Yes, the capitals are totally necessary. We are beyond excited to finally be finished this renovation!! Last weekend was the final big push, and we couldn’t be happier to have it finished. And if we do say so ourselves, the … Continue reading

A cheap, quick and dirty job.

So, I bought these chairs.DSC02729 chairs edited 2

I found them at Value Village.  And it was love at first sight. I spotted them among a bunch of junky furniture,  and was immediately drawn to the chrome frame, because it matched my chrome and glass coffee table perfectly. And I like shiny things too. Jon calls me a magpie.

Anyway, I was wandering the furniture section at Value village on a  Thursday night when Jon was out of town. I had just had Easy Home pick up the rental furniture that didn’t work and drop off a different bedroom set, leaving the living room empty.  I was actually on the hunt for more colourful accessories to match what I had already purchased, but I do have to admit, finding something to fill the living room space was in the back of mind. The idea of leaving the living room empty was a bit anxiety- inducing to me, like I mentioned here. But it wasn’t what I was on the prowl for, because I just honestly didn’t think it would happen. I had no budget, so even with my thrifting skills I wasn’t even really trying because it seemed so out of reach.

Then I saw these chairs. They were marked $7.99 each. After a bit of inspection, discovering that they were in really good shape, and that the tweed was probably original, I decided they were coming home with me. I just couldn’t pass them up. I would have bought them even if I wasn’t on the half- lookout for some Unicorns of  living room furniture. One just doesn’t come across perfect mid-century, possibly Milo Baughman, chrome chairs that often. If they are real Milo Baughman chairs, they could be worth a pretty penny, but I didn’t find an obvious tag so I’ll have to do some investigating.

I attempted to balance one chair in my shopping cart and dragged the other behind me to the checkout  to get me another of those big ole’ SOLD signs so no one else would swipe them.  Then I ran back to the fabric section to see if there was anything I could use to do a quick & dirty re-upholstery,since I didn’t really have time to attempt my first all-get-out re-upholstery job. And lo and behold, there was a huge piece of black fabric for $4.99. I felt like the thrift gods must have been smiling over me that night, because everything was working out just fine ( knock on wood). I just prayed I could get them in the car.

I had also found a bunch of decorative stuff I was planning to buy before I found the chairs. Then, because they were such a  major coup, I decided to put the majority of the stuff back, because I didn’t love most of it the way I loved those chairs. I ended up buying two things; this really interesting bowl for $4.99 and another vase that matched the others I picked up the day before for $3.99:

IMG_1627 IMG_1626 IMG_1652

Then at the checkout, the woman only charged me for one of the chairs. I didn’t realize till I got home and looked at my receipt  but had thought the total was cheaper than expected…bonus! I’m not about to look a gift horse…er, chair… in the mouth.

So I’m kinda in love with these chairs. Except with the tweed. It’s in good shape and perhaps would work well in another space, but with the brand new black/ white/ gray/modern-ish theme we have going on in the house, it didn’t quite work. So enter my DIY re-upholstery, quickie-style:

The materials I used for this project were: black fabric ( a large piece, about 30 x 170 if I remember correctly, but don’t quote me on that. It cane from VV), scissors, my putty knife and a screwdriver. I began by cutting the fabric in half:


Oh yes, and I used thumbtacks. From the dollar store. I told you this was a cheap DIY!

I laid the fabric out long over the chair so that the excess draped over the seat:


Then I flipped the chair over so I was starting with the back of the chair. And I proceeded to use my putty knife to shove the end of the fabric under the metal crossbar at the back:DSC02750

Please keep in mind I had never really attempted something like this before, so I had no idea if it would actually work or be a major fail. I wasn’t following any directions or a project scooped from Pinterest- this was all me, winging-it.

My method was mostly shove-the-ends-in-the-cracks-and wrap-it-like-a-present. With a few thumbtacks thrown in to hold the folds down. So once I had the end of the fabric shoved into the cross bar in the back, I righted the chair and pulled the fabric up over the top of the chair, and tucked a fold down in between the seat back and the cushion: DSC02752  And anchored it down on the side with a thumbtack:DSC02758

Then I pulled the fabric down and tucked it in between the seat and back. Then the fabric got pulled down the side of the chair seat, and anchored under the seat with a thumbtack:DSC02755 I did the same on the other side, but realized my material was a bit skinny width-wise, so I couldn’t get it pulled under the chair. So i just left the side unanchored, as the fabric hung down almost long enough to cover the side ( this is what you get for blindly buying Value Village material without measuring anything): DSC02757

Then I doubled the fabric under itself because it was wayyy to long, but i didn’t want to cut it, just in case. It was long enough to wrap the end completely under itself all the way to where the seat meets the back, and I shoved the excess fabric in there.  While I was pulling and tucking the fabric into the front of the seat of the chair and vigorously trying to get the fabric under the front chrome seat bar with my putty knife, I realized there were screws that were holding the metal support bar tight to the seat frame. DSC02753So, brilliant me, I unscrewed the screws a bit, and it made it much easier to shove the fabric in, and re-tighten: DSC02761Much easier.DSC02762

Once the seat was done, I went back up to the sides of the back cushion section that I had left open. I basically tucked the fabric in the way you would wrap a present and used a thumbtack to keep it in place:


And voilà:DSC02767

Wash, rinse and repeat on the other chair, and you have a set of brand-new fancy-schmancy modernist chairs: DSC02766

Not bad for about $15/ for the set!  And it took me about an hour and a half to do the whole DIY from start to finish. Unicorns indeed! Wait till you see how these babies made that awkward, small living room look like a designers dream… That’ll be up next!

High five for Friday!

Happy Friday all! So glad the weekend is here… and it’s the first weekend in a long time where there are no- house related manual-labour-type things to do… although there will be some really stressful brain/ thinking/ anxiety- inducing ones to deal … Continue reading

Cheap & Cheerful

Last time I shared my dining room table score for $8 and the subsequent fling with black spray paint it prompted. What I didn’t share were the other things I picked up on my adventures that day. The Salvation Army … Continue reading

Black Spray Paint is my New BFF

 …but I’m a terrible blogger for not documenting my love affair with black spray paint this past weekend enough to do a DIY post. Oops. Bad blogger! I’ll do what I can.

I told you last about the furniture that I rented from Easy Home to stage the house. While they were able to provide me with most of what I needed, there were still some things lacking, i.e. a dining set. Since we don’t have a separate dining room in this house, I though it was super important to show that it is an eat-in kitchen, and to have a table that could seat at least 4. Easy Home only had one set that was wayyy to huge and bulky, and we have a set in storage that belonged to Jon’s mum, and while it is a very nice mahogany set, it is very large as well, and the style is more Victorian and fancy. Since we’ve gone more modern and clean in this house, it just wasn’t a good fit… in fact, it probably wouldn’t have fit at all.

So my mission was to find a small- scale dining set. I knew there was a perfect set at Ikea that I’d been eyeing for a while, but it was $149, and the 2nd part of this mission was cheap. So that meant to the trio I would go a-hunting. I measure the space in the kitchen I figured would be the most a dining set should take up, and off I went.

First stop was the Salvation Army. They had a small little wooden table, square and just very basic, with two upholstered chairs, similar to this, but blue: 

However, they wanted $49 for the table, and $49 for the two chairs for $100 total for the set. For that price, considering the table was a little roughed up and I would probably need to paint it, and that the upholstery on the chairs was kind of a dusty blue velour and they weren’t quite the style i was looking for, I felt it was too expensive and passed- after all, it was my first stop.

Next stop was Goodwill. I went straight to the back where the furniture was, and this was the scene I encountered:

IMG-20130411-00383At first the round table caught my eye, but I quickly realized the rectangular one fit the bill almost perfectly. It had black metal legs with a wooden top. It can with 3 black metal chairs with geometric fabric seats, with bits of white, mint, yellow, brown and blush. The table had the right depth, and although the length was longer than I had originally been envisioning, I actually had the space to accommodate the length.

And it was $8. SOLD!

I marched right up to the cash, before looking around at anything else, and paid for the table so no one else could get their grubby hands on it.The girl at the cash gave me a big “Sold” sticker to put on it.  I’ve learned the hard way that in these types of places, if you can’t stick it in your cart, pay for it right away so you don’t lose out. I continued to wander a bit and found a few things I’ll share in another post, but picked up a metal wall coat rack that was perfect for going by the front door. I’m terrible and didn’t take any ‘before’ pics so I apologize.

So I  wrestled my treasure into the car and stopped at Home Depot to grab a can of spray paint. I used the Rustoleum Painters Touch in Flat Black. Spray painting really is the easiest thing; all I did was  put down a drop cloth, give the table a once over with some medium sandpaper to even out any nicks and scratches, and had at ‘er with the spray paint:


The best method I found was to work in smaller sections, and to go slowly in a back- and-forth motion to make sure the surface was evenly covered. I only needed to paint the wooden top, as the legs were already a black metal. I gave any scratches on the legs a quick spray too. The quick coat of black cleaned it up nicely, and it looks great in the kitchen:



Since I had the spray paint going, I grabbed an old clock that I had never known what to do with, and gave it a coat as well:


The clock face was removable, so I didn’t need to tape it off. Previously it had been a bronze-y greenish colour and I had never really liked it – the black is a vast improvement over the bronze-y green:


Now the clock lives over the window in the kitchen- it fills the space perfectly, and is a great touch of decor int he kitchen:


I also sprayed the coat rack I had grabbed at Goodwill- I think it was $3.99. It was originally a creamy colour that had been roughed up to look rustic, but the colour didn’t work with the interior of the house It had a ceramic disc in the middle as well as two in the corners, so I taped them off  with painters tape and sprayed away:


I hung the coat rack in the front hallway, and it’s a perfect spot to put your coat and shoes when you come in, as we don’t have a hall closet:

IMG_1257And therein ends my affair with black spray paint. I always say, its amazing what a coat of paint can do to something!