How the crap do I pick a project piece?

It’s just you, a cart, an idea and a sea of possibilities. Do I grab the accent table that’s missing a leg? What about the table that looks like a shark go to it? How about this dining chair that has amazing detail, but HORRIBLE upholstery?

Buy them all. Seriously. A piece of sand paper, a few tools and some elbow grease can go a long way. Don’t forget about paint, glitter, glue, stencils, stain etc…There are so many things that can be done with “good bones”.

I’m sure you’ve thought to yourself at some point…”What a beautiful piece, but what a terrible color”. #duh ,change the color! You can go all the way and sand the old paint off, prime and the recolor or stain, OR, get a couple coats of kick ass primer on there and you are set to repaint in any color! Be careful of how thick you’re letting the paint get though, you may still want to do a top coat to protect your surface.

I’m no expert, but I do have quite a few projects under my tool belt. A couple of my faves are the end tables in our living room and the headboard in our bedroom. We received two beautiful end tables from my grandparents, they had GREAT bones and the hardware was on point. Original, vintage brass, drawer pulls. I didn’t clean them when I put them back on the table, I prefer the patina.

First, I sanded off the layer of old top coat from the wood, and not perfectly, just a quick 20-30 minutes sanding down, by hand, the really tough areas. Second, I painted with white paint (3 coats-took about 3 days) and did not add a top coat specifically because I want them to show wear and tear and crack and peel as we use them. Third, I put the hardware back on and gave them a cozy home in the living room.

The headboard had its difficulties, mostly because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I cleared space in the living room, put an old sheet down (we all have one that is covered in remnants of projects past…) on the carpet before I got started. I set all the individual pieces of wood I had on the sheet and started putting the puzzle together. I spent more time working on the configuration I wanted and making sure I looked at both sides of the wood to get the best grain and knots than I did actually making it. Once I got the look I loved, I started connecting. I used nails and then covered over the ends of the nails with a dollop of hot glue to protect us and the wall. I didn’t want to connect it to the wall, and I chose to have it free from any posts. I added eye hooks into the top of the headboard and then hung some hooks on the wall about a foot up from the bed and then hung the board on the hooks! #BOOMDONE

I have found so many wonderful treasures over the years, and most of my absolute favorites came from the trash. Yes, the trash. I didn’t pay a penny for them. Somebody threw them away. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!?!??!

I also keep my eye out when I’m at the thrift store or a garage sale for good bones. Remember, you can always change it if you don’t like the upholstery or the color. Don’t let that blind you from a possibly amazing piece of furniture.

Things to look for are pretty basic, shape, style, filigree, detail, hardware, genre and condition. If its in terrible condition, unless its under $5, skip the work. If you want a challenging piece, those are the ones to go for…the missing leg, the broken drawer and the glass top table without the glass. If you can get a great deal on them, you can spend more on fixing it up.

Above are some GREAT examples of good bones, in great shape…easy projects. Most likely going to run you somewhere from $5-$20 for the piece. You can do so many things with pieces like these! The possibilities are endless.

Add different legs, reupholster in a crazy printed fabric, or velvet…paint a funky pattern on the tabletop, add a cushion to the chair, carve or wood burn a design and then top with glass or fill with another color of paint! And who says you have to paint the entire piece? Pick and choose certain areas, or stencil a pattern on and leave the rest.

The point is, its yours. 100% yours. Make it work for your space and your style!

Some of the following examples aren’t exactly my bread and butter, I very much lean towards vintage, romantic, farmhouse, white and grey. However…as I said…the options are endless! If you can think of it, there is a way to make it happen!

Now…the opposite…what if you run into a piece thats already done and its crazy cool and you just have to have it…

Typically, these pieces are going to be much higher priced, however, you can still find a great deal if you look in the right places and you look often. That is really the only key to getting those one of a kind pieces, commitment to the hunt. I have found some really amazing pieces over the years that I couldn’t believe someone would get rid of, but they did!

Let the crazy find you. I am a firm believer in furniture and decor finding YOU. Let it catch your eye instead of looking for it. Try this next time you are at the thrift store or a garage sale…stand in the middle of an isle..don’t move, but look. Let it catch you. If it doesn’t…walk away. Nothing was meant to be then. Not today. This is way to find unique pieces that call out to you.

Everyone has at least one thing in their home that doesn’t necessarily “fit” or “go”, it may be a hand me down that has significant emotional value, or just a weird thingy  you found at an estate sale 6 years ago. Keep it and add to the crazy. Its ok to not match every single thing.

Obviously there is more to life than matching.

Go nuts.

 

Read soon.

-E.

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