Anyone who knows me understands that one of my favorite places for relaxing, hanging out with family and friends, curling up with a good book, and for gazing at the beauty of the lake and the woods happens from our porch at camp. For a number of years the porch was used as a "catchall" for children's toys, swimsuits and towels, and a place where as teenagers we would hang out and chat while playing countless card games. The porch has had many "duties", including being a stage for us to perform childhood plays. My parents were wonderful and allowed the space to be completely lived in as we used chairs that have been passed down from different generations. But unfortunately, while this was quaint it did not provide a very comfortable or relaxing sitting area which was something as we have gotten older my mom and I desperately wanted. We searched and searched but nothing was in our price range and nothing really fit the rustic and open air porch that we have.
Enter in a wonderful find at Goodwill! Don't you just love thrifting? I adore thrifting and finding unique and wonderful pieces at affordable prices! It took some time to wash, clean the chairs, repair rips in the fabric, and get everything set up but after two summers the porch came together like a dream! *smiles*
One of my biggest pieces of advice for anyone new to thrifting is not to be afraid to see the potential in things you find! Often times you can really find a treasure! My mom and I first found the chairs for the porch at a half Price Thanksgiving Sale at Goodwill in 2010. There were four large chairs and three matching footstools. While they were in "struggling" condition we knew with a
little lot of love and work we could show the treasure that they were!
My mom stored the chairs in the garage at their house and once the 2011 summer arrived we went to work on the first two chairs that we took to New York. The first thing that we did was take out the original stuffing from the cushions and then work on the sewing projects that we needed to fix from some of the ripped material. Next we washed every cover twice. I had done some research and had learned that it was best to stuff pre-made fabric cushions while the fabric is still damp. This allows the fabric and the stuffing to mold together. [You don't want the fabric to be wet- just damp.] I am not going to lie it took some energy to stuff those cushions!
After we stuffed the cushions we set them in the sun to dry while we went to work on vacuuming the chairs and washing the wood.
After everything was dry we set up the porch with the first two chairs for the 2011 summer. [*happy sigh*]
We loved the two chairs that we had brought and had originally intended to use the other 1/2 of the set at my parents house but everyone loved these chairs to sit on so we quickly decided that we would need to bring up the rest of the set the following summer.
So in the summer of 2012 we repeated the same process of cleaning and stuffing that we had done in 2011 and ended up with our finalized porch chairs. I had also found some additional (small) pillows that matched the chairs (at a Goodwill in another state!). Isn't the final product delightful? We have so enjoyed these chairs! What a fun and wonderful find at Goodwill!
As the years have passed we have loved these chairs more and more. This old porch that was originally built in 1901 has been refurbished but kept its original charm and these chairs that we found at Goodwill have only added and not taken away from the charm of the porch. As time has passed we have enjoyed so many conversations with friends and family, played numerous board games and card games on these chairs, spent quiet time with the Lord here, and I have worked on school work and numerous blog posts from these chairs. (In fact, the title of my personal health updates, "Notes from the Porch" was inspired by this location!) They have truly been a blessing!
What a blessing this Goodwill find has been!