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Tag Archives: furniture
Over the past few months, I’ve been dying to take some woodworking classes. A few years back, my dad helped me build a console table and a table top for my coffee table. I fell in love with the whole process and lately the itch to get back it came up. There’s something so cool about designing a piece, cutting the wood, building the piece and finishing it. The icing on top is of course showing it off in your house, styled just the way you want.
My friend Paige and I finally found a class that worked with both of our schedules. This past weekend we took a ‘make it, take it’ bench-making class at Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange. Both of us have an affinity for making things, fixing up our apartments, DIYs and now woodworking. Paige is also a graphic designer, so maybe that’s why we naturally have so many of the same hobbies.
The class was the perfect introduction to basic sawing techniques, drilling and building. We built the entire bench from reclaimed 2 by 4′s and used both the circular saw and a hand saw. It was cool to use both, but the hand saw took forever and was a serious workout. But like I said, still a good skill!
I’d actually used a drill and a circular saw before, but this definitely gave me more confidence in using both. After three hours of sawing, cutting, sanding and learning, we had ourselves two fabulous new benches (and a few really cheesy pictures of us sitting on them)!
I highly recommend their classes to anyone wanting to learn something about woodworking, it’s a blast. They have a side table class, but what I really want to learn is how to build a dining room table! Baby steps… Blair, baby steps. Anyway, I clearly had a blast, the class was so much fun and I’m ready to sign up for some of the more advanced classes to learn more techniques and someday design and make all kinds of cool wooden things!
images taken by Design That Inspires
I should preface this by saying, I love projects. Especially home improvement projects. I’ve tackled numerous jobs in my house from painting over dark green ceilings (why would anyone ever do that to begin with?) to realigning the lock on my door. Part of making my home the place I want to be is editing it here and there as my own style evolves, changes and matures.
Several months ago I did a little bedroom renovation. I got new pillows, a duvet cover that actually fit and re-painted my bedside tables. For the longest time I had bright pillows with crazy mis-matched patterns, and I loved them, but it was also time for a change. Something a bit more grown up, but not too grown up.
I was going for a cobalt blue and after a long Saturday of sanding and repainting, they were done and looked pretty good! I did wish they were a bit darker, but I could get over it. Or so I thought.
A few days later, they’d fully dried and I put them in my room. HOORAY, happy dance! I love the feeling I get when I finish a project. And a few months later, I find myself looking at them with and unpleasant face. They just don’t seem to fit the whole look. BOO, sad dance.
I don’t know if I was ever really satisfied with them. After putting them in there, I didn’t love it, but I assumed it was because it was new and I just needed time to get over it. But the truth is, I just don’t like the color against my light blue walls. Should have considered that before, huh?
So, alas, I will repaint them once again! I picked up a nice medium light grey color at Home Depot last week and feel confident that this is a much better choice. Grey should definitely compliment the rest of the room much better than bright blue. You can also see from the up-close shots that I didn’t have the cleanest paint job last time. Drips everywhere! I’m hoping I can sand these down this time around and end up with a cleaner piece with go around.
Like most college kids, my apartment was filled with a whole slew of Ikea furniture. For whatever reason I decided that the natural wood was the best color. Since then my style has drastically changed and I really wish I had picked white or the darker stain (so many options! not..).
I wish that I could say I’ve gotten rid of all that Ikea furniture, but the truth is it’s making it’s way out my place much slower than I’d like. I’ve recently come across some really incredible remakes of the modern and personality-less Malm dresser and I think it’s time to give mine a little update!
I think I’m going to keep it simple and paint it white. My bedding is white and so is my vanity table. I really want to add some hardware to it as well. Not just for looks either, I find that the drawers are harder to open when really full. I’ve even broken a fingernail a time or two trying to get those things open.
This past weekend I was asked to participate in Randolph Street Market‘s Editor’s Choice for Charity. I got to poke around the market early and pick my top 5 favorite things. When they told, a portion of the sale went to a charity of my choice. My choice was St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
I was really excited about this for a number of reasons. I love the market. There are always incredible finds at great prices and some high quality vintage pieces that are truly one of a kind. I also got to meet a few of the vendors who’s stands I adore. I also got to meet the woman who started the whole market, Sally Schwartz. Last, but not least, I loved that the event benefitted a multitude of great causes (each ‘editor’ got to choose their own charity)!
My top picks were: 1) Vintage Mink Jacket – gorgeous, beautiful condition and a fabulous price, 2) Sunshine Yellow Ottoman – bright, velvet and I love the shape! It’d be a great pop of color to any room, 3) Brass & Wood Table – it had beautiful engravings all over it and was selling for less than $100, 4) Geode Bookends – need I say more? I have a similar pair and they’re beautiful, 5) Persian Lamb & Mink Coat – I love the vintage shape, it was in perfect condition and was a reasonable price for such a gorgeous piece!
The only issue was that I found far more than 5 items that could have easily earned my blue ribbon of approval. A few of which I pictured above. Which pieces would have earned your seal of approval?
*all images taken by Design That Inspires, click them to enlarge
This past weekend I got to go to the Randolph Street Market in Chicago. Talk about awesome! I could have walked around for hours. No wait, I take that back. I did walk around for hours. It’s such an inspiring place and got me rethinking just about every space in my apartment. That’s a dangerous road to go down.
I’ve been looking for a side table for the other side of my bed to balance out the room a bit. I found an awesome one for $175. The lady said she’d give it to me for $150! I didn’t even have to ask, which made me think that $150 was the actual price, but that they marked them up just to mark them down. You know, to make you feel like you’re getting a good deal. Whatever. Their tricks worked on me.
The price was right and it’s a really funky piece. It’s made from reclaimed barn wood (hooray for upcycling!) and worn painted metal. I think it’s just fantastic! And it looks very nice in my room!
The last two (less expensive) items I snagged were this bronze jewelry dish and the geode slice necklace. I was obsessed with a geode slice necklace a while back, but couldn’t get myself to cough up the $250 for it. This one was $40. Definitely a sign, right? The little bronze dish was just $10 and a fun little accessory for any room.
All in all I got out of the market for just under $200! How exciting! I wish I felt this happy after every shopping trip. Usually there’s a few hours of feeling slightly guilty for spending rather than saving.
If you’re in Chicago this summer, this would be a fun outing! Not only is the shopping and browsing entertaining, but they have live bands and tons of great food and drinks! Girls outing? Maybe a fun date if you can convince your guy to shop… I know I won’t have any luck there.
Tickets for admission are $10 or $8 if you buy ahead. Check out the dates on their website and get your shopping bag ready for some great finds!