Our Tennessee Life ...formerly The Retail DIYet

Our Tennessee Life ...formerly The Retail DIYet: September 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The search for Dining Chairs

If you know me at all you know that we've moved quite a few times in the last couple of years.  Our first house was a teeny tiny Trinity in Philadelphia and our second purchase was a Huge Victorian also in Philadelphia (could we get more extreme!!  I know!).  I'll get into more detail on both homes later, but know that between those two homes, our move to Los Angeles and most recently our move to Nashville-we've had tons of furniture.  Some beautiful, some cheap filler furniture, but most of it has gone to a new home.  We sold some (at waaayyy to cheap a price!) to friends, family and strangers on craigslist.  We have some in storage in Philadelphia and some has made the two cross country journey's with us.  Somedays I don't know whether I am coming or going let alone where all my stuff is.  One day I hope to have everything we own in the same place--heck, I'll settle for the same state!

Since we didn't have a dining room in LA our dining table which my hubby made with his own two hands never made the journey.  Same goes for our dining chairs.  I believe we sold the chairs and I honestly don't know where the table ended up.  I think it went to our neighbor.  We moved to LA before our house sold so if it was left in the house, our parents helped remove/store/sell for us.  So....now that we are in Nashville we have once again found ourselves with a dining space and no furniture to put in it.  Soon I will post pics of our amazing little house in the woods.  It's a historic home, with all original solid wood paneling and a very mountain cabin feel.  Certainly completely different from our spanish bungalow in LA!  But, that's a completely different post for another day. 

Anyhoo.....the search for dining chairs began and I knew that I wanted to find something I could redo.  Nothing from a big box store.  We searched a few antique stores and this is what we found.

They had a total of 6 chairs.  5 armless and 1 arm chair and all for $125!
I purchased the fabric below from Fabric.com.  Both were $6.99/yard. 
To paint the bases I used Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Old White and I used the soft clear wax over them.  I decided not to distress them, but now I think I may want to...What do you think?  To distress or not distress? That is the question.

Here they are...

xo, dani

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Magical Princess Dresser

Used Furniture Store Purchase

Cost: $40.00

Materials: $20.00

This dresser has been around for quite awhile. It was actually purchased by my mom who intended on refinishing it herself about ten years ago. It has been sitting in her garage ever since. I recently purchased a new house and asked my mom if it would be okay to use this piece as my first project--I knew it would look great in my daughter's room. It had really nice detail and I wanted to give her a piece of furniture with a story behind it.

Here's how I did it---

I used Annie Sloan's chalk paint in Old White. This was my first time using chalk paint so I wasn't sure what to expect. It's all over the blogs we read so I at least wanted to try it! It was so easy to apply-especially with the chalk paint brush that is sold with it. I applied two coats (don't worry when you paint the first coat and it looks so far from done--it gets better-I promise!) and it turned out perfectly. It was a nice pure white matte finish. I loved it.

Annie Sloan also sells a wax to use with the paint. The more I read the more I was convinced this piece needed it. I didn't purchase the ASCP wax; instead I opted for a wood wax found in the hardware store. I hated the yellow finish it gave the dresser so I sanded it down and gave it a distressed look. It was better but still not what I had envisioned. For Ella's princess dresser it needed something more--pink and sparkle! I painted the drawers using Satin Ballet Pink spray paint by Krylon and searched the craft drawer for glitter. I added glitter to the top and drawers and VOILA-a magical princess dresser is born! One last touch was to spray the original hardware with Hammered Gold spray paint by Rustoleum. This is a great way to invent a new piece. If you have a piece that you do not want to paint, but think it needs some sprucing up-try replacing the existing knobs. Try this with your kitchen cabinets as well!

I love how amazing her dresser looks at night. The dim light reflecting on the glitter is magical!

Sometimes it just takes a little patience and a few tries to get the piece exactly how you want it.

xo, christine

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

$2.50 chairs? Yes, please!!

I LOVE to frequent the Goodwill.  It's hit or miss.  Somedays there is absolutely nothing but junk and  somedays you score a find like these chairs!  When I found them they were in dire need of some love.  They didn't even have seats, but the details are amazing, and at $2.50 a piece how could I not buy them??  Look at the detail on the back or splat of the chair--love the music reference!

Here's a quick look at before...
$2.50 each!!
Love the detail!

I gave them both a quick sand and had to glue and tack a few of the parts to make it sturdy.  Then I hit it them with Rustoleum Black Satin spray paint and a spray polyurethane to protect them.  I made seats out of plywood (yes, I used a jigsaw and still have my extremities!) and attached foam and batting and covered them with fabric I picked up at Joann's a while back on clearance.  Total all in it's under $10.00 for each chair. 

So, what do you think?  I'm pretty happy with how they turned out especially considering how much the entire project cost.  I just picked up a table at the big Nashville flea market that will go perfect with this pair and make for a great set.  I'll keep you posted on that project as well.  The table was $5.00 and also in desperate need of some TLC...

xo, dani

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Welcome to our Blog!

Welcome to our FIRST BLOG POST!  We are so excited to start this new adventure.  Our love for d├ęcor and design goes back years and the launch of this site has been worth the wait.  As you will see our styles are as different as our personalities, but our foundations are the same.  Great design does not require you to spend a fortune and if you go on The Retail DiYet with us we will show you how to be less dependent on the big box stores and more confident in your ability to repurpose and refinish vintage finds.  After all, the best pieces are ones with character that have lived a long life. Like wine, well cared for furniture only gets better with age.    
Tine & Dani of The Retail DiYet