Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Painted Wicker Furniture

We're currently experiencing a rainy spell here in New Jersey, with showers predicted for the next five days. But over the weekend, we had clear skies. It was the perfect opportunity for me to repaint our wicker furniture. 

Our front porch has an assortment of wicker furniture which we've gathered over the course of several years. Some of it was purchased at Pier 1. Some of it was handed down from college roommates. Some of it came from an antique store. And some of it was even found on the side of the road,as I described in my previous post. After staring at our porch furniture on a daily basis, we came to the conclusion that the wicker looked exactly like you would expect it to, given it's hodge-podge origins. The styles and colors didn't work together.

I tried painting some the furniture light yellow earlier this summer, but the result wasn't what I had in mind. I was going for sunny, lemony yellow. The result was more buttery...fine if you're making dessert, not so good if you're painting chairs.

This weekend, I gave the wicker a good cleaning following these tips from CoCo at the Crowned Goat (thanks, CoCo!). After the wicker was completely dry, I applied Valspar satin finish indoor/outdoor spray paint in Hubbell House Golden Maize. Two coats and five cans of spray paint later, the wicker is now a rich goldenrod color.

Papered House_painted wicker_Valspar Hubbell House Golden Maize

In all honesty, I would have preferred if this color had less orange and more mustard in it. I also might have preferred a glossy finish rather than satin. But when you're working with canned spray paint, the options are somewhat limited (and I don't foresee us spray painting enough to justify purchasing a compressor and making our own spray paint). Even so, we're very pleased with the new color. It works better with the overall look of our house, and it's a noticeable improvement from the previous mismatched look. Several of our neighbors have already mentioned how much they like the new color. It's always gratifying to get positive feedback from one's neighbors.

Papered House_painted wicker_Valspar Hubbell House Golden Maize3

Since I was already giving the porch so much attention, I figured I might as well decorate for fall as well. The porch decor is simple: just some dried hydrangeas, a mason jar full of corks (thanks to this inspiration from 2 Bees in a Pod), and some faux leaves. On the other end of our porch, we also added some gourds and hay, which you may have seen on Instagram. It's beginning to look like fall around here!

Papered House_Outdoor Fall Decor Hydrangeas Corks Leaves 

 Thanks for stopping by, friends. Hope you enjoy the rest of the week. 

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Friday, September 25, 2015

One Man's Trash

Over the summer, we picked up several pieces of antique furniture. First there were the vampire chairs that we found at a garage sale for $25. But we also brought home four more chairs and a sideboard. 

In my husband's hometown, there are designated "clean-out" weeks during the summer. Residents purchase a permit which allows them to dispose of oversize garbage. Things like old mattresses, broken lawn mowers, and old TV sets...any household trash is fair game. But here's the kicker: people also throw out perfectly good furniture. Sometimes the furniture needs a little TLC, but other times there are no discernible defects. It truly is a case of "one man's trash is another man's treasure."

During clean-out week, residents put stuff out on the curb on the weekend. By the following Friday, anything still on the curb is picked up and tossed out by the town. But in the interim, it's the perfect opportunity for a little treasure hunting.

This year's haul: an Adirondack chair, a channel-back armchair, a rocking chair, a wicker armchair, and a wood sideboard. We found these with the help of my inlaws, who have a great eye for furniture.

 Here is the Adirondack chair. When we brought it home, the wood was a bit beat up and it was missing several wood plugs. My husband spent some time repairing the wood and I'll be giving it a fresh coat of paint soon.

Papered House_Adirondack Chair

We also found this upholstered armchair. I believe this style is called a "channel-back chair." The current upholstery is dated, but it's a well-made piece of furniture. Despite its smallish size, this one of the heaviest chairs I've ever encountered. It's also surprisingly comfortable. I once dozed off in this chair while my husband and six of his friends were playing a raucous card the same room. No joke.

This chair is currently in our living room. We'll have it reupholstered in the future when we redecorate this room (probably not for a year or so).

Papered House_Channel Back Arm Chair
Then there is this petite rocking chair. We're not sure how old this is, but it is a lovely oak piece and it's in great condition. My mother-in-law mentioned that this was likely a ladies' sewing chair. I believe the idea was that the chair would be armless to allow the chair to fit under a sewing table or to free up the lady's arms for embroidery projects. This rocking chair is currently in our bedroom.

Papered House_sewing rocking chair

This wicker chair was another find. I don't think this is particularly old; I seem to remember this style being sold at Pier 1. This chair is currently on our front porch, which has an assortment of mismatched wicker furniture. I love sitting here with a hot cup of coffee and the Saturday paper. I'll be spray painting this a cheerful yellow .

 Papered House_wicker armchair

Last but not least: this wooden sideboard might be my favorite find from this year's haul. It has such interesting details. We haven't quite decided where this piece will end up. Although it's a sideboard, the style is a little too whimsical for our dining room. I'm thinking it could work as a dresser in our guest bedroom. Right now, this paint reminds me of overcooked brussels sprouts. Not good. I haven't decided on a color yet, but this will definitely get a fresh coat of paint. And those wooden knobs are begging to be replaced with something more appropriate!

Papered House_green sideboard

Papered House_green sideboard detail

There were a few other items we brought home, but don't have pictures of. My inlaws found a beautiful antique wicker tea cart (sort of like this one). It would look lovely in our living room. We also found a number of dismantled balusters from a grand Queen Anne Victorian home. They are the size of small tree trunks. We haven't decided what to do with them yet, but we picked up about five of them, with the hope that they can be repurposed somehow (amusingly, I saw the same balusters -- likely from the same house -- turn up in an antique store a few weeks later. Glad we scored ours for free!).

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Mudroom/Rear Porch Makeover

Papered House_mudroom makeover organization

For several months, I've wanted to spruce up our mudroom/rear porch. This space has always had a lot of potential: there are large windows on three sides and ample storage on the fourth side. The mudroom connects to our kitchen, and it lets in lovely light. This space is also the primary access to our home, so we see this space several times a day.

But for far too long, our mudroom was a cluttered, disorganized mess. There was so much extra stuff taking up floorspace that we barely had room to maneuver. I'm almost embarrassed to show you these pictures, but it's necessary for the full before and after impact. So here is our dirty laundry. This is the sight that "greeted" us every time we left for work in the morning or returned home:

Papered House_Mudroom_Before

Papered House_Mudroom_Before2 

Yikes! Some welcome, right?

And after a weekend of decluttering, organizing, and scrubbing, our mudroom is now a much more functional space.

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