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Posts Tagged ‘furniture’

When we moved out of the house in Huntsville, I left my “china cabinet” behind. An IKEA shelf-turned-cabinet via the addition of a few doors, it was still in great shape (although mysteriously unphotographed), but entirely too heavy to move. Taking apart IKEA products seems inadvisable, especially products with hinges because, man, those things are hard to get right the FIRST time.

Thus, my favorite sunflower-patterned plates and bowls have been trapped in storage for the past year because buying furniture is THE WORST. Last month’s storage room flood destroyed one of my boxes, however, so the need to unload everything became a little more urgent.

Another trip to IKEA, another shelf-turned cabinet. This time we went for wide instead of tall, and chose a design that required six tiny doors instead of two or four larger ones. The hinge installation actually went pretty smoothly after we got a rhythm going – we almost went for eight doors, but figured out the liquor bottles were pretty attractive on their own.

Is it going to be too heavy to move? Oh yeah. But at a price of around $150, I can afford to pass it on in a couple of years if necessary. Our building has a healthy IKEA-reselling network, and not feeling obligated to move heavy furniture all over the place makes me extremely portable.

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Say what you will about Pier 1 Imports, but their director’s chairs will last FOREVER if properly maintained (by which I mean not having children or dogs in the house).

A little too long, really. We bought a set of four about 20 years ago, after we figured out we didn’t have enough money for the kitchen table we loved AND the chairs that went with it. We planned to replace them within a few years, only they never were really worse for the wear, and picking out furniture is HARD, you guys.

So they stayed. Only the little plastic tips started wearing out, and proved nearly impossible to replace (thanks for that bit of built-in obsolescence, Pier 1). Soon, we only had three functional chairs. After the move to Atlanta, that number dwindled to two.

IKEA to the rescue. A little over $400 (which is about what we paid for the on-sale table at a fancier Swedish furniture store two decades ago) and we had four perfectly functional, and quite stylish, dining chairs with replaceable covers. IKEA items run the gamut from flimsy to unbelievably sturdy, and these appear to be running toward the sturdy. No squeaking, no rocking, no signs of instability.

Plus, just look at them: all clean lines and comfort.

Meanwhile, two director’s chairs lurk in the storage room downstairs, awaiting a movie production company or a couple of extra guests.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 24: I realize that some people have an entire room dedicated to their crafting supplies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I yearn to be craftier. But I also associate crafts with stuff, and I don’t need more stuff.

So, my craft supplies consist of magnets, Mod Podge, a few rolls of post-Christmas-sale ribbon, colored pencils, a hole-punch, an X-acto knife and embroidery supplies.

Wait. Embroidery supplies? I know. Because I was TRASH at embroidery when I attempted to take it up a couple of years ago. Trust me: The embroidery supplies are just biding their time until their turn comes on the circle of thrift store donations.

Anyway, today’s Do One Thing activity was to organize all my craft supplies into two stacked storage units that I got on super clearance last year at Michael’s. Yeah, yeah — a couple of corners are kind of weathered, and one of the smaller drawers is a slightly different color, but I got them both for less than $20.

The storage units are currently serving as a nightstand in the guest bedroom; at the rate I buy new furniture, they’re likely to be serving in that capacity for a while.

Really, the embroidery supplies were the only thing that needed moving. They were hanging in a bag in my office closet, and I’m trying to take down everything that’s hanging in that closet to make it neater.

All crafting supplies in one place, and a closet that I could walk into, assuming I could actually get both bifold doors open (grrr). I’m nearing neatnik nirvana.

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Several years ago, a good friend offered me an old pie safe that belonged to his sister, who had recently died. Honored by his offer, and in dire need of a little extra cabinet space in my humble kitchen, I accepted. This unique piece did kitchen duty for several years until I moved to Huntsville, where I found a home with plenty of cabinet space. The pie safe accepted its new assignment as eccentric bookshelf/knickknack area.

One thing that always bothered me about the pie safe was the drawer on the bottom. It didn’t belong there. It wasn’t made out of the same aged wood, and it was much more stylized than any other part of the cabinetry. It seemed like it was added as an afterthought, perhaps as a replacement for another drawer that had fallen apart.

I bought new drawer pulls for it at Anthropologie a few months ago, but all they did was emphasize its non-belongingness. Another plan was in order.

Yesterday, I finally fixed it. I toured the garage until I found a piece of suitably aged wood (my garage is, indeed, full of surprises) that only needed one cut to fit the drawer opening. After worming my way underneath the pie safe, I secured the board from the back with three beige deck screws (you can’t see them).

Voila! It’s as if the mismatched drawer never existed.

My love of Anthropologie’s cabinet hardware collection was satisfied, as I installed two bright, bubbly pulls on the pie safe doors.

It’s always been a fun piece, but I think I’ve managed to update it without changing its overall character.

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Several years ago, my grandmother gave me an old rocking chair that I kept meaning to have re-caned. Last year, I decided that it did not go with any part of my decor. Neither was it very smart furniture to have around our two long-tailed tabby cats, constantly underfoot and underchair.

Turns out that my mom thought she should have had first dibs on the chair anyway. Done deal, right?

Wrong. Yang, the larger of the underfoot tabbies, claimed the chair as his own not two weeks after Mom claimed it as her own. Cushioned with a Mom-made afghan and a blanket, it’s one of his favorite nesting spots.

So, the chair complements nothing, needs refinishing, and technically belongs to my mom. It stays, of course, because a 13-year-old, 12-pound cat likes to nap in it.

Welcome to the Crow Haggerty House of Cats. We’re all mad here.

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