French Olive End Tables

Lets begin with the olive color. First- I loathe green olives! When I delivered this set of end tables to a local business, one of the owners exclaimed that she loved the olive color. Nice observation. I ran with it. French Olives will be the name. Just so you know, naming finishes isn’t done to be cute and kitschy. Cute and kitschy is not a usual part of my repertoire.  I name painted furniture and faux finishes as a method of organization in filing recipes.

Second- I intentionally went out of my comfort zone using this green color.  Each layer of product was custom tinted based upon an accidental finish from my portfolio. An accidental finish was created while I was taking a painted furniture and cabinetry class at Decorative Finishes Studio in Louisville, Ky. I  grabbed the wrong sample board, applied glaze, instead of the textured product that was part of the course instruction.  But Bob Ross said, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accident’s”.  I’m rolling with that. I liked how the mistake turned out.  I might need to find another name for the sample board… It’s current name is “Screw-Up”.  It’s written in black Sharpie right on the back. Nice, huh.

The olive end tables or nightstands (they work for either purpose) were in need of updated hardware.  The handles are double mounted, tricky little buggers to install.  They will not be sliding out or loose for many years to come.  The tables are made by Thomasville.

I know some of my readers have followed me on Facebook and Instagram for several years. Ya’ll know that my preference is soft neutral color palettes with pops of color. You may be wondering what is up with the traditional French green….I will explain the color curve ball in the following paragraph .

french romantic vignette

Explanation….Creators, faux finisher, decorative painters, creative entrepreneurs and artists should have some versatility in styles.  This allows them to showcase a broad range of work.   I don’t want to have a reputation of being the “one trick pony”.  Nothing is wrong with a sweet little pony who only knows one trick, just as long as that trick is good enough to keep the public wanting to buy tickets to see that trick performed over and over again. I felt up to doing a little exploring and playing with a few of my Faux Effects products too.

When that mood hits, I have to run full speed or I will back track to my familiar, cozy, beloved neutral soft-colored rut. I happen to love my rut. Don’t we all? Every now and then,  even the rut lovers do step out to explore new horizons and perspectives. Keeping that in mind…there are many design and styling preferences. They vary from person-to-person, region-to-region, state-by-state, country-to-country. With the cross-pollination of design trends and staples, every once in while, a little exploration can be a good thing

I knew you would understand…

Alaska is no different than any other region. Design and style is heavily influenced by rustic elements. Fall colors schemes are often seen in Alaskan homes.   On a whim, I stepped out in using a color that would appeal to earthy, nature loving folks here in Alaska.  We also have a few Lower 48 folks that own summer log cabins up here.  Some are remotely nestled in mountains with the only access being plane or boat.  Often times these welcomed visitors and vacationers are looking for some rustic charming furnishings to primp their summer homes without going full blown camo, mounted heads and flannel style.

green painted nightstands

The image above is most accurate in depicting the true color of the French Olives in natural daylight.

My vision with the end tables was to marry traditional French Country with a color that Alaskans trend towards. It was a success. The olive color with rich brown glaze is very Alaskan but it’s also seen in Traditional French Country. In order to bring in more French qualities I opted to line the cubby, as well as  the drawer with a high quality toile du jouy patterned paper. The paper was special ordered specifically for this project. It will tolerate light cleaning with a damp cloth. I am a fan of period dress styles.  The green foliage pattern was complimentary to the olive green finish.

French country style hand painted furniture

french country painted furniture

The second biggest challenge of exploring color finishes outside of my preferred style was remaining loyal to my brand  and style. That style consists of blending French country cottage styles, Nordic and Gustavian styles with a wee bit of Old World Farmhouse. These are the styles that make my heart pitter-patter. I’m loyal to each aesthetic. One is never far from the other. Alaska also has the same lighting conditions as seen in Swedish, Nordic and Gustavian images.

Since I am still in the early phases of learning photography and navigating manual settings, photography a challenge. Lighting was tricky in maneuvering.  My pal back east is a pro-photographer.  He told me that a day will come when camera settings make perfect sense. Still waiting.  Still learning.  I am so ready for that ‘ah-ha, I got this’, ‘it all makes sense’ moment to happen.

painted furniture




Furniture before and after photo

In the meantime I keep working with what I do know. I continue reading bits of information about photography. When all else fails -call Jim.   Jim Shepley Imaging is my super awesome pro-photographer buddy that lives and shoots in Myrtle Beach, SC.   Since he has taken the time to talk with me on the phone, babysat me through moving buttons on my Nikon- I need to give him a shout out. I believe in being gracious and thankful to the people who take precious time from their lives to teach and help me along this journey.  Thank you Jim.

painted furniture

I fiddled around with shooting the French Olives end tables in a couple of different styled vignettes. I really wanted to showcase a few ways that the French Olives could be styled.

drying rack, flowers, vintage ladder
This is one of my favorite images from the photography aspect of this project.


All in all- from beginning to end, the first brush stroke, to the final topcoat, down to photographing the tables, this project was a positive learning experience.


This week I’m linking up with a couple of parties:

Romantic Home and my friend Courtney on her AMAZING blog French Country Cottage


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