The Tale of Four Chairs: the transformation from old to new

The Tale of Four Chairs: the transformation from old to new

Hi to you. I am writing from the airplane on my way back home from Washington, DC. It was a last minute trip to help take care of my sweet 94 year-old grandmother. Every time I visit, I am struck with such nostalgia… Mostly the memories are from the year I spent living with them right after college and starting my first ‘real’ job. Coming home each night to my cute grandparents, a home cooked meal and the pink and green bedroom my grandmother had wallpapered for me prior to my arrival, was the icing on the cake for my not-so-worldly twenty-one year-old self. Spending these recent few days with her knowing they may be our last, was so special. 

xo 

s

ps -will this rain ever stop?

Several years ago, on one of my pursuits for cast away vintage treasures which often nets zero results, I hit the mother lode. I found four chairs that at first glance looked rather sad and lacking potential. Thankfully I went back, took another look and saw past the chipped orange shellac finish and ugly roses. The wheels began to turn.  Below is a photo from that day.

Vintage Chair - 'Before'

Needless to say, I bought the four chairs. The first step was to remove the finish. I had no idea what the wood underneath would reveal, but if it was good, the plan as to what to do next would start to unfold. The photo below was after the first stripping.

The ugly roses had to go, Another few rounds of sanding revealed the most beautiful natural wood. Despite the strong opinion of the wood refinisher, I opted to not put any finish or paint on them.

The next step was the upholstery. We created a stripe by using charcoal gray and natural linen on the front, and all charcoal on the back. The visual of them facing each other and seeing the back of one and front of another looks really nice.

At the time, I was about to open my first pop-up shop, so I put them in the window. They sold the first day.

Vintage chair recovered in natural and charcoal Belgian Linen.

With the other two chairs I tried something a little different, but in my opinion, just as beautiful.

Vintage chair recovered with tufted back in French teal fabric

I have not had the opportunity to show these beauties off in the last few pop-up shops because they were in the back of my storage unit. I just went through it and am sorting out gems to put on the shop website and what to pass along. When I saw these chairs once again, I was struck with how truly spectacular they are. Please email me directly to inquire.

Next post is all about Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

You might also like:

Little Cabin in the Woods

Little Cabin in the Woods

A tour of a vintage decorated cabin in the woods

On the spur of the moment, I decided to get out of dodge and ended up, in of all places, a little cabin in the woods on the banks of a flowing river in Northern Oregon. Let me tell you, my expectations were high. I’ve had a cabin-in-the-woods fantasy for as long as I can remember and this lived up, matter of fact exceeded, every last one. Road trip season is here! Bring it.

Come take a look around with me…

You had me with weathered shingles and white trim.

The cabin is situated on a big, flat sunny patch with a main house next to it.

I wonder if these grape vines covering the front porch are used for wine making?

No appliances but certainly not lacking in charm factor in this light bright happy kitchen.

The fridge is 70 years old!

The color palette is pale green and brick red. It couldn’t be more fitting for this adorable little gem.

The owner, whom I’ve never met, is clearly a collector of vintage pieces. Vintage collecting is a passion that can easily get out of control. I know this first hand. It’s so tempting to go overboard, but what I loved about this cottage is how well edited the decor is. Charm galore. The place had such a positive and relaxing vibe too.

A dark photo I know, but I wanted to include it to show you the claw foot tub nestled in the windowed nook. It was just perfection. The other cool thing the owner did, was to put a vintage wooden toy ironing board on the end of the tub for soaps, candles, etc. So if you see one at your local flea market and you have a claw foot tub….

The attic with these four mismatched antique twin beds could not have been cuter. This space is girl heaven – oh the games of playing house, talking all night, braiding each other’s hair. Like a story book…

The grounds were rustic and simple.

Hi little lady bug!

This is the main house. It looks like the original homestead was a one room log cabin and they built around it.

Big vegetable garden!

I love the farmhouse style of this currently vacant chicken coop.

Check out the leaded glass door.

Behind the main house is this trail down to the river. Falling asleep with the windows open and hearing the rushing water was heavenly.

Also behind the main house were these matching bathtubs. They are plumbed with hot and cold water.

My daily routine…

Taking a much needed break from work, email, phone, tv and my regular routine reminded me how essential it is for maintaining happiness, finding inner peace and boosting creativity.

Here’s to summer, being spontaneous, unplugging and stopping to enjoy the simplest of life’s pleasures.

Happy week to you!

xo

 

You might also like:

The week in review

The week in review

It's been a whirlwind around here this past week!  Take a look…

Saturday – Margaret and I attended the motherlode of estate sales. Here are just a few of the treasures we scored…

Vintage

Vintage2

It turns out the house belongs to George Lucas and the occupant was his personal Assistant for the past 30 years.  The most incredible part was that he wrote Star Wars on a legal pad in one of the upstairs rooms!  Goosebumps, I tell you. I look forward to sharing more soon.

Sunday – Father's Day

Monday – Met with reps to see new products for the store and clients. New smaller items – tabletop, accessories and hostess gifts coming!

Placed orders for a new client's 'FarmHouseUrban" living room.

 

Dhurrie

Beachy Striped Wool Dhurrie

Screen shot 2012-06-23 at 8.48.37 PM

Simple Slipcovered sofa


Coffee table

Awesome Coffee Table 

Tuesday – Went to a former client's home to start working on a new project. Great to be working with her again and her gorgeous home.  

In the early evening, I headed up to St. Helena to visit girlfriend Cristine. Tuesday's is her Bocce Ball night, so I met her at the Bocce Ball park.  They take Bocce very seriously in wine country. 

Afterwards, we went to the new restaurant French Blue, designed and owned by Howard Backen (the architect whose work I have admired for.like.ever.)

French Blue1

French Blue2

French Blue4

French Blue5

French Blue - cabinetry

French Blue6

Wednesday – Margaret and I worked on the online store.  Fine tuning the look + feel, getting all the product images uploaded, the descriptions written, making sure measurements and pricing is accurate takes a loooong time.

  FarmHouseUrban Home store - logo

Still tweaking the logo…

In the afternoon, I made a stop to my woodworker's shop to check on the prototype for a new piece for the FarmHouseUrban Home Collection.  Here is a sneak peek at the FarmHouseUrban dining table!

FarmHouseUrban farm table

FarmHouseUrban farm table2

Thursday – Stopped in to check on the status of a kitchen and family room renovation I've been working on. It's been a really fun project and I can't wait to show you more photos when the space is complete.

Fireplace detail1

What to do with a monolith of a fireplace when the client doesn't like stone or wood? Raised panels in a geometric design!

Fireplace detail2

Paint

Deciding which shade of warm gray…

Friday – Made a quick trip to the city to my favorite discount fabric store to look for a tweedy woven for an ottoman.  I didn't find anything, but did end up in the waaaay back intrigued by these retro (retro as in they've probably been here since the 60's, not new retro) Hawaiian prints.  Perhaps it has something to do with watching "The Decendants" recently?

Descendants

Hawaiian print

Hawaiian print2

I'd love to make big pillows out of these for outdoors.  They're not made of acrylic fabric, but at $8 per yard, even if they lasted one season it wouldn't be a huge loss.  My sewing skills are a bit rusty (plus, hello, I have no time!), so I guess I'll have to pass.  

Here's to a relaxing Sunday! Hope you have a chance to put your feet up today!

 

You might also like:

Super cool vintage kaftan

Super cool vintage kaftan

I've been on a major vintage scouting binge lately (more on that coming shortly…)  Normally I skip over the clothing booths, but this time something caught my eye and I knew I had to have it.

Muumuu4

To me, this is the Hampton's circa 1969.

Muumuu3

Love the sleeves. One pocket.

Muumuu2

The fabric is so frickin' cool I'm tempted to make it into pillows…

Muumuu

It's a size 6, which is a joke because I could barely zip it. It's going on the shop website when it goes live in two weeks, so if you're interested before that, email me.


 

You might also like:

New York City Visit: no sleep till

New York City Visit: no sleep till

BROOKLYN! In the past few years, I've noticed many shops, restaurants and businesses popping up in Brooklyn.  I had to see for myself what all the buzz is about, so my friend and I spent a day exploring. We got a recommendation from our cool waiter the night before, to visit 'his neighborhood' - Williamsburg, so that was our first stop.

We loved finding this little gold mine of a cheese shop – The Bedford Cheese Shop.

Bedford cheese shop2
Bedford cheese shop

IMG_3768

IMG_3769

IMG_3771

IMG_3770

In addition to the abundant cheese and salami selection, they also sell hand crafted chocolate – the perfect sweet treat to round out your impromptu Brooklyn picnic. This display of chocolate wrapped in a colorful palette of beautiful papers caught my eye immediately. It turns out the small company - Mast Brothers - is located right around the corner and is open to the public for tours of the chocolate making process.  We hoped to fit it in, but didn't have time. Next visit.

IMG_3772

We ate lunch at a great place around the corner called 'Egg'. It was a recommendation from the guy at the cheese shop. Despite the name, I don't think there were any breakfast items on the menu. I took photos of the amazing sandwiches we had, but the photos looked like doo doo, so you'll just have to trust me!

2_bierkraft

The latter part of the day we walked around Park Slope.  We loved the neighborhood/family feel and great variety of restaurants and shops, stopping for a refreshment at, of all places, a gourmet beer shop.  If you look closely at the photo above, you might see why.

Ice cream - bierkraft

The photo below as well as this article listing this ice cream sandwich as one of the 10 best in ny area, is posted on the door. 

Icecream sandwich2

 

If you're into beer, this place will make you very, very happy!

Bierkraft
Instead of taking the subway back to the city, we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

On our way we passed a mall of sorts.  The stores are all converted shipping containers.

IMG_3789
IMG_3783

IMG_3785

IMG_3786

IMG_3793

We were so enamored with Brooklyn, we came back on our last day to visit the Brooklyn Flea.  

If I wasn't going straight to the airport, here's what I would have picked up.

Chaise- brooklynflea

All this chaise needs is a little fabric love! It is practically the same as the one I have in the shop. Mine was also a flea market find.

IMG_3576

Bluejars- brooklynflea

Flag - brooklynflea

Trunk-brooklynflea

Pie plate

I'm still thinking about that flag…

 Happy Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

You might also like: