Country French? Annie Sloan, Tulips & Sunflowers

I admit it. I have no clue what to entitle this post and you will understand as it gets underway.  In my early years of homemaking, French Country was called Country French and call it old and set in my ways or whatever but I think French Country sounds way more hoite toite (the spelling is wrong because I am getting red lines--but anyway you get the gist I hope) to me.

Anyway, the results of this kitchen redecorating has much to do with me wanting a "Country French" flair.  Don't know if I've accomplished it yet or not but I'm still heading that way.

A year or so ago, I jumped on the bandwagon with lots of other people and painted my kitchen gray.  I bought between 5 and 10 samples and still got it wrong.  It looked blue to me--a baby boy blue--and nothing against baby boys--I had three of them myself--but I did not want a baby blue kitchen.

So, my husband indulged me and repainted the kitchen--I went with a soft buttery yellow--Ivoire by Sherwin Williams.  You can see it in the background in the above picture.

I have black and white (basically) speckled Corian countertops.  They are very unattractive to me but I could not justify taking out Corian countertops that were in great condition so I opted to work with it--thus, the black and white kitchen cabinets--tops are white and bottoms are black.

I love sunflowers and tulips so that had to be part of the decor--this is about everything you love, right?

And we painted the top of the table with Annie Sloan graphite.  It is not a true black but when waxed with the dark wax, it is a beautiful, almost black color.  We left the chairs the original maple color--our floors are that color so they blend well.

Her paints are amazing by the way--expensive but so worth it.  You do not get that factory finished look.  There is no way to describe the finish if you've never seen it.  Maybe hand-rubbed, aged, gleaming might be a start.

Back in december my husband and I were watching a cheesy Christmas movie.  The plot included a young interior decorator and her young handsome male client.  While she was working there she found a picture of him when he was a little boy.  His beloved dog was in the picture.  At the end of the movie when the interior redo was revealed, she had enlarged the photo really big and worked the whole room around that.  When my husband saw that, he said, "I wish I had my dog picture enlarged like that."

I moved heaven and earth to get that picture done for him--it's a long story and I won't go in to all it entailed BUT everything came out perfect--from altering the pic, to uploading it to an online company, to getting it in time for framing--everything turned out perfect.  I did not mean that to sound like bragging.  To me, it was a God thing.  I was praying every step of the way.

In the picture, it is early morning and my husband is in his bathrobe, pajamas and slippers.  On this beautiful, spring morning he went out to play before he got dressed for the day.  He is on his tricycle playing with his dog.

So some more black and white!

But I wanted some color so I chose to add this watercolor I painted some years ago--sunflowers, pottery, basket, plums, pears and bananas--very kitcheny, right?

It added the touch of red I needed to get a red theme going--

My cookbooks had all been in a cabinet out of sight for a couple of years but I was missing them.  I love books and especially very colorful, kitchen ones.  These are all colors, especially reds and blues.

Ah, a good reason to add the blue I had been wanting to add with some of my blue willow plates, etc.  

The white bowls are from Target and the greenery was jerked out of an old arrangement.

The box that the bowls are on is very old and turned upside down.

It is an old seed box from the late 1930's.  When you ordered seeds from a plant company, they came in boxes made of real, beautiful wood.  The top is crushed so we turned it upside down.  It belonged to my husband's mother.

Oh, I love coppery looking items, baskets and pottery so on top of the cabinets we included those items  along with some birdhouses (love them too) and a black and white platter.

Some more red and blue and the lamp is black and white.

Some more of my blue and white and some of my red and white transferware.

Hope this gives you a little idea of what we've been doing the past couple of months.  I will show you the upper cabinets and the room as a whole another day.

Have a great, great weekend!