Pull Up a Chair!

Do you have kids heading off to college and need to furnish their dorm room? Know of someone setting up a new home or better yet, find yourself in need of a “Spring Spruce”? If so, how about MindFULLY seeing the chair in the corner of your family room in a new way or hitting your local re-sale shop for possibility!

In our area, Consignment Furniture shops are all the rage.

Check out the chairs below.

I would have walked right by them. Not my style. But one look through my friend Colette’s (www.thehandygirlfriend.com) eyes revealed well kept grandmother’s chairs, in great shape, with great bones. And the price? $45 a chair. I spend more than that on a manicure and pedicure.

She bought the chairs for one of her friends, took them to a local upholsterer and had them redone. Sometimes, if you buy fabric through the Upholsterer, you can get a discount. Our guy gives 35% off. And he does a great job. Notice the fabric covered buttons on the finished chairs.

How clever is that? And they look like new. Positioned in her friend’s living room, Colette made them look like they fit with style and purpose. And all in, for less than $500.

Below is a chair I did. My husband and I bought it over 20 years ago for our first apt at a garage sale. It was crushed yellow velvet with tan wood. Bluch. I painted the wood an iridescent silver and chose a traditional fabric with a sheen. The chair cost $75 and the fabric and labor, all in, was around $300. We still use it.

So, the next time you plop down in your old chair that smells like animal or displays arm stains where your elbows rest, check out my favorite idea site www.houzz.comThere you can find tons of ideas on fabric, styles and details. (Warning: When you make your fabric selection, make sure you get a sample of the fabric first. Approving it before they put it on your furniture can avoid unwanted surprises. A lesson I learned the hard way. Sometimes dye lots change or the texture isn’t what you really wanted.)

Have fun with this! Everyone deserves a chair to curl up in, why not make one you love? After all, for the cost of  a day at the Spa, you can have a feeling of ease in your special chair everyday.

How have you MindFULLY breathed new life into something old? Let us know!



Out With The Old, In With The Old

What do you do with something you inherit, but don’t really want? Either you try and get your sibling to take it or you re-create it into something you love.

Such was with the old dining room furniture that belonged to my grandmother and was deposited in our home when my parents left Denver. My Bobie (Yiddish for grandmother) had lovely furniture. But let’s face it –  it looked like my Bobie’s lovely furniture.

When we moved last Spring and I gave most everything to anyone walking by,  I suggested to my husband that we keep two of the dining room pieces and try and make them into something we could use to keep my Bobie’s spirit alive in our home – she loved people and her dining room was always filled with the sound of family (I have wonderful memories of sitting in her dining room with my cousins and of the smoked whitefish and lox spreads during Connecticut visits).

My intention with my dining room is to create a space that is colorful and comfy (still waiting to get the curtains hung and buffet lights back from the shade maker – final pic to come). We don’t have an eat in kitchen that fits more than 3, so this room takes on a special meaning. It’s where friends will gather and help us make our house a home.

So, imagine my excitement when my talented painter, Matt, stained and burned the china cabinet to reflect a transitional theme. With a new coat of stain, you can see the old wood burnish through. Now we have Bobie’s china displayed and easily accessible. I am sincerely trying to use what I have and if I don’t love it, I am passing it on. It is said that using your good china, wearing your best underwear everyday and drinking good wine if you are going to drink, are ways to add quality to one’s life.

If you have it, use it. If not, lose it.

As I set the table for casual dinner with friends, I will raise one of my Bobie’s crystal goblets filled with Diet Coke and toast the lady who would have encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to with her furniture. She was all about being who she was and dressing with a skip in her step. I think she would have loved the fuchsia inside that brings out the fuchsia in her china. She always added an accessory or color to her outfit.

Here’s to loving what I have. And to those who give me much to love.

How do you MindFULLY use what you have? Let us know!