08.20.2014 / Craigslist Treasure Hunting Again

Please accept my apologies for the lack of DIYs this week.  Right now I’m enjoying the calm before the storm.  We close on the newest flip house, “Millie” on Friday and while I’m very excited to be taking on an antique house, I’m kinda scared sh*tless at the same time.

I have a feeling I’ll be spending quite a bit of time on Craigslist trying to find appropriate pieces for a period craftsman bungalow, but for now, let’s just look at a few pretty things currently listed for sale.

How pretty is this little vanity set for $90?  If it wouldn’t completely clash in my bedroom, I would seriously consider taking it home.  Don’t worry, though, Hubby- it won’t fit in with the rest of the furniture so you’re safe this time.

cl vanity

I also may or may not have resold the dresser that I bought intending for my future niece.  It was a lovely buffet/dresser, but when I started thinking about a toddler trying to open/close those gigantic drawers that didn’t have any kind of track, I decided to go back to the drawing board.  My current thought is this:

CL knobby dresser

Just picture it with the weird handle recesses filled in, painted, and with proper knobs.  It has tons of potential at $100.

Although, if I decided not to do the refinishing myself, this dresser is pretty stunning already, just a bit more than I was hoping to spend on a dresser for said soon-to-be niece at $350:

cl refinished dresser

Returning back to potential beauties at $100.  I’m not enamored with it when the doors are closed…

cl hutch 1

…but if you removed the doors and left the open shelving on top, I’m pretty charmed by it.

cl hutch 2

And for some reason I’m always drawn to old banker chairs, library chairs, etc.  Rarely do you find one that looks this nice for $20.  Luckily for my already overstuffed basement, I’m on a self-proclaimed chair buying hiatus.

cl chair

I’ll leave you with one parting bit of eye candy.  WAY WAY WAY above what I would ever spend in reality, but in my dreams, I’ll totally be spending the $2395 for this restored antique pulley chandelier.  Would you like to dream with me?

cl restored light

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when perusing Craigslist, but if you know what you’re looking for, the gems are there.  Happy thrifting!

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08.18.2014 / Padding the Issues

I have a very deep and important topic to discuss with you today.  Rug pads.  Wait, don’t go!!!  I’ll try and make it exciting!

When Rug Pad USA reached out and offered for me to try their product, saying I was skeptical was a bit of an understatement.  Rug pads rank on my priority list right below fixing my dripping faucet and right above cleaning under the bed.  For example, we have an area rug on our carpet in the bedroom.  Our bed’s legs cause the quality IKEA rug to pucker something fierce.  A nicer rug with a proper rug pad would probably have no issue in this situation.  My solution: stick a stiff carpet sample under the bed legs for support.  It has sat like that for over 3 years.  Just call me MacGyver.

My biggest rug pad situation (yes that’s a thing) was in the kitchen.

Year of Serendipity two-tone kitchen with flat weave runner

Flat weave runners are delightful on the eyes, but have little to no ‘stay put’ power on their own.  Also being in the kitchen, Hubby requested, back when we got the rug, something cushy that would be good for standing.  Again, MacGyver had a solution!  I folded up a regular rug pad for more cush… and then when it kept going askew, I splurged for “As seen on TV” Ruggies.  This solution was acceptable… the Ruggies kept the 4 corners in place and the folded pad was pleasing to your feet, but the pad kept bunching and although the 4 corners stayed in place, the center of the rug liked to go it’s own way.

bad-rug-pad-fix

So when Rug Pad USA asked if I’d like to try a rug pad, my thoughts immediately went to that wonkiness.  I’m willing to give almost anything a try and really, it couldn’t be any worse than my makeshift solution.

When I took the Premium-Lock rug pad out of the packaging I was intrigued- gripping rubber on one side and coarse felt on the other.  Seemed promising.

Rug pad USA premium lock rug pad

The second I put it down and placed the rug on it, my rug pad skepticism flew out the window.  The rubber held the pad onto the hard wood floors and the texture of the felt kept the rug in place.  I even gave it the twist test.  Are you familiar with this test?  Stand on a rug and… do the Twist!  It didn’t budge.  You win rug pad.

I dig the rug pad so much I’m most likely going be getting another for the flat weave rug at my front door.  I won’t lie though, it’s tough convincing myself to spend more than a few dollars on something I’ll never see, but I don’t think my feet can ever go back to my previous go-to of “the cheapest rug pad I can find”.  Cheapskate Frugal skeptic MacGyver here even sees the value.

Flat weave rug staying put with big girl rug pad from Rug Pad USA

The design nerd in me also really appreciates that they’re made in the USA, have no VOCs and several (like the one I received) are LEED certified.

If you don’t believe me, test it out yourself.  Use the code pr15off to get %15 off a Rug Pad USA rug pad of your very own and let me know your thoughts!

***Rug Pad USA did send me a sample to review, but all words and opinions are 100% me (for better or worse).  They actually encouraged my full honesty in the interest of market research.  Now there’s someone who stands by their product!***

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08.15.2014 / DIY 101: Recovering a Chair

Let’s start at the very beginning- a very good place to start.  When you read you begin with A B C, when you DIY you begin with…

recovering a dining chair.

diy-101-dining-seat before

I know I often do more involved DIY’s but sometimes I forget to share the basics.  So I figured let’s start with DIY 101.

Recovering a chair can seem intimidating to start off, but once you realize how easy it is to recover the seat, you’ll want to keep doing it!  Maybe that’s the root of my chair addiction.  As you can probably guess with this chair, I’ve already attacked it with a vibrant blue spray paint.  No matter what color the frame, however, that orange velour seat would need to go.  Far away.

First you need to remove the seat.  Normally it’s held on with a few screws from under the chair.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once your seat is free, go ahead and grab pliers and a flat-head screwdriver and start prying out the old staples.  If your seat is in decent condition and the cushion is still adequate, you can always skip this and cover right over the old fabric.  If that’s the case, skip down to the fabric step.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

You’ll need to take the staples out to free both the fabric and the underlying foam.  I promise, this is the most tedious part, so if you can make it through this- you got it!

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Now for the fun part- putting it all back together!

I used 2 layers of dacron batting for my cushion.  If you want something squishier, you can use a layer of 1″ foam with a layer of batting over it to smooth it.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Start by stapling the top, bottom and 2 sides about 1″ in from the edge.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

After stapling the 4 sides, go ahead and staple all the way around and trim the excess batting.

Next you’ll need to position your cushion on the back of your fabric.  Make sure if you have a directional pattern like a geometric or stripe, that you have the pattern oriented as you’d like to see it on the chair.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Now, with the fabric, you’ll want to first staple the 4 sides as before.  Staple in just a bit from where you stapled the foam so that the fabric will cover it.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once you have the sides stapled, work inward from each staple.  You want to make sure not to pull the fabric tight otherwise you’ll see the stretching.  Instead, use your full hand to smooth the fabric tight like so.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

 

Create pleats in your fabric as necessary as you go.  You won’t see these on the finished product, but it will help your pattern sit properly.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Continue this all the way around until your entire seat is stapled.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once the stapling is set, trim your fabric at least a half inch from the staples- any closer and your fabric may fray.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once trimmed, you get to turn the cushion back over an admire your handy-work.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Reattach it to the chair and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Now you’re ready to give your dining room a whole new look!

 

 

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