Posts tagged ‘Trash to Treasure’

September 15, 2011

Colorful Additions and a Paint Question

by Cait

Complete cop out on post titles tonight. I’ll try harder next time.

Just a short post to show you the new pictures of the Art Room that I didn’t have with me when I posted earlier.

This yellow chair was picked out of the neighbors’ trash one rainy evening about a year ago. After a coat of $4 spray paint later it’s looking quite cheery.

We found this vintage pulldown map on eBay. It’s about 68×70 inches, and with shipping and the french cleats we bought to hang it the total came to about $90.

have I ever mentioned that the clock is from my childhood bedroom? it hung over the closet there, too

I forgot to mention earlier that we’re planning to change up the desk surface in the Closet Office. We were going to use a Lagan Countertop from Ikea, but the cost to drive to the closest Ikea plus that of the counter itself comes to about $100, and that’s just not feasible right now. Fortunately we have quite a few more of the 50 cent Ikea L-brackets we used for the current desk surface, so we are plotting cheaper options for a new. longer desk.

Otherwise, the only real plan we have is to paint the closet before installing the new desk. We have about half a gallon of the same color we painted the hallway (Valspar’s Churchill Hotel Hazy Yellow), and most of a gallon of mossy-green Oops paint. Other ideas we have kicked around are terracotta red, navy, gray. The conservative (and cheap) side of me says to use the paint from the hallway, especially with all the other bold things in the room. The impromptu poll I conducted on Twitter voted navy, but I don’t know how that would look with the blue walls everywhere else in the room. There are 10 paint chips over the monitor on the right at the moment, and I can’t pick.

Anyone have any ideas about closet colors? Desk options? I’m tempted to just go the cheap route and use the hallway color and construct a desk from all the scrap wood we have hanging around.

PS- I still owe you an updated design board, but Robert should be home from class soon. Maybe I’ll have knock-off Emeco chair pictures and a design board tomorrow.

September 15, 2011

The Room With All the Art

by Cait

Wow, thanks for all the sweet comments on the last post! I guess I may have to talk about our budget more often!

I’ve had a quirky, not-everyone-will-get-it style for most of my life, possibly even before the days of reading my sister’s cast-off Seventeen magazines (the “My Room” section was always my favorite). Of course, in those days I mostly daydreamed about what my room would look like and focused on expressing my quirky side with fashion. (I use that term loosely; it involved thrift store tshirts and a lot of pining for a leather biker jacket. If I had remembered to put a zipper in my Target bag dress I’d probably have worn that, too.)

These days I’m a little more West Elm than Spencer’s Gifts or Pottery Barn Kids, and I no longer want to paint clouds on my ceiling, but the soft spot for rustic & quirky mixed with bright colors remains. I’m beginning to realize that our style is probably best described as eBay Chic, or Rustic & Repurposed. I know it’s en vogue now to decorate in what people call the “collected” look, but around our house we just call it “buy what you love” and/or “make it work”.

I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, but I feel like certain rooms in our house embody our style better than others. The rooms that feel the most “us” are probably the Art Room, the Library and the back porch (or at least what the back porch will one day become). Others are a constant struggle, like the living room and dining room.

those green chairs are so gone, and we added a little something-something to the wall

desperately in need of paint, a new chair, desk surface, and maybe a new curtain

The Art Room is very, very slowly shaping up. I didn’t really touch on it in this post, but it pains me to work on this room sometimes, since I don’t get to actually use it as my office every day. In spite of that, I’m trying to make it a space that makes me happy, both because I spend a lot of time in it (granted, usually with my head in the Closet Office blogging) and because it’s visible when you walk down the hallway.

I am drawn to a variety of styles, and sometimes it takes me a while to figure how the best way to mesh everything together. Fortunately with the advent of Pinterest the direction of the room seems to have gotten clearer (or maybe I’m just more confident in that fact that my ideas are not completely wacky).  I am still smitten with Sara’s art room, but I also pinned a bunch of fun, colorful, slightly rustic rooms on my Art Room Inspiration board.

Curbside Chair

A while back we found this chair in a neighbor’s trash and painted it yellow. Since then I had Robert spray paint it a brighter, more golden yellow (that coincidentally matches our curtains perfectly, though I didn’t even have the fabric when we picked the paint). I know that I could have spent a lot of time sanding it down, staining it, and giving it a nice glossy coat of poly, it would have had a very nice Chilton Academy-esque look to it, but it was destined to replace another curbside chair in front of the rolltop and I thought that would have been too much wood.

For the Ikea Jonas desk we are working on a chair that is very similar to the Emeco Navy Chair With Wood Seat, which we were lucky enough to get from my dad’s garage a while back. The Closet Office will get another chair we found in the neighbor’s trash, which we hope will look like this Pottery Barn chair when we are done with it (though we may not stain ours quite that dark).

from Flickr; pinned here

Ironically, the walls in the Art Room are almost completely bare (aside from the shelves we added a while back). Fortunately browsing Pinterest often reminds me of things I’ve wanted for years but then chalked up as never-gonna-happen and tried to forget about. Most recent example: pulldown maps. I have wanted one of these maps pretty much ever since watching Sleepless in Seattle. (“Look, one, two, three, four, there’s like twenty-six states between here and there.”) After seeing the above (and several others) I decided I finally needed to make it happen, so we ended up buying one on eBay (similar to the US map here).

seen on Design*Sponge; pinned here

Also, after seeing a lot of fantastic linen and burlap pinboards I remembered seeing a pinboard made with a coffee bag a while back. Fortunately Google came to my rescue, and a few minutes later I had found the Design*Sponge post I was thinking of, and also ordered a coffee bag of my very own from Etsy.

I should have an updated design board, pictures of the pulldown map, yellow chair and maybe the Emeco-lookalike for you tonight, as Robert will be in class late.

 Anyone else drawn to several different decorating styles? Or want to paint something like clouds in your childhood bedroom?

May 12, 2011

Etsy Shop: Soft Opening

by Cait

Last night we took a break from bathroom demo, Robert listed some things on eBay and I listed some things in our Etsy store. For right now all I have listed is a couple of photos and prints, and I listed them as digital files (but we do have a printer capable of printing up to 13×19 as well, so maybe I will change the listings to mention that we can print and ship them upon request). I’m easing myself into this whole thing, the main intent behind the store is to sell things like cage lights made from metal coat hangers, old neon letters, hairpin legs, keychains made from Scrabble tiles, maybe some wine bottle stoppers, and pretty much whatever else we can get out hands on. Kind of the whole trash-to-treasure idea.

This is a prototype Ryan made a while ago, we want to work on making them more uniform.

We bought Ryan a neon R from a local salvage yard, and we’re contemplating selling them, too.

Once I find the files (I somehow hid them from myself) I’ll probably list the ones below as well, if there is any interest.

Hopefully we will have more things to list this weekend or next week.

September 9, 2010

Attack of the Billion Projects!

by Cait

Ok, so we don’t actually have a billion projects going on, but I may have been a little ambitious in thinking that we could tackle both the chair and the liquor cabinet after work last night.  Especially since we’ve both been working 10+ hour days and coming home dead tired.  We did at least the chair is mostly finished and ready for its upcoming debut in the guest bedroom, even after wandering around Lowe’s having to go to Lowe’s for more paint.  We picked the darkest yellow on the swatch with Valspar Spun Honey (the room color), but because I am an excellent blogger, I forgot the name of it.  Something about sunsets.  (Quick, use your super powers and read the name on the sample can below!) 

Behold, our messy porch!  Why yes, that is gravel that some former homeowner thought was a good idea.

And now that you know that our porch is kind of a hot mess (and you haven’t even seen the mismatching and obviously not laid at the same time tiles on the floor, or the half-assed attempt at walls by the former owner!) I can leave you with this picture, which shows that for our next trick we have these lovely things sitting in our yard until we start sanding them down into end tables.  Hooray free stumps!

I’ll be back tomorrow (same bat time, same bat channel) with either the liquor cabinet progress, or more details on that lovely stack of pallets in our backyard that I showed in the last post (because that’s how we roll, stacks of unattractive things in the yard). Unless I collapse from the exhaustion of trying to juggle work, projects, and the most important task of all: taking gelato to my best friend who just had a baby.

September 7, 2010

Shoes Required: Part 2

by Cait

When I left off last time (see Part 1 here) I had picked a paint color, hardware and paper for the top of the shoe cabinet.  Over the weekend I took some Valspar Seaside Villa paint to it.  I skipped the primer step because with the age of the piece I wanted the more of the antique and little less “crisp”.  This isn’t the technique I’d use for everything but, for the most part, if you aren’t dead set on things being perfect (and nothing in our house is, it’s more well-loved and broken in) it works just fine, especially if you just use high quality paint.  If we were painting a crisp, new piece I’d prime and then either roll or use a paint sprayer to spray it.

It still needs some work but it’s getting there.

Oh and also, we have this currently sitting in our backyard.  I’ll give a cookie to whoever knows what we’re planning to do with these (and no, Emiley, it doesn’t count that we told you!)

Does anyone else have multiple projects going on at once like we do?

September 2, 2010

Shoes Required: Part 1

by Cait

Do you ever have one of those projects that seems so simple and then just starts spiraling into something you never saw coming?  Yeah, me too.

Remember this beauty?

shoe cabinet closed

I was poking around online awhile back, and when I got to this post from Amanda over at The Hand Me Down House I realized that 1) while I had considered wrapping paper, I hadn’t even considered contact paper/shelf liner for the boogered up top of the shoe cabinet, and 2) I liked the paper she chose.  So that night Robert & I went to Target that because I had an overwhelming urge to look at the shelf liner. Well, I couldn’t find any in our store, but I did find wrapping paper that I liked, so I bought that along with some knobs for the front of the cabinet (because the knobs/latches pictured are useless).

Then we went home and I forgot about the cabinet for a while and watched football got busy with other things.  That weekend I took the wrapping paper out to the shed and determined that I needed to paint the cabinet because I’m too lazy to sand and re-stain it.  So I spent the rest of the day watching Sex and the City reruns picking a paint color.

Tonight we went to Lowe’s to get supplies for another project we’re working on for a pregnant friend’s nursery, and while we were there we decided to pick up paint for this (and the liquor cabinet, which we figured out is partially wood and partially particle board and was bought by Robert’s dad in 1972).

Thankfully the total cost of this project has remained low so far, even with the spiral.

Oh, and right now the inside of our liquor cabinet looks like this:

August 23, 2010

Love It or Leave It

by Cait

I preface this post by saying I’m sorry to anyone who has seen these multiple times already!  I just can’t get enough of them!

God bless the internet for providing me with an endless supply of inspiring ideas!  We’re suckers for repurposing items to give them a new life, and here is a small smattering of the things we’re finding inspiring lately.   Check back to see if any of them end up being reworked for our house later!

From Apartment Therapy – SF Flickr Finds, seen on YHL

From PB Teen, but could easily be DIYed.

This is everywhere right now, so forgive me for jumping on the bandwagon.

From West Elm

Seen on Door16, originally from emmas designblogg

I am willing to bet I am almost completely alone in my love for this next one.

From the ReadyMade Blog

What inspires you?  Do you have a folder on your computer or a stack of magazine pages like I do?

August 10, 2010

Living With An Exterior Color You Didn’t Pick

by Cait

When we bought our house it had just been painted by the person who flipped it.  Unfortunately for us, the color he chose was pink salmon peach.  We’re trying to look at the bright side: the house was recently painted so we don’t have to shell out the thousand or so dollars for 15-20 gallons of paint and spend hours in the Florida sun painting.  We decided to spend a little money instead on things to tone the color down a little.


One of the first things we did was pick up a bench off the side of the road and paint it green (Valspar La Fonda Grassy Knoll) using paint we had picked up for another project.  Then we found a ceramic garden stool at HomeGoods, and added that to the mix and placed a coral cactus we picked up at Lowe’s on top of it.  In the interest of full disclosure, that is our firewood that is left over from this past winter still sitting on our porch next to the T-111, attracting bugs waiting to be put in the table base turned firewood holder in the library.  You can also see the mailbox we want to replace with one of these in white (or really we’d prefer the English version if we can find one).


We are thinking of painting the bricks under the window white, especially if the paint that was left in the old shed is any good, and painting the planter a color other than peach as well.  Oh, and no, there isn’t really a reason our bushes aren’t properly trimmed and maintained… unless you count it being too hot in Florida to work outside 9 months out of the year, plants being dead the other three months, and the fact that Robert works full time while going to school as a reason.  Which I do.  We plan to rip the bushes/large weeds out so you can see the planter anyhow, especially since they were half dead/full of weeds when we bought the house, so they just haven’t gotten attention yet.

Screen shot 2010-08-10 at 11.09.14 AM

We painted the front door a color that coordinated with the peach (Valspar Grey Teal), instead of the white that it was.  And after that we could live with the peach.

chipping paint

Then this started happening.  Part of this is caused by the string trimmer getting too close to the house and then (of course) it just started peeling where the trimmer hit it.  Lovely.  On the plus side, you can’t see any of this from the street, but it has raised the “should we paint the exterior” question again, especially since it will be getting cooler outside soon.

Are you in love with your exterior color, or does it need some tweaking to make it more your style?

August 1, 2010

Sidewalk Sale?

by Cait

Ok, so our neighborhood doesn’t actually had sidewalks, but every once and awhile (especially after a call or text from a friend or family member) on trash night it seems a little like a sidewalk sale.  Or maybe I should start over.

Hi, my name is Cait and I have a problem.  A problem with adopting furniture that other people are throwing away, making it over and putting it in my home.

This chair, for instance.

curbside chair

This chair was calling my name.  I can just see this chair painted tan, blue or green (colors we have leftover from other projects) on the other side of the bed in the guest room, or at one of the desks in the art room.  Our other “sidewalk sale” score was this cabinet.

shoe cabinet closed

Yes, the legs are slightly unlevel.  Yes, it was sitting upside-down on the rain-soaked asphalt so the top either needs to be painted, covered with pretty paper, or intentionally weathered.  And yes, the door pulls are useless and don’t actually open the dooes.  But when Robert flipped it over for me and opened the doors?

shoe cabinet open

Hello, shoe cabinet.

And so, I have a problem.  Occasionally my problem is contagious and Robert comes home with things he finds.  The short list of things we have rescued off the side of the road?

  1. The wing chair that alternates between the guest room and the art room.
  2. The bedside table in the guest room.
  3. The two desk chairs in the art room (project details coming soon).
  4. A satellite dish and antenna that my parents were looking to use with their camper.
  5. Two rolling desk chairs like this (the ones without arms) that are waiting in the shed to be refinished.
  6. A rocking chair for a friend’s nursery (also waiting in the shed for a little love).
  7. A cast iron sink for the same friend’s kitchen.
  8. A table base turned firewood holder.

And so, I we have a problem.  And that doesn’t even include the deals we’ve scored at Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Craigslist, and a local home renovators’ surplus store.

Does anyone else have this problem?  I know some cities have a “love it or leave it” section at the city dump, which might make this kind of thing a lot easier (or maybe not, it might be similar to the way we’ve lost several things we’ve scouted to the junk men who pick up scrap metal and other pawn-able items).