Thursday, October 10, 2019

ORC Fall 2019 - The Kitchen (yep, again)

Week 2 Check-In.

Paint was mixed and purchased. 
Then, paint was remixed.
If you call me and ask me what color you should paint something, anything, I can decisively tell you in a very short period of time. My friend Dawn called me once and asked for my top 3 grays. I gave her a shortlist within 15 minutes and one worked perfectly - bathroom, light, etc. completely unseen. 
For myself? Not so much.

I'm 100% on the Sherwin Williams Naval for the French door. 
The one in question has been the eating nook ceiling color.
(I just took a bit of the 1st gallon mixed for the ceiling and diluted it with a ton of white paint and now it's a go!)

We had some ceiling repair hanging over our heads (So punny!) but we got that completed 
and 75% of the sanding dust cleaned up :)  It just goes everywhere. 
That is not spilled white paint that is DUST! And after sweeping once already. 

I've been out of town in Virginia for more than half of this work week
 so I haven't really done much more than that!! And what I have done isn't picture worthy. 
Just dry spackle and such!!

I did, however, decorate my porch barcart for Fall. Because this is my process.
Chaos in one area seems to make me need to decorate elsewhere :)
And I found huge, gorgeous purple mums in VA for $6.00 so it seemed necessary!

Here's to having more to share next week. 
Check in with all the other ORC'ers here.

Friday, October 4, 2019

ORC FALL 2019 - The Kitchen (yep, again)

Are you thinking "Get it together, Marcie?? We've seen this kitchen thing before!
You did your Guest Bedroom ORC twice!!! Are you crazy?" 
So, yes, I did try to pull this off in the Spring. 
I knew I was crazy going in but I tried anyway. #orcfail
And on the doing the same ORC room repeatedly thing I seem to have going on maybe we should just look at it like this - I like to keep on trying until I succeed!

Well, I'm even crazier to try it this round.
(If you don't follow me on IG then you may not know that our Summer was a bit unusual. I will say up front it could have been far worse and a lot of people deal with serious stuff regularly but our daily lives and routines have been impacted so taking this on is a bit crazy! We went to the FL Keys on vacation in July. My husband had a stroke on day 2 of our vacay. What followed was 3 ambulance rides, 8 days in ICU, step down Neuro ward, inpatient rehab all in Miami. Mollie and I stayed in the condo the first week and it was an 1 1/2 hour drive one way into Miami. Then she flew home and I stayed another month in a hotel near rehab. I worked remotely with help from a very understanding boss and staff. We came home to more rehab and I was driving hours each day to appointments, etc. Meanwhile back at the ranch our 80 lb puppy broke a bone in his foot and had to have it casted and he required a lot of my time as well. He also ate a good bit of the couch in the family room so that's another situation to be dealt with another day!! We had another family situation going on in VA and I'm still trying to work from my phone, my ipad -whatever I have from wherever I am in a waiting room. So I'm waaaay behind on, well, everything but I'm so ready to do a fun project and be a bit creative! 
Soooo, I'm just crazily going for it!)

BUT, I will be ecstatic with whatever small progress I make.

So maybe I should call this - The Kitchen - Baby Steps.

 I am shortening my to-do list and lowering my expectations 
on what I can accomplish this Fall.
This is a light refresh with a lot of paint and some fabric 
I bought the last time I attempted this and not a major redo or renovation
because (medical bills, vet bills....) budget.
But, again, I say that I am very excited to be doing this ORC!

It will feel great to have the kitchen spiffed up a bit before the holidays. 
I may even get to add in a little Fall seasonal decor. I painted these Chinoiserie pumpkins with the idea in mind that they can stay in the kitchen until Thanksgiving.

Last time I thought I was going to paint my cabinets something other than white. I love a white kitchen but thought I was ready to make a change.
Apparently not. That was one of the hold ups last time. 
I confidently slapped a swatch of paint on my cabinet door, and boom - indecision. So it has been just like that all these months. I know, embarrassing. 

But now we know - we are white kitchen people. At least in this house where 
our big screen porch affects the light in our kitchen.

And this is my all time favorite kitchen "pin" - Serena Crawford's former kitchen!
If you are wondering what my all white dream kitchen looks like in my head :)

So here's the "Dream List" and I'll cross off as many as possible
 and get to the rest when I can!

1. Paint cabinets and walls white again. It's been a few years and it just needs fresh paint.

2. Use the coral leopard print fabric to make curtains I bought last attempt...

  And use Ballard bamboo curtain hardware I bought on deep sale but give it a coat of white paint.

3. Take down dated wood valance over sink. Adjust glass shelf over sink.

4. Replace fluorescent over sink light with a recessed light.

5.Paint dining nook ceiling pale blue.

6. Change island top. Paint island.
(This one is a stretch)

7.Put bamboo shades at windows.

8. Paint back door? Amazingly Sherwin Williams Color of the Year 2020 was already in the running before they announced! I'm feeling rather on top of that :)

Image result for sherwin williams color of the year 2020

9.Paint ceiling fans navy blue.

10. Runner in front of sink?

11. Clean floors and use a wood restorer. I cannot take on refinishing floors right now. And remember 80 lb puppy is in a hard cast. 

12. Re-fit cookbook book shelves and move microwave from counter to new shelf. 

12. Cover lampshade on light over kitchen table. 

What's staying?

1.The vintage faux bamboo kitchen table and chairs. 
2. Coral faux bamboo server
 (which is basically the only thing I accomplished last time.)

3. The vintage industrial storage cabinet we use for spice storage.

4. The collection of blue and white on top of the pantry cabinets in the eating nook.

So here I go - with an adjusted perspective - just hoping to accomplish enough on the list above to make the kitchen feel fresshhh, bright white and maybe a touch updated!

If you would like to see my previous ORC's then please look here!
(Scroll to the bottom of the post for links.)

If you want to know more about the One Room Challenge or to see what everyone else is accomplishing along the way then be sure to follow along here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Everything I Know About Thrifting - What and How?

What to buy? What is "worth it?"
What will I find?
How do you find great items?
How do I find great items!!?!

All good questions.

 So the series continues...

(And be sure to catch up on the first two parts of this series here and here.)

I know thrifters who look for very specific items 
and others who just look to see what catches their eye.
 Some buy for resale and some buy for their own use. 
Some look for hours, some take quick looks and are content knowing they may miss something but that's all the time they have.
I'm right there in the middle. 

(Mollie on a particularly good thrifting day!!)

I think I have a fairly specific look in my house, have favorite items that I like to use to decorate with and I have a "wish list" in my mind as well.

Sure,  occasionally I do find something kind of  'different' from my norm
 that I like it or it has potential - but rarely do I stray from my look.
That makes looking for what I thrift easy to narrow down.

So you have to decide if you just want to thrift for, say,
 dishes or blue and white Chinoiserie pieces. 
Then you simply take a spin through the thrift store looking at those items. 

If you are just looking for something to inspire you or you are starting from scratch
then you are going to need to go row by row.

As I said, I fall somewhere in the middle.
So, generally speaking, this is what I do:

1.I walk in and get a cart. Do NOT be the person who misses something because they had to run get a cart. Not everywhere has 2 part tags or allows you to remove tags. Sometimes possession of the item is it!
2. I take a quick "overview" of the store. I like to scan the top of the shelves and the lamps up high. (I'm now on a self-imposed lamp purchasing moratorium but this is how I spot great lamps!) When I was searching for globes I found 90% of them on my first quick scan at GW.
3. Then I often go to the furniture section first to see if there is big item I'm interested in. 
I have found so many pieces in my home sitting in the big blue tape square at Goodwill. 

But remember when I said I don't always find something? 
This is what greeted me this week ... not a single furniture item in the entire store! 

4. Next I start down the rows. I take a quick glance and see if the things I'm looking for catch my eye. If I think I'm interested I put it in my cart. If I find something else a few rows later then I return my item to the shelf/area it came from so someone else will enjoy finding a treasure. I feel like this is good thrifter etiquette. 

5. And if I have time I do this - It's kind of my "secret technique" and I've found some great stuff this way -  I simply turn a round and run back through the aisles in the opposite direction. I am amazed at what catches my eye when I'm looking from the opposite direction! (And people sometimes set things down while they are looking - see #4!)

6. That's it. I basically can do this and buy something in 10 minutes if I'm pushed for time. Sure, I probably miss a thing or two with this quick approach but knowing I can do this in 10 to 15 minutes tops allows me to stop by my favorite thrift stores more often. And as I said last week - I think frequency is key to successful thrifting!

I also check out the art and mirrors. I'm specifically looking for original paintings (seascapes), bamboo frames and bamboo or Chinoiserie mirrors. I'll take a quick glance at the area but I know I'm really only looking for those 3 things.
If you are less specific then you may need more time to look at all of the art and mirrors.

I actually passed on this piece and then thought about it all night!
I sent my husband back to see and it was still there! 

(And it was a better deal than before! That story here.)
The cushions were faded but it was such a high quality piece that the inserts were still firm and super comfortable.

I made drop cloth slip covers for it. That's often my go to for thrifted finds. 
If I were more secure in my sewing skills I might attempt using nicer fabric! 
But I do like the neutral backdrop this gives me and they wash and bleach so easily.

See the coral chair below?
 We were on a mission trip doing house repair and painting for Senior Citizens who could not accomplish these things on their own. The sweet lady who lived here told me while we were chatting that she didn't sit on her porch anymore because she didn't have a chair out there. I pulled up google and searched for the nearest Goodwill. I ran over there and found this chair for $5.00 along with a small table and a couple of accessories. I ran by the hardware store and grabbed spray paint in this gorgeous coral color and the girls on the trip went to work painting and decorating the porch as a surprise! This homeowner did the sweetest thing too- she told the kids they could choose her front door color! They had the best time discussing the pros and cons of the door color and agreeing on one!

At the thrift store:

On my porch:
(with drop cloth slip covers)

(older view of my porch - see what it looks like now!)

I do not generally buy anything that requires much DIY-ing or 'work' on it.
 I will paint though! I love to paint!
For me DIY-ing = spraypainting :)

At first glance the condition seems a bit rough. However the vintage vinyl seats were in absolutely perfect condition and the color was good.
They swiveled and the mechanism was working perfectly as well.
Super inexpensive and a pair which is always a bonus!

They came home with me and got a coat of white paint. They looked great!
I forgot to get a good "after" photo and I sold them almost right away! 

And back to the first line of this post... "What is worth it?"
That is a good question!
What's worth it to me is different from your answer
 and that's different from "what is it worth?"

So you have to decide how much you are willing to do - polish, paint, slipcover, etc. before you decide to take home a thrifted item. 

And as far as he value of what you are buying? 
That's two-fold.
If I like something but think it needs paint to work for me then its value is strictly about my use of it. I'm not concerned about resale value or its historical value.
Some people have strong feelings about altering the state of a vintage item with value. For me, the value is in making it work for my home. 
I have found a few amazing finds but really only one has affected my paint/don't paint because of value decision.
And it was this Gampel Stoll mirror I found: 

I posted a quick picture on IG and someone immediately offered me hundreds of dollars! 
I did a little research and decided to clean the mirror well, embrace the slight places in the finish (it is vintage after all), and not altar the original finish. I have zero plans to sell it. I love it and where it hangs but, you never know, so preserving the value made sense.

If I think something is priced too high, I'll take a pass unless I really want it. 
If you want to look for items that have intrinsic value then you will need to learn about that type of item and research the resale value or its potential to increase in value. You can look at sights like Chairish to learn about the "value" of vintage items. 
Chairish is a fun place to see "how much" one of your great finds is "actually worth." 
It can also help you to decide if its "worth" paying the asking price. 
There are also some great sellers on IG and Etsy and following them is a good way to see what the going prices are. 

(Everything in this image was thrifted!)

Have any good thrifting tips you want to share??
Next time I'm going to take an area or room or two in my house so you can see how I pull my thrifted and vintage pieces in to my rooms and make them work and I'm going to share what I've paid for many of them along the way!!
Sort of  proof that great function and style does not have to cost a lot or begin with new items!! 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bamboo Baker's Rack plus Herbs.

I haven't had a Bamboo Friday post in ages. 
This was supposed to be ready on Wednesday but here you go - let's call it Bamboo Friday.
(It's been a Summer for the books and this is about all I've accomplished but I am really enjoying it!)

(You can see The Bucket in the background!)

I found this bamboo baker's rack a couple of years ago for less than $20.00 at Goodwill. It had 2 glass shelves and I managed to break one along the way :(  It happens. 
It was temporarily housed in my work area and so I just had wooden shelves cut for it. 

I recently decided to relocate it to my screened in porch as a home for potted herbs. 
Since I'm going to put plants on the shelves and I would be worried about the weight (especially when they were wet) 
I decided to keep the wooden shelves and not have glass ones cut. 
I also wanted to give it a coat of paint. This particular piece had some pretty rough, porous looking areas and I think it needs the protection the paint will offer.

I put this thing on saw horses and turned it every which way to paint it.
 It has so many nooks and crannies and curves.
 You just have to give it a lot of light coats from multiple directions.

I use this dark green spray paint for my porch and yard furniture. 
It is as close to the dark, Charleston green as I can get in a can.
And, 1. I don't know why there are drips on that can. I never have any trouble with this paint. It's the best coverage I've found. #notsponsored but boy, do I wish someone would send me free spray paint :)  2. That table is obviously on the 'need to paint' list! Ha!

Then I slid it in it's new spot and started filling it up with plants,
 blue and white (of course) and some other thrifted finds. 

I think that this spot will get enough morning sun and afternoon light to keep some potted herbs happy and give us great access for cooking. 
I think it will be a great spot to bring the herbs in to from their Summer spots out in the yard and winter them over. I'll keep you posted on Instagram.

And guess what popped up on my FB marketplace this week?
The exact same baker's rack with all the glass shelves.
 Not a bad price at all!!

I'm headed to the garden center for a few more herbs and some potting soil!
Do you have favorite herbs that you grow?

Monday, August 26, 2019

Everything I Know About Thrifting - Where?

This is probably the most common question I get.
It usually goes like this:
"Where do you find all of your great stuff? I never find anything when I go thrifting!"

(A good day but I visited two thrift stores on my way home from an appointment)

First I would like to say this:
I do not find amazing things every time I go thrifting. 
I often post when I do,
 I obviously don't post pictures on my IG of the many trips
 I make without finding one single thing!

I think the where question is more about frequency and diligence than the actual where!

(I'm willing to have a glass shelf or two cut if the price is pretty low to begin with.
 You just have to decide if the effort is worth it to you)

I have found things in well organized thrift shops and in total dumpy, smelly spots. 
It's all in what you are willing to do.

(Here is my huge "Golden Girls" couch in a corner at a non-profit thrift store. 
Quick phone call home for someone to measure the spot on the porch!)

(Here it is in it's new home on our porch.
  Mollie actually sent me a screenshot of this exact couch in an old episode of  
Hawaii Five-O!! It really is vintage!)

I hit the "regulars" often.
Goodwill is my most visited spot where I live
 but I don't always find them to be that great in towns I visit. 
Location. Location. Location.

(I found this pair of chairs when working on my Library for a ORC. I had to come back to get them in a larger vehicle and GW accidentally sold the matching stools while I was gone. 
I reallllly don't like to have to leave something and pick up later if I can help it. It's only happened that once but... sad day !)

(Here are those chairs, refreshed and in our Library. BUT that zebra rug is the thrifting find of all time if you want to "score" it by price paid vs. actual value. Read this crazy story here!)

Now here's a great trio. 
I found these at a GW that had not been a very "lucky" spot for about 4 months. 
But I decided to pop in and here these beauties sat!! I grabbed all 3 tickets - one is missing the glass but it's an easy fix and they priced the one with broken glass under $15.00 so no problem! I'll get the glass cut!

These are in my family room now. 
I haven't had a chance to share how they look in their new home yet but I will soon!

Church affiliated thrift stores are often the best spots to thrift in smaller towns. 

I also check out "non-profit" type thrift stores. These are the ones that support homeless shelters, drug rehab centers, women's shelters, humane societies, etc. 

( I don't love the design on the doors. If I had purchased this it would have gotten a coat of paint!) 

If I'm in a different part of town or on a trip and have 10 minutes to spare I just google "thrift stores near me" and pop in the closest one or two.
My first ever Brighton Pavilion bamboo chair was found in a Restore in a pretty rough section of Atlanta. I was over there for an appointment and popped in. There was the chair in the middle of a ton of plumbing parts for... $15.00!

(This piece lives in my kitchen now. I painted it and it's a ton of good storage. 
This particular non-profit has been the source of quite a few great finds!
I always pop in when I pass by.)

I also hit up the occasional yard sale or estate sale but not on a regular basis.
That is too time consuming for me. I live in an area with a lot of traffic 
(Atlanta area traffic is legendary)
and I rarely have time on a Saturday anyway. I see people on IG who do the estate and yard sale circuit and have great success. Just doesn't work for me. 
That is the "success" part of this. You have to decide what works for you that doesn't feel like "too much time/not enough yield" to you. 

I stopped by this yard sale/estate sale on a whim on a rainy Saturday and that elephant now lives in my entryway. And since the weather wasn't great and they only had a half day on Sunday to finish selling a house full of stuff they made a great deal on a huge pile of vintage finds! It never hurts to ask prices. I asked how much two things were and the lady said "We are ready to deal. The more you buy the better the prices!"
 Done. I grabbed a bunch of vintage goodies that day.

I like to thrift and I'm happy when I find something I can use!
So, I guess I'm easily pleased in this process :)

I do like to browse Facebook Marketplace.
 It's great if you are looking for something specific. 
It's a very time efficient way to "thrift shop."

(This would have been a bit of a drive but if I had been searching for something and the price was great then I would make the drive. It has to be a really wanted/needed piece for me to drive far but I have made some road trips for great finds!)

I bought this vintage Pier One settee on FB Marketplace, 
used it for a year and found something I liked better 
and then sold it on FBM!

You can enter bamboo coffee tables for instance, put in a radius from your home you are willing to drive and all the possibilities pop up. 
I have had great luck shopping and selling on FB Marketplace. 
I also look at it when I am travelling.
 Just put in your location and see what's around. 
You never know!

And check those sites often. Amazing deals do happen!
 I saw this moments after it posted, messaged her, arranged to meet her in a grocery parking lot on the other side of town (near her) in about an hour, I was leaving on a mission trip the next day and had a zillion things to pack up for the trip but hopped in the car to go grab the set and by the time I met her she said she had had over 100 messages about it! I'm sure!! Look at that price!! For all three pieces. And to be honest I didn't even try to bargain - I just told her to consider them sold!!

Of course this amazing purchase sparked another One Room Challenge.

So go as often as you can.
And keep an open mind.
 You never know what you might find. I found my kitchen table and chairs when I was thrifting for my Master Bathroom One Room Challenge (which has an amazing thrifted find of its own!)  I ran in a Goodwill after a trip to Home Depot for supplies and literally had 5 minutes to give to the outing. And there it was. And I found two green Chinoiserie lamps for my entryway. Grabbed all the tags, paid and was out of there in about 10 minutes. It doesn't have to be an all day outing. Just stop as you pass by! 

 (That footbath was huge - literally 2 feet across. This was in a vintage shop so kind of the next step up from thrifting it but the prices were really good in this particular shop. It never hurts to look!)

These were "online finds" - either Craigslist or FB Marketplace. I really can't remember. Such a nice lady! We arranged a meeting spot and I was going to get the garden stool. When I arrived the buyer for the gorgeous planter had been a no-show. She offered me the planter as well. We had chatted back and forth while making arrangements to meet and she knew I loved blue and white. I didn't have her total asking price in cash on me (only planning to buy the stool!) and she ended up "throwing in" the amazing planter for the cash I had on me because we had enjoyed messaging back and forth and I had been friendly and she knew I would enjoy it! It was about 1/3 the asking price! It pays to be nice. 
And I do love that planter. It's here right now.

Do you have a go to thrift store or thrift shopping tip?
Please share!

In the third part of this series on Thrifting I'll talk about HOW I thrift and WHAT I look for.