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Mid Century Chair Makeover

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We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter.  They were rough.  They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.

  

       I loved the classic style, and the solid wood frame.  Two of the three are going to go in my guest shed.  The third is going to The Southern Belle.  She will have a project on her hands.

I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t.  He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house.  The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century.  I cannot wait to get started on this project.  I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.  

  
These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over.  After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding.  It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded.  I’m not whining.  I promise.  I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.

When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice.  The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.

One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain.  I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas.  I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out.  Live and learn.  I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.

  
I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled.  Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.

The seats originally had leather strapping.  One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross.  The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess.  After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather.  Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it.  I really do like him being off in summer!

  
 The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math.  He ordered them online for me.  The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines.  They look like they could have been original to the chairs.  He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each.  Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!  

  

All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.

The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.

  
      

The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful.  We were lucky to have found them.

Blessings,

Karen

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Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

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I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  

   
  

   

  

  

The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

  
Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

  
Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

   
I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.

  

  

Mine only expands 6 feet.

 

I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Karen

My Plans for the Guest Shed

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I am HATING and I do mean HATING having the Garagemahal shut down while the near the lake house is on the market.  It has been an unusually cold, wet winter in southeast Texas and I have been at loose ends.  It is too cold and or dark in the evenings when I come in to work on projects at home during the week and it is all about decluttering, cleaning, and moving stuff to storage on the weekends.  Oh how I hope this is all over soon.

One of the things that I can do right now is plan and dream.  After my big winfall at the clean out the barn sale, I am really thinking about the Guest Shed.  According to the tax rolls it is a little over 400 square feet.

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I know you are probably not impressed with it, but it is cool. It has a wood burning stove, hardwood floors reclaimed from a high school gym and already has plumbing. Currently it is a wood shop but it wouldn’t work for me. The enclosed space wouldn’t accommodate moving furniture in and out. There is a better space on the property already.

 Have you ever tried Olioboard?  It is fun to use.

OB-guest shed 

If you have a room you are thinking about redoing it is a great way to envision the space. I have super cool mid century chairs instead of the ones pictured, we will be building a Murphy bed that will look like a cabinet. The space will have a bathroom with a shower, a kitchenette with my farmhouse sink find in it a and cabinets already in the space.

The one room guest house is going to have bright white walls, a whitewashed turquoise wall, bright curtains. (I am thinking orange print for the curtains.) I love the site Spoonflower for fabrics. Right now these are my favorites:

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I am leaning toward the wood grain as a nod to the woods surrounding the shed.

I plan on getting a modern vinyl fouton that can double as an added bed. I think the artwork is going to be mid century-ish fish as another reminder of the lake nearby. ( I also think they are really cool.)

I found these cool images on Etsy.







 This Good Housekeeping 1959 photo is my inspiration with a more modern twist.

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I collected some colors while out yesterday and I found the cushions for the lounge chair at Lowes. They are a green print.



Now if only our lake house would sell quickly.  Fingers crossed.

I hope you all have a dry, warm, productive day.

Blessings,

Karen

Painted Fabric Wingback Chair

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Unless you are a junker, like me, you might not appreciate the presents I get from my friends. Recently I got a load of treasures from a friend that included this fleshy colored velvet wingback chair.

The chair was solid, there were no tears in the fabric and it wasn’t even too worn.  I knew it would work for a project I had in the back of my mind for a while.  I saw this amazing pink couch a while back.  The company ( Faux Real Design Company) rents the couch out for showers, photo shoots, etc.  I could not believe it when I learned the couch had been painted.

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I have been thinking about painting furniture ever since I saw this over the top couch.  I would never in a million years want it in my house full time but what a fun piece for a photo shoot or a shower.  Ashley at Faux Real did not use the same paint I did, and her couch is frankly much softer, but after a lot of searching online I did discover you can paint fabric with latex paint and something called fabric medium.

I knew when I saw this beauty that teal would be the only thing that would make me happy.

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Teal Chair

I chose Behr Real Teal.  I bought the fabric medium at Hobby Lobby.  It is mixed one part medium to one part paint.  I bought three bottles using my 40% coupon  three times.

You mix the fabric medium to paint 1:1 and spray down the fabric  with water between each coat of pant.  I got a cheap water

I will admit that the chair looked terrible after one coat of paint.  I was a little terrified.

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The photo above is of the chair all sprayed down with water.

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The paint goes on very thin and looks very transparent on the first round. (I was more than a little worried at this point.)

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It dries more opaque, but as you can see above,  the first coat was splotchy.

It took three coats of paint to get the solid look I wanted.  I decided to go wild with the legs.  Lime green.  the guest room can handle the color because it makes sense there.

lime green legs

I also added at lime stencil to the back of the chair.

stenciled fabric chair

Here is the chair in the room.

teal painted fabric

 

I wouldn’t say that the finished fabric is soft, but it is no rougher than burlap of canvas.  I definitely does not feel like velvet any longer.

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See?  In this room a teal chair with lime legs doesn’t look crazy.  Right?

This is some art work in the room.

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Do you see the colors?

This year our fall dance theme was glow in the dark.  The kids designed the photo booth space and I knew exactly what it needed to add some fun…

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Yes, you can paint fabric.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

Opposites Attract- My Husband’s Style

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I am a lucky girl. I am married to my best friend. He is more than just my husband, he is a good man.  He loves me, works hard, can build just about anything, and is tolerant of my quirky, off kilter style of vintage junk. While he is tolerant, my style is not his particular style.

I love mid-century modern, I am not afraid of color and experimentation, I think 1970’s funk is cool, I want junk barn doors on the wall, I don’t want to paint over worn, chippy paint and I LOVE painted furniture.  Bright colors are fun.

Mr. Math, my hubby, likes neutral colors. He likes natural wood.  His style is conventional, traditional, classic and full of history.  He is the sentimental one of us.  He is the one to keep things that make him remember moments in his life and ours.

I totally gave Mr. Math our den to do as he chose. No input from me. No color suggestions, and no throw pillows with one exception.  I did veto the barley twist table he wanted to put by his chair.  It would not have survived the drinks left to sweat on the waxed wood.  I substituted a neutral painted side table.   It is the perfect room for him. No windows ( he hates light when watching football), cozy, and quiet. Everything in the room was selected by him.

Here is his space. It makes him happy.  What can I say?  I am glad he still loves me, color and all.

the den

The den from the door.  The four doors lead to the two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a closet.

television mounted

 

It was my suggestion that he mount the television.  He is borrowing this serpentine dresser from our daughter in law for the next year.  He has surround sound.  In a ten foot by twelve foot room.

love seat and chest

Sorry about the Lumi photo bomb.  The chest was purchased 20 years ago and holds our wedding photos, baby pictures, and momentos.  Note the lack of “decoration” on top.   The love seat is throw pillow free.

football central

This corner is football/golf central.  (Nap central)

 

 

 

view of the barn door

I wanted you to see the amazing barn door from inside the room.

 

looking into the den

Looking into the den from the hallway.  Love that door.

 

 

family shelf

 

The shelf has Mr. Math’s dad’s flag, photo and a clock my parents gave us when we were newly weds.  More than 30 years ago.

windberg print

 

The art work is traditional art from a Texas artist, Dalhart Windberg.  This print looks like where Mr. Math grew up.

When Pinterest Finds My Old Stuff

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This week two of my posts were “found” on Pinterest this week. It was fun to see so many people find something that I loved doing and saving it to pages like this:
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Craft Party Ideas

Or; Tryna Do It, or My House

I love the names people give their boards. I am so very boring!

Chair Painting Party

It was such a fun day. I hope that one day you can hold your own party.

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Sewing Cabinet Into Drink Station

This one has been pinned over 200 times this month. Wow. Thank you to those of you who are going to attempt our version of a beverage station! I am humbled that anyone wants to do something that I have done. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send pictures when you actually do this.

Feel free to look at or follow my Pinterest Page.

I use my name on Pinterst: Karen Smithson.

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

A Chair With History

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I for sure, one hundred percent get my junking tendencies from them.  Both my parents are the use it up, make it last, only throw it away as a last resort type. They were green before it was trendy.  My mom reuses her zip lock bags because using them only once would be wasteful.   My dad also tends to be a junk collector like me.  Recently I have been able to use a few of his finds.  I now have this awesome work table under the porch at the Garagemahal because he found the resturant table legs.  I have this amazing buffet table because he picked this wood up out of the trash, and now I have a reading chair in my bedroom.

Of course she has a story.  It involves a scary old house, a copperhead snake, and a cane.

My dad purchased some property a while back with a house on it that is literally falling down.  I have been the recipient of this amazing window from there.

green window

The house has not been lived in for 50 years.  While looking around the house from the outside dad saw a chair that had been abandoned.  He asked me if I wanted it.  Heck yeah.  I didn’t even have to ask any more.  A chair that was junk 50 years ago and still is around today was at least worth looking at.  My mom and dad climbed up in the old house to get the chair.  Quite a feat since my dad had recently had back surgery and was on a cane.  As they walked across the room of the house toward the chair a copperhead stuck its head up between the boards, according to my dad,  my mom took off and left my dad to fend it off with his cane.  We have a history with copperheads at our house

.  My Hubby almost died from a bite at Star Hill a few years ago so we have great respect… and a score to settle.

English: Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mok...
English: Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen at Louisville Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dad made short order of the snake and managed to bring home the chair.  The chair wasn’t much  to look at.  Okay, she was a total wreck.  But I liked her low slung style.  She is definitely from the 1940’s.  The total opposite of the sleek modern style of the 50’s.  Thick and chunky and close to the ground.  She was broken on the back but nothing a little Gorilla glue and screws and Hubby couldn’t correct.  This piece has really for real worm holes.  You know how they try to replicate the tiny pin holes in furniture?  This old lady got hers the hard way.  My brother brought the chair to us and she looked even worse than I remembered.  You could literally take pieces of it off with your hands because the pegs holding the chair together had shrunk to the point they weren’t holding.  Hubby had to put it back together like a Tinker Toy set.

See the dots on the arm below?  Those are the for real wood worm holes that people try to replicate.

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I found a cushion that fit perfectly in Target’s patio clearance section.  $7.00 for this all in.   It was originally much more expensive.  I have no idea why it was marked down so much. I love that.  Perfect color for the room with the updated lamps, and my newly built bench.  The cushion fit the chair upside down.  The part that should be the back is the seat.

I am just going to stick in some pictures of the process here, but I am sure it would put you to sleep to see how many weeks this old girl was in the process of gluing, clamping drilling etc.

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I stained the arms dark walnut and I painted the body of the chair Behr Powdered Snow with a brown glaze.

Didn’t she turn out pretty?  I am going to love sitting in the chair by the window reading.  It is a real curl up in chair.

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chair for bedroom

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