Saturday, September 29, 2012

a free patio set.

I do love a bargain - you should know this by now. I get great satisfaction out of paying less than full retail, especially if it's for a unique treasure or one-of-a-kind find. What could be more gratifying than getting a great deal?! Not much, in my book.... unless I can get it for free. 

Recently I decided to peruse the FREE STUFF category on Craigslist out of pure curiosity.  To be honest, there is not a whole lot that most folks would want. Toilets, broken down couches, dirt, etc. Yuck. However! On this random day that I happened to take a look, I came upon a patio table and chairs. Not just any green plastic outdoor table and faded chair set - a handmade mosaic table top complete with glass top and a set of four metal patio chairs. What the what?!! I was like, yes please! My brother and I hopped in my Honda and cruised 15 minutes down the road to retrieve my new found treasure. The chairs weren't much to look at...

But the table top was lovely! Aside from some slight damage on the frame, it is a pretty incredible find for FREE.

I looked online to see what a comparable table would cost, and I couldn't find anything less than $250. You might have noticed that I said table TOP. Yes, this set was without a base. A challenge to be considered. I love a challenge! I decided that I would wait and see if I could score a patio table base for $5 or less on CL. It couldn't be just any flimsy base, either. This table top is heavy. It took a couple of weeks, but lo and behold, a free iron table base showed up on the same FREE STUFF list. It was perfect - size and weight. I felt like a champion! ;)

The next part of this patio set perfection was to rehabilitate the dismal chairs. The dark green paint and faded picnic table cloth cover were less than satisfactory. So, you know me - I acquired some sunny yellow spray paint and got to work.

For the seat covers, I took a trip to my beloved Goodwill and snatched up a super cute shower curtain.

The routine for covering the seats is pretty simple, but if you'd like an in depth tutorial visit this post.

A few staples later, and I was in love with my 'new' chairs. Cason Jett thought they looked 'so pretty, Mommy!'.

My fabulous free patio set now lives on our ground floor patio which really benefits from the bright yellow, as it was a little dark and dreary. I love how the yellow chairs and graphic fabric play against the organic style of the mosaic. Score! :)

I have yet to tackle the blemish on the table frame, and the base will eventually get a bath in the same yellow, but for now I am just pleased as punch to have a cute patio set that cost me nothing except for the shower curtain and spray paint. Perhaps the free stuff category on CL will get a little more attention from me in the future! What do you guys think? To scavenge or not to scavenge?


Friday, September 7, 2012

mid mod dresser buffet

Hey, there! TGIF, right? I thought I'd start the weekend off by sharing a fun project I just completed -  a mid century modern dresser turned fantastic dining room buffet. The last time I blogged about our dining room it was to share the story of recovering our boring Ikea chairs. You might recall this 'after' picture:

Along the far wall, under the seriously fabulous cedar sunburst mirror that my Uncle Dave HANDMADE FOR ME :) you can see a plain white Ikea Malm console table. This console table was a panic purchase we made prior to having 30+ family members over for a Christmas party last year. It works, but is totally lacking in the storage department. I really wanted something with drawers and a little more color, of course. Enter my project! Here is where it started:
I acquired this fun, full-of-potential piece from a lovely young couple who were in the process of purging their belongings in preparation for a move to Paris. Enviable, to say the least. They had posted this dresser on Craigslist for $55. I loved the staggered drawers and tapered legs, and thought it would look so great under my treasured sunburst mirror. It was listed for more than a week on CL before I decided to offer them $40. They were eager to accept. Score!

The dresser was in decent shape for the most part, aside from one leg that had been chewed on by a dog at some point in it's life. (Ugh! I didn't notice it until I had it home.) No biggie. After painting it, I just screwed the imperfect leg in at the back where it wouldn't be showcased. For the paint color scheme, I was inspired by our curtains. 

The tri-color blocking in white, green, and black was perfect for the staggered drawers! Behold, the beautiful, retro-fabulous after pics:

I lalala-love it! And I am so pleased to have a place to store my table linens. This project was so simple - a light sand, spray primer and paint. I was done in one day! I think I may have a piece of glass cut to protect the top eventually, but for now I am basking in the glow of my funky new mid mod buffet. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

hello, september.

First, an apology: I have neglected this lil' blog of mine all summer long. Why, you might ask? Well, summer is a bit busier all around with BBQ's, boating, swimming, and all the fun things we Oregonians do once the sun comes out. That, combined with a very active 2 year old in the throes of terrible/wonderful-ness, led to me having to prioritize and well, ultimately deciding to let some things fall to the side for the last couple of months. Mainly, my beloved blog. Sigh.

However, that does not mean that I haven't been thrifting, estate sale-ing, painting, and sewing my toosh off! When a gal has only so much time to work on projects and/or write about them, this gal chooses the project. And you can bet I've had a few good ones! My primary project was an experiment to see if I could turn my furniture painting hobby into a profitable endeavor... in the form of an Etsy shop! Hooray, right?! Below are the pieces I put up for sale:

Goldenrod Windsor Armchair $95 

These Windsor chairs were inspired by Anthropologie's Dalloway Armchair and Side Chair (click the links, do it!). Not a bad translation, ya think?

Turquoise Side Chair $85

Turquoise Side Chair $85

Orange Spindle Daybed $350

Turquoise Mid Mod Side Table $45

You all know that I actually had documented each of these lovelies with epic before pictures... on my iPhone... that underwent a serious tragedy wherein it wouldn't turn off or on and just had a blank Apple screen for like 5 hours... and then my hubs had to completely reboot it. And. I. Lost. All. My. Pictures. Like, 1400 of them. I actually wept. Not about the 'before' pics, but about the documentation of my son's 2nd year of life that I NEVER SYNCED TO MY COMPUTER. Lesson learned the really hard way. Sigh. Anyway, no before pics. Just imagine each one in it's own grimy, old, wooden glory. And then bask in the glossy glow of my glorious 'after' pictures (taken by my very talented friend, Greg). Especially the fabulous spindle bed! Oh, what a find! That beauty was built in the 1800's. It didn't even fit a standard twin mattress - my mom and I had to make one out of a memory foam mattress pad! (I felt like MacGyver!)

The Etsy shop launched without much ado, but garnered a lot of fun attention in the form of 'Favorites' and people on the East coast wanting to know how much it would cost to ship one or all of my items to them. Ultimately, I didn't sell a thing on Etsy. So, I posted my wares on Craigslist! Immediately I had a gal wanting to come by for the little mid century modern side table. I was stoked! And then, believe it or not, she saw the rest of my stash, loved it all, had just purchased a vacay home in Bend, OR that she needed to furnish and pow - BOUGHT IT ALL! Squeal! I was so ecstatic. It was beyond exciting to have someone share my vision and appreciate my efforts. And pay in cash! ;)

Aside from my little furniture business venture, I've really enjoyed gardening this summer. We have a small landscaped area in front of our rowhome, and it was totally lacking in the wow factor. I took matters into my own hands and planted a variety of flowers that were donated to my cause by my Oma (grandma) from her own garden, as well as some Begonia bulbs that I purchased and really had minimal expectations of. The results have been very nice!

On our back patio, I've had some success growing tomatoes. It's been so fun for Cason Jett to pick the tomatoes as they get ripe - now if he would just eat them!

These Sun Gold's are my favorite! So sweet, and the color is just lovely.

To facilitate my new found love of gardening, I felt a sudden and desperate need for a potting bench. For those of you that are unfamiliar, a potting bench is a simple piece of furniture that houses all the items one needs to maintain a garden - potting soil, trowels, pots, gloves, watering can, etc. You'd think a simple thing like a potting bench would be pretty inexpensive, right? No! These things run upwards of $200! Not on my watch. I scoured the internet until I came across the winning candidate on Craigslist (of course!) for $40, handmade out of reclaimed lumber by a fellow not 10 miles from our house. I. Love. It. Especially the live edge along the front!

How legit am I in the gardening department?! Right? Ha! My thumbs are about as green as they've ever been. It is truly a rewarding hobby and I highly recommend it!

OK, last but not least, in the thrifting/estate sale-ing realm, I thought I'd share a few of my top finds from this summer's winnings.

This super chic set of lamps was found at the Goodwill for $14.99. Believe it. I am loving these things. I just need to track down some worthy shades.

This vintage wicker chair was also recovered from the Goodwill. I am having a thing for blue right now, so I gave it a bath in this saturated hue. It may not be for everyone, but I think it is so cute! I have been super inspired by Maryam Montague's book, Marrakesh By Design, and this chair is almost exactly the same as one pictured in it. It spoke to me! Am I the only one? Maybe. Oh, well.

Sorry about the poor quality pic - these glass lamps are truly fabulous in person! My mom and I found these at a really great estate sale for about $20, I think. Again, they need some modern shades and they will shine!

Fewsh! Longest post ever? I hope you feel caught up. It has been a really fun summer for our family. I hope you can forgive me for my silence. I am resolved to make an appearance on here more consistently from here on out.  It really is fun for me.

How about you all? Any DIY success/failure stories worth sharing? Any garage sale victories? I'd love to hear.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

chair love

A rather unexpected trend popping up in fashion and home decor right now is the return of all things floral. Something that may seem a bit dated to many has been reborn as modern and fresh...

It's fun, right? And feels so perfect as we approach summer. I hadn't really intended to add anything floral to our digs, but things just have a way of happening sometimes, don't they? One of those things happened to me recently on a trip to the local Goodwill. Two things, actually, in the form of 2 super fabulous vintage arm chairs. These bits of heaven just happened to be delightfully adorned in bright, floral fabric...

I was smitten. These beauties had such an Anthropologie-esque appeal! The orange! The blue! The patina! Swoon! They were a little dusty, and one of the seat cushions appeared faded. But after careful inspection, I discovered that the seat cushions could be flipped - and the undersides were perfection! And if all else failed, the covers were removable for washing. Price, you ask? $89 per chair. Did I mention they had matching ottomans? Believe it - although the ottomans aren't quite as nice as the chairs. Done, and done. I learned the hard way that you don't walk out on a unique thrift find. Home they came!

After a good vacuum followed by a thorough steam clean (I love my Shark portable steamer for this kind of task) the chairs are even more fabulous than before. My only dilemma now is that my hubs really dislikes the whole floral thing and feels strongly that they should be reupholstered. Sigh. For now, he is letting me live my dream by allowing them to reside in our living room, and I love them more each time I see them! Especially with my orange throw pillow!

What do you think? Love/hate/indifferent?

If you fancy yourself some floral inspiration and ideas on how to use it, check out this post from Centsational Girl. She's got all the links you need to see if the floral trend works for you. Have a great week!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

a $20 coffee table

Coffee tables. The anchor of the living room, right? A coffee table has to be attractive, versatile, and durable. Good for housing drinks, books, and at times my husband's feet... Sigh. I recently was bitten by a creative bug and was inspired to sell our beloved and ever-popular Cost Plus Sourav coffee table via Craigslist. I really didn't know what I wanted in it's place, but I felt strongly that it was time for something new. I had been admiring coffee tables with Asian-inspired lines, such as...

Yes! White! And Asian! Love. Especially the first one with the overlapping square lattice motif. So, the game was on. I was on a coffee table acquisition mission like none this household has ever experienced before. In the interim, we were using a severely beat up TV console table that we had purchased at Pier 1 like, forever ago. Groan! 

Weeks passed. I perused Craigslist in my free time seeking the perfect combo of potential and price.  Every time I walked by the Franken-console in the living room I felt renewed motivation to find my perfect coffee table match. Just when I was starting to feel desperation set in one evening, a miracle happened... I found it. The table. For, wait for it... $20. 

Squeal! It was (almost) beautiful! And the details had me in a tizzy. I felt like I had totally hit the jackpot! The gentlemen selling this table was convinced it was junk, and simply wanted to get rid of it. I love people like that! They truly make the world a better place for deal seeking home decorators like myself. God bless them. 

Obviously, this diamond in the rough was, well, a little rough. But all it took was a little sand paper, some elbow grease, 1 can of primer, and 3 cans of glossy white spray paint, and presto! My white, Asian-inspired coffee table dream is now a reality. 

And here it is in our living room:

(In real life furniture gets used, didn't you know? It's a personal pet peeve of mine to see all the perfectly staged rooms on blogs, bereft of people or the real 'stuff' of everyday life. It sets the bar really high for those of that actually live in our homes, don't you think? I digress...)

Thus far, this $20 coffee table has stood up to all toddler-imposed tests of durablility. And Cason Jett really likes that he can go underneath and see the bottoms of his car collection.

I am still reveling in my coffee table victory. 

Next on my list: our brown couch. Vile brown couch, you mock me with your brown-ness. Your days are numbered.... ;)