Becoming an Artisan

Over the last couple of months I’ve embarked on a journey I didn’t quite have a name for originally. The journey of becoming an artisan.

It all began when my husband and I moved from our Texas home to Biloxi, Mississippi so he could begin his career in the Air Force. I found myself having many hard moments in the weeks that followed our first move. After the chaos of moving settled into the new routines of life, I began to feel isolated, alone, and directionless. As everything started in my husband’s career, I felt the ideas I had about mine slip slowly through my fingers. While most of my friends were/are thriving in their mid-twenty careers or grad-school ventures,  I placed mine on the back burner, and turned the heat to low, so nothing would scorch while I contemplated my next move. You can ask any of my close friends, I’ve been a quarter-life-identity-crisis prototype. But, in all seriousness, the last ten months have been full of introspection and self discovery. It was scary, humbling, and challenging, but I wouldn’t change it and I finally feel like I’m embracing the direction this next season of life is headed.

As of this time last year, I wanted to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work to become a therapist; however the last ten months have held two big moves, which means two new homes, and, what might as well be, two new worlds. I felt like I couldn’t put roots down for myself, much less my career. I also felt my peace shift away from grad-school. I really felt sure it was my next step, but that certainty left me at the threshold of a black door, waiting for a light to click on and illuminate my new purpose.

So I waited.

I started to rethink what I wanted out of this life now and in the future. My brain became the space of a great life inquisition.  What did I want my career to look like as a wife and (hopefully-one-day-not-too-too-soon) mother? How did I want to affect the world around me? I started to think about my passions, the things that make me feel alive. Words like restoring, recreating, hospitality, love, faith, warmth, home, family, writing, painting, food, and peaceful environments kept coming to mind when I envisioned my passions.

I asked myself what my natural strengths were and what did I have the most fun and challenge doing? And those thoughts pulled me further away from the “professional” world back to here. “Here” being Restored Living, both the blog and my customized furniture company. Here being my home, and your home and the relationship between the two. All of these thoughts, all of the introspection and “dark nights of the soul” led me to embrace this totally new world of artisan furniture recreations and attempting to document so my readers can be inspired to create beauty in their homes as well. And I feel on fire!

It’s with passion and hesitancy and a little fear -but way more joy, that I’m officially declaring Restored Living as my next career move. Sometimes you just have to say, or write, something to make it feel real.

My dream for this next season of my life would be that I can enable people to make their homes as peaceful and beautiful as they long for them to be. I’ve been polishing my skills as a painter, designer, writer, and photographer to create great content here and in real life so I can make happier homes in Texas, Mississippi,  Maryland (& wherever we end up next)!

I’ve learned a lesson in looking on the inside, on the things, thoughts, and ideas we have burning in our soul, and just embracing life with those dreams in the forefront of my intentions. Because I believe that embodies what I know as truth. So cheers to overcoming fears, and embracing the challenge of something totally new and unknown.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the newest addition to my project gallery, these two Mid-ish-Century Modern Accent Chairs. I found them at an estate sale the third week we were in Maryland for $3 a piece during the final hours of the sale. They are solid wood, heavy, comfortable… and they were hideous.



Beneath the already horrid material sat the original old glory. It was thick, and a good place to start from after I cleaned them up.


I pulled, tore, and played tug of war with this old material. I took everything apart, sanded and stained the wood -then reassembled. I then took my cushions, new fabric, and measured, cut, and stapled away. The whole project took hours, of course.


But the end result was TOTALLY worth every minute and struggle. These turned out to be quality gems that are now headed to Virginia to a new home. I absolutely love their funky soul and think they will be perfect in their new space. What do you think?


The stain is in General Finishes Java Gel and it has three layers of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat.





If you’ve made it to the end of this lengthy post I thank you for letting me share my heart and for your support in my new adventure. I’d love to hear your feedback or give you any help I can offer. I hope the rest of your week is full of nothing but goodness.




Upholstered Bar Chairs

Have you ever had an ugly chair in your home? The kind that is begging for a little of your time and attention? I hope this post inspires you to make those chairs a priority; chairs are an easy way to change the look of your space!

While we were stationed in Biloxi Mississippi, I had the opportunity to re-upholster four tall bar chairs. This job fit right into my number-one passion when it comes to restoring/upcycling furniture: re-creating beauty in what is waaayyy past its glory years. I know this pattern was nice at one point in time, but thank God that style changes!

My client was bright and bubbly and kind. Her home was full of energy, patterns, and colors. I loved being able to spice up these chairs for her so they fit her personality and home.


Even my dog looked a little bored of this chair. Imagine this times four and you have our dilemma. The goal was to keep the metal the original color, but still add some life to the set.

—>You are now entering a judge-free zone<—

Here are some more before pics in my  messy garage!

Recovering chairs is a process. But if you have some time, patience, and (a little) skill you can definitely recreate the look with new material. I’m always choosy about what I recover because I don’t sew (but realllly want to learn). I got creative with these and was able to keep them as a no-sew project. This side-by-side comparison says it all.


The end result?


Four happy, beautiful, and fun chairs in a Moroccan print. This pattern was perfect for the colorful kitchen they settled in!


Take note of the slight shimmer caught in this photo, because it looks glorious in real life!


I think this material gave these dated chairs just the touch of character they needed!


With a little time and hard work I think anything can be restored to new life. It’s my favorite park of doing what I do, because it reminds me that the old and ugly parts of my character can be stripped away daily as I rebuild the beautiful me I’m capable of being!

Thanks for taking a gander at this fun project!