Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Raising the Bar

Raising the bar… or at least, trying to.  It’s been a little bit of a nutty week over here and I feel like I can’t quite seem to bounce back from last week.  Why am I so flustered? Well, my truck got broken into, laptop stolen and much more. As someone that lives out of her laptop between blogs, marketing, social media, editing pictures, etc. it’s been a little bit of a whirlwind with changing passwords, locking screens, and calling all sorts of agencies from banks to the IRS and everything in between.

With all the craziness, I’ve been trying to focus on the things that matter.  A laptop and window can be replaced. While the majority of my pictures and documents were online or backed up, some of the most recent work wasn’t. Therefore, I’ve just been focusing on creating new things to share. Some of the images that I can’t get back are the high resolution pictures of this new bar I refinished.  I think the iPhone pictures will work for now though.

This little bar cart was a curbside find by it’s current owner.  It was in need of some serious structural work, before receiving a light sand and a coat of paint. After the repairs were made, the first coat of paint was applied only to discover Home Depot mixed me the wrong color! Now, knowing that there is no return policy on paint, I decided to improvise and mix what paints I had in the shop instead.  I ended up with a cool charcoal grey coated with an ebony stain.  A much better fit rather than the vibrant navy that had been first applied.  The hardware was upgraded and she was ready to return home!

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custom, furniture

Home Decor & the New Year

Happy New Year! 

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and rang in the New Year surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones.  I, myself, had a very quiet holiday and spent it with friends and their family. It was filled with cooking, of course, and a little bit more lazy time than I typically allow myself.  2020 is here though and chomping at the bit so it’s back to “work”.  

Besides cooking up a storm and experimenting with new recipes, I’ve been getting a little more time in my shop these past few weeks. While the cooler weather doesn’t necessarily agree with my fingers, some of the pieces that I’ve been completing have got me, let’s say, starry-eyed. 

Request for a Galaxy Desk

One of my favorite things about doing custom work is the challenge. It gets my brain going in a different way. When this client approached me about a desk, I was over the moon. She set her parameters: purple and if you can make it galaxy-themed that would be great.  Admittedly, a galaxy themed desk wasn’t something I had done before but with a little inventiveness, I think this Facebook Marketplace find that was scuffed up, drab brown, and some minor structural damage is now sturdy, smooth, and a touch over the top.  A desk this glam needed a chair to match so I grabbed one from my overstock of chairs and threw some paint and velvet on it… BIG BANG! 

 

Midnight Blue Chair

As I previously mentioned, I have an overstock of chairs in the shop.  It’s one of those items that people gift to me to refinish and flip. This particular chair I decided to refinish and give back to the owner this holiday season. Knowing their favorite color was blue made it pretty easy.  These chairs are American-made and hard to come by. Oddly enough, it’s the second one to come through my shop.  While this one had some chew marks on the legs from a puppy, I chose to sand it down and keep the blemishes as I thought it added character and it’s something for the owner to chuckle at. After, I painted it a deep blue, applied a walnut stain to the exposed wood, and finished it with wax. 

If you’re in the Austin area and have a piece of furniture in need of some TLC, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help.

DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Spring Cleaning

With moving and sprucing up a new (older) home, I feel like I’ve actually been Spring Cleaning for months.  But now that Spring, however slowly, is on her way in, the real tidying up can begin.  In my last post, I mentioned the longing to be in my wood shop.  If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been lacking in the refinished furniture department quite a bit.  

My poor neglected shop had really become a storage unit while the dust settled on the home front.  And as soon as it settled, I went ahead and stirred it all up again, with the appropriate respirator, of course. 

This past weekend, I completely reorganized my shop space.  I mean, moved every piece of furniture, took out every paintbrush, went through every container of stain and paint.  I’m grateful for the pot of coffee faithfully by my side to help aid in the process. 

I said farewell to several pieces of furniture that were past salvaging, made a list of new items to join the shop, and have cataloged all the pieces I will be refinishing soon. 

I wanted to share with you what I have in store for these pieces!

Wood Chairs – Pair

These wooden chairs are in great condition.  They’ll be getting a light sanding, painted either red or more of a dark turquoise (still deciding) with a stained finish, and reupholstered with this Frida Kahlo fabric.  

Dresser

This dresser came from Germany in the 1960s.  It does have some water damage on the bottom and I will do what I can to salvage this part of it.  I’m thinking of painting with a dark grey and having these fabulous leather wrapped brass pulls from Anthropologie for the outer handles. 

Dresser

Coffee Table

Someone gifted me this coffee table a while back.  I’ve been so intimidated by the veneer, but I think I have found a solution.  Inspired by the painted benches at Fresa’s Restaurant on South First in Austin.

 

Chairs- Set of 6

I posted these chairs way back when.  They have beautiful yet simple carved designs in the back.  I wanted to stay true to the originals on these.  I’ve begun staining them a little darker than how they came to me.  I’m planning on refinishing the seats in a plush velvet, perhaps turquoise.

 

1916 Vanity 

This little beauty needs a lot of work.  Removing the original paint is a beast of an undertaking, and the mirror frames need a lot of work too.  I have every intent on keeping the original glass, despite its age and blemishes.  I’ve started painting it pink.  That’s not too much, right?

China Cabinet 

I’m not going to lie, I wish I had space for this piece myself.  I am planning on painting it a light grey with a walnut stain and keeping the legs with the original wood and, of course, getting glass in the door.

img_0351.jpg

If any pieces speak to you, let me know. I’d love to find a home for these gems and make more room for neglected pieces to come in for love and a spruce. 

Contact me at lauralee@madebylauralee.com

Before & After, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Chair SALE


Chair Sale. That’s right, I said SALE. I’ve never had to have a studio sale but my workspace is flooded with one off chairs. These babies have yet to be refinished. I will finish them to your liking. You can buy one or two or all six. (One chair, Chair 6, is already refinished.)
I’m desperate to make space for some bigger pieces that are needing to be refinished but I can’t do it with these lovelies taking up valuable space.
I will be selling these babies for $50 a piece.
Contact me ASAP to let me know what chair you’d like and how you’d like it. lauralee@madebylauralee.com

Before & After, furniture, Uncategorized

Ready, Set…. Desk!

What a month!  From mid-June to today, I have had the most amount of custom work I have ever had!  I love it.  Nothing makes me happier.  I hope the custom orders just keep on coming. So tell all your friends!  (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

That being said, I wanted to share with you a couple of the pieces of furniture that I have just wrapped up.  These pieces consisted of a desk and chair to match.

I was gifted this great little desk from someones garage and the chair was a curb side find.  I stripped them of their finish, sanded, sanded, and applied a white paint with my favorite walnut stain over it to give it that aged look.  It’s the perfect finish for the farmhouse that they will be calling home!

Not only are the desk and chair creating a fabulous new office space but the bookshelf from my previous post (Furniture for the Fight: May)  also made it’s way into the mix.  Check it out!

If you are in the Austin area and are interested in having a piece of furniture that you already own refinished, please feel free to message me at lauralee@madebylauralee.com

Before & After, furniture

Furniture for the Fight: May

Okay! I am, admittedly, a little behind on my blogging.  The hustle continues though: crafting, creating, custom orders, playing music, Kickstarter stuff, etc.  I have not given up on my Furniture for the Fight project!  I may have fallen a little behind, but this project is so important to me.  I had the month of May carved out in honor of Immigrant Asian American Month and a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.

A little back story…

I found this handmade bookshelf at the side of the road.  It had a lot of texture and personality.  It was solid, for sure.  I pulled over, put her in the back of the truck, and brought her straight to the studio.

After stripping off the drab brown paint, I got her a good sanding.  I applied a creamy white paint with my go to walnut stain.  The grooves in the wood held the stain nicely to accentuate the unique texture of the wood.  My favorite part of this piece is the vibrant Japanese paper applied to the back of the shelves. The red and the gold really give this simple bookshelf a lot of personality.

If interested, go ahead and contact me.  Again, a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.  Email me if you are interested (lauralee@madebylauralee.com)

furniture, Uncategorized

Furniture for the Fight: April

Furniture for the Fight! Yea!  With every month that passes I am more and more excited about this project.  The entire month of April in this little project has been carved out for Earth Day.  The environment and our planet is so precious.  It’s the only one we’ve got.  So that being said, I have the following transformation below dedicated to Earth Justice.

A little backstory….

I went to the giant garage sale held at the Palmer Event’s Center here in Austin.  It was hosted by a local church and was overwhelmingly large.  It took me thirty minutes alone just to go through the furniture section of the sale.  I spotted this beauty right away.  I flagged down there nearest attendant and settled up.  I felt like she had so much personality that was just being masked by the plain wood finish.  She got loaded up in my truck and got taken to the studio.

I gave her a light sanding and applied a moss green milk paint, distressed the paint, and applied a clear wax finish. My favorite part was replacing the old hardware with the beautiful pink knobs from Anthropologie.

Seriously, I want to keep this piece, which is how I feel more and more as I keep refinishing pieces. Please, my 650 sp. ft. apartment is starting to look more and more like a furniture and home decor store!  Again, a percentage of the proceeds will go to Earth Justice!  Email me if you are interested (lauralee@madebylauralee.com)

Before & After, furniture, Uncategorized

A Chair that Rocks: David Bowie Inspired

I’m a few days overdue for my weekly post, but I promise I will make it up to you with the best piece of furniture I’ve refinished yet.

The David Bowie Inspired Rocking ChairFullSizeRender

I had acquired this little rocking chair probably 6 months ago.  I was planning on refinishing it in such a way that I would keep it.  Right around the time I was moving into my studio, David Bowie had tragically passed away. I thought that maybe this rocking chair had more purpose than just a plain rocking chair in my apartment. I put my feelers (aka a Facebook post on my personal page) to see who would be interested in a David Bowie inspired rocking chair… much to my surprise, there was plenty of interest.

This rocking chair went through such a transformation!  From removing the upholstery that had stain all over the edges to a lot of the structural repairs (a lot of the joints were loose), to the actual painting and learning how to reupholster a chair…. It is now a Chair that Rocks!

 

DIY, furniture, Story, Uncategorized

One, Six, The Year of Legit

IMG_3459Yes, this year, 2016, is going to be my year of becoming just a little bit more legit. I really don’t care that it sounds corny.  I’m making things happen.

I have high hopes for the next twelve months.  Some of these dreams I’m hesitant to share, mainly because I’m afraid that someone will try and talk me out of them or, if they don’t happen by December 31st at midnight, that I will feel like a complete and utter failure.

So… Let’s talk about what has happened since the ringing in of the New Year.

  1. I have moved my work into an artist studio so that I have a place to start refinishing furniture.
  2. I have met with a graphic designer who is going to help me with a logo, branding, and advertisements.
  3. I have received an overwhelming amount of support, interest, new clients, and donated or inexpensive, high quality furniture to start building an inventory.
  4. I have sent in an application to the biggest craft fair in my craft fair attending history for April 2-3 in San Antonio.
  5. I am in the works of landing my first whole sale account for my handmade wares.

12495224_10208666719885058_7315349647363472479_nNot bad for only being 18 days into the New Year, right? I’m so excited.  So excited.  I’m proud of what I am doing too.  I have a lot to learn… like bookkeeping, accounting, writing a business plan. All that fun stuff… It’s a little overwhelming too, but in a healthy way.  It’s comforting knowing I’m getting closer to something I really, really want. It’s going to be an adventure and I hope you’ll enjoy my updates: good, bad, and the crafty.

 

 

12 Day of Crafting, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Blue Christmas, Blue Dresser

IMG_2753Ok, Ok, it’s no secret I’m completely head over heels, and googly eyed over refinishing furniture.  Like most projects they need a home.  A stack of embroidered towels is one thing, but a collection of furniture seems to build up a lot quicker in a one bedroom apartment.

I reached out to my friends to see if anyone was interested in having me refinish a piece for them.   I cast my line and I waited, waited, and finally got a bite, or in this case, a dresser.  I couldn’t be more thrilled!

A couple days later, Melissa dropped off this unfinished pinewood dresser.  She gave me her guidelines of what she was looking for and I ran, ran, ran with it.  I think I was just so excited to finally be able to work with an item that I could put new hardware on! I mean, let’s be real, who hasn’t stood in the home goods section of Anthropologie and ogled the various knobs and handles? I mean, I even have my best friend saved in my phone as “Lindsey Door Knobs” because of our first bonding moment of Anthropologies gorgeous door knobs.

I digress… back to the dresser.  It was fun to work with a completely blank slate. After priming it, I painted this it bright blue with a top a little bit more neutral to be able to tie it into it’s surroundings. The blue was really blue, so I put a nice coat of walnut stain over it to mute the blue and give it some texture.  I lined the drawers with the teal and white patterned paper and screwed in the glass knobs for the final touches.  This piece is so far my favorite that I’ve done!

If you need a piece of furniture refinished, contact me today! lauraleeeimhoff@gmail.com

One more thing, while I have your attention: I will be in another craft fair this coming Saturday at OPA Coffee & Wine from Noon to 4 PM.  Details here.