Archive for March, 2011

Petersik Hotel & Conference Center

We finally scored some chairs for the dining room, thanks to this craiglist ad emailed to us by our friend Sandra (muchas gracias!).

You’re probably thinking: what are they thinking?! Parsons chairs? Yup, that’s exactly what we’ve wanted since day one. Thirty bucks? Yeah baby. Weird green and blue swirly pattern? Um… no comment.

But since the price was right (we actually bargained them down to $25 per chair, coming to $200 total for all 8) and the shape/lines were right (they’re solid and very well-made) we figured it was time to pounce (with some reassurance from a few online tutorials about dyeing fabric, making slipcovers, or reupholstering parsons chairs). So in the end we hope to end up with eight affordable and well made parsons chairs without this… uh… “unique” fabric. Hopefully sooner rather than later…

As for how we got them home, I borrowed my sister’s Explorer (since I knew we couldn’t fit them in our Altima without making at least three trips) and drove 90 minutes round trip to Mechanicsville to pick up the chairs. I wish I’d brought the camera (or was fancy enough to have a decent cell phone cam) because the guy selling them lived on a giant horse farm, so the scenery was beautiful. And since Sherry and Clara stayed at home (to make room for more chairs in the car) I wished that I could have taken some photos so they could see it.

The guy selling them was a real character. I expected to pick up the chairs from his dining room, but instead he led me back to a bunch of large storage crates in his backyard (I must admit this is where craigslist horror stories started flashing through my mind and I wondered if I was being kidnapped). Then he rolled up the door to one of the storage crates to reveal that it was FILLED TO THE BRIM with these chairs. I never got the story behind how he ended up with so many, but my guess is that they came from some hotel auction or something. All that mattered is that they were in good condition (solid, sturdy, clean, no pet/smoke odors, etc) and that he was happy to let me put a dent in his collection and leave with eight of those babies.

Here I am back home with my booty (that’s not a butt reference, I mean the chairs), cheesy pose and all (sometimes I defer to cheesy poses when Sherry runs towards me with the camera, you know, just to humor her). And yes, I was extremely proud of fitting all eight of them into my sister’s car in one trip. There was even a call to Sherry where I told her I could only fit six so I needed to make two trips with a big fat “just kidding!” at the end.

As a reminder, here’s what the dining room looked like back when it was chair-less…

…and here it is now with eight new occupants. Actually only seven are pictured because Sherry likes that more breathable look for “everyday” (we can easily add in the eighth one when we need it – until then it’s hanging out in our chaotic playroom with 99% of our other “extra stuff”).

We keep having to remind ourselves to look past the crazy pattern and enjoy the fact that we scored a serious deal on the exact style of chair (with clean lines and solid construction) that we’ve been eying.

The best price we’ve seen so far on any new parsons chair is around $85 (Pottery Barn sells similar ones for $299!), so as long as we can correct the swirly fabric for less than $60 per chair, we made the right call. Even if it means that our dining room looks a bit like a hotel conference room for the time being…

Sherry found a few online tutorials for dyeing fabric directly on furniture that we might try (although dye = scary, so we might skip right to the next step, which would be to make slipcovers or reupholster them in the crisp apple green color that Sherry has been dreaming of from day one). So that’s the story of driving out to a farm and squeezing eight $25 chairs into my sisters car. Maybe you guys have recent craigstlist deals to share? Or an “I can’t believe I got that to fit into my car” tale to tell?



Monster Eyeballs

Three cheers for a $12 fifteen minute project that makes us giggle. Because sometimes you just gotta laugh. We switched out the old knobs on our dining room built-ins.

The first step is to put on your safety goggles and protective gloves. Kidding. The first step is to unscrew the old ones and the second step is to screw in the new ones. So easy. Here’s a little in-progress action shot for ya:

And here are the new ones all “installed”:

But back to the whole monster eyeballs thing. When I fell in love with these greeny-yellow knobs at Hobby Lobby (for $1.50 a pop thanks to a 50% off sale), it never crossed my mind that they’re a bit similar to the eyeball-esque hardware that we inherited with our kitchen. Remember this weird (and wonderful?) post about that?

Anyway, somehow we missed that they might look like monster eyeballs (you know, because some monsters have yellow ones instead of white ones) until we got them home and screwed them in and John started laughing about the obvious (but not to us until that moment) similarity. Although somehow in yellow and oil-rubbed bronze they feel a bit less eyeball-y and more playful and eclectic than the more cartoon-ish black & white ones in the kitchen. At least that’s what we’re telling ourselves.

We love them anyway. Monster eyeballs be darned.

Especially with the teal backing of the built-ins above them – such a fun color combo.

Thankfully from most vantage points they look more like fun yellow knobs than body parts of any kind (but from Clara’s line of sight they might continue to look like monster eyeballs for a while, which she might get a kick out of). Either way, once the walls go soft gray and we add curtains and art and chairs and a big opening to the kitchen we’re sure the knobs will hardly be the focal point. We could probably get little alien butt knobs and no one would notice.

So that’s a little $12 makeover that makes us smile (and makes our built-ins feel fun and kinda funky). Sidenote: I hate the word funky. It always makes me think of smelly feet or old cheese.

New theory: every house needs at least a few monster eyeballs. We have nine thanks to the one on the closet door in the guest room.

Methinks that’s just enough.