Monday, September 27, 2010

Street Merch Monday

Whats the deal with all the pianos on the street? Ran across this one the other day on 9th avenue and 43rd.

And also saw this desk! Yes, it's missing all of its drawers. I think it could be easily remedied with baskets or small wire metal crates.

Wasn't able to bring any of these pieces home with me - bad timing and where would I possibly put a piano? But I'll have you know, I'm on the hunt for a desk that I can take home! Stay tuned!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Street Merch Monday: WIP B&A

Sorry about the acronym overload in the title. Today's Street Merch Monday is the Work In Progress Before & After of the table top I found a few weeks back! Remember -

Blue tape and white paint (that I already had) was an easiest way to freshen this up.

Perhaps diamonds?

My mom taught my sister and I to always do a good job on projects, but to not be overly obsessed with details. Translation: I eyballed my blue tape lines up there.

My room is so small. Ugh.

Primer + Paint =

This! You can't see from this picture, but there a few small discrepancies I need to fix...

But for now, it's a headboard of sorts. I kinda like it.
But as mentioned, it's a Work in Progress. We'll see if it lives there long.

Happy Street Merch Monday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Take Me Home Country Road III - The Kitchen

The kitchen was a main point of focus of our overhaul. It's the first room you see when you walk into the house. Before I got there, Kim & Melinda had re-painted the cabinets and the trim with paint we had picked out. What a great head start! Here's where we ended up:


Kim restored the small metal logo to its original form - nicely done Kimbo!

Having seen only pictures of this goodness before my trip down South, I wasn't sure what to expect when Kim & Melinda described this 'wallboard' in the kitchen. Turns out it's like dry wall or plasterboard with wallpaper adhered to it. The question of the day - Is it paintable? And if so, what will Gran & Ms. Jan say about it?


I can't think of a more perfect place for gray chalkboard paint than a country kitchen. Turned out the wallboard was paintable and Ms. Jan said we could paint it! So we did. As you can see below.

We found those dishes in Gran's garage. They're from the 60's!


We used $7 matchstick blinds from Big Lots, clear IKEA vases on the window sill and white paint. Then we sprinkled in dishes and details that the girls already owned.

I almost stole that adorable tea pot and tea cup set. Kim brought it back from Russia after spending a month there a few summers ago.

There it is - Kim & Melinda's kitchen!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Can't get this out of my head -

(Thanks Erin.)

So I thought I'd share the song and its adorable accompanying video.

Sara Bareilles
King of Anything

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take Me Home Country Road II

Back to Prattville! Not literally...but figuratively...on the blog.

I think spacial/home/design/color issues are the most fun to solve. Which is a good thing because we had a few obstacles to dodge in Kim & Melinda's new house.

Guidelines to adhere to:
- Leave the beautiful, dark, wood paneling untouched
- Keep within a $1,500 budget
- Include 3 generations of women in the decision making process

To Do List:
- Invest in great pieces of furniture
- Find ways to lighten and spruce up the dark walls
- Add grown up style while still keeping with the sparky personalities of Kim & Melinda

We began at Scott's Antique Market in Atlanta.

We also went to IKEA to pick up some sparkle and a cinnamon roll. Jessica & Turner shopped the day away with us. What good friends!

Here's the group that was waiting for us at the Autauga County High School Football Game.

From the left: Kimberly, Gran, Mary Jackson (aka Peanut), the dog whose name I can't remember, but check out his pose!!, Ms. Jan & Melinda.

I love this next part. This porch that everyone is perched on, is the same porch where both Gran and Ms. Jan were married. How sweet is that!

Pesky dog.

Our Atlanta & Montgomery errands were a great start. Next up - the kitchen!

Take me home, Country Roads

**Pressing enter while you're editing your blog title POSTS YOUR POST rather than going to the next line. Hence, why this posted when I wasn't quite ready. Dangit.

I spent last weekend in Autuagaville, Alabama.

Population: 870
Closest large town: Prattville, Alabama
Closest large city: Montgomery, Alabama
Favorite Past Time of Autaugaville Residents: Alabama/Auburn Rivalries, Drinking Sweet Tea and watching High School Football.

I love it there. It's a completely different world of deep Southern accents, slow paced folks and extended cab pick up trucks. I was invited down south to help one of my dear college friends with the house she and her sister just moved into. They live on a large piece of land where cotton grows. Their parents and grandmother all live on the same piece of land. It's so Pioneer Woman of them.

Here are the adorable sisters - Kim & Melinda. You get the idea of how far into the country we are - just look at the expanse of fields behind their mailbox!

And here's our project - their house! Stay tuned to read about our flea market finds and thrifty home overhaul!

Can't help but think, War Eagle! when I see those cute blue shutters.

Street Merch Monday: The Rules

I've been encouraged by a certain sister to take a 360 approach to my street merch finds. So I'm going to try my best to revive as much street merch as I can. That means no more walking by and snapping pictures of merch, but instead taking it home with me and repairing, repainting and repurposing it.

For instance - I passed this wooden table top twice before I grabbed it! My arm and fingers were sore the next day because I walked 10 awkward blocks with it under my arm. Now, you'll notice I don't have after pictures - which is a bit hypocritical after my '360' spiel. But the the overhaul of this piece is happening next weekend. So be ready.

I'm using this merch as an example for my rules below .

Rules to Finding Street Merch:

1. Remember - You are NOT looking for trash. Trash is gross. Street merch is not. Street merch has been left on the street in hopes of someone else giving it new life. It was probably the wrong size for a new apartment or had a small flaw. Like a table missing its legs as seen above!

2. Look for pieces with integrity. The object is not to find a desk from Target or lamp from IKEA that's has been left on the corner. Those things you can just buy from the actual stores. Instead, look for unique pieces with character and potential! Take a look at the wood detail on my round table top above - not something you see every day!

3. Grab merch that can be repaired, repainted and repurposed. That's about all I can manage and have time for in my little New York apartment. You'd be surprised at how much a staple gun, hot glue gun, a drill, some fabric and paint can do!

4. Steer clear of upholstered and fabric pieces. Except for the occasional chair with a removable seat I keep my distance from couches, mattresses, fabric chairs, ottomans.... Common sense people. I'm getting kind of irked just thinking about some of the stuff you run across...

Those are the major rules that I abide by - hope that helps!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Street Merch Monday - I mean Tuesday

I met friends at the Grey Dog in the West Village last week.

First - I love Grey Dog. You should go there.

Second - There was a church around the corner doing some major cleaning. We walked up on a huge stash of tables, chairs (like the one below) that they were releasing to the streets!

With a little paint and fabric this chair would be so clean and tidy!

But the best we found was this.

A piano! It was especially mangy. I imagine it lived up in a church attic for years and years but I think that adds character.

Looking at this piano, I have the urge to paint the whole thing in black chalk board paint. What a juxtaposition! And I know I know, there are some that squirm at the thought of painting wood. I'm not one of those people. I think chalkboard paint would be so unexpected!

Twenty Five

I received the most unique birthday surprise for my 25th a few weeks ago.
It was a video. And for no reason in particular, I didn't have a chance to watch the video until last night.

And now I've watched it 36 times and thought I might as well post it.

Introduction: This is my friend Erin. She works here. We went to college together and she is soooo talented. Erin dates Chris. Chris is a musician. And from Texas. Off to a good start.

Here you go:

Now you see why I've watched it 37 times.

It was such a memorable birthday. My parents were in town for a full to the brim weekend. I had sweet phone calls from friends and family living all over the place. And I took Friday off from work. I won't get over dramatic about turning 25, but it really was one of those unique and special birthdays! Thanks to all who made it so!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Life Lesson

"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm"

- Willa Cather

(via my Real Simple Magazine spine)

Street Merch Monday coming on Tuesday this week.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What up Salvation Army?!

My office building is on the corner of 46th and 11th Avenue. If you aren't familiar with New York, then this probably doesn't mean much to you. Heck, if you are familiar with New York, this still probably doesn't mean much to you! It is WAY off the beaten track. Only reason to come to the outskirts of Manhattan that is my office building is for the Intrepid. But I'm not a tourist and you can only do the Intrepid so many times - lets be honest.

I've been at this office building for over a year now. Throughout this time, I've noticed the Salvation Army just around the corner. But never thought to go in. Never thought, "Hm, I wonder if they have any fabulous second hand finds in there!" Nope. Never thought that.

Until a week ago. Yesterday, a co-worker and I ventured over during lunch and boy oh boy - Jackpot!! They filled an entire warehouse floor with furniture galore! I snapped a few iphone pictures as I went.


OH the lamps! Pretty great, but a little pricey.

The desk right above was TWELVE DOLLARS! And it was HUGE!! Very Mad Men.

Someone's found a new lunchtime hobby!