Even hotter and still dry – and my manic decorating period

We have not had more than 1″ of rain at a time since last winter that I can remember. Temps have been 102-106 the past ten days or so. It’s brutal and I’m really worried about the horses. They seem OK now, but excessive hot weather can stress them and cause them to stop sweating, or colic, or even worse, founder. I have been riding very little – very unusual for me. Partially because I can barely make myself go outside before 7 p.m. and then all I want to seem to do is putter around. Also because I am in the midst of bathrooom reconstruction, and a also started a ‘manic redecorating’ phase. We’ve lived at our house for 9 years now and I haven’t done much to it in the past five years. Suddenly, I want to redo everything! Yesterday!

I love quality furniture. I also have very traditional tastes and prefer mahogany, finely finished furniture. But, given my very expensive horse hobby there is no way I can afford that kind of furniture. So, I have discovered new and wonderful places to find quality USED furniture and decorative items on the cheap. In fact, in a recent article, Money magazine had a list of items you should never buy new – and furniture, jewelry and vehicles topped the list.

In the past two months, I have purchased the following furniture at resale shops, Craigslist and ebay:

  • A brand new custom-upholstered sofa for the living room for $229
  • A small 1940s china cabinet for the soon-to-be-remodeled guest bath, which will serve as a linen closet, for $240. It will be painted white.
  • A small mahogany Baker end table for the den for $50. A new Baker table sells for around $1500!
  • A Baker vintage mahogany TV cabinet, which looks like a chest of drawers. I put it in the bedroom to put my ancient (by today’s standards!) television on – and put the DVD player in the space made for the television
  • A round mahogany end table for the living room for $60.
  • Two huge classic customed framed hunting prints for $50 each
  •  A funky French provincial looking buffet – which I will paint white – which will go in our guest bedroom (that doubles as my sewing/craft room) to hold my craft/sewing stuff, for $129.

And, my best finds:

  • A set of six 1940s Rockford Furniture mahogany Chippendale chairs in lovely condition (just need new seats) for $450
  • A Federal style 1940s mahogany china cabinet in very good condition for $225. Both of these items are being shipped from Michigan for about $500 for everything. I looked everywhere in town for Chippendale chairs and the china cabinet. Anything Chippendale started at around $300 per chair. And I could not find a china cabinet I liked for any price – the ones I did not like started at $500 and they were not in great shape.
  • A Drexel Chinese laquered china/curio cabinet for $500 that looked like it had been sitting on the furniture showroom floor the past 30 years.
  • A super heavy wing chair with mahogany trim on the arms and heavy carved apron front for $60. I could use it without reupholstering it, but probably will have it redone to go with my living room better. Labor for reupholstering will be $200 and fabric probably $100 but I could not even buy a chair of this quality today.

At this point I think every room in my house is in some sort of disarray. The spare bedroom is at least painted, but I have not started on making the dust ruffle/curtains/decorative pillows. And there’s not one thing hanging on the wall yet And the funky sideboard needs to be painted, but it is TOO HOT to paint. It just does not do well since the paint dries too fast and the brush marks don’t evenhave time to settle. Spray painting isn’t much better.

I guess my office, the living room and the kitchen are relatively done at this point. I even started taking the wallpaper down from our master bath in preparation for my next huge project – after the first of the year! I really have to make myself STOP starting new projects until ALL of the current ones are DONE!

I think once the temperatures get more reasonable (surely that will be within another month – surely!) and I can ride at will, my enthusiasm for decorating projects will wane!

But right now I am trying to figure out how to arrange living room furniture and am switching out all the light fixtures in there! Mike put one ceiling fan in last week and as soon as I can find fixtures I like, the rest of them will be replaced as well! Mike really hates it when I get in this manic periods! 😉 It means more work for him! LOL!




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