Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Upholster a Chair with a Shower Curtain

Like any good tightwad I constantly scour Craigslist and Freecycle for deals.  Sometimes I answer ads with such descriptive titles as "free chairs" and then I run off to a stranger's house unaccompanied. (smart, I know)  Often I end up with the privilege of hauling their junk to the thrift store for them.  But sometimes I get a feeling the stuff is going to be awesome and it is!  

And that's just what happened here.  I managed to secure a pair of Midcentury Modern Gunlocke chairs for free!  Did you know that JFK had a Gunlocke chair in the oval office?  You can read more of the history here.
The wood was in pretty good condition and I decided not to paint.  But the frame had a lot of dings, scrapes and paint splatters.  I lightly sanded all the problem areas and then used dark wax to bring back the luster.  This is a great shortcut compared to refinishing the whole shebang.

Now are you digging that upholstery?  It's groovy and it had to go.  Instead I chose to reupholster the chairs using an Ikat pattern shower curtain that cost me $20.  Say what?  Fabric shower curtains are a durable and inexpensive option as compared to upholstery weight fabric.  It's water resistant which is great for cleaning up spills and you get a whole lot of fabric for your dollar.

Both the backrest and seat cushion were easy to remove from the frame with a couple screws.  I removed the old fabric and replaced it with the Ikat shower curtain using my staple gun.  This style of chair is as easy to reupholster as a simple dining chair seat cushion.  I was also able to reuse the original foam and batting which made the project quick and kept expenses down.

And now for the finished project...these photos were taken around the Sweet Clover Barn by my partner Cassie.

This photo really shows off the great wood finish.
So will you use a shower curtain for your next upholstery project?

I'm sharing this #thriftscrorethursday makeover with my friends Brynne of The Gathered Home and Trisha of Black and White Obsession.  Tag your #thriftscorethursday finds on Twitter and Instagram too!

Elizabeth and Co.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Low Cost DIY Gallery Wall

Today I'm excited to show you what I've been working on in our family room.  In the past I've showed you the seating area (here and here), mantel (here and here) and even the desk area of the room. However I have completely avoided showing you the TV wall since this post in 2010.  Yeah, four years.  Here's what it looked like then.  (Just excuse the flash photography of the early days)
Back then we had a massive big screen TV and an even more massive entertainment center in the family room.  The large scale of the TV and associated furniture paired with a set of DIY canvases adequately filled the space on the two story wall.  

Since then our style has totally evolved AND we have switched out both the TV and entertainment center for something more modern.  The next step in the room's evolution looked like this.
I scored this vintage Henredon dresser FOR FREE on Craigslist.  We simply popped out the top drawer and runner then drilled a few holes in the back to accommodate our TV component wires. Finally we caved to the new fangled technology and bought a flat screen TV as well.  But how do you like that huge, honkin' blank expanse of wall?

I took my time devising a solution to the blank wall problem.  It was obvious that a gallery wall was the answer but I had to wait for the right inspiration to find me.  One Saturday at the flea market I stumbled upon this Eames chair print for $5 and that was it!   I searched online and the print is available here. Um, "I want to lounge with you" perfect for a family room right? 
With the lounge print as the centerpiece, the gallery wall evolved to include collected items from the thrift store, flea market and family as well as a few DIY painted canvases.  Here's the completed gallery wall.
I made an effort to balance the black and white, gold and rustic wood elements in the arrangement from side to side and top to bottom.  I also wanted the gallery to frame the TV and compliment the A shape of the wall without being too symmetrical.  It's possible I may go back and fill in a few areas as I acquire new thrifted treasures though.

I used cheap canvases from Walmart to help fill all that wall space.  First they were painted with a coat of General Finishes Snow white.  For the large one, I taped off the chevron shape and painted on gold Rub n' Buff with a brush.  The little squares got the same treatment but then I used GF Lamp Black to sketch the arrow pattern with a chunky brush.  

The transom window came from a Baltimore row house that my father in law renovated.  I rescued it from his attic and am happy to have a little piece of Baltimore history in our home.  The turtle was a flea market find by Cassie.  I sprayed it gold and set it off with a thrifted frame.
The bushel basket tops were only .25 cents at the flea and the Mid Century chair print was a thrift store find.  I think it's a nice compliment to the Eames print.

 Bear with me for just a few more beauty shots.

I am in love with the combination of thrifted, flea market, hand me down and DIY elements that helped create an eclectic and unique gallery wall.  It took a bit of time to accumulate all the pieces but the total price was less than $100!  It was well worth that investment to fill that large blank space!

Shared with:

Creativity Unleashed at the Bold Abode

Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Takeways from Haven 2014

I'm back today with a roundup of my takeaways from Haven 2014.  This was my second time at Haven and it totally rocked!  Thanks so much to my bestie & business partner, Cassie, for making the journey to Atlanta with me and for driving the entire trip!

1) Stripes are *HOT*!  Seriously everywhere you looked at Haven beautiful bloggers were sporting striped dresses and tops.  Katja captured this phenomenon perfectly in her recap post.  Here's Cassie and I ready for the first night's party before we realized we were really, really trendy.

2) Instagram is the social media platform of choice.  If you wanted to keep up with what was going on at Haven following along on IG was key.  Nearly all the sponsors asked that you share photos on Instagram with a side order of specific hashtags.  I think we all kind of knew IG is where it's at but this was big time confirmation.

Here I am being mysterious in the Modern Masters booth. #sexysideeye

3) Blogging might cost you some $$.  In the sessions and discussions at Haven it struck me that bloggers are not only investing their time and love but also some serious cash into making their blogs the best they can be.  The investments range from slick design and user interface to "prop closets" and video camera drones (yes..I said drones) for those perfect shots.   This can seem totally intimidating but I think it's all about balance and your personal blogging goals.  Haven has inspired me to improve my blog but I'm going to start small and keep budget in mind.  The blog is called "The Thriftress" after all.

4)  Real life vs Blog life.  There is a lot of pressure in blogging to get that "magazine worthy" shot each and every time while simultaneously keeping up with social media, SEO, ad optimization, sponsors and more.   But we are all mothers, wives etc with BUSY lives and we are constantly cropping out the clutter while feeling inadequate.  Frankly that makes me feel tired!  I have to admit that I love gorgeous photos but I'm also more inclined to read blogs by authentic people.  Keeping it real is relatable and creates a connection to readers.  I have sooo much room to grow when it comes to styling, photography and the technical side of blogging but I'm also committed to being Sarah and not a magazine version of myself.

5) Find you tribe!  I cannot stress how much forging relationships with other bloggers before Haven can improve your experience!  I'm in several blogging Facebook groups and have met a ton of local bloggers in person.  The first time I went to Haven was pretty awkward for an introvert like me.   I didn't know many bloggers and I suck at meeting people and small talk.  This time around I COULD NOT WAIT to meet up with my blogging buddies and it felt like we already knew each other.  I also managed to meet other fantastic, warm and funny bloggers and I look forward to developing friendships with them after Haven.  For us introverts the pre-Haven tribe is key.  Next time around I'm starting the #HAVENINTROVERTS hashtag so we can find each other and talk...or not. ;)

**BONUS...Haven Mavens know how to par-TAY!  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know everyone at Haven!  Here is but a sampling of the fantastic people I met!
 Cassie, Ashley, me & Anna
My roomies: Cassie, me, Julia and Carrie

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Sh!t List: Americana Inspired Decor

Hey guys so did that post title get you to click over or what?  Stay with me.  It won't be that scary I promise.

We are going to talk about what's on my "list" this week.  I promise it will be fun!  And just in case you're worried this could go horribly wrong here's my disclaimer to put you more at ease.


At this time of year it seems like my reader, Pinterest, Facebook and IG feeds are inundated with patriotic home decor projects.  It's like bloggers feel pressure to participate in every single holiday season even if the projects are not always inspired.  Don't get me wrong I am proud to be an American and love the flag and the freedom it stands for.  But I might stab myself in the eye if I see another pallet flag project.

Hey I am even guilty of this.   I made a crap wreath two years ago.
And these cake bites.  But hey they are cake - I have no beef with dessert.
Maybe my crankiness is based on they way Americana can get real country real fast.  Like I'm one step away from an arrangement of mauve fake flowers and a ceramic goose with a blue ribbon.  I blame my 80's childhood.

Enough of my whining.  Here are a few patriotic looks I actually dig.
I love everything about this backyard shindig setup by Lindsay of the White Buffalo Styling Co.   This says modern patriotic all the way.
Simple and festive flags from the dollar store from Simple Details.  I like easy and cheap and keeping it simple.
Americana is always great in a boy's room - especially combined with Star Wars.  Love Cassie's son's unique space!

Ok your turn.  Tell me how you feel about Americana.  Are you with me?  Am I totally off base?  Do you decorate july 4th?  How do you keep it modern?

And most of all have a fabulous 4th of July weekend!

Monday, June 23, 2014

P to the Fourth Power: Provence Plus Pearl Plaster Dresser

Ever since I learned about Artisan Enhancements Pearl Plaster from my friends at Catfish, I have wanted to test drive this unique finish.  The curvy number below seemed liked just the right piece for a pearly transformation - petite and feminine.
I started by applying two thin coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence.  No distressing this time.

Next I tried applying the Pearl Plaster by itself to the painted dresser with a wax brush but found that method difficult to work into the paint for an even sheen.  I decided to mix the Pearl Plaster with clear wax to make it more pliable.  That worked like a charm and saved me a step!  Shine and wax in one. That's my Pearl Plaster pro tip y'all!

After a good buffing, I added matte blue and white knobs that contrast yet coordinate with the finish.
You can really see how the finish shines in the light in the picture above.  And how fun is the Provence and Coral pairing?  It's pretty sweet with gold and natural wood tones too!
This was one of of those pieces I was super excited about when I took it to Sweet Clover.  It took a few sales to find the right buyer but I'm happy it found it's way to a new home!

Thanks for visiting!

Furniture Feature Fridays

Elizabeth and Co.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Rhinebeck Country Living Fair and a Jam Packed Weekend

Hey there I just got back yesterday from a fantastic weekend in New Jersey with my family.  It all started with a trip to the orthodontist - don't even ask why I a) have braces at 37 and b) drive 200 miles for them.  Let's just say my little bro is a dental salesman in NJ and set the whole thing up.  But the orthodontist is not the fun part.  Rather, it was just the excuse to visit family and hit the Country Living Fair.

It also happened to be the weekend before my little sister's birthday which is the perfect reason to take a trip up to Rhinebeck for a girls' day out!    Here's a little CLF selfie with my daughter.
Having a 5 year old tag along made for a few challenges and involved several stops for snacks, ice cream and lemonade to escape the heat.  I regret to say I took not one picture of the fantastic items for sale! 

However the highlight of the trip for me was not the stuff but the people!  Denise of The Painted Home and Kelly from Eclectically Vintage gave a presentation on easy, fun Summer entertaining ideas. Denise & Kelly were kind enough to visit Sweet Clover this Spring for an event with the Crafty Camper - it was good to see them again and chat for a few.  I grabbed a quick pic with Denise with a little unintentional photo bomb by Kelly.
Theses two are total naturals and the crowd really enjoyed their talk.  Afterwards they took some time to enjoy a cocktail and celebrate a job well done!
My mom was inspired for sure!  She wants me to make a bundt pan succulent topiary like Denise presented.  Cute right?
The rest of the weekend was spent touring my little brother's soon to be new house!  It's located in the town we grew up in plus they are expecting so it's all very exciting.
There are a couple of projects that are just calling out for General Finishes Jave Gel stain and that I am looking forward to tackling!

Then we rounded out the weekend with cake for my sister!
Good times!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lucketts Spring Market Preview

The Lucketts Spring Market will be here in just TWO days!  Cassie and I are setting out for Sweet Clover to pack the truck and start setting up at The Old Lucketts store today.  We are hoping to get all our furniture transported to the tent and protected before the rain sets in on Friday.   Then we will style on Friday afternoon.  Keep your fingers crossed for good weather the rest of the weekend!

I will share more photos of our tent as we get ready but I thought I would post some pics of the pieces I have been working on.  Cassie and I collaborated to put together a cohesive look for our spaces.  We decided to focus on black, white and natural wood pieces with gold touches and pops of jewel tones. You can see more on our Pinterest board.

I'm so sorry for the iphone photos!  Things are moving too fast the past couple weeks to get proper staged photos.

Here's a petite, glam bamboo chest.  It's the perfect nightstand with plenty of storage.  Cassie will have a coordinating dresser available at Lucketts.  Both are painted Snow White by General Finishes with gold accents.
I'm having a bit of a bamboo moment.  This etagere is painted Florence from Annie Sloan - a vibrant teal.  It will pop in any space!
I was super excited when I scored this tall MCM chest of drawers!  The sleek black finish is General Finishes Lamp Black.  I also used gold Rub 'N Buff on the 4 peg legs.  Sexy!   (I might be having a bit of a Rub 'N Buff moment as well)
I've saved the best for last my friends!  This petite curved settee is the new love of my life.  I sanded the frame down to wood and used white wax for that Restoration Hardware driftwood finish.  Then I recovered the settee in black linen.  And I don't sew so this was a true challenge!  Now it's ready to stand out in any decor!
We will be featuring some super sexy pillows from Third + Grace that will be fantastic on this settee! Dontcha think?
Thanks for visiting!

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