Posts Tagged ‘antique’

Vinyl green thrift chairs

Some of our weekend thrift haul

As if we don’t have a million other projects to wrap up, my chair fetish caused me drag in three more chairs this past weekend. I couldn’t pass them up. I love chairs. I love to “fix” them up. Here’s 2 chairs that we bought for under $3 each. I call these the “green tea” chairs because their color reminds me of brewed green tea. I think this shade only happens to old green things covered in tarry cigarette smoke. It’s one of my favorite colors. I really do like the damage that cigarette smoke does to furniture and paintings, haha. It’s like tea staining everything. So, yeah, these chairs are pretty darn grotty.

Does anyone know how to clean old vinyl furniture? These chairs are filthy. In the pic above, I have washed these chairs with Murphy Oil Soap twice. You would not believe how dirty the water has been both times. The pic is doing the chairs some favors. They are much dirtier in real life. Pen ink marks are on the mid-century modern chair. And the chairs are just so dirty. Any suggestions on what to use to clean these? I keep reading that people clean up these mid-century modern vinyl chairs with soap and water. That’s not really cutting it. I need your ancient vinyl cleaning secrets 🙂

I’ll scrub them again today with Murphy Oil Soap solution again and lots of elbow grease. I’m not really fretting because I like these chairs and I don’t go for perfection, I do like some imperfections.  And the price of these chairs were cheaper than 1 large green tea latte. I’m not losing much. I still need to clean up the wood, maybe coat the wood with Howard Wax to disguise visible scratches and add a nice sheen.



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House and Home white bedroom

Canadian House and Home white bedroom

I love both of the bedrooms here because I like their simplicity. Both rooms have dark metal/iron beds. Both of these rooms remind me of the Tudorks bedroom: dark metal bed, antique luggage, fancy lighting. What do I want after seeing these rooms? White bedding.

This first crisp white bedroom was featured in Canadian House and Home. This is one of those rooms that would be pretty even when standing empty. The ceiling has interesting lines and the floors are stunning. If we were to refinish our hardwoods, this is the stain that I would use. There really isn’t a more classy look that light walls and dark hardwoods. This room has nice accents. I love metal beds and old suitcases and luggage used as storage. This is a winning combination. What would I have done differently in this room? Well, I wouldn’t of painted the window trim a darker shade of white for a needed contrast. People underestimate the power of that little trick when they have bright white walls.

The other bedroom is beautiful as well. I do not recall where this room was first featured. I apologize. It reminds me of the first room because it is white, neutral and the dark metal bed adds needed contrast. This second white bedroom is much more rustic. It looks less new than the House and Home room. This white bedroom has a very old home shape. It looks like the bedrooms in our home. It really looks like a smaller version of our studio.This room also has a dark metal bed and dark pictures for high contrast against the white walls. This room’s floors are the opposite, painted white. It’s such a beautiful look. This room has such a fresh feel but it is grounded by rough antiques. This grit gives this white bedroom character. And note to self: We have walls like the ones in this room and I haven’t put pictures up. I love the row of low paintings. I need to do this. Great excuse to hang

Rustic white bedroom

Rustic white bedroom

up my Audubon  bird pictures.
I really do love both of these rooms. They are my “style”.

I’ve been going through the house taking so many pictures lately. Next week will be the 1 year anniversary of our home ownership and our home restoration. We’ve done so much but it’s easy to think you haven’t when some things are still a wreck. I’m happy we have pictures to remind us of all our hard work. I’m trying to get before and after pictures ready to share. You’ll get some giggles out of the “befores”. Who else do you know moved in a house with a 13 foot mural/silhouette of  a naked lady? Who else do you know had to peel faux fur off of every door in their house? Who else do you know was peeling adhesive off of the ceiling where mirrors used to be? Geez…


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The Brick House Pipe Shelving

Photo from The Brick House

I love an industrial look. You see many of my posts featuring that antique warehouse “raw” feel. So I was delighted when I cam across 2 tutorials for pipe shelving. One is on The Brick House. This shelving unit totally transformed the space. I would love to put one of these up in the studio. The other isn’t as much of a tutorial, but it features lots of nice motivating pictures. It’s on Apartment Therapy.

It looks like making your own pipe shelving isn’t so difficult according to these two DIY posts. For under $200 you can really change a space and add a bit of an open and industrial feel.

I also like the thought of using a pipe shelving unit like this as a shelving unit room divider. It could be mounted from floor to ceiling.

I do worry a little about installing one of these on our lath and plaster walls. I’m sure that installing any shelving to our walls will mess it up. It’s one of those situations. I hope that you’ll see a tutorial of our version of pipe shelving in the future…


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David and I are trying to take control of our space. We have rooms that we never spend time in. I think we are used to living in a smaller space. Those “other” rooms aren’t really useful. We spend most of our time doing “desk” things from writing, blogging, and inking. I’m thinking of establishing “mini-offices” throughout the house. A mini-office for inking, his and hers laptop mini-office etc. Here are 2 quaint studies that I like. These have an industrial warehouse type of “raw” vibe.

Anthropologie "study"

The first one is a open loft room that I found Anthropologie. This space is nothing like my home. It’s big and open with exposed bricks. Terrible overhead lighting. But I love the look. It’s raw and rough and if I had an urban loft, this is what I would want it to look like. This “study” is obviously not a study, except for a study of the Edison style lighting sold at Anthropologie. But, like I said before I like the feel of this. I’m thinking we could have a little desk like this with an aluminum stool in the studio or something. We could do computer stuff, something like that. I really just want a place to put my industrial lighting and apothecary jars of old knob & tube wiring we have from the house. Why am I such a sucker for industrial rustic look?

This other room or “study” is from Rejuvenation. It’s a bit more functional of a space and it resembles my home more than the Anthropologie loft. The Rejuvenation space has exposed bricks as well, but better lighting (expected from a lighting retailer). This space has the same industrial, antiquarian vibe as the Anthropologie loft. Both of these spaces could be used a study nook or a Tesla-like mad scientist workshop nook. A little off subject, but I love the brass lighting featured here. I didn’t know that I liked pendant styled lighting so much.I knew I loved brass.

Rejuvenation study

I obviously do not have a turn of the century loft to call home. But, I feel I can get this same feel and vibe in my house. I also like the idea of shoving a mini-office in any room. It makes me feel like I’m creating more versatility in my living space. However, I fear that if I put a desk in more than one place that it will get loaded with unsightly papers, bills, etc. They’ll never look as industrial chic as these 😦


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Cleaning antique hardware

One of 8 sets of door hardware I cleaned. About 80 years old.

Restoring the hardware in your home is typically not difficult, and not something so time-consuming or expensive that you shouldn’t learn how to do it for yourself.  Now that our renovation is mostly complete, I look back at our hardware restoration dollars spent as having the highest return on investment of any task we took on.  The value of the hardware in our home makes me want to part out my house and Ebay it like an old car.  I stripped multiple coats of paint off of all of the copper, brass, and chrome hardware in the house and most of it came out perfect.


1.  The actual condition of your hardware is unknown.  There might be a good reason it was painted.

2.  Plated metals are really hard to work with.  Chrome plating much older than 40 years is almost definitely toast.  Don’t expect much good to come out of these procedures if used on chrome hardware.  There is still hope for your chrome hardware, but that’s a different procedure than this article will address.

3.  Some of the chemicals used here are corrosive and produce toxic fumes.  Wear goggles, chemical resistant gloves old clothes, and a canvas or rubber apron.

4.  Let the chemicals do the work! Don’t go grinding and scratching furiously on your hardware or you’ll destroy it.  Then you’ll end up with hardware that will look a lot like it could have been very nice.

Your shopping list:

1.  Chemical Resistant Gloves: I got mine at Wal-Mart in the “janitorial” section.  They’re cheap, if you have much to do, buy two pairs.

2.  Goggles: get the full coverage style you remember from science class.  Probably overkill, but blind is forever.

3. Canvas Apron: a good cheap way to put another layer of protection between your skin and the stripper.

4. Paintbrush: gel stripper works best if painted on with a brush.  Buy a new one so you can be sure it’s clean.  Tag this brush so you don’t accidentally ruin a bucket of paint with it.

5.  Klean-Strip KS-3: a good gel-based stripper. Gel is safer because it clings to surfaces and is less likely to splatter.  I read a lot of people recommending citrus based stripper products for environmental reasons, but I haven’t tried it.

6.  WD-40:  You probably have some around already.

7.# 0000 Steel Wool: Don’t step up in grit and think that your work will get done faster. This is for polishing and cleaning, not sanding/abrading.

8.  Wire Brush: Get one that’s just soft enough to brush against your skin. More bristles will move more gunk and scratch less.

9.  Fine tools: toothbrush, razor blade for getting into tiny spaces where the stripper has a hard time penetrating.

10. White T-shirt Rags: just go ahead and buy a box of jersey rags because you’ll burn through tons of them.  The white color is so you can clearly tell what is getting removed, and so that no dyes or screen printing dissolves while you’re working.

11.  Metal or Glass Tray or Pan and a Soupcan: thrift store cookware will be fine here, or grab a cheap metal paint roller tray.

This is all commonly available, and all adds up to a little under $100.  I told you this was cheap! (more…)

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We really underused white during our renovation. Now that I am design exhausted, I feel that white would of been the way to go. It’s simple and fitting, especially for bathrooms. The only two “big” projects that we have left are the bathrooms. One have one full-size bath (as full-size as a 1930’s bathroom comes) and a “powder” room. I’m halfway finished with the full bath. I can’t decide what to do with the powder room. We keep changing our minds.

This first bathroom is very nice, very simple. I like its simplicity but I do fear that my “flamboyant” personality will grow tired of this. This really would be my exhausted design choice. I love those beams. Those will never be in this house. Oh, and a bathroom this size will never be in this house either unless I decide to convert a bedroom into a bath. Lame.

The other room is a rustic bathroom. I apologize. I have also forgot where this one came from. This is more our speed. It appears to be a tiny, realistic bathroom. I do like the wainscoting going all the way up the wall. I look as wainscoting as the paneling of today. I do fear that it will be horribly dated. I am considering wainscoting because the plaster in the powder room is well, crumbly and thin. Frink smushes his smushed, flat face against the wall and it dents. We need to come up with something to solve this problem. Anyways, I like this 2nd bathroom because it is so practical. It actually looks like it is lived in and they’ve had to create storage for an older bathroom. David’s solution is to get rid of my skincare rituals. This will never happen. He better be ready to hang up some shelves.


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I’m not one to decorate with paper lanterns. They just don’t fit with our house and our design. OK, so I mean that I haven’t found a way for them to work with our house or our design. I do find them attractive. They are so fragile, weightless, and light but they take up so much space and really can make a great focal point for a room. For something so “flimsy”, it can really make a statement. They are usually inexpensive and add whimsy to a space. If you add them to a room, it makes that room feel like a party and very festive.

I did find this really cute room in British Vogue. It’s a bit too cottage chic for my style but I do like it. (Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate cottage style. I’m just not in the place or the home for it). I often find that when I see paper lanterns in decorating, it is often in a room for a teen or child. Paper lanterns can look too young and too dorm-like. This room may be country cottage, but at least it looks grown-up. This isn’t a dollhouse cottage. It’s quirky and fun. The lamp really pops against the paleness of the room. It’s a nice piece of art, a focal point, to have in this family room/library. I love red used as an accent. I’m such a sucker for it. David and I have decided that blue would be our new red, but I don’t think that has lasted.

pic found in British Vogue

I love red and vermillion and carmine. I also love these country cottage curtains against the red floral lantern. If you are going to have a country cottage you might as well mix floral prints.

Anyways, I also like the concept of this room and not just its style. I love that it is a library styled family room/dining room. Children can get homework help there. Children and adults can do art projects. Grown-ups can drink tea and look at design blogs on their laptop. It’s a nice use of that space without looking like a typical family room. It’s cute enough to entertain in. And it looks very “budget” friendly. These are the kind of pieces that one can collect from yard sales, thrift stores, and International markets.

Well, we’re renting that industrial buffer today to finish up the hardwood floors downstairs today. Boy, are my abs going to hurt tomorrow. Buffers belong in a rodeo.


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