October 4, 2009


Autumn, finally, my favorite time of year! Landscaping business is drawing to a close, a crisp chill is in the air (sweaters!), my interiors get my attention once again and the stove is turned back on. More on that is a moment..............

Here is a view of the heart of my kitchen; an AGA stove (cooker in British terms), handmade mantle by my husband Steve and art work from Stephanie Fania.

Our home, built in 1856, needed a total renovation, the kitchen in particular. A small galley kitchen, hardly functioning 1960's appliances, faux cherry cabinets, linoleum floors.............

Arguments ensued over the final design, friends refereed and offered suggestions. Steve decided this was to be his "masterpiece" and it was.....throat clear here........ 3 years later!

My favorite is the stove surround. I was insistent on hunting down an old mantle cut to fit. I wanted the patina of age............"Trust me, I can do this" he claimed. As I saw him pick through old barnwood, my heart sank...........dull, dirty, too "country" and GRAY!Steve's creativity along with "magic in a jar", produced the vintage, buttery, pine look envisioned. STONES furniture cream in three coats came to the rescue; no sanding, no cleaning, no staining but a depth of interest and shine. Can you even detect the dirty barnwood?

Years ago I purchased a farm table from France with a gorgeous "French Polish". (go ahead look it up)
"How do I maintain that lustre?", I foolishly asked. "Easy Madame!" And they recited the 12+ steps to a glorious French Polish.......*sigh*.............. When next in England I began to enquire in antique shops, "What do you do to get a french polish LOOK, "why Stones of course!", was the constant refrain. The small family company in Devon England was the next stop. Today, many years later we are the sole distributor in the U.S. for this product.

In brief Stones is a pure beeswax formula from 1760. Without silicone's or artificial additives this product is able to penetrate the wood, versus just gliding over the top, and cleans while restoring.

GIVEAWAY; Tell me about your project and I will pick someone to send a bottle of Stones to.

OFFER; Free shipping on any size order. One 8oz. pot is $15.00.

A fond treasure; "cornerstone" of a pub's entrance in Kent England from the 1450's! It is now petrified and holds center court on the surround.

What to put behind the stove? Tile...... too expected, pressed tin.....not interesting enough, framed art..............could get destroyed. I wanted an English oil scene to match the English stove.
Finding an oil from the 1700's up for auction in a magazine, I asked our resident artist, Stephanie Fania, to duplicate it. She painted the scene on 'Masonite' which is bendable and washable.

Here is "Stephania" at work on one of our landscape designs.

If you have never experienced an AGA, it is many appliances in one. Out with the toaster, bread baking machine, crock pot, panini griller, steamer, hot plate, warming oven, pizza brick......
There are no knobs, it is either ON or OFF and each plate on top and drawer have a unique function. PLUS, in the summer we just shut it down and I cannot cook......brilliant!

The radiant heat it emits is a favorite of my cat Teddy.

note; another day will show the rest of the kitchen, it's currently a mess!

Bon Appetit!

This week's project; friend and artist Patrick Roullier will paint our entrance to look like faux bois panelling. Can't wait to see and to share.

Patrick suggested we add the molding square for depth of interest..............stay tuned!


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