Category Archives: craigslisting

Phyllis Morris Faux Bamboo Chairs

Well guys, I seem to have an addiction to craigslist. I’ve denied it long enough, but now I’m just going to admit it. But what can a girl do when you find stuff as good as this?


These are Phyllis Morris faux bamboo Chinese Chippendale chairs that were found in what used to be the Spence Manor Hotel downtown on Music Row. They were neglected, piled in a corner and taking up space. The man who sold them to me was Bobby John Henry, who used to manage the hotel many years ago and had since become a bread baker operating out of the old hotel kitchen. Bobby was kind enough to tell me that the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had sat in these chairs over the years. I love having a great story to go along with my finds.

Now if you know a little about faux bamboo, you know that it’s typically quite expensive and it never goes out of style. Ever. Open up almost any shelter magazine and I’ll bet money you find a Chinese Chippendale chair in its pages. And if you look on 1st Dibs, you’ll find this:

1stdibschair-white 1st Dibs – Set of six chairs – $7,250

Yep, you read that right. Over seven thousand dollars! While I only have three of them, I’m still pretty happy. They are made of aluminum and are not in the best of shape so I’ve sent them out to be sandblasted and powder coated with a bright new finish. I’m painting two of them a fresh spring green like this:

spring-green-chair Via 1st Dibs

And the other I’m painting a Tiffany Blue color (sorry, no photo for that one). The green chairs will flank my buffet in the dining room and will be used as extra seating when we have more than six around the table. The blue chair will be my new office chair. I’m so excited!

I have a couple different fabrics in mind for the seats, one of which is a watercolor print by Home Accents called Katmandu Multi.

katmandu-multi It’s bright and bold, but there wouldn’t be much of it in the room so I think it would be a perfect fabric for the green chairs. For the blue chair I’m considering this one:

charcoal dots - domesticate Charcoal Dots – Domesticate

Yes, I’m crazy for spots now. I love the fuzziness of these and since the color is neutral I can use the chair almost anywhere in the house.

The powder coating will take approximately two weeks and in the meantime I’m going to have the seats professionally upholstered so they’ll have a self-welt (piping around the edge) and will maintain their box shape. Only the best for these little beauties!

Lookout for another post in a couple weeks when these chip chairs make their debut!

Buh-bye Stripes!

About a month or so ago I was hard at work striping the foyer. While it was good in theory, when it came right down to it I just couldn’t finish it. The color was all wrong for the rest of the house and it didn’t have the vibe I was going for. I got no further than this:

foyer-almost-done I know I said I was going to finish it but I COULD NOT bring myself to do it. I knew something was wrong so I put a halt to the project and lived with it like this for about a month (yes, with the blue tape, too!). For whatever reason the stripes were a hit on Halloween as all the little trick-or-treaters and their mommies gazed into the foyer in amazement and said “I love your walls!” The realtor in the model home told me that no one else in the neighborhood decorates with vibrant color, let alone graphic stripes, so I guess it was somewhat of a spectacle for them.

Well if that was a spectacle, get a load of this!
foyer-from-hall Bet ya didn’t see that coming! I’ve seen tons of chic rooms dressed with Thibaut Tanzania wallpaper, but at $115+ per single roll, those spots are just a little too rich for my blood. I decided to tackle it DIY style, similar to what Kristin did with her curtains, but with a lot more crying and fist pounding. Here’s how it went down…

I knew I wanted to do spots of some sort but most pre-made stencils had more rounded, dalmatian spots. I really like the random and somewhat jagged look of the Tanzania spots, so I drew out some spots in Adobe Illustrator and made my own template using Danika’s repeating pattern tutorial.

I went to my local sign shop and they recommended a thin vinyl product that already had a low-tack adhesive backing. Awesome, I thought. Now I won’t need to buy spray adhesive. The stencil was cut on their big fancy vinyl cutter.

cutting-stencil And I came home with a shiny new stencil!

finished-stencil The first application to the wall was a breeze. I carefully lifted the stencil, placed it on the wall and smoothed that sucker out. The vinyl was thin so I figured rolling on paint with a foam roller would be best. This was too easy, I thought to myself. It was all going so well…


Until I lifted the stencil from this second application and it stuck to itself. AAARRRGGGHH! You know what happens when low-tack meets low-tack? It becomes high-freakin-tack! As I tried to pry the stencil from itself it started to tear. (Cue the crying and fist pounding)

I have no photos of this part as I was too consumed with trying to get it back to a usable state. I had to walk away for a while and let my very patient husband work on it. When he was tired of trying to save it I went back to it and managed to get it all flattened out again after about an hour. It was torn to bits in some areas so I Scotch taped that shit back together. I mean, what the heck, it’s spots, right?

I got back to work and managed to get two more sections painted when disaster struck again. There was a lot of static and a breeze caught it and…I was DONE. There was no way the stencil would be salvageable. I spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out how to get this wall done. It was Sunday, so having another stencil cut that night was not an option. It was also not an option that I was going to spend good money to have another one cut only to have it stick to itself again.

Later that night I had the bright idea to have another stencil cut the next morning, but this time spray some talcum powder on the back to reduce the tackiness. And wouldn’t you know, it worked like a charm. Whew!

foyer-from-front-door I FINALLY got to hang my Chinese Chippendale pagoda mirror that I scored on craigslist months ago. We hung it on the wall and I sighed a huge sigh of relief. And the Chippendale console table is one that was left over from our estate sale this summer. It got a little makeover with my friend Molly’s spray gun in Sherwin Williams Eros Pink. The little rug is a handmade Persian Kerman that I picked up at a yard sale and for now it will stay in the entry, but will eventually be replaced with a long runner. I’m still working on that. For the most part (at least for right now), this foyer is finished.



As I type the words “this foyer is finished” I can’t help but ask, should I stencil all the walls in the foyer? Would it be way too much? Or maybe just paint the other walls in the darker gray color of the spots? I’m on the fence about it. I think I’ll live with this for a while and take my time contemplating my next move. That seems to work best for me. :)

My latest Craigslist find

Well guys, good ole craigslist has come through for me again. I’ve been on the hunt for a set of barstools for my kitchen island, and after sifting through pages upon pages of nasty, trashy, old-worldy-looking barstools I finally found these:

barstools Shut. Up. They are bold, beautiful 80s brass my friends. I couldn’t help myself. When I got to the seller’s house she informed me that she also had two sets of pristine condition backs and seats in the original upholstery, which she kindly threw in the deal for free.

seat-cushions I’m normally not crazy about vintage upholstery, but something about this tone-on-tone swoosh pattern reminds me so much of my childhood, I just love it. And they’re perfect – not a speck of a stain or a stitch out of place on these babies.

Not your taste? That’s okay. I’ll bask in the glow of these brass beauties any day. You might also notice the painting hanging out behind the barstools in the top photo. I’ll share more about it at a later date, but for now I’ll say that it was painted by a very dear friend of mine and I will treasure it always. You just can’t beat personal art for your home.

While we’re on the topic of hunting craigslist, I must admit that it’s also a source of great amusement for me. Ever seen a listing for “rod iron” barstools? Yep. Can’t beat some good rod iron to spruce up the house. So what’s your latest craigslist find? Got any nuggets of good spelling or grammatical errors to share?