The dumpster has been good to me lately. Everyone must be spring cleaning because I’m finding all sorts of cool stuff out there.
In fact my bounty has been so plentiful I’m dealing with a surplus issue in my tiny apartment. Remember that William Morris quote from earlier?
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful
Yeahhhhh, I might have to amend it ever so slightly;
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful – unless it was free and has the potential to be awesome after a couple coats of paint and some fabric
I like to think given Will’s love of textiles he’d be on board with that updated philosophy.
And hey – if the worst happens and these pieces don’t work out they can go right back out to the trash heap for someone else to pick up!
Let’s review the current tally, shall we?
This was flat out silly to take. I already have a perfectly good and sentimentally important dining room table (Thanks Grandma!) However when I spotted this I couldn’t pass it up. I love a circular table. And the girly curved legs. And the size definitely suits my dining area.
I’ve since removed the legs and stored the whole thing in the back of my closet until I can figure out how to solve The Puzzle of Two Tables.
When I get it sorted out here’s my plan for refinishing:
Strip off the chipping lacquer. Although for the sake of laziness I might try sanding it smooth first. Stripping lacquer seems like it’d be a lotta work. Then I’m thinking a glossy white finish. And I’m toying with maybe using a colour on the legs…..hmmm….
Of all the things I’ve found lately this item will need the most repair. It’s not great quality to start with. It’s fiber board and veneer. One gable has a big split down the middle. And one of the drawers is missing a side. But the hardware is in good working order and (bonus) is solid brass. Plus I did mention it was free, right?
Also, look how quickly it goes from frumpy to something approaching pretty with just a few accessories.
So here’s my plan – done in sketchy styles this time (see what I did there? I’m so sneaky!)
I couldn’t resist this piece. Mirrors, especially ones with chunky frames can get quite costly. This one had been part of a larger cabinet piece – see the remaining hinge hardware on the back.
Out of all the dumpster finds this is the only piece not destined to remain in my place. Not that I couldn’t happily find room for it but as it happens I’m working on a nursery for a good friend and after a little refinishing this is gonna fit right in. I won’t say more ’cause I want it to be a surprise. Watch for that in future posts!
Lest you think my dumpster findings are always success stories I should point out this next piece was my second attempt to get a dressing chair into my bedroom. The first chair I brought up from the trash seemed at first glance to be a winner. Then I got it in place and the proportions were all wrong, the side support was completely broken (how did I miss that?) and worst of all it was uncomfortable to sit on.
As I returned it to the heap I spotted a second chair hidden behind some cardboard. Which is how I ended up with this beaut:
Yes the fabric is old faux leather and torn. But the frame was solid and I even like the look of worn wood. Surprise surprise – this one might not get painted!
But it was crying out for some new fabric. I’ve ordered some samples from Tonic Living (a must glance for fabric lovers) but in the meantime I had a temporary solution easily on hand.
I recently hemmed about 1.5 yards off a pair of grey Ikea drapes. Perfect! Reduce, reuse, recycle – right?
I’ve never reupholstered a chair but when I pulled this from the trash I’d checked to make sure all seams were concealed by the wood frame. That way when I recovered it I’d have somewhere to conceal my mistakes.
First step – iron the wrinkles out of the fabric.
Second step – lay out and cut the fabric panels.
Third step – start stapling the fabric to the frame. Which is where I made my mistake for this project. Going on the same principles used when stretching canvases I began stapling in the centres and working opposite sides concurrently. Turns out pulling fabric requires a little more finesse than stretching a canvas ’cause I ended up with a few lines. Ooops…
Even with the lines it didn’t turn out too badly. The midtone grey compliments the worn wood tones nicely. I still think I’ll ultimately end up covering it with a colourful fabric (and I haven’t completely ruled out painting the frame). But for the time being I’m happy to have a place to plop down when I put on socks!
And on that note – have a happy weekend! Here’s hoping the weather where you are is better than the freezing rain Toronto is currently