Sunday, July 31, 2011

Toes and Finds

Hope you had a good weekend!  The heat and humidity continue here, but I did manage to be fairly productive ...

 For those of you who didn't read my post on Friday and are wondering why I'm showing you a photo of my toes, no I do not have a foot fetish.  One of my major goals this weekend was to get a pedicure. Yep, I was aiming high productivity-wise! You can see the top of my friend Monica's flip-flop in the photo, but since I wasn't sure if she wanted to share her toes publicly on my blog I cropped her out. :)

In addition to the big pedicure accomplishment, I managed to get some painting done on a couple of projects I'll be sharing soon.  And I scored a couple of great Craigslist finds!

I got this adorable mahogany side table for $20:

It needs a little sprucing up, but I think I can do it with just Howard's Furniture Restorer.  There is a great inlaid wood detail on the legs that's not showing up in this photo.

I also got this beautiful bow-front little chest for twenty bucks.  Some of the trim has come off, but it was saved and should be a fairly easy fix.

Both pieces are really sturdy and are marked with this label:

I did a little research and found out that the Imperial Furniture Company in Grand Rapids was one of America's premier 20th century furniture manufacturing companies and was founded in 1903.  The shape of the label shows my pieces were made during the Depression. I'm doing some more research to see if I can find out what they are worth, but I can bet it's more than $20 a piece! Ya gotta love Craigslist!

On another note, I'm going to be doing a give-away for my followers in the coming weeks.  So if you're a subscriber or just reading my blog online, please become a follower!  All you have to do is click the button on the left side of the blog.

I'm sharing at:

The DIY Show Off

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Too Damn Hot

Rather than working on projects for my house, I'm getting ready for my first-ever vintage tag sale at the beginning of September.

At least I'm trying to get ready. This is what my garage looks like these days ...

A friend of mine told me I was THIS close to going over the edge to hoarder-land!

I really am working on stuff.  I picked up this set of end tables that I'm in the process of painting.

I love the legs and the carved detail, but the tops were pretty scratched up and I thought they'd be prettier if they were lightened up. But it's been sooooo hot and humid here the last couple of days the last thing I wanted to do was to paint outdoors.

So yesterday instead of painting I went to lunch and shopping with my friend Valerie. We headed out to Leesburg, which for those of you not from the area is an historic Virginia town.

Of course all the towns in Virginia are historic ... coming from the West Coast I was amazed and fascinated by having all this history at our doorstep (or back door actually -- we live just down the street from the church where Clara Barton nursed hundreds of wounded soldiers from the first battle of Manassas in the Civil War). But I digress. You'll see I have a habit of doing that.  Anyway ... Leesburg is also an antique and home decor shopping destination.

So we shopped.

A shop in Urban Farmhouse, one of my favorites in Leesburg

And shopped some more.  This is one of the coolest vintage stores I've ever been to, the Old Lucketts Store just outside of Leesburg. 

This photo is from their website, and as you can see it was not taken on a hot day in July!

I always get creative ideas going through the various shops.

Whoever owns this space always does a wonderful job of merchandising.

This one is pretty unique, or at least I haven't seen it before.  Using a drop cloth on the ceiling.  The size of the room didn't allow me to get a good photo, but it certainly added some drama to the space!

Today's hotter than yesterday, so I'm going to get a pedicure. :=) I'm actually going to bring some pieces inside to paint (after my pedicure!) so hopefully I'll have a finished project to share with you soon.  I've got to get the stuff in the garage cleared out and organized before the pile gets any closer to the ceiling!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Name is Deborah and I'm a Shop-Aholic

I’m a Craigslist junkie, sure.  But I’m basically a shopping junkie.  I blame it (along with my thighs) on my mom. She had me hunting through antique shops with her ever since I was old enough to be counted on not to break anything.  Clothes and shoe shopping were another shared mother/daughter activity.  I used my years of shopping experience well -- by the time I started working in retail marketing I was a seasoned shopping pro!

However the realities of life (and bulging closets) have made me channel my shopping differently. Now I love the thrill of the hunt – scanning through Craigslist, digging through thrift shops and scoping out garage sales to find furniture and home decor at bargain prices.  Since I do this a lot, I find more great things than I can use.  So I recently started an online Etsy shop, Mr. P’s Emporium, where I sell my vintage finds.

Here’s one of my recent scores: 

I love the color of these candlesticks and their transitional style.

They would fit in with a seaside inspired decor like this ...

Country Living Magazine

A modern space like this ...

House Beautiful

A more traditional room like this ...

Country Living

Or how about going for the blue in a beautiful space like this?  Fabulous!

House Beautiful

And where did I find them?  In one of my favorite thrift stores. So I can be a shopping junkie without breaking the bank!

Monday, July 25, 2011

From Drab to Fab

I bought this console on Craigslist for $40.  It needed some love.

The poor thing was stuck in the ‘70s – not a good style decade in my opinion. 

Outdated hardware.  An ugly finish.  But it was well made and a good size, so I decided to refresh it and use it in my dining room redo.

I planned on replacing all the hardware, but the plates behind the door pulls were nailed and glued on.  I couldn’t figure out how to take them off without creating a bigger project than I wanted to undertake.  So I decided to incorporate them.

First I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White for the body.  For the insets I started out with AS Chalk Paint in Louis Blue, but it looked a bit too baby blue.  So I used the AS dark wax to try to tone it down.  It still didn’t work for me, so I followed that with a glaze of Old White.

I sanded it to distress it a bit.

I love the painted plates behind the new pulls.

I was going for a bit of an old world French Country look, kind of like this cabinet from Wisteria ($999), one of my favorite stores.


Not quite as fancy as this one from Horchow ($1399), but with the same elegant feel.


And voila!

Forty bucks and just a few hours of labor! (No priming or sanding needed with Chalk Paint.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Favorite Craigslist Finds (So Far)

You know that feeling when you find a designer coat at a fabulous price at some place like TJ Maxx or Loehmans?  Don’t you want to brag about it?  I guess some people want to maintain a full-price image, but not me.  If someone compliments me on something I got at a great price, I feel compelled to share not only how much it was discounted, but where I got it, and if they have any more in case the person who complemented me wants to pick one up for herself! 

That’s the way I feel about these pieces.  I got them all before I started blogging, so I don't have "before" photos. Some I had to do a bit of work on, and some I found just the way you see them.  Either way, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I look at them – they were great finds!  So here are some of my favorites:

Here We Go!

Welcome to the first entry of my first blog!  I’m a marketing consultant by day, and a decorating junkie by night.  I’ve spent my career getting people to buy stuff – expensive, high-end stuff.  I even was the marketing director for a regional Design Center, where I promoted the services of interior designers to the general public, and the showrooms’ “to the trade” goods to the designers.  I loved being around all that beautiful furniture and creative talent.  But would I ever spend that money myself?  Nope.  Well, maybe I would if I had unlimited funds, but even then I doubt it.  Because … okay, I admit it, I’m basically cheap!  Don’t get me wrong – I love stuff.  I love creating a welcoming, comfortable home.  I love putting together colors, textures, and accessorizing. I’m always changing things around and looking for that special touch. So how can I reconcile my cheap (does “thrifty” have a better connotation?) nature with my need for pretty spaces?  Craigslist, baby!  And vintage shops, thrift shops, garage sales, and flea markets.  Throw in some DIY, and I’ve got cheap chic. In this blog I’ll share my quest to get my design “fix,” and hopefully meet some friends who are also addicted to design – maybe we can start a support group!