Dinner for Eight

Remember that craigslist dining table I showed you last week?  Well, I went to take a look at it, get some measurements, and then evaluate whether it would fit in our dining room:

And what better use for all those glossy ads from the Sunday paper, right?  I laid them out to represent the size of the table (69″ square) to check whether the table would be too overwhelming for the space.  See, I kind of fell in love with it when I went to go see it.  And it didn’t hurt that it was a super bargain–the owner had it custom made for $2,250 (the glass alone cost over $750), so with an option to buy it plus eight chairs for only $500, I was pretty much sold.  And after making sure there was plenty of room in the dining room, I was officially sold.

See-there’s plenty of room, right?  So once I decided to buy it, then I had to figure out how to get it to our house.  The owner said it needed at least three people to move it.  Luckily, me and the Mr. made two (remember how I told you I was good at math?), so we only had to ask impose upon one friend.  Score.  Long story short: Friend acquired.  UHaul rented.  Table and chairs purchased.  Want to see how they look?!

Totally amazing, right?!?!  I love it!  Granted, Mr. B wasn’t super thrilled when he saw it.  In his words, this was the “most awkward” piece of furniture to move.  “EVER.”  But we did it.  And it’s fan-tas-tic!

And even though it’s so much bigger in person than some ads laid out on the floor, there’s still plenty of room on each side for people to maneuver and for chairs to slide in and out . . .

See what I mean?

Plus, there’s finally something to balance out our monstrosity of a couch.

(Oh, and that dresser in the dining room will be getting moved soon to one of the bedrooms–you may remember it from here.  And the previous dining table placeholder will soon be sold on craigslist, so that’ll be out of the room as well.)

And how about those chairs, huh?  We actually ended up with 9–4 black and 5 white.  The extra white one has found a home at one of the upstairs built-in desks, but the rest look pretty great at the table, right?  Mr. B did an awesome job cleaning them up and they almost look brand new.  The black ones are a bit nicer since they’re real leather while the white ones are pleather, but unless you get all up in their business, you really can’t tell.  So just don’t be getting all up in our chairs business, ‘kay?  Seriously, I have no idea why I just went gangsta’.  I apologize.

And the table is great–in all its raw steel and soldered goodness . . .

There you have it–one more room furnished.  Only six more to go.  Yikes.

What do you think?  Did we make a good decision?  Do you love it?  Or hate it?  I’d imagine it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but hey–if it were, that would be kind of boring, don’t ya’ think?  Now we just need to plan a dinner party for eight . . .

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Project 1: Refinishing a *Thinly* Veneered Dresser

As promised, I’m here to spill all the details of how my first home-related project went . . . the highs, the lows, and all the in-betweens.  As you know (if you’ve been paying attention), I started with this:

A dresser covered in thin veneer, but nevertheless with a great timeless mid-century style.  So I gathered my supplies (there’s a list of all the supplies at the end of the post in case you’re interested in the details) . . .

And then I took these steps to get to my final product . . .

Step 1: Do Your Research  When starting any new project, I always Google the hell out of it; meaning I try to research it to within an inch of its life so that, god forbid, I don’t make a single mistake, but instead do everything perfectly.  And that is why I rarely start new projects–my research usually makes me too scared of somehow screwing up and ruining my life (no seriously–sometimes I get that dramatic about it).  BUT, now that I have the Mr. by my side with his carefree, devil-may-care attitude, I’ve learned to loosen up and just go for it.  What’s the worst that can happen, right?  If I ruin a $50 Craigslist dresser, my life will not end.  Or at least the Mr. promises me it won’t.

So for this project, I just did some basic research instead of getting bogged down in all the possible variations for refinishing a dresser (there are lots, btw, so this is just the route I chose, and I’m making no affirmative statement that it is the best way–it’s really just one way).  For this project, I searched “how to refinish a veneer dresser” and I ended up at YHL’s site to see their nursery dresser overhaul, but also at Minwax’s site for a video tutorial on refinishing.  The video gave some very useful advice for testing what kind of finish your furniture piece has–shellac or polyurethane, and then gave you steps (albeit only using Minwax products) for how to proceed; in short, I’d recommend watching it before embarking on any refinishing adventure.

Step 2: Determine Furniture Finish and Plan of Attack  The video advised using nail polish remover and a cotton ball to test what type of finish was currently on the furniture (of course, that’s only if you plan to remove the finish; if, instead, you want to restore some luster to the existing finish, just rub on Tung Oil–I definitely plan to try that route in the future on a piece that doesn’t need a whole new look, but just a good shine).  Once you know the finish, if you then wanted to use a chemical stripping agent, you’d know which one to buy.  If the cotton ball ends up looking dirty and pulling up some of the finish, then that means the piece was covered in shellac or lacquer and you would need a product like Formby’s Refinisher to dissolve the old finish; however, if the cotton ball stays clean, that means the piece is covered in polyurethane, and so you need a paint and poly remover like this one.  Your local hardware store experts can guide you to the products and materials you need, but at least this test allows you to go to the store armed with some information.

I used some cotton swabs (we didn’t have any cotton balls) and some of the Mr.’s nail polish remover ;) to test the top and sides of the dresser.  Since the cotton swabs got dirty (see that black stuff?  that didn’t come out of the Mr.’s ears), I knew then that the dresser was covered in shellac or lacquer.

Nail Polish Remover Cotton Ball Test

But, I wasn’t sold on the idea of using a solvent to strip the dresser.  See, I already owned an electric sander and the sandpaper, and I was trying to stay on the cheap end of things (and also the lazy end of not wanting to drive out to our local Lowe’s for more supplies).  So I figured I might as well go the sanding route and just see what happened–if I ruined the thin veneer, then I would just paint the dresser and consider it a good lesson learned for the future.  So there it was–my plan of attack: sand off the dresser’s finish to get down to the bare wood veneer, stain it, poly it, and enjoy!  (Even though my inspiration pieces were painted white, I decided initially that I wanted to keep the whole piece natural wood if possible; as you’ll see, everything didn’t quite go as planned . . . )

Step 3: Clean the Dresser Before I started, I gave the dresser a quick wipedown with just a damp rag, removed the drawers, and removed all the drawer pulls.  This way, I was set to start sanding.

Step 4: Sand.  Keep sanding.  Sand some more.  Soak your arm in ice water.  Here’s where we bring in the power tool: the electric sander (insert your own Tim the Toolman grunt here).  Oh, and of course–safety first!  Make sure you wear eye protection and a face mask so that you don’t get lungs full of sawdust.  Plus, this is a messy job, so do it outside or in a garage; definitely don’t tackle this inside or else you’ll have sawdust EVERYWHERE.

Start with the 100-grit sandpaper (quick sandpaper lesson: most of you probably know this, but the numbers on sandpaper tell you how rough it is–the lower the number, the rougher the grit, and the faster it will sand down whatever it is you’re sanding).  Keep in mind that you don’t want to be too aggressive with the sanding since the veneer is very thin, and you don’t want to sand right through it.  And always sand in the direction of the wood grain–in the case of the drawers, this meant I sanded everything lengthwise.

Since I started off nervous about sanding through to plywood, I applied almost no pressure, but then I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere (let me tell ‘ya–after an hour, that was an awesome realization).  It was only when I got to the 6th drawer that I finally got somewhere . . . I had been so gentle on the other drawers that I hadn’t really changed their appearance at all.  With the 6th drawer, though, I decided to go a little harder and then I saw this:

See the difference?  Now I knew what the bare wood looked like (the areas on the left above), and that it meant I needed to get rid of all the shiny stuff, not just rough up the shiny stuff (the stain won’t be able to penetrate unless it’s bare wood).  This may seem obvious to all of you, but at the time I was just playing it safe, so forgive me for being slow.  Anyways, now I knew the goal–get rid of the dark, shiny stuff; this meant I had to redo all the drawers.  Awesome.  But finally, after my arm was practically numb, all six drawers were looking shellac-free . . .

Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything was perfect.  There were definitely some areas (particularly along the edges) where the veneer had pretty much disappeared:

But with all my chillaxing lessons from the Mr., I wasn’t worried.  I figured it just gave the dresser some character.

Next up, sanding the dresser and all the nooks and crannies.  I used the electric sander for the sides of the dresser, but I had to hand sand the curves on the front of the piece along with the rounded legs.  Here’s a shot of the side halfway through sanding–note again the difference between the lighter left side and the darker, still-shellac-covered right side:

Even though the top of the dresser seemed quite different than the rest of the piece, I still decided to try and sand it.  First with 100-grit sandpaper, but after seeing no progress, I switched to a stronger, 60-grit paper.  But, something still didn’t seem right.  For one, the dust was all white.  I’m not 100% sure, but I think the top may have just been some type of laminate.  Here’s what it looked like after my sanding attempts:

Not quite what I was hoping for . . . :(.  But oh well, right?  It’s just a dresser–no use crying over it!  So I just changed my plan–I decided I’d paint the top white, in which case the sanding wasn’t a complete waste of time since it was a necessary step so that the primer would stick to it, but more on that in a bit.

Once I sanded everything down with the 100-grit sandpaper, I then switched to the 220-grit in order to get a really smooth finish.  Using the 220 went much faster since I had already sanded off everything I was trying to remove; the 220 was just to get it as smooth as possible.

Step 5: Apply Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner (Optional)  Once all the sanding was done (it probably took me about 5-6 hours with quite a few breaks thrown in so I could regain feeling in my hands), I wiped down the pieces with a barely damp rag (if you wipe down sanded wood with a soaking wet rag, chances are you’ll raise the wood grain and have to sand the whole thing over again–so consider yourself warned).  I then decided to apply Minwax’s Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to all the surfaces I planned to stain.

Why?  One of two reasons:

  1. Either I’m a total sucker–see, the directions on the back of the Minwax can of stain suggested using the company’s Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to ensure that the stain went on smoothly instead of splotchy (is that a word?).  And so sometimes I like to follow directions to the letter, which therein led me to buy the Wood Conditioner on a whim when I was at Lowe’s; OR . . . 
  2. The Wood Conditioner ensures that the stain gets soaked into the wood evenly, thereby avoiding any darker or lighter spots (again–this is what the can told me would happen).
So, did it help?  Well, it’s hard to tell because I didn’t try staining any pieces without it.  However, in the end, I thought the stain went on pretty evenly, but whether that was a result of the wood conditioner or not, I guess we’ll never know.  Maybe next time I tackle a similar project I’ll skip this part and let you know what happens.  Either way, I loved how the wood conditioner made the wood look–just check out the difference between the unconditioned drawers (on the left) and the conditioned ones (on the right):
And check out the side of the dresser in all its conditioned goodness . . .
Nice, huh?  So how do you do it?  Well–use a foam brush to apply a heavy coat of the wood conditioner in the direction of the grain (it’s milky white in color).  Then, let it sit for a few minutes (the directions advise anywhere from 1-5 minutes; I left it on for 3 minutes) so that it can soak in.  It will look like this during the soaking-in process:

Once the time is up, use one of your painter’s rags to wipe off the excess.  Be sure to wipe in the direction of the grain.  Then, let the Wood Conditioner set for at least 30 minutes before moving on to the next step.  Make sure you apply it to every part that you plan on staining; for me, this was everything except the very top of the dresser.

Step 6: Apply Stain  Once the Wood Conditioner has set, it’s time to get your stain on.  Now, there are lots of stain options out there: oil-based, water-based, and gel stains to name a few.  I decided to just use what I had on hand, which was a Minwax water-based stain in American Walnut.  I wanted a deep, chocolatey brown and this fit the bill.  Plus, since I already owned it, it was free.

But, Minwax has lots of color options and there are tons of other stain companies as well, so don’t feel limited.  The Mr. even suggested that we go with something more vibrant, like Sangria, but I shot that idea down.

Sorry Bunches–maybe next time?

Once you’ve picked out your stain, you need to ready your staining area.  Make sure your piece is on top of something that you don’t care about (I used some old moving boxes) and that you’re wearing old clothes.  Since water-based stain is pretty runny, it can end up anywhere.  Again, consider yourself warned.  Make sure you have your painter’s rags (or cut-up old t-shirt) handy, and rubber gloves aren’t a bad idea here either (and definitely a must if you’re using oil-based stain).  Then, just apply the stain with a foam brush in the direction of the grain and keep an eye on your watch.  Here’s a shot of the stain soaking into the drawer:

I let the stain soak in for 3 minutes before wiping it off with a rag that was lightly dampened with the stain.  I used light pressure to wipe off the stain so that I didn’t remove too much, and I wiped in the direction of the grain.  Here’s the after shots:

Do the same thing for all the drawers and for the dresser.  Try to allow the stain to soak in for the same amount of time everywhere (this means you have to apply it to just a few areas at a time–two drawers, or one whole side, etc.) and apply even pressure when you wipe off the stain in order to discourage any blotchiness or uneven spots (hopefully the Wood Conditioner helps here).  Let the stain cure up for at least 2 hours before deciding whether or not to do a second coat.  Here’s what the dresser looked like after one coat of stain:

You can tell from the last picture that it was a little blotchy in spots.  I think that was probably due to the fact that I got a little lazy with my sanding–particularly on the legs and curvy parts of the dresser.  And it really wasn’t as dark as I wanted it, so I decided to do a second coat.  I followed the same procedure as before–apply, let sit for 3 minutes, and wipe away with even pressure.  After two coats, I was left with this:

Much better, don’t you think?

Step 7: Prime and Paint Top of Dresser  Since the top of the dresser was covered in some type of laminate, I ended up having to paint it.  Once I had sanded it down, I then primed it with Kilz Oil-Based Primer with a foam brush (I hate cleaning brushes after using oil-based paints, so I always use foam ones so that I can just throw them away).

Make sure you apply a thin, even coat.  It doesn’t need to totally block out the dark laminate underneath, but instead you just want to make sure it covers the entire surface so that your paint has something to grab ahold of.  Once it’s dry (I let it dry overnight), do a quick sand of it with 220-grit sandpaper to make sure there are no brush marks.

Then, apply light, even coats of the latex paint of your choice (I used Lowe’s Olympus low-VOC paint in Semi-Gloss in the off-the-shelf white).  And I used a foam roller to apply it so that there were no visible brush strokes (thanks for the hint Carrie!).  You have to apply thin coats though, and do enough to get the coverage you want (I went a little overboard and did 7 separate coats–yes, I’m crazy).  You only need to wait about 30 minutes between coats of paint, though, so it’s not that bad; just wrap your roller in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge so the paint on it doesn’t dry out (it’ll actually last days like that; the same trick works for paintbrushes as well).

Step 8: Wait Two Days.  ‘Nough said.

Step 9: Apply 2 Coats of Polyurethane.  After you’ve let the dresser cure up for at least two full days, it’s time to add some shine to your piece.  I wanted it nice and glossy, so I chose to use Minwax’s Water-Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in Clear Gloss.  Make sure to apply the polyurethane in a well-ventilated area (open garages are perfect for this).  Apply a thin coat with a foam brush or roller, making sure to not go back over what you just covered or else you’ll leave rough patches.  So just resist the urge!  If you do end up with any rough patches though, just let it dry, and then sand the area with 220-grit paper, wipe off the dust, and do another coat of poly.

Allow your first coat to dry for at least 5 hours before applying another coat.  Check out how nice and shiny the drawers looked while drying . . .

Step 10: Wait 3 Days. Add Drawer Handles.  Enjoy!! Once you’ve finished with the two coats of polyurethane, allow the pieces to dry and cure for at least 3 days–that will make sure the surface is good, hard, and strong.  Then, add your hardware, put the drawers back in, and sit back to marvel at what you’re hard work has accomplished . . .

So what do you think?!  Do you like it?  I’ll show you how I made the drawer handles in another post, but for now, here’s the total cost breakdown for my first project:

  • Electric Sander: (already owned–bought it at Walmart years ago, but it’s similar to this one for $45)
  • Sandpaper, 100-grit and 220-grit: (already owned)
  • Painter’s Rags: (already owned; alternatively, just cut up an old t-shirt since that’s all Painter’s Rags are anyways)
  • Minwax Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner: $11.87
  • Minwax Water-Based Wood Stain in American Walnut: (already owned)
  • Kilz Interior Oil-Base Primer: (already owned)
  • Olympic Low-Voc Semi-Gloss Interior Latex Paint in White: $10.47
  • 6″ Foam Roller: $4.97
  • 6 Pack 2″ Foam Paintbrushes: $3.58
  • Painter’s Mask: (already owned)
  • Eye Protection: (already owned)
  • Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in Clear Gloss: (already owned)
  • White pleather belt: $2.50
  • Aluminum post screws for handles: $13.68
Total cost, including the $50 for the dresser, was $97.07.  And from start to finish, it took about a week (that includes all the drying time), but real work time was probably ~14 hours.  Not bad, right?
One last look back–I started here . . .
. . . and ended here:
So there you go–a 10-step program for refinishing a dresser . . . and in only 3,063 words!  Phew.
Update: The finished dresser is now the changing table in Mini B’s nursery.  Check it out here.

Craigslist Dresser Discovery

Now that we’ve bought a house and have a closing scheduled, I’ve been scouring Craigslist for good furniture finds to not only furnish our new home, but also to give me an outlet for trying out some of the projects that I’ve got rolling around in my head.  So a week ago, I found these two dressers on Buffalo’s Craigslist and I knew they’d be perfect:

Craigslist Dresser 2

The mid-century style was just what I was looking for, and the sizes were right–66″ long for the first, 54″ long for the second.  Clean lines, good storage–what more could you ask for?

The seller was asking $65 each, and advertised them as solid wood, so I went to take a look.  Both were in good condition (the drawers all worked, the legs were sturdy) but they definitely needed to be refinished.  So I offered $100 for the pair, and the seller accepted.  Score, right?!  Well, I thought so too until it came time to get them from Buffalo to Brockport, and that’s when my bubble burst a little.  We could only fit the smaller one in our car, so unfortunately, that was the only one we got.  :(  It would’ve cost too much to rent a truck to try and get the longer one, so it was a no go.  But, for only $50, I was still pretty psyched to at least get one.

Here’s a shot once we got it home:

Good bones, right?  It had dovetailed drawers . . .

. . . but, it turned out to be totally veneered (someone with more experience with furniture I’m sure would have been able to figure this out sooner than I did, but oh well–lesson learned):

How can you tell that a piece is veneered?  Well, if you look at the picture of the top of the dresser, you can see that the edge is clearly a piece of veneer (basically really thin wood) glued down (another hint–it’s chipped; even another hint–real wood doesn’t have seams).  An easier way to tell?  Check out the bottom or sometimes the back of a piece . . .

From the bottom of the piece, you can see that there are pieces of veneer glued to a piece of plywood.  And the veneer is pretty thin to boot.  Bummer, huh?

But, I still had high hopes for my ability to refinish it, and I’ll do a post about my refinishing adventure later this week to let you know how it worked out (it’s currently still a work in progress, but overall I think it’ll be good ;) ).  For now, here are some shots of my inspiration for this project:

YHL’s nursery dresser . . .

. . . and this beauty from Design*Sponge (which is also available on Etsy for $950) by Matt . . .

Any ideas now where the white belt from yesterday might end up . . . ?

So there it is–think I can do it?  You better!  Or else you might get hit with my new brass knuckles (aka the dresser’s old handles) . . .

Images of dressers from here and here.

Goodwill Hunting

Another great thing about moving to small town America (aka Brockport) from Boston is that there are still great finds to be had in the local Goodwill (unlike Boston where it’s so picked over).  Now, many of you may choose to never set foot in a Goodwill store–whether it’s the odd smell that is uniform to all such stores (a certain mix of old people stink, dust, and a too-weak cleaning product of some kind), or it’s that the idea of buying someone else’s discarded stuff is just gross–but sometimes, and more often in smaller towns, there are some great things just waiting to be discovered (albeit usually underneath a bunch of really tacky tchotkes).  Oh, and you can also leave there with a double feel-good whammy: you probably scored a bargain AND you helped people in need.  So no, this is not a post about a great Bean Town movie–sorry.

Instead, it’s about our Goodwill hunting trip.  This weekend we not only checked out our local Goodwill in Brockport, but we also stopped at the area Volunteers of America store.  Both were quite the pleasant surprise.  Why the hunt this past weekend?  Well, I needed a white leather belt, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I thought those would be good places to try.  Why did I need a white belt?  Because I had an old-lady 80s party to go to?  Unfortunately, no.  I needed a white belt so I could make handles for a dresser I’m refinishing.  Duh.  More on that later this week, though.  So did I find a white leather belt?  You betcha I did (with some help from the Mr.):

White Belt

Oh, and bonus: anything in Goodwill with a blue tag was 50% off!  So that stylish belt only cost me $2.50.  I know you’re jealous.   And maybe confused since the belt isn’t actually white?  No worries–you just have to flip it over.  Genious, aren’t I?  Of course, we didn’t leave with just the belt–how could we?  This was a pretty new Goodwill–very spacious and with only a hint of that special scent.  So we poked around, and then I found this:

Totally rad, right?  It needs a lamp shade, and I’m a bit undecided on whether to leave it as is or paint it, but either way, I’m digging it.  And since it has a mid-century modern vibe happening, it should fit right into our 1962 house.  Plus–the price was right–only $8.99, so I just couldn’t pass it up.  The Mr. even thought that the tag was blue, but apparently it was teal–so no dice on an extra 50% off.

What do you think?  Should I paint it?  Or just polish it up and leave it as is?  Any suggestions for what type of shade?  I was thinking a simple white drum shade–maybe one that’s a bit long and slender vs. fat and wide (that’s what she said).  Thoughts?  Here’s an attempt at what it would look like painted white:

So what do you think?

Next, we headed to Volunteers of America to see what else we could discover (I think at this point even the Mr. had caught the thrifting bug).  Well, our luck continued.  I found this glass dome and teak cutting board set for only $2.99:

It reminded me of this one from Crate & Barrel (for $29.95):

Not bad that I paid only 10% of what the Crate & Barrel one cost, right?  Mine originally came with a metal plate with Goodwood inscribed on it, but I took that piece off and threw it away since it’s not really my style . . .

. . . but then I did some Google searches to see if I could find out how much similar items were worth.  Turns out a lot more than the $2.99 I spent.  Check out this one on Etsy for $35:

And I found similar ones on eBay for up to $90!  So, of course, I then dug the Goodwood metal plate out of the trash, washed it off, and put it back in the dome.  Who knows if I’ll keep it, or maybe start my own vintage store on Etsy to sell this and all the other great Western New York finds . . . there was even another one of these at VOA that I passed on (the Mr. doesn’t like me to accumulate too much “garbage” as he likes to call it), so maybe I’ll go back and snag that one to sell online?  What do you think–have I found my new calling?

Anyways, after our luck at the VOA and Goodwill, I thought we should take a look at a local antiques super store, The Carriage Place.  I’ve driven by signs for it every day on my commute, and so what better time to take a look than over a long weekend, right?  It was actually pretty cool–it’s a large warehouse that has divided space for different vendors to rent and stock as they see fit . . . kind of like Leaping Lotus out in Solana Beach, CA except with a focus on antiques instead of art and home decor (btw–next time you’re in Southern California, definitely spend some time browsing around Solana Beach–you won’t be disappointed).  The Mr. and I enjoyed poking around and checking out some interesting items . . .

. . . old hardcover books to line your shelves and make visitors think you like to read . . .

. . . vintage tins, baking supplies, and cooking tools that would look charming in a country kitchen . . .

. . . wood boxes that would be perfect for a casual centerpiece if filled with flowers or maybe grass (Carrie–they were only $5 each, so let me know if you want me to go back and get them for you) . . .

. . . JOANNE–check out the old Cod Liver Oil bottle!!!  How great is that?! (Joanne is the one that’s behind the Mr. and I taking our daily dose of CLO, so of course I thought of her immediately when I saw this.)

Cod Liver Oil bottle

CLO Dosage Instructions

. . . the Mr. enjoyed some of the vintage comics . . .

. . . while I got a kick out of these old-school postcards that folded out accordion-style . . .

Postcard Portfolio

Postcard pics

Aren’t those great?  They had ones for just about everywhere–I loved the vintage fonts and pictures.  We decided to buy one from Lake Placid since that was one of our first vacation spots together, and one of the Mr.’s favoritest places in the whole wide world.  Awww . . . aren’t we just too cute?

My other favorite piece was this rocking chair, but at $150, and in desperate need of some reupholstering, I just couldn’t justify it . . .

Rocking chair

So that completes our first Goodwill hunting trip, but based on our successes, you can bet there will be more!

Let the Designing Begin!!

Now that we have an accepted offer on a house, I can finally start planning the interior . . . furniture, wall colors, trim, lighting, kitchen concepts . . . holy-moly there’s a lot to think about!  But since I’m a self-defined shelter blog addict, there’s lot of eye candy out there to guide me along the way (seriously, you may think addict is a strong word and that no one could be addicted to blogs, but I assure you–I have a problem;  I guess I just took my first step though: admission.  Now what are the 11 other steps?!  The fact is, I kind of consider some of the bloggers my friends . . . I know, I know–what’s wrong with me?!  Luckily, the Mr. has grown at least a little accustomed to my constant references to the “bloggers” which usually means my close friends YHL’s Sherry and John Petersik, although there are many others (just a few of whom are listed in my blogroll on the right); however, I’m still not entirely sure Mr. Bunches knows how completely addicted I am, so shhhh!).

Okay, back to the topic on hand: since the Mr. and I have taken a step back in time by moving to the Buffalo area (as clearly evidenced here), there are lots of great vintage finds still available in the area for affordable prices . . . take this beauty for example:

It’s only $150 on Craigslist!

Now, I know it doesn’t look all hot and bothered in that picture, but aren’t the lines of it great?!  Don’t you think it would look fabulous reupholstered in a soft gray flannel or linen?  Maybe with a little bit of tufting thrown in for added panache?  My recent obsession with Secrets from a Stylist (Emily Henderson’s show on HGTV) has me itching to get something reupholstered.  Check out the magic she performed this season with some craigslist and flea market finds:

She turned this $150 Craigslist sleeper sofa from this . . .

to this . . .

And this $100 flea market bench from this . . .

to this . . .

But this one is definitely one of my favorites (possibly because I’m more of a gray girl than blue); from ick . . .

to fabulous . . .

Check out Emily’s blog for more reupholstering inspiration (or to check out the pics from above–here and here).

So now I just have to convince the Mr. to let me get that craigslist sofa (any help would be much appreciated)!  Oh, and anyone know of a good reupholsterer (is that the right word?) in the Buffalo area?!

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