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Furniture Should Be Fun(ctional)

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It is my belief that furniture should be sort of like clothes for your home. It should serve a purpose, it should reflect who you are as a person or family, and it should have an element of fun. Oh, and one more thing… your furniture style can (and in my opinion, should) change, just like clothing styles. How many of you remember leg warmers, ponytails on the side, Farrah Fawcett wings and big hair, shoulder pads in everything, or broomstick skirts? Yeah, me either. 🙂 That must have been before my time 🙂  As I have matured, so has my style.  I am a lot mor eclectic, and not as afraid of what others think. I have a really good sense of who I am, and frankly, I really am not overly attached to most of the furniture in my home.  I know that it will change as I find things I like more or if the space we live in changes.

Today I am going to tell you a tale of three end tables. I like all three of them. I painted each with the same light neutral color; Behr Sea Salt, and in the right room, all three of these beauties would be a stand out.

I am arranging them by decade… at least I think I am. I could be off with the 1960’s table.

1950’s Mid Century Modern. This baby was built when we were all about the space race. Sputnik, clean lines, homes of the future.  Think George Jetson. Our national facination with space and exploration along with beating the Russians to the moon affected home design, clothing, house wares, and furniture.

Do you have any buildings like those where you live?  There were tons in the city I just moved from, but not so much out here in suburbia. Everything is new, and frankly a little plain vanilla boring.

I painted the body of end table one sea salt, then stained the drawers and legs dark walnut. She is going back to her owner and will happily rejoin the headboard and dresser once they are painted but she would also be a stunner in a modern home with bright accents, a loft or a mid century modern home.
Here is my inspiration piece

I loved this look. I did decide that my interpretation needed dark legs to help it stand out a little more.

Mid century modern furniture mixes well with modern furnishings in today’s homes. I chose this shot because it has a credenza with a white painted top.

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Mid Century Night Stand

What do you think?
Here he is all dressed up and ready to go. I like that I had a piece of 1950’s McCoy Pottery for the top.
mid century night stand

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mid century stained legs

mccoy on mid century

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Next..
My late 1960’s/ early 1970’s traditional style end table:

The late 60’s/ early 70’s.  What can I say? Well… the one word I would use to describe most furniture in the late 60’s or early 70’s is safe. It was traditional in style.  Varnished wood, rounded legs, , spindles, maple, pine and oak.

traditional furniture
Raise your hand if you had a couch that looked something like this in your home? I see those hands. We had a couch like this with some scratchy plaid fabric for several years.

This next side table would have been perfect in that room. It was brown on brown on brown. It also fooled me. The top was Formica, but was so dirty I thought it was wood.
Who in their right mind thought Formica on top of furniture was a great idea? Not this girl.  It was “the bomb” in the late 60’s/ early 70’s though.
This side table came to me as part of a group of furniture I purchased using the “American Picker’s” bundling technique. Buy several pieces at reduced costs.   I think I paid two dollars for it but I don’t remember exactly.
After sanding the Formica top within an inch of its life to give it some grit, I then painting it with Glidden Gripper primer, then sanded the top again with really fine sand paper.  I decided to go with sea salt on the legs and Behr revival mahogany for the top to sort of replicate a stained top. This little formerly frumpy table would be great in an apartment or small home because it does not visually take up much space.

Here is Centsational Girl’s take on a two color table. I wish I could have stained the top of mine.

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Here is my version:

formica table

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Finally,  My 1970″s Fabulous side table.  I mean come on.  Who doesn’t love a table that is fun and funky? The mid to late 70’s furniture was fun. It was the era of disco, leisure suits, and over the top hairdos. I love this style. In small doses. I could not have my whole home full of this curvy wonderfulness, but I do have a few pieces and I enjoy having them. They make me smile.
china-cabinet
This curvy china cabinet is in my office full of vintage books. It looked like this when I bought it.

Redone China Cabinet
Here it is now.

mirrors
I bought this pair of mirrors and redid them. They are fun.

Painting the Night Stands Yellow
The side table on the left was found by the side of the road. It is now in another home, but I enjoyed it in my yellow and gray guest room.

This particular side table would be great in a teen’s room, college dorm room, or as a bedside table. I painted it sea salt with a Behr Gray Area on the top. I like it a lot.
I glazed it with a gray glaze to make the detail stand out a little, but not too much. I debated painting it turquoise, navy, or yellow, but I like the light color too.
I am not sure where this one will end up. Who beside me, is ready to have some 1970’s love in their home?

1970 Fab

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Moving Update and BIG NEWS

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I started this post Monday and By George, I want to post it. Just read to the bottom where the big news is located, pretty please.

Well we have bee making steady progress on the City House as we prepare to move. We have lived in the same house for 14 years and it is amazing to me the things that we just ignored since moving in or put on the back burner when we were doing projects. I told my husband we should call this our 85% house because it seems we finish every project about 85% of the way before we lose interest or move on to another project. It has caught up with us now because all those “mostly finished” or “gonna get to one day” projects have to be done before we can start showing the home for sale. With my drive to the new job most of the work has fallen onto Hubby. So far he has replaced some Sheetrock that was damaged before we ever moved in, he has painted the garage, which had literally not been done since the home was built, and replaced leaking faucets outside. (zthe backyard in the afternoon

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connecting the plumbing

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He re-caulked the bathtub in one bath, fixed works in one of the toilets, cleaned up the back yard, painted some trim that had never been painted, and fixed a light switch. We have trimmed and weeded the flower beds, installed granite counter tops in all three bathrooms and spruced up the side yard. This week Baby Boy helped to move excess furniture and boxes to storage. I thought we would get the house on the market by Memorial Day… But I have big news. Giant news.

A friend came over to look at our home a few weeks ago. It was not a good fit for her family because she wants a big back yard, but she did like the house and told some of her friends at book club. One of them was interested and came over to look at the house.

They loved our house as much as we have. They want to buy our house! Yay. Double yay. No realtors’ comission, no keeping the house show ready for months, no worrying about the pets when the house is being shown. The couple have their house currently on the market so keep your fingers and toes crossed that this will all work out. If their home has not sold by end of July they are planning to lease their home and purchase ours anyway. Amazing right? I SURE THINK SO. Now back to my brag about how nice the city house looks in preparation for getting it on the market. Here are the photos of the clean house that should have followed the work pictures. Hooray for storage buildings. You can jam a lot of stuff in a 10 X 10 storage unit when Mr. Master Packer (aka Hubby) is packing it.

Oh! My friend who visited the house gets the pink chair I rescued from the trash as her commission. When she finds another home I have something else in store for her… she will just have to wait.

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And this is how the house looked the day before the housekeeper comes! Yippee!

Finished Yellow and Grey Guestroom

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Finally.  Last night we put the finishing touches on the guest room.  I hope you like what we did. Here are pictures of the finished room.  Final cost $154.63 Click on all the hyperlinks below to go to the projects that we got accomplished. 

One day I am going to actually hit my cost goal, but this is not too bad for a great guest room.  You will see that I added a cute pillow to the bed.  I love the color and graphic.  I got it on Etsy.  The lamps make me happier than the globe lights.  I love them but the chain was too busy for the wall.  I am giving them to Sweet Amanda for the lovebird room.

Remember that it all started with a end table I picked up on the side of the road. I started looking for inspiration to get the table painted.  Then it hit me.  I had a whole room needing love.

Yuck.
 

 

 
I love these owls.
 
Easy Artwork
 
I used a lot of my finds to create a mirror wall.
 
 
 
 
I tried these lights.
 
But I did not love them in this room.
 
 

 
I like this one so much better.  I found some curtains I can live with. 
 
I hope you like the room.  We are proud of our hard work.
 
 
 WE LOVE IT!  Now bring on the guests.


Getting Close to Finishing the Yellow and Gray Bedroom

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I am getting close to finishing the bedroom. I have been exhausted from my real work, so not much has been happening at the city house.  I am still waiting for two pillows to arrive and I need a curtain rod for the sheer curtains going in the window but other than that all the elements are in the room. 

Here is what I got done today.

Silhouette Birds for over the bed.

I used two frames that I have had since the Southern Belle moved to Savannah years ago.  I wrapped some fabric left from the owl project around a piece of cardboard.  A quick google search of royalty free silhouette birds landed several options. 

 

 
 
 

Here are two of the birds I found.
 
 
 
I printed the birds on the computer printed then carefully cut them out.  I used some spay adhesive to attache them to the fabric then put them in the frame.  Easy.  And best of all, free.
 

I have had some hob nail milk glass globes for a while.  I got them for fifty cents each and have been looking for a project to use them on.  I want the night stands to display some of the things I have collected for the room so I wanted hanging lights.  Hubby found the parts for the hanging lamps by shopping hardware stores around us because Lowe’s and Home Depot did not have the hardware needed.  He spent $2.50 on each light kit and then $13.00 on each swag kit. 

 I had to sand and spray the light kits black.  They looked much better.
 
Hubby wired it together with the swag kit.
 
Swag Kit
 
I am not sure I love the light yet.  I am not happy with how the lamps came out but I have a plan to fix them. I think the chain is too distracting on the busy wall.  I have a plan, but I have to get Hubby to build what I need.  Thank goodness he is such a good sport.
 
 
 
 

Making Owls

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My daughter “tagged” this nice lady from a bird sanctuary as me on her Facebook page last year.  I am not the bird lady at the sanctuary… but I do love birds.

I love wild birds.  I feed them at the lake house.  I have three bird feeders and four hummingbird feeders. I have bird books to identify the birds around our property.  Because of my obsession, I wanted to incorperate birds into my guest room.
I saw these  great owls on a post from All Things Thrifty.  Thanks to Brooke for telling us where she found them, because I loved the vintage quality they have. 

I headed for Kohls as soon as possible to snag them.  I was thrilled to find that they were 50% off.  I also had a 20% off coupon, and, best of all… a friend gave me her $10.00 Kohls cash that was about to expire.  Score!  The two owls cost me less than $5.00.  Once I got them home I knew that I wanted them on the night stand.  The other night stand needed some owls too. 

I found these owls on Pinterest. Efemera’s awsome directions can be found by clicking the link to her blog.
Efimera Ink


The directions were super easy to follow.  Make a template.

Trace the template onto the fabric you choose.

 I created a small, medium and large pattern.  I placed the patterns on fabric I purchased at Hancocks.  I bought four 1/4 yard sections of fabric. That was not big enough for the largest template.  I had to use felt from the wreath on the big one.

Once the sections were cut out it was a simple matter of hand stitching them together. Remember put the good side of the fabric together… I had to redo one.  Stitch one side then match up the other side.  Super easy.  No sewing machine required.

Here are my owls with only the white part of the eye sewn on. My son said they looked like they had been moon blinked at this stage. ( Guardians of Gahoole.)

Here they are with the gray part of the eyes attached.

I  did get the button eyes on Tuesday night. They really “look” better now!

 
I am feeling too lazy to update my armoire cabinet blog… so here are the pictures with the candles in them.
 

 I love the gray and white on the black cabinet.  The light gray wall is perfect for this.  It is very soothing.



I do love a finished project.

I will be completing another bird art project this week to finish off the room.  Almost there.  Yeah!

The Finished Chalkboard in the Yellow and Gray Bedroom

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I finished the chalkboard tonight and by using the word I, I really mean we because while I did the chalk part hubby put in something called window points in the back to secure the board to the frame. Let me publicly say:  Thanks, Honey for all you do. Most of it without a complaint. 😉

This project began as a huge “painting” like my grandmother had over her couch when I was growing up was leaned against the wall. When I say huge I mean 48 inches by 24 inches. It had a solid wood 4 inch frame. Hubby said that picture moulding that big would be $3.00 a foot. 12 linear feet of moulding. I got it for $5.00

The picture itself was too warped to use as the chalkboard part ( I want to try that one day with another picture) but we had a piece of hardboard big enough to make a chalkboard in the hoard. A good cleaning, then liquid sand for the frame got it ready for paint. I had some flat white latex paint in my stash. Following directions from Red Hen Home Blog I added two tablespoons of plaster of paris to a cup of paint then added enough water to the paint to be able to paint with it. the results were great. It took a couple of coats to get the frame looking smooth but it really looks like chalk paint on the frame.

I really am getting better with the chalkboard paint. I have discovered the secret. Sandpaper just didn’t work for me between coats because I sand unevenly. Steel wool does the sanding job like nobody’s business. Thin coats of chalkboard paint with a foam roller, wait for each coat to dry then steel wool between each coat and it came out smooth as a baby’s bottom. It took four coats of chalkboard paint. You have to wait three days to season the board by rubbing chalk over the whole surface then wiping off with an eraser or dry rag according to the directions. After it is seasoned it it good to go.

The first coat of chalkboard paint did not completely cover the hardboard.  No worries.

Last week as I searched Pinterest for guest room ideas I ran across this saying: Where there is room in the heart, there is room in the house. By Thomas Moore

I thought that would be a great sentiment for a guest room.

I decided to write it out freehand with traditional chalk for a couple of reasons. If I make an error I could erase easily (I did need that option). Also, the cost of the chalk markers was too high for me to stay in my $150.00 budget. I plan on working with the chalk markers in the near future.

I could not get the color right on the pictures tonight.  The wall is gray and the frame is white.

I love my little owls.  I will go show off all my accessories soon.

Trying out my photo editing program.  The colors are correct here!


Painting the Night Stands Yellow

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This weekend I finally tackled the two end tables that will go into the guest bedroom. One of them was a roadside find. The other I bought in a resale shop for $15.00. I am so excited about this project! I am on a self-imposed limited budget so the fifteen dollars total spent on the night stands combined makes me smile. They are going to look fun and be a little funky in the room. I bought some yellow paint in the oops bin at Home Depot. On the can it was a bright yellow, inside it was more of a greenish yellow. I tried to convince myself that the paint would work. It was cheap, good quality paint and went on the tables like no body’s business.

When Hubby got home after I painted them with two coats, he said that they looked like pickle yellow. Not sure what that means but it would not work in the room.

 The original yellow color.

Sad days.  I had to go back for more paint.

Because I had already painted everything with the good paint I convinced myself that cheap paint would work just fine.  I did not take my own advice- NEVER USE CHEAP PAINT.  When you use cheap paint on furniture you end up painting everything twice where one coat would work in the better paint and it runs because it is so thin.  I started painting the tables Friday night and it took me two hours to paint them the first time.  I literally had to sit there and clean up drips for an hour after I painted but I am nothing if not hard headed so I marshaled on.  The second coat the next morning didn’t look as bad but I still had the runny paint issue.  The color was Behr Chickadee.  I pinky swear that from this day forward I will use Behr Premium Plus with primer in the paint or Olympic paint and primer in one on any painted furniture.

Sunday afternoon I glazed them.

The pictures above are before I wiped the table down.

I love making my own glaze.  I actually used the wall color in the glaze.  1 cup of untinted glaze to 1/4 cup paint.   The pieces had lots of grooves and nicks so there was a lot of glaze detail.  They turned out great.

I love how this was headed for the trash and is now a star in the bedroom.  I am going to store extra blankets inside for my guests.

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