Color Blocked Vintage Bookcase

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pre-owned goods. Not only does buying second hand mean that I’m diverting an item from the waste stream, and therefore preventing another from being made, it also means I’m inheriting something with a history. An object with a soul, if you will.

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When we moved into our current place I found that something major was lacking from the living room: a bookcase. My previous apartment had built-ins, and the place before that did too. That’s why I ventured to one of my favorite vintage furniture shops, Good Deal Garage, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Jam packed with loads of pre-loved furniture and decor, this is my go-to place whenever I need something with character for my little nest. So off I went to GDG and I found it. A very simple, but sturdy, wooden bookcase toward the back of the shop. It was filled with all manner of tchotchke but I could visualize it all cleaned up. Sold!

Fast forward half a year later. This wooden addition to my living room was doing its job, but feeling a bit too heavy for my current mood. An easy solution? Whitewash it! And I don’t mean the sociological use of the term, I mean good ‘ole grab a paint brush and get moving!

I was torn on whether or not to douse the whole piece in paint, if I should just clean up the interior, or if color blocking was the way to go. Because I have a variety of white and dark toned goodies to display, I went with the latter. So with a paintbrush in one hand, and my handy dandy masking tape in the other, I spent a toddler nap period painting the shelving unit. That equals 3 hours for two coats of paint, some time spent snacking and doing laundry, and then sitting and reading. So a very loose 3 hours indeed.

And the result? Awesome says I! I love how the white brought some life to the piece while allowing me to still showcase the rich woodsy material in one small strip. It ended up making my entire living room feel more airy and put together.

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Is there a furniture piece in your home that you think could do with a bit of freshening up? Or is there a recent project you finished to add some nuance to your space? If so, share below!

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Vintage Chair Facelift

It’s not easy being green. Or is it? When hunting for new furniture for my apartment – the first place I’ll go is thrift and antique stores to see what I can salvage and update for my abode. Why run to Target or Ikea if there’s tons of gorgeous furniture already out there?!

I came across a set of these vintage chairs while going on a fabric run. A mega steal – the pieces were discounted – costing me only $9 each! After a thorough inspection and sniff test I decided they were a deal not to be passed up. Besides – I had to replace the rickety rocking chair I had in my living room. Or at least, that’s what I convinced myself of! All the chairs would need is a good cleaning, airing, and brightening up. Using some leftover Yolo paint, David and I taped off the wood and gave it a fresh coat.

The result is a fusion of old world craftsmanship with a modern whitewash finish. They’ve become an instant centerpiece in our place and will see many years of heartfelt Scrabbling, reading and pet napping. And people say it’s not easy being green.