Monday, July 11, 2011

{Guest Post} Don't Be Scared! (Amanda @ Love & Renovations)

Howdy – I’m Amanda from Love & Renovations! I’m a huge fan of Mrs. Fix-It’s blog, so when she asked me to guest post I was beyond thrilled and jumped at the opportunity. We blog about a lot of the same things, so I thought that her readers (hi, y’all!) might enjoy what I have to say.

On my blog, I do a lot of renovations (hence the name of the blog), and I often have people tell me that I’m brave, or crazy (or both) for taking on all of the things I do. I’m a big fan of trolling Craigslist for pieces that are in need of some love and fixing them up, and I know a lot of people who are way too intimidated to every try anything like that. In fact, I used to be terrified of furniture that wasn’t in perfect condition, but now I balk at buying anything that doesn’t need at least a little bit of work. So, I thought that for my post today I’d talk a little bit about how I get inspired to do these pieces and hopefully make it seem a little bit less scary for anyone who wants to try to renovate some furniture but hasn’t worked up the courage yet.

My number one piece of advice is this: jump right in. If you see something and you have a vision for what you’d like to do with it, just go for it. Why the hell not?!

When my husband, Corey, and I first got addicted to renovating furniture, it was all because of our first project that we leapt into completely blindly. We found this chair that was in need of some serious help, and we had a vision for it.

Neither of us knew the first thing about upholstery, and we had never done any sort of furniture renovations whatsoever. But we watched a few videos on YouTube, headed out to JoAnn’s for some supplies, and got started.

Was it terrifying? Yes. Is the chair perfect? Absolutely not – in fact, we plan to re-upholster it again sometime in the near future because there are some mistakes on it that bother both of us. But regardless of the mistakes that we made, we are so incredibly proud of this chair, and it has a special place in my heart as the chair that started my love of renovations.

 My next piece of advice when it comes to renovating furniture, is to do your research. Neither of us has any sort of experience in any of the projects that we’ve tackled so far, but with the help of our BFF, Google, we’ve been able to figure a lot of things out.

Like, for example, how to stain a coffee table.



Or, how to turn a gross old fan from this:

to this:

Google can teach you a lot, and as long as you do your research, you should be able to tackle just about anything you want!
My last piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to get creative! This is the most important thing to remember (and possibly the hardest one to actually do). I know that I sometimes get caught up in if my project will look good, or if it will be “blog-worthy” (what does that even mean, anyways?) but then I remember that it’s going in MY house, and it only has to make ME happy.
So, if I feel like taking a $15 dollar “shabby-chic” (code for “ugly”) thrift store table and painting it bright turquoise, then I go right ahead and do it.

Of course, creativity doesn’t just mean slapping some crazy color on a piece of furniture. It can also mean using a piece of furniture for something other than what it was originally intended for. Like our dresser-turned-media console.

That’s creativity at it’s finest, no?

A few months ago, if you would have told me that I would have taken on all of these crazy projects, I would have laughed at you. I knew nothing about any of this stuff. But now? I feel like I could handle anything you want to throw my way, and I’m always excited about the chance to try new things.
And all it took was one ugly little chair that we decided to blindly stumble our way through reupholstering.
So, what about you? Do you like to turn ugly/vintage furniture into something custom-made for you, or are you scared like I used to be?


  1. It's so true! I was the same way before and now it's so fun for me.

  2. You're so right. You just have to try it. And if you fail...try again! The Internet makes it way easy to figure out how to do things, usually in manageable steps! I love the projects you've shown here!