Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wing Chair ~ Drop Cloth Redo

Oftentimes, I run across a great piece of furniture that has good bones to it but is in need of a reupholstery job.  And as we all know, fabric can be expensive!  So for me, plain old painter's drop cloths have long been a solution to pricey alternatives.  Matter of fact, drop cloths have long been a staple ingredient in designs I conjure up.

They pop up everywhere as curtains, tablecloths and throw pillows.  I've even used them as Christmas tree skirts.  Needless to say, the possibilities are endless. 

The two main appeal factors to me are:  1) They are super cheap and  2) They resemble, in look and texture, a nice linen fabric.  Find them here.

I'm sure in its heyday, this wing chair dressed in jungle inspired fabric, was all that.  But, it just wasn't working for me, especially since I love an environment with neutral furnishings. 

It took 7 yards of material to recover the chair (I used 8oz. weight drop cloths).  The cost of the material for the chair ended up being $23.98 plus tax.  


I would love to say I reupholstered the wing chair myself ~ but I didn't.  My upholstery guy did an amazing job on the redo.  In the end, I spent considerable less on the makeover in comparison to what it would have cost me had I purchased yardage from a fabric store.  This calming, neutral space is a nice spot to kick back and relax in.  In time, the chair will sport an inviting throw pillow ~ for now pillowless is good with me.  Hoping you have plenty of opportunities to kick back and relax this weekend!  XO ~ Dana 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Paris in the Spring

Some exciting things happening here of late.  First, a quick thank you to Lifehacker for featuring my Rake Wine Glass Holder idea.  Check it out here.   

Secondly, I returned home from Paris last week.  My hubby and I and some dear friends of ours were able to spend a week in Paris in the spring ~ need I say it was wonderful?  

We decided that one day of the trip the guys and gals would split off and do something we really wanted to do.  So last Saturday, Alison and I snuck away to take in the Paris Flea Market.  It was an adventure in and of itself navigating our way there via the Metro.  Once we were on sight, we made every effort to cover as much ground as possible.  Sometimes, when I'm in the moment, I'm guilty of so wanting to be in the present I fail to snap pics.  However, I did manage to take a few so I would have something to share.  

We were able to locate one vendor I had visited the last time in Paris:  Tombees du camion always has such an amazing display and carries wonderful collections of all sorts of things ~ as you can see below.

Some awesome industrial pendants and glass ones too!

Metal letters are always on my fave list.  

Wonderful oversized wood letterpress letters (Ali snagged one of these!) and a variety of charming coat hooks. 

I thought these old porcelain light switches were intriguing.  

 More cool lighting and hosiery forms.

A variety of vintage cameras grouped together.

This shop ~ Stand 29 (Antiquites & Design XXe) was also a super cool stop.  Too bad the wonderful old ladder wouldn't fit in my luggage ~ I've been on the lookout for one forever and I think I found it. 

In the back of the space were some wonderful ink drawings ~ though vintage ~ they had a very modern appeal about them.  They were done by the late artist, Francois Martin Salvat.  I'm happy to say one of these lovelies came home with me ~ be watching to see where it may end up.

After several hours of shopping it began to rain and started getting chilly.  Ali and I decided to stop in at Le Paul Bert for some refreshment (thanks Rick Steves for the recommendation ~ it was délicieux!).  *Note Ali's demure, Paris look ~ she's such a poser!


Nothing like a little hot vanilla milk to warm you up ~ it was so beautifully presented.


The soup wasn't too shabby either ~ nobody does French onion soup like the French ~ go figure!

Even the restroom was funky and stylish!  It was a fun and memorable day spent with a dear friend at the Le Marche aux puces.  Although we didn't cover near as much ground as we had hoped (as it would take days on end to see it all) we did come away with some wonderful treasures.  I'll be sharing soon!  :)  Hoping you have a good week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sleepy Bear

This giant Sleepy Bear looks like he may be headed for hibernation.  One might think that's what I've been up to here of late.  But in reality, I took a break and have been vacationing in Paris with my hubby and some dear friends.  It was a much needed and welcomed reprieve from life.  

One day of the trip, I actually attempted to post a blog ~ then asked myself, "What on earth am I doing...I'm in Paris for crying out loud!"  I decided, understandably, it could wait until I returned home.   

Back to Sleepy Bear, I found him at Round Top last fall but had to wait patiently until late January for him to be delivered to me.  I think he's the epitome of the tattered style, wouldn't you agree?
As you may have guessed by now, he's part of an old hotel sign from the 50's.  My original intention was to sell him at the Dallas Market, but occasionally, some treasures I find are a little more difficult to part with than others.  Once I got Sleepy Bear home, I couldn't pass him off so easily. 

I think it was destined for him to have a nice long nap at my place.  As oversized as he may be, he's now a permanent fixture on my guest room wall and is likely to be hanging around for awhile.

As for me, I'm currently getting back into the groove of things and overcoming jet lag.  My friend, Alison, and I enjoyed a day perusing the Le marche aux Puces (the Paris flea market).  My plans are to share some photos soon of Paris in the spring.  It was magnifique!  I hope you have a good week ~ Au revoir!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Easy Socket Candle Holders

I do have a fondness for old porcelain light sockets.  I've used them plenty of times in place of regular fixtures, merely because I love their simplicity.  However, as you can see from the photo above, today I'm going to share another use for the common socket.

Recently, I was cleaning the shed and I came across these old things.  I had tucked them away last spring, after I had removed them from a house that was being demoed ~ freebies. :)  The thought occurred to me that they would make unique candle holders. 

I removed the parts I no longer wanted on the socket base ~ ie. pull cords/strings, wiring, etc.  Then I gave them all a bath.   

I tried placing standard tapers in the socket base but they were too small and didn't fit.  So, I decided a trip to the local Ace Hardware Store would probably solve my dilemma.  The customer service there is great and, eventually, we figured out a solution.  Some simple O rings (.79 each) found in the plumbing department would help hold the candlestick in place. 

I fitted a 1-1/16 x 7/8 x 3/32 O-ring in the top thread of the socket.

Next, I put a 15/16 x 11/16 x 1/8 O-ring near the bottom of each taper. 

Then I placed the candle in the base and gently "twisted" it into place.  

Not your everyday ordinary candle holder ~ but something different, fun and inexpensive.  I love the idea of upcycling (Upcycling:  The process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value ~ Wikepedia) as well. 

In case your wondering, I often run across common fixtures like these at flea markets, thrift stores or yard sales.  If your not the scavenger type, you can also buy them new here for less than a couple of dollars.  That's all for today ~ I hope you are inspired to try out this easy project.  I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest or Like me on Facebook.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Austin Styled Apartment

I ventured down to Austin a few weeks ago and kinda fell in love with the city.  I'm quite certain it is my destiny to live there someday.  I'm especially smitten with Hyde Park, the area my oldest son decided to put his first roots down in ~ it's a great old neighborhood with lots of character.  I looked forward to waking each morning just knowing I was steps away from a cozy bakery or coffee shop.  Needless to say, I was happy for the chance to help Reagan set up house there.

Since we were starting from scratch and working on a budget, it was essential to find great pieces for less.  I had to keep in mind Reagan's desire to go with a Mad Men/Mid Century Modern style and was hoping some of my favorite spots would provide me with some of the furnishings.  Prior to going down, I paid a few visits to some local thrift stores I frequent as well as Lula B's Antique Mall, "a treasure trove of all things fine and funky, kitschy and collectible, vintage and pimpadelic."  I'm quite thrilled with the purchases ~ and think they are key foundational pieces for the apartment.  Here are a few of my favorite finds ~

Massage Chair:  I was pinching myself when I came across this incredible "massage chair" in mint condition ~ and the best part ~ it still works!  I dared not leave its side until an associate had put a "Sold" sign on it.  ;)

Chair/Hairpin Table/Letter "P":  I positioned the chair in the living area ~ after a long days work it was a welcome spot to recline to.  I sat a hairpin table next to the massage chair ~ it provides just enough space to rest a drink or book on.  You can read  more about it here.  The giant letter "P" was a freebie (yea!) and made great wall art.  I acquired it as it was being removed from a building by a sign company ~ who was replacing the existing signage with a new one.  I was happy to learn from the workers that oftentimes sign companies are willing to unload old signage for little (or in my case) no cost.

Coffee Table:  When I'm looking for something in particular, Lula B's is my go-to place.  They have a constant turnover of unique, one-of-a-kind items.  I think if I shopped with them daily, there would always be a surprise discovery.  Such was the case with this great coffee table.  It was the perfect scale for the apartment and had the exact lines I was looking for. 

A little furniture restorer went a long way in bringing back the coffee table to its original lustre. You might notice the graphic rug the table is sitting on.  Reagan found this showstopper here.  I decided to place it on an angle for a little visual punch. 

Buffet:  There was a need for some additional book storage ~ so when I found this piece I knew immediately it would fit the bill.  The $32 price tag didn't hurt one bit either.  :)

The buffet itself, had great legs and lines ~ so all it needed was a couple of vintage accessories to  compliment its style.  With the addition of a lighted globe and a vintage typewriter ~ I was able to achieve the look I knew Reagan was hoping for.  As he and I worked from room to room, the place started evolving into quite a charming spot.  Be sure to check back here soon to see pics of the rest of Reagan's Austin apartment. 

P.S.  Still searching for the perfect 7' mid-century modern sofa for the living room ~ hopefully a sooner -than-later find!  :)
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