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The Mother of Invention

My mom has always had antiques of some kind in our house growing up. She never seemed to have any strong attachment to them so she never had any qualms about using them as though they were everyday items. Antique tables and chairs were used as though they were just as sturdy and new as the ones made within the last 10 years. Maybe that’s why I don’t hesitate to semi-destroy them in order to put them back together. I’m not afraid I’m going to ruin something sacred, I always know it’s only a piece of furniture.

Like this 1920’s, wrought iron, ice cream parlor chair. As you can see, I usually get my cart before the horse, so the demolition began on the seat before I remembered to take the before picture. Regardless, you get the overall idea; the seat was made of thin wood and painted the same green as the rest of it. By design it can never really be boring, but I like to shake things up.

I started by taking it apart by twisting the nuts and removing the screws. This wasn’t super hard, but it was pretty violent. I didn’t realize the iron was so rigid that as soon as I undid the screws the iron swung back and happened to hit Kyle in the leg (Jeeze, why was he standing there anyway?) It didn’t do much damage to him, but it was right at Olivia’s face level so if it was her standing there then she probably would’ve lost some teeth..but I’m getting off track here.

Once it was apart I decided that I didn’t want to put a chair back together, I wanted to create a stool. It’s too high for a step stool, but just right for a foot stool or even a bonus chair when more seating is needed. So working with just the bottom parts, I soaked the old nuts, bolts and brackets in apple cider vinegar to remove rust and spray painted the wrought iron yellow.

Then the issues began. You see, I have limited tools and I really, really needed  a band saw to create a seat. I couldn’t find a wooden 14″ circle at any store that would work for it. I had even already picked the fabric and made a gosh darn cushion! But at the end of the day, you got to face the reality of a situation and change your plans accordingly. As Plato said “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And I needed to make this work.

I took a trip to the hardware store and looked for something to make this work. And wouldn’t you know, everything was either 8″, 10″ or 12″. Not surprisingly, those are standard size for pipes and ducts. But then I went to JoAnn Fabric and scoured the shelves for something, ANYTHING! And I happened to stumble upon a mirror that I almost passed up. I had played with the idea of a mirror, but I wanted a stool damn it! I didn’t want to be “That girl over there selling all the tables.” But I’d rather be that than “The girl over there with nothing to sell.” So I bought the mirror and committed.

But what about my pretty fabric? Never you fear, I worked it in. I simply Mod-Podged the fabric to the outside of the screws and tucked back the excess fabric. I also sealed the chair with Mod-Podge, because it’s water proof and basically the best pseudo-liquid ever invented. Now the screws resemble fabric covered buttons.

Lastly, I put the little guy together. If you recall the wrought iron was super rigid, so it was hard to put it together as it was standing upright like a table. I had to flip it over and set the table legs onto the table top instead of vice-versa. I had to muscle the crap out of it, but I finally got the iron in place and screwed together. And this is what happened…

This little table would be adorable inside as a colorful plant stand or even a bold bedside table. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Because it is made of wrought iron and waterproofed with Mod-Podge (even the fabric on the button/bolts got a good coating) it would also work as a cute poolside or porch table. I dare you to tell me this wouldn’t brighten up your lanai! Plus, with it being outside, the bright colors may not be as alarming as some may perceive them indoors.

I am basically over the moon for this item. I have always felt that my unique quirks (like button bolts or an 80’s table top mixed with a 20’s design) is what drives my style. And maybe it isn’t always my brain child that causes these fun idiosyncrasies, but for me..

Necessity is the Mother of Design.

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About Kristen Van Loon

My name is Kristen Van Loon and this is the chronicle of my search for *Oomf!* Not only have I deemed myself qualified to revamp, repair, refurnish and refine my house, but I also jump into any DIY project that my friends, co-workers, family and practical strangers stumble upon. I would love to tell you that this is my full-time job and my complete life mission, but I make my bread and butter elsewhere and raise a daughter (Olivia). I have some experience but no time, no formal training and no money. My only saving grace is that I love figuring things out, I’m great at improvising and I’m always inspired. For the record, some things that I do (play with electricity, for one) may seem risky, and some of them are. I will always tell you what I’ve done, but I won’t ever suggest things for you that aren’t safe. Even though I push the envelope, I am only marginally incompetent. If sources (father, my brain, Google) tell me not to do something then I usually won’t. But if I do try and it blows up in my face (figuratively or literally) you will hear all about it, and you hopefully won’t attempt it. At the end of the day, I hope to inspire you. Space-Lift isn’t just a blog, it’s a verb. It’s an action that brightens your surroundings by assaulting everything that needs improvement. Nothing is off limits, and all possibilities will be considered.

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