Monday, September 29, 2014

Chinese Chippendale Chairs | Real Time Progress

Today I thought I would try something a little different. Rather than posting one big reveal - I'll be sharing my progress in real time. I think some projects come across as quick and easy (the nature of one post ..) but in reality, that's not always the case.

So I'll be sharing this project in real time - from finding a second hand piece to finished photos.

Last Sunday, I was browsing Knoxville Craigslist (while in Maryland) doing one of my typically searches, bamboo .. and there it was, a pair of Chinese Chippendale arm chairs ($60 for the pair) (in Asheville, NC).. I've been looking for these for about 3 years .. it was a mixture of feelings, super excited, but not wanting to get my hopes up .. We were driving back to back to TN that day, so we couldn't make it. I sent an email, saying how much I loved them, how long I've been looking for them, etc.. and asked if they would hold them till weekend. After a day or so, they said that they would hold them, YAY!!

So this Friday, we decided to take a day trip to Asheville (about 2 hours away) and visit vintage/thrift shops and the Biltmore. You can't tell from the photo, but it was a gorgeous day, the weather was perfect and the sky was a mix of the prettiest blue and clouds (except in this photo ..) I needed a day to recharge, picking up one of my bucket list furniture finds and soaking up the architecture and interior details, did just the trick!

Saturday, I started taking them apart. As you can see, the upholstery needs to be replaced.

Some of the wood joints were broken and repaired (but not well ..)

Saturday, I spent a good portion of the day removing all of the upholstery and staples from the back and seat. My preference is a small pair of needle nose pliers (I like the ones below, comes in a pack of three at Home Depot) these are great since they pop back open when you release. I also like a flat screw driver with a thin tip, it allows you to get underneath the staple easier. Though it is good to have a larger set too because it's easier on your hands (mine are still sore today ..) Pulling staples is definitely my least favorite task .. if anyone has tips to make it easier, I'd love to hear!

The seats are secured underneath with screws ..

The upholstered backs left staple holes everywhere .. the faux bamboo was also notched out ..

Sunday, I filled the staple holes and notched out bamboo with wood filler. Since the notched out bamboo requires more wood filler, I will let it sit overnight - prior to sanding.

We repaired the damage arm by stripping the old glue and nail, then re-aligned the wood, added wood glue and clamped into place with a ratchet strap (a great tip, if clamps wont work!). Clamping is the key to strong, durable bond when using wood glue. Once dry, we used wood filler to fill in the missing wood.

Purchasing these with an upholstered back (when I want the exposed back) will add a few extra days of work, but I figured I've waited 3 years, a few extra days of work will be well worth it!

That's where I'm at! Due to the damage, I'm planning on reupholstering the seat, leaving the back as is and painting the frame.

Total time invested:

Picking up chairs: 4 hours (we did make a day trip out of it .. and usually our finds are only about 10-30 minutes away ..)

Removing staples and upholstery: an afternoon

Repairing damaged wood with wood glue and wood filler: about 2 hours

Up next, sanding, priming the frame and picking out fabric for the seat.

We have lots of projects in the works .. so stay tuned!!


Also, don't forget to check out my latest DIY project, at Infarrantly Creative!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Blogger Stylin' Home Tour | DIY Starburst Mirror

I'm so honored to be participating in the Blogger Stylin' Home Tours Fall 2014, thanks so much to Lindsay for organizing it and inviting me! If you're stopping by from Eleven Gables, welcome! I'm so glad that you're here!

We don't have a current home tour, so I decided to include a DIY project tutorial (after all, I LOVE DIY)!

When I think of fall, I think of candlelight, rustic texture, and metallics, so I created a vignette above my campaign dresser.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BHG Stylemaker Challenge and Event

If you follow me on Instagram, than you probably know that last week I was in NYC for a fast paced, super fun event with BHG - the Stylemaker Challenge and Stylemaker Event.

Part 1.

Tuesday I arrived just before the Stylemaker Challenge started .. picture me running through the streets in the rain with all my bags (traffic was super bad, so I ran the final 5 blocks).

But I made it! I met the talented and sweet Stacy and Jen, who were also participating in the challenge, the video production team and host Eddie Ross. Everyone was super nice!!

The challenge included designing a 4' wide gallery space - in 5 hours, with limited tools (no nails or screws!?) and a video team documenting it. No pressure! ;) 

Here's my work station. 

Part of the challenge was shopping for our supplies at Michaels, with a camera following us around (pretty sure I looked stressed since I couldn't find many things! Hopefully the camera, or should I say editing is kind :)

I can't show you the finished space, but video and still shots will be up on next week for voting!! eek!! Stay tuned!

Part 2.

Thursday, I attended the Stylemaker event. It was SO great to meet so many people in person that I've met online! 

We learned tips from the pros .. it was so surreal to see editors flipping through the magazine and talk about the styling, editing, etc. that goes into each spread. 

I got to see Eddie Ross work his styling magic in person! Amazing!!

Nate Berkus hosted the Stylemaker panel. Again, amazing!! 

Can you find me? 

 L to R Lindsay, me, Carrie, Jen, Kristin

Stacy, Amy, KellyIt was SO great to meet these ladies (and so many more not in the photo!) in person!!

It was a whirlwind trip, my head is still spinning!! But SUPER fun!! I'd do it all again in a heart beat! 

p.s. I also realized after talking to a few people that everyone is confused about where we're living .. so I'll be doing a post explaining what's been going on over the past year (this week marks one year since we left CA, so perfect timing!) 

Photo credits: vertical pics from my iphone, horizontal pics Avi Gerver 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What Would Sarah Do?

Today, I'm sharing another "What Would Sarah Do?" with this ornate console table.

I'm not a fan of the multi-colored / dark finish .. it feels dated and is too much with the detail. I'd update it by painting it a bright glossy finish.

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