UpCycle that Vintage Bar Cart

This post is part of a Blog Hop featuring other super fun posts on flipping furniture by ECM bloggers. Be sure to check out all the links after reading this post and follow the hashtag #ECMFleaMarketFlip

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I absolutely adore being able to rescue a dated piece of furniture by giving it new life with some simple upcycling tricks. Sometimes pieces need a bit of restoration and sometimes they only need a fresh coat of paint.

When I found this tired old bar cart at the Halifax St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, Hand in Hand, I was thrilled to snatch it up for only $10.

Now, I love faux bois as much as the next gal but the cheap MDF shelves didn’t exactly scream chic. For that matter, the tarnished brass frame was also crying out for help.

At first I wanted to remove the casters and shelves to paint just the frame. Unfortunately, those shelves were there to stay. Seriously! Try as I might I just could NOT pry them from the frame.

So, onto plan B.

I painted the shelves white and decided to just percolate some alternatives while I went on to spray the frame with Rustoleum Paint & Primer in Copper Rose.

It took three coats in the humidity but eventually that lovely sheen had covered up the sins of this bar cart’s past.

Eventually, I decided to pull

out the big guns: that’s right,¬†d√©coupage. I started by covering the shelves in the same Copper Rose as the rest of the frame. Then, I found these lovely thick scrap booking pages that complimented the colour perfectly.

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This is the best my iPhone could capture the colour but it really does have a lovely glimmer to it.

Enter Mod Podge.

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Mod Podge is an easy medium to work with, even for beginners. If you look closely at the above picture, you’ll see the hint of white starting to fade around the sealed paper. Fortunately, it dries clear so after a few coats, the paper was secure and there was nary a trace of Mod Podge left. The best part is that it also lends a touch of water resistance to increase durability of the over all piece.

By morning, everything was dry and ready for business. I decided to nix the casters full stop since I’ll be using the cart in my home office and not for serving drinks (or hey, maybe I’ll do both!).

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Happy upcycling!

Design

Click the blue frog below to view the other links in the #ECMFleaMarketFlip

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Designing a Home Office

 

Although the nature of my profession has always allowed for remote work, I’ve never put the effort into a dedicated home workspace. In the past, whenever I’ve worked from home, I’ve just set up in the dining room – big table, natural light, why not?

Now that I’m working on unpacking and getting set up in our Baltimore row house, I’m going to make the second bedroom an official home office (except I’m going to call it “the library” because I’m a dork). I need it to be conducive to full-time working from home but also still have the capacity for hosting our overnight visitors.

The other challenge is that this home is a rental so I’m not going to be making any long-term investments or permanent changes. Though I wish I could change the wall colour (it’s a hideous pinky beige), the room is otherwise a blank slate.

First and foremost, I need a desk. I’m a fan of rustic, vintage or used when possible, and I try to avoid MDF, veneer, and particle board whenever possible. The real trick is balancing budget with longevity. I think it’s important to be mindful of environmental impact by buying second hand, sustainable, or pieces that won’t need replacing after a short time.

These are a few of the styles that I’m drawn to. (These are NOT affiliate links, just some inspiration that I like.)

 

So, I’m on the hunt! Which of these get your vote?

Do you have any suggestions as to how I should go about choosing?

Leave a link to your favourite recommended desk in the comments below.

Design

How to Host a Vintage Tea Party…in a Corporate Conference Room?!

One of my office’s amazing former intern-turned-staff members graduated from her Master’s this spring. We knew we HAD to do something special to make the occasion for her, but we also had to balance a particularly busy and high-stress work period. We regularly go out for lunch as an office but my co-workers and I wanted to try something more fun than the usual.

You know I’m always down with something vintage-inspired and our current intern is also keen to embrace the quirky and historical so we were in quick agreement to plan a vintage tea-party right here in the office.

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Fortunately, my collection of vintage goodies is plentiful so I was able to supply a few pieces that I knew would be easy to bring in to work.

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Can you spot the vintage goodness? There’s milkglass, FireKing, and a gorgeous Yugoslavian enamelware teapot – not to mention the teacups!

And yeah, I know it’s not vintage, but I just adore my Cath Kidston tablecloth.

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For simplicity’s sake we used some cute little paper plates and napkins from the dollar store but made sure the colours coordinated with the vintage teacups and whatnot.

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The teacups were filled with puffs of cotton candy to add to the whimsy of the tea party.

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We served candy, raspberries, and some delicious President’s Choice gluten free strawberry cake.

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We went “local” with the tea and served two choices from the World Tea House and the ever-charming Sense and SensibiliTEA.

Plus, doilies. Obvi.

If we can transform a boring old conference room into a whimsical, sweet vintage tea-party, anyone can! What’s your favourite vintage accessory?

~@halitrax