Refinish, Re-purpose & Recycle, here’s how!!

I’ve got a secret that you simply must hear!                                              

 Did you know one of the best secrets all good designers have in their arsenal of tricks is…..

garage sale

H.I.D.E.O.U.S, but I couldn’t quite resist! This sweet chair had a straw filled cushion and is at least 70 years old (I know it looks it,haha) I purchased it at a local pet fund raiser for a whopping $3.00. The total makeover cost- $35.00! a good deal for a custom piece.


chair after


Start off with a chair or ottoman with minimal fabric (less challenging)!

before chalkboard

Doesn’t look like much of a chalk board does it? A large sheet of plywood, three coats of chalk paint and a custom frame can make a great over-sized chalk board and for pennies of what they cost for retail prices.


after chalkboard

As simple as 1,2,3. Plywood, chalk paint and scraps from my vintage wood collection. To make is a total of 3 hours including drying time. Cost about $23. Retail these boards you can expect to pay up to $100. especially for a vintage frame.

before cart

Bar carts are still very trending due to their retro influence as well as their functionality. They may be used in every room in the home including a powder room as a cute cart for linens or in a family or bonus room as a game cart. This 1950’s aluminum cart was a bit dinged and dull, but in less than 2 hours and $25. it looks like new again!

after cart

Less than 2 hours of elbow grease, 2 coats of poly and a total of $25. A savings of around $100. as vintage carts in this condition demand a high price point.

Personalizing and customizing their clients homes! A non cookie cutter approach will create a really catered to you look.

Dawn D Totty Designs- Offers online Design and onsite in Chattanooga & Nashville TN.

Dawn’s “Top Tips”-

1) Start small, look for pieces that have very little fabric as well as a sleek structure. Heavy ornate pieces in poor condition are not for the faint of heart as getting around all the nooks and crannies can be most time consuming and costly.

2) Purchase your fabrics on sale or if possible at a wholesaler, as fabric can come and often does at a very high price point. What appears to be a simple project can turn into a big expense. Fabric can be found as low as $5. – $400 a yard, yes, its true!

3) Look for foams (for cushions) thread, etc… at yard and retail stores. Foam padding is very pricey and can really hike the price of your project up considerably.

4) Most importantly, have a good time. If you can purchase the piece to be restored at a very minimal price, you have little to loose, live and learn right?!

quarter antique

Yep, A .25 cent antique!

vintage table

I have a soft spot for vintage/retro, mid century modern pieces, always have, but this table top finish, a big nope.

after table

Mid Century modern dinette.

custom covers

Re-used pillow insert with custom pillow covers.

before table frame

What to do with an empty old iron table frame??

after table frame

Reclaimed iron table frame and re-purposed wood.

Dig around your home, in your attic, basement, garage or out shopping for a piece with your name on it. If you haven’t tried to refinish, re-purpose or recycle a piece of furniture or an accessory yet, please do, it’s really fun and gratifying, you’ll see!!

My Best,                                                                                                                 Dawn

finishing cabinets

Atlanta Kitchen re-design.
Refinishing Cabinets!


 Best of Houzz 2014 Dawn-D-Totty-Designs-Angies-list-super-service-award Home of The Week Pic houzz Best of Design LOGO 2014recommendedinfluencer

Contact Dawn at (615) 339-9919 or


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