Chair Rehab

The Mid-Century Modern Chair Makeover

Chair 2I’ve finally finished my chair.  (Blog post:

Remember when it looked like this:


furniture redo3


It has become one of the most comfortable chairs in the house.  What a little elbow grease, paint, and new gray suede upholstery can do! Chair1Now it will fit in nicely when I get to return home…I think I’ll use it as an office chair.

Craft of the Day

Fall banner 1Fall banner

Fallbanner detailredoneDetail

Here is an extra craft for today:

pumpkin cutoutredoneDecorating for Fall and Halloween…pumpkin cutouts, thanks to my Cricut I can cut out multitudes of shapes in no time.

Paint or Not to Paint

Just making a point:

In one of my recent posts I was adamant about not painting “stand alone beautiful” wood furniture.  It ruins the value and the aesthetics of certain furniture pieces.  I realize this is  from my own subjective influences and my own basic bias of refinishing “rules”.  I did want to make a case in point…Martha Stewart Living Magazine (September 1998) had this little American, oak washstand on the cover, painted in yellow with darker yellow trim.  Cheery to say the least, I almost cried when I saw it.

yellow painted dresserI own almost the same washstand, though its never been refinished or painted; the finish is original.

helga washstandIt doesn’t have the ornate skirt on the bottom but the richness of the hand carved handles, keyholes, and trim make it an American classic.

What do you think?  Leave me a comment and I would love to hear your opinion. Paint or not to paint?

More Treasures

Look  What I Found!

IMG_0001-001While cleaning out the “back house” (a solar alternative studio), I found these treasures.  One was a high quality desk that was dirty and the external finish neglected for decades; covered in dust and spider webs.  The other piece is a mid-century modern chair, also of superior quality and super sturdy; just waiting to be rescued and given new life.

The desk:


IMG_0004-001Details of the desk.  Notice the dove-tailed joints and solid wood craftsmanship.

furniture redo4All finished and beautiful once again! (please ignore the cable wires)

One rule of thumb concerning painting furniture or not, according to my mom who was an antique dealer….Never paint or refinish pieces that have a stand alone beauty, the value of the piece rapidly declines. (Just watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS!)  I decided to let this one just be cleaned, oiled (the wood was very dry), and waxed, no poly acrylic sealer of any kind.  Sometimes I literally freak out when I see beautiful pieces that have been painted on Pinterest, just because it is a fad to do so.  Let the beauty stand alone.

Next: The Chair

furniture redo3This piece was a toss up as to what to do with it.  I really don’t care for modern furniture, though I do like the simple lines (my family-in-law has a house full).  Mid-century modern only keeps its worth pretty much in its original form.  The yellowed Varathane that they used to finish most of those pieces is sad and dated.  While taking this chair apart I am trying to decide what to do with this 1951 treasure.  Keep your eyes open for the reveal soon.

Christmas in September

Since I am not at my real home for the next few weeks I was having withdrawals from not doing any artwork, and decided to go hunting for a scrap booking store to just look at the beautiful papers (sigh!). I found a pretty amazing place close by, and after hunting around I felt very inspired and  all giddy thinking I needed to get going on my Christmas craft projects and so I bought some supplies to try something different.  Check out some of the things I bought, now lets see what I’ll create!

Christmas 1

Dresser Redo

Finally Finished Dresser

I finished the dresser I promised. I have been working on so many projects right now; besides the busyness of having a plethora of out-of-town guests, planning our vacation (more on that later), remodeling the kitchen, bedrooms, baths, and updating baseboards and paint, and dealing with emergency trips out of town due to a loved one’s failing health.  I think this has been the busiest summer ever!


This is a totally grainy shot though it gives you an idea of how the “after” turned out.  You notice my 2014 Vision board (from the post: ) and some other things dear to my heart in my office; the framed menu from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki from the 50s, (my favorite breakfast there was the pancakes with coconut syrup – yum), my grandmother’s shadow box, and my carved marble lamp.

dresser hardwareThis dresser wasn’t that hard to refinish;  just some sanding, primer, and paint, but the hardware makes a huge difference on the upgrade, don’t you think?.  My biggest problem was time, I’ve had to work on projects either early morning or late at night, though I am determined to finish all my plans by the end of my September deadlines.  Then it is off to finding “new treasure” to work on!

Hope this is an inspiration for you to try new things.  Enjoy!


Desk Redo

Turning a Sewing Machine Base into a Desk

We have had this Singer sewing machine base outside on our front porch for about 18 years!  I’d previously painted it, tried many tops including the marble slab that was originally on it, but alas, the weather was taking it’s toll.  The wood base here was rotted and falling apart, while the marble slab was disintegrating and broken in many pieces. It needed to be rescued.

IMG_0003Since I needed a small desk for my office, and I had searched for weeks for the perfect one everywhere, I finally decided to reuse and refurbish this treasure for the transformation to a laptop desk.

Remember the pictures of preparing a laminated wood top from a couple of weeks ago.










My mind changed when I saw how “yellowish” the stain really was (yellow is not a favorite color), so I added a coat of gray paint to the board then distressed it with my sander.gray paint with distressingHere is the end result after attaching the top to the base.

alrightpink walls

My desk revealed…I love the airiness and small dimensions for this tiny room.  I am working on remodeling the rest of the room, furniture, and accents here in my office.  The big reveal is coming up quickly.  Stay tuned!

Have a wonderful rest of your holiday weekend!