversized chair – probably a prop for a play. He could be a model!!!
And there was one more huge change, Artie and his partner split up after 8 years and he suddenly was in the market for a new home. Personally, I wanted him to move back to Texas and thought he and I would make great partners in a design business!!!
Instead, he stayed in Buffalo and shopped for an apartment which he could design HIS way – bright and light – with no more dark oppressive woodwork.
And then, he added a new friend to his life. He hastily had to move from his first apartment that he had completely furnished to a new one, which allowed adorable dogs.
The apartment was a plain box built in the 50s, but it had new carpeting and paint. This is the model unit.
Instead of taking the new carpet, Artie arranged to have hardwoods placed down – for a small upcharge. And the change took the apartment from ho-hum to WOW!
And today! WOW! Artie placed a large seagrass for texture over the beautiful hardwoods. Against the back wall, he added squares of antiqued mirror tiles for dimension.
The camel back sofa is from his old house, now slipped in white. At the window are perfectly proportioned white linen curtains, with a textured blind hiding the dreaded dead spot. The room is long – so dividing it into two conversation areas is a slipped ottoman that doubles as a chaise and a bed for guests!!! LOVE!!!!!
Opposite the ottoman is this wonderful Swedish antique armoireArtie recently purchased, flanked by antlers and chairs and blue and white porcelains which add a bit of color. Two French chairs are slipped in the classic tabbed style.
On the left is a gallery wall, filled with black and white and sepia toned art which Artie purchased since moving here.
On the sofa is the one perfect pillow when you use all white – a silk velvet tiger by Scalamandre Le Tigre.
And, near the kitchen, Artie’s bar, organized neatly on a zinc tray. It sits underneath Artie’s homage to Cy Twombly. You need to sell these Artie!!!
Arlo matches the new decor perfectly!! Isn’t he adorable?!
In a bit of folly, instead of painting doors black or gray, Artie lacquered the hall door a bright red. It is unexpected, which makes it that much more fun. The red pulls in the nearby bedroom’s accent color.
Of course, there have been lots of changes already! This IS Artie after all! Originally, there was no ottoman – and two antique stools were there instead. Now they are in the dining room (still a work in progress.) Back then , he placed a gilt mirror over the antique tiles, but he replaced this with the painted white arch. And his beloved zebra rug? Arlo ate it! Artie, I feel your pain. Micki tore mine up too!!!
And this was a more recent change. Before, against the left wall was this extra large faux Twombly by Artie. I loved this and still am not sure he should have replaced it. But, he doesn’t listen to me!!! Instead, he chose to hang the smaller homage to Cy over the bar and create the gallery wall there:
He’s probably right. Instead of one piece, the gallery wall might be more interesting in such a small area.The dining room is not finished yet, but the bedroom is:
Artie was inspired by Mark Sikes’ black guest room when he painted his own bedroom. Instead of taking the paint all the way to the ceiling, he stopped, leaving a band of white – thus creating a faux architectural feature. He added a piece of trim which is attached with simple tacks!
Originally, he created a canopy frame, but it overwhelmed the room and he took it all down. Today, an antique suzani is behind the linen headboard, adding texture and color.The mirrored lamps are from Couture Lamps. The headboard is custom in linen with brass tacks, while the bedding is from Pottery Barn. The suzani is from EBay – Uzbekistan. The wall color is by Sherwin Williams - Black Magic.
You can see from Artie’s apartment, that you can make a beautiful home, even without spending a great amount of money. Artie is always full of ideas on how to create a chic house which is why his blog is so popular. When he couldn’t afford an antique trumeau – he showed us how to make one! He has shown us how to make an upholstered headboard, how to upholster a chair, and so many other DIY projects! I just can’t wait to see the dining room/library finished and then I’m sure he’ll probably be moving to another place soon and the cycle will start again.
To visit Artie’s blog: Color Outside the Lines, go HERE.
And so, while working full time and doing design work for clients, acting on stage too! - Artie also creates Cross Bottles – as the Cross Bottle Guy. He recently became a sponsor – and is hosting a giveaway today.
Here Artie describes his art: Cross Bottles are made of antique and vintage chandelier prisms that have been forged, by hand, using antique stained glass techniques to create cross shapes. Some shapes are very literal, and others are more imaginative or inspired. These beautiful pieces of art, one of a kind in every way, are then attached forever to an antique bottle.
Here a some pictures I really love of the cross bottles from his web site:
This bottle has beading attached to it.
This has a pink shell affixed to the top.
A set of crystal cross tops.
A pink shell cross.
A set of cross bottles massed together.
A classic cross in crystal with a religious pendant.
Now, for the giveaway – go to Cross Bottle Guy’s web site HERE and pick out your favorite bottle. Come back here, and leave me a comment, telling me your favorite bottle. Be sure to leave your email address on the comment in case you win!
The contest runs all this week until Saturday February 6th, at 11:59 pm.The giveaway is a gift certificate worth $100!
Thank you to Artie for the giveaway and good luck to everyone!!!