Friday, May 28, 2010

Get Crafty: Updating Furniture

Right now (well... not right now), I'm working on a new-to-me project to alleviate an over-flowing desk situation. I have a big (sort of ugly) desk with a hutch that lends itself to piling. Not good for a not-very-tidy person who has a not-very-tidy family. The secondary goal of this project is to lighten up the look of our living room, which is currently suffering depression on account of aforementioned bulky desk and other big furnishings. So I found a lovely, current West Elm desk in flawless condition on Craigslist. It is now waiting to be assigned a semi-permanent spot, and the big desk will find itself a new home via Craigslist as well. To make up for lost storage with the new desk (we'll forgive it because it's just so cute), I need an accessory unit. Enter the ice box.

Maybe 2 years ago, I picked up an old ice box that had been converted to a bookshelf... it's original locking doors are lost to time but it's shape and sturdy construction remains, and I find the antiquish-ness of it so charming. I love being able to see the holes where the original door hinges attached, and the paneled sides are interesting and belie the quality construction. I'm planning to reassign it from upstairs clothes storage to active duty housing the home office necessities. Unfortunately, my abundant desk clutter (including the computer console and my necessary printer), really needs to be accessible but not out in the open. My goal was to find some salvaged doors to attach to the frame, ones that allow air flow for the sake of the console's circulation system (so the backless nature of the ice box really works for this application). After measuring the margin around the front opening, I found a set of workable cabinet doors at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore location, and they (as well as a more recently rummage sale chair for the desk) got painted black to match. I filled the door insets with fabric and recovered the chair seat with a neutral upholstery velvet. I imagine I may repaint the whole ice box to a more fun color at some point, but I'm aiming for progress right now and there is something to say for expeditious decisions.

The doors were a nice shade of brown that did not match the ice box. Too bad.

The chair had gold details and this painted image... the lovely shape of the chair was practically begging for a new lease on life, and my black Rustoleum Lustre spray paint and I were very happy to oblige.

After painting and reupholstery, this chair was a steal for $15 and a little lovin'...

And the ice box itself. I love the new doors and hardware (simple knobs and self-closing hinges). And the truly beautiful thing (aside from its ability to hide all my clutter), is that it would be a cinch to repaint and add different insets, so even if I change my decor it will not have to find a new home. Perfection. I'm hoping that sometime in June I'll get the living room settled into a new arrangement that opens up the space, hides the aesthetically unpleasant aspects of the home business and makes that room more welcoming. But for now, I'm enjoying spending time with my family and beginning the long weekend a little bit early :)


Betsy said...

There's nothing like a can of black (or white, depending) spray paint! Brilliant idea with the cabinet doors. It looks beautiful! :)

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