Friday, August 26, 2011

A Sneak Peek

I had asked my grandmother to be on the lookout for some wooden cabinets for my next project. And boy did she deliver.  She picked up these SOLID WOOD cabinets for me at the astounding price of $45! But, it wasn't just one set of upper cabinets. That's right, she picked up a total of three, yes THREE, solid wood cabinets for me at the bargain price of $45--TOTAL. (Oh, how I do love thrifting!) There are two sets of upper cabinets and one lower set with a sink (a re-do with said sink piece is forthcoming). Right now the cabinets are "pickled". Which I had never heard of before, but apparently it was popular in the 80's. Perhaps we wanted our kitchen cabinets to match our acid washed jeans. No? But I digress. If you are unfamiliar with pickling, it's similar to whitewashing. Here is a picture of one set of the upper cabinets in it's current pickled glory.

And just to prove to you that they truly were $45, here is a picture of the receipt.

Stay tuned to see how I transform these pickled cabinets into something a bit more modern (and pretty!).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The piece that started it all--Great Grandpa's Chifferobe

I am a lover of antiques. Always have been. That's part of the reason for the name of this blog. You just never know what you might find between the rafters in the attic of an old house. And all of the history. Oh, don't even get me started on the history! Anyway, on to today's piece. How I do wish I had had the forethought to take a before picture all those years ago. It was in deplorable shape! Had it not had sentimental value I might not have taken on the challenge.

See, my dad bought this for me as a birthday and Christmas gift many years ago. It belonged to my great-grandpa. It dates to the 1920's or 1930's. It was a pine color, just lovely. Even then I wanted antiques and not toys! It stayed in my bedroom at my dad's house for years. Well, eventually, I all but stopped visiting on the weekends so it just languished in the corner of an unused room. A leaky roof, a broken mirror, many years and two younger half siblings later, I rescued it. I didn't have anywhere to keep it at my mom's house but I knew I had to reclaim it then or who knows what might happen to it. Since I don't have a before picture let me describe it's condition to you. The large mirror had been broken and removed, The right side of the piece (large mirror side) and the back were warped and swollen from water damage. The bottom had come off from the weight of the clothes my dad piled in it, plus it was rotting from water damage. It wouldn't sit level on the ground anymore. It was horrible. I was devastated, but I was determined I could restore it to it's former beauty.

The chifferobe sat in my Mom's basement for a few more years before I finally decided to tackle the project. Replacing the bottom and the back were relatively easy (I have a handy step-father). The side was more difficult but we were able to find a piece of wood thin enough to fit in the notched space left by the old panel. I wasn't overly concerned with the new wood matching what was already there because I knew going in that I would have to refinish it. Once the chifferobe was structurally sound I set about sanding it. I sanded all of the old finish off (quite the time consuming job let me tell you) and restained it a very dark brown color. I kept the original hardware and had a new mirror cut to fit in the space of the broken one.

It's not a perfect job. There are flaws and I now realize I probably should have put wax or polyurethane on it after I restained it. But at the time I didn't know such things even existed! I was young, I plead ignorance. Besides the flaws I see a piece that very likely would have ended up in the trash bin had I not saved it. Even my mom told me it wasn't worth the effort. But oh how glad I am that I did! Now great-grandpa's chifferobe sits in the corner of my bedroom and every time I look at it I still feel that same sense of accomplishment.  Here she is in all her glory:

Friday, August 5, 2011

My First Post--An Introduction!!

Hi there and welcome! I'm Amanda and I love nothing more than taking a piece of unloved, outdated furniture and turning it into something beautiful with a little love and creativity and LOTS of elbow grease. I want everyone to know that they can transform their home into a lovely, peaceful abode with a little patience and without spending oodles of money on brand new things. More importantly I want you to be inspired!

Most of the projects you'll see featured are from around my own home. After purchasing my first home I quickly discovered that I didn't have the budget to fill it with furniture showroom pieces. And why would I want to?!? You can find quality pieces at yard sales, thrift stores, curbside, via dumpster diving...the possibilities are endless if you just have an open mind and a willingness to try.

Hopefully the following pages will provide you with some inspiration to finish--or start-- that project that has been sitting in your garage gathering dust, or for finally mustering the courage to repaint that outdated but fabulously shaped piece in your own home!