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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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Weekend Finds

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Saturday, before I found out that The sale of our near the lake house fell through, I took off in search of treasures for the home we hope to purchase.  (It is funny how attached I am to that place.  If it doesn’t work out I expect sympathy cards 😊) My buddy, the social planner, and I took off in search of treasures mainly for the Guest Shed and the outdoor kitchen.  

Our first spot was my honey hole.  A church thrift store where a ton of my treasures came from. 

At the honey hole I spotted these two mid century pieces.  

An iconic pink swan planter.  I picked up this one in perfect condition for 50 cents.  A succulent is going in it out in the guest shed.  What a fun piece.

   

A vintage bamboo planter. Shawnee Pottery is very popular. I like the subtle color of green.  I especially liked it for 25 cents.  I am planning to put some sort of succulent in it, too.  

   

 

My final purchase at this stop was a small white pitcher.  I collect them.  I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to pass them up. It was 50 cents.  

  

Our next stop was new to me but I loved it and will be going back. 

Two etched glass mirrors.  The rectangular one will be going in the guest shed bathroom and one will be part of a mirror wall going in the guest bathroom in the main house. ( I have a mirror problem.) I hope it looks something like this photo I found on Pinterest.

  

The link to the picture is broken or I would provide the source.

 I picked these two beauties up for 3 dollars each.  I know what you are thinking.  I absolutely take the worst photos of mirrors.

   

   

The social planner spotted this cream and sugar set in the most amazing teal color for me. I got them for another 3 bucks.  

  

The social planner found stuff at the first stop too, then found a teapot to match her dishes and a salt glaze cow pitcher.  Her stuff was a little pricey but was a steal for what she was getting.  At check out she found out it was a cash only spot. We pooled resources to get her treasures.  After she checked out she spied an awesome walnut mid century side table for me.  It was marked 20 dollars but the owner offered it to me for 15.  We reminded her that we didn’t have another  15 dollars between us.  She asked if we could scrape up 10 and we were able to cobble it together. I love having a buddy who enjoys shopping at the same places I do.  I also love that she and I are good enough friends that we are able to share resources. 

   

   

     

By the time I got pictures of her treasures she already had them working. 

The clean lines on the table will be perfect in the guest shed just as it is with a little waxing.  I am getting excited about the treasures I am collecting for this space.

   

 

Our next stop was a church garage sale.  We picked up 4 gallon sized glass jars for 50 cents each.  They are going to be squirrle feeders.  Our hubbies are going to make the four of them. One for each of our houses and one eac for gifts.  I am thinking my grand dog needs one so she can have squirrels to chase in her yard.

Finally, we stopped at a church bazaar where we literally had to collect coins in order to buy two old colanders for an upcoming craft night.

All in all it was a great time shopping.

On the way home the social planner got busy looking up what we purchased.  Here is what we would have paid online for the items:

I guess if this whole selling the house thing falls through, I can start selling my treasures!

   

          

  

  

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

If you are new to my site, welcome.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

Blessings,

Karen 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Storage Building 

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Do you remember when I wrote about this amazing house in December?  It is a historic home that had sat vacant for years before a very nice man bought it and started bringing it back to life.

updated home Boat launch house

Saturday morning we got up and loaded the truck with my cedar lumber.  It was another bittersweet moment.  I now know I won’t be making anything else in the Garagemahal from scratch.  My projects will have to wait until we get the house sold and move into the place we are planning to buy.

cedar natural edge cedar log ends cedar wormy close up

As we headed toward our storage unit, we rounded the corner and low and behold, the house I sort of have a crush on was having a clean out the barn sale. There were old windows stacked four feet thick. Of course we stopped. The homeowner’s sweet mom was there to greet us. When I asked how much the windows were, she said $2.00! I almost swooned. I couldn’t just grab them up and go because I couldn’t live with myself. I told her the windows were too cheap. She said her son told her nothing over $5.00 because he wanted it gone and me buying them was better than a burn pile. She explained that the windows along with the other items were in the barn, not the house, and probably belonged to the dentist who lived there from the mid-fifties until the early eighties. He must have been a character. He had his dental practice in an office on the property and was known as a bit of a collector and frequent visitor at garage sales. I ended up getting 20 windows,

vintage windows

a vintage door,

(no photo because it got put directly into the storage facility and I did not have my phone or my camera.)

a cast iron sink,

Google Link to sink.

I don’t have an actual photo of this one either for the same reason, but, I did find an exact replica on Pinterest according to the site it is a 1926 rolled front farmhouse sink.  I am going to have to have mine reglazed but it is in great shape and going to be a stunner.

6 Art Deco light covers,

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(By the way, have any of you ever seen the light on the left?  I can’t find it on the internet.  I know it is 1940-ish Art Deco, but nothing else.)

3 mid century Danish lounge chairs,

Once again.. no pictures but I did find examples of the chairs on Design Addict.

I believe they are teak but they could be walnut.  They have leather strapping in the bottom that needs to be replaced and they need to be stripped and refinished.  I am going to look for some wild outdoor fabric for them.

a section of vintage adjustable scaffolding platform,

(Boring but it will a huge help when we are working on the porch addition.)

two really old crutches,  (No photos or no idea what I will do with two mismatched handmade crutches but they were cool and I could not pass them up.)

and finally I picked up a cool chrome retractable light that was purchased in 1959 but never installed. According to the internet it is a atomic era UFO ceiling light (This thing even has little holes that let a row of pinhole light out through the edge of the light and a diffuser at the bottom of the light.

ufo ceiling light retractable light light diffuser 1959 newspaper

UFO Atomic Light from 1959.  New In box.

Here is a link to the light on EBay.  I could only find the copper version online.  UFO Light

Folks, I racked up. The whole load was $100.00. The windows are definitely old. I would love to know their history. I am going to keep some of the windows for my crafts, but I will probably sell many of them.

All this treasure really helped me to decide what I am going to do with the guest shed should we get our property.  ( Fingers crossed.  The lake house is being shown regularly.)

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The guest shed doesn’t look like much from the outside but that puppy has cabinets, sheetrock walls, reclaimed hardwood flooring from a gym, a wood burning stove, and it is going to have a bathroom and a kitchenette (insert today’s cast iron farmhouse sink here).

My plan for the guest shed will be to finally have a space that has my mid century aesthetic.  Hubby doesn’t love mid century but I do.  The cool UFO light is going to go over the game/dining table.  The Art Deco lights are going in the bathroom and over the amazing farmhouse sink.

The chairs will go in the space and can sit out on the porch when needed.

I happen to have a mid century headboard just waiting for the space along with an atomic era end table and burled walnut atomic era light.

I am almost there… but only in my mind right now.  Oh how I want this property to work out for us.  I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Karen

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

mid century 1

mid century stained legs

mccoy on mid century

mid century

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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