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How exactly does an ordinary person acquire the habit of dragging home furniture to give it a little TLC?

My inspiration came from Phyllis, best friend to yours truly’s mother. Before the Carson Kressley’s of the world came out of the closet, there were stylish neighbors like Phyllis. On any given Friday morning, Phyllis would stop by for coffee and minutes later she and my mother would be trying the couch on this side of the living room, the wing chair over there. She was known to start reupholstering a few pieces in her living room on Monday, and have the redo done in time for Saturday’s dinner party. All this with five kids and a standard poodle.

Phyllis was a chic upcycler far, far ahead of the times. Driving around in her Town & Country wagon, she might come across a dresser or chair with good bones sitting on the curb. Phyl would park the boat and ring the bell. “Mind if I take it?” She’d be polite and usually got a hand loading it into the back of the station wagon.

A few heartbeats later, sanded, stained and with a smooth coat of varnish, the piece would be ready for Sotheby’s. My mother still kicks herself for giving Phyllis our double door tv console. Lacquered in black and with the legs cut off, it looked perfect next to Phyl’s family room sofa.

One day circa 4th grade I came home to the number they’d done on our living room.  Drapes and slipcovered chairs to match in the what’s become my mother’s signature chintz.  It’s semi-famous on flickr.


Signature chintz

4 Responses

  1. Love your do-overs. Really like it when you also share a “before” picture.

    You also might want to submit something to:
    http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/01/before-after-jaclyns-lamp.html

    • Thanks, Lynn! A few projects are missing the before pictures—I’m kicking myself now for my haste to get to the after state. Love designsponge and your great suggestion. Will do.

  2. What a wonderful idea and blog! Great inspiration; I’m so glad I found you (through DailyCandy)!

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