Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thrifty Chic Living

Recently I was talking to you about personal style. I consider my self a restylist, a secondhand rose, a thrift store diva. I love to shop at thrift stores for many things. Like many of you I've been thrifting well before I got my first apartment at 20, and over the years I think I've perfected it down to a science. First you have to go in with an open mind and a critical eye. Don't be discouraged by an ugly color or some weird detail on the item, those things can be changed very easily. Try to think outside the box. What other uses could an item have, can you change it into something you can use? I'm very big on lamps and mirrors. If I find a lamp in a shape I like at a great price, I will buy it. I believe you just can't have enough light sources. Plus you can change it, rewire it, pop on a new shade and have a little masterpiece. Have you priced lamps lately? They're kind of expensive. Mirrors are always great in a space. You can group a bunch of smaller ones together unifying them by color and have a bit of art and interest for your walls. Old books and calendars are great. Some books have really nice bindings and once the dust jacket is removed you can create a nice little grouping for your shelf or a table. Sometimes the illustrations in old books are stunning. You can frame a favorite picture for one of a kind art work for your walls. Be on the look out for little knickknacks for your home. Again, if you find some weird retro thing from the 1960's, but you like it except for the color...well Sherwin Williams can help you change that. Textiles is another area that is just waiting for you to go crazy. Frame some fabric or make a pillow for a favorite chair. You don't even need to know how to sew. Furniture, ah how I love furniture. You can definitely find that diamond in the rough in this category. Look beyond bad paint jobs, roughed up finishes and hideous fabrics. You can change that lickety split without too much effort or expense. I've painted lots of pieces. The key is time. You really need to let the piece dry well between coats and take your time to get good full coverage. Several coats is better than one thick coat any day.

Case in point. I purchased the little cabinet above ages ago for the tidy sum of $18. I love that it has simple lines, a glass front and is in great condition. What I don't like? The faded blonde finish. I'm a dark wood person. So after thinking on it for months (I was originally thinking paint). I'm going to stain it (using minwax special walnut). I'm hoping it will turn out well and come close to matching my beloved mid century buffet that it sits on top of. I also plan to either paper or apply fabric to back of the shelves for an added pop. I've thought about painting my buffet too in a moment of boredom, lol. But there's something about it's original finish that I adore. Besides it's in great shape. I did switch out the knobs a while back to coordinate with the chest of drawers I painted. So, I'll be spending some time sanding the cabinet down and then staining it in the next few days. Then I will finish it all off with some rub on poly. I'll let you know how it turns out.