Category Archives: Furniture

The New and Make-Do Linen Closet

For the past umpteen years Charlie and I have been using this hutch his grandfather painted and glazed in the 2nd floor laundry room as a sort of towel and sheet storage closet.

This painted hutch takes up a wall in the laundry room.

This painted hutch takes up a wall in the laundry room.

Now that we have a new space eked out for linen storage for the new bathroom we’re going to take the hutch apart and try to use just the bottom.

We took the top off and repurposed the bottom.

We took the top off and repurposed the bottom.

This seems to be a theme with us as we also removed the top from my mother’s breakfront to create a kitchen island.

The 36-inch wide cabinet should fit into the new space.

The 36-inch wide cabinet should fit into the new space.

The plan is to use the bottom part in the 37-inch niche as the bottom of the linen press.

This cabinet will hang above the bottom of the hutch.

This cabinet will hang above the bottom of the hutch.

Then we’re going to hang the newly purchased glass-front cabinet above it.

I have some of the pewter drawers pulls left over from the kitchen.

I have some of the pewter drawers pulls left over from the kitchen.

And I have some drawer pulls left over from the kitchen installation to upgrade the hardware.

The top is held on with two screws and easily removed.  Maybe we'll just hang that piece on the wall.

The top is held on with two screws and easily removed. Maybe we’ll just hang that piece on the wall.

Charlie has given his OK to paint the piece.

Sparrow is a dark, warm grey verging on brown.

Sparrow (on the door) is a dark, warm grey verging on brown.

Now, the question is, what color. Maybe sparrow like the exterior doors.

A mock-up of the niche at the end of the hall -- white might make sense in this space with no window.

A mock-up of the niche at the end of the hall — white might make sense in this space with no window.

Or something between Sparrow and Revere Pewter. Perhaps a custom color mixed in the atelier of Jo.

This hall used to look like this.

This hall used to look like this.

If this cabinet really doesn’t work out we’ll head back to the cabinet warehouse to try and locate a reasonably price new cabinet. But we like to use what we have if we can.

What color would you paint this piece?

A Little Help

Our son stopped by and I asked him to give Charlie a hand in changing out the furniture in the mud room.

I've used these 2 Ikea stools in many rooms over the last 20 years.

I’ve used these 2 Ikea stools in many rooms over the last 20 years.

Ultimately I plan to make a bench for the mudroom  possibly with an upholstered top.

I'd love to build this bench.

I’d love to build this bench.

For the time being, however, I’m replacing the two small stools with my cedar chest.  We’ve been using it as a filing cabinet so it’s full of paper and very heavy.

This is my smaller hope chest, not the one Charlie refinished.

This is my smaller hope chest, not the one Charlie refinished.

I was grateful for the help but also happy to load him down with a one-cup coffee maker so he can heat water for his nightly tea and an electric blanket.

A coffee maker and an electric blanket.

A coffee maker and an electric blanket.

Two more items out! (I have 3 more single coffee makers to unload bless somebody with.)

What would you like someone to carry out of your house?

Good Prices, Particular Selections

Last week I told you about our nearby cabinet warehouse bargain spot. Last Friday I went to another local furnishings warehouse recommended to us by Charlie’s cousin.

The Clearance Center is well-marked if you can find it in the first place.

The Clearance Center is well-marked if you can find it in the first place.

I’m talking about the “Model Home Interior Clearance Center“. Ours is open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Fridays only. At 8 a.m. on a 12-degree day about 50 people were lined up waiting for the doors to open.

Lots of furniture to choose from -- throw pillows are $10.

Lots of furniture to choose from — throw pillows are $10.

The Clearance Center resells furniture that has been used in model homes or apartments at a deep discount.

Everything on the floor, walls, or shelves is for sale.

Everything on the floor, walls, or shelves is for sale.

If you can find, for example, an armoire or entertainment center you like, take an additional 50% off the already discounted price.

I like this glass-front bookcase which costs about $159.

I like this glass-front bookcase which costs about $159.

I’m looking for a linen closet and maybe a piece of furniture to be transformed into a bathroom vanity.

Buffet -- $649

Buffet — $649

Buffet -- $329

Buffet — $329

Buffet -- $159

Buffet — $159

As you might suspect, items change frequently so visiting often would be the key to finding a great bargain. There are lots of different price points.  (See buffets above.)

I bought 3 throw pillows  -- including the 2 blue ones on the sofa above.

I bought 3 throw pillows — including the 2 blue ones on the sofa above.

The nubby twill looks totally different in my living room.

The nubby twill looks totally different in my living room.

The only drawback is that one must transport their purchase themselves — no delivery available.

What’s the last big piece of furniture you bought? Do you still like it as much as when you first bought it?

Charlie’s Hope Chest

A few years ago, before I started the blog, before she moved to Florida, Charlie’s mother gave him her blonde wood cedar chest bought for her in 1958 as a wedding present.

I don't have a before picture -- but it looked something like this.

I don’t have a before picture — but it looked something like this.

He decided to refinish it because the top was scarred and the light finish was out of style.

Black and Decker Wire Wheels are great for removing old finish on wood or metal.

Black and Decker Wire Wheels are great for removing old finish on wood or metal.

He stripped the entire exterior surface both with chemical stripper, a steel wheel on a drill, and sandpaper.

After the old finish was removed the chest looked more modern.

After the old finish was removed the chest looked more modern.

Charlie gave it a deep brown stain finish. He also ordered a new safety lock furnished by the Lane company for free that allows escape from the inside in case the lid falls when someone is in it.

Charlie used painters' tape and aluminum foil to keep stain from dripping onto the bare cedar back and interior.

Charlie used painters’ tape and aluminum foil to keep stain from dripping onto the bare cedar back and interior.

Then he rubbed it with multiple coats of tung oil.

We moved it into the living room over Christmas to make room for the tree.

We moved it into the living room over Christmas to make room for the tree.

It’s an heirloom for one of our daughters but until that time we’ll use it in the conservatory.

They don't build then like this anymore.

They don’t build then like this anymore.

It makes good storage for blankets and sweaters.

Have you figured out an ingenious storage place at your house?

Dressing a Large Fireplace

The other day I showed you this elegant living room.

The fireplace

The fireplace

Let’s take a close-up of the fireplace, specifically the andirons.

The hearth and fire surround are white marble.

The hearth and fire surround are white marble.

These seem to be made from bronze.

I'm going to guess this duo is Aphrodite and Adonis. Just a guess.

I think they should be switched so they are facing each other.

A beautiful woman with a putto (small angel) and a young man with a dog. I’m going to guess this duo is Aphrodite and Adonis. Just a guess.

These andirons are about 3 feet tall.

These andirons are about 3 feet tall.

And they don’t seem to mind the heat of the fireplace.

Are you familiar with Greek mythology? (I’m not really.)

Progress – Week 2

Here is the progress of week two 2-month week-by-week plan.

This week I worked on the runner on the stairs from last week and started working on the list below the picture.

And here's the second floor.

The king size sleigh bed (with the blue covering above) goes in the master bedroom.

September 29 – October 5

  • Paint, cut, and install baseboard for back of master bedroom (buy shoe molding)
  • Cut down footboard of sleigh bed
  • Strip sleigh bed frame (buy stripper)

The list above are the things I was supposed to accomplish this week.  First I tried cutting the baseboard which was not a total failure but not really a success either.

Bedroom baseboard

Bedroom baseboard

Then I thought I could work on the sleigh bed but I was stopped in my tracks by the fact that I can’t find the hardware to hold the bed together. This bed project is on the back burner until the hardware shows up.

The sleigh bed has dedicated hardware that is stashed somewhere. I wonder where that is?

The sleigh bed has dedicated hardware that is stashed somewhere. I wonder where that is?

Instead I decluttered the mudroom

Most of this pile gets recycled.

Most of this pile gets recycled.

Mudroom back to normal

Mudroom back to normal

and cleaned the bathroom with my favorite home-mixed cleaner: blue Dawn and vinegar,

The vinegar/Dawn concoction even cleans our old tub.

The vinegar/Dawn concoction even cleans our old tub.

and made double vanilla extract with enough time to steep before the holidays,

Plain rum on the left; double vanilla extract with rum base on the right.

Plain rum on the left; double vanilla extract with rum base on the right.

and I got a haircut.

Next week’s plan is to continue to work on the bed so I’ll see if I can make progress.

Do you overestimate you personal strength? Ability? Funds?

Sleight of Sleigh

In the master bedroom we have a Grange king size sleigh bed. (That’s pronounced “Grahnzhe”.)

Our Grange sleigh bed

Our Grange sleigh bed

I bought it second hand at an upscale consignment shop over 20 years ago.

My vision -- sort of.

My vision — sort of.

Over the years its shiny finish has become scratched and dinged.

"The refinishing of this piece shouldn't be too labor intensive", she said with false confidence.

“The refinishing of this piece shouldn’t be too labor intensive”, she said with false confidence.

I like the Restoration Hardware finish on their sleigh bed.

Restoration Hardware's Empire Rosette sleigh bed without footboard in antiqued grey.

Restoration Hardware’s Empire Rosette sleigh bed without footboard in antiqued grey.

I also would like to remove or remodel the foot board so it doesn’t take up so much room.

We often used the footboard as a clothes rack. No-no.

We often used the footboard as a clothes rack. No-no.

We tend to use the foot board as an easy  dumping ground which I’m going to try to eliminate. Once upon a time when we couldn’t find socks, shirts, unmentionables, etc. they were buried between the footboard and the mattress. Time to grow up!

The footboard of the sleigh bed takes up a lot of visual space in the bedroom.

The footboard of the sleigh bed takes up a lot of visual space in the bedroom.

I’m not sure how to get started but the bed is apart due to our renovation and so I’ve decided to strip it and redesign it.

I'm planning to cut on the white line.

I’m planning to cut on the white line.

Any suggestions?

Do you take a chance at remodeling things you’ve lived with for years? What’s the worse scenario?