mid-century modern

1970s Counter Stools

1970s counter stools with white leather cushions

I am super excited to have these vintage stools at my kitchen counter. A friend gave me a pair of old 1970s stools during an ambitious house clean-out. I’m normally not a ’70s person, veering toward the more minimalist aesthetic of the 1960s. But I really like the design of these stools; they are comfortable while not too big, and fit perfectly in a spot that had previously held only one seat (which my kids jockey for every day).

Happily, I found refinishing these counter stools easier to accomplish than the vintage outdoor chair. I dropped off the seats and back rests at the upholsterer to have them recovered with white leather (dangerous, but great looking). The rest I did myself.

1970s stools before and after

First, I used a wire brush to remove any flakes and debris from the metal. I then used a wire bristle attachment on my power drill to remove more of the old paint. I finished sanding by hand using a coarse grit sandpaper to clean off any stubborn rust and paint, making sure to remove all of the old paint from the thin metal rods that attach to the back rests.

The feet on these stools were really beat up when I got them. The dull metal feet looked very sad, with specks of old paint and dirt crusted on them. I used a fine sandpaper to remove the paint and make the feet smooth and shiny.

I wiped the chairs with a damp rag to clean off the dust and allowed them to dry. Next, I covered the feet with painting tape and applied a coat of primer to the chairs. I then painted the stools with two coats of flat black and allowed to dry overnight.

Lastly, I reattached the cushions and back rests (which look sweet while they’re still white). I love my “new” stools!

crush(ing) my gaming addiction

It’s a big joke these days that we are all glued to our phones. But it’s sad commentary on the human condition that we simply accept that people no longer make eye contact with the barista when ordering Caramel Macchiatos at Starbucks. (I wonder if the diminishing of eye contact will have a real, societal effect. Someone should do a long-term {READ MORE}

vintage metal outdoor chair redux

Remember this chair? You know, the one I bought with grand ideas of refurbishing it myself? Yeah, that chair. After scraping the flaky paint and rust spots off as best I could with a wire brush, I wondered if this was a job I could accomplish myself. There was a lot of rust still on the chair, and {READ MORE}

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’tis the season. no, not that season. outdoor entertaining season! with summer in full swing, i am thinking about backyard barbecues, the pulsing glow of fireflies, and sharing stories and laughter with friends. i love to throw a party on the 4th of july. summer food is easy—watermelon, grilled meats and veggies, and flag cake are {READ MORE}

fab find: 1950s metal chair

welcome to the first installment of “fab finds,” a segment that features an interesting, cool or downright weird item that i came across and couldn’t pass up. this debut post features—what else?—a chair! a 1950s vintage metal wrap-around chair. this one is a bit beat up, but i’ve been seeking one of these mid-century lawn {READ MORE}

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pig, this is jefferson. jefferson sofa. in sunny yellow. a thing to behold. i don’t want to say “things” make me happy, but this sofa from thrive home furnishings does. the yellow brightened up the room so much. and this sofa is deep—perfect for an afternoon read (or nap). check out the sweet bird throw {READ MORE}

overstuffed no more

i ordered a new sofa. it’s going to look like this: shocking, right? i am proud of myself for taking a risk and buying a yellow sofa. also the single cushion isn’t very forgiving when it comes to stains, but i’m crossing my fingers. my man and i made basically no money last year so {READ MORE}

eames chair found on sidewalk

newsworthy or not, it felt like serendipity. i was driving in my neighborhood when i spotted this lovely discarded eames chair put out with broken furniture to be collected as trash. i quickly loaded it into my car and drove away before a remorseful owner could stop me and reclaim the treasure. after i got {READ MORE}

i heart vintage pyrex

when i think of vintage kitchenware, the multi-color bowl set by pyrex comes to mind. these multi-colored bowls are the first consumer product to be made from opal pyrex, and were produced from 1945 until 1968. the colors are vibrant even now. i have seen sets ranging from $40 to $65, and i often see {READ MORE}

transforming a space

i have a thing about chairs. i really like them. i’m starting to have more chairs than i have space for in my house. recently, i found a pair of original bertoia side chairs at open air modern in brooklyn that i treasure. designed in 1952 by harry bertoia and manufactured by knoll, these wire {READ MORE}