The Best Cheap Kids’ Chairs

A wonderful surprise was waiting for us this afternoon when we got home from running errands! The two child-size chairs I ordered have arrived! Baby Brownie and I were both so excited to try them out.

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They are the Flash Forward Plastic School Chair from Amazon and they were just $10 each! I know, crazy affordable, and we LURRRVE them!

I had been looking for children’s chairs for a while but my search got serious when I turned our old bench into a child’s activity table for Baby Brownie. After I painted the bench, I was trying to find some affordable and colorful chairs so she could sit at her table.

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I knew that I wanted chairs with angled legs so that it would be harder for Baby Brownie to tip over backwards. Most of the options at IKEA were affordable but had straight legs. I had seen some chairs with angled legs online on educational material websites but they tended to be quite expensive and aimed at the school market. Finally I found these little chairs on Amazon! Guess I should have looked there in the first place!

The reviews were excellent and the price was right so I placed my order right away.

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I couldn’t be happier with these little chairs. I should warn you though, the description on Amazon says these are red, but they are really a hot pink/coral. This color was actually a pleasant surprise for us and go so well with the duck egg blue on the table, but just so you know, the pic online ain’t really accurate.

 

flash forward chair

 

Flash Forward Plastic School Chair

The chair is definitely more on the pink/coral side than red/orange as it appears above.

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They are a really saturated coral color. Really fun!

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It’s still a little tall for Baby Brownie (we got the 10.5″ version) but she can get on and off without much difficulty. And the chairs are really sturdy! Not flimsy at all. I can sit on them myself without the legs flexing at all.

She was very pleased to have her own child-sized chairs and she has been playing with her tea set, reading books, and playing with her puzzles while sitting on the chairs =).

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I can envision many tea parties to come at this table.

At just $10 each, I’m a satisfied mama!

Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means I get paid a small amount (just a few cents really) if you buy the chair by clicking through my link.

Sharing at TatertotsandJello

Super Easy Fall Centerpiece

When it comes to decor, I definitely lean more towards the unfussy side of things. Usually, I’m just happy that the table isn’t piled full of tools and mail. But now that we have our beautiful new DIY dining table, and I managed to hang some pictures, I’m trying to make more of an effort to make our home beautiful, everyday. As in, not just when company comes over. Beautiful for us, because we live here.

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Also, I think every blogger in Blogland has been posting about fall decor, so I felt the need to jump on the hay wagon.

These pumpkins and gourds cost me around $6 (from Trader Joe’s and the pumpkin patch), which is cheaper than flowers…and they last longer.

Baby Brownie insists on calling them “apples” no matter how much I tell her they’re “pumpkins”. And they’re not for biting.

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I placed them on an old wooden platter I got at a thrift store some time ago and filled in the extra spaces with citrus leaves I cut from our lime tree. I added the mercury glass votive holders I got last Christmas from West Elm, on top of a linen table runner we got for our wedding (from Crate and Barrel).

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Here’s a little peek into our dining room as it is presently. I hung some family portraits up and the thrift store chairs we recovered are looking great. This room is a fun mix of rustic and modern which is pretty much our aesthetic.

Sharing at CentsationalGirl, SavvySouthernStyle, TheStyleSisters, AStrollThruLife, TheBlissfulBee, TheShabbyCreekCottage!

Painted Bench Turned Kids’ Table

Over the weekend, while Chris was working like a busy bee on insulating our house, moving electrical, and figuring out how to put up new siding, I worked on a little pet project.

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I decided to take an old bench that had been sitting in the master bedroom, where it had been covered in a giant pile of clothes for the past 3 months, and turn it into a little activity table for Baby Brownie.

(The giant pile of clothes is now happily sitting on the floor.)

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We bought this bench for $10 at a thrift store and had sanded down the top in anticipation of refinishing it. It has been in the above state for over a year.

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I decided it would be easier to paint it than to refinish it, especially since the legs were all chipped, dented and dog-chewed. So I primed it with 2 coats of Zinsser Cover Stain, and then painted it with 2 coats of Martha Stewart’s Duck Egg (Glidden). Then, I painted on 3 coats of Polycrylic to seal and protect the top. Because I know this piece is going to get a lot of abuse use.

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It turned out really nice! And it’s just the perfect height for Baby Brownie to stand at and play with the new wooden tea set I got her.

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I kind of like how you can still see the metal bolts.

Baby Brownie noticed it right away and went over to it and stared at it for a long time. I asked her if she liked it and she nodded yes. That’s a big deal since she’s in her “no” phase right now!

I just ordered a couple of little chairs on Amazon and I’ll share with you when they arrive.

Another cool thing is that if we ever want to get all the kids’ stuff out of sight…

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The table/bench works really well as extra seating! The teal/aqua color isn’t so bright that it can’t be used as adult furniture.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is what the bench REALLY looks like after it has been played with:

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Just a note of warning for single/as-yet-childless folks out there…this is what you have to live with when you have a kid. Enjoy.

UPDATE: The chairs have arrived and they are adorable!

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Sharing at MissMustardSeed

Another Refinished Table (This one’s a Pedestal)

It’s so funny. A month ago, we were eating off the coffee table in front of the TV because the dining room table that Chris built was not quite done (the top needed to be bolted down and we were waiting for the polyurethane to finish curing). The kitchen table was also MIA. We had sanded down the top and it was sitting in the garage waiting for its new finish.

Now, we have not one, but TWO newly finished tables. I am kind of in heaven.

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This oak table was passed down to us from Chris’ parents. Honestly, I’ve always loved it, even in the original finish. But after having it for a while in the kitchen with the honey oak floors, it was just looking too oaky. I wanted to have an airier, lighter feel in the breakfast nook.

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It started out like this. Pretty typical oak furniture from the 70s. Solid oak top, solid oak pedestal. The only thing not solid wood was the apron around the tabletop, which was plywood with veneer.

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I held out for a long time because I felt it was a shame to paint solid wood, but I eventually decided to go for it. Life is too short to hold on to something that isn’t working. The color just wasn’t my favorite. I also knew it wasn’t worth much because I’ve seen almost identical dining sets on Craigslist for $100.

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I waffled back and forth on the finish I wanted. Originally I was thinking of doing the whole thing in white paint, but we were worried that a painted finish on the top wouldn’t hold up as well as a stained one, so we decided to sand down and refinish the top.

It was so awesome that the tabletop was solid wood because we were able to sand the heck out of that thing! We rounded the lip of the top and sanded the whole thing down to raw wood with the belt sander. A belt sander is a powerful tool. There was still a tiny bit of stain stuck down deep in the grain but it just turned out to add extra dimension to the finish.

I used one of Minwax’s new colors, Weathered Oak. It’s a slightly grayish oak stain, not as yellow as before. Finished it with 3 coats of Varathane oil-based polyurethane in satin for a strong finish.

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On the apron and pedestal I brushed on two coats of Zinsser oil-based Cover Stain Primer. I needed something really stain-blocking to keep the old finish from bleeding through. Then one coat of Behr’s Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel. I can’t remember the color but it is very close to white (Update: The color is Rushmore Stone). It probably could use another coat of the enamel but that’s a job for another day. The Behr Alkyd Enamel went on super smooth and is not tacky at all, which I love.

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As you can see this table is meant to be pulled apart and there are a couple extra leaves that can be inserted. However, we’re only really going to use it as a round table since it’s in the little breakfast nook. And now we have the new dining room table if we need more room.

I was thinking of painting the chairs too, but now that the table is painted, I kind of like the darker wood finish in contrast. What do you think? I’ll leave them as is for now until I decide what to do with them. I am not a huge fan of the shabby chic look and in every picture I’ve seen of those pressed-back spindle chairs painted, they are distressed and too shabby for me.

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Oh yes, the table is sitting on cut-up Trader Joe’s bags because I don’t want the paint to stick to the floor. It probably wouldn’t (the alkyd isn’t tacky) but just in case. I’m going to get felt feet for it one of these days.

This weekend I’m planning to tidy up around the house and decorate for fall. Then maybe I can show you some full room pics, haha.

Have a great weekend!

Camilla

 

Linking up at TatertotsandJello, MissMustardSeed, TheShabbyCreekCottage, DomesticallySpeaking, Remodelaholic

No Closet Doors, No Problem!

Although Baby Brownie isn’t in school, there’s something about Fall that makes me want to organize. To start things over. To make a place for everything. To nest. During the summer we’re so busy doing things, going out, enjoying the weather and freedom from routine, that the house gets cluttered and at some point there’s a breaking point. I start to actually get ON the organization projects that I’ve been putting off.

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I’m not a naturally organized person. I like to call my house situation “creative chaos”. I tend to accumulate clutter so it’s nice when I have places to hide them away from plain view.

Baby Brownie’s closet was one problem area where the clothes, boxes of wipes, diaper pail refills, etc…were starting to pile up, and you could see it all. This is an old picture from over a year ago, even before it started getting messy.

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Eventually we want to get real doors for the closet but in the meantime there are so many other projects (new insulation and siding for the house, fixing up the loft guest room…). I picked up a shower tension rod from Walmart and hung it up with some outdoor curtains I bought last year from Lowe’s on clearance (for $6 a panel!).

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The grommets allow the curtain to go all the way to the ceiling, making it look a little more natural and less “hey shower curtain!” Now my little munchkin has a new hiding spot. Which can be kind of worrisome when she’s completely quiet in there and I can’t find her. She usually comes out and says “boo” when my voice starts getting frantic.

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I asked Chris the other day when we were putting the baby to bed, “Do you think her room is too colorful?” I thought maybe there are just too many colors; perhaps it was overkill. His response, “She’s a kid, of course it can’t be too colorful”. Ah well, that’s all right then. Tee hee. I do love colors.

See the rest of the colorful nursery tour here.

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