Friday, April 8, 2011

If You Give a Housewife a Cookie

Another week has gone flying by again and we still have snow in great big patches here and there and everywhere, but it's losing ground day by day.  We'll probably still be in for another snowstorm or two yet, it wouldn't surprise me, but any more late season snow usually vanishes in a day or two.
No real flowers to share, just some out of our lamps.

Since the snow won't leave us, we did other things this past week.  Carl and I did a bit of shopping two weekends ago, going to thrift  and antique stores just to have a nice little adventure; we can't garden yet, or cut stone for the stone house, so we decided take a little road trip.    There is a large antique furniture mall we've been to once before that has more furniture than we've ever seen all in one place.  There are three (or is it four?) sheds with very narrow aisles and furniture stacked on top of more furniture three high; it is really a sight to see.  There are some very beautiful antique pieces, but the prices are correspondingly high, too.  We didn't buy anything, but it certainly was fun looking at all of it.  

While we were threading our way through the antique furniture sheds we got to discussing how we could really use some new dining room chairs.  We had a cheap dining room set we bought when we were first married back in '78 and as time went on, one by one, they have all been falling apart.  Carl is great at fixing things, but even he has run out of ideas on how to patch the wooden chairs back together again without basically rebuilding major components which would be a good idea if we really liked the chairs in the first place, but to tell the truth, we have never been all that crazy about them.  So we gazed upon set after set of dining room chairs at the antique mall and still didn't see anything we really adored (or could afford, lol.)

My kitchen/dining room chairs consist of three broken-down original wooden ones and five upholstered office chairs Carl got from various sources, all of them broken and in need of welding.  After he welded them, the chairs were very comfortable, but in dire need of reupholstery.  Since they were supposed to be temporary chairs until we could find something else, I just covered them with rugs or whatever I had lying around waiting for The Day when I would get around to actually reupholstering them.  Which of course, never came.
This is Carl's Chair and one of the best of the five various and sundry office chairs we have acquired from here and there over the last 33 years.  Lovely?  No.  Comfortable?  Yes.  We love our 'wheelchairs' even though they are all old and ugly.

We have a very small house and at times we have a lot of company and never enough chairs to go around.  Our house needs remodeling which we've been doing in fits and starts, last spring we finally replaced the 32- year old carpet in our living room with hardwood, but the now 33-year old vinyl in the kitchen and dining room is in terrible shape and needs replacement. Seems like a no-brainer, replace the flooring and move on with life, right?  (And quit gagging, I will have you know that orange floors were IN when we picked the vinyl out, so there!)

But one thing leads to another, and I'm sure you can relate to this if you're a homeowner, here's a rant reminiscent of the book 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie' of what really needs to be done at This Old Hut:

The furnace went kaput two years ago and after we put a new one in we no longer need the chimney and if the chimney was gone we could remove a wall and expand the kitchen but first we have to take the chimney down and fix the resulting hole in the roof and after that is done, maybe we should add a dormer to the back of the house so we could have the natural light for a stained glass work area, but I really want a mudroom too, so scrap the idea about the dormer, let's just add on a mudroom at the same time we remodel the kitchen but if we add on a mudroom, we could move the garage ahead so we can attach it to the house and make things more accessible but what if we don't move the garage and just let it stay where it is and instead take out the closet in the hallway and try to make a mudroom fit in the existing floor space because the whole idea for the kitchen remodel is to have a seating area overlooking the quarry garden as we eat but then do we relocate the dining room, too, or do we even need the dining room anymore, but what about those times when we entertain family and friends for humongous meals, so, yeah, maybe we do need the dining room, and then after we add on the mudroom, we'll need to re-side the house because the original vinyl siding is getting very brittle and this time I think it would look so classic done in stone to match the gardens,  but we still have a stone garden cottage to build and probably not enough stone left to re-side our house and  Of Course we will be doing all of the above work ourselves since we rarely hire anyone to do anything because our budget is limited. 

So that is why we haven't replaced the vinyl flooring yet; because we haven't settled on a Course of Action or made our first million dollars because gosh, gee, golly, who KNEW remodeling was so expensive? And because once you tear a kitchen apart, will the marriage be far behind??  (Just kidding.  Kind of.)  I guess we put a fake quarry in the back yard and survived it, but I didn't have to cook in the quarry. 

So, in case you were interested,  that's what leads me back to the tale of our visit to a thrift store where I bumped into four very interesting chairs:
Yes, they are metal and white and have blue-vinyl upholstery on them and a lot of dirt, but in my mind, they had Potential
And the price was right: $9.99 a chair. 

So we stuffed the four dining room chairs into the back of our car and headed home.  Unfortunately, halfway home, we wondered if we'd made the right decision, especially once it became apparent these chairs had a former life in the home of a smoker.  Ewwwww....but never mind, we're gonna reupholster these chairs for certain!  Too bad they weren't roll-y chairs like our old office chair adoptees, because rolling chairs are so comfy, but hey, they were still a bargain. 

Neither of our sons were much in favor of this impulse buy, and they were both right, the white metal chairs don't fit in with the so-called decor we have going here.  Though I read somewhere that having unmatched furniture is the 'in' thing right now....figures, I've been on the cutting edge of Style all along and now I'm going the wrong direction again....ah, trends......but I'm so thrilled I might actually have a Matched Set of chairs again!

The boys may have a point: this chair sitting next to this table:

Which was my Grandmother's which is sitting next to this church pew:

Which is an antique (there's that floor again! and in the background one of the original wood chairs) which is near to this filing cabinet:
Leads us back to the fact that, yeah, maybe the white metal chairs don't fit in with the rest of the furniture.  Ok, Kids Score 1, Mom's Score: 0  

But I wasn't going to leave them white and upholstered in blue vinyl.....duh!  Give Mom some credit, sheesh.  But first, let's see what's under the blue vinyl:

Ok, they do look rather awkward, Kids Score 2, Mom's Score 0...moving on...........
Help me haul them outside and hand me that can of Rustoleum Hammered Copper Paint please.

And if you're not doing anything, feel free to join me in the fun with your own can of paint:
Thank you, Carl, you are a sweetheart. 
Two down, two to go, two on the trailer to dry.  (Yes, I know, I should have waited for a warmer day, but darn it, the snow won't melt!)
Ok, strip off the old vinyl and 
Cut new foam and 
Finally, there we have it, reupholstered chairs.
Ok, so they're not 'all that' by a long shot, but they are:
1. Chairs
 2. They match
3. They are very sturdy.

But there's more to this silly story:
  We were out and about looking for upholstery fabric for the metal chairs last week when we wandered into a furniture store next door. We thought maybe they'd have some more metal chairs to match our new-remodeled ones because we need more than four chairs.  Didn't find anything there at all, but one furniture store led to two, three, heck, all the way up to six and with twenty minutes to store closing time, we finally staggered into the seventh furniture store.  

By this time we were both very tired as it was nearly 9PM and when the salesman came up and asked us what we were looking for, I blurted out, "Comfortable dining room chairs to sit on."  I don't know why I said that, normally we say, "We are just looking, thank you very much."  We weren't intending to buy anything.

"Well, what sort of style did you have in mind?"  Mr. Salesman asked.

We described all of the above about the metal chairs and our old chairs to the poor salesman (yes, we bored him TOO) and Carl sighed and said, "Oh, the old chairs with wheels on them are the most comfortable, but I guess they don't sell them any more."

"Come with me," the salesman said, and soon we were seated in two wonderfully comfortable, upholstered, matching 'wheel' chairs.  Of course it didn't help our cause that both of us were so tired of standing on our sore feet which made the chairs Ultra-Comfy, but  it sure did help the salesman's cause. 
We bought six of them.

But, hey, they kind of match the metal ones
Wellllllllll, kind of.....

Cards anyone?
There's enough chairs to go around now.


Rosemary said...

Love your chatty posts. Did you know orange is in again? I knew you would make something wonderful from the metal chairs I was thinking metal paint, and there you go.. I think it was meant to be because the new wheelie chairs and the renoed ones look great together. Tell the kids it was a plan all along.

FlowerLady said...

Karen ~ You gave those metal chairs new life. I think they turned out really nice. I love those six chairs that you bought though, they are GREAT and really go with your antiques.

Hope you don't get any more snow so you can get outside to play.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

xoxoxo said...

I laughed and laughed at your rant--I know what you mean!!
But actually compared to the other linoleum we have that matches--I far prefer the orange stuff! I want THAT in my kitchen.
I say--bite the bullet and replace your vinyl. and make a new plan later. If nothing else it will keep you outta trouble :)
I adore the metal chairs(now) and the new ones seem to fit right in!
I would LOVE to play cards with you!!

Gatsbys Gardens said...


They look great and so comfortable. I can't believe you had the stamina to keep going. Sometimes it's worth it!


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Girl you did a wonderful job transforming those chairs. I love the upholstery fabric you got. I love your antique filing cabinet. Beautiful home Karen. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope all of your snow piles melt.

Sandy said...

Boy that was a long day to buy
My dining room chairs came from a trash pile. Really. I was driving by and screech... put them in the car and gave them new life.. you would never know!
I so want to go to that used furniture store with you! With a tuck!
Great story.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

We need some warm weather, don't we! LOL We are not matchy folks, either. I can relate to the indecisiveness over what to change or remodel in your house. Ours isn't very big, either. We have 4 bedrooms, but all of the rooms, including the living room and kitchen are small, except for one of the upstairs bedrooms, which is full of stuff right now.

I like the chairs you purchased. You did a great job fixing up the ones, and I do think they look good with the ones on wheels.

Alison said...

Love your posts, Karen! I let out a very loud "Hah!" when I got to the part about you buying the wheeled chairs.

They look like great chairs. I like the metal ones too, after you doctored them up. I was thinking they might benefit from a bit of faux finishing as well, maybe some kind of brassy-bronzy sponge job?

And I have to give Carl a lot of credit for sticking with you for 7 stores. My husband would have trouble coping with more than one.

You have got some truly awesome antique furniture there.

Shirley said...

These chairs on rollers look great around the table and, might I say, you did a terrific makeover of the metal chairs! Love your posts!

Tootsie said...

I LOVE that filing cabinet!

Anonymous said...

I love your antiques. Your chairs are working the decor, what more can you ask? Great job on them. I hope you get down to spring and the snow is gone for good. Same wish for here too.

Darla said...

Ya'll do go on some adventures don't you? Entertaining story and glad you have your matching chairs...hope you when at cards!

Zoey said...

I love them all! You did a great job with the metal ones. The new wooden wheel chairs look very comfy. I think they look very nice together.

Great Job Karen!!

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Karen, You did a great reupholstering job and made good final purchases. I love your grandmother's table and your other antiques. P x

Beth said...

I love your marble-topped table, Karen! My mom has one like it. Love how you re-did the chairs, too. You and Carl are so creative, talented, and hard-working and it shows in BEAUTY!!! I enjoyed this post.
Blessings, Beth