Category: Furniture Before and After

Chair-itable Donations

This Way Home International Furnishings and Design Association IFDA Take A Seat I'm In The Book Chair-ity Telephone Bench Black White Upholstery Gossip Bench

“I’m in the Book” by This Way Home. Photo by Elaine Frederick. 

Every year, the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) hosts a charity auction featuring upcycled, creatively reimagined chairs from designers and artists around the world. The event is officially called Take A Seat, but we have affectionately dubbed it “the chair-ity.” 

This year’s entries from the New England IFDA chapter benefit the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development, whose mission is to “promote economic opportunity and build strong communities by developing safe, affordable, and supportive housing for individuals and families.” It’s a worthy cause and a great excuse to get creative.

I found my chair while trolling craigslist (what else!). It’s actually a vintage telephone bench, also known as a gossip bench. Back in the day, you would set your rotary landline on the built-in table and sit on the bench for a leisurely phone chat. You could even store your phonebook on the table’s lower shelf. Pretty handy piece of furniture, huh? 

This Way Home International Furnishings and Design Association IFDA Take A Seat I'm In The Book Chair-ity Telephone Bench Black White Upholstery Gossip Bench Before After Furniture Makeover This Way Home International Furnishings and Design Association IFDA Take A Seat I'm In The Book Chair-ity Telephone Bench Black White Upholstery Gossip Bench Before After Furniture Makeover

I wanted to give the bench a modern redesign, while still paying tribute to its original function. I found a custom fabric printed from vintage phonebook pages, and I knew it would be the perfect solution.

I liked the original two-toned upholstery because it helped accentuate the bench’s unusual silhouette. So I decided to follow suit and chose a subtly textured black vinyl for the interior of the bench. And lastly, to tie it all together, I selected a black and off-white gingham for the built-in shelves.

This Way Home International Furnishings and Design Association IFDA Take A Seat I'm In The Book Chair-ity Telephone Bench Black White Upholstery Gossip Bench Before After Furniture Makeover Phone Book Fabric Phonebook

This Way Home International Furnishings and Design Association IFDA Take A Seat I'm In The Book Chair-ity Telephone Bench Black White Upholstery Gossip Bench Before After Furniture Makeover

The IFDA Take A Seat Gala and Auction will be held on June 1, 6:30-9:30 pm, at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. Check out Boston Magazine to read more about the chair-ity and to see the rest of the 2016 entries!

"I'm in the Book" by This Way Home. Photo by Elaine Frederick.  Every year, the International Furnishings and Design Ass...

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A Mini Makeover

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One of my clients needed a piece that could serve double duty as a bedside table and a vanity in her small bedroom. When I spotted this compact table at Brimfield, I knew it was the perfect shape and size for her needs. It has a drawer for storing makeup and other supplies, and there is a clear opening at the bottom so it will be a comfortable place to sit.

I liked the table’s original mint-colored paint and sweet little decoupage accent, but it was in rough shape and not the right look for my client’s room. So I gave the piece a simple makeover. I sanded down the original finish, applied a coat of primer, two coats of Benjamin Moore Mayonnaise, and two coats of topcoat.

If you’re using a light paint color like off-white, it’s best to use a polycrylic topcoat instead of polyurethane, which turns yellow over time. I chose a high gloss polycrylic because it’ll be easier to wipe down when makeup and beauty products spill on the surface.

The table’s original knobs were nondescript and rusted, so we chose cool mixed material brass and leather knobs from Anthropologie.

The rest of this bedroom is nearly complete, so check back in to see updates!

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One of my clients needed a piece that could serve double duty as a bedside table and a vanity in her small bedroom. When...

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