the chair bench evolution

Once upon a time we took 3 cast off yard sale chairs and upcycled them into a custom bench that is a perfect fit in our dining nook.  Bench Seat

You can review the bench tutorial here.upcycled chairs turned custom bench (4 of 38)

As the space evolved it was inevitable for the bench to evolve too.  When we updated the kitchen, the colors took on an earthy, neutral palette with lots of texture.  The kitchen continues to be the room that changes the most frequently around here…

flea market style kitchen

When the floors were redone this winter, I updated the bench by giving each chair a coat of MMSMP Grainsack over the bold colored chalk paint.  The milk paint resisted the chalk paint in a few places giving just a subtle distressed look.

Also, I came across 3 neutral toile printed pillows that were perfectly sized for each chair.  They were only a buck for each pillow cover.  I found some inserts and boom!  upcycled upholstered chair bench

It’s like a new bench for little cost (again)!  What have you upcycled lately?

dining nook upholstered chairs

 

 

 

ammo trunk

Vintage Trunks are the best, aren’t they?  Clearly they provide storage as that was the intention in the utilitarian object to begin with.  However, they also lend an aesthetic appeal to a space.

Vintage Ammo Trunk

A few years back I scored this large vintage ammo trunk as part of a lot of trunks.  It was a WWII US Navy trunk. In fact, the shipping labels are still in tact which indicate that it was sent to the US Air Force in New York.  The trunk, overall, is in great shape.

Vintage US Navy Ammo Trunk

I have a soft spot for World War II memorabilia.  It is probably the least feminine thing to collect but there is something visually appealing to me about the army green, type fonts, rivets and brass details typically associated with the items.  It generally leads me to wonder about what our country was like at that time with women headed to work while men were at war; what my grandparents were doing; what technology was in play and so on.  It is also the era that my collections date back to.  I don’t really gravitate toward many pieces earlier than 1940’s.

vintage army jacket

Naturally I loved this green trunk although I did initially try to sell it but had no takers.  When that happens it is a sure sign that it is meant to stay with us…at least for now.

Junk in the Trunk! vintage trunks stacked

Over the past year it has lived a double life after receiving a set of casters on the bottom so it can easily be pushed around.  First, it made a fantastic window seat when covered with a thick, tufted cushion and pillows.

vintage ammo trunk turned bench window seat

The problem was that it simply wasn’t getting enough use beyond its storage abilities.   A few months ago, I pushed it into play as an extra long coffee table where it seems to have a more fulfilling life.  Plus, this made more room for vintage chair hoarding.

vintage nautical living room with army trunk coffee table

 You can do no wrong to it. Drink rings cause no damage.  This thing was in war after all!  And brass always looks good with army green.

vintage brass tray & paper weight

What is your favorite way to use a vintage trunk?

Vintage Ammo Trunk

P.S. Don’t forget about the upcoming milk paint demonstration at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown on Sunday!

the best seat in the house

This is one of my very favorite spaces in our home.

Reading Nook

It is a built-in cedar bench with much-needed storage.  I love built-ins of any kind because they are just so custom to each house. We left built-in shelves behind in our previous dining room and living room.  The only thing better than built-ins might be pocket doors.

Reading Nook

This is a special place where we like to curl up and read a book when time allows. In the winter, the baseboard heat pumps right up onto the seat making it even cozier.  Said baseboard is due for a coat of glossy white paint this spring.

Reading Nook

Over the holidays we added top down/bottom up shades. I was really committed to the idea of these shades so that we could always have the top down yielding a perfectly clear view. Our bed faces the window so it is spectacular to wake up to the sun peeking through the woods. We see the most beautiful early morning pink skies and evening lavender clouds.

And lately we’ve been waking up to snow dusting our holly trees.  It’s the little things.

Reading Nook

The valance is just a strand of starfish because we are “down the shore” after all and sometimes a little kitsch is necessary.  The salvaged piece above the window was a Brimfield honeymoon find.  I love all of the vivid colors.

Reading Nook (5 of 13)

Remember our garden rake belt hook?  Well, there it is.

  Reading Nook (3 of 13)

  That’s it.  The best seat in the house.

Reading Nook

Check out the rest of the salvage style room here.

layering a window seat

Yesterday was one of those days where I packed in enough activities to fill a few days. Man, I got so much done that I am actually sore.  I planted 80 bulbs in an hour using my tried and true electric drill/auger method.  Can’t wait to see those babies bloom in the spring.   Prior to that, I started out the day finishing up this window seat nook in our living room.

vintage military ammo trunk turned window seat by Circa Dee

Our living room is pretty big.  It was originally two rooms (small living room and a tiny bedroom) that a previous owner opened up to make one large space.  I love how open it is but it still calls for two different zones.  I sort of think of the TV watching area as the “family” room and this side as the “living” room where we have a sitting area and then a bar cart to the side.

We added roman shades and vintage toile drapes.  In fact, the roman shades are the only things that are brand spankin’ new in this space.

vintage military ammo trunk turned window seat + toile drapes by Circa Dee

Before I go any further, please allow me to insert a beautiful “before” picture here of this side of the room.  This house was screaming bad 80s (and in some cases, still is) so it is a real joy to recreate.

before

I should also point out that I lost the battle on painting all of the maple stained trim in this house.  When paired with the new bright roman shades, it doesn’t seem that bad however I would like to de-orange it a bit with a darker stain.  But of course that is a daunting task that I am really not ready to embark on.

You may remember the drapes from the dining room in our previous house.  It’s funny how different they look in here.  Rather than using drape hooks this time, I went with rod clips so I could easily loop them over the fishing rod curtains rods.

vintage toile drapes

Yes, I said fishing rods.  One thing about making the beach house our permanent residence is determining how much “beach” to mix into the decor.  After all I don’t want to turn this place into the set of the Golden Girls.  Or maybe I do actually.  Blanche had quite the social life.  Anyway, I am still experimenting with how much beach is too much.

I digress.

The fishing reels and one of the rods are special because they belonged to Ryan’s grandfather and father.  I like how they’re on display but also totally functional for this space.  That seems to be a recurring theme since we moved.  Many of the things we chose to keep with us are sentimental and family heirlooms so we’re trying to find ways to not only admire them but actually use them as well.

repurposing fishing rod and reel as curtain rod

As soon as we decided to move, I knew this trunk was going right in this space.  The reason is two fold.  1)  This window is just calling out for a seat and the trunk was just the right size.  And 2) storage!

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

This is a vintage navy ammo trunk with its original labels.  You know how I feel about vintage military accessories.  Maybe you don’t.  I love them!  I tried to sell this one once upon a time when I didn’t need a huge ammo trunk however it didn’t sell.  Obviously no one saw my bench vision in the ginormous trunk!  We added castors so it easily moves as needed.  It can actually double as a coffee table too sans the pillows.  I’m sure I will be wheeling this out of the window to make room for a Christmas tree sometime soon.

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

Did you notice the cushion?  It is the perfect size for the trunk and it came off of a metal bench that we already owned.  A bench without storage so it didn’t make the cut in here.

window seat trunk

I know you spotted the rug.  Is it not the most perfect selection of loomed wool that you ever did see?

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

Let me tell you that an area rug was a must have for this little space.  It never felt complete without it.  I wanted to ground the space.  This Turkish kilim number did exactly that.  After drooling over very expensive kilims and overdyed wool rugs online for months, I found this antique one at an estate sale last week for a steal.  Plus a nicely coordinating one that I can’t wait to share too!  Jackpot.

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

I’m pretty happy with how this space came together.  It is functional and full of vintage style.  I even snuck in some mixing bowls on the windowsill.

  beach bungalow window seat

what what

I need your help here.

What could this little piece of furniture be? Thoughts?

bench before

My friend found it and thought it could be rescued. I’d say it looks pretty good updated in 2 coats of Eulalie’s Sky – one of the newest colors in Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint line.  I mixed the paint up bonding agent.  After waxing it, I lightly distressed it.

eulalies sky bench

Seriously, is it a bench?  Or maybe a little side table.  Piano stool?

eulalies sky bench

Oh, but if it is a bench, why does the back snap closed like this?

eulalies sky bench

It crossed my mind that it could be a kneeler of some sort.  Maybe for a funeral home.  But there would probably be a cushion.  Unless it doubled as a seat too.

eulalies sky bench

Either way, it would make a quaint landing area in a small entry way.  A place to toss keys and mail and even sit down to put shoes on.

eulalies sky bench

Plus, you can always snap the top closed over the junky mail pile when company comes, right?

eulalies sky bench

So what do you think this bench was in its former life?