Archive for the ‘bedroom’ Category

THRIFTY!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I still thrift. All the time. I swear.

It’s been about three months since any thrifty action has seen this blog.

BUT, the master bedroom has been begging me for a tall dresser for months now. Finding the right piece has been wickedly difficult considering it had to be both the right scale and cost. Guideline-wise, it had to be vintage (DUH) with a basic no-fuss design that slanted Danish. The curse of thrift shopping  is: if you’re needing something specific, you’re never going to find it.

I gave up hope, getting by with the wrong credenza in the meantime. Recently, during some local thrifting rounds, I spotted a complete bedroom set that included this simple but incredibly dry looking highboy. In it’s entirety, the set appeared abused and neglected for the last sixty year and cried out for the old vintage wood regimen. Luckily, the set was being sold piecemeal, making it easy to grab the highboy and nightstands and jet off.

Not to digress, but when I’m thrifting with folks or get emails from folks with thrifting dilemmas, their biggest challenge is usually just looking past the ugly florescent lights, piles of garbage and disorderliness of the place to spot potential. This dresser looked so depressing, so cheap and soooo gross in the store, but wood – good wood? Wood loves to be prettied up and treated right.

Spending the time and putting in the effort of sanding everything with fine steel wool, slopping on a couple coats of Danish oil and hand rubbing a final finish of Howards Feed N’ Wax, returns the luster and richness to wood that appeared derelict and shabby at best.

Of course this dresser is still vintage.

Over the last sixty years it’s been used and misused. Vintage wear and tear goes with the thrifty territory, but I prefer to live with furniture that’s been well used and developed an understandable patina. This way, instead of fearfully living with a perfect museum piece, you can knock stuff around and use pieces day in and day out without getting heartbroken if something gets dinged or nicked.

Case in point, the left side of the dresser has a large gouge from a careless handler dragging against something pointy. Sometimes, you can’t sand down very far when attempting to remove a big gouge. Most vintage furniture is finished with veneer, and that veneer is usually too thin to handle aggressive sanding.

In this situation, instead of freaking out and throwing every fill and repair trick at the damage (to just have the scratch continue to show up), a basic oiling helps minimize most of the damage. Vintage actually looking vintage is fine by me.

For most of the restoration, I didn’t spot markings that could help determine the dresser’s provenance. Not till after futzing with the base did this little blue MADE IN SWEDEN stamp pop up. At this point, I had pretty much assumed the set must have been American made and designed by some company in the states.

Those sneaky Swedes. Being all coy about marking stuff.

BEFORE & AFTER

Hey now.

Sexy time.

Of course this looks stunning framed by the weed infested backyard.

BUT…

Perfect-o for the bedroom.

POTENCE STYLE DIY LAMP

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The Potence lamp by Jean Prouvé is one of those elegantly minimalist lighting solutions that appears easier to construct than it actually is. Well, for me at least. I tried and failed, MISERABLY, to build an affordable DIY version for our bedroom and eventually gave up hope. Then? This email popped up brimming with pictures of a homemade version of the Potence that blew me away. Logan of ONEFORTYTHREE had written a comment long, long ago when I first posted about trying to build one of these thangs –

“Logan on February 1, 2011: I like the lamps but you’ve inspired me to try and make that wall lamp. It looks cool but too expensive to consider buying. If I can, YOU can! cause I’m a self-taught DIY’er too.”

Then? He totally f*cking did it. Like a DIY champion. Also, nope – turns out I can’t.

BOOM.

Did I mention that I kind of slobbered all over his emailed pictures and was like ohhh, ahhhh, woooow, you are a master fabricator, you are amazing, it turned out so great, mine failed so miserably…wink wink, nudge nudge.

So, Logan had been building a few of these tester lamps for friends and family while figuring out kinks and streamlining the fabrication process. I somehow ended up being lucky enough to get my hands on not one but TWO of the prototype versions. By unashamed groveling, perhaps?

One white version for the bedroom – which can swivel and swing to illuminate whichever area your heart desires.

And one black version for the den. Both areas we tend to relax, enjoy a good book or perhaps a long game of Words With Friends.

See? It swivels! You use the little wooden handle to move the lamp into position.

I love the detail of the braided cloth cord and handy little on/off switch positioned a little ways down the wiring. Logan worked it out on the little details to keep the lamp sleekly minimal but with areas of warm texture.

Chihuahua for scale.

My lamps are about six feet long and are perfect and I love them. Loved them so much and was so impressed by their handmade completely from scratch construction that I may have been a little forceful about Logan making a few available for sale. Maybe because I want to put them in all the homes I’m working on? Maybe out of complete selflessness? Weld! Weld till your fingers bleed!

Be sure to check out ONEFORTYTHREE for the DIY how to as well as even more of Logan’s great DIY projects and home renovation. A limited run of these lamps will be available in his newly minted ETSY STORE. Check them out and be on the lookout for additional handmade items to be added in the near future (wink wink, nudge nudge Logan).

*Also, homeboy just got engaged to his lovely, talented and hilarious lady. Congrats! Roxy was rocking some Vegas style bling at the big sale for realz.

Thrifty!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Awhile ago I found this super amazing mini chrome arc lamp and thought, oh I really love it, it’s so amazing and 70’s and sexy and sassy and makes my mouth water. The only problem is that it’s all by its lonesome.

BAM!

Now I’ve got a pair. How is this possible? By what crazy miracle, right?

Well, one day I get this text message from Sharon that is like, hey, is this your lamp? Then the picture pops up and I freak out, because yes, it is the other half to my lamp and someone I know is standing very close to it. I asked where are you? Where is it? How do I get my greedy hands on it? Turns out it’s in an antique mall (you know the kind, with all the booths of faux Victorian and beanie baby stuff) and because the place doesn’t traffic in “vintage modern” stuff it turns out that the price is delectable.

I immediately text back buy buy buy and amazingly she did because she is amazing. Now it’s here chilling in the bedroom even though my plans for finishing the bedroom do not necessarily include these bad boys. I have another place I’ve been dreaming of putting them…

Gratuitous dog photos, I know, but it’s becoming kind of an issue to take photos without these two getting all up in my grill. Truthfully, more like Bowie getting all up in it, since he’s the camera slut.

The bedroom needs some work. The textiles are whacktastic, but mainly they are functional place holders – except for this brown blanket which I love and will always remain. (Thanks Summer!)

Still need:

highboy
headboard
bigger rug
closet handles
proper bedding

Never ending stuff to do around here, peeps. Important, life altering, serious high minded work to be done – like picking out sheets once and for all. Serious business, I’m telling you.