The Magic of Restor-A-Finish

With the clouds clearing this afternoon I took advantage of the spring day to work on my ever increasing pile of restoration projects. Today's mission was to breathe life back into a mid-century china cabinet that I recently purchased from a couple on Craigslist. Not a simple task since David & I managed to ding it quite a bit trying to get it home. Lesson learned - remove all drawers before carrying heavy cabinets over wet grass.

After some light sanding I got my arsenal out to help me with the transformation.

I have used Howard's Restor-A-Finish before with pleasing results but this time was totally blown away by its magic. Doubting that it was ever polished or waxed since the day it came off the assembly line, my new china cabinet's wood was splintered and sad. After cleaning it well with Murphy's Oil Soap, I lathered on Restor-A-Finish (Walnut) with extra fine steel wool praying that I would not ruin the piece. What unfolded before my eyes was nothing short of a miracle. Finishing it off with a healthy dose of Howard's Feed-N-Wax the cabinet looks amazing.

Voila!!! My beautiful new china cabinet is no longer sad.

Now christened 'Howard', my new china cabinet won't be complete until the glass sliding cabinet doors are reinstalled. In the meantime, he looks pretty good to me.

One Person's Junk is Another Person's Treasure

I had one of those moments again where I was reminded why Alemany Flea Market was the best kept secret of San Francisco. Buried deep within a box full of junk, I discovered not one but two black & gold porcelain table lamps that were screaming my name. They weren't perfect but miraculously were not chipped (much) despite the layers of discarded objects piled on top of them. It was truly a proud moment. Originally the seller wanted a ridiculous amount of money but with a little persuasion we got him down to $20 for the pair. Gotta love junk dealers. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

But they desperately needed re-wiring. Thanks to the talents of our buddy Matt Osborne of Glass Key Photo (yes, he fixes lamps too) our adorable art deco lamps have a new home.

Renovation Time Capsule

At a recent estate sale in San Francisco, David picked up a mystery envelope that he hoped contained brochures with images from the 50s to further our knowledge of the time. To our surprise, this Eames era envelope was jammed pack with various pamphlets, magazine cut-outs and paint samples that had been forgotten long ago in some random drawer. Here is what was inside.

Notice the postage date? We really are going back in time.

All renovation projects start with a good coat of paint.

Never fear this DIY guide is for beginners.

I think this owner was interested in sprucing up their bathroom.

So many color choices. I pick the blue one.

There was also a random McCall's - December 1956 inside.

Back to the bathroom decorating project. A new shower door is a must.

Don't bother going to Bathroom Accessories Supply Co. since it is now someone's home.

A little hard to appreciate but the vanity is a cut out from a magazine.

Proof that it isn't just me who reads travel guides while on the toilet.

Now moving on to flooring.

The personal touch was such a great selling technique. (Yes, it is a real signature by a good old fashion ink pen.)

Oh, we were so innocent back then.

So that finishes our tour of home decorating 1956.

Too Cute To Bury Beneath Plants

Not long ago David and I spotted this adorable Eames era plant stand at Alameda Point Antique Faire being sold by one of our favorite dealers. Not in the market for another plant stand we decided that if it had not sold by the time we were done shopping then it would come home with us. Well, I am sure you already figured out the ending to this story.

I tried exploring the origin of this colorful multi-layered stand made of Formica but came up empty handed. There are plenty of images out there in cyberspace but nothing on the designer, manufacturer, etc. I did, however, discover one blog that offered some insight as to the origin of these stands. Our logical guess is that it originated in Europe, likely Germany, in the 1950s. Since I am dying to know more I will continue to research. Hmmm, seems a good enough excuse to me to plan a trip abroad.

But for now, our latest treasure remains a great conversation piece adorning our hallway.