Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Ming Benches

Browsing through the newest design e-magazine to hit the world wide web - Trad Home (love!), I saw this image of a Bungalow 5 Ming-style side table:

Bungalow 5 Harlow Tea Table, available at Clayton Gray Home (shown in Turquoise in Trad Home)
I've always loved this style - especially in glossy white or a bright hue. 

Mary McDonald (who else?) via Domino via Matters of Style (check out their great post on Ming low tables)
Last year, I happened upon a gorgeous pair of Ming-style benches on Craigslist - and snapped them up for a steal! 

As purchased.  The frame is solid wood and super-heavy.
 I knew I wanted these to serve as coffee tables/ottomans in our basement, but I wasn't exactly sure what direction to take them in...

thumbs down... too pearly/metallic

Another no-go.  Still a fan of the bright (and kid-friendly) school-bus yellow vinyl - but, the color didn't work with my other yellows.

Ultimately, I opted for a graphic print... but, only after treating the wood frames to a shiny new coat of white spray paint.
Removing the seat cushions was as easy as a few turns of a screwdriver.  Spray-painting was a breeze as well - especially with the little plastic trigger handle.  It turned out relatively smooth, but to be candid, I have never achieved the perfect lacquered look that I hope for when painting furniture with a glossy finish.  One day, I might send a piece of furniture off to an auto detailer for a paint job - I've heard that is the way to go!

Here they are now:

Reupholstering the cushions would have been insanely simple had I chosen a solid color - just stretch and staple.  The pattern made it a bit trickier, because I wanted it to hit in the right place, and I wanted both benches to look the same.  Still, it took no more than an hour to recover the two cushions and reattach them.

For now, they're working well in the basement and I think the bold punch of black and white pattern brightens up the space.  But, I'm sure I'll tire of the chevron look sooner or later and these benches will undergo a makeover or five in their lifetimes.  A few cans of spray paint and a yard of fabric is all it would take for an entirely new look. 


  1. I love those, you did a great job! Now I'm off to search CL for some Mingy Thingies!!!

  2. Very nice transformation! Love the fabric:) Stop by for a blog visit.


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