Saturday, July 3, 2010

Almost Finished With the Dining Room - First Makeover pictures

Here's my first set of before and after pictures.  The dining room, table and chairs.

To be completely accurate, imagine for a moment that the antique table isn't there. That would be the most accurate before picture.

The side table is a recent addition that I got at a church rummage sale. Noting the tag marked $80 and the fact that they were closing up, I offered the girl whatever was in my wallet.  After a couple of moments of thought, she agreed -- especially since all their leftovers were being donated to Goodwill anyway.  It turned out there was  $5 in my wallet.  Whew!  That was a bit risky on my part since I wasn't sure what was in my wallet. I brought the table home and decided to leave it as is for the moment.

The other table in the room, the wood/tile table and 4 chairs were given to me about ten years ago.  Although I always loved the tile and the way each square shined, I was ready for something different.  I have been watching for a table since the start of my home do-over but had not found one that spoke to me yet.   I came very close to finding the perfect chairs a couple of weeks ago but was stopped by the size of the chairs or  - cough, cough - the size of my butt in the the chairs.  The hunt continues and in the meantime...

The china on the side table was my grandmother's china. The vase, creamer and little glass basket with flowers (which I know are difficult to see in the picture) were picked up at Goodwill on sale day for a quarter each. The bud vase is a particular favorite of mine because it has a blue tint to it and the actual glass blower signed his name on the bottom - Joe.  In cursive.  I love it.

While I kept an eye on the craigslist free postings on my computer screen, I dragged out my box of "loot" from garage sales, along with cans of spray paint from the local used paint and chemical storage facility. Note the masking tape on the gold mirrored tray as I readied it for spray painting. Very few pieces of furniture cross my threshold that aren't painted or changed in someway afterwards.

The tablecloth and vases came from a church rummage sale that I happened upon that was ending for the day. Avery enthusiastic  church lady and I went from table to table in the church annex and I walked away with a box of things to add to my "loot box."  Hesitant at first to just start taking things, I kept asking if they were sure someone else didn't need the things.  It was an eye-opener to say the least.  And every time I ooohed and ahhed  over something, the ladies would shout out their encouragement.  Oh, the fun I had that day!  I found two frames  that I still  can't believe my good fortune to find and I will show pictures in a later posting. 

Keep an eye out for the lace around the tablecloth in  the next few pictures. It was what caught my eye when I looking at a large box overflowing with bedroom linens.  All the silk and plastic flowers came from this church except the flowers in the tallest vase on the table.  The tray, previously gold and now spray painted silver, came from another church sale - 50 cents.  The plates came from Goodwill on sale day when all dishes and glassware are 25 cents each as was the little vase.  The creamer (small glass item on table tray with flowers) was 50 cents.


I picked up two of these chairs at a Free - Everything Must Go sale. that popped up on craigslist while I was spray painting the tray.  T I spied these wood chairs from the car, as the color of the wood was unusually orange.  I knew I had the perfect fabric at home for the cushion makeover.

Along with the chairs, I also picked up a very beat-up piano bench and two vases filled with potpourri.  The bonus was that when I got home and began to pour out the potpourri, I discovered blue glass gems mixed in.  Hooray, hooray. Just what I needed as I had been trying to fill the vase in the middle of the table with blue and white glass gems/rocks.  That vase needs a lot of rocks to fill it up.  As for the chairs, I was ready with white spray paint and fabulous blue striped fabric piece I had picked up at a church sale...errr...should I say church gifting event.



So, what do you think of my first before and after posting?  I was so happy with how the chairs came out that I couldn't wait to write this post.  (I know the new chair padding looks violet in the pictures but it is a deep dark blue).  Every other day, in some way, I am learning that I have a good eye.  I can pick the beauty out of the rubble and I am finding I can imagine a color an item should be, no matter what color it was originally.  And look where the piano bench ended up  -- perfect fit for one side of the table.

The final touches - the wine glasses came from my cabinet, the water glasses for 50 cents from Goodwill and the flatware from rummaging through a kitchen drawer.  I am still working on some cloth napkins that I created from pillowcases but they are a work-in-progress so the napkin holder remains empty. I was just too excited to wait.

Before                                                                                  After

Shades of Blue and Random Decorating Thoughts

One of my favorite things on the decorating blogs is the "before" and "after" pictures.   It is amazing to me how a simple coat of paint can completely transform a room. Or a simple vase of flowers or adding new drapes.  To me, it was an amazing revelation....a concept I was never taught about...a discovery that would change how I thought about my own decorating abilities.  These may seem like simple concepts to the average decorator.

You know that acquaintance whose home you had - at one party or another - admired. They sweep into the room, look around and holding their arm as if waving a magic wand, pronounce that your living room could be fabulous with just a "couple of changes."  I have always admired their ability to transform a room in their mind's eye.  I never realized I was able to do it too.  All I had to do was find my look and style.  Sigh -- all those years of hand-me-down knickknacks...

My budget remains very tight and yet, this has not slowed me down one bit in the last two months.  I am She-ra of the price conscious consumer - hear me roar.  I look at corporations and think how much we are influenced by others telling us what we should want and need in our home.  I have found that with a little bit of patience, most of the things that can decorate your life are already out there looking for a new home.  A treasure to be discovered at the nearest thrift store. A table left at the curb.  A lamp that just needs a fresh coat of paint.  It certainly has given me such more satisfaction.  In the end, my goal is to redo my home with second hand stuff and spend as little money as possible.  Back in the days when I had a very comfortable middle-class life, I wouldn't have dreamed of using my creative side.  I didn't think I had one and I was too tired to consider it.  Necessity and change born of poverty and illness.

Soooo, along the way I have taken a few "before" pictures.  I had no idea I was going to do a blog on my progress so I didn't take nearly enough. Then my computer crashed and I lost all of the pictures that were stored.  Still,  I am still going to try to recreate the "before" so I can show you the "after".  It just seems to make more of an impact.  With some rooms, like my adult son's bedroom,  I'm going to try to describe how it looked before and try to not bore with details that you can't picture in your mind.  I am also going to tell the how, what, where and when each item was replaced. Hidden in my recollections and musings, you'll find tips, hints and lessons learned.

Although I had originally planned to stick with black, white, silver and shades of denim blue as the theme colors for my home, it has turned out to be many shades of blue.  When you are filling your loot box with free items, a specific shade of blue would take too long and be next to impossible to fulfill.

Shades of blue....hmmm....might make a catchy title for a blog too.