Monthly Archives: July 2011

Guest Posting (Decorating w/ Used Furniture) at Making This Home

Hi everyone!  I may be taking a week off from blogging here at The Borrowed Abode, but the good news is that you can find a seriously hefty guest post from me over at my friend Katie’s blog, Making This Home.

Katie and her husband are in the process of turning an airplane hangar into a home, and after living in a rented, fully-furnished tire house for the last few years, they are going to need to furnish the place.  I was super flattered, and happy to help, when Katie asked me to share my tips on finding, and decorating with, old / used / thrifted furniture.

So hop on over to Making This Home and check it out – and while you’re over there, let Katie (and me) know what you think!  I bet you all have some good tips to share as well.

It’s not you, it’s me. . .

Pardon me, but I need to take a teensy break from the blog – just for the week. It kills me to take a break when I’m not even on vacation, but  I’ve been trying to both re-stock the shop and blog each night and it just hasn’t been efficient.  Neither gets done very well.

So I’ll see you all next week!

Back Porch Storage {Before & After, part 2}

So . . . I’m back, with the short but sweet Part 2 of the back porch cleanup.  Sorry I just cut and run last night, but my post on Part 1 was getting much longer than expected  – probably because of all my unnecessary cat photos  – and I was really hungry for dinner!

The second part of the porch clean-up was pretty simple.    This ratty old wooden shelf was too small and pretty much un-functional at the back door.

When I spied a white metal bookshelf at Ikea for only $19.99, I knew it was the perfect storage solution for the side of the porch.   As hoped, the taller height adds a bit more visual interest to the otherwise boring wall, and the perforated mesh construction of the shelves means that no water will be pooling on them, etc.

Are you sensing a white and galvanized metal theme out here?  If so, you’re right.  I know it has nothing in common with our wood chairs and tables, but it was an affordable and cohesive storage solution.    The galvanized metal buckets were actually flower pots that cost between $2 – $4 bucks at Ikea.  Talk about cheap and easy storage.  One big pot hold the gardening supplies I like to keep handy – gloves, scissors, a shovel, and bug spray.   Another large pot (not pictured) holds our lighters, lighter fluid refillers, and “off” mosquito repellent coils.  (Are we the only ones going absolutely CRAZY with the little blood suckers this year?)

And on a storage note – Sure, I could have made storage containers out of something I had on hand, but frankly I didn’t want to spend the time. Shocking, I know.  You will rarely hear me say such things!

Further up the shelf, I added a sealed glass jar for seed storage, because you’ve gotta keep the moisture out of them.  And I snagged two of these galvanized metal outdoor candle lanterns, too.  I liked that they have covered (but vented) tops, so I could actually have lit candles in them without worrying about the flames shooting up to the shelf above.

I added a few plants just to dress things up a bit more.  The top one is lemon balm, which is supposed to help repel insects too . . . and the large thing on the bottom left was supposed to be a hibiscus, but it’s slowly losing all its leaves.  I think I need to return it to Home Depot.

Hey, at least I tried.  And I’m oh-so-glad to have my porch back to its new and improved state of cleanliness and organization!

Whatever happened to that Redneck Porch? {Before & After, part 1}

Remember this hot mess from our Redneck Yard contest & party?

It was pretty bad, huh? A huge departure from the simple outdoor living room we created last summer.

We got the trash cleaned off the porch soon after the Redneck party, but the trash-picked vintage credenza languished on the porch for some time.  But there’s nothing like a visit from a fellow home blogger to get your cleaning butt in gear!

So on the 4th of July, we celebrated our nation’s independence by liberating our porch of it’s mess.

First, we moved the vintage record player to the shed for the time being, because it still needs to be scrubbed out and refinished.

Then we moved everything that was staying to the yard.

Ryan first “swept” away the dirt of winter and spring, using his new electric broom.  (I’m not joking, it’s really called that and he loves it.  I think it’s somewhat absurd.  though our walkways have never looked cleaner.)

Then he sprayed it down with the hose.  It was disgusting – but rewarding – to see all the gray water running off the walls.

The Doctor supervised.

Finally, we moved everything back.  And by “we” I mean “I.”    Having done the light lifting, Ryan was called back inside by the siren that is World of Warcraft.  Or Starcraft.  Or PacMan.  Who knows.

But I didn’t stop at that.  Did you notice the chairs look a little different?  Last season’s basic white cushions were looking a bit dingy, despite a few turns through the wash.  And the chairs weren’t exactly cozy.

So I raided my stash of random fabric, and covered some big, squishy pillows for the backs of the chairs, and re-covered the existing dingy seat cushions. I was amazed at the difference it made, both in comfort and looks.

They were immediately feline tested, as well . . . and after the Doctor adjusted to the change (men never handle change well), he informed me that it was a-ok.

Though he liked the decor, he had to adjust it a bit in order to stretch out for a nap.

We needed a bit of watertight storage for our charcoal.  (Yes, we use an old-fashioned charcoal grill.  It’s economical and the food tastes great!)  During a quick run to Ikea I found a ton of storage inspiration, including this white metal garbage can.  It fit perfectly behind the chairs, right where we also stash the grill when it’s not in use.

It holds a boatload of charcoal. And maybe a cat.

The other side of the porch got a pretty major facelift.  But I’m hungry for dinner, and Ryan is saying that if I don’t cook for him right now, he’s divorcing me.  So I’ll catch you up on the other side tomorrow.

(PS: I’m only joking about Ryan. He never demands dinner.  He’s amazingly patient like that.)