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January 31, 2012

The gallery format - incorporating several pictures or paintings in one display area - is gaining popularity.  Whether you choose to mix and match or stick to just one subject, a gallery presentation can be the charming focal point of any design scheme.

Etchings, prints, watercolors or oils - experiment with mixing the different types of art that you already own. 
You might be surprised at the results. 

January 30, 2012

Hi, guys!  I flew home Saturday after spending a week in north Alabama visiting Mom, family, and friends.  It was a great trip - good food, good shopping, lots of fun.

As promised, here are a few photos of some of the treasures we uncovered during our numerous romps through area thrift shops.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring any of these bargains home on the plane.

$5 Chairs - what a bargain!

The chair shown on the right was priced at $6. 
On the left, a similar chair is being used as a bedside table.

How cool is this 1980's fancy phone?!

I don't know exactly what this antique
cabinet is for but I like it! 

Who wouldn't want to take this vintage stroller home:

Take a look at the next three pictures of a  'faux distressed'
cabinet I found at T.J. Maxx.  As you can see, it's priced
at $399 - ridiculous. 

Now look at this flea market find which was priced at $30:

While it's a table and not a dresser, you get where I'm going. 
Don't automatically pay retail when something grabs your fancy. 
Shop your local junk shops, thrift stores, and flea markets. 

Here's a similar distressed piece recently featured at Rose & Grey:

Mom and I found the vintage, solid wood dresser pictured below in a church's thrift shop.  It was marked $75 but all of the furniture was 50% off that day!  Most thrift stores have sale items almost every day of the week.  

Last week I posted a few pictures of French Provincial
dressers that had been redone.   Priced at $37.50,
this one would be ideal for a re-do project.

These darling little chairs were $5 each
at a local church's thrift shop.

Here's what a clever decorator did
with similar little chairs:

While I'm a regular shopper at Goodwill and the Salvation Army Thrift Store, you just can't beat the prices at church and non-profit organization thrift shops.  They seem to be a little more motivated to move merchandise - maybe because their space is usually smaller.

Take a Saturday and treat yourself to a tour of the thrift stores in your area.  You'll be amazed at the bargains you'll find.

January 21, 2012

Before and After Projects

Aren't Before & After photos the best?  It's so much fun to see the transformations and marvel at the ingenuity, foresight, and hard work that went into salvaging each piece.

Hopefully, these projects will give you the motivation to tackle a similar restoration.

When found at the Goodwill, the small desk above was missing a chair.  Using a simple paint treatment, a vintage chair was coupled with the desk to make a charming vanity set.
                  Vanity and chair after:

    This poor desk was in sore need of a facelift:

Boy, it got one!  I really like that they refinished and stained the top of the desk and painted the rest, highlighting the detailed scroll work.

    End tables similar to these seem to be in every thrift shop:

     The little table
     on the left is almost
     unrecognizable after
     a paint treatment.


French Provencial bedroom suites and dressers like the
one below were very popular in the 1960s.   

Below is a different treatment for a similar dresser.
While I really like painted furniture, I prefer to restore wood back to its original glory if
at all possible.  Apparently, so does the DIYer who worked on the dresser below.


Vintage lamps can be
found at yard sales,
flea markets, and thrift
shops for a few dollars. 

Before starting any project
that involves electrical parts,
check them out closely
then get to work!


For beginner refurbishers, working on an
inexpensive chair is a good place to start. 




Hope you enjoyed these motivating photos of some exceptional projects.  I'm heading to north Alabama to spend a week with my Mom - the Queen Mother of All Thrift Store Shoppers!  Can't wait.  Check back to see pictures of the treasures we found.