the fate of the mohair chairs

A few weeks ago I shuffled the chairs around the dining table leaving my beloved vintage ones homeless. Or at least table-less.  But only temporarily. They’ve been displaced to my new favorite seating area in the house – what shall now be known as the living room.  Along with an old cage-turned-coffee-table, that we’ve had for years, in a similar green hue.

Ward Bennett chairs, vintage nautical living room

We’ve been working on carving out different areas in our great room to make it most functional.  Using furniture as a divider, or floating it, seems to be working with our current layout.  (But that doesn’t mean I won’t rearrange again soon.)

diving spaces, nautical living

I’m happy with how the space under the bay window has evolved.  This cozy little sitting area is saturated in deep colors from the walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs to the over-dyed blue and orange kilim rug.  The space can handle all of the dark, dramatic color thanks to all of the natural light that pours in.

walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs

The “living room” is conveniently adjacent to the bar where we store glassware & mix cocktails

eclectic living room

modern bar in a vintage world

…beside the captain.  The count is getting pretty high on sea captains around here.  This is Gorton.

ship captain oil painting

So that is the fate of the chairs.  I know you were worried about them.  They are indeed one of my favorite vintage finds ever.

vintage walnut & mohair Ward Bennett

What is your best vintage find ever?

P.S. For more inspiration on what to do with your vintage finds, check out the recently updated (and always evolving) Home tab which features our vintage home style.

 

 

 

a whole lot of legs

I picked up this drop leaf table while in Brimfield. I have a growing drop leaf table collection. It is an addiction really. I don’t know what it is about them. Their versatility. The timeworn tops. Not sure. But I’ve never met one I don’t like.

mmsmp resist layers-3633

Well that’s not totally true. When the tops are impeccable and shiny, I don’t usually like them. I like a worn stained finish and of course a chippy worn paint job to match on the legs.

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And that’s the exact treatment this table got.

mmsmp resist layers-3637

Oh the power of milk paint and the chippy goodness it can create.

mmsmp resist layers-3635

The first coat on the legs is Trophy.

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The second coat is Grain Sack.

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I followed a similar suit on the ladder back chairs which I previewed here before.

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This chair features Apron Strings & a custom mix of French Enamel and Linen…I think.

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The options are endless when it comes to milk paint.  But to get this layered look you need to create a resist between colors and coats.  This can be achieved a number of ways including applying the wax puck or hemp oil as a resist.

mmsmp resist layers-3643

See, milk paint naturally wants to absorb into the surface unless, of course, there is a previous finish there for it to resist.  That’s where it gets interesting.

mmsmp resist layers-3641

All three pieces are available individually at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

mmsmp resist layers-3644

chairs for all seasons

This funny thing happened the other day. It seems to occur to a lot of us in the vintage and furniture flipping industry. I finished refreshing a pair of chairs with milk paint, wax and fabric.  I posed them at either end of our breakfast table just for a mini before and after shoot before bringing them to the shop.  For sale.

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

Well…I think you know where this is headed.  As I snapped pictures to share with you here of the “new” chairs, I was growing more and more fond of them there at the table.

grainsack milk paint & ticking fabric dining chairs

…in our eclectic little nook.  Still a work in progress.  Always a work in progress really.  That is the fun of it naturally because you never know what treasures will find you next.

eclectic breakast nook

The grainsack milk painted chairs just seemed so much lighter and brighter in the space than the others we had in there.  And yes they match the table anyway!

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

The streamlined back is pretty comfortable.  And the caning allows more light to pass through.  It just feels summer-y.  We can change out chairs seasonally, right?

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

For the seats, I used Waverly ticking stripes which plays well off of the grainsack upholstered bench and linen bentwood chairs too.

ticking fabric upholstery

The walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs were looking winter-y there at the table.  However, they are my favorite and aren’t leaving the house.

Eclectic Flea Market Style Breakfast Nook

In fact, I carved out a little sitting area in the living room just for these chairs.  More pictures on that soon but for now an instagram shot preview…

vintage walnut & mohair ward bennet chairs

I certainly have a vintage chair fetish.  How about you?

vintage dining chairs
In other vintage chair related news, we’ll be at Clover Market on Sunday in Ardmore, PA.

Clover Market Spring 2014

And on Saturday at 11 am, I’ll be hosting another free Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demonstration at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

Milk Paint Demo

Perhaps I’ll run into you this weekend!

 

milk paint in cape may

Hey there!  Have you heard the news?

We’re bringing Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint to Cape May.  That’s right.  You can expect to find the full product line and other DIY goodies at The West End Garage.

mp_natural

To kick it off, I am offering a free milk paint demonstration on Saturday, May 10th at 11 am.  No need to sign up.  Just come as you are ready to learn what all of the hype is about.  I’ll show you how to mix the paint and we’ll talk about different finishes and topcoats.  This is not a “one size fits all” paint and many different finishes can be achieved.  We’ll even discuss how you can use it outdoors on fences and window boxes.  So feel free to bring specific project questions, before pictures, etc.

WEG May demo

Oh and bring your mom.  It’ll be Mother’s Day weekend after all!  A perfect time to visit Cape May.

Cape May Victorian-0380

Actually any time is a perfect time to visit Cape May.

Cape May beaches

However, if you can’t make it on Saturday, May 10th, don’t worry.  We’ll offer another demonstration in the future.  And if you just can’t wait until May 10th, visit West End Garage this weekend.  The paint is in stock.

e-sky

May’s colors of the month are Eulalie’s Sky and Linen.  The perfect pairing for a Victorian beach house, don’t you think?

upcycled lighting

Hey guys! I’m still in the spirit of Earth Day/Week here so I’d like to share how we turned this galvanized piece of junk into a one of a kind chandelier in our dining nook. And of course, I do mean junque.

Flea Market Style Industrial Galvanized Light Chandelier

The question still remains: What the heck is it?

Galvanized Light

We really don’t know but it seems like some sort of farm machinery.  Someone suggested that it may be for cotton picking.  I have no idea.  Do you?  It’s probably for manure…

It was not originally a funnel.  Ryan cut the hole to replicate a funnel so we could wire the light fixture through.

galvanized light

Galvanized Pendant Chandelier Light

This light transformation was easier than you might think because we had all of the parts already.  Do you remember the kitchen from when we first moved in?  Check out that 80′s light fixture.

kitchen before

Look a little closer because the innards for it are what made up our new light.

before

Breakfast Nook

We carefully took it apart saving all of the pieces.  A few tweaks were made to the innards – new light sleeves plus I sprayed the old shiny brass antique white and hemp oiled the wood.

making a light

Ryan wired the light using our new-to-us “shade” with all of the old light’s parts.  We also switched out the gold chain for a reasonably rusty galvanized chain to complete the look.

Breakfast Nook

We love turning random objects into lights and shades.  Here are a few of other favorites from the archives…

Galvanized Funnel Pendant Lights Galvanized Funnel Lights-3206

Mason Jar Pendant

Mason Jar Pendant

 Vintage Birdcage Light

Vintage Birdcage Light

Shell Fan/Chandelier

Shell Bathroom Fan/Chandelier

What have you upcycled or repurposed lately?

happy earth day

Most of the projects we do around here are “green”.  We love to recycle, upcycle, repurpose…whatever you want to call it.  We generally try to use what we already have and consider what the impact of buying new may have on the earth.  Not only is recycling earth-friendly but it is practical on the wallet in most cases too.  It is incredible to think of what we’ve repuposed in our home for a look that is uniquely ours.

Here are a few of my favorite earth friendly choices that we’ve made…

In our kitchen, we have a recycled pallet wood backsplash that has been going strong since day one.  We still love it.

kitchen (31 of 33)

Recently we wallpapered our dining nook with old blueprints.  Love!

Flea Market Style Dining Nook

Our headboard is made from a recycled old interior door.

architectural salvage bedroom

Once we rescued this old chair from the curb and gutted and upholstered it, it was good as new.  We couldn’t part with it!

Rehabbed Club Chair

We’ve started working outside in the vegetable and perennial gardens.  We’ve began composting all of our kitchen scraps and seeding veggies for a summer harvest.

beans

We’re also working on cutting back on unnecessary garbage wherever possible.  We recently switched solely to fabric napkins.  They’re no longer just for fancy occasions!

Spicy Tortilla Soup

Habitat for Humanity’s Restore recently launched a new blog with all sorts of DIY tips and ideas on this very topic.  I contributed this post regarding repurposing a small window.

Habitat for Humanity

Did you know that most counties have a Habitat Restore that will take your donations?  If you are renovating, do the responsible thing and  donate your old cabinets, doors, hardware and fixtures plus furniture and other household items.  It’s better than these items ending up in a landfill.  Find the Restore near you!

How are you making an impact in your home, garden and community this Earth Day…and everyday?