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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gentle Weekend Ramblings

My broken foot in special shoe
Almost exactly one week ago, I broke my right foot in two places (aka Jones Fracture) when attending a great Beatles music concert (Magical Mystery Tour) at a local venue - Verizon Theatre in Alpharetta, Georgia.  In walking (and talking) along the gravel walkway from the parking lot to the theatre, I tripped and fell (actually sprawled) almost scraping my face in the dirt.  My foot had twisted inwardly and seemed OK for about another 200 feet until I noticed it started to throb slightly and was swollen.  I took off my shoes and walked the balance of the way in greater comfort.  Our friends secured a big bag of ice and I propped my feet up for over two hours watching the show and feeling that all was good!  We also alerted some officials at the venue hoping to make the trip back to the car easier by getting permission to bring the car closer or securing a ride in one of their "handicapped" golf carts to the lot.  I thought all this was not necessary until I tried to put weight on the foot and found it really hurt!  I did get a wheelchair ride up to the golf cart stand and a ride to our car.

The next morning, I was seen by my Kaiser Permanente (highly recommended HMO) after-hours clinic doctor and given the awful news that the foot was broken and I would need to see a specialist to be fitted with a "boot".   Long story a little shorter - I did not need a boot but a special shoe and I was told that I could walk wherever I wanted to as long as it was comfortable and I was not placing too much strain on the broken foot.  Given the alternatives (e.g, heavy cumbersome boot, caste, surgery), I was ecstatic!

I was totally bored most of the week and decided to ease into some minor activities over the weekend.  On Friday, I drove for the first time and found that the shoe did not impede my driving although continuous pressure on the foot did result in some aches so I decided I better not overdo it.  I visited two  estate sales and a consignment shop.

This sale in Brookhaven had a lot of nice items at great prices - mostly accessories.
I thought long and hard about buying the top horizontal pictures for my "under renovation" basement.  They were really long and narrow and thought would work well in the space and the price was $50 for both - a very good price.
I really liked the shape and construction features of this little loveseat (one of a pair) priced at $125 each.  I left a bid for $150 (did not get)!!  I am hesitant to pickup to too many of this size pieces because of storage requirements - both at my upholsterer and in my home.  These were not badly priced but I thought my bid was closer to the mark.
I found that my willingness to buy was really impacted by my limitations in getting around and my concern about having to navigate with items in my hands - I was really relying on bannisters and the ability to catch myself if I felt even slightly off-balance.  I SHOULD have bought the two horizontal studies above and a $15 oversized blue and white vase that I know I could have used somewhere.  My friend Ouida and I went back to this sale on Saturday and found it had closed early.  The prices were that good!
Example of sale that I just couldn't make.  The location was good but everything was accessible through the basement which involved a steep decline to the back of the house and then another 14 steps (I was told) back up the house entrance.  I gave up halfway down.
I stopped by a favorite shop - Southern Comfort Consignments in Dunwoody - to look around for several items I need for our "new basement"  (still under renovation).  One is a set of two or three barstools although I am focusing on backless ones.  Some options here but I'm not quite ready to buy yet and these were not FABULOUS prices.
Nice displays at Southern Comfort Consignments.
On Saturday morning, my regular Saturday-morning colleague and I went out for a few hours but did not find anything worth mentioning or photographing.

In the afternoon, my husband accompanied me to the Pottery Barn Outlet Store in Dawsonville, Georgia (part of huge, very crowded outdoor mall area).  I am looking for a 8X10 rug for our renovated basement.  The new floor is a dark walnut stained engineered hardwood and I have selected a few pieces of furniture (from my own Wydeven Designs collection - see link)_ to use so it is time to start looking.  I found this one below that would work with some but not all the pieces.  I did like it however and the price was discounted about 45% from regular Pottery Barn prices.

I  really liked this wool rug but wasn't sure about the light colored (tones of goldish taupe - see below) upholstered pieces I plan to use with it.  The built-in cabinetry in the room (as well as doors) are a charcoal grey so that would work well.
So, those are my gentle outings for the weekend - perhaps a movie and more Olympic watching this afternoon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Before and After - My Own Parade

I love what I do!  I find heirloom-quality furniture with good bones (e.g., construction features such as hand-tied 8-way coil springs and other signs of quality) and rejuvenate, redesign, repurpose, refurbish, reinstate to their former (and well beyond) greatness.  I am creating furniture for a new generation and, because of the inherent quality of these mostly-American made products, generations to come.  I am fond of saying:  "You can use this throughout your life and pass it on to your children and grandchildren" because I believe that to be true.  Good furniture can be reupholstered multiple times and as often as your taste (and the condition of your lifestyle) changes.

It is something I do as a small (very small) business but I hope it inspires others to do the same.  The good feeling of not disposing of these great old pieces and retaining the best of American workmanship is worth spreading!

Here for your inspiration is a recent set of before and after photos - in most cases, all that was needed was a great fabric!
Wonderful settee in a versatile cream with a horizontal pattern - this would look great at the end of a bed! 
I bought this chair from a lovely home around the corner - all it needed was a fresh new fabric and the original woodwork was lovely (sold) 
I bought this chair from a consignment shop that was going out of business so the price was within my "sweet spot" range.  I love the straight lines and the size is very versatile.  These would be great at the ends of a dining room table!   
I bought this set from a young couple who had used the set (already reupholstered once) in a nursery.  The workmanship on the set was superb and it is really comfortable! 
I bought this chair from a young couple moving to Texas.  He had inherited it from his mother and didn't care for the purple butterfly fabric.  It is a really well constructed Highland House chair and well worth redoing! 
I bought this lovely set from a widower who was remarrying and moving in with a new wife - a wonderful gentleman.  He talked about how his deceased wife had bought and used these chairs for years and had them in a place of honor in their home.  All pieces are sold on eBay and link to website (slightly out of date awaiting reinstallation of computer equipment that supports this program - not apple-compatible)
See what I mean.  These pieces are well worth redoing and all have stories to share.  I will be linking this posting on some blogs and also would love to have you visit and "like" my business facebook page facebook page

This post is linked here - Miss Mustard Seed and My Romantic Home

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In Praise of Painted Legs - Furniture Styles

Wingback in black and white super-pattern with white legs - stunning (link)!! 
Wingback with Painted legs - source
In a sea of furniture legs, I love the inclusion of at least one set of "painted legs" to break up the brown monotony.  The legs in question can be part of a larger painted unit such as a table or a cabinet and can also be the legs of an upholstered piece of furniture.  I have used two methods for painting the legs of the heirloom-quality upholstered furniture I refurbish - spray lacquer-like paint (for a hard and/or shiny finish) and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) - link to website (for flat, distressed, or multi-layered looks).

One of the things I track through "pinterest research" is what is popular and repinned most often - the styles, ideas, and looks that capture imaginations.  I find that painted furniture of all types is VERY popular and that even the most traditional settings usually have at least a few pieces that bring in painted surfaces.  Some designers express concerns about how long this "fad" might last but it has been around a long time and seems only to be increasing in popularity (think Swedish and Country French styles).  So, I think I will continue to add pieces with painted legs to my inventory and home!

It is easy to change out the color of upholstered furniture legs, even after the piece has been professionally reupholstered if you use a hand-applied method such as ASCP.  DO NOT use a spray paint at this point - you will not be able to avoid getting residue on the fabric!

Here are additional images to further demonstrate my point including from my inventory - link (note: my website is slightly out-of-date because the computer I need to use to update is currently unavailable because of my lower-level remodeling project - hope it's done soon)!

Lovely tufted chair with painted legs - source
Wydeven Designs love seat with ASCP legs in graphite (black) 
Wydven Designs French style chair with factory finished legs (sold) 
Wydeven Designs wingback chairs with spray-painted, metallic legs (sold)
Wydeven Designs wingback chair with ASCP legs (old white)

Here is a link to my facebook page - link

Friday, July 20, 2012

Today's Strange and Interesting Estate Sales

Since I am not available to do my usual Saturday morning sales tomorrow, I spent some time today visiting a number of estate (and one garage) sales.  The weather was rainy and humid which did keep the temperature down (more on this point later).

REAL estate sale in Huntcliff Subdivision - a very nice gold community
I had visited EstateSales.net to review the sales in the area concentrating on sales starting on Friday and located in nearby neighborhoods like Sandy Springs and Buckhead.  Several looked intriguing.

SALE NUMBER ONE - Huntcliff Subdivision in Sandy Springs

This seemed to truly be a "real" estate sale.  The neighborhood (and house) looked quite nice but the inside was very dated and the smell was just awful.  It was clear that there had been a lot of smoking going on in this house and the company running the sale appeared to have tried to mask the odor.  The result was cloying and smelly!  There were a few good items (way overpriced) and a lot of not so great (also overpriced) - nothing here!
Oriental Screen was $1000 - the "leather" wingbacks were plastic and priced at $195 - nothing here!
SALE NUMBER TWO - Edgewater Subdivision in Sandy Springs

This house had limited items for sale but the prices were pretty decent.  What was intriguing about the sale is that the owner/seller is an Atlanta artist evidently of some renown with, according to the company running the sale, a few pieces in Atlanta's High Museum of Arts' permanent collection.  A number of buyers were hauling huge canvasses priced at $35, $40, $50 - deals if you liked them!  I thought long and hard about several but couldn't quite visualize any in my home.
The big Victorian desk was priced at $395, the table at $195 and the chairs at $195 (each).  I would pay $100-120 for a pair of these so that exceeds my price point.
Interesting art-work - I thought about the hands photo as well as the portrait bottom right.
SALE NUMBER THREE - Conway Drive Garage Sale in Buckhead
Because of the rain, this family was forced to move a very colorful sale fully into their garage.  If I had more time (and interest), I am sure I would have bought something for my grand daughers. 
SALE NUMBER FOUR - Blackland Drive - Buckhead

This may have been the most interesting of the bunch.  The house was FULL Of high-priced, name-brand furniture still fairly new (e.g., Baker, Hekmann, Lillian August), but the place was without electricity!  No good explanation was given and an emergency generator had been brought on the premises operating just a few lights.  Most of the house was very dark and, of course, no air conditioning was running.  It almost looked like this very pricey house in a very high end neighborhood had been abandoned.

Sale at home without electricity.
Some of the high-priced items available at sale - often with original receipts available.
I actually did see a few things I might have liked at this sale but beginning prices were a little high - they do often come down on subsequent days.  I did not, however, want to return to this place - quite depressing and mysterious.

SO --- an interesting two-three hours spent with a single outlay of cash!  As I've often said, it is a real treasure hunt out there!  For those in the Atlanta area, all of these sales will still be on tomorrow - there might be some real deals at the "blackout" sale but bring a flashlight!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fabric Series - Linen for Your Health

Zoffany Linen on French Style Chairs (2010 - sold) - Wydeven Designs
The use of linen goes back many years and remnants of linen have been found in ancient tombs.  Linen is considered a "green product" and has reported health benefits.

A little history and definition (from wikipedia) - further information is avaialble on wisegeek
Linen/ˈlɪnɨn/) is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum

Linen textiles appear to be some of the oldest in the world: their history goes back many thousands of years. Fragments of straw, seeds, fibers, yarns, and various types of fabrics which date back to about 8000 BC have been found in Swiss lake dwellings. Dyed flax fibers found in a prehistoric cave in Georgia suggest the use of woven linen fabrics from wild flax may date back even earlier to 36,000 BP.[
Today linen is usually an expensive textile, and is produced in relatively small quantities. It has a long "staple" (individual fiber length) relative to cotton and other natural fibers.
Linen's healthy properties are described in this article The House Queen
Most linen is considered to be eco-friendly and organic, because the linen fibers must be unharmed and maintained in their most natural state to be high quality.
I buy and use as much linen as I can in my furniture refurbishing business - it is popular and looks wonderful on classic and modern line pieces.   It is a perfect complement to my newest addiction - using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) to refurbish tired or dated woodwork.  Many of the linens I use are blends - often mixed with cotton.  Some are a bit scratchy and stiff but most have a soft finish.

Here are some pieces of furniture with different types of linen fabrics - http://wydevendesigns.com (NOTE:  my website is not up-to-date since the computer I have to use is temporarily dismantled because of a renovation project at my home - most of my items are on eBay).
Vintage Sherrill Chairs in Heavy Textured Linen Blend. 
Highland House Chair in Brass Linen  
BRIGHT green chair in Linen Blend with Ottoman
Sherrill Slipper Chairs in Cotton Velvet and Linen Combination Fabric.
Wingbacks from 2010 Collection of Wydeven Designs - Floral Patterned Lien Fabrics.
Chairs Refinished with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Various Linen Fabrics.
I continue to buy linen fabrics whenever I can and their health benefits are just a nice extra!

I am still struggling to add my business facebook page as a direct link to my blog - so here is the link - link to Wydeven Design Facebook Page.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pinterest - Lessons Learned

My most recent addition to my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Pinterest Board
I have had my pinterest account now for about six months and am a BIG FAN!  link to my pinterest board.   I have 33 boards and about 225 followers.  I thought I would take a moment to write about how I use the application and what I have learned - not just about pinterest but much more!

First of all, did you know that the "social network" was the brainchild of three young entrepreneurs, Paul Sciarra, Ben Silvermann, and Evan Sharp, about two years ago.  I read an article in Country Living Magazine that said the site gets over 11 million hits per week and I believe it.

Wikipedia has a lot of demographic and commerce information about pinterest link to site (for example, the average user in America is a woman while over 50% of the users in Great Britain are men).  I am going to concentrate on how I am using it and what I have discovered!


1.  To keep track of things that I will want to find later.  I have never liked the various ways I have been able to manage/file the results of my internet searches so I can find them easily later - particularly much later than when I was doing the search.  Now I set up a board and "park" the images for later retrieval.  For the most part, the original location is linked to and remains linked to the image.  So, for example, while I was searching for a rental vacation home for a family reunion, I "pinned" the options that might work and left the board in place until the selection was made.  This board lasted only as long as the search.  I also maintain a recipe board that helps me quickly locate that great pork loin recipe I have now made 2-3 times (I have a "paper file" but spend way too much time trying to find individual recipes).  

2.  To keep a project file.  We are redoing our lower level/basement.  I have pinned ideas, products, tips and techniques and anything else related to this board - Ideas for Basement Renovation.  Recently, we made on-line faucet and lighting fixture purchases and all of my research ended up in this file.  I expect that this one will be retired when the the project is completed.

3.  To alert my daughter about things she may enjoy.  My daughter is an active user with two small children.  She is clever and uses pinterest-obtained ideas to decorate, cook/bake and is now starting to sew for the girls.  Whenever I see something she may like - in any category - I post it to my "Things My Daughter Might Like" board.

4.  To assess and organize furniture and decorating trends.  My business Wydeven Designs link to website is an internet store selling refurbished heirloom quality furniture.  I have to know what people are looking for and what images are most popular in order to be successful.  While I recognize that there may be a specific demographic that uses pinterest more than others (evidently women and - I suspect - younger women in USA), it is also the group that is most likely to be making on-line purchases.  

5.  To keep track of favorite blog postings.  Since I follow about 40-50 blogs on a somewhat regular basis, I want to be able to file and retrieve favorite postings including ones that help inspire my own blog.  I have a "Things for My Blog" board to support this goal.  One problem is that the images sometimes only connect generally to the blog, not to the specific posting, so later retrieval brings you there and you still  have to do a further search for the specific posting.

6.  To support my own learning and growth.  I am a passionate user of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and have a board with images and ideas that support that passion (mostly obtained from blogs).  I also have a separate "DIY Ideas" and "Refurbished Furniture Ideas" that are a little broader but are there for the same reasons.

7.  To plan and dream.  I love everything about France (French furniture, travel, sights and sounds, etc.) and have an "All Things French" board that is a perfect place to park images that remind me of this love and help plan for that next big trip to France.  This corresponds nicely with the various French-inspired blogs I follow and allows me to revisit favorite postings (see prior comment about blog connections).

I started this posting thinking I had only a few things to share about my use of pinterest but discover that I could go on and on - I probably should save more ideas for another posting.  Quite clearly, however, I have learned how to use this social networking application with a vengeance!

This post is linked as follows - linked here

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Scott's Antique Market Update - Primitive Decor

Loved the cow picture and green jars - Scott's Antique Market
This is the second weekend in the month which makes it the Atlanta Scott's Antique Market weekend!  link to website.  My friend Bette and I try to make it each month - sometimes with a purchase plan in mind and sometimes not.  Rather than take a scattered approach to reviewing the wares, I tried to focus on a particular decorating trend.  I choose "Primitive Decor" as a trend to check out at the market and took photos of what I thought was reminiscent of that style of decorating.

Looks like a hand-made church - would be great in a primitive setting
Before posting some of my photos, I thought I should review my definition and see if it matched the definition offered by the experts:

Link to site offered the following:
Primitive décor is a style of living. It is supposed to evoke feelings of taking one back to colonial times when things with décor was simple and flaws were welcomed.  It is usually the rusty, old and worn items you see sitting at the market
A painted cupboard 
Another source emphasizes emotions and is very similar to the definition above:
Primitive decorating is a feeling of warmth and simplicity. It speaks to our very soul and brings us back to a time of quiet, uncomplicated living. I truly believe there isn’t just one way to decorate in the “primitive” style. Old fabrics, crates, raffia, twine, buttons and old picture frames can be arranged in any way you’d like to give your home that “lived in” feel.
 A third source suggests that it can be defined in a variety of ways and presents many options of how to incorporate it into a decorating style - this is probably the closest to my belief about primitive decorating:
Rustic bench and baskets
Twig table 
The rules aren’t set in stone. Take some rustic pieces, some old-world paint colors, a bit of crackled varnish or aged wood, and add your own tastes and flair to the mix. 

Painted urn/planter

This is clever - round mirrors made using cans 

Tin hearts 

Rustic table and chairs (I would probably use a spray or chalk paint on these and leave them slightly distressed).
Old trunk - would be great as coffee table! 
Antique French zinc lanterns - vendor/owner told us that she travels regularly to France and visits not just Paris but other flea and rural markets to pick up items like this - we offered to accompany her! 
Another rustic church - loved the stone-like exterior and blue doors.
We saw lots of benches and chairs i
I loved the shutters on this mirror (and table underneath) - what a charming look!

Another great visit to the market and no purchases - sometimes that is a good thing!
I invite you to visit my facebook page - link to my facebook page

Linked at Common Ground - See link