Before and After: Flower Bed

If you’ve been through Mimi’s this summer, you may have met our spunky sales associate, Whitney. Can’t remember? She was the one wearing a brightly patterned dress and a huge smile who probably greeted you with a bounce in her step and a song in her heart.  (We love her). Well, she recently updated her bedroom and needed a new bed frame. Being the firecracker she is, she saw it as an opportunity to express her remarkable creativity!

Whitney Before

 

When this bed came in, it was certainly cute, but a little too boring for Whitney’s taste. I mean, a solid color? And that color is white? Where’s the fun in that? But it was sturdy, fairly new, and came with all of its original parts. For $45, it was a great deal and a perfect starting point for a project.

 

 

Whitney After

 

And who else but Whitney could have thought up this project!? In her hands, this blank canvas was brought to life! Because she’s an artist, she already had plenty of acrylic paint lying around. So, she went straight to work with bold crimson and magenta, then jazzed it up with pops of colorful handiwork on the flowers. It’s almost as vibrant and colorful as Whitney, herself. Way to go! We can’t wait to see what other dazzling ideas you’ll dream up :)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

From Shabby to Chic!

SometimesJBradac Before, by the time a table makes it to Mimi’s Attic, it’s had some miles put on it. Maybe someone didn’t use a coaster once or twice. Maybe an overenthusiastic toddler took a marker to it in the name of art. It may have seen better days, but as long as it’s still sturdy and practical, we’ll give it a chance at a new life! That’s where you, our brilliant customers, come in. You see not just what that well-loved table is, but what it could be.

 

JBradac AfterJust look how one customer, John,  transformed this Chemung side table! He started by lightly sanding the surface and smoothing out a small chip with wood filler. After a few coats of paint and wax, it’s hardly recognizable!  Now this table looks fit to hold the tea of a wealthy foreign diplomat, or the unpublished manuscript of the next great American novel. Those old scuffs and scrapes are a distant memory and the future of this table looks bright!

The whole process only took him a casual five hours. Do YOU have some time to kill and a dream for that perfect DIY project? Follow John’s example and dive in!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Before and After: Media Stands!

This week, we received two emails from different customers about repurposing furniture to make media stands. Isn’t it funny how the world works that way sometimes? There must have been something in the air this month that made people think, “You know, the area where I keep my TV could be so much cuter….”

ANYwho, we loved these transformations so much we just had to share! Perhaps you will be inspired and get on the bandwagon, too!

The first comes from Margaret, a customer who had been looking for the perfectly sized media stand for ages. She finally came across a dresser at Mimi’s that fit the bill. Except … it was a dresser. That minor detail didn’t stop her, though! Margaret removed the top three drawers to make space for a DVD player and even put dividers in the remaining drawers to hold CDs and DVDs. So clever! She applied a dashing coat of “Distance” colored paint from Sherwan-Williams and added some Lewis Dolan blown-glass drawer pulls for this stunning final product!

dresser before

finished cabinet

 

cds organized

Interior drawer view. How delightfully organized!

 

The second transformation comes from one of our regulars, Georgie. Her media stand started out as a long, shallow desk. She added a shelf to the middle for additional storage, took out the back panel, and painted it this charming, soft blue. The solid color really brings out the details of the construction. You can really see the moulding and drawer pulls.  Really, it seems like this desk was destined to be a media stand all along!

If YOU have a project that started with a Mimi’s Purchase, send us the pictures! We’ll even give you $5 in store credit!

photo 2 (41) photo 1 (40)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Oh The Possi-Vanities!

You know what? Vanities get a bad rap. People imagine a prima donna fussing over her hair for hours and hours at the mirror. But hey, toss out those stereotypes and look what you’ve got! Adorable woodwork, a practical mirror, and STORAGE (perhaps the hottest commodity of all). So today we highlight two customers who saw vanities and didn’t see a fuss… They saw possibility!

Mary and her husband, Joe are such frequent customers, we consider them part of the Mimi’s family. They’ve been buying and selling with us ever since the beginning. When Mary set her eyes on this vanity in our clearance section, she knew it would fit perfectly in her home with a little alteration. Her vision? Cut that vanity in half and make two bedside tables! Joe was skeptical about the project at first, but he snuck into Mimi’s without her and bought it as a surprise. What a fella! We even played along and told Mary it had sold to someone else. Who doesn’t love a good scheme!? Joe got to work and had these bedside tables ready for their new life in no time!

image (19)

It originally came with drawers (not pictured).

Go, Joe, Go!!!

Voila! The finished product!

This is such a genius project! And the execution is stunning. We only wish we caught Mary’s surprised reaction when her dream bedside tables were unveiled! Those lamps were also a Mimi’s Attic find and they match perfectly! I don’t know about all you readers out there, but everyone here at Mimi’s is SO impressed right now.

Our next vanity fairy tale comes to you from Rochele at Mint Velvet Vintage Interiors + Antiques in Corning, NY. Her shop is full of naturally beautiful and upcycled vintage gems. Recently, she’s been combing through Mimi’s and plucking up sturdy undercover treasures that need a dash of TLC.

Rochele_Before2Rochele_Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

When she came across the vanity in question, it was sturdy and had lots of natural charm, but it was just so dark and, well, a little blah. The finish was dull and scratched in some areas. Some clever coats of paint later and it looks like something out of a Mackenzie Childs catalogue! What an incredible talent you have, Rochele! Lovely readers, stop by Mint Velvet Vintage to see the transformation yourself! Corning’s not that far, you guys.

Rochele_AfterRochele_After2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, next time you see a little vanity in Mimi’s, don’t imagine yourself wasting away in front of a mirror for hours. Imagine yourself, super rugged, with a saw, chopping it in half! OR if that’s not your thing, you can get yourself covered in paint making it into something wonderful and new! Either way, take pictures and share them with us!! We love seeing what you clever people come up with!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Aged Oak Chair Gets Some New Flair

Sometimes we get pieces on our sales floor that have seen better days. Though they’re still sturdy, time has aged their upholstery, warn down their finish, and chipped their paint. But cosmetic damage doesn’t mean a piece is at the end of its life! Paul, a practicing woodworker, stops by whenever he’s in town looking for just these types of pieces. (Perhaps you’ve even seen the beautiful rocker he up-cycled back in early winter). He knows how easy it is to bring the sparkle back to a used-furniture gem.

This time Paul took home an aged oak dining chair with a black leather seat. Though it had some rustic charm, it definitely needed a little TLC. Paul snatched it up (for $25) and got to work!

oakchair1

First, Paul stripped the old wood stain off the chair and sanded it down. Then he completely disassembled the chair to refinish it. While the chair was in pieces, he went through and replaced damaged dowels before applying the finish. After reassembly, he applied a warm, light tung oil finish. We think it mingles well with the vibrant new tacked vinyl upholstery. He added some additional support to the seat with leftover wood from other projects and voila! Now he has a very handsome oak dining chair to add to his collection! Just look at how the grain pops as opposed to before!

oakchair2

Thanks for being an amazing woodworker, Paul!

For sharing, Paul received $5 in store credit! If you have any Mimi’s marvels that you have repurposed or redone, YOU can send us a before and after picture, too. You too could receive $5 in store credit and become Mimi’s-Famous with a blog entry. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Simple Fixes Measure up to a New Life

Vicki is one of our regular customers. Like many others, she loves to come in and browse our new (secondhand, of course!) inventory. As Ithacans know, we see all sorts of styles  of furniture from the 19th century to present, and finding that special piece can take a couple Mimi’s browses. You might find something that’s nearly perfect, but not quite right. When that happens to Vicki, she takes the fate of her décor into her own hands.

paintednightstands

For $60, Vicki took home both of these nightstands. There are no “before” pictures, but we remember their former life. Although they are solid wood pieces, one was stained a grayish color and the other was green…ish; both were likely more appealing a couple decades ago. With a few simple coats of white paint, they were given a brand new life! Despite being mismatched in shape, they sync harmoniously together with their new color.

And let’s all just take a moment to appreciate that headboard… Yeah, that’s right, it’s an old fireplace mantle! She salvaged the piece and covered the center with plywood that she padded and upholstered herself. Her bedroom looks like a photograph out of a Pottery Barn magazine or a room in a swanky B&B. Props to Vicki for not only getting crafty but for helping save the planet by choosing previously owned pieces. Way to go!

db

Vicki says she’s been blessed with the ability to see what items can be if they’re reimagined or given a new coat of paint. Here’s another project that she threw together. We think it is simply brilliant. You see an ordinary day bed, right? Wrong! That’s actually two TWIN beds! The headboards became the back piece and the footboards became the arms. What a stunning result!

TABLE

And this industrial work table was one of our favorite staff picks! Older pieces, she says, add comfort and warmth to a space that new pieces just don’t. We love the way its rustic charm blends with the rest of her sleek, sophisticated décor!

RED CHAIR

Vicky says she sees decorating as a fun, relaxing, and ever-changing art project. This beautiful, unique armchair is also a Mimi’s find. She says, “No matter where I find my items, be it Mimi’s Attic, antique shows or a flea market, I’m always filled with anticipation that the hunt will reward me with  treasure.” Lucky for the rest of us, Vicki doesn’t bury her treasure, she takes pictures to show the world!

We’re honored that we get to be a part of what makes your home so marvelous, Vicki. From all of us here at Mimi’s, we’re excited to see what you come up with next!

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

From Dark Antique to Nursery Chic

Mandy BeforeThis stunning before and after transformation comes from a first time customer. Mandy was looking for a medium-sized changing table or dresser for her daughter’s nursery. Something cute with enough storage for diapers, clothes, etc, but low enough to use as a changing table. One of those tough-to-find sizes, for sure. This rich antique dresser, with its original locks and intricate detail, really caught her eye. It was missing two lock plates and was too dark for her space, so she knew it would take a little elbow grease. With loads of help from the little one’s grandpa (her father-in-law), this dresser got a complete makeover. They found two matching lockplates, sanded the whole piece, painted it this beautiful aqua, and changed the knobs to make it a bit more frilly. Mandy AfterThe whole project, including paint and materials, wound up costing them about $250. Not a bad deal for a charming one-of-a-kind piece that will last their newborn for years and years! We’re so thrilled that you found such a fun & practical project on your first time in, Mandy! Who knows what you’ll find next time….

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Before and After: Oak Dresser

Sue is our Store Credit Queen. She’s always bringing us bundles of goodies to sell and turning her store credit into fun, one-of-a-kind projects. This time Sue really outdid herself. She took a gorgeous antique bonnet dresser (which she purchased in our “Clearance Zone”) and gave it a whole new life! It really did need some TLC, but we think this lovely, curvaceous dresser was well-worth the effort.

BeforeSue originally planned to re-stain this classic piece, but reconsidered after further inspection. It seems that it had been painted white and then stripped. There was some waxy finish applied after this process which would have made re-staining more difficult. You can never really know for sure what happened in the previous lives of antique furniture, but who doesn’t like a little mystery, right? And of course this staining road-block didn’t stop our creative friend, Sue. She decided to take things in a completely different contemporary direction and turned to our friends at Funky Fresh for some inspiration. She purchased CeCe Caldwell’s chalk paint and got to DIY-ing! She sanded and applied a dark stain to just the top surface of the dresser which adds some nice contrast to her creation. After painting, the dresser was slightly distressed for a shabby chic quality.

Check out that snazzy new knob. Gotta love furniture bling!

Check out that snazzy new knob. Gotta love furniture bling!

This antique bonnet dresser has had a very successful adoption process. She now resides comfortably in Sue’s bathroom. Her hobbies include holding toiletries and bath towels, meditation, and day dreaming about her past lives, which began around the turn of the century. And look at her! She’s still kicking! We wonder where she will end up next….

 

Thank you for reading and remember that you too can earn $5 in store credit and be Mimi’s-famous. All you need to do is send us “before and after” photos of your very own Mimi’s  transformation and tell us a bit about how it was done. Hope you enjoyed this edition of Mimi’s “Before and After”!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Fun and Simple Before and After

Earring holder

Our very own Mimi’s employee and crafter, Jenni, had this brilliant idea of re-purposing a vintage gold frame into a vintage-inspired lace earring holder. Not only does re-purposing older items recycle but it also puts less of a strain on the economy and the demand for new products. Way to go, Jenni!

You too can create a cute vintage earring holder.  All you need is vintage-inspired lace (Sew Green, Quilter’s Corner anyone?), a staple gun, and a frame of your choosing. Simply stretch the lace tightly across the back of the frame and staple in the corners and voila! You now have a repurposed, adorable earring holder!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

A Thrifty Guide for the DIY Bride

shabsweddPlanning a wedding can be a truly exciting and creative endeavor. Mimi’s would love to help you find inspiration for your wedding, save some money,  and decorate to reflect your love of  re-use.

Whatever the style of your nuptials, the chances of finding pieces that pull your look together are limitless at Mimi’s. From sleek, well-kept antiques to aged wood and shabby-chic detailing, Mimi’s has seen it all! Previously-loved items are coming in every single day!

So How Can Mimi’s Help? With sites such as Pinterest and The Knot, wedding inspiration is always at your fingertips. When they give you the ideas, we give you the materials to make it happen! We have shelves and displays full of unique, antique, vintage, trendy, and one-of-a-kind pieces to help make your vision a reality. We have also compiled some of our favorite ideas here to get your creative gears turning!

Here are some of our favorite DIY ideas that you can easily pull together with one of our most popular Mimi’s items: Mason Jars.

masonjarglass

-Dreamy Lighting: Hanging jars from trees or building supports is a great idea for evening receptions! Want something more than just clear glass? Get creative and color your jars in your personalized wedding colors! Or lace ‘em up for a more nostalgic look. Use mismatched sizes for a more visually engaging display.

- Table Displays: Fill the bottoms of your jars with glass beads, add water, and use the beads to anchor colorful flowers. Add a floating candle for a romantic glow.

 


masonjarhanging

 

-Drinking Glasses:  You can use mason jars as glasses for a fun and easy-going vibe. And, because the majority are marked with ounce measurements, they make it easy to control portions and make mixed drinks a breeze. Tie a piece of twine or ribbon around the neck of the jar for a touch of color and rustic charm. Use chalkboard paint to provide a surface for each guest to write his or her name. Once everyone gets up to dance and mingle, you’ll be glad to have a way to individualize your glasses.Jar Vases

-Vases: Mason jars make flower arrangements easy and extra-charming! Pick up some “frog lids” to hold your display in place. Frog lids can be purchased for as little as 75 cents a piece or can be made if you’re on a tight budget.

-Wedding Favors: Make all natural sugar scrub or jam, fill the jars with candy, or even plant your own herbs prior to the wedding and send the guests home with their own sprouts! (Frog lids are best for the sprouts.)

 

 

But what if mason jars don’t fit into the theme of your special day? Mimi’s has plenty of other nifty ideas for you to consider!

Furniture is becoming a more popular wedding accessory. Mix and match vintage chairs for ceremony seating, use rustic cabinets and tables to hold goodies for guests, or use a vibrant screen to accentuate the atmosphere. At Mimi’s, you’ll find all sorts of previously-loved pieces ready for the picking!

centerpiecetableweddingfurn


Wedding Chairs

Mixed Chinamixeddrinkware

Craving a shabby chic vibe? Try using vintage or antique mixed china! It’s an adorable style and a great option for low-budget weddings.

Stop by Mimi’s often to find a big variety of cute mixed china at affordable prices!

And the mixing doesn’t need to stop at place settings; mismatched vases, flatware, and drink vessels are a fun way to create a unique atmosphere for your guests.

 mixedchina2

Of course Mimi’s can’t outfit ALL your wedding needs. But you can still make every corner of your wedding sparkle with re-used flair by stopping by some of our fellow consignment shops.

Dresses

Mimi’s isn’t a dress shop (as any of our regulars would know), but we’ve chosen to highlight Dressella’s, a gown consignment shop in Trumansburg, New York. They have a large array of dresses for everyone from the bride to the flower girl! Check them out to see dresses they are currently carrying or consign your own!

 

Fabrics

Fabric Bouquet

Looking for sheaths of fabric for DIY wedding crafts? Check out our neighbors at Sew Green located on Cayuga Street (right next to The Commons). Sew Green offers an array of cloth scraps, brand new fabrics, and recycled fabrics all at a fair price. They are just waiting to be re-purposed by you! Make your own table cloths, wrap your bouquet in strips of fabric, and get crafty! The possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

If you use items from Mimi’s for a creative wedding project, please show us how it comes together! When you send us your “before and after” pictures and tell us a little about how you made your creation, we will give you $5 in store credit. We’ll even write about your project on our blog or Facebook, so you get to feel Mimi’s famous! Whatever your wedding-style fantasies are, stopping by Mimi’s is a great way to get creatively inspired. Come see what we have in store!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off