Long, long ago, I, Jackie, found this cabinet at the Salvation Army just minutes from my house. I was drawn to it immediately, and stalked around it for several minutes as I decided if I could reasonably purchase it without disrupting home harmony (the spousal balance must always be maintained!), so much so that I inadvertently caused another Salvo shopper to think he should ask me about his intended purchase, purporting that I wanted to talk to him. (Egad! No! I’m here for the cabinet!!!)
So I got the cabinet, and as I pondered my redo, I knew that I wanted to paint it and that I wanted to find a color unique enough to offer color and interest to the room where it’d go yet neutral enough to allow the cabinet to move from room to room as my whim directed.
And there is lots of whim-directed decorating going on around my house. I get bored easily.
When I first brought the cabinet home, my husband said, “Paint that sh*t gold!” And I thought about it. And I liked the idea. And here’s what happened after that.
I chose a color called Brass Patina and went to down painting in the basement. Before beginning, I lightly sanded the entire piece and removed the door’s knob.
Here’s another shot:
After three-ish coats on all surfaces and complete drying (it didn’t take too long–I did this all in a few hours one morning), I carried the cabinet upstairs. Check it out in the better lighting of my kitchen:
Close up of the knob I chose to replace the original:
And here’s the cabinet integrated into a room! *Note: my living room is never this shockingly clean. I am slightly appalled at the cleanliness myself, seeing this picture again. =]
I, Jackie, don’t think I can honestly claim to come up with most of my good decorating ideas (dudes, have you experienced the collaborative idea-world that is Pinterest???) BUT, I will say this: I can definitely recognize a good idea when I see one.
There’s something about having a touch of the rustic in a colorful and/or funky room that delights me so. It’s a lovely counterpoint to the smooth, the saturated, the slick—and when you pair that rustic with the unfussy but strong aesthetic that is the hairpin leg…I had to have one of these benches for my house. So I made one—and you can too.
Follow the guidance of the ReadyMakers for all of the how-tos (why reinvent the wheel? I did exactly what they said) and I’ll take you on a photo journey through the making of my bench.
Here we go!
Notes: I found my board in a pile of ‘leftovers’ at Doc’s Architectural Salvage. It has a slight crack in it but is still remarkably strong. My hairpin legs are from a 60s era end table that had two levels, so the the above pic you’ll see a set of legs to the left—the 12″ or so ones I used for this project, and a shorter 6″ or so set still looking for the right project home. Look for a board and/or legs everywhere—you might find a junk table at Goodwill for 5 bucks that have the perfect legs for repurposing.
Want one more hairpin leg project? Check out Rachel’s hairpin leg project.
It’s remarkable to me, Jackie, how much money plain/ugly/boring/ill-fitting window treatments can cost. Not that there aren’t fantastic curtains available on the mass market, but those generally cost a stack o’ skrilla too. Or they’re hard to find, and hard to find takes time, and we don’t have time cuz this is a Quick Cobble. So let’s get to it.
For kitchens and bathrooms (err…gauge privacy concerns before making final window treatment decisions in bathrooms), I can’t recommend the cafe curtain more highly than I am about to. Hurrah for the cafe curtain! Most times, our windows don’t need a ton fabric/privacy/jazzing up to be awesome, so a half-window worth of covering will address both needs of practicality and style.
And one fantastic way to make cafe curtains is to seek out an already-made, already-fabulous hunk of fabric: a cloth napkin, particularly vintage cloth napkins. Why cloth napkins? They’re the right size, they’re interesting, they’re cheap, they’re easily acquirable, shall I go on raving all day…. I’ve seen bunches of fantastic cloth napkins for very little cash at such places as Midland Arts and Antiques here in Indy, or online at Etsy. Places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, or antiques stores as yet unplumbed could also be excellent places to look for vintage napkins in your area.
Once you’ve got a set of cloth napkins you love that’ll work in your room, here’s the how-to on the transformation:
1. Acquire, for several dollars, two sets of curtain rings.
2. Acquire, for several dollars, a cafe curtain rod (I’d recommend matching your curtain rod to your curtain rings.) This does not have to be fancy to look nice—we have a slightly fancier one in our kitchen only because it was on sale. In other rooms where I’ve used cafe curtains, I’ve opted for a plain silver rod.
3. Once home, clip the curtain rings onto the top of the napkins and slid on to the curtain rod.
4. Hold up to the window-in-question and figure out where you need to place the brackets for your curtain rod to have your cafe curtains brush the top of the sill.
5. Hang curtain rod in place determined by step 4.
6. Hang curtains.
7. Revel in how chic, unique and thrifty you are. Tell no one of the ease.
If you’re slightly more ambitious/handy with a sewing machine, you could stitch together a couple of cloth napkins to make a longer/wider/both curtain, or a curtain containing a couple of colors/patterns. I’ve considered doing this for the larger window in my kitchen, and if I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out. And you let me know how your cloth napkins-to-curtains turn out, too.