Vintage chairs and a look at our new kitchen

A few years ago my husband’s grandparents passed away. As with most families, when these terrible things happen there is a whole house full of items that need to be distributed to family members, sold or given away. Interestingly, when this happened in my husband’s family, most of his cousins refused to take the furniture. The items that my husband and I thought were cool, were just old to these cousins and there was no way they could put them into their modern furnished homes. Naturally we kept a number of items, including this lounge. But the most amazing thing we were able to take were these dining chairs.

They are very sturdy with their metal frames, but softened by teak toppers and cushioned seats. My husband’s Nan always talked about picking them specifically for their newly built WWII house as they were slim and she could fit all 6 around her petite Laminex table. This same feature is a benefit to us as we can certainly squish an increased number of people comfortably at our dining table with these chairs.I believe Nan had the chairs recovered and resprayed in the late 80’s.

It’s taken more than two years for me to repair, refinish and reupholster these chairs. I think they look rather cool. My husband had to weld them in places where the back spindles has come off, then we scrubbed them, undercoated them and resprayed them matt black. The wood was in good condition and only needed a clean. The bases were simply reupholstered in a citrus coloured Warwick Fabric that I picked up from my local upholstery supplier. I reused the piping cord and foam as they were still in good condition.

While fixing the chairs, my husband and I also refinished our dining table. It’s an oak extendable table from Ikea. Nothing flash, but the lacquer we put of the table top was turning to trash, so we stripped it and oiled the whole table. The finish is now much nicer, It’s just a shame we didn’t do this when we first purchased it.

While talking about house things, I thought it best to share some photos of our kitchen renovation from last year. Before we started, we had a pokey and dark kitchen that had been given a quick facelift when we moved into this house 5 years ago. Originally, the early 90’s kitchen had black splashback tiles and black cupboard fronts – eewww!! Our house is a little dark inside due to all of the awnings and verandas attached to it, so this made the kitchen seem like an underground bunker. The kitchen and the main living/dining room was also separated by a wall, which made the whole space pokey and lack flow.

This is where I should post a ‘before’ image, but alas I can’t find one!! My old phone had the pics, but when it smashed I guess I forgot to do something with them. So you will just have to use your imagination for the before photo 🙂

With the help of our builder friends, the supporting wall was removed and the kitchen and laundry were rebuilt to make the kitchen larger. We relaid matching floorboards through the back of the house to replace the old laminate and replaced old windows and doors.

As this part of the house is a little dark, we used a lot of matt white and really good LED lights.

The breakfast bar is, by far, the best change that we made. It’s just so nice watching the kids eat in the morning while I get lunches ready and being able to watch and help them with homework while cooking dinner. I just can’t remember these things being easy when they had to sit at the dining table where I couldn’t see them.

The tiles took me forever to find and I LOVE them. They are white, which is what I wanted, but have a more interesting pattern than most things I could find at the time. The stone is a called Clamshell from Caesar Stone, which is a slightly warm, light grey colour. We still need to buy a tap, this is just a cheapy that my husband had lying around.

As I didn’t want to hide my every day small appliances, but also didn’t want to keep them on the bench, with the help of our fantastic kitchen maker friend, we designed these recessed stone shelves to keep together all the little bibs and bobs that you for every day use. This space can be a bit of a dumping ground, but a quick tidy is often all it needs to get it looking good again and at least we know where things are most of the time.

So there you have it – a new kitchen and a few other new bibs and bobs to update and freshen our home. As with most home improvement projects though, the more you change the more you want to change. This ‘knock on effect’ has now opened conversations to update the staircase and the down stairs bathroom, and don’t even get me started on a trying to get a pool for next summer… we’ll see though. My money tree is a little bare now 🙂

  • Oh the kitchen and the chairs look fantastic!!! I understand the dark house situation. Slowly we are trying to lighten it up….

  • The chairs are classics, you have done well to keep them! Of course the reno must have done wonders to the look and feel of your kitchen, well done Christy!

  • Love those splash back tiles, they are very cool. And the space above the microwave is a brilliant idea, keeps your bench top clear of appliances. Good luck on the pool – after today's weather I'm seriously tempted by one too!

  • Your kitchen looks gorgeous! Mine is currently hiding under a layer of plaster dust!

  • The chairs are gorgeous and I LOVE your kitchen tiles!!! It all looks so lovely and fresh and bright!

  • I"m waiting to see your kitchen Helen. I've enjoyed watching your reno. The print is from here http://martinichandcarran.bigcartel.com/
    I love black cockatoos. We have a flock in the bush behind my house and they are so delightful to listen too.

  • I know. It can be very depressing at times and kinda crappy that almost everything in the house needs to be a lighter colour. We put LED downloads throughout most of the house during this reno and it has really helped. Well worth the $

  • GREAT kitchen and I love love the chairs.

  • Your kitchen is beautiful! I LOVE the chairs… the citrus color is fantastic and they look so cool!

  • Beautiful new kitchen! I can't stand working in a dark kitchen, so I'm sure the new white is much loved!

  • Looks fabulous !

  • Ohhhhhh, very nice. I went for the turquoise/white combo in my new kitchen also. Groovy tiles. Love the look of the chairs.

  • Ooh, I like that tile! We are going to do our kitchen at some point. The chairs and table are super cool too.

  • I LOVE the chairs. They're exactly the kind of pre-loved family treasure I would give a second chance to too, what you've done to restore them is just lovely.
    The Kitchen reno is awesome! Great inspiration considering we're soon to do the same 🙂

  • Love your new kitchen. Those tiles are lurvley

  • I love your new kitchen! So jealous!

  • Amber Adams

    Hi, I’m using the same colour stone as you and love the tiles you have used. Do you remember what they are called and if they are a sheet or individual tiles. Thank you