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ReAbide New Photos

01/16/2013

Remember that handsome Bassett dresser that we picked up a few weeks ago? Jason did an amazing job cleaning it up and restoring the top surface. It looks so gorgeous (and it’s also really functional storage for our master bedroom) so we decided not to put it up for sale on ReAbide for now. We’ll continue looking for more dressers because I know there is a demand… but for now, it’s ours.

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I’m working my way through rephotographing many of our items that were quickly and/or poorly documented during the time we were living in transition. Here are some new photos I added to ReAbide.com yesterday:

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ReAbide

12/20/2012

There has been a theme resonating through our lives for the past year or two… restoration. Actually, it’s been longer than that. When we bought our 1954 ranch nearly 6 years ago, we started collecting vintage furniture and accessories to match the era of our home. Jason and I enjoy a good vintage store or antique mall but more for looking than buying. We prefer the treasure hunts through yard sales, thrift stores and estate sales. We like sifting through junk and finding diamonds in the rough. They often don’t look like diamonds until they’ve had a little TLC. That’s where the restoration theme first started ringing. It was almost two years ago that Jason and I started talking about becoming foster parents. When God gave me a vision of “the room” — a mix of new and old pieces carefully selected, each with a story, coming together to make a beautiful space — I started to connect the dots. Foster care is all about restoration, too: restoring love, restoring trust, restoring health, restoring family, restoring hope. Out of the steady hum of restoration ReAbide was born.

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In short it’s a new business, Jason and I are starting. I have a full vision for 3 parts of ReAbide but for this season in our lives, only part 1 is unfurling: New Life for Quality Vintage Furnishings. Giving old furnishings a second (third, fourth…) chance at a new home. If you’ve been reading this blog more than a month, you know that Jason and I have quite a collection of vintage, mid-century modern furniture and accessories. Jason is a lamp fanatic… I think I’ve seen at least 12 since we’ve started unpacking. Since we have more than we need for ourselves and also because friends have started commissioning us for find things for them, we decided to start reselling some of our furnishing through private sales.

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The second facet of ReAbide Furnishings is home staging. We love putting rooms together and we love real estate — home staging with mid-century modern and modern furniture was a natural progression of things. Many of the pieces we’ll use for home staging will also be available for purchase. We’re just starting out in this facet. We have a good friend who is a real estate guru and we were able to add a few of our items into the mix at a house he recently renovated. We were hoping to have whole finished rooms to reveal but he had already hired another home stager who scrambled our pieces in with hers. I did take a few progress shots while we were bringing in our collection, before it was all rearranged by the other stager and before we had brought in a dining table or rugs. Quick snaps with my phone but I’m glad I got them; better than nothing.

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I’d be honored if you would check out ReAbide.com and like the brand new ReAbide on Facebook!


The Reupholstered Sectional Sofa

08/27/2012

Jason and I reupholstered a sofa! A whole, big, 3-piece sectional sofa! It was a massive project. We worked our butts off and we learned so much. A few things:

• First of all, I have no intentions of writing a DIY tutorial on furniture upholstery. It’s hard work, requires a lot of tools and knowledge. This was definitely not a beginner project. We didn’t take a lot of pictures during the process of reupholstering the sofa, just pictures of the deconstruction for our own reference and progress shots to make ourselves feel better after some long nights of work. If you want a DIY, check out this chair reupholstery blog post that I saw on a friend’s Pinterest page. There are also lots of videos on YouTube and many more tutorials out there. We started out watching videos, getting 4 books from the library, ordering tools, and studying other pieces of furniture. For my birthday back in June, I got a staple gun from my dear husband and The Complete Guide to Upholstery from my mom, both of which have been used a lot. I also found this Great Neck tack puller to be invaluable for removing staples during the deconstruction.

• Sewing skills are crucial, especially for making cushions and doing piping. Thankfully, I have been sewing since middle school and I have my Granny’s old trusty Singer. I sewed approximately 600″ of piping!

• Reupholster with a buddy. I cannot imagine doing this solo. Working with Jason made it so much easier to move the pieces of the sectional around from room to room, inside to outside, flipped over and back up. Usually I was stretching and positioning fabric while he was stapling. Or I was sewing while he was cutting the pieces out of the upholstery. Plus, it’s nice to have someone else to problem-solve with.

• Shop online. We found all the materials we needed and the best prices online. We ordered from Amazon.com, DIYupholsterysupply.com and OnlineFabricStore.net

• Experience is the best teacher. Jason and I reupholstered four chairs before we decided to tackle this sectional. Chair 1. Chair 2. Chairs 3 & 4. Each project we’ve done has gotten progressively better. If we were to do this same sofa over again, I’m sure it would be much better the second time around.

• A few people have asked me how hard it is to upholster a sofa. Difficulty is relative. We didn’t find it difficult. In fact, my [obnoxiously optimistic] husband said on our first night of working on the sectional, as we were deconstructing each piece and figuring out how it was constructed: “Honey! This is going to be easy!” I just laughed because that could not be more opposite of what was going through my mind. But I clung to that statement, hours, days, weeks into this project. It really wasn’t hard. It was time consuming. No joke, I’m pretty sure this took between 40-50 hours of labor with two people… that’s about 90 hours of work. I’m sure we could do another sectional just like this in 60 hours next time, or maybe less. But I did try to keep track of time for our own reference. We spent an average of 4.5 hours per night working on this, and approximately 10-12 nights over 3 weeks.

• Upholstery work is painful! I have more mystery bruises on my legs than I care to count. I have a gouge in one of my legs, two scraped knuckles and tender finger tips from accidental pin stabs. Jason, my professional guitarist, über careful (I call him “Safety Dad”) husband stapled into one of his fingertips. It was bloody and gross but thankfully a picking finger and it healed pretty quickly. My back and arms got quite a workout, too. I think my arms are the strongest they’ve ever been right now. It’s good exercise. See, I can be optimistic, too!

OK, enough about disclaimers and what we learned. It was worth it! We have a brand new couch. Sort of. Actually, it’s a 1960 Harmony House for Sears, Roebuck & Co. But it’s like new with brand new foam cushions and new upholstery. I can’t wait to see this piece in our new living room.

Before:

(more before pictures in my sneak peek post a couple weeks ago.)

After:

Not many detail shots because we were in the parking lot of our storage unit trying to be quick. The light was harsh, mid-day full sun and we were trying to hurry back home before Ali woke up from her afternoon nap. That’s my excuse. It has nothing to do with the imperfections that I’m so critical of… But in just a few months it’ll be comfortable sitting in our new living room, getting well used by a family, and those minor imperfections will be even less noticeable. Says Mr. “This Will Be Easy!”