Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spies and Roman Artifacts at Heart and Home

Hi everyone! I'm so glad you're back for a visit. Today I've got two stories to share with you, and  I'm joining in on two "parties" - Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage , and Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville. Thanks, ladies

The changing of the seasons always puts me in the mood for a little shopping for ideas to refresh my space. (You can see the results of my most recent seasonal interior redo here and here.)   During one of my latest trips out and about I stopped at Pier One Imports for a little inspiration. I've got to admit, I left that store feeling pretty good about myself - and here's why:  In a display hanging from the wall were these dramatic seat cushions:

....and there were a bunch of these bright and vibrantly patterned upholstered dining room chairs:

 I think spies from Pier One have been snooping around my place!  Because if you look closely at my dining room furniture (see more here) you'll notice quite a similarity:

When we received the dining room set (for free - a lovely and very generous hand-me-down) the chairs were upholstered in a plain beige suede-cloth. Nice, but kind of boring.  I wanted to replace the chairs with some that had a little more pizazz....

Turns out I didn't need to replace the chairs, just their cushion fabric. Early last year while I was out meandering I came across this fabric, and fell in love with it! I just knew it would be perfect for the chairs! I bought a couple of yards, and raced home to start my new project. I just unscrewed the seat cushions, tore off the old fabric and stapled on the new, and then screwed the seat bottoms back in place. The whole thing took me about an hour (love that electric staple gun!) and cost around $20.

I've never regretted using a fabric with such a large-scale, dominant (you could even say assertive!) pattern. In fact, I love it, and wish I had found it sooner!  What do you think? I feel like I got brand new dining room chairs for next to nothing, how great is that? And I beat Pier One and their design spies to the punch!  I'm such a trend setter!!

Speaking of spies, I spied these lovely columns, sitting in the back of my friend's SUV. As you can tell from the pictures below, they weren't lovely when I first saw them, but I knew. I could see their future. You  understand, right? Well, my girl friend is a wonderful person:  kind, smart, supportive, and fun.  But let's face it, she didn't posses even an ounce of imagination when it came to these columns. She is not the crafty, clever, "I can turn this sow's ear into a silk purse" type of  girl. She really doesn't get my thrift/junk shop obsession. She was getting ready to take everything to the dump.  I couldn't let that happen! After a little negotiating and possibly a teeny bit of me begging (okay, a lot) she agreed to move them from the back of her car into the back of mine. Which was much easier said than done.

Let me tell you - those columns are very heavy. Plus there were the two cement baskets which I rescued as well. It took a lot of grunting and groaning, and some heavy lifting by both of us to get  those babies into my car. Since they were filthy, by the time we accomplished our task we were both covered with dirt, but I think it was totally worth the struggle. I just couldn't bear the thought of them winding up in the dump when I knew they would look like a relic from ancient Rome or Greece when they finally made it into my garden, or on my deck someplace.... they just needed a little TLC!

It didn't take me long to get out the Krylon Stone spray paint and get right to work. After a quick cleaning and what seemed like a lot of paint (it took two cans for each column) the sandstone texture really transformed them, don't you agree?

Wow, just look at the difference that paint made!

I still need to spray the baskets. They are so darned heavy that they're difficult for me to move around and I keep forgetting to ask Mr. H&H to move them for me.  But at least the columns are done, and I placed one of them on the deck near our side entrance:

I rescued that trunk in the background from the hillside near the creek by our house when we first moved here. It's a vintage army medic's waterproof trunk. I don't know why anyone would throw away something like that, and I especially don't understand why they would choose to do so along a creek bed. I also found a really great old soda pop bottle display stand down there . I'll show that to you some other time...

The other column wound up on the deck near the front door.  Right now I'm using it to support a plant, but I think I'll look for something that could be used as a table top to turn it into a little side table next to the chair. I was thinking  about maybe a remnant piece of granite or something. What do you think, does anyone have any great ideas?

It just goes to show you what a little imagination and some elbow grease can do for old cast offs, and things that just don't thrill you anymore. Of course, it helps being in the right place at the right time! When I look around my home I see so many examples of items that I've rescued and repurposed. I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I rework things that were old and worn out.  I love having things in my home that convey a sense of history, even if it's one that I've only imagined - like my columns that came from ancient Rome!

Here's one more glimpse of Fall decor before I say thanks for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed your visit and that you'll come back soon. Have a great day!
Until next time


The White Farmhouse said...

Love the transformation. I don't even want to know where you live cause if you find great things by your creek bed like that trunk, who needs stores? I just saw those chairs the other day at Pier 1 and drooled on them. Just beautiful. Love the feel of the fabric too. Where did you find the fabric?

PlantSomeRoots@Lakewood said...

Love your chairs, you trend setter you! And it always amazes me what people so easily want to throw out. Good for you for saving those pieces. So worth it.
Thanks for sharing!
Living it up at Lakewood,

Embellished Bayou said...

Great transformation on the columns, they look beautiful!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

The fabric on your chairs is gorgeous. No wonder Pier One is spying on you!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Heidi! It all looks fantastic! I cannot beleove your friend was going to cart those off to the dump. I just know she be jealous now!
And LOVE the chairs! You are ahead of the game girlfriend! That are so sheek and elegant! LOVE!
Thanks for linking up this week with your treasures!

LOVE and Hugs,
Tales from Bloggeritville

Diann @ The thrifty Groove said...

Love all your redos! The fabric on your chairs is beautiful!

TheOldPostRoad said...

Great post! Cool columns! Pier 1 has some great finds, these days.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Love the chairs! I think Pier One must've been inspired by them. :-)

I miss Pier One. All of ours closed this summer. I used to go there all the time.

You've got a great front door. It's beautiful!

Kirby3131 said...

You do indeed have a gift - those are lovely items that you have found (and struggled to haul!) and repurposed. Goodness, I would have taken those columns right out of her car as well and I live in a 5th story condo! LOL Not a whole lotta outdoors for me :)

Excellent! Thanks for linking with Thrifty Thursday.

Kristin - The Goat

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Your chairs look great. You really got lucky getting the columns and baskets. They are really pricey new.

Dawn said...

Great job on the chairs and columns! I'm glad you didn't have to pay Pier One prices and you beat them to the punch. Very cool!

Shannon said...

I love that fabric!! Looks amazing! Isnt it great to recreate something you liked for so much less money? Love it!

Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

That looks gorgeous! Love spray paint!

Ally0005 said...

Your chairs are very pretty! Love that paint can change the look of anything, great columns!

Ally's Corner

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Me again. :) Thanks for stopping by. Don't know what to tell you abut the begonias. I always plant several pots of them in the Spring (usually wax begonias), because they always do so well, and lasts til the frost in the Fall - usually late Fall around here in the MidSouth. Check with a local nursery and see what they say - you may have just gotten an unhealthy plant.
Have a great evening.

Suzy said...

Love the column transformation! I really like your dining room chairs too. Just beautiful and you are a trendsetter..obviously!