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Retro Restyling - Restore - Restyle - Repurpose
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Vintage Furniture Love

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays I remember mentioning that I was going to share with you one of the coolest furniture related items I got for Christmas. I absolutely love the fact that my mother and father in law decided to give me their working antique Singer sewing machine. It is in dire need of a good sanding and restoring but I was specifically told..."if you paint this I'm going to kick your butt." Note taken.

I loooove the curves of it and the little stool is awesome. The seat was recovered, who knows when, but I was told I can recover that if I want. Note taken again and don't think I wont. :)

It actually has all the original pieces to the sewing machine. It's been years since I've actually used a sewing machine so this is going to be interesting relearning how to use it, especially an old one. Lets move on to the next coolest thing(s) I own that will be restyled into some of the awesomest night stands ever!

For all my home theater fans... these are vintage BOSE speakers that I scored for free... *gasp* Free you said? Yes F.R.E.E. from craigslist. I picked up the cutest little free desk from a couple and they asked if I wanted these too. At first I was like, eh..... then I smacked myself and said of course. My husband is NOT happy that I want to gut them, sand them down, paint them and make them night stands. He sees home theater... I see a need for coolness in our bedroom.

And lastly, my mom gave me this cedar chest that she had no room for anymore. I remember her always using it when I was a kid so it's cool that I have it now. Please excuse the stuff on top, I've been in the habit of collecting pickle and Ragu jars. I have no clue why.

The inside is pristine minus the fact that it's missing the little shelf. It was made of cloth and I think some type of particle board and it just got ruined over the years. Plus the back right side is loose, but nothing some gorilla glue can't fix.

For anyone who knows anything about furniture, here is the maker and patent numbers that are stamped on the inside of the lid. I haven't done much research on it, but as you can tell in my sewing machine picture above that I have a lot of furniture I need to do research on before I tear into them.

My question for you guys is... do you think I should paint the chest? Maybe just the top and leave the feet natural? Should I sand it down and re-stain it? I'm definitely going to keep it and use it in my office area in my basement.
Update: I found some interesting information while searching for how old the chest is....

Cedar Chests
How old is my cedar chest?
Usually Lane cedar chests have serial numbers that are stamped or applied to the bottom of the chests. You can read the serial number BACKWARDS to determine the production date. For example: serial number 753150 would have been produced on 05/13/57. Some chests may also have an extra digit which denotes the plant location. For example: serial number 2557121 would have been produced on 12/17/55 in plant #2. If your model does not have a serial number we will be unable to provide you with a production date.

So my serial date is 268101 which means it was made on 01/18/62. Hmmm... interesting. :)

So there's just a tid-bit of my retro furniture love. I have a lot more pieces that are special to me that I will be restyling. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on all of them and make them fantastic!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Heart Cereal

The more I jump from one blog to the next viewing pictures of ingenious decorating by some amazingly talented people, it makes me look at my house and sigh. There is so much I would love to do with our decor but my money tree hasn't bloomed yet, so it's just not an option. Plus we rent, so I have to stare at bone colored walls all day long which doesn't help. We've also had the same furniture and decor for our living room and kitchen for almost 6 years now so I finally decided mentally snapped to work on a cool new theme for the kitchen. Now granted, my dream kitchen is the cool retro 1950's diner look: robin egg blue, black and white checkered floor, shiny chrome, cool cabinets, a 50's diner table and chairs and don't even get me started on the appliances that I'd want. But honestly I wasn't even considering a new theme until one fateful day when I was at my local Shop-N-Save. I went to check out and the cashier handed me these amazing freebie bowls!

Then BAM! Like a mack truck it hit me. A "retro cereal" themed kitchen would be fantabulous and soooo appropriate for my family of hungry boys. We <3 cereal. No joke... we go through so much cereal and milk in one month (9-12 gallons and at least 10-12 boxes) I'm pretty sure we fund the Midwest dairy and cereal manufacturing industry. But back to the bowls... hello, aren't they cool? And you can't mess with free that's for sure. So this got me on a brainstorming kick of what I could re-purpose in my currently driving me crazy "pepper" kitchen to save me some moolah.

First to potentially get re-purposed are these outdated jars. The shapes of these bottles are very cool, but the peppers scream 2001-2005 to me and I'm pretty sure when I open them up to dump them out my nose will scream in agony. Why? Because I've had one before where the seal cracked and was slowly evaporating (just like the two biggest jars in the middle up there are doing) and so I broke the seal and attempted to dump it out. Now, I'm an avid recycler... but that bad boy went right in the trash. The smell was atrocious. Hahaha! I laugh about it now looking back, but these lovelies are staring me square in the face and I know the job will have to be done the right way this time. So I'm thinking... and thinking... Yeah, I'll dump them out and give 'em a good washing and put colorful cereal in them! That'll add to the colorless walls and I won't have to stare at what reminds me of dead vegetable parts in formaldehyde.

Now my mission is to find all cool things retro + cereal. So of course, being well versed of the cereals currently on the market, I shot straight over to good 'ol Cap'n Crunch himself.

If you're familiar with the cereal aisle you might have noticed that the Cap'n has been looking quite 1970's lately. All the boxes have been retro-ed out and of course... I had to grab them. I'm adding some new boxes of some favorite cereals that we frequently buy but I'm still on the hunt for the retro coolness, penny pinching my way through to the end.

For all my readers out there... if you happen to know of a store locally to St. Louis or maybe online where I can grab some fab retro cerealish items, please leave me a comment! You'd make my day by saving me some time! :)

Have a great weekend guys!

~ Susan ~

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baked Brie... Yum.

The title entices you, does it not? Well, unfortunately the only baked brie I can offer you today is the beautiful Behr Floor & Porch color my friend B picked for her floor redo. B owns a 1950's house and in one of her rooms it was sporting the original carpet installed back in the 50's. Oh yeah... So she decided to get brave one day and pull the carpeting up, and much to her delirious surprise there were stains galore under the carpet. The bad thing was they ruined the hard wood floors underneath, so B called me and we brainstormed a fix to the problem. To stain or not to stain? That was the question. Actually let's paint it! We would have had to use a dark stain anyways to cover the really dark spots so matching the rest of the floors wasn't an option anyways. Painting knocked a few frustrating steps out of the process and she would be able to lighten the room instead of making it super dark.

So here are some before and after shots. I have to apologize for the crazy dust in the before pictures plus the fact that I couldn't get over there during the day to take the pictures.

On a tight schedule and even tighter budget we really made a great difference in there. I love the color, it's actually a creamy light green but the night pictures make it look buttery. Even though it was hard work, I really enjoyed doing this project and would be very open to doing it again.

If you have a floor issue like this or have considered updating your old wood floors with color, please contact me, I would love to help you out!

Thanks for stopping by and leave a comment on your way out! 

~ Susan ~

Friday, January 14, 2011

50% Entertained!

Ahhhhh, big sigh of relief! I finally got the bottom half of that entertainment armoire done! I am so grateful that my friends M & K (I did their table and chairs for them) gave me this armoire they weren't using anymore, because we really needed something for our 27" TV. The table we had it on was way too low and we could only watch the TV from the edge of the bed. By the way... "if it ain't broke we don't fix it" and that tube TV still works so maybe we'll get a flat screen some day when our money tree blooms. :)

I use to call our bedroom the "sad room" because it was a hodge podge of stuff we threw together just for the sake of having functional furniture. I put so much effort into making the rest of the house nice with color and pictures and so on that I completely disregarded our bedroom. So in the last year and a half I have tried really hard to pull together things that mean something to me and my husband. I have a lot more to do in there so sharing that with you will be saved for another post....

So here's the before picture of the bottom half of the entertainment armoire.
I guess it has some type of greenish stain on it.

And here it is afterwards with the TV on top. 

The inside is painted Behr Stealth Jet, which isn't a pure black, it's more of a dark charcoal. The outside is Behr Dark Granite. There are 5 shelves for the inside that are painted Dark Granite too, but I don't have the hardware to hold them up yet.

I have a rectangle-ish theme going on in my room so I thought these pulls from Home Depot would be more appropriate instead of the original round wood ones.

Thankfully I finished the bottom but.... EEEP! This is the top and I'm telling you, the bottom was as heavy as H.E. Double Hockey sticks, the top is going to require at least 3 people to put it on top of the bottom piece.

I have to grab some more paint to finish the top, it's like 3x the surface area to paint something like this, and when I get it done I will share it with you guys! Thanks for stopping by today and enjoy your weekend!

~ Susan ~

Monday, January 3, 2011

Out Like a Lion...

Happy New Year Everyone! The last blog I posted on Thursday gave promises that I would be blogging again the next day to share my goals with you. Well, I had great intentions to do so until Mother Nature decided to smack us all around on the last day of the year.

*enter cheesy Wayne's World flashback effect*

It was very unseasonably warm on Friday, like 68 degrees, and we had been warned by local news weather guys for a few days there might be some storms as the cold front swings by. Our Friday/NYE plans were for my husband to do some drywall hanging at a friends house in South County while I hung out at home by myself until later that evening when I would head back down and hang out. I dropped him off, came home around 11ish am and before I knew it my NOAA weather radio was going off. *sigh* I'm a total weather nerd and a total pansy when it comes to severe weather. Pretty much a big chunk of St. Louis and surrounding counties were under a tornado warning. So here I am at home flipping out because I'm alone and not only am I in the path of the storm my husband is too and by the looks of the radar he was going to get hit the hardest.

I know it's hard to see but the blue dot is the husband's location and the pink dot is where I was.

Eeep. This wasn't going to be good. 

Very like my husband, he kept working in the unfinished addition at his friends house while I cowered in my basement on the phone with my best friend who was in her basement too. By about 1 pm the storm had reached me but thank goodness it had split up around my town and reformed 3-4 miles just north-east of me. I felt so stupid (as usual because I over-react)... it was windy for a second, rained for about 3 minutes (not even hard) and then it was gone. *sigh again* All that adrenaline and no where to use it....  I should've moved some heavy furniture around or something.

Anyways, I get back to the TV and turn it to the news station I was stuck to earlier and --holy crap!-- From Rolla, MO to St. Louis we had 8 tornado's touch down. There were 6 confirmed deaths in the rural area's of Missouri which is just so sad (mobile homes are bad people), but thankfully for the 45 minute early warnings by NOAA a lot of lives were saved. A few tornado's were F nothings, which is very weak almost straight line winds, but we had a couple F2's and one F3. And guess who was just south of that F3? Yeah... the husband, out there hanging drywall like nothing is going on. 

Let me share some images/footage of the area's hit including Sunset Hills, Mo (close to where my husband was):

Robertsville, MO (rural)

Fenton, MO (about 30 min from downtown St. Louis)

 Sunset Hills, MO (about 15 minutes from downtown St. Louis)

* cheesy Wayne's World flash back to present effect*

So 2010 went out like a lion and came in a cold, quiet lamb. I'm glad the husband was safe, but even though there was all this destruction in St. Louis and surrounding urban area's there were no deaths, which is pretty amazing as populated as these areas are. I didn't get to share all my goals with you but if you noticed my text is left aligned. That was a teeny goal/change for my blog... there will be more to come like re-branding and a new actual website. Let's just say this year I plan to have positive surround me... to be healthy and happy, to cherish my family and close friends, to be successful in this furniture adventure and to make new friends through clients and the blogosphere. Hmmm... guess I gave you a small run down anyways eh? 

Have a great first week of 2011 guys and I'll be back to blogging soon!

~ Susan ~
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