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Creating Bench Storage from Salvaged Beadboard

At the beginning of April we filled you in on our plans to disguise the new HVAC intake under our beautiful main staircase.

If you were reading you may have missed this post since it was below our April Fool’s post and you had already closed your browser in disgust of yet another website doing yet another April Fool’s post. I mean, it was pretty funny in 2007, right? Ultimately, we shared our progress to date and some discussion of our plans.

To quickly recap, when we bought our “new” old house in the country, one of the things we loved the most is the staircase. The downstairs hallway is much wider than we’re used to seeing in houses in Old Town, and Wendy especially loved the staircase, perfect for draping lush garlands at Christmastime. 

The staircase even had an interesting alcove beneath it where a hall table, lamp, and fun accessories could find a home.

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About Ashraf Akkilah

Ashraf Akkilah
Architecture and design is my passion. I'm an architect who is interested in building design and decor trends. I'm also interested in sculpture design and landscaping. I'm "outdoor" architect who love to be involved in the project site and supervise finishing and final touches works. I had contributed to many construction and decor projects.

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Bringing Vintage Chairs Back from the Brink Using Penetrol

When Alex and I moved into our first apartment, we were decorating novices. While we tried our best, we came up short in many ways, the most obvious being that we were so anxious to have our new home "finished," that we rushed out and bought what we needed. This resulted in a cookie-cutter straight-out-of-a-catalog look that did little to reflect our personalities, hobbies, or style. 

As the years have passed, I've learned to better appreciate the approach of curating a carefully selected mix of both new and old. Working in vintage finds, souvenirs and art from our travel adventures, and pieces passed down to us from family and friends along with new pieces creates a more layered, inviting, and less cookie cutter look. It's ultimately a formula that I've found results in the successful completion of a space that is comfortable, interesting to look at, and reflective of our personalities and who we are. 

Now that the majority of our focus is on renovating, decorating, and projects in our new home, my approach to its decor is to heavily use these lessons I've learned over the years. While many people's first reaction in a new space is to run out and buy as many news things to fill it as they can, we're taking a much more measured (and budget friendly) approach to our home's decor. We've been extremely fortunate to have many friends and family members gift furniture and accessories that they could no longer use. So last year when our neighbors offered us a pair of vintage garden chairs that didn't quite work in their home (and couldn't be returned), we jumped at the chance to become their new owners.

As you can see, this pair of vintage metal arm chairs have a beautiful patina and I loved the blend of several shades of green and turquoise. However, they were pretty rusty, so I knew I wanted to clean them up while still preserving much of the original paint. The goal was to both seal them to better protect them from outdoor weather while preserving their patina, and also preserving the pants of anyone that might choose to sit on these beauties. 

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