Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Czechs Mix

I know that lately I've been doing a lot of things to the outsides of furniture, but this post is about just the opposite. It all started when Mom came to stay last October and we were trying to find something that guests can put their suitcases on for the guest room. We knew that it needed to fit in a little nook by the door, so we took our measurements and kept our eyes open.

We ended up at the Peddlers Mall, which is on New Circle here in Lexington.

Neither of us had ever been, but places that sell used, antique, or just odd furniture are really fun, so we gave it a try. What we didn't account for how just how huge this place was. It is massive. It's the TARDIS of secondhand. The front looks like an old storage facility, but the building has so many added on spaces off the back that it feels like you are walking for miles and miles by time you make it through it. Did I mention that it's two stories?

The photo is from an adorable blog called The Ringers where they talk you through their experience there. If you really want to get a sense for the place, it's a great read.

They really do sell everything there. Furniture, clothing, Justin Beiber beach towels (ugh), but there are also hidden treasures if you're willing to take your time and go through some of the more interesting booths. That's how we found a whole stack of old military trunks. These things were big. We're talking 47Lx22Wx15D. They were made of wood that had seen better days and hadn't been cleaned out, but each one only cost $20. We had found our solution!

It inspired images like this to run through our minds.

I figured I would give it a nice coat of a fun paint color and it would be good as new, so we loaded it up and dragged it into the house. First we put it where it would eventually end up so that we could see how it fit.

It was a little wide, but not by enough to be too much of an issue. This was followed by the next task: cleaning it out. There was a lot of old paper held in my rusty staples and some broken glass in there.

I pulled out all of the staples I could, hammered in the ones that I couldn't, then took out the paper and trashed it. Finally, I took the little vacuum and ran it through the entire inside so that I could get all the glass out without using my hands. One cool thing I found was a manifest for the items that were in it. We are thinking that the language is Czech, but we aren't completely sure. Maybe Russian? How cool is that?

We had picked out a fun fabric for the inside that we would use to line the bottom. This would allow Scott and I to store blankets and other cloth items in it without getting hung up on rough edges. Like many things, though, this project was put off while we finished the other plethora of things we had going on in the house. During that shuffle, we decided that we actually didn't want it in the guest room because we liked using it in the living room as blanket storage much better.

I had taken my mouse sander to it to get off the paint that was chipping, but in doing so, I found that I really liked the distressed look. Rather than painting it, I ended up just cleaning it up a bit and leaving it in it's 'original' state. Mom finished the interior liner and I was able to put it in, too.

She essentially made a box out of fabric that would sit inside of the trunk. It fit really well, so it was really easy to 'install'. I just used my staple gun and stapled along the edges at the top. I would have cared more about people seeing the staples, but the chevron pattern is busy enough to distract from them.

Ignoring how lumpy our blankets look, you can see just how much this thing holds. The best part is we can close it and not have to see all of our non-matching, lumpy blankets all the time. Yay for covering eye sores!

There is even enough space for us to store pillows we aren't currently using or that we use as extras for the room. The trunk is the perfect height, so they don't get smooshed.

I think the only thing I might want to do to it down the line is either clean up it's current hardware or add some new cleaner looking hardware and maybe stain the areas of exposed wood a darker color. I just think it'll make the weathered look appear more on purpose and finished. Short legs are also a possibility, but those will depend on how it does through some use. Otherwise, this project is done! It's nice to have things be simple every once in a while.

Happy Ash Wednesday everyone!

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