1.28.2010

My Goodwill Antique Settee Drama Revealed

Remember this post about the antique settee I found at Goodwill? Remember how excited I was? Remember all the pictures I showed you and advice I asked you?

Here it is in the store where I found it. A stranger put her two kids on it to save it while I paid - she was that excited for me!



Here it is posing in my driveway; neighbors came from near and far to behold her beauty. (Okay, it was more like neighbors stopped by on their way to the bus stop to ask what in the world I was up to this time.)



Well, this dang thing has been a thorn in my side since July and I finally have something to show you! But, let me share the whole sad story first.

First, I tried to strip off all the fabric and padding (which stunk like musty old lady house). BUT in order to do that I had to disassemble it...the whole damn thing...



It had all kinds of crazy screws and a million holes under the upholstery that let me know it had been recovered many, many times before.

The wood was almost black and was SUPER heavy. After some discussion with my mom, we determined it appeared to be handmade and must be made from walnut.



I continued to remove all the pieces since it seemed to have been upholstered with the pieces apart first, and then assembled. I'm not going to lie, there was lots of sweating and swearing. The Big Guy threatened to burn the thing several times and I defended her countless times.

It sat in the driveway for awhile, then in my garage, then in my basement for months. I'd work on it some then get frustrated and forget about it for awhile.

Finally, I sanded down all the woodwork and repainted it with everyone's favorite "Heirloom White".



I pleaded for help with fabric colors and Kimba helped me choose something from Fabric.com. Love that place!

I measured and cut and cried and stapled and recut and screamed and gave up about 25 times.

I finally felt like I was getting someplace and realized I couldn't remember how to reassemble it! Try as I might, I couldn't get the darn back reattached! All was lost, I supposed. $50 worth of fabric down the drain...

It sat in my basement for another 3 months...

Finally, last week, it occurred to me that I might have to just open my eyes to different possibilities. How could I work around this problem? It, literally, came to me in a dream...

Behold my Antique Settee Bench (with no back)!






Here I am with messy bed head trying her out for the first time in the morning sunlight...



Sigh...

DIY Day @ ASPTL

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68 comments :

  1. drama indeed! but it is beautiful... and what a great space to create, right under the window! i'm amazed at your patience with re-doing it... i'm afraid i would have burned it along with your husband!! but it is an inspiration, to be sure...

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  2. Good gosh-a-mosie! I would have liked to be a fly on the wall watching you take that sucker apart. But then again, this fly would have wanted to get in there and take it apart with you. It WAS beautiful and now is even MORE beautiful! You've brought it up to date by necessity and I love it. Bravo (clapping with hands held high)

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  3. that looks awesome!! i have a chair in the garage that i've been too chicken to reupolster!! now i'm putting off until the spring(its too cold to work in the garage!!)

    i'm seriously inpressed!

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  4. I am impressed!! That setee is BEAUTIFUL! There is no way I could take on something like that. I love it!!

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  5. Wow, I hope she's super comfy and totally worth all the effort! She looks great and now you have a fun couch back for another project :).

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  6. So let me ask you....would you do it all again, if you knew the trouble it would bring?????? Well done, by the way ;-)

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  7. I like it better without the back! You're amazing!

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  8. That is amazing! I am so jealous! Well done.

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  9. I am absoultely amazed at your will power to keep going!! I have this need to get things done quickly or I will never do them - so months later you have produced a super piece of furniture - well done indeed!!

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  10. That seemed like such a pain in the butt - BUT - wow!! Wasn't it worth it afterall?!? It is truly fabulous. And you pretty much rawk for making it work!

    =-D

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  11. Wow, you are a brave woman! I think I would have given up too. I love how you "fixed" it! I think it's wonderful.

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  12. It is beautiful though!! And everytime you look at it for the rest of your life, you can tell this hilarious story!!

    I didn't go through what you have, but judging by the beauty of the finished piece, I would say it was worth it!

    Enjoy!

    Lou Cinda

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  13. Oh, I love her! Definitely worth all the cussin' and fussin' for sure! : )

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  14. Great Job! It fits the window perfectly without the back!

    I have 2 super old chairs sitting in my garage....they were my great grandpas and my dad was going to toss them when they cleaned out the basement a couple of weeks ago! I'm heading out today to pick up a can of heirloom white (2 chairs and a chalkboard frame are just staring me down!!!).

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  15. Love it and like it more this way. It doesn't block any light this way.

    great job.
    tammy

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  16. I love it It turned into a great piece. I hope you love it too since it was such a pain!

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  17. That is BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, you are a genius!

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  18. Way to stick with it! And the results of your work?? Gorgeous! You should be proud. I love the fabric choice too.

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  19. Oh my goodness, your story was hilarious! It turned out gorgeous...and I'm sure it was worth all the screaming, swearing, sweating, etc.

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  20. That is EXCELLENT! And so inspiring!! Man, all of your blood, sweat, tears, curses, etc, REALLY paid off because it is PERFECT there!!!

    Big congrats on a job well done girl!

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  21. Okay, so the the road to getting here obviously kinda sucked. The outcome, however was SOOO worth it! I honestly like it better without the back. It never would have fit so beautifully under that window otherwise! BEA-U-TI-FUL!!

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  22. beautiful.wow. love it, although i am sure i would have given up in the beginning. love the colors you chose. love thd drapes that you have behind it. where did you find that fabric? love it.

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  23. I like it better like that. When I saw it all apart my first thought was "chaise...". Lovely.

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  24. I actually like it BETTER as a bench. Nice job!

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  25. Sorry for all your blood, sweat and tears or was it swearing ~ but I LOVE it! Nicely done!

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  26. Wow! That is just amazing! I have a couch just like that, and it has no back! It's French and is a day-bed. It's not meant to have a back, so that is probably why there was so many screws and things. I would never have burnt it, but I'd have it checked out for wood-worm!
    The one that I have was originally covered in a regency stripe, but I had mine recovered last year in brown velvet, it's already a very dark wood but I just love that crackle glaze!

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  27. What a transformation! It looks terrific! I love the bench idea. I hope you saved the back though. It's too good...with all of it's curvyness... to not re-use too. A dream, huh? You have crazy dreams.

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  28. I was stressed out just READING about your project!!!! My thoughts have drifted to it a few times since last summer, wondering what ever happened to it? WOWZA!!!!!! I'm sure you will love it forever!!! P.S. I just scored on a brand new Ann Taylor gown at our GW for $4.99!!! We have a black tie thing every March....can't wait to wear it! P.S.S.....It fits much better in the window without the back!!

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  29. That is GORGEOUS! You have so much talent, wow!

    Stopping in from SITS.

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  30. I have to say that is worth the drama. It is beautiful and what a perfect spot for it!

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  31. The bench is GORGEOUS in front of the window with no back. You are so stinkin' clever! And I absolutely LOVE that picture of you! :)

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  32. Love it!! Now what will you do with the back? I see a nice headboard in the future... grin.

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  33. Wow, I am so impressed. I would never have attempted such an extensive project. Good for you for making it work!

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  34. What a wonderful piece! It fits there so well, where it might not have with the back. Now you can use the back for another project! : )

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  35. How awesome are you?! All the time it tooks totally make it worth it! It is gorgeous.

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  36. that was like a whole soap opera just for your settee! but totally worth all the blood, sweat, tears and cussing! even with no back, i think it turned out AWESOME. and for 49$?! amazing.

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  37. Wow!!!! What a difference. :) You look so comfy. Visiting from Kimba's party. :)

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  38. Well, I'll tell you waht I think! :) I think you could do a feature in BH&G! This is precious and darling and I hope comfy! Great job!

    Donna

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  39. Now it's like it was always meant to be right there ... almost like a built-in window seat! Great job ... it's gorgeous.

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  40. This is gorgeous! It looks perfect under the window. Great job!

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  41. Wow! What a great story! But your brilliance triumphed in the end. A settee! Just what you needed!

    Honestly, I think it looks wonderful without the back. Did the answer really come to you in a dream?? That's so cool.

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  42. Wow, aren't you glad you stuck with it. Truly a beautiful piece.
    Teresa

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  43. I'd say that it was definitely worth all of the trouble! GORGEOUS! Thanks for sharing.

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  44. What a transformation. It looks amazing!!!

    Ruth

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  45. so beautiful! I love it! The white is perfect. Looks like it was quite the job too! Love your blog, :-)

    Have a great day!

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  46. Beautiful! you did a great job :)

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  47. Lovely! I've always wanted a settee!

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  48. Love this piece... nice curvey curves and what a way to make lemonade out of lemons! Congrats on your beautiful setee.

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. OMG! Your post made me laugh so hard! Totally reminded me of myself! :) Great job!! I'm following you! :)

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  51. SIGH..as in swooning I hope!! This settee is gorgeous! As well as all the color and patterns. Youknocked it out of the ballpark. Are you going to use the molding from the back of the settee for something else? Would be cool attached to some plywood for an upholstered headboard?!

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  52. I feel a little bit braver about buying an old couch from the goodwill now!! You have totally inspired me:)

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  53. what an amazing find! great job :)

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  54. Back or no back. drama or no drama....it turned out GREAT! Now it has your unique signature on it and I'm sure you will cherish it for a long, long time...given how much you've been through together. :-)

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  55. I am so unbelievably impressed by this project!!! You rock!!!! It looks beautiful and you actually did it yourself!!!

    I still have my flea market bench hiding in my basement. I'm skeeered to try recovering it!

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