Office/Guest Room Rearranging

Continuing from the Office Closet Storage Post, the entire room had to be re-arranged.

This is how it looked empty and moving in.

I don’t have a before photo of the re-arranging but you can see that the bed is where the chaise was and Robert’s desk is on the left.

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You can see how full and packed it was.

We found out we were getting a renter as we were finishing up the closet.

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So I knew we had to change the room around because it was just so crowded.

I also knew for a while that I was going to have to sell my wonderful desk. 😦 It was just too big for the condo and I knew that I needed to get a smaller desk.

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I bought the large desk for $550 (including tax etc.) and I sold it for $300. Which is about half, but since we were going to have a renter we would more than make up what I bought it for.

I bought this smaller desk a few weeks ago for $50.

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The legs were a bit wobbly but I thought I would be able to glue it or something.

Fun story, I finally put it together a week after I got it (since we were re-arranging it was easier to leave it taken down), and I hated it…

It’s really pretty. It just isn’t for me. So I sold it for $40. Which is $10 less than I got it for but it was worth it for the experience.

It’s actually for the better right now since we have a renter for the next 1-4 months and it gives more room in the office/guest room.

Here is what it looks like now.

 

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We have gotten rid of some books, completely re-arranged the room, bought a dresser, (soon a mirror and a clothes hanger), and new bedding.

I was searching high and low (I went to 12 thrift stores in 2 days) for a duvet cover of any size I could cut down. (Post coming soon).

Also, the dresser post coming soon as well.

Upholstering Another Antique Chair! :)

I love re-upholstering antique chairs. As much as I love keeping the original essence of each piece, often it is in need of repair or updating.

I bought this antique needlepoint cushion chair for $9.99 at Value Village. The seat was falling out in the bottom a little bit.

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You can see the indent in the middle of the chair. I started pealing back the layers. And there was so much dust. Robert said “I hope I don’t get the plague. There must be some disease hidden in the layers of dust.”

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The main problem is that the woven straps had frayed and broken at the edges. I had wanted to keep the straps to use again. I went back and forth between wanting to be authentic and using modern materials to highlight the original beauty. So I opted to use new straps and staples as opposed the the original nails.

I was happier with this than I would have been washing the old straps for hours. And hopefully not getting the plague.

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I then put 1.5(?) inch foam on top but I noticed that the straps sagged a little so I added 3 layers of batting just in the middle. Then I put batting over top all of that.

I was searching for the best fabric to showcase the wood. I contemplated a pattern or red but I thought it would look best with cream (of course). I also wanted it to be a little velvety/suede like.

Surprisingly I found the exact one I wanted very quickly.

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I serger-ed the edges and stapled it on. I also found the trim I wanted fairly quickly as well. Again, I contemplated a contrasting shade but I didn’t like the 3 colors of the wood, trim, and fabric together.

Here is the finished product.

I think it looks a lot cleaner next to my vanity and other white chair.

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I also kept the original purchase tag on the chair.

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“New” Nightstand and Where I Put The Old One

I got this table and I thought it would be a side table in the living room.

Instead we thought it would match better as a bedside table for Robert.

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It was nice but there was no drawer or anything like that so it wasn’t the best option. But it was better than what we had. Not because the nightstand was bad but because it wasn’t antique.

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And we all know how much I like antiques. So this one is currently up for sale on OfferUp.

While I was looking around Goodwill I saw this. It matches all the rest of my furniture with dovetail corners and the same handle for the drawer.

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I did leave it for a minute but who am I kidding, I loved it and had to have it. It was only $15.

So I got it and put it in my car, proud of my new antique find.

I did want it to go in front of the sliding door in the living room but then I thought Robert would like this one as his nightstand better.

I think it looks great in the room and it really looks a lot better than the other one. We have moved the old one to the living room and it looks much better. 🙂

DIY Christmas Decoration Bows Fail

Not all of my projects turn out…

This was one of them. Normally we all post our success projects but I am not perfect so I wanted to post my projects that don’t work out as well. And what I lwarned from them.

I wanted to make these beautiful bows that Victoria Elizabeth Barnes made in her Christmas Bows decorating post.

Aren’t they pretty?! – Totally check out her blog if you love Craigslist finds like I do.

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So, I tried my own DIY…

First I wanted to use a shiny material that would stand out. But there were 2 problems. Shiny = slippery. Which means my cutting lines weren’t straight. And second, I didn’t have a lot of extra fabric.

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Which means the material is useless. Luckily it was only about $15 for the material.

So I tried to use another material and that turned out a lot better. Except…

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It didn’t turn out well since the material didn’t stand up well. 😦

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It looks nothing like Victoria’s bows. I feel like she used a more stiff material than I did.

Oh well, not everything I make can turn out well.

What I learned: It’s ok not to have ever turn out the way I want. There’s something to be said about pressing seams. You always need more fabric than you think. Planning (as I did) is useful. And even with the most careful planning, things don’t always come out the way you want.

Bonus picture: My cat loves sitting on my clothes or anything on the bed. She doesn’t do it with papers on the floor or boxes. Only fabric on the bed.

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Upholstering My Antique Dining Chairs

My last post featured all the new furniture I bought. And among them was my 4 “new” dining chairs for $15 each.

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Do you see a problem with them? Correct, it is not upholstered. But with $30 in foam and another $30 in fabric, the chairs cost a total of $120. I assume that when we sell them we can sell each for $30 at least and make back the cost of them.

While I love these and they are antique, my dream chairs are these or a variation of these:

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Parsons Chairs

But each one of those is at least $90 and can be all the way up to $200. Which is too rich for my blood currently.

So, in the mean time I get to practice upholstering and doing projects.

I took Robert to JoAnn Fabrics and of course we looked at all of them and decided we only liked one. Which was custom order only. Of course. The funny part was it was the same price (and same 50% discount) as all the rest of the “regular” fabric. Just the inconvenience of shipping it.

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Eaton Square. It doesn’t look like much here but it is cream with linen “lines”.

I couldn’t get the 1.5 yards I needed so I bought 2 yards instead. I will most likely use it for my “shoe chair” I also recently got at a thrift store.

I had to wait until after our dance convention to upholster them but I did asap. Side note, cutting foam is difficult.

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You can see on the top right of the cushion that it had a few issues being cut. But it isn’t too noticable.

Here is the before and after.

 

I think they look really nice. And if we ever sell them I think they will be well received.

Here they are all finished and with the dining table.

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Buying MORE Furniture

So…..

I bought more furniture.

2 side tables, 4 chairs, and a headboard and footboard to be exact.

How does it all fit in the house you ask? Well, I sell some and move others.

But! In my defense, we did need the 4 dining chairs even though those were not what I was initially buying furniture for.

The company Antique or Unique is a online company who purchases antique and vintage wood furniture from individual parties and sells it online. This way he keeps his overhead low.

Which is exactly why I follow him on Facebook. So, on Saturday I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I found this:

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It was $50 and I had to have it. I asked Robert and he said yes so we drove 45 minutes one way.

It was the 1940’s mahogany with the same drawer pull as my coffee table and everything else in my house.

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See, it matches.

I had decided it would replace the leather insert side table in the living room.

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While I was looking at the drop-leaf table I saw this one right near it for $45.

14900511_1313417458700182_7393737900334074766_nAnd it matched even better. So I decided to get both and Robert would have the drop-leaf table as his new nightstand.

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I told Robert on the drive there I could only get 2 things which is one more than we originally were going to the warehouse for. Unless we find dining chairs, then I could get 4 of those also.

So as we were checking out. I saw the chairs in the back and asked how much each one was. I was thinking also $30 or $40. BUT! He said all of his chairs were $15 each. I excused myself and went over to them.

We got 4.

They don’t have any cushion or upholstery (post coming later) so we are going to get fabric soon.

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The small pumpkin is for the cat.

I ended up with exactly what Robert and I agreed on me being allowed to get. Though really, I would have gotten more if I saw more things I liked.

While we were there I saw a twin mahogany headboard and footboard for $125. Which I wanted to replace the brass one I had previously. (Free with the bed.)

 

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Not very pretty since everything else I have is mahogany. But I had actually seen the exact same one (actually there were 2) at a thrift store where I live for $50. So the next day I went over and promptly bought it.

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I think it looks beautiful. Full twin bed post coming later.

I love everything. All of it for $250 including the upholstery fabric and supplies. 🙂

 

Built-ins Are Not What You Think

We think of built in bookshelves and cabinetry as a luxury or opulent since they are typically in very old and often grand homes.  Why aren’t they built now? And are they really opulent?

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Built-in Cabinets

In this modern day and age it is quite expensive to commission a carpenter to install solid wood or mahogany  bookshelves and cabinets. Why? Because skilled trades such as that are becoming obsolete and are being replaced with either automation or easier building projects.

One of the other major reasons it isn’t done anymore is because the materials needed like mahogany or cherry are much more expensive to purchase.

And any homes with these built-ins preexisting are already expensive since they are so old and typically near the cities.

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In a 1912 Craftsman in Portland, OR

So, to answer the question, Yes. Built-ins are expensive for many reasons and therefore opulent, grand, and luxurious these days.

But, what about when these homes were first built in the early 1900s?

These homes and subsequently their built-ins were made for the working class, not the upper class.

Why? Because buying furniture was expensive and difficult to move when the owners relocated. So, the less furniture they had to buy and take with them the cheaper it was.

During the early 1900s when there was a great influx of people to America and specifically the Pacific Northwest contractors and builders realized that when they made these smaller bungalow and Craftsman homes (popular at the time) they needed to include built-in furniture to accommodate the working class.

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This Built-in Buffet is beautiful.

If you are interested in learning more about old houses and styles wait for a future post of mine or check out this book , Classic Houses Of Seattle.

What do you think of built-ins? I find them exquisite and full of history and stories.

Antique vs. Vintage

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I  recently learned the difference between Antique and Vintage.

According to Wikipedia

Antique:  “an old collectible item.

  • It is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features.
  • It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society.
  • It is common practice to define “antique” as applying to objects at least 100 years old.”

It is a little more difficult to define vintage since it relates to wine making. However, I did find a Google definition.

Vintage:

  • “Denoting something of high quality, especially something from the past or characteristic of the best period of a person’s work.”

This seems to be a square vs. rectangle situation. An antique piece can be vintage but a vintage piece doesn’t mean it is antique.

Both definitions define periods in time or eras. I think they can be interchangeable but as I see it it isn’t about 100 years anymore. It is about eras.

As I think it is commonly understood that anything in the 40s-80s (scary even the 90s and early 00s now) is “vintage” and anything in the 30s and before is antique.

I don’t think it is a fine line but I think it is the different eras.

The Victorian era to the 30s is antique for the Drexel furniture and corseted clothing. And vintage comes in the 40s through the 80s From the war posters to the poodle skirts and Woodstock dresses from the 60s and 70s.

I am sure I will do more research soon.

Where is your cut off era to define the terms? Or do you stick to the over/under 100 years rule?