Posts Tagged ‘furniture’

Want: Replica Marcella Sofa

I know, I already have a sofa in my living room, but I really, really love Design Direct’s Replica Marcella Sofa:

Design Direct's Replica Marcella Sofa

Design Direct’s Replica Marcella Sofa

I love it. It comes in Deep Charcoal and a lighter Grey/Brown speckle. It combines all the tufted elements of Florence Knoll sofas (Design Direct sell replica Florence Knoll’s too) with the round bolsters that I absolutely love and a shade of green that I cannot ignore. I love that green.

It’s a replica of a sofa made by Achille & Pier Castiglioni, who also made the original ARCO lamp, a replica of which is hanging next to G-Plan in my currently living room set up.

Best of all: At $1450 this competes with anything you could find at certain Swedish mass market furniture manufacturers.

Design Direct are a Perth-based company selling replica furniture – to all my followers who like mid-century design and who have looked at Eastern States replica suppliers, there is an option in Perth: designdirect.com.au

They do replica Swan Chairs, Womb Chairs, Ball Chairs, Barcelona Chairs, Panton Chairs, DSW Chairs, RAR Chairs, Plank Chairs (and sofas), tables and lighting too – how excellent!!!

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In spite of my good intentions to not collect any more freecycled items…

…and not 5 hours after the occasion of me firmly telling the Sea Capitaine that I would not, and I mean not, be collecting any freecycled furniture*…

…I managed to collect an immaculate condition 50-60’s day bed with storage underneath.

I know, I didn’t even last 3 months. BUT in my defense, my 2012 New Year’s resolution to not collect any more freecycled furniture was quite cleverly worded:

I have to take continue collecting more freecycled furniture off that list because unless it is something that totally needs to be rescued by me, I am out of room in the garage until I finish a couple more projects.

Yes – I am wickedly smart with the disclaimers…[* NB – I have given myself a free pass to collect (two) chests of drawers, as I do need two of those…]

With the help of Countess Von Noodlestein, some stay up stockings doubling as occi straps (don’t ask – I either need a roof rack or a ute if I am to continue this behaviour, that is all), I present the rescued day bed in all its magnificence:

Absolutely perfect retro daybed

Look at it! Is it not just the most beautiful thing you have seen?

From the lairy fabric on the mattress, to the little atomic legs (which are hidden at this angle), to the cutest and practical little storage drawers, just perfect!

I say perfect because I have been secretly wish listing retro day beds on eBay and Gumtree with the sole aime of convincing DIY Dad we needed one at our beach house instead of the rather rough and ready spare bed frame he knocked up out of pine.

Now it’s au fait accompli, I don’t need to buy one, I just need to focus all my energies on convincing him 🙂

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Moody chair in sombre grey

Oddly I don’t seem to have mentioned in the same freecycling weekend that I found atomic planter #2 and retro mirror, that I also found another chair. Yes, another Parker era chair in need of restoration and  TLC.

The varnish and wood was water damaged (stained but not warped) and it needed new cushions and upholstery. I found it in April or thereabouts and popped it next to the other two chairs whose varnish and wood is in better condition:

The 3 amigos

This new find took the edge off my chair restoration quandary as I now have two matching chairs to sand and revarnish to preserve their natural glory and one I can paint grey for my bedroom.

The chair sat in my garage since April until last weekend, when I asked Dad about using wall paint (left over from the house painting) as a base coat instead of sanding sealer. He said that was fine since I was going to paint it, so I pulled out the water damaged find:

The sad before picture

Took off the old upholstery and got stuck in:

Nekkid and somewhat battered

I washed the chair with a damp cloth soaked in hot water and eucalyptus oil (I did pick it up in bad condition from the side of the road, after all). And then unscrewed the frame so I could sand and paint the legs without impediment:

Water damage visible

Then I sanded the legs with coarse sand paper to remove all the varnish and the fine sandpaper to smooth them:

Nekkid and abraided

Then I bought them inside and painted two coats of my bedroom wall colour paint over them to seal them:

All ready for their final coats

I chose a darker grey, Taubman’s Somber Grey, in a semi gloss paint for the finish:

Work in progress

You may have noticed that there are a couple more items being painted than just the chair. I rescued a footstool (well the wooden bottom of a footstool) from the same era from my neighbours:

Beginnings of a footstool

I thought it might be nice to do the chair and the footstool in the same colours and upholstery. It went through the same process as the chair – I took it apart, sanded it down (coarse and then fine) and then gave it two coats of base coat before applying two coats of the top coat.

Once they were dry, I reassembled them:

Ready set, time to upholster

They will have to wait a while – I need to buy sponge and fabric and a sewing machine before I can complete the task. But in the mean time I have popped my two grey floor cushions onto the chair:

Her majesty getting into the swing of the photobomb

The floor cushions will do for now:


Then I moved the chair into the bedroom, which will be its new home:

This is not a chair-ocracy, this is a chair-tatorship and I am the chair-tator

I’m storing the footstool underneath Great Aunt Eileen’s sideboard until I get the foam and etc required to turn it into a functional object:

Another opportunity for Her Majesty to photobomb

The other two chairs will probably be left until I have the foam and etc to deal with them. I need to work out the logistics of webbing and whether I need some sort of staple gun before I get onto them. Plus their future home will be the lounge room (unless I decided to do them up and sell them, I am still considering that), so they do need to be finished pieces before I can bring them inside.

On the plus side, this project only took me a week to do (I sanded over two days and then painted in the evenings, while watching the Bourne movies again); so it bodes well for my next attempt at chair-storation also being as speedy.

Before I forget

I have decided to upholster the chairs in a hemp and organic cotton denim indigo from duckcloth. Although it is a lighter weight fabric (not as heavy as actual denim), L’artiste suggested that it would work if I lined the slip covers I make. So I am going to do that and I am going to do piping on the cushions – even thought the original chair did not have piping, I love piping. The good thing about these chairs is you are basically making square, piped cushions so if I do decide on a radical change down the line or I sit in the chair so often the fabric wears away, it is not that much to make a new slip cover.

Duckcloth are awesome and they will send you fabric swatches if you request them. That really helped in matching up the fabric with the paint swatch and then seeing the effects in different rooms and lights.

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The G-Plan Has Landed

I can finally close the book on the G-Plan sofa that started its time in my life as a roadside pick up that Mr and Mrs Rule-Britannia encouraged and assisted me to collect (all hail Mr Rule-Britannia’s trailer, for it is made of awesome), the atomic styled G-Plan sofa is now ensconced in my abode. Thereby ticking one big ticket item off my holiday To Do list.

As a reminder of how far G-Plan had fallen, here is a picture of his innocuous start in my life:

In need of some elbow grease and a really good clean or six

He had been sitting on a patio and was covered with dirt and leaves, plus some mould spots and although the stuffing of the sofa had held up well, the foam stuffing of the cushions had degraded so much it was like sand. A particularly gross sand that clung everywhere and got into everything.

But his bones were good and the green and turquoise woolen upholstery was still in good nick; all he needed was a little furniture related loving…and a space made somewhere inside my house.

First step was to remove the degraded stuffing from the cushions and wash them (3 times). Once the stuffing was removed and I had shaken out as much as I could, I hand washed them in cool water with a mix of napisan and a splash of lemongrass water. Once they had dried, I hosed them down with the jet spray of my hose (to get rid of more of the degraded cushion foam granules). Then when dry I washed them again, this time with napisan and a splash of eucalyptus oil. I shook them to get rid of any residual granules (pesky stuff) and then sprayed with a home made eucalyptus oil and water mister and left to dry. Again when dry, I beat them and hosed them down with the triangle setting on my host.

Meanwhile, I vaccummed the couch and then washed it using a chux with the same mix as I first washed the cushions (cool water, lemongrass water, napisan). Once that was dry I sprayed with eucalytpus oil+water mist, vacuummed again and beat the upholstery to get out as much of the foam granules that had got into the upholstery as I could. I then washed the couch again with a mix of water and eucalyptus oil and let it dry in the garage:

Clean at last...

While G-Plan was drying, I went in search of foam for his cushions and I also had to tidy up and rearrange the expedit in my study from this:

Phase one of expedit placement in study

Which I am embarrassed to admit, had degenerated thanks to work, other time commitments and the desire to absorb more of my belongings from other locations into casa moi; into this (blush):

Sadly, my own actions have ensured I have my work cut out for me

Embarrassing confession of messiness aside, the expedit needed to be rearranged, the packaging, cards, flyers and receipts and etc strewn all over the floor needed to be categorised and filed; so that the room could be turned into this:

Who knew this lovely floor was hiding under all that junk?

Once that feat was complete (it actually only took me 4 hours to do, but about 3 weeks of procrastination to get to), I was free to debobble G-Plan’s woolen upholstery (using a lint shaver and some scissors) and then co-opt The Amazant Monsieur H into helping me firstly move G-Plan so he could be baked by the sun (dries him out, kills any residual smells and germs); and then move G-Plan so he could take up residency in his new domain:

Now all I need is a martini glass, a cigarette holder and a beehive 😉

He is looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself:

G-Plan and avid G-Plan Fan

I still have to resew one of the tufted buttons back on and I want to polish up and possibly paint his atomic legs, but those are minor things so I call predominantly done on this task:

Slightly blurry, but still beautiful

All he cost me was alot of gratitude and thanks to Mr and Mrs Rule-Britannia and Le Amazant Monsieur H plus $104 AUD for premium foam to stuff the cushions. Rock on!

Next stop on the Holiday To Do List is to do up the school desk also rescued from the house where G-Plan formerly lived 😀

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Want? Great gatsby

Call me a crazy fool F Scott Fitzgerald fan but I ❤ the Gatsby bed side table by Laura Ashley:

Let me reflect on your desires...

Apart from the utterly cool name, I love how its mirrored art nouveau-esque elegance channels the Hollywood Regency feel.

I have a dream of getting out of my bed and slipping my feet into marabou slippers and swanning around my house like a movie star in the 40’s. Probably with a long cigarette holder in my hand and a scotch on the rocks in the other.

Naturally my lifestyle channels more non-smoking, scotch-disliking, Perth Mortage Owner and, as such, does not enable me to fulfil this dream.

But at least if I had Gatsby in my life, Gatsby could help my bedroom look like my Hollywood Regency dream, even if it’s a lifestyle I could/would never live.

Of course, like tequila shots, you can’t have just one Gatsby. I’d need two (one for each side of my bed, naturellement). And with a price tag of ~$1095 each…they are a little outside my budget.

Trust me to fall in ❤ with the economically unavailable option rather than a cheapo set of Balinese derivative tables. I love  Gatsby’s base and elegant handles and it’s amazing 3 drawer storage capacity. <3<3 <3<3 <3<3<3

For the moment, ikea’s Benjamin stool is acting as my bedside table. Even if they don’t have drawers to hide all my bedside accoutrements away, at $29.95 they are in my price range. And they can be co-opted as seating when I need to seat six at my dining table.

What I am seriously considering…

Having committed to the idea of (eventually) owning Gatsby (when I could afford it), I wasn’t looking to fall for another type of mirrored bedside tables. Gatsby had my heart.

But I did start having some qualms – notwithstanding my budgettary constraints, mirrored tables will get dusty. Especially in a house with two mostly indoor cats.

I can deal with that (by dusting regularly), but there is also the brightness of the mirror – it’s just a normal mirror surface so Gatsby will be very reflective. And, with sun, quite bright. Possibly too bright and reflective?

Who needs to wake up to something incredibly bright and reflective every morning? Chirpy, cheery brightness and reflectiveness is best after a cup of tea, an application of Sunglasses and a clock whose arms point to at least 10.30am.

Fortunately an impromtu visit to Domain Gallery means I can now see a way clear to resolving these problems.

Domain Gallery do elegant mirrored bedside tables, much the same as Gatsby (Plain lines, no stupid crystal drawer pulls) for the meagre price of ~$490 each.

Plus they also do a range in a darker nickel-like mirror! I will still have to dust, but I won’t have to be confronted by cheery chirpy brightness and reflection every morning.

Great F Scott Fitzgerald, I may have found a new love!

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It’s bulk rubbish collection for home goods this week in my area and, although you might not think it at first, this is made of awesome because there are still quite a few of the old 50-70’s houses still with their original owners who get rid of some really classic stuff.

Of course everything needs a clean,  a polish, a sand or a strip back and start again, but you can get for free and make your own what you might otherwise pay hundreds if not a thousand/s0 buying it in immaculately restored condition.

I got my parker era chair frames in the last bulk home good collection and a retro magazine rack for free, when I had been considering paying $95.00 for one and parker frames seem to go at about $60-90. Bargain!

And it turns out that one of my workmates is keen on freecycling too. She and hubby were on the look out for a couple of things and had a trailer while I love free things and retro furniture but only have a small car – a match made of awesome! So we arranged a “freecycling date” for Saturday.

After a bit of a slow start and some disappointment due to the council commencing rubbish collection phase early (say what?), Mr and Mrs Rule-Britannia (names carefully disguised so as not to reveal who they are unless you know  and/or work with them) unearthed a matching pair of 50’s concrete planters (one big and one small, both guarantee to break a bone if you drop them on your foot).

Mr R-B decided the big one could be used for herbs but they didn’t want the small one. Naturally I rescued it from certain doom:

Have you seen my longer, wider, heavier brother?

We also saw a massive atomic style 50’s  era planter – an upside down cone on spaceship legs, but it was megaheavy plus two of the legs were broken back to the internal support…so we left them.  (I cried a little inside to do this…but I managed to walk away).

Then I found an amazing 50’s era planter in the shape of a wireframe sailing boat – sure it’s rusted almost away in some parts of the bottom, but I can either fix it up or bury it in the ground and plant a blue ground cover over the holes so it looks like the ship is sinking into the waves of blue groundcover 😀 Too cool:

I spent 6 months in a leaky boat...six months in a leaky boat...

Plus some awesome painted table legs that if I sand and paint and attach some sanded and polished jarrah boards will look awesome victorian warehouse/industrial. I already have the boards, so I may as well:

Still life with distressed table legs and distressed jarrah for tabletop

After Mr R-B talking me away from some rusted atomic table legs because I would be sanding away most of the table legs along with all the rust I intended to remove, Mrs R-B found a potential bedside table with potential and foam. Lots and lots of foam for cushions…but we hadn’t hit the motherload of freecycling, not yet.

The promised land…

After looking at stacks and stacks of meh-ish stuff we pulled over too look at what seemed to be an authentic lift-top school desk. And so it was:

Eyes to the front or you will be caned...

While I nattered about how amazing this was, Mr R-B unearthed the freecycling equivalent to the holy grail: a late 50’s /early 60s atomic style mid century couch in very good nick:

The names Couch, James Couch...but you can call me double-0 couch

The foam in the removable cushions has deteriorated but it still looks pretty darn hot:

Laaaaadies....I am waiting to be reclined on by you...

The owner of the house came out and told Mr R-B that she and her husband had about it 48 years ago as part of their honeymoon present and shipped it out from England.

It is a G Plan couch and all they have done to it is have it reupholstered.

She didn’t want to throw it out and wanted it to go to a good home, but sadly her husband had suffered a stroke and she and her sons were clearing out his shed, because he would not be coming back to the house but rather going to a nursing home.

Sadly, this beauty was one of the things to be cleared – it had been on a patio for a while (there is a small touch of light mould spots, but they are certainly cleanable).

With all the memories and meaning, she really couldn’t bear to part with it but at the same time she couldn’t keep it.

She was hoping for it to go to a good home where it would be loved…and it has. It turns out Mr and Mrs R-B didn’t want the couch (what the? but it’s !#$@#$%@#%@ awesome!) but I certainly did. So I have found a home for another four legged lovable stray.

As a segue, the school desk that caught my eye was given to her by her neighbours 40 years ago and her children did their homework on it. How cool is that?

She asked if I could send her a letter to let her know how G Plan is doing, obviously it’s unlikely she has internet or internet skillz, but once I have cleaned G Plan off and restored his cushions, I shall send Mrs G Plan a letter about his exploits – with G Plan Rated photos. On paper and all.

The stars aligned for me this weekend and the curbcycling fairy must have waved her wand over my head because weekend was a charmed freecycling weekend…on the way home from work on Friday I rescued some 50’s kitchen chairs:

At the starter gate, can you tell which runner has cheated by putting his legs over the starting line?

Admittedly I had been lavaciously eying those two off all week on my way to work…

But wait, there’s more. There were, of course, my Sunday finds, but I think I will leave them for another post… 😉

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…but just this once, mind.

I have said, on numerous occasions, to all and sundry (i.e.  DIY Dad, the Amazent Monsieur H, the Coffee Fairy and more),  when they ventured opinions on my preferred colour scheme, the shades of grey, the skirting board paint and more:

…whatever gave you the impression this household was a democracy? it’s my house and it’s my colour choice.

The fact that this household is a dictatorship and not a democracy notwithstanding, I will on this one occasion – that’s right 1, une, uno – allow you the opportunity to have a say in something I am doing.

What a build up! I feel I should put a kazillion disclaimers and a dictionary’s worth of legalese into this, but I will just get straight into it – remember these chairs?

Help cover us, we are nekkid

I want to restore my freecycling bonanza, however I am a little torn (but not at badly as the chairs are) with the options I could choose. They would all look good…but I have to decide.

That’s where you come in

My plan is to outline the options with examples of what is inspiring each choice and see what you think. Neat, huh?

Of course, although you have input (just this once, so don’t get used to it ;P), as I do up the chairs I will see more and more of what is possible so I will have the ultimate veto rights with my evil feline overlords voting however I do.


1) I could go a dark grey paint on the chairs and a retro pattern upholstery a la:

Option One

2) I could go a lighter grey and a retro patterned upholstery a la (this one’s for sale, btw, so if you like it you could buy it):

Option Two

3) I could also go a burlap/linen newsprint pattern on the chair:

Option Three

4) I could go a dark frame with a light textured linen/hemp mix and just mix it up with rad cushions:

Option Four: Darker grey chair, upholstered in this

5) Or a lighter coloured grey chair and a darker linen upholstery:

Option Five: Lighter grey chair, dark fabric

6) Or they could stay natural, only preferably with some upholstery, strapping and cushions added (Option Six)

7) Suggest another choice (Suggest your own option)

So here goes…

The poll expires midnight 31st May 2010, you can only vote once…go forth and (mostly) decide for me

Don’t say I never listen to you 😉

Oh and btw – cool cushions are out there, should you decide plain. I can either make them myself out of funky fabric like this:


Or this:

I really like this one...

Or buy them:

Noice cushion

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