Spring Cleaning

It all started with cleaning out a messy drawer. That turned into cleaning out the closet. Then I decided the coat closet that’s so stuffed to the brim that I have to shove it closed needed some serious work. I mean, my faux Christmas tree would practically fall out every time the door was opened. It was that bad and that daunting (cue foreboding music here.)

The idea was to take everything out, put some of those storage shelves stocked with fabrics, sewing supplies, spray paints and glues in there, and really truly get organized.

I’m quickly losing hope and have come to the realization that I may be a hoarder. Pulling out all that stuff is exhausting. I mean, I’m too tired to pick it all up. Let’s just say I found the Home Depot Holiday 2005 catalog in there. My living room deserves its own episode (Can’t I just call the show? Can/ will Merry Maids fix this?)

Do you have any of those dreaded junk drawers or closets? How do you keep your home tidy and avoid this junk trap? Any tips?

 

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Lesson in Textiles II: When Bad Things Happen to Good Furniture

Lesson in Textiles II: When Bad Things Happen to Good Furniture

Just an example of how the wrong fabric can completely ruin a piece.
I actually thought these were being sold with the intention of being reupholstered. Okay, this may be the right fabric if you have a jungle theme or are a thirteen year old girl, but I generally wouldn’t choose cheetah print for something I’m selling. They kinda had a Flinstone’s vibe, but the fabric was so totally fake…
Surprisingly (to me), a lady was flipping for these and actually jumped on me for asking the price ($100 for the set- a more neutral fabric could double the asking price, IMO).
At the end of the day, these chairs sold because the right buyer came along, but it was definitely a risk.

A Lesson in Colors and Textiles

So it’s pretty basic that color and fabric can completely transform a piece of furniture. The right combo can take something you want to hide in the corner to a showpiece that everyone loves. The wrong picks can make a piece that was already pretty good look pretty terrible. I saw a lot both today at the Long Beach flea market.

2013-03-17 13.33.40

Not as big (therefore not as intimidating) as the Rose Bowl flea market, Long Beach still had a wide variety of stuff. It had great vintage clothes, dishes and colored glass as far as the eye can see, lots of pieces of furniture sitting there just waiting to be rehabbed, and some really creative finished items. It didn’t seem as crowded as Rose Bowl or even Fairfax, but I went at the end of the day, so it may have died down by then. Anyway, I left feeling super inspired.

So, walking down the aisles, searching for that perfect piece for my next project, I nearly choked when I stumbled upon chairs just like my roadside find I recently finished. Remember this post? These chairs?!

Finished chair

Well, they were just like them but different. Different fabric, different paint, different feel.

I loved mine so much I couldn’t bear to sell them. These just weren’t my style… but it was cool to see someone else’s take on the exact same piece. It really goes to show how much difference the paint and fabric can make!

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Another view of the chairs in Long Beach. I wonder if they found them on the side of the road, too?

Jeffan Tatum Entertainment Stand

Jeffan Tatum Entertainment Stand

This entertainment stand was in a curator’s collection on Joss and Main today. I love it- perfect for a space that’s put together or laid back and beachy. At $799 on sale, it is far too expensive for any sensible rehabber to justify purchasing.

I mean, this would be an easy piece to replicate using Ikea finds and fabric or a textured wallpaper. You could just add doors on a shelf (hey, you could probably even find a shelf or old entertainment center with good bones at your local thrift shop), then cover the doors with the textured wallpaper, and glue or nail wood pieces on top. I bet you could even lacquer trellis for a simple solution.

Voila! You’ll have a lovely piece, a story to tell, and the satisfaction of major savings. Why not give it a shot?

Loving Lilly for Spring!

preppy-tablecloth-l

Being from the South, I love Lilly– Lilly Pulitzer, that is! There’s just something about getting back to your roots and remembering where you came from that makes home design that much more special. I grew up in a community with lots of golf and horse races, so that means lots of bright colored dresses. I may not wear tons of brights now, but I often wonder how to translate that happy homey feeling into my home.

I saw this article in Southern Living about a Lilly inspired lunch, and love the idea of using old patterns for table cloths and decor inspiration.

LillyPulitzerHomeChair-1

I would love to recover a chair using one of my old dresses- I would even love to find old fabric and make pillows for the living room! 

LillypulitzergreenbedroomThe rich color on the walls would be easy for any rehabber to achieve- then you just paint your furniture white and get some bold patterned fabric for the duvet/ pillows. It would be easy to achieve this look for less!

 

Obsessed With Orange

Obsessed With Orange

All about the brights is right. These babies came from the “Free” section on Craigslist (you may also recognize them stuffed into the car on the “Prius Problems” post.)

This picture gives you a good idea of how much difference some color can make. I’m still debating putting a coat of lacquer on the chairs.

When I sent this photo to my mom, all she said was “weird.” If this is weird, I really don’t mind. The most important thing to remember when picking out, buying, or refinishing something is to stick with what you like, what makes you happy. After all, you’re the one that is going to be looking at it every day. Why not love it?

Craigslisting…

Can have multiple meanings. I realized this tonight, when I told a friend I was spending the evening “Craigslisting.” 

“What does that mean???” He responded, then I realized what he thought it meant (browsing the personals.)

HA! Nope, to me it means browsing the “for sale” and “free stuff” sections. CL is a great resource for cheap finds to rehab. I’ve been both a buyer and a seller and have been fairly successful with turning a profit.

A little advice for your “Craigslisting” adventures in the future:

1. If you’re buying, ask for photos/ measurements before you go to see it. It’s not nice to waste the seller’s (or your own) time.

2. Bring cash! It’s the only way to pay, and when people see the cash in your hand, they’re a lot more likely to negotiate.

3. Ask the seller if they have anything else to sell… you never know what you may find!

4. Make sure the car you bring can actually transport the item (see my post “Prius Problems”).

5. Go with someone! (Hello, you don’t know these people) Or else tell someone where you’re going and give them the person’s information from the post/ your correspondence.

6. If you’re the seller, make sure someone else is home with you, or show the item outside of your home. I will often bring items outside to the sidewalk if someone is coming to look (’cause I don’t even want them knowing which apartment is mine!) I also like to let a friend or family member know that someone will be coming to my house. Basic safety, guys!

Hope these tips help and happy Craigslisting!