I am not even the slightest bit exaggerating when I say that this post took over a year to complete. Let me explain. It all started several years ago with a couple of crazy kids (myself and my husband) who had just moved into a new house. In our former house, we had no space for a dining room table, but now, with this new house, it was time to go shopping. The person that I am now would have looked for something used that I could fix up, but the person I was then wanted a bar height table with 6 chairs within the hour, and pre-owned bar height dining sets were harder to come by several years ago, so we went to a local furniture store, and purchased a floor model at a discount, because… it was literally on the showroom floor. It came with four chairs, and we ordered and PAID for two more to be picked up at a later date. Fast forward almost two years, and we still hadn’t picked up those two chairs and the more time that passed, the more concerned I became that even though we had paid for them, the chairs would no longer be waiting for us. Because…you know, two years. And I was correct. When we finally went in to pick up the chairs, the local furniture store (let’s just say it has the appropriate word “Con” in it’s name) strangely had no record of our purchase of not only the chairs, but the table as well. They did however, have records of all of the other items we had purchased from the store including two couches several there years prior to buying the dining set.
While I do think the whole thing was incredibly shady, and was disappointed we were out $240. I had to accept part of the blame. I no longer had the receipt and let’s face it, I had waited almost two years to pick up the chairs. My procrastination and lack of proper documentation has bitten me in the butt. And it left a scar, a big en.
Fast forward another year or so to the fall of 2013. I had been cleaning up after a dinner we hosted in which I crammed 9 people into the corner of my dining/living room. We used four regular and five makeshift chairs and while everything went okay, it occurred to me that this area of my home needed an improvement. Space was an issue, I couldn’t allot for more, but why not build a banquette seat here? We wouldn’t have to buy more chairs (which I refuse to do anyway), and it wouldn’t take up any more space. AND… AND…we could put crap underneath. Genius. Seriously Genius. So I thought, meticulously about this, day and night for about 5 months. That is when I decided to present the idea to my wonderfully talented husband Ryan as something he could build as a birthday gift for ME!
He actually seemed quite open to the idea which is so unlike him and my ideas.
Shortly after I presented this genius idea to my husband, things got busy and my July birthday came and went. Then, there was beginning of school for the kids, and the 2014 Junk Market to keep us occupied. But once those things passed, Ryan got started on the banquette with almost no urgent prodding from me at all.
So we had a seat we could sit on, but unfortunately, that is where the progress stalled. For a year. I’m not sure why, seriously, we get really busy, and we try to pay attention to our lovely children so, yeah, it stayed as a plywood, ripped up wallpaper mess for over a year.
A year…year….year…. (this is an echo)
But I had a plan. Late June of this year, I noticed the telltale signs around my forehead that I was once again, going to age soon, so I decided to go for a twofer. I asked for the banquette seating to be finished as a gift to me. Again. I really wanted it done. So a few weeks ago when I was celebrating my 36th birthday at the lake with my beloved family, I received a nice little card with a sum of $$ for spending on whatever I wanted, AND… dum dum dum… the promise that while I was in Duluth for an upcoming annual trip with my mom and sis, that Ryan would finish the building of the banquette. Yes!!! There was a time limit! Why hadn’t I thought of that?
And so, I spent the next week, pre-thanking my husband for the banquette (which also served as a friendly reminder) and set off for Duluth. I spent the weekend with two of my most favorite people in the world, and came back to a fully built banquette. What a homecoming. Hooray!!!
But now my work began. Not only did I want the banquette built, but I also wanted to paint it, upholster the seats (which open up), add a painted plank wall to the back, trim it all out, remove the wallpaper fuzz and repaint the remaining wall, add an adorable shelf, some clever art work, you get the idea. So right after work all week, I worked on the banquette.
Monday’s task: fill nail holes and gaps.
Tuesday’s task: sanding and painting the bench seat.
Wednesday’s task: installing the plank wall and filling holes. (I also did a great deal of staring that day)
Thursday’s task: sanding and painting the plank wall.
Friday was the biggest day of all. I got off work early, bought the cushioning and fabric, button kit and all the trim pieces I needed. Then, for the next two days, I finished the seats, and installed, filled and painted all the trim. I asked Ryan to dig through his “pick-ins” for a cool sign to hang over my shelf, and he nailed it. (I mean literally, because he had to build a frame for this cool cardboard trolley sign he managed to find) But it does add a much needed pop of color. Nice job Ry.
Saturday night, we had a gorgeous banquette. Yes, the new, clean finished look of the banquette seat certainly brings out the fact that I already need to refinish my table top, but that’s for a later day. A much later day. Like never.
For now, I’ll just enjoy the banquette, it’s just one of those things where you get excited to go into your living room. I LOVE that!
Now for the big announcement…. as some of you know, my husband Ryan is my picker. The cool “junk” in my stand, that’s all him. He is the one that finds a majority of my pieces at sales, auctions, etc., but his specialty is what he calls “backroad pickin'” where he finds the best, one of a kind junk and collectibles. He has a really good eye for what’s trending, what’s authentic, and what is just cool. I am often disturbed by the random knowledge he stores in that brain of his when it comes to certain types of antiques. (he especially loves vintage clocks and advertising pieces, you know… “man cave stuff”) On August 22, we will be setting up shop at the Fargo Flea Market to debut his finds. Yes there will be some de-uglied stuff as well, so look for my sign, but what you can also expect is a mix of high end vintage and the usual junk that’s just for fun. It’s going to be a great show. Hope to see you all there.