Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Mom's Trash is Another Gal's Treasure

May I just say how much I love that thriftiness is cool now? Because it’s cool. And since I’m thrifty, I’m cool by extension. Right?
One of my favorite parts of the thrifty movement is the beautiful before-and-after projects that everyone seems to be accomplishing. Ambitious people are seeing potential in beat-up secondhand furniture and breathing new life into old things that others discarded.  I actually originally got addicted to this sort of thing through the wonderful design blog Design Sponge. I stumbled across the blog on a Thursday (before and after day), and I’ve been hooked ever since. Thursdays are still my favorite.
I’ve done a few small-scale re-dos, but never anything particularly ambitious. Last year, Dave and I repainted and recovered our kitchen chairs, and I’ve upcycled numerous items, but I’ve always wanted to try something big. I’m always reading about people finding impossibly beautiful pieces at thrift stores or garage sales, but I’ve never been so lucky.
Last week I got lucky. We were at a brother- and sister-in-law’s house to watch the football game last Sunday, and we left pretty late. Apparently in that particular neighborhood trash pickup is Monday morning, so many homes had garbage cans and recycling bins out at the curb. One home had something extra: a glider.
I saw it as we drove by and mentioned it to Dave. I wasn’t sure if we should stop and look at it (somehow after years of reuse and recycle being the thing, I still feel weird about being so … me), but Dave figured it would at least be worth checking it out. So back we went. As far as we could tell in the dark, it was a fully-intact glider, complete with ottoman and smoothly working hardware. We couldn’t see the cushions well, but they were obviously not ripped. So we decided to load it up and take it home.
We could always throw it out again if it wasn’t worth the effort.

When we got it home, I went over it carefully. The frame was bright white and not scratched at all. The ottoman was missing a screw to attach the top to the rocking part, but that was the only structural issue. Very easy to fix. The cushions were a butter yellow color with a few minor stains and no tears. Two of the snaps had ripped off the back, but everything else was intact.

Yay us! I immediately stared daydreaming about how I would redo the chair in the perfect fabric and how my beautiful glider would make the rounds of all my favorite blogs … and then Dave burst my bubble.
He, naturally, wanted to know what we could recover it with. As in, was this going to be another of my should-be-totally-affordable-but-ends-up-costing-an-arm-and-a-leg projects? I went back to our scary room craft room/office and picked up some fabric we purchased eons ago for curtains (that never got made). It was a bright dark pink (is that a thing?), and a color that I naturally loved and talked Dave into allowing in our house.

I draped it dramatically across the chair and was very happy to see that not only was there more than enough of this pretty fabric, but it really popped next to the bright white frame.
Then I started freaking out. Gliders are mainly nursery chairs. We don’t have a nursery (and it would be weird if we did, because we don’t have a baby). And, isn’t redoing a baby chair in pink the same as asking the universe for a surprise baby boy?
Oh no! This means that I should throw out the chair! Or maybe redo it in yellow so we’ll be surprised with our baby surprise! Or maybe do it in blue so I can have a little princess! Or maybe throw it out because I’m in college and going crazy right now!
Or maybe just go to bed. Which is what I did.
In the morning, I tried to go on a mad pinning spree, but you’d be surprised at how few gliders I could find. Or maybe you wouldn’t. Gliders aren’t all that popular right now because they don’t tend to have a modern silhouette. I’ve always loved them because growing up, my mom always had one in her sewing room. But they were still very hard to find. I found a few recovering tutorials, but not any major changes.  Since I couldn’t find any inspiration (except some really hideous ones that some other enterprising young moms had redone in garish prints), I figured my solid pink was a good enough plan.
(from here)

(from here)

So that’s what we’re going with.
Have you ever found a gem by the curb? Maybe you’ve managed beautiful furniture re-dos that you want to share. How much do you think my chances of having a whoops-its-a-boy went up? I’m thinking about 500%. Don’t tell the hubby!

1 comment:

Katie L. said...

You're so cute and clever. I love that you did this. What a great craft day, I mean, create day project. :)