Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mildew & Elbow Grease

This post has been updated with new images.

The chair was waiting to be taken to the great landfill beyond in a neighborhood trash pile in Lake Park, Florida.

While driving by a huge pile of yard clippings, there it was upside down and half buried. I almost dared not touch it because of all the mold/mildew (and I had to wonder about its previous life), but after much hem-hawing about whether it was going to be worth the time I'd have to spend on it, I hauled it home.

I ended up getting very cozy with the mildew by the time I was done. It took days to scrub and peel off the coating that had been ruined by the exposure to all that grunge. I refinished the wood as well.

Not long after picking this up, I came across the old suitcase at a garage sale for $2.00.

One day I realized that the two were a color match. I wanted to make a footstool out of the suitcase, so the pairing was ideal. The suitcase redo was a lot of work and it's not quite sturdy enough for just any use. The legs didn't have enough of a rigid surface to bite into in order to hold really steady. If the user is careful, it works fine. Even so, for looks, it completes the chair and they make an attractive couple. The step stool is also useful as a side table for magazines or a hot cup of coffee. I tore out the dirty, stained and stinky fabric inside and lined it with burlap. It makes a good place to store some magazines or books. The result was worth the effort, and I enjoy having them adorn my old school Florida Room complete with terrazzo.


  1. I love both pieces, especially that vintage luggage transformation.

  2. That is amazing. I would NEVER have thought the chair could be redone and made so gorgeous but the pairing with the suitcase is just brilliant.

    1. Thanks so much. It was fun to find them both and realize they were meant to be together. I'm glad you stopped in.

  3. Awesome! I have several suitcases that need legs :)

  4. It's a lovely set! I in absolute awe at how you did this! I found you through Savvy Southern Style and I'm now following you, I would love for you to follow back. Tx

  5. Love the transformation! Wow! Visiting from 'the not so functional housewife'. Love that suitcase! :) Rani from La Maison Jolie (stop by for a visit!)

  6. Came over from Functional Friday to see the suitcase - I just got one like this, and I have been exploring ideas (besides stacking and using for storage.) I'm adding this to my idea list.

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  7. I think this is just pure serendipity! They were meant for you to find them and pair them up.

    I have a suitcase footstool in the works right now. Can't wait to finish it, but having issues with stability too, but different reason than yours. It's a less vintage/cool looking case.

  8. Both pieces are fabulous. The footstool looks great as low side table--a great alternative since the suitcase won't bear much weight. Love this idea!

  9. That is adorable and it just so happens I have an old suitcase! Got it at an estate sale! What a conversation piece that is. Best wishes, Linda

  10. You've been featured for Functional Friday!

    Thanks so much for linking up!


  11. Seriously??? I can't believe you were able to bring that chair back to life, not only that you gave it a mate! Thanks for linking the duo up.



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