My grandmother's chair

One of my favorite things about my job is seeing old items take on a new life. Whether that involves giving an old piece a new home as is... or re-doing the piece to have a whole new look of its own. I love it. Things leave our office looking one way and return with a whole new life! It is like Christmas for me overtime a re-upholstered chair comes through the door... or a custom headboard, that has only lived on paper perviously, is made real!

Well, today I got to keep a little of that magic for myself. When my grandmother, Mimi, was getting ready to sell her house I had my eye on this antique chair that had been in her living room since forever. I have no idea how old it is, but it is so unique and still in great shape. I asked Mimi if I could have it, and so when her house finally sold the chair came to Nashville to live with me!

Even though I LOVED the chair.... the fabric was not what I wanted. Sorry, but lime green doesn't match anything in my home. So I started pulling fabric samples to figure out a new look for it, and I definitely changed my mind more than a few times. You would thing for someone who does this for a living it would be easier to pick a fabric for myself but I think it is actually harder! Maybe because I see soooo many  amazing fabrics everyday that I had option-overload. Anyway.... today is the day that the chair is finished and I couldn't be happier with the way it looks now!

BEFORE:

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Designer tip: notice all of the detail and the shape of the frame; that is what will tell you if a piece is worth buying or not. Fabric and finishes can change so don't be thrown off by an antique with a bad fabric. If it has a great frame it will be a winner.

AFTER:

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Here is a close up of the pattern in the fabric. I wanted something with a slight pattern so that it would be interesting without taking too much attention away from the reed back and detail in the frame. I like that it looks more like a solid from a distance. I am planning to make a lumbar pillow with a fun fabric to add a pop of color.

I just love this "new" chair! Thanks to Mimi for letting me have it, I will give it a good home and use it for years and years.

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Flea Market Find

Nashville has a really great, big flea market every last weekend of each month. We went this past weekend just to look around and I found this old church pew for $100! What a steal! I bought it for our dining room. One wall of our dining room is completely open, but needed something narrow since that wall acts as the walkway between the living room and kitchen. The pew fits great and I love it! (Matt wasn't thrilled about it at first, mostly due to trying to get it home from the flea market, but he is coming around now that we got it cleaned up and put in place)

I love how rustic it is, but it definitely needs some pillows to make it look a little more finished. I really want to bring some color into the room with the pillows though, since as of now, there is practically NO COLOR at all in there. See photos here.

Anyway, I love, love, LOVE this Katie Ridder fabric called Leaf.

But unfortunately it is about $200/yd. I thought this might be a good close second:

Its from Fabric.com and only around $20/yard. Much more affordable, but I don't love it as much. Here are a few other fabrics from fabric.com that caught my eye.

I really love this one, those colors are so warm and inviting.

This one would look great with one of those big sunbursts centered on a 20" square pillow.

I am going to keep looking a while longer before I make my final decisions, I just couldn't wait to share my awesome market find with you!

Buy This Not That

I have been working with a few clients lately on redoing their bedrooms and in some of my research I have been finding lots of look alikes in furniture options out there.  Foe example, I might find a great peice that is too expensive for my clients budget, but most times I have been able to find something similar for much less. I guess that makes sense, if something is popular or on trend  other manufacturers will want to duplicate the style... this happens in fashion all the time.

Horchow- Wyatt Burlap And Leather Chair $3,249

Crate and Barrel- Leighton Side Chair $419

Overstock.com - T-stitch Natural Linen Dining Chair $182.99

Horchow- Hillcrast Bed $1,599-$1,829

Ikea- Lillesand Bed $179

Restoration Hardware- Dutch INdustrial Console $845-$995

World Market- Aiden Console Tabe $289

See what I mean? There are so many great options out there for designing on a budget. Of course, sometimes you will just need to save up and splurge on a really unique or special peice, but you can easily make up the difference by finding look alikes for other items.

Now there is no excuse not to start on that new design project you might be putting off, get out there and start bargain hunting!