Category Archives: Furniture

Mud Mats and Lamp Shades

I stopped by my favorite discount store, Ross, the other day to pick up some heavy duty door mats since the weather has turned wet and snowy.

It rained all night but there's still snow on the ground (and lots of mud).

It rained all night but there’s still snow on the ground (and lots of mud).

Of course our bluestone porch is still mostly covered with corrugated cardboard to keep it from getting scratched and stained before we even get to use it.

The weather has been messy so the side porch is being temporarily protected with corrugated cardboard from the new window packaging.

The weather has been messy so the side porch is being temporarily protected with corrugated cardboard from the new window packaging.

I was hoping to find 3 matching heavy rubber mats but was out of luck.  Instead I found one with blue flowers for $8 and 2 other black ones at $6 each.

I would have loved 3 exactly like this but only one was available.

I would have loved 3 exactly like this but only one was available.

I put the blue one at our most used entrance, the side porch, and the black ones at the front door (which is not actually installed yet) and the conservatory landing.

Even on the cardboard this mat is a good match to the porch.

Even on the cardboard this mat is a good match to the porch.

While at Ross I took a swing through the lamps and lamp shades to see if anything caught my eye.  Ross has super cheap shades and I found 2 at $5.99 each that will work for these old lamps I’m planning to use in the conservatory.

A pair of lamps

A pair of lamps

I’ve been dragging one of these around in my car for months so I could try a shade on it before buying the shade.  I know the security officer at Ross thought I was nuts when I wanted to go out to my car and get a lamp to bring in.

These lamps are about 14 inches tall without the shade.

These lamps are about 14 inches tall without the shade.

Then when I held the shades (there were two different options) over the lamp he informed me it wouldn’t stay on without a bulb.  That’s what he knows! Actually the lamp needs a harp and I have a whole box of them.

An accumulation of precious lamp harps and hardware.

An accumulation of precious lamp harps and hardware.

I can’t wait to do some decorating in the new spaces.

The square lamp looks good with an angled shade.

The square lamp looks good with an angled shade.

For now the door mats are out but the lamps have been relegated to The Cottage so they don’t get full of dust like everything else we own.

Have you made any new décor additions to your abode?

Project Review 2013

We’ve been so caught up in the renovation recently that I feel like we haven’t really accomplished anything else this year. Hoping that isn’t true I decided to look back and see what projects we actually completed.

1. Rustic Planter

A rustic planter made from salvaged wood.  FREE!

A rustic planter made from salvaged wood. FREE!

2. Petit Potager Planters

Smaller than the rustic planter above, we have a pair of these.

Smaller than the rustic planter above, we have a pair of these.

3. Charlie’s Tall Dresser

The old dresser is ready for our new bedroom.

The old dresser is ready for our new bedroom.

4. Wrought Iron Potager Fence

A wrought iron fence gives structure to the front of the potager.

A wrought iron fence gives structure to the front of the potager.

5. Dining Room Chairs

Painted dining rooms chairs from natural oak to Flint grey.

Painted dining rooms chairs from natural oak to Flint grey.

6. Key Rack

Key rack for the new mudroom.

Key rack for the new mudroom.

7. Wellington Boot Clogs

A pair of clogs made from some old Wellies.

A pair of clogs made from some old Wellies.

8. Easter Signs

Purple sign with metallic gold; yeallow sign with blue

Purple sign with metallic gold; yellow with blue

9. Kitchen Island

I designed and built the kitchen island. BIG deal!

I designed and built the kitchen island. BIG deal!

10. Painting a Lamp and Lamp Shade

This lamp was pink.

This lamp was pink.

11. Repainting and Repurposing and Old TV Cabinet

A convenient place for garden tools.

A convenient place for garden tools.

12. Recover Mid-Century Chair

Recovered chair for the Diva Room.

Recovered chair for the Diva Room.

13. Signature Coasters

Slightly French and totally the style of The Glade.

Slightly French and totally the style of The Glade.

14. Recover Old Folding Chair

The seat fabric is yellow, white, grey and black.

The seat fabric is yellow, white, grey and black.

15. Refurbish 2 Card Tables

The chair above matches the newly covered vintage card tables.

The chair above matches the newly covered vintage card tables.

So 15 projects.  We did get something done.  How fun is that.

Have looked back over 2013?

Charlie’s Chest of Drawers: Finish

In August of 2011 Charlie and I had the great idea to refinish an old tall chest of drawers Charlie had inherited from his grandparents.

Charlie's chest

Charlie’s chest

Finally in October of 2012 Charlie got started stripping the old finish from this 5-drawer dresser.

First a chemical stripper was used.

First a chemical stripper was used.

Charlie used a stripping wheel on an electric drill to remove some of the finish which left a very uneven surface.

No way would this rough surface take stain well.

No way would this rough surface take stain well.

I used an electric sander to even out the ridges.

After sanding the top section the bare wood looks much smoother.

After sanding the top section the bare wood looks much smoother.

My original aim on this stripped chest of drawers was to give it this Restoration Hardware finish.

Rosette Finish

First I rubbed on with a rag some oil-based Minwax English Chestnut.

Close up of the sanded dresser.

Close up of the sanded dresser.

The same area as above stained with English Chestnut.

The same area as above stained with English Chestnut.

Then like I did here I wiped on grey stain.  Unfortunately the finish looked streaky.  It was a total fail. Ugh.

After I added the grey stain the finish was streaky and dull.

After I added the grey stain the finish was streaky and dull.

So I looked in my paint supply and found Minwax White Wash Pickling Stain which I used on these cabinets. Again I wiped the finish liberally on with a rag and rubbed the excess off with a dry rag.

Whoa, I hope I didn't ruin the entire thing with the grey stain then the white liming stain.

Whoa, I hope I didn’t ruin the entire thing with the grey stain then the white liming stain.

Unfortunately the color was just too abrupt so I poured in some water-based Deep Ocean Minwax stain to tint the liming stain.

Blue-tinted liming stain is a worn finish over wood.

Blue-tinted liming stain is a worn finish over wood.

Again I wiped on the finish with a rag and wiped it off with a dry rag.

The old dresser is ready for our new bedroom.

The old dresser is ready for our new bedroom.

Success at last. In the final analysis I didn’t actually achieve the Rosette finish but the French grey will be perfect in our bedroom.

Do you struggle to finish projects?

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OK, So the Lamp Shades

Waaaay back here I told you we stopped at the Decorating Outlet  in Richmond, Virginia, and bought 4 large lamp shades.

I bought 4 large shades at Decorating Outlet in Richmond for $19 each.

I bought 4 large shades at Decorating Outlet in Richmond for $19 each.

My plan is to use them in the living room.

The front door and central window in the living room will exchange places.

The living room facing the front of the house

We have 2 pairs of potential living room lamps that were purchased in the 1960s and 70s. Originally they sported traditional long barrel shades.  Over the years they had been updated with conical coolie hat shades.

Here are my old lamps ready for an update: Signed Dresden cut glass with Greek key brass base on the left and large cracked-marble column lamp on the right.  There are 2 of each.

Here are my old lamps ready for an update: Signed Dresden cut glass with Greek key brass base on the left and large cracked-marble column lamp on the right. There are 2 of each.

Now shorter barrel shades are in style and so I was really happy to be able to purchase 4 large ones for $19 each.  They have a light grey-green design on the shades which is easy to amend should I get the bug to do so.

My lamps need a spider at the top of the shade for proper installation.

My lamps need a spider at the top of the shade for proper installation.

For now, to protect the shades from mishap while the house is being renovated, I have put the shades on the lamps for which they were purchased.

I've replaced the shade on the left with the one on the right.

I’ve replaced the shade on the left with the one on the right.

But I have NOT taken off the plastic wrapping so no dust or dirt will grimeify these light-colored shades.

In addition to maybe changing the design on the shade I might also need to unbrassify the bases.

In addition to maybe changing the design on the shade I might also need to unbrassify the bases.

I think they look especially good on the large cracked marble lamps.

Pay no mind to the piles of junk; we're in the midst of a renovation.

Pay no mind to the piles of junk; we’re in the midst of a renovation.

I can’t wait until the construction is over (and it hasn’t even begun yet) so I can set up the living room with the old lamps and new lampshades.

Do you have a plan? Is your ultimate plan clear only to you?

Lumber for the Kitchen Island

We’re going to try and make our own kitchen island from a piece of furniture we already own.

Our vintage sideboard.

Our vintage sideboard.

After looking carefully at the plans Ana White designed for her rustic shelves I made a few changes. (Did you think I wouldn’t?)

A rough sketch shows where we're going with the shelves on the back of the sideboard.  I'm considering doing away with the center stile (thus the Xs.

A rough sketch shows where we’re going with the shelves on the back of the sideboard. I’m considering doing away with the center stile (thus the Xs.)

1. Since my shelving is under 4 feet long I felt it unnecessary to have a center stile.

With a little more thought I tried to make a more detailed drawing with steps to build.

With a little more thought I tried to make a more detailed drawing with steps to build.

2. Instead of a rustic look I wanted something a little more elegant so I opted for 3 by 3 legs instead of 2 by 4s. Three by threes are not easy to come by but I found some poplar (and oak for that matter) ones at Lowes  for $12.46 each.  I bought 4.

Pine 2 by2s on the left, poplar 3 by 3s on the right

Pine 2 by2s on the left, poplar 3 by 3s on the right

Lumber list:

  • 4 – 3×3 @ 3 feet long poplar
  • 3 – 2×2 @ 8 feet
  • 1 - 1×8 @ 8 feet (I could have used one 12-foot long board but it’s difficult to transport from the store.)
  • Elmer’s wood glue
  • Paintable wood filler
  • 1 1/4″ and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws
  • 2 1/2″ screws
Tools:
                    measuring tape
                    square
                    pencil
                    hammer
                    hearing protection
                    Kreg Jig™
                    drill
                    compound miter saw
                    sander

3.  I wanted the shelving recessed a little from the front and sides which was accomplished by using 2 by 2s between the 3 by 3s.

Two frames will be built with 3 by 3 poplar posts held together with 2 by 2 rails.

Two frames will be built with 3 by 3 poplar posts held together with 2 by 2 rails.

4.  The lumber costs $79.54.

Total so far for the kitchen island:

Tools:                                       $180.45

Lumber:                                  $  79.54
___________________________
Total to date                           $259.99

I have the tools set up, the lumber ready to be measured and marked, and the sideboard base handy.  I can’t wait to get started.

What are you building?

Ceramic Garden Seats at the Chains

On a recent trip to Florida I stopped at some of my favorite find-a-bargain chain stores.  Almost all of them had ceramic garden seats.

Garden seat at Tuesday Morning

Garden seat at Home Goods

There was a variety in shape, design and color.

Garden seat at Tuesday morning

Garden seat at Home Goods

Ceramic garden seats can be used indoors or out as a small table, a seat, plant stand or just as a decorative splash of color.

Garden seats at Tuesday Morning

Garden seats at Tuesday Morning

At the chain stores they run in the $60 to $80 range.

A deep blue floral-embossed garden seat at Tuesday Morning

A deep blue floral-embossed garden seat at Tuesday Morning

As usual I don’t want one, I want a pair.

Garden seats at Marshalls.

Red, white and blue garden seats at Marshalls.

You could pay a lot more.

Where could you use a ceramic garden seat?  Do you like pale, plain ones? Or the bright, ornate models?

We Stopped at The Decorating Outlet

On our drive home to Maryland from Florida we detoured around Richmond to visit the Decorating Outlet on the Midlothian Turnpike where John and Sherry have found lots of bargains and told us about them on their blog.

The Decorating Outlet is stuffed with lamps.

The Decorating Outlet is stuffed with lamps.

The store is smaller than expected but stocked with all sorts of lighting fixtures and shades. The selection of shades is excellent.  Not all shades are sale priced but even so, the prices seem reasonable for the quality.

My primary target was lampshades.

My primary target was lampshades.

My technique for searching the store was to walk around once looking down.

We decided this was an interesting hanging fixture but would be difficult to maintain in dustfree condition.

We decided this was an interesting hanging fixture but would be difficult to maintain in dust free condition.

Then walk around again looking up.

I liked the 2 pendant fixtures that were clear glass with light silvering. I could see them in the new kitchen.

I liked the 2 pendant fixtures of clear glass with light silvering (center of photo). I could picture them in the new kitchen.

Of course I got distracted so I made more than 2 tours I’m sure.

This large star fixture was about a foot in diameter point to point.

This large star fixture was about a foot in diameter point to point.

Unfortunately I had not brought the lamps with me for which I wanted to find shades so I had to approximate the size.

There were lots of shades to choose from AND I knew I could change the fabric or embellish if I wanted to.

There were lots of shades to choose from AND I knew I could change the fabric or embellish if I wanted to.

I ended up getting 4 barrel shades with traditional spiders for $19 each (down from $41).

Here are the shades stacked on the rear car seat.

Here are the shades stacked on the rear car seat.

I can’t wait to see how they fit our lamps.

Where is the go to place in your city for the best bargains? (I might get there one day.)

Just in Time for a Pinterest Challenge

I’ve been working on painting, stenciling, and staining our dining room chairs.

Before and after seat detail

Before and after seat detail

They were inspired by this pin just in time to enter into The Young House Love Pinterest Challenge.

Design Sponge Chair

Design Sponge Chair (link above)

First the chairs were sanded and wiped down with mineral spirits.

Every side and top and bottom need to be hand sanded.

Every side and top and bottom need to be hand sanded.

To mask the area that would become a dogwood blossom I covered this x-ray film (which came in the mail as an advertisement) with blue painters tape.

I covered the slick surface of an x-ray with painters' tape.

I covered the slick surface of an x-ray with painters’ tape.

I cut out the shapes and taped them to the chairs. (At first I taped the wrong side of the x-ray film and the tape came off slick and non-sticky.  Fortunately the other side worked.  Probably waxed paper or aluminum foil could be used for the same purpose.)

The painters' tape will allow the flower to remain the natural wood color.

The painters’ tape will allow the flower to remain the natural wood color.

Then I sprayed a grey primer to cover as much of the raw wood as possible.

The grey primer helps adhere the top coat to the surface.

The grey primer helps adhere the top coat to the surface.

With a brush I carefully painted all surfaces of the chairs which was a time consuming and tedious job.  First I flipped the chairs to get the bottom rungs painted then painted the upper sides being sure to hit every angle.

Dab paint carefully over the tape stencil.

Dab paint carefully over the tape stencil.

Once they were dry I pulled the painters tape to expose the dogwood blossoms which were placed differently on each chair.

Pull the tape carefully.

Pull the tape carefully.

To make the dogwood blossoms more recognizable I used a little dark brown stain to  darken the indents at the edge of the petals and dotted the centers.

Close-up of dogwood

Close-up of dogwood

I waxed the chairs with Butcher’s Wax and called them finished.

Charcoal chair with a dogwood flower

Charcoal chair with a dogwood flower

Another Pinterest pin completed from my projects board.

Are you pinning and projecting?

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Prepping Chairs for Paint

Bentwood oak chairs for the dining room.

On both our master list and my private project list is a line item to paint our set of 4 dining room chairs. I started and Charlie finished  sanding the chairs and wiping them down with mineral spirits.

After sanding the chairs are wiped down with mineral spirits.

After sanding the chairs are wiped down with mineral spirits.

I saw this inspiration on Pinterest and decided a set of charcoal grey chairs would be great. My remembrance was that the chairs were grey but as you can see they are NOT! That’s exactly the kind of goof-up that causes trouble for me.

Source: madebygirl.blogspot.com via Jo on Pinterest

 It’s a good thing it takes me soooo looong to get a project going (over a year in this case) because I had another Pinterest moment that I thought would make these chairs ultra special (and if I dont like it I can paint it out).

My take on the flower above is a dogwood since our dining room has that as a repeated motif.

Dogwood blossom at The Glade

Dogwood blossom at The Glade

I already have the paint which are 2 free sample cans of Flint by Benjamin Moore.

Flint by Benjamin Moore is a charcoal grey.

Flint by Benjamin Moore is a charcoal grey.

And I bought some grey spray primer. I still have to:

  • cut out the dogwood stencils,
  • tape them to the chairs,
  • prime the chairs,
  • paint the chairs,
  • detail the dogwood flowers, and
  • maybe wax the painted chairs.

Whew, seems like a lot to do for 4 chairs. Glad there aren’t more.

Do you ever remember things totally wrong?

Bird FileTutorial

O, a long, long time ago I told you how I wanted to paint this file cabinet in the little bedroom.

Faux, faux, phony wood file cabinet.

We use it daily to house our mail, bills and papers so I had to make this a quick from-beginning-to-end project (unlike the desk I finished). I emptied all the files and papers out of it.

Two file drawers hold lots of important papers.

Two file drawers hold lots of important papers.

I got my inspiration from Lindy at Cottage Hill whose similar project I pinned on Pinterest. I brushed on 2 coats of white primer so the final coat would have a chance to stick to the plasticky faux woodgrain finish.

The file looked splotchy after the first coat of primer.

The file looked splotchy after the first coat of primer.

I had some semi-gloss white paint that we use on the inside house trim which I rolled onto the cabinet with a foam roller. (If I would have worked on this project when I first thought about it I would have remembered that the little bedroom ceiling color which is “White Sage” would have been perfect.)  It took 3 this coats of white.

The drawers were easily painted with a foam roller.

The drawers were easily painted with a foam roller.

I printed bird graphics from The Graphics Fairy on card stock and carefully cut them out. Then I decided where the birds would go and lightly marked the spots with pencil.

I printed out free bird graphics keeping the sizes of the birds similar.

I printed out free bird graphics keeping the sizes of the birds similar.

I cut out the birds and laid them out on the front of the file.  Then I penciled in branches which I intended to paint brown.

I chose 5 birds similarly sized birds to feather the front of the file cabinet.

I chose 5 birds similarly sized birds to feather the front of the file cabinet.

In my paint supplies I found some brown latex paint which I made translucent with thickening agent left over from this project.

I smeared the brown acrylic paint and clear thickening agent on a paper plate and used my favoite lining brush. to create branches.

I smeared the brown liquid wood stain and clear thickening agent on a paper plate and used my favorite lining brush. to create branches.

I painted in the branches using a very free brushstroke.  The thickened paint naturally made its own highlights and shadows.

The thickened brown stain was easy to work with.

The thickened brown stain was easy to work with.

To paint the leaves I mixed some yellow into bright green acrylic paint to make more of a spring green.  I painted leaves onto the branches. I penciled a few in to get me started then painted the rest freehand. Again I used the thickening agent in the paint to make it more translucent.

The branches were covered with new leaves.

The branches were covered with new leaves.

Finally I glued the birds on with Modge Podge.

Apply Modge Podge with a foam applicator.

Apply Modge Podge with a foam applicator.

I also gave them a couple of top coats of Modge Podge.

After the birds were well stuck I swiped a couple coats of Modge Podge on top.

After the birds were well stuck I swiped a couple coats of Modge Podge on top.

With a toothbrush I spattered “White Sage” over the entire front.

The spattering is subtle.

The spattering is subtle.

I'm glad to be finished this project.

I’m glad to be finished this project.

The cabinet is going to be tucked into a little nook created by a desk and a wall.

Check out the full view in yesterday's post.

This was a fun project.

Thanks for the inspiration Lindy at Cottage Hill.

Back in business

Back in business

What are you painting?

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Young House Love’s Winter Pinterest Challenge

The Shabby Nest