Monday, September 29, 2008


The new dining room paint job is finally completed. So much brighter now!

Since I've been writing this going green column for Vibrant Life magazine (won't be published until '09), I've been reconsidering my buying habits again. That was my first topic for the column because I think it makes the biggest difference. So as I am looking for home furnishings to fill up this giant space, I've been trying to repurpose and buy antique/vintage things for two reasons. First, it helps my conscience and my wallet. Second, those types of things really match the style of the house best. But I've run into a few problems.

Problem one is that George (I say it lovingly) bought the largest TV ever when he passed his professional engineering exam. This was his reward, and made his scrambled studying for months after and before work worthwhile to him. He was so happy that he got carried away when the salesperson sold him the very last TV of this size for far less than the smaller one he was considering. A good idea in theory. When he and Toby hefted the giant box into our house, we knew why the sucker was on sale. It was huge. At 53" wide, it doesn't fit into any of the television armoires on the market today, much less any vintage model I could find. I've been looking for weeks without success. Last week I finally purchased a special "wide" model sold through a furniture retailer nearby.

Problem two is these darned wood floors. I love them very much, but we need rugs to cover a few areas for comfort and a few areas to keep us from scratching the floors too badly. It's been difficult to find previously owned rugs that aren't threadbare, and impossible to find the size of rug I need for our 12'x19' family room. Sigh. So I also ordered a rug last week. Just one. I might have better luck finding the two others I need, as they're smaller, for our dining and living room areas.

To assuage my guilt a little, I'm painting our bedroom furniture and aging it to look vintage rather than getting anything new. After all, George has had it since the 10th grade, so it is sort-of vintage — or at least vintage tacky. I'm also painting a stand for the bathroom, and refinishing stools for our center island that I'm going to upholster. When the previous owners redid this house, they took out a lot of window tops — I don't know what the wood part is called — and left them in the garage. Those will be hallway shelving for a photo gallery, once I clean the webbing off of them. When I am finished with these projects, there will be photos.

If you've salvaged or reused any items for your home, I'm excited to find new ideas or more ways to fix some of the things I have already. There's lots more to do around here.


Gary said...

It's looking really great, Christine. And I like how you're recycling old stuff in a chic way. You have some cool architectural features in that house. I'm curious to see the exterior (hint).

Anonymous said...

The repurposing I do tends to stem from poverty more often than not. My favorite tip came from a Real Simple article (which you may have seen) on using old ladders. Sanded and painted (or left as they are) shorter ones can be used as bedside tables, with a lamp on top, and books and vases on the steps.

I saw Rob Bell's sexgod on your "sometimes I read" list. I loved it.

-- Myntha